Progress August 11, 2017

I haven’t had a lot of time to write this week; there’s been a lot going on and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, to be honest. But I am hoping to make some headway on my next YA novel soon, so you can expect some news and excerpts from that over the next little while!

This week’s excerpt is from a flash fiction I wrote last week called “Ellie’s Date.” I hope you are intrigued!

Ellie was running late. She didn’t have time to get her bike tire filled at the shop. She sighed, scribbled a note for her brother on a bright blue Post-It, and left it on the fridge. She grabbed her purse, made sure she had her phone, and began the five-block walk to work.

She arrived at the Francis Xavier Teahouse and Dinner Theatre and unlocked the door, working through her usual opening routine for the teahouse. The first pot of water had just begun to boil when Paul, her early morning regular, arrived.

“Just in time,” she said with a smile. “I’ll have your Earl Grey ready for you in a few minutes.” Paul accepted one of the free ginger snaps Jake, the chef, had left the night before for the morning crowd, and took a seat nearby.

Ellie continued through her morning on auto-pilot and only realized that Jennifer hadn’t shown up for her shift when the lunch crowd began to trickle in and Jake arrived to handle the cooking end of things. Her boss, Lu Yu, came up to the kitchen and watched her handling the crowd. During a lull, he spoke.

“Jennifer is ill,” he said softly. His calming voice held very little trace of his Chinese heritage.

Ellie turned and nearly spilled the hot water she was holding. “Sick? Today?”

“Yes, will you be okay?” he asked.

“I can handle the rush and all no problem. But I have a date tonight.”

Will Ellie make her date? Hm. I guess you’ll have to wait and see what else happens in this story.

By the way, I’m hoping to get my next flash fiction collection out very soon, so keep an eye out for that announcement.


Snow White (a flash story)

I know how the last queen died. It’s hard to cover up an assassination, even if it’s done through magic. The king doesn’t rule his own country anymore; he has been enspelled, and perhaps it’s worse because he loves her.

I wanted a mother-daughter relationship, but that couldn’t happen with her. She’s too in love with the power she wields.

I skitter past her room at night when she’s talking to the mirror. “Who’s the fairest of them all?” she asks, and I dread the day that the response is my name.

That day has come; I sense it in the air. I have befriended a huntsman. I am certain he will help me.

He doesn’t.

I must protect myself from retaliation. I flee to the forest, find safety among the seven little people who keep the poachers at bay.

She learns where I am.

I don a disguise and poison an apple. One bite will render her immobile.

I pack a knife at the bottom of my basket.

After all, the only way to eliminate a witch is to cut her still-beating heart from her chest.

This story is copyright 2017 Janna Willard. You may link it for others to read, but you may not copy it elsewhere. This may not be the final draft of this story. Any questions? Please ask!

I’ve been writing music and stories lately, though not as quickly as I’d like. However, I am slowly getting into a groove and that is what I need! I’ll be posting every Friday again starting today, and on the first Friday of the month I’ll offer you a complete flash fiction for you to enjoy, as I have tonight. The rest of the month you’ll get little teaser excerpts and updates on my progress, like usual.

The Surprise Has Arrived!

I hope you will forgive me for being a little late in posting this weekend, but I wanted to make sure I had everything squared away before I did my little reveal.

And here it is:

Elevator Buttons Cover v3 Yes, that’s right… I have published a collection of flash fiction!

Not sure if you want to try it? Have a look at the copy:

Everybody’s looking for something: transportation, safety, revenge, independence, connection, relationship…

Sometimes what you find is what you want; sometimes it’s what you need… sometimes it’s neither.

In these six flash fiction stories you’ll read about Shock, disaster, death, and desire, not necessarily in that order. If you’re after a quick read, this collection is for you!

For sale here:




I hope you enjoy!

Progress May 12, 2017

This week has been pretty good. I am nearly finished collecting themes for my music project (just 18 to go). I’ve also made good progress on my clarinet quartet piece.

I was not able to start working on that new revision stage for The Wolf & the Bear, but I did acquire the items needed to do it. I also was able to finish another flash fiction.

This week’s excerpt is from that flash fiction. I’m just giving you the opening, and I hope you enjoy it!

Daniel hoisted himself up over the windowsill of the kitchen window and crawled through. It had taken about 15 minutes to get the screen off, but the effort was worth it.

He crawled over the counter and dropped lightly to the floor, then padded softly to the door.

Sam and Jake were still standing under the window when he opened the door. “You guys!” he hissed. “Get over here!”

The trio made their way through the kitchen into the living room. It was well-appointed and looked lived-in. There were framed photographs on the mantel and the walls, of a pretty woman with long brown hair and a little boy with bright blue eyes.

“This is just a normal living room,” Daniel said. “We should just go. Peter saw us go in, we won the bet.”

Sam shook his head. “No way!” he replied. “He said to get a head, so we’re getting a head!”

head?!? What are these boys doing? Where are they?

You’ll have to wait and read the finished story to find out.

Progress May 5, 2017

I have finished that step on The Wolf & the Bear! I can now move on to the next step, which I am sure will take me a while. I think it involves index cards.

I am attempting to do StoryADay May, but so far have only written one story, to the first prompt. I will try to get caught up over the weekend. The second prompt needs more than a flash story (and could end up a novel, so I’m going to sit with it a bit and try outlining) but the third and fourth prompts will be great for flash once I sort out my angles.

This is supposed to be a month for capturing themes again, but haven’t been able to get to that yet either. My goal is to finish collecting the themes I need for that special project, and to finish the first draft (on paper) for the clarinet quartet I was working on in March.

Now, for your reading pleasure, I present the first (unedited) draft of “The Immortal Companion” [working title]. It clocks in at 637 words. I could probably cut it a bit, too. This was a fun story to write, and I have a few ideas of other places I might take these characters. What do you think?

You can see the prompt this is based on over here.

Continue reading “Progress May 5, 2017”