Flash

Flash Friday and an AH roll...

This weekend it was my turn once more with Voima to judge for Flash Fiction Friday. It was a tough one to fit in as I was working all but Sunday, and on Sunday I was at my parents for part of the day for their - almost a very large - anniversary.

I was pleased to complete the judging in good time and V and myself were pretty close with our initial picks and the top five or so were easy enough to pick. I had some IT issues as well as the time issues so unfortunately our results didn't get posted until Tuesday which I apologise for. It was nice to see that Team 8 had picked their second new winner. Though I was well surprised Holly hadn't won before. Check out the picks and the
winning tale here.

On the train home from my parents, after selecting the FFF places, I sketched out a very quick story for
Angry Hourglass which I typed up on my return home. It was quite a silly piece - but with the photo it asked for it. Still, was surprised to get a 2nd place for it. Brilliant! The piece is reproduced below beneath the photographic prompt:

Butts


Two butts and a Maybe
A.J. Walker

I love you more than… Well, words are more your thing than mine. Sometimes. But let’s just say- more than a big bone.

I thought I had you trained though. That we understood each other after I had those telepathy lessons with Gary the Yorkshire born Chihuahua – who seemed to have it made in her place. Admittedly she was a little confused by her name.

Still, after those lessons things seemed to improve. I mean you stopped giving me that vile pink tinned stuff that smelt of corpses and rancid butter around that time and gave me that other posh nosh stuff that smelt of beef stew and dumplings. That was much better; though I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the same recipe just a little tweaked. I am thankful for the tweaks and culinary finesse in any case.

Then you started taking me on walks, proper walks, when I wanted them. Not just when you felt like it, or the weather dictated.

Everything, thanks to my newly learnt Garyesque telepathy was coming up roses. Or at least Pedigree Chum.

So, when I told you the energy I was getting from the proper diet and exercise was making me a bit… well, frisky and that I wanted to see more butts, well I was expecting to sniff out some mighty fine opportunities. Butts. Dog butts.

But no. No you imbecile. I’m here tied up by a bloody trashcan with ‘Butts’ written on it. Telepathy is too good for you. Wasted. Telepathetic.

Cigarette butts. FFS. No idea what ‘FFS’ stands for but I reckon that’s right. FFS.

Butts: dog’s butts!

It’s quite cute though that aluminium can. Says ‘butts’ on it too, which is turning my head a little. I can see my silvering reflection. If I squint, and I am, it could be a mighty fine lady dog looking back at me. Woof!

Okay, I’m not sure this is right, or wrong. But who decides that? It’s not you woman. Butts I said. Clearly!

Right, tin-can tease are you ready for some high pitched Chihuahau action? I’ll be gentle. Though maybe a little manic… Prepare to be boarded!

Howl!!
(360 words)






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Recent Flash Challenges

Recent Weeks

I've been quietly prolific over the last month or so with entries all over the place in
Flash Friday, Angry Hourglass, Microbookends, 3Line Thursday and even Luminous Creatures.

Been getting a few honourable or special mentions and even runner up places. So not been doing bad at all.

As these all get posted on the respective websites I will post a few of the stories up here shortly for posterity.


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Highfalutin Flash! Friday

Last Friday I submitted my by now traditional double effort for Flash! Friday Fiction. I actually found it quite a tough one with the picture of a burning plane (the aptly named Hellcat) crashing into an aircraft carrier (the USS Enterprise) and the requirement for one of the main characters being a lawyer. But once I'd had my ideas they rolled off pretty quickly.

No winner again but at least one of the two (Widdle) got a Special Mention thanks to the use of "humour, 'highfalutin' and a heavy cheese session" (again). Huzzah! I should use Highfalutin more often.


Click on the picture below to go through to the FFF and read some/all of the fab stories from the Dragon followers.

1943-enterprise-bruning-hellcat
Burning Hellcat crashing into the USS Enterprise - the FFF prompt Vol 3-22


To Boldly Sue Who No One Had Sued Before

“I’ve heard you’re the best in the business.” Benny said. “I want to hire you.”

Harry smiled. “What business?”

“Ambulance chaser.”

“Ha, I don’t like the terminology, but yeah best in California.”

Benny held out his hand which Harry shook firmly.

“You been in an accident then?”

“Oh, yep. Not my fault. I want you to sue them for me.”

“Great. Any witnesses?”

“Oh yeah, many.”

“Will they remember the accident?”

“I’d say so.”

“When did it happen?”

“A week ago, on the 1st December.”

“Do you have the details of who was to blame and the vehicle registration?”

“It was Admiral J.T. Church, he moved the runway.”

“The runway? Is that a foreign car?”

“No the runway, on the USS Enterprise. Just when I was due to come in. Such idiots.”

“You were parking on a ship?”

“Not so much parking as landing. I mean, how dangerous?”

“So, you’re a pilot.”

“Of course.”

“But, an aircraft carrier? The whole point is that they move isn’t it?”

“That’s what they seem to be using as their defence. But it wasn’t really implicit during training. It seems almost negligent to me to expect us pilots to land onto a moving ship. Isn’t it?”

Harry sighed. “No win, no fee?”

“Fair enough.”

(210 words) 8 May 2015 Story 1 of 2



Widdle Finishes One Enterprise and Begins Another


“Barnstable, Barnstable & Fletcher, Inc” was actually just Eric Widdle, but he thought the business sounded better with a few more names; none of them being his.

The strap-line on his advert read “your nightmare could be your opportunity”. He’d come up with it himself one night after a heavy cheese session. He didn’t like the idea of paying for some high falutin’ ad agency to come up with something corny, when he could do it himself for the price of some oatcakes and a slab of Danish Blue.

He was just starting out in law after his mishap on the USS Enterprise. It hadn’t been his fault of course. A lens had fallen out of his glasses just as he was lining up the landing. Then it all got fuzzy; until he woke in hospital.

The headlines had been quite hurtful and he still didn’t know where his parents had moved to. He understood that divers had now found most of the Enterprise.

The navy had been good paying for him to do the correspondence course in “Law for Beginners” whilst he’d been bedridden. The whole crew had signed a card to him too. He still couldn’t quite work out the handwriting, but was sure it said something nice.


(210 words) 8 May 2015 Story 2 of 2 - Received a
Special Mention

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Angry Hourglass #65 - Podium

Following last week's surprising win over on Angry Hourglass it was nice to write without the smidgeon of pressure of 'needing' to win it this time. I liked the picture. It looked very much of a time and place and was chock with people so dialogue and story opportunities abounded. The big scissors little scissors thing was what I first noticed in the photo (reproduced below). Anyway, my story didn't win this week and why should it with such brilliant writerers going for it again this week? But it was another Flash Dog winner in Foy. And I managed a podium with third place. Huzzah! The story is presented below.

Check out the results page
here.

Note that there will be no more Angry Hourglass now until June.

Little Man Big Scissors
Click on the photo to see all the entries and comments.

In Three Pieces
The two men stood before the invited throng, their baby – the newest hotel in the city – finally ready. Photographers jostled for position jagging elbows and lenses into their enemies, just wanting to get the picture and go; probably to the corner bar.

Gerry looked across to Harold and his giant scissors.
“Overcompensating?”

“You don’t want to know.” Harold said, through gritted teeth.

Gerry looked at the small set of scissors Harold had given him earlier. Prick.

Scissors: a neat device for precision cutting. Two pieces useless without the simple pin holding them together. You can’t cut with one half of a pair; you can stab with it.

“What are we waiting for?” Gerry asked.

“The Times.”

The two men held the satin ribbon, both wanting to get the morning over.

Symbolic: An opening. An ending. The building finished, relationships over.

The pin.

“Where’s Caroline?”

“She’ll be here. Won’t miss the chance to get in the papers.” Harold said.

“These guys won’t wait long. Neither will I.”

Gerry surveyed the cold marble foyer. Photographers. Journalists. Cameramen. Politicians. Bankers. But no Caroline.

“Henry Ellis from the Times.” Henry smiled at them as he arrived before them, seemingly untouched by lens or elbow. “Any comments for our readers on this magnificent, if tardy, hotel?”

Gerry wanted to punch his smug face through the back of his head.

“Yes, it’s been a trying project. But we are where we are and I think I – we – have delivered an outstanding development which will be the hotel of choice for the city.”

“For those who can afford it.” Henry said.

“Of course. There are different markets. Let’s not get into that.”

Harold’s practiced smile bloomed across his face. “Gerry and I will cut the ribbon. Cameras ready?”

The red satin ribbon floated in three pieces to the floor. A few posed photographs together, with cloying saccharin smiles, and it was over.

Caroline trumped them – all over the front pages. Their opening relegated to a single photograph and line under "Announcements".

Caroline: The pin between two egos. Broken. Fallen from the penthouse window. A scissor blade through the neck. A bloody white dress, picture perfect as always.

(360 words)


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FlashDogs Artwork - Tam Rogers

The artwork being produced for the Flash Dogs Anthology Volume 2 (Solstice Light: Dark) is of the highest calibre and is again being produced by the wonderful and oh so multitalented Tam Rogers.

Hats off to Tam (again).
Flash Dogs 2 - TamR 400w

Please check her out on Twitter @tamrogers and her writing on the web at thedustlounge.com .
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Anthology Fever Sweeping the World

Anthology fever is gripping Earth's nations once again - or is it just Fazakerley? Anyway, it's cranking up now as messages on Twitter are showing some of the authors are beginning to complete their stories. Complete. Stories; plural! So the pressure is rising.

On the positive side from my point I've finished the first initial preliminary early drafts of two stories and will be forwarding them on to my review partner over the weekend. Err, perhaps. Then I can get on with the other two (yep, aiming for four stories).

Just like to say, it is again great to be involved and loving the support and feel good banter that Twitter - the ancestral home of the Flash Dogs - is providing. The Dogs are a wonderful bunch and generally pretty friendly. Though there are a couple that bite - but I won't tell you which ones; you'll have to find out for yourselves.

Here's to the pressure. The story telling. The banter. The anthology (Vol.2). And the Flash Dogs!

Woof!



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Flash Dogs Anthology Volume 2

Dark and Light

The Flash Dogs are all heads down at the moment working on their pieces for Flash Dogs Anthology - Volume 2: 'Solstice Light: Solstice Dark'. Well, that's the theory anyway.

So far I've written 750 words for a story which I think I am going to redo. And then yesterday I wrote 15 words. That is a title for each of four stories. Not even sure if I'm totally happy with them, but I think that they will help with the momentum for the stories at any rate.

Hope to get at a couple down by early next week.

#FlashDogs
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Angry Hourglass #64 - Flash Master

Oh me, oh my! One of my aims this year was to win Angry Hourglass at least once and I've gone and done it with last Sunday's story. Flippin' made up, I am.

FlashMast 100

Surprised to win it with a story that was almost all dialogue, but it must have hit a spot with the judge - the wonderful
Voima Oy (who happened to win AH last week).

The winner's podium comprised three flash dogs, and more incredibly two writers from the same writing group - Poised Pen. I wonder if that has been done before? The link to the winner's page is here, go over and read all the stories.

Below is the photograph prompt from Ashwin Rao and my story is reproduced here too.
Vinyl - Ashwin Rao 200
Photo credit: ashwin rao


Taking Names

‘That was something beautiful.’ said the stranger, as Sam left the stage.

‘Err, thanks. Like a bit of Phil Collins do you?’

‘Who doesn’t?’ said the man, preening his scarlet jacket. ‘Who you with?’

‘Just waiting for a mate.’

‘No, I mean who’s representing you? You’re recording, right?’

Sam laughed. ‘Hardly, working down the takeaway.’

The man leant forward. ‘You telling me you’re available, that I can sign you up? Because you’ve a talent I can do something with.’

Sam stepped away. ‘I’ll have what you’ve been drinking. You’re seriously off it! It’s just karaoke.’

‘I’ll get you whatever you like. But I’ve got to sign you up. Here’s my card.’ he said, smoothly taking it from behind Sam’s ear.

‘Mr Lyle, what’s the B?’

‘Brian.’

‘I’m Sam Bailey. You don’t look like a Brian, Brian. ’

‘Who does? I’ll take you to my record shop, show you who I’ve produced. Got the rights to so many people you’ll know. Honest, I guarantee you a hit like this.’ Brian flicked his fingers, producing a smoking cigar from thin air.

‘Hey, we can’t smoke in here!’ Sam said, nervously.

‘You can. You’re a star, Sam. You can do what you want. Need to do something about your name though.’

Sam couldn’t remember leaving the club but found himself in an old fashioned record shop with Brian.

‘Take a look while I think about your name. All these records, all these artists, are mine.’

John Belushi singing “Soul Man” started playing as Sam excitedly flicked through the beautiful vinyl.

‘Yazz “The Only Way is Up” - mum’s got this!”

'Did well, like I told her. She was wrong, of course.'

‘Look, I’ll sign. Bit of a laugh. Even a one hit wonder would be amazing,’ said Sam. He was being swept away by the vinyl euphoria, as he signed the contract. ‘Don’t even care if you’re a rip off merchant.’

‘You’ve got “One Direction”!?’

‘Yep, gave them an extended contract. Nice boys, well some of them. Just started taking them down now one by one. One Direction: indeed.’

‘Well, you’ve got me now, Brian.’

‘Call me Belial, or Lucifer if you prefer.’ said Belial.


Angry Hourglass - 19 April 2015

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FlashDogs Anthology - Volume 2

The chatter and general barking has started to grow over the last week or so with regard to FlashDogs Anthology - Volume 2. The titles and pictures are abroad and we are all donning our thinking caps and getting excited. A month or so to get a few new stories together. A fabulous time!

I have been paired with another Andrew, based all the way down in that there Australia, and we will review each others work for the Anthology.

Watch this space on how this goes. It's going to be great.



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"The Last Car in Salford" - Angry Hourglass #60

Last week (w/e 22nd March) I managed a little writing including; Three Line Thursday, Microbookends, Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass.

Made up today to be told I got 2nd place in the
Angry Hourglass challenge (No. 60). My best showing in AH so far. Maybe I can win it one day… It's a tough ask though with the quality of the writers who enter AH.

In the meantime here is my AH story. I actually wrote it as '
The Last Car in Fazakerley' but that would have given it away as being my story so changed it to Salford. The judge (Sal) pointed out I'd put her name in the title, so perhaps that was a good idea too!

The dramatic picture was provided by
Ashwin Rao:
HalfCar



The Last Car in Salford

It was a reckoning, but it came not as anticipated. Somehow the world turned – not on man, but on car. The ground began to reclaim its metals, sucking back the iron, aluminium and chromium into the rocks, as a child sucks a sweet.

“It’s the End of Days!” shouted the world’s media and religious leaders, at a hysterical populous. And it was; for a while.

Henry’s car had been eaten in the first weeks of The Reclamation.

“Never liked it anyway. Cost a fortune to keep on the road.” Henry said.
“Didn’t waste too much time trying to get your tax and insurance back though did you? That broke the internet. The insurance companies were never going to last the week.” said Michelle.

“But how do I get down the Asda?” said Henry.

“Flag down a taxi, mate.” said Michelle, laughing so much she got hiccups.

They walked down the empty roads towards the river.

“I’m enjoying the silence.” said Michelle. “And no, I don’t mean you.” She gently pushed him.

Henry spread his arms to the world – in a ‘all this could be yours’ gesture. “Yes, it’s a blessing. No doubt about it. Shame about the pubs though.”

“Trust you. No milk or bread and you’re worried about where the hops are.”

Henry raised both eyebrows. “And…?”

Michelle changed tack. “You know it’s 28 days since the first ones went? Apt, aint it?” She pointed down the empty streets.

Henry shrugged.

“You’ve not seen ’28 Days Later’?”

Henry shook his head. “Not that I remember. I’ve never been into rom-coms.”

Michelle laughed.

“Look there. There’s half a car. I haven’t seen one for days; thought they’d all gone now.” Michelle said, pointing at the poignant reminder of a different time.

“Must be the last car in Salford that. Can’t have been here that long either – it’s still got its tyres!”

The couple laughed then absently held each others hands.

“I’m not sure how the world will do without cars. But I’m looking forward to seeing it.” Henry said.

“It will be a better place. At the very least there won’t be a ‘Fast and Furious 32’.” Michelle said.

(360 words)
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Visdare #88 - Ordinary

It's been an age since I've done Visdare. It was a lovely picture this week. But I've left it too late to think about properly so rushed out a bit of a tale. A reminder that with Visdare there are no winners (or losers - which is handy) and that the maximum word count is 150.
The word this week was '
Ordinary' and the photo was a little unusual - an elephant brushing up against a tea drinking woman - who of course ignores said elephant. You couldn't make it up.

Ordinary


The Patience of an Elephant

It’s not a bad life I suppose, but it’s not proper - I wasn’t born into this. Here I am away from my home living a leisurely life; soaking up the rays, wallowing in water brought up by servants, eating apples and drinking tea. Pretty much the same as ‘Her Royal Elegance’.

I’m supposed to be in the jungle with my family growing up, perhaps having little elephants of my own eventually. But no, Colonel Gordon Foster-Sinclair (the third) had to hunt.

An orphan they call me. They look after me like the child they never had; as if that is ordinary. They call me cute, feed me fruit, which makes me fart (I’m glad to be able to keep my nose along way from my rear).

I despise the Colonel; his laugh, his guns.

Years from now - when I am giant - I’ll take my revenge. An elephant never forgets.


(150 words)

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Writing, Still

Just to assure you - as I am sure you've been worried - but I am still writing. Haven't been putting anything up here for a while though have I? Well, that coincides with having to take on a ridiculously long houred job.

But I have still been submitting stories on
Flash Friday Fiction, Microbookends and the like. I had a third place in Microbookends the Thursday before last, which was nice with such a rush job. Still, it is one of the badges I need to get my hands on.

rof2


Talking of badges I have submitted stories every Friday in January and every week bar one in February so I have the new shiny '
Ring of Fire' badge. Huzzah! It's a pretty big club and is full of wonderful people of course - check them all out on the Wall of Flame.


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Another Quick Flash Thursday!

After a long day I got home tired. But decided I must try and get some bits out for Thursday, which is fast becoming 'Flash Fiction Log Jam Thursday' due to all the challenges which come out.
Pleased to be able to get three out for:

And tomorrow of course it is Flash! Friday. Huzzah. I need another win there at some point, but I know it'll be damn tough - all the other writerers are just too damn fine!

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Finish That Thought 2-29

Finish That Thought - 2-29 was full of Flash Dogs this week. With the famous dragon lady Rebekah Postupak our host this week I had to put a dragon of some sort in it. Not to mention a Warren Zevon reference too. Welcome to 'Splendid Isolation':

Splendid Isolation
Rebekah slowly opened the window to drink in what she knew to be her very last sunrise. Her plan was scuppered by an eastern front which brought a disappointing grey-wash sky.
She’d known this day would come, when her past would catch up with her. It was at the very least what she deserved. Penance for the accident.
She’d caused it. That’s what she’d been told. So accident wasn’t the right term was it? She was guilty of causing all those deaths. Young and old. Lives smudged out in messy instant. Her fault. Her penance.
Rebekah sat on the edge of her bed feeling the bag against the small of her back. Her meagre possessions. These would be all she would take. Her choice. It was penance.
The broken mirror said much to her and she rubbed her roughened knuckles. The room was strewn with boxes, bottles, cardboard detritus of a life that had fallen apart. She couldn’t look after herself anymore.
The magazine picture of the limestone pinnacles pinned to the wall the only decoration. A clue if anyone wanted to look for her, should she be missed.
Her watch told her it was time to go. She took it off and left it neatly on the bed. She threw the rucksack over one shoulder. It dug in painfully to her clavicle. Pain she must take. She needed it. It was the one thing that showed she was alive. She could control it, inflict it. Penance.
The coach took her west. Another three progressively smaller buses took her into the mountains. She gulped when she first caught a glimpse of the monastery perched between the serrated teeth in perfect isolation. One of the monks was waiting for her at the stop and drove her up the rickety track in silence. She took tea with the monks, who were calming. There was no judgment. Not even questions.
She was pointed to the peaks where she would find a west facing cave. Where she could sit and contemplate life; death, accidents and blame. She needed to feel it all. Sometimes she felt totally responsible and hated herself. Sometimes she felt it hadn’t been her fault and she’d hated herself more.
As she walked through the mountainside brush she could see her cave in the distance. There were plenty of others but this cave chose her. The monks would bring her alms each day. She would get better out here or die trying.
When she was a child Rebekah had wanted to live in cave, she hadn’t envisaged these circumstances. She never saw the sunrise, but she got to see many fiery sunsets. A dragon started appearing in her dreams and one day she scratched the outline of one onto the ceiling. It would be the one and only companion for her journey, it would look after her.
As the weeks and months passed in her splendid isolation she had confidence that she would get better.
(496 words)

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Flash Week: Microbookends, FFF and AH

Well, I didn't have a really prolific week last week. Started some or thought I'd do a few more - like Finish That Thought and Thursday Threads - but in the end last week just saw me finishing Microbookends, Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass. The latter two are the ones I am keenest to try and do come what may!

Microbookends I couldn't format as I wanted as I wasn't sure how to put it into the correct HTML code as I wanted it presented in four columns. I had to present it as a single column instead. Ho hum. Anyway the way I wanted it to look is below. The piece as ever has to start and end with the prompted words - in this case Peace and Prize - and be between 90 and 110 words.

A-Z of War and Peace: X and Make Up

PeacePrize

I managed to get
Flash Fiction Friday done. And was quite happy with it. Though someone pointed out that the last minute addition of the footnote had taken me over the word count. Which is a shame because it didn't need the note - though I quite liked it. (more ho humming).

As for the
Angry Hourglass I've no ho humming. Just up against some very talented guys and gals (very very well attended by the Flash Dogs).

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Flash Dogs in Paperback!

Well blow me down with a feather, the Flash Dogs Anthology (Volume 1) is now available in paperback. Yes, an actual book, paper and ink bound together with a really cool cover. Flip! The guys and gals at Flash Dog HQ kept this very close to their respective chests and announced this on Saturday. Thanks FDHQ, mucho kudos.

For the princely sum of £7.99 you get 332 pages of actual paper. It'll look mighty fine on your bookshelf too.

FlashDogs
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Not a Bad Couple of Days

Flip first week of 2015 and not a bad week from the words perspective…

1. First publication of 2015 - the Luminous Creatures '
Five Hundred Words of Magic' on Amazon
2. Published in Sirens Call eZine #18 '
Scriptum in Morte'
3.
Won 13 free books from Specsavers twitter competition - selection from 2014 National Book Awards.
4. Came 2nd in
Angry Hourglass today!

Not bad eh!

Aims this year… want to win an
Angry Hourglass and Microbookends competition - and would love a second Flash Fiction Friday win. Need to identify another couple of competitions to go for and see if I can win something that I get paid for - now that would be ridiculous!
-------

Now if I can just get a lottery win (or decent short hour well paid job to allow me to write some) and get rid of this damn ear infection.
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Sirens Call

It's been an almost prolific couple of days for me what with Five Hundred Words of Magic going on to Amazon at the weekend and today the 'Sirens Call - Issue 18 Scriptum in Morte' eZine has been published online. As well as myself there is also a story from @fallintofiction another member of the Poised Pen writing group - so Poised Pen has done very well there.

Sirens Call is in pdf form, or can just be viewed online, and is free! So here's your link:


SirensCall

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/pdfs/SirensCallEZine_December2014.pdf
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Five Hundred Words of Magic - Luminous Creatures

Luminous Creatures have just published the 'Five Hundred Words of Magic' for Kindle on Amazon and I'm chuffed to have a couple of stories in it - 'Potential Energy' and 'Sideways'. These stories were from the Weeks 2 and 5 picture prompts from their competition 'Winter of Whymsy and Wydrdness'.

There are plenty of Flash Dogs in there of course and two Poised Pen isn't a bad showing either.

Click below to go to the Amazon (UK) page. I've just downloaded it myself. Looking forward to seeing it on the Kindle (and the chapbook later in the month too!).

WordsOfMAgic

Luminous Creatures Website
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Second for a Second Week

MicroBookends

Put up my second story for
Microbookends after a relatively successful second place last week. And what happened this week? Well, second place once again.

Second place is nowhere - who said that? - well I'll take it as being
pretty fine.

Microbookends is a challenge where you are given the first and last word of the piece (90 to 110 words) and a photo prompt.

The two stories are re-presented here:

Week 1: EXPLOSIVE… DISORDER.

Christmas: Plausible Deniability

Explosive devices and a class of five year olds would have created less of a mess in her kitchen than Sue had.

She stood in the centre of the blast zone, pulling her hair, trying to recall why she’d volunteered to have Christmas at her house.

The phone rang three times - the signal that David had picked up his mum and was on his way.

She could hardly imagine the reaction her mother-in-law would have when she saw the kitchen chaos - Dick Cheney could take top tips from her interrogation and torture techniques. Sue cried trying to imagine an excuse - with plausible deniability - for such epic disorder.



(109 words) December 11th 2014 - Came second.


Week 2: RATING… SYSTEM.

Kat’s Magic Spoons

Rating Kat’s chance of finding all his homemade dinosaur eggs as a long way south of negligible Sam sat back on the porch and laughed.

Kat waltzed theatrically out into the garden and spun around to look at Sam.

"You wanna double up on that bet?" She shouted.

Sam laughed. "A fool and her money." He nodded.

Kat pulled out the spoons and within fifteen minutes all ten of the lurid plastic dinosaurs were laid out in front of Sam.

"Incredible." he said. "How did ya do it, really?"

"Magical spoons, Sam. They can do anything. Some day I’m gonna use them to solve the mysteries of the solar system."



18 December - 110 words - Came second again!

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Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness - Week 7

Luminous Creatures, Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness - Last Week

Put up my story for the last week of
Luminous Creature's - Week 7 -'Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness.'

A copy of the story is provided below (along with my blocky version of the picture - The Glow). Click on the pic to go to Luminous Creatures Week 7 entries - and see the proper pic.

I completed my first
Mid-Week Blues Buster yesterday for ten months or so. Click on MWBB to go to the site.


Mond


The Incredible Lightness of Unbeing

The plaza had been bathed in the white sun of summer and Juan welcomed the exit north along the cool shaded gorge of Calle San Felipe. The basalt setts had been washed black by a hit and run shower and were as shiny as jet and the returning sun was making the oranges and blues of the shop walls vivid. Juan felt he was walking into a Mondrian vision of a townscape.

Juan was struck by the two men walking on the opposite side of the street both wearing the same light blue scarves. He was sure that they had been together when they had come around the bend, but were now walking apart as if they were trying to appear they weren’t together.

The thinner man was burying his face behind his collar and scarf and the fat man had pulled his hat down far too tight to look comfortable. He was carrying a battered leather bag which looked strained by its contents.

Juan couldn’t work out what was wrong but lost interest in the characters after they’d passed each other. Then he observed a third man who seemed to be walking between doorways in a caricature of a private investigator surreptitiously tailing his prey.

This man in black pulled into the door of the art shop almost opposite Juan, adjusting his sunglasses so he could see in the darkened shadows. Juan was now sure that he was following the men and he turned to look for them. They’d reached the plaza and he saw them nod to each other before they turned and walked quickly in opposite directions - the man had a decision to make now. Juan thought the fat man would be the easiest to catch, but it would depend what he had in the bag; books, maybe guns, or some cheeses stolen from the delicatessen just up the road?

The man looked at his watch as he stepped out from the doorway and walked to Juan.

“You must stop here. Walk back to the plaza.” said the man, pointing the obvious way.

Juan didn’t move. He noticed that the man had a mic and an earpiece in. He also saw the gun holster.

“I said...”

Juan nodded. “What’s happening? What’s going on?”

As the man looked to answer they turned to look up the street as a strange high-pitch ringing began. They clamped their hands to their heads, falling to their knees in agony as blood glugged out of their ears.

They saw a burning glow at the end San Felipe, painful to their eyes. It seemed to engulf everything, the buildings disappeared.

Uselessly Juan shouted.

The intense light grew steadily expanding in a walking pace explosion down the road, consuming all and heading towards the helpless men. The noise became deeper, crackling and popping as matter disappeared in an insane magical show - a reverse big bang. The man in black and Juan looked into each others eyes accepting this strange death before becoming light.


(500 words)


Comments

Quick Flash Thursday

Flash Fiction Thursday!

Wrote some super quick submissions late this afternoon - well quick for me anyway - for Micro Bookends and Thursday Threads.

Still have to consider whether to submit another story for
Luminous Creatures and Mid Week Blues Buster. Then of course tomorrow it is Flash! Fiction Friday. There really can be too many challenges! Quick maybe the only way to go.

The Luminous Creatures challenge is tempting with another chance to get a story published in their chapbook in the new year. The image for it by
Christian Miller is evocative:

theglow copy

Micro Bookends
Thursday Threads
Comments

Judging - FTT

Flash Friday Fiction - Judging

I was tasked with coming up with the first line and the Special Challenge for this week. And then I had to undertake the judging.

There were eleven stories from some fabulous authors. I judged them blind (the names and twitter handles removed for me) and gave them all several reads through before going through and commenting on them all.

The range of stories were as ever very wide. I quite quickly selected my favourite stories and reread them a few times before selecting my winning tales (one winner, two runner ups and a Special Challenge winner).

Loved all the stories and the winners were posted on the same night, which were;

  • Mark Driscoll - Second Runner Up
  • Erin McCabe - First Runner Up
  • Holly Geely - Winner

Congratulations to all of them, it was an enjoyable task but it'll be nice to get writing again rather than judging next time.
Comments

Finish That Thought & Flash Dogs Anthology

Judging - Finish That Thought

A week on from the win at Alissa Leonard's 'Finish That Thought' and it is my time to turn judge for the challenge. If you haven't tried the challenge before it's straight forward enough - you get the first line, with a bit of flexibility on it, and then 500 words to tell your story. There is also the Special Challenge, should you wish to accept it.

I'll be blind judging all the stories tomorrow - so what are you waiting for? Head on over to
FTT.


Click on the badge to get through to Alissa's site.
FTTLogo4

I should have finished reading the Flash Dogs Anthology by tomorrow. Currently about half way through and there has been some truly great stories in there. The creativity of the 34 authors is something to behold. Will put a review up - on here and on Amazon UK - once I've ready every last morsel.

Flash Dogs Anthology: it is literally literary tapas.

Click on Tamara Rogers cover pic to get through to Flash Dogs website.

FDcover 250W

Or on the Amazon link to go get the book itself (UK Amazon).

FlashDogs Are Here
Comments

Flash Dogs Anthology - It's Here!

Flash Dogs Anthology - Available NOW

Yes, I know there's been very little twitter notice about this has there? But after all the hard work from the guys and gals at
FlashDogs HQ the first Flash Dogs Anthology is now available on Amazon. How cool is that? Cooler than absolute zero. That's cool I tell you.

Treat yourself, and your Kindle, now.

FlashDogs Are Here

Click on my updated poster (incorporating @TamRogers wonderful cover art) to go straight through to to the Amazon (UK) page.

£1.53 for the book (less than 1.5p per story) and all proceeds go to IBBY -
the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)
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FlashDogs Anthology - Volume 1

Flash Dogs Anthology - Volume #1

If you follow me at all on Twitter or on here then you can't help but have heard about it; the time is almost upon us. The first of many - well the first anyway - Anthology from Flash Dogs is to be issued on Amazon this weekend.

Everyone involved has been finding the whole thing a great fillip for their writing and general well being. We're all guaranteed 25% less likely to get flu this winter due to the glow we've all had over the last few weeks.

The FlashDogs have bloomed out of no-where like a big bang creation - which has produced a wonderfully bright Flash. It has shown the power of Twitter, without which this group and book would never have been possible.

The group comprises
34 authors from across the globe, hardly any of whom have met. The authors comprise 22 women and 12 men from the UK, USA, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and Netherlands.

Over the last year or two we've been seeing each other regularly in the same Flash Fiction challenges, some of which are no longer with us, including:

  • Flash Fiction Friday,
  • Angry Hourglass,
  • Luminous Creatures,
  • Trifecta,
  • Race the Date,
  • Thursday Threads etc

As we've all been seeing each other so regularly across these sites it was only natural that a bond should develop and Twitter has been a fabulous tool for that - resulting in our wonderful Twitter club which we call the FlashDogs.

Tamara Rogers, one of the #FlashDogs, produced the great flyers and promos like this one below. The cover is absolutely - well I'll say it, top dog!
Flash Dogs Promo 250

The proceeds from the sales are all going to a great charity - the
International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), which is an international network not for profit organisation committed to bringing books and children together.

This is typical of this whole Flash Dog experience.
Professional: Creative: Giving: Wonderful.

The book will be available on Amazon for Kindle at the bargain price of £1.53. It has 110 stories from the 34 authors, which comes out at less than 1.5p a story! Being flash it is great to dip in and out of = perhaps with your short journeys - or visits to the small room.

FDcover 250W
The beautiful Flash Dogs - Volume 1 cover - another @tamrodgers product - check her out on Twitter

Much of the heavy work has been undertaken by four of the authors who our thanks go out to. These were at FDHQ -
Mark King and David Shakes (the King makers and shakers), Emily June Street being a fantastic and thorough editor. Tam's images have been beautiful and compelling, great for spreading the word.

A special mention must also go to
Natalie Bowers who won a prize in the very week of the Anthology coming out and donated her prize of $125 worth of book promotion to the cause of advertising it. Kudos!

The authors are all incredibly talented and you won't be disappointed. In fact I'm sure you'll be wondering when Volume 2 will be coming along.

In summary -
It's a great club and I'm proud to be a member!

After buying the book please follow us on:

@FlashDogs #FlashDogs
theflashdogs.com

http://www.ibby.org

Comments

Finish That Thought

Finish That Thought - Win

Woke up this morning to find that my story for Alissa Leonard's Finish That Thought (2-23) on Tuesday had been chosen as the winner! Boy that is damn fine; my first full win FTF - have won the Special Challenge before.


FTTLogo4

The judge was one
Tamara Shoemaker one of the FlashDogs - we do get about don't we! Tamara's in depth reviews of all the stories were well, in depth. She was judging as she'd won the week before, which means - you guessed it - that I get to judge next week. Eek! My first solo judging - following the duel judging of Flash Fiction Friday a couple of weeks ago with fellow Poised Penner and Flash Dog @fallintofiction.

Finish that Thought is a weekly challenge held every Tuesday over a 24 hour period. It is for up to 500 words and the first line is provided by the judge. In addition the Special Challenge is given to add specific elements into the story - in this case it was the addition of at least 3 specific literary characters. Links to the website and Alissa's Twitter below:

Finish That Thought
@lisajean7

The story is reproduced below:

Death: Hand Delivered

Three strangers appeared on my doorstep and in their pockets they bought death; and I welcomed them.

“Here you go, mister.” said tall hoodie.

One of the two mini hoodies handed me the packets.

“Thanks.” I nodded.

Their faces were covered in shadow, which was the point - the lack of eye contact was welcome.

“Anything for us, mate?” asked the second mini hoodie.

He looked nervous as he shuffled from side to side; unsure of his role.

“It’s all been paid for.” I said to the taller boy.

“Don’t mind him,” he said. “Thinks he’s delivering a chinese him.”

The younger lad stepped back with a shrug.

The taller said, “It’s why we have the on the job training. He’ll learn.”

A rye smile passed my face as a gust of wind blew rain into the doorway as if a full bucket had been thrown over us.

“You better get of and out of this.” I said. With that I closed the door on them and to the world.

In the kitchen I finished making a tea I knew I wouldn’t drink; the wine bottle was calling. It was just plonk, but I always liked the brand and it would be a shame to waste.

The packets were scrunched up by the glass to look something smaller - less important. I picked them up with the wine.

The plonk went down easily as one by one the packets were left to drop on the floor empty. My head began to feel protected from the world; fuzzy. The TV was muted, but I could hear people talking in low voices.

Blue lights from another disastrous day at Casualty flashed through the room turning it into a silent disco. Deep bass began throbbing through the walls in time with my heart.

Harry Potter shouted something from behind the bookshelf and a blue white electric flash scalded my eyes as he fought against something behind me. I couldn’t turn to see, but nothing came for me - I knew Harry had won. He always did.

I heard a crash, as someone broke in through the slide doors. They must have been waiting for me to be off my guard. I caught a glimpse of something behind the chair. I could make out the tip of a bow and knew instinctively it was Katniss. Was she was hunting me or whatever was behind me? Perhaps Harry hadn’t beaten the beast. I was confused, I couldn’t remember how Harry knew Katniss.

Despite the noise I was drifting. I could see snow, it must have been coming in since Katniss broke the back door. So much snow and I could smell tobacco.

My eyes closed then I heard a resonant voice from the kitchen.

“Watson, I believe this untouched mug of tea is the key to the entire case.”

I felt warm breath on my cheek. The last thing I heard was another voice.

“By Jove! Holmes, there’s a lady collapsed in the lounge with barely a pulse.”
(500 words)

Comments

Sirens Call eZine

Sirens Call

Made up this morning to find that my first submission to the Sirens Call eZine has been accepted. No badge for that, but my piece will be in the next edition of Sirens Call. It is on the subject of death, which funnily enough - or not - is the subject of today's Finish That Thought.

The Sirens Call eZine features a fabulous selection of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and art work.

Check out previous editions on their website:

Sirens Call 250W copy
Sirens Call
Comments

FLASH DOGS ARE COMING!

Flash Dogs Anthology - 13 December 2014

Not long now then and all 34 of the Flash Dog pack are getting very excited. It's not up to @tamrogers standards, but I've done a little sketch in celebration! The FLASH DOGS ARE COMING! Huzzah!!

FlashDogs Are Coming
Flash Dogs Website
Comments

Luminous Creatures 2

Winter of Whimsy and Wyrdness - Week 5

huUWICCO 100H

Following a little success a couple of weeks ago (okay Week 2) of Luminous Creatures '
Winter of Whimsy & Wyrdness' I managed to be selected again in Week 5. Woo hoo - on a roll! Click on the links to read it and the other stories.

I got me another badge then, albeit one I already had. It has me in the mood to collect some new ones.

Didn't get selected for the
Flash Fiction Friday FLASHIVERSARY competition. Disappointed after getting into Top 10 last year. Onwards and Upwards! Good to see one of the Poised Pen group getting into the semi final though @fallintofiction

Also on the downside I've no sign of a new job yet. Still sending of the CVs for both career jobs and just job jobs. Fingers crossed folks.
Comments

Thursday Threads

Thursday Threads

Submitted a story I wrote largely in the Caledonia and hey presto! a win and a new challenge badge for me. Huzzah! The Thursday Threads flash fiction challenge takes a line from the previous winning story, which you then need to include within your story and so on and on. Like a thread hey!

My story is reproduced below, or you can link through to the Thursday Threads site and read all the stories by clicking on the badge. The sentence which needed to be included was: '
You watched the whole thing?'

ThursThreads Winner 200

The Laughing Dog
Brian’s job description had recently been expanded to beyond acceptable. After the side boob incident on the six o’clock news he’d been tasked with reviewing every little excerpt supplied from the multitude smartphone images rolling in from the public. It was impossible.
“Consider it a new KPI,” Marriot had said, “Zero side boobs - or cock ups - on the pre-watershed news and you may keep your job. Otherwise it’ll be your bits shown on the news the following day. Capiche?”
He couldn’t afford another default - but it was a hopeless task as every sad little clip got fired through to Brian for vetting.
Kate - his long term crush at work - sent him a video with a dog in it. It had four asterisks in the subject line suggesting it was important. He clicked on it straight away and there was the drooling dog nodding along with a song from One Direction. It was cute he had to admit, but it was not newsworthy, so he quickly exited and went on to the next useless footage (some cop shooting a gang banger - no-one would be interested).
Brian worried about his house. He picked his stories and emailed them through to the news desk. Shortly afterwards he received a text from Kate - ‘You watched it all the way through?’
He laughed. How much time did she think he had?
Come six o’clock and FAB News was the only channel not to feature the dancing dog suddenly being devoured by that hideous alien.
Comments

Anthology-TASTIC! - Update

Flash Dogs and Poised Pen Anthologies

Loving the poster for the upcoming anthology from the Flash Dogs. It has been produced by @tamrogers who has been a star producing this and other pics for the anthology - check her out on Twitter.

Flash Dogs Promo (names)

Seeing everyone's names there - with mine hidden towards the back - it is going to be an absolutely amazing tome. Great thanks must go to the top dogs who have been putting in much of the effort in to produce this book, namely; Mark A. King, David Shakes, Emily June Street and Tam Rogers. Boss indeed!

The date for its debut on Amazon is expected to be
13th December and I really can't wait to get it on to my Kindle Paperwhite, next to the Poised Pen Anthology from earlier in the year and the Poised Pen Frightening Flash Fiction competition anthology.

Half Baked 200
Halloween Anthology 200
Frightening Flash Fiction available NOW on Amazon. Just 77p


Comments

Flash Dogs Anthology

Flash Dogs Anthology

All the stories are in apparently and the guys at Flash Dogs Head Quarters are doing lots of work. Really looking forward to seeing the first Flash Dogs Anthology. It is going to be boss.

Loving the various bits of art work that have been produced by the clever peeps involved within the Flash Dog pack. There's such a good lot of aceness about the group. Watch this space to see when the Flash Dogs Anthology is out.


Twitter-Flashdog-1
Art from @tamrogers

Will be putting together the Poised Pen scary story competition anthology shortly too. Just waiting for a bit of information to complete it.

More anthologies than you can shake a stick at. Should you be a big stick shaker.


Comments

Flash! Fiction Friday - Judging

Poised Pen - Flash! Friday Judging

Rebekah at Flash! Friday asked Poised Pen writing group to review the stories for Friday 21st November 2014 so Catherine and I were tasked with the judging. It was an interesting experience for me as my first try at judging. Think it will affect how I write my stories a little in the future. Most notably with such short stories it was noted how much a decent title was important. An ill thought word, line or title can jar quite noticeably and can be the difference between a yay or nay!

We were half expecting a lot of the
Flash Dogs to double up on entries so were relieved to find it was a relatively quiet week with only 64 stories to read. There was a lot of death, lots of dogs, no dragons, a few references to HMV and some interesting tech. Of course there was some blatant nods to Liverpool with Beatles and Liverpool FC getting a few mentions. One even used Hey Jude as the title - the number one when I was born - suspect cyber stalking!

So on Sunday we agreed on the Winners, Runners-Ups and Mentions, then Catherine did her magic with the detailed reviews (a lot more correct than mine would be - not sure a geologist has the right words).


caruso_with_phonograph2

The stories for Week 2-50 were based on the photograph of Caruso with a phonograph (above) and as a nod to the Flash Dogs needed to include a puppy. Woof!!

The
results were sent on to Rebekah on Monday morning (UK time) and hey presto! there was a new winner and he's Flash Dog too. Woof woof!! Well done Chris Milam.



Comments

Luminous Creatures

Winter of Whimsy and Wyrdness - Week 2

Luminous Creatures are running a weekly challenge at the moment and I've been lucky enough to be chosen for a story I did in Week 2 called 'Potential Energy' and I will be published in their anthology. Yippee!

Some fabulous winners there including some Flash Dogs. The winners that week included; Mark A. King, Nancy Chenier and David Borrowdale.



LC medal
Comments

Flash Fiction Friday double header

Flash! Friday Fiction - Stories x 2

Flash Fiction Friday is one of my have flash comps and last week (10th October) as part of the Flash Dog challenge I had to write two - yes two! - stories instead of one. The picture was this one of some poor ill child being visited by some creepy clowns (all clowns are creepy you know!). Here are my two stories inspired by the photo. Both are 160 words short.


circus-clowns-visit-sick-boy-boston-public-library

It’s All About Timing

There is nothing quite so soul sappingly depressing as a clown with self confidence issues apart from perhaps a whole troupe of them.

The troupe from The Great Tortellini Circus found themselves in one of the many Jacksonville’s when they had all reached rock bottom together. Smaller paler imitations of themselves looked back from the mirrors in the make up tent, their faces painted thick with smiles splattered wide across their cracked white faces wouldn’t fool anyone, least of all themselves. They were all now officially not nearly as funny as toothache.

They knew they had to get out of the rut. Perhaps they should just get fired out of the state by the giant canon. At least that may get a laugh from the audience.

When Tortellini went in for surgery, after the accident involving the lion and the broom handle, the clowns finally tried to run away from the circus. They were too far gone to recognise irony.


What do you want to be when you grow up?


The four men stood before young Charlie Dunnings, who had recently had his appendix removed. He laughed at them, which they appreciated. The art of laughing at clowns was a dying art.

Charlie laughed and laughed as the clowns squirted flowers in their own faces, beeped horns and slipped on imaginary banana skins. He laughed until his sides hurt.

The nurses would drive out the men who seemed taller on the way out of the ward, buoyed by their time with him. Clowns everywhere heard about Charlie and his wonderful powers, he healed their bruised egos with his laughter. Queues of unsure clowns lined the hospital waiting to see him. They really were funny, Charlie proved it; and it was cheaper than paying for therapy.

Once Charlie had his medication correctly adjusted he no longer laughed at the ridiculous sad men. When he asked one of them ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ they stopped coming.




Comments

A Probing Question - FTT

A Probing Question

The day it all began, the sky was wrong. It was smeared like a fresh bruise with purples, yellows and browns. It looked alive, sentient even, smears flowing in opposite directions, stopping to let other colours slide past, but it wasn’t just that. The most wrongiest thing of all to Arthur was that it was mostly below him.

Arthur shook his head and then slapped himself hard, expecting the vision to change, but still the bruise pulsated below him. He looked down at his hands and saw he was holding a towel and then noticed he was in a strange pair of pink shorts.

“What the hell type of cheese did have last night?” said Arthur to the window. He then tried to remember what he had eaten, or had to drink the night before.

He burped and recoiled remembering the spicy chilli.

“No cheese then,” he said. “but I must have had something in it perhaps those mushrooms from the seven-eleven were not all they seemed.”

“And why am I talking to myself?”

A door opened behind him and briefly the sky stopped moving for Arthur as time slowed. He was deeply fearful to confront whatever mushroom borne monster his head had concocted.

Then there was a gentle cough, something a monstrous beast would never do - they never get a frog in their throat monsters, unless they are really frogs.

And so he turned around and there was Derek from accounts smiling at him. “Hello Arthur, you okay?”

‘Well, there’s a question,” Arthur said, pointedly.

“I’m surprised you have only one.” Derek said.

Arthur turned to the sky and pointed. “Err, can you see that, what I’m seeing?”

Derek went up on his toes. “Approximately.”

‘Well, what do you see?”

“Earth on a peculiar day Arthur?”

Arthur realised he was sweating profusely now and wiped his face with the towel. “Definitely the mushrooms.” he muttered.

Derek moved over to the window, while Arthur couldn’t make out where the door he’d come in through had gone.

“I need to lie down. I’m not used to this,” Arthur said.

Derek looked at him. “Good timing Arthur, I hope you enjoyed the view, you won’t remember it of course when you’re back.”

“What the hell Derek?” said Arthur.

“Derek? You haven’t quite got it yet have you?” he said.

Arthur looked at Derek like a man who had lost his mind many moons ago.

“I’m too old for all this,” Arthur said, “you know, drugs and all.”

Derek smiled as Arthur started to lie down on a convenient table.

Then Arthur felt a soft juddering as the table adjusted around him. He saw Derek over by a console press a button and some metallic clasps erupted from the table and tightened around his legs, arms and neck. He could only just see Derek out of the corner of his eye and he saw he was even more alien than an accountant now.

“So Arthur, are we ready for that probe now?”



____________


(500 words)

- by A J Walker for Finish That Thought 30 September 2014
Comments

More Flash Fictioning

Anyone following my little writings on my website would think I've nearly given up, but no no NO! It's just that most my writing has been pasted onto the challenge sites themselves - i.e. Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass. I'll have to copy some on to here too me thinks!

I've just done one short (500 word) story for another new challenge site for me - Finish That Thought. This is a Tuesday challenge I have only just found. Check it out on:

http://alissaleonard.blogspot.co.uk

I'll post my story above too.
Comments

The Flash Dogs

Running with the Pack


FlashDogWoof

So I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but I seem to have joined a gang. It's an eclectic group of disparate reprobates from around the globe. But we've all got one thing in common; we've all got a severe form of flash addiction.

Most of us can't help ourselves when faced with a Friday. It's not just 'Friday' it's 'Flash Fiction Friday' a time of dragons and myths and many many deaths and strange injuries all encompassed in just 160 words.

There's Wednesday's with the Visdare challenge. Black and white enigmas manufactured into new told stories.

As for Sunday, well we all pray at the church of the Angry Hourglass.

And that is not even the half of them; there's them Luminous Creatures, Mid Week Blues Buster, Race the Date, there's… well, lots. And the Dogs get seen across all of them.

So who are the Flash Dogs? Do we have a uniform? Do we have a song? A flag? A Constitution? Nope, not yet anyway.

We do however carry paper and pens and internet enabled devices. So we're dogs with pockets.

And now we're dogs with a little webpage too, thanks to Shake the Subwoofer, and that is over on:
http://theflashdogs.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/calling-all-flashdogs.html

So just remove the leash and let's go for a little run, I'm not sure where we are of to, but it could be an interesting journey.
FlashDog1
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Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks to ImageRonin - and the fact that I didn’t move fast enough - I was tagged in the My Writers Process Blog Tour. It’s only a matter of time before you get tagged too you know...

The majority of my writing is currently flash, but we will see where I go. I want to go further. Pages further. Maybe even chapters. One day.

Firstly I’d like to take my silly hat off to all my friends and acquaintances on the flash circuit out there across Europe, the Americas and Australasia in particular. There seems to be so many cool dudes and dudettes finding a way with a few simple words, of putting them into sense and sentences and making such great stories with them. Perfectly judged small scale explosive storiness.

Anyway enough of your wonderfulness, now for the process blog:


LiverWrite 8

What Am I Working On?

Other that this? It’s more of a difficult question than it should be. Though that would predominantly be my guilt talking. I have a multitude of ideas flying around my head and snippets in pads and on hard drives.

Currently I am not doing a good job of finishi..

I have a short term aim to complete a group of linked stories (by theme) all of which will be based in Liverpool. I have started several of them and am quite into a couple of them, some need rethinking completely while I have some germs of ideas for the others. I am conscious I need to knuckle down and get some of these finished to a point I am happy to at least deliver to my writing group - I am in a fab Liverpool writing group called Poised Pen.

In terms of something. More substantial than the flashing and short stories I also have a neat idea of a time travel story which I am keen to get on with - so far I’ve pencilled in ‘a’ first chapter. It’s probably not so great so far, but if I get a story roughly down I can revisit it over time and refine and rebuild, If it goes to plan and I can get stuck in then I think I can develop the idea into a novella length. And if I get carried away further, who knows?

How Does My Work Differ From Others of It’s Genre?

I’m from the future. And I learnt most my writing. Ability.

Through reading your ancient text messages. And.

Twitter feeds. Which.

Explains my short sentences and. Incorrect use of grandma and spellink.

One day I will lurn Facebook and probably kill myself. But I will take others with me. Especially anyone who posts. An icebucket challenge.

Hashtag: Smiley face.


Why Do I Write What I Write?

We are insane animals aren’t we. No intelligent design involved. How mad that we can hardly be born without the use of tools and machinery. Our heads, evolved to such dimensions all out of kilter with our bodies. Big head needed for these oversized underused brains. While other animals do lunch and look for dinner dates and sleep and shit
ad infinitum... what do we do?

We have time and the inclination to do stuff. Meaningless stuff that doesn’t help us get lunch or get dates. Stuff to entertain. To engage ourselves, and others.

We draw on cave walls, we tell stories around camp fires. We make music. We dance. The drawings, the music, the dancing, it all tells stories.

It’s what we do. When we aren’t eating. Or sleeping. Or defecating.

We all tell stories. I’m just one of them that writes them down. But just little snippets. Tiny flashes of light.

Sometimes I do the eating, defecating, sleeping stuff too. Really, I do. In fact often it’s easier than the writing.


How Does My Writing Process Work?

The thing I like I about the flash fiction is the photographic prompts. They nearly always give so many options. The focus on the main image, or something hiding away in the background. Or what might just be out of sight.

Knowing that by looking at a photo every Friday on ‘Flash Friday Fiction’ or on the Wednesday ‘Visdare’ that I can come up with a story is great for understanding that there will never really be a time when I will not be able to come up with something. Even if not perfect; something.

Sometimes now - especially on Flash Friday - I’ll look at the photo and the word before getting in the car and then on the drive into work I’ll turn off my radio and have a think over a few ideas. Then pick one to go with. As I excitedly exclaim before driving through a red light I’ll then jot down a few words or the story over lunch. Who says men can’t multi-task?

I’ve said it earlier, but while I love the flash fiction, I am conscious that I want to - I need to - go on some. And that will have to change my processes. I’ll have to see how that will go. I will let you know...


Introduction to Three Other Writers:


Miranda Kate
Twitter: @PurpleQueenNL

Miranda was one of the first flash and short story writers to actively engage with me - that would be feedback then - which was really good as someone really quite nervous about getting out there.

Thanks Miranda!

Miranda has already put her Process Blog out there - back in February!! Check it out here:

http://purplequeennl.blogspot.nl/2014/02/my-writing-process-blog-tour.html

Margaret Locke
Twitter: @Margaret_Locke

Another early adopter of me and my little flashing. Great to see Margaret out there a lot. And into chocolate and those pesky meddling kids with Scooby Doo too. Woof!


Third?
To be added when I've had a message back that he/she is happy to be tagged!




Comments

"A Blurring of Gods"

A Blurring of Gods

Nature carved these caves; with acid.

Ancient man used them, modified them. Made them safe, then comfortable. Turned them into homes.

Then they became sacred. Places to pray, to marvel at this world. Paintings; splashes of heaven on the very earth itself. Carved now by man, not be nature, in a blurring of gods.

Then the earth shook with a violence. And man left these sacred holes disillusioned, shocked at god’s anger at his temerity to create.

Generations passed and time smoothed the jagged edges to roundness, leaving the pockmarked cliff like a decaying beehive.

Now the gods were fighting, lightning flashing brighter than daylight, shadows dancing and mocking throughout my temporary shelter and the ground shook gently with the rumbles.

Trapped by dangerous torrents I chip away absently at the cave wall modifying the space. Perhaps I should bring paints and grand ideas next time. Start the cycle again. This concert of earth, gods and man.

Creation, destruction. Creation.

(160 words)

A story from Flash Friday Fiction (August 15th 2014).
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Visdare #72 | "Broken Porcelain"

Visdare No. 72 was one of 'Rejection' and featured the decaying porcelain face of a doll (maybe I'll post it here later?). Only just in time but here's my tuppence worth, and 150 words to boot!
Porcelain
Photo Source

Broken Porcelain


The top of the cabinet was a roadblock of bottles, tubs and tubes. Potions and lotions branded with sweet, sassy or enigmatic names. All of them suggesting a secret that only their makers knew.

Sylvia sat back studying the mirror, searching for imperfections, happy with this week’s choices. Smooth as a babies bot and as delicate as porcelain.

‘You finished, love?’ Daniel shouted as he came up the stairs.

Sylvia took a breath, ‘Yes darling. Sorry, beauty and youth doesn’t come easy.’

‘Or cheaply,’ he replied, regretting it immediately.

‘Cheap? What price youth? Look at me! No-one guesses my age within ten years. I’m the envy of every friend I’ve ever had.’

‘Underneath,’ Daniel looked at her, ‘are you beautiful really? We wouldn’t know with these smeared concoctions holding your face together.’

‘Beauty is not just youth’ he continued.

‘Are you saying I am not beautiful?’ Sylvia said to the mirror.

Daniel walked out. ‘I’m saying, I’ve no idea.’

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Visdare #71 | "Gone Like Steam"

The prompt this week from Angela's Visdare #71 was another surreal one, the photo below and the word prompt 'Ephemera'

Ephemera

Gone Like Steam


Karen was always there with me, my other more important half, glowing, intelligent and so beautiful it defied my belief that she was with me, but now she’s gone. Almost.

Sometimes I can see her at the edge of my vision, sitting in her favourite chair, in those boots, looking up from a book or pointing at the kitchen.
Coffee time.

If I try to look directly at her she’s not there, but in those instants when I least expect it, when I walk in a room or look away, then my heart rises adrenaline pumps as I sense her breathing, feel her looking at me and see those leather boots. I blush.

Then phut! she’s gone like steam.

On more days now than not these ephemeral visions fail to materialise and I’m starting to believe that perhaps not only was she not always there, but perhaps she never was.

(150 words)
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Visdare #69 | 'The Vigilant Angel'

Angela's Visdare #69 was 'Vigilant', and the pic was of a very elegantly sculptured angel or else a real one. And it was hard not to think of Dr Who and Blink!

angel

The Vigilant Angel

The rock had been forged by immense pressure and temperatures, simple lifeless compounds and elements streaked together in pretty but lifeless colours, created by eons. Yet three hundred years ago this cold moment had been given such life by a man yielding a few brutal tools.

Maria walked past her angel each day in awe of its elegance, its smooth flowing lines suggestive of movement. As the sun crossed the sky shadows breathed a vibrancy even colour into her face. Maria was sure the folds of the clothes would gently billow across the torso revealing and covering the sensuous details of the sculptors genius.

But this angel was now the last in the city. One by one broken by weather, aged by accidents, stolen by collectors, sold as rock garden, their ancient lives destroyed by time and ignorance. Maria must remain vigilant to protect her angel; the irony weighed heavy.

(150 words)
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Visdare #67 | 'Waiting for Death'

Waiting for Death


Two faces at the gate were expectantly gazing out. The cat from its high point was purring warmly and gently shaking like it had swallowed a mobile on vibrate, whilst is old partner beneath her crouched by the weight of years.

It was nearly time.

A content smile pushed back the wrinkles as Marion saw the black figure heading straight down the street towards them.

The silhouette of the hood and billowing cape grew ever larger as the he approached. The tall scythe of the reaper wobbled from side to side with each inexorable step closer.

Ginger meowed feigning interest as he reached the gate, whilst Marion tried to peer through the hood to see the eyes of death. Death swayed twirling the scythe before coughing, clearing his throat for his important words.

A quiet voice struggled through the folds of the hood.

‘Trick or treat gran?’


(147 words) 'Expectantt'
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Poised Pen Anthology 2014 'Half Baked'

Half Baked

I am a member of a great little writing group in Liverpool called Poised Pen. Of course I am. Have been involved for just over a year now and it has been going from strength to strength.

New Cover (small)

One of this years highlights was always going to be having our anthology printed and it has been great to see. I was happy to be involved in the book, including the use of my photos for the cover. Of course that proved a double edge sword. Still, the cover was of the Fly in the Loaf pub sign, for it is here that we hold our meetings. Little did we know that between sending it to print and getting it back the pub would refit including getting rid of the sign. Never has a brand new book become outdated before it has even hit the streets!

I also endeavoured to get an electronic version up on Amazon too. That would be an e-book, or more precisely a Kindle ebook then. Boy it is not perfect, particularly a couple of the poems and I am sorry for that, but formatting for the kindle is not a matter of putting in tabs or spaces, more's the pity. But notwithstanding some of its limitations I must say I am very proud of the book our group has put together and seeing it on Amazon - out of date cover and all - is well boss!

If you fancy a copy, and a chance to read poems and short stories by 13 of our writers, then get thee to that there
evil behemoth with your 99p.

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Visdatre #65 | The Sunshine Boys

Angela's Visdare #65 was 'Golden', and the pic was of three lads kicking back in a mediterranean city.

Sunshine


The Sunshine Boys

Thwarted by angles and physics the sun was usually unable to penetrate the steep urban gorge, but for twenty minutes each evening the sunshine was allowed in. It was here the three children met daily to soak up the solar power at this short magic time.

Raul looked down at his two young pals, ‘Never looks the same this place. All angles, colours and streaks.’

The grey drab street provided a welcome cool oasis from the city heat in the day, but the golden time was what made it most special for the friends before their mothers would begin calling them home.

‘Just feels relaxing to me, quiet and comforting,’ said Luis. ‘Warm and bright.’

Xavi, toying around with a piece of plaster looked up, ‘It’s like a natural cathedral to me. I feel closer to god,’ he said.

Raul kicked him, ‘You're such an idiot!’



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Visdare #63 | 'The Rocks'

Angela's Visdare #63 was 'Poison', and the pic was a lady in a bottle. Contortion.

Bottle

The Rocks


Colin rubbed his arms vigorously as his legs bounced in staccato rhythms.

The floor. ‘Keep looking at the floor,’ Colin said.

His head spasmed violently.

The floor.

Colin’s head was facing his feet, but his eyes were not toeing the line.

The table.

‘Don’t look at the table,’ Colin snapped at himself, but the floor was already lost to him and his head rose following his eyes lead.

The table. Don’t focus on it, look at the legs, not the table top.

‘No!’

But Colin caught a glance at the bottle.

‘Stop it!’ he shouted.

It was hopeless and the bottle started to grow larger, until it filled his vision.

Curved and sensuous the bottle was his beautiful baby. His lady. His mistress.

She called to him.

Seducer.

He knew it was poison but his gorgeous lady was calling him. His siren on the rocks was choosing him.




(148 words)
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Visdare #61 | 'Festival'

Angela's Visdare 61 was the word festival, and looked so up beat and friendly. Yeah, right!


The Festival Experience

Fitzpatrick sat back. The herbal tea had looked innocent enough, though he’d no idea of its content. A strange feeling suffused through his head, then seemed to pulse with the beat of the drums.

Dancers with bright headdresses of feathers and wood carvings were circling him, and he felt like he was at the centre of everything. The carvings seemed to move, to laugh and sing with the dancers.

The tea.

The pulsating rhythm of the music seemed to dictate his heart beat. The festival was something incredible to behold. How lucky?

From nowhere two women appeared beside him and then he saw that he was tied to the chair. His head ached but he laughed. Their voices came to him out of order, then their lips moved. He freaked as a crescendo built.

Then he saw the knife. Such a knife.

It was a once in a lifetime experience.



(150 words)

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Visdare #60 | Patience

Patience? Well it has been a few weeks since I've done a Visdare….

The Five Year Wait

Gustaf could set his watch by the gaunt man who came to his stall. He'd always carefully survey his merchandise, touching each of the clocks and watches as if feeling for life. Seemingly having genuine affection whether it was a ten Deutschmark watch or a golden filigree mantel clock.

When he finished he’d silently put down the last timepiece, turn and nod to Gustaf before leaving the square.

This had been happening for five years. While never spending a thing Gustaf mused the man was both his best and worst customer.

One day the man stopped, Gustaf noticed the tear falling down his cheek. His gaze was on a simple silver pocket watch. He picked it up and the man followed it like a dog following a bone. The inscription read: “To my darling Leonard. All my love, Irina”.

Gustalf held out the watch to the man.

“Leonard, I presume?”


(150 words)

Visdare is a great little photo prompt put up by Angela Goff. Go check it out!!

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