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)


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.


Poised Pen Anthologies

Poised Pen are Out of their tiny Minds. Who knew?

This week saw the release on to Kindle for the first time the first two anthologies from the
Poised Pen writing group: 'News From Nowhere' and 'Out of Our Minds'.

These date back to a significant time in the group's history - a time when I wasn't a member and when certain members of the group thought the Kindle was going to be a quick fire fad that would never take off. The two books were released in paperback form, which of course is what we all like to see in reality, but the Kindle is great for just being able to download and dive straight in - whether it be on No.17 bus through Anfield or the subway beneath Manhattan.

I joined the group a couple of years ago and love the guys. It is good that there has been a consistent core of great writers but also that it is periodically refreshed by arriving newcomers (so much so I now seem to be an old hand-ish). These books were written before the Flash Dogs were conceived but have two dogs between the covers (if you have a Kindle cover that is). So, if you're browsing Amazon on or after Prime Day and can't decide on what faddy electronics to invest in why not just pop over to the Kindle books page and give your head a shake with the tales and poems of Poised Pen.

(of course the Third Anthology 'Half-Baked' which came out last year has always been available on Kindle and is still available too)

In short buy them all before we bombard you with reasons to buy Anthology Four, which is bound to be about before too long (and I dare say a Kindle version is quite likely from the off).



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.

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


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.