Friday, 20 September 2019

It’s in the rules, innit?

Thank you indeed for your participation in my semi-absence, and for the quality of the entries in both weeks. Even so, I believe you have surpassed yourselves this week because with each succeeding entry I’ve thought “It has to be that one” only to change my mind after the next. (And that despite reading from top to bottom and back again.)

So ... I was rather forcibly reminded that ‘horror’ is the first listed requirement, since we had several gagging-inducing examples including walking cadavers, several gruesome uses of eyeballs, a naked bird, alien invaders and an ancient paedophile. All superbly and vividly described and delivered. 
In the end – and it took a while – John’s combination of two of the horrors in ‘Can birds smile?’ emerged the winner, but not, I fear, without trampling one or three other contenders underfoot.

Words for next week: eighteen procrastinate sweetheart

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 26th September,
 words posted Friday 27th

Also, because I promised to let you know, 'Commission & omission' is now available from Blurb in either print or pdf. Go to my blog, lines of communication, and click on the double spread cover on top left-hand side for more details. Pettinger is not mentioned but he's definitely there, on the first page of the preview. 

Friday, 13 September 2019

Precaution and playing safe


Less hazardous, but a following a week’s holiday and with departure from our lodgings in Kirkwall set for today I have scheduled words but in case my participation is not (or has not been) possible I ask you to once again please nominate your personal favourite from last week’s entries.

Words for next week: peacock recede vex

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 19th September, words posted Friday 20th


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 6 September 2019

A time to gaze at the horizon!


I’ll be at the very top of Scotland when this appears, shortly to be at the mercy of the Pentland Firth, and definitely no chance of wi-fi, so have scheduled words and a free choice week: please nominate your personal favourite from last week’s entries.

Words for next week: coward jeer wake

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 12th September, words posted Friday 13th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Whistles and drills, dust and transformation


It’s best part of twenty-five years since our kitchen was last refurbished, and then my new-retired husband did it. (while I went out to work). This week two men, plus plasterer and electrician, have got on with it with far greater efficiency, while I am marooned upstairs. So, no excuse not to read and fully ponder on this week’s entries.

No easier to place one, however slightly, above the rest and I’m relieved that you recognise the difficulty. This week David’s ‘The Last Noel?’ rose to the top of the pile – tight writing and a heart-rending tale.

Words for next week: satchel liberty scrub    
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 5th September, words posted Friday 6th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 23 August 2019

“Revenge proves its own executioner” [John Ford 1586-1639?]


And following last week’s excellent entries, and the difficulties you had choosing a winner, you seem to have tried harder still to present me with a near impossible choice this week, and from such innocuous words! I am, if it is possible, even more admiring of the lot of you. Given fourteen to choose from, and being ├╝ber ruthless,  I came up with a shortlist of four. Stuck there, reading and re-reading, rearranging and discarding until I was left with a favourite. This time it was the language which impinged; the freshness of usage, and in the end it was Terrie’s  ‘Gathering Magic’ which came top, but such a close run thing.

Words for next week: coincidence leather sage
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 29th August, words posted Friday 30th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Relying on you to choose ...


Since I cannot be sure of having time enough to pay proper attention, I'm offering another free choice week: please nominate your personal favourite from last week's offerings.

Words for next week: chair industrial string

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 22nd August, words posted Friday 23rd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Fire training school ...


... is where I’m headed on Saturday. Not to learn about ladders, hoses and extricating stretched bodies from a burning building but yet another international BSA gathering – 400 attendees if not motorbikes I’m told. One effect of which is that words will be scheduled for 16th August, and you once again get to name your favourite  entry using the words below, since I’ve no idea about the quality of the wi-fi, nor how much spare time I’ll have.

Many riches this week, and I thank you all for your contributions and your comments – some as richly entertaining as the post themselves – for me Terrie’s  ‘Death’s Handmaiden’ rises to the top.

Words for next week: bench counter obfuscate
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 15th August, words posted Friday 16th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 2 August 2019

A less than blissful ignorance


An impressive amount of Biblical knowledge revealed this week, amidst a variety and richness of settings; for which Patricia’s ‘Deuteronomy 32:35’ gets an honourable mention. Winner, however, somewhat self-indulgently for the memories it evoked for me, is David’s ‘Moses and the Devil’ - so many lovely phrases.   Thank you all, as ever, for posts, comments and your continuing presence.

Words for next week: alphabet hopeless ribbon

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 8th August, words posted Friday 9th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Feeling the heat

... and a little self-promotion: ‘Step so grave’, the first in my series of ‘love triangles with murder’ has finally been published. Although Vanessa Quintain makes a two-page appearance, John Pettinger doesn’t appear until the third book in the series (a month or so before I finalise that one). lines of communication has more details.

And so, in the temporary cool of 5.30 a.m. I re-read, re-enjoy and, eventually, select a shortlist for last week’s winner, which includes two late entries: John’s ‘What happens in Tasmania stays in Tasmania’, Terrie’s  ‘SAS diaries’ 76 (nary a mention of a ‘dillo, yet I pictured them correctly!) and Gita’s ‘Blood-letter’, which I’m delighted to declare, is my eventual winner.  As ever, the joy of seeing the umpteen uses of three innocent words is never-ending, and I thank you for the posting and the comments.

Words for next week: Moses twelve import
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 1st August, words posted Friday 2nd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Too many good books, too little time


Others’ good books - there have been a few all-absorbing ones lately, plus, like Holly, I’m final-drafting and preparing for publication. So far more short of time than this week’s seemingly extra-rich entries merit. The one that had the greatest kick-in-the-gut impact on this week’s final re-reading, was Patricia’s ‘Mouthy’, although, as ever, there were several commanding almost equal attention.
And, as ever, I thank you all for your participation, both posting and commenting.

Words for next week: cricket file spindle
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 25th July, words posted Friday 26th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Peverse?

Last week’s prompt words certainly kicked off a full-on dose of skilfully-evoked and stomach-curdling horror;  culminating, (for me) in Jim’s tongue in lap. 

But in trying to pick a winner I found myself more drawn to the more subtle uses of them, of which Holly’s ‘Glamour’ was a prime example, hinting at things gone possibly wrong which sent my mind soaring to identify. For those qualities,  I declare Holly this week's winner, But, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the criteria shift every week, so keep the horror coming.

Words for next week: abstract  insult  tongue

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 18th July, words posted Friday 19th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 5 July 2019

“Nights are drawing in”


Possibly for the first time since we married (way, way back when)  my husband omitted to refer, on the 22nd June, to the passing of the summer solstice. Not that I’m complaining. No more than I am about the quantity of good writing and the resultant difficulty of choosing a winner.

Terrie, of course, gets a ‘welcome back’ back mention, especially because episode 73 of the SAS diaries so very nearly came top, but after many readings and re-readings of the other four on the shortlist, I finally plumped for Jim’s ‘Job Seeker’ version II. Thank you all for comments and critique – such a valuable part of this place.

Words for next week: crave plaster upwind

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 11th July, words posted Friday 12th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 28 June 2019

White wine, Minster and memories


This week for me a get-together with a friend, not met with for forty years – a joy to roll back the years to school days. And an equal joy to return here to read this week’s offerings. But, an important question – is it only me suffering from ‘dillo deprivation?  I realise Terri has been absent for  while – does anyone know where or why she’s gone?

This week’s winner is Patricia. Initially for ‘Casting’ then, because of its title (something I too often struggle with so am all the more admiring) for "Georgie-Boy Endicott a/k/a Big Dipper", episode 169 of Kursaal  – and also I loved ‘rapscallion’.
  
Words for next week: familiar necessary thumb

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 4th July, words posted Friday 5th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 21 June 2019

In a week of knockout competition


So ... back to judging, with renewed vigour having written 10K of my current wip and brought it to a first-draft close (and no, no nearer self-pubbing 1, 2 and 3, having been visited with writing inspiration for 4). Also with renewed relief, having seen, once again, that there is rarely a consensus  when each of you is given a choice and discover – as I do weekly – that it is the elimination of two or three others which is often harder than the naming of the winner. 

This week no exception: from a shortlist of four, I name John as winner, for ‘The last shebang’, with David’s ‘Children’s Crusade’, Patricia’s ‘Give it  rest’ and Jerry’s ‘The Council’ as runners-up.

Please keep them coming - both posts and comments.

Words for next week: ballot distant smith

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 27th June, words posted Friday 28th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 14 June 2019

From blue sky to grey

Back late yesterday after an astonishingly blue-skyed and warm eight days in Iceland, begun and ended with Reykavik grey, damp and cold. A fascinating and beautiful country, visually and geologically, and some very, very good meals.

Thank you for the votes on my entry a couple of weeks ago; I've skim-read this week's and will pronounce a winner when I've had change to do so properly. but hope you will, as originally requested, post your own choices.

Words for next week: ashes navigate snare

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 21st June, words and winners posted Friday 22nd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and uses of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.