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:


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!

(360 words)


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

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.

“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)


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 .

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!



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.


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?’


‘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


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.


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


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).


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.


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)

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




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

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


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.

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.


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).


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!!

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.


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.


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.


The Flash Dogs

Running with the Pack


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:

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.