02 July, 2016

I need a prompt

Mostly I need a prompt to avoide doing what I need to do, which is editing my novel (s). Yes. Two of them. Unfinished and faceless like, oh, i don't know, some weird kind of organism  made out of dough.

Tempt me.

Prompt me.

22 August, 2015

Cracked Flash Fiction - "The Seige" (my first blogspot post in eons)

Cracked Flash Fiction
The Seige
300 words
by Alana Dill
@alanapaints on Twitter & Instagram



“I hate it. I wish it would stop.” Sarah watched through a chink in the second-floor shutters. They'd barricaded the stairs. “Goats climb, right?”

On the bed, her guide, Jeb, opened his eyes with effort. Smeared blood had glued his lashes together. “Yeah.” The deer attack had left him woozy and weak.

“We're surrounded. Deer, raccoons... a wolverine?” She wondered if they could climb the cabin's exterior walls.

“They can't climb up to the second story.”

“Bears can.”

Jeb sighed. “They're already hibernating,” and sat up dizzily. “Any food left?”

“Just a SlimJim and a banana.” She turned to him. “How are we gonna get out of this alive?”

“Someone will come looking,” he said. Both doubted that.

They'd awoken to sudden, deep snow. A last few leaves had fallen atop the drifts, leaving red-orange puddles on the white forest floor, like too-fresh blood.

He'd opened the SUV's hood to find an incinerated raccoon. It had chewed through the battery cable. 

The animals had chased them back inside.

He said, “I shouldn't have left the buck strapped to the roof overnight.”

“This isn't normal animal behavior.”


In the distance, coyotes squealed, drawing closer.

She shivered, “What are we gonna do?”

“Can you climb up to the roof? Write 'HELP' on it with kindling sticks?”

“The roof.”

“Yeah. Maybe a passing small plane or helicopter...”

“We're miles from nowhere and there's another storm coming in.”

“So hurry.”


Sarah climbed out the window onto the porch roof, then climbed up on to the main roof. Jeb handed sticks up to her. She was halfway through E when a distant rushing sound caught her ear. The black tree branches swayed at their tips, swarming from every direction, a furry, terrifying rumor approaching all around them.

She screamed.

18 April, 2012

Sing it Out

I think humans are born with an innate need to sing. Babies sing before they can talk. The last 100 years' generations in the modern world have sadly been brought up comparing themselves to the recorded voice, and it gets worse and worse as Autotune and synthesizers make the recorded voice superhuman. I have nothing against Annie Lennox manipulating her voice so we can hear the deliberate trick, but taking someone of mediocre talent and artificially turning them into someone with less mediocre talent... not so much. And I despise Simon Cowell and his ilk, who skewer vulnerable aspiring artists for fun... and teach those watching that it's ok to do so. It's not ok to shame someone for doing something they love.

All over the world, throughout human history, people have sung together - around the fire or the table or at worship or in the tavern, at war and at peace. It bonds us, helps us express emotion otherwise inexpressable. Singing is so good for us, it ought to be written into the bill of rights.

Not everyone can or should be a soloist, but everyone should be able to use their voice. Good for you that you help your boy conquer his fears!

The Door is Open

I took this phrase from two sources:
the U2 song "Gloria", and my favorite Rumi poem:

"The Breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep
you must ask for what you really want
Don't go back to sleep
People are going back and forth
Across the doorway where the two worlds touch
The door is round, and open
Don't go back to sleep"

I have spent a fair amount of my life wide awake and dreaming, other times sleeping where my dreams were so vivid I wanted to go back and figure out how to make them real. How do I bring dreams into the waking world - dreams of creativity, of joy, of peace, of fun? How to take the shadow of my psyche and use it to heal myself and others instead of hurt?

I have eclectic taste - possibly insane taste - ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. I like silly humor more than I like sarcasm. I have a lifelong interest in why the heck the world is the way it is... cause and effect? G/d/s? Quarks? Who knows. Even if I thought I knew, that would be faith. The intersection between faith and knowledge - a dangerous and blurry place.

As the Firesign Theater states ".... a force that can only be used for good... or evillllll..." but I don't remember what they were talking about, was it a time machine?

I'm blessed with brilliant and creative friends; you'll find links to their blogs, art and ideas here. I'll add my own art and interests as time permits. Daring to put ourselves out there is one of the greatest challenges many artists face. Creating is easy, sometimes it happens all by itself. Communicating... hard.