Friday, 22 November 2019

Lost and found

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Next week’s words are  accent interfere stark

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th November, words and winners Friday 29th

New laptop yesterday, files all gone AWOL or lunatic and this cobbled from a folder of years ago (and posted out of order because the margins aren't behaving). And not one of you has made an effort to make this week’s choice of “a winner” in the slightest bit easy; truly I don’t know when I’ve had a harder selection to choose from. But needs must, so I’ve picked two – Holly for the gorgeous sensuality of her ‘Climate change’ and Jim for what I think is just about the yukkiest of the many gruesome ones this week:  'Doing my job'.

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. Serialized fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media best pleases you 

Friday, 15 November 2019

'November Rain' very apt this month


Oof, woken from one of those running for the train/where is he?/who’s got the tickets/forgot to put my phone on dreams to find it’s an hour later than usual. So, a hastier than usual read-through whereupon Patricia’s Cripplegate Junction/Part 211 - Connections, featuring Clive Bailey, feels particularly apt as this week’s winner.

Thank you, as ever, for participation with posts and comments without which this place would wither and die.

Words for next week: bookmark interior supine
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 21st November, words 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.

Friday, 8 November 2019

On road and rail again


I’m travelling today, and won’t be home until late, so herewith words for next week. Winners to be posted sometime Saturday.

And apologies - Craigievar Castle was a wonderful location for a writing retreat, in part (unexpectedly) because it totally lacked any sort of signal. I've commented on last week's entries and doubt anyone will dispute me naming David's 'There’s a Seuss Loose Aboot This Hoose' the winner.

Words for next week: augment  Eve* surgeon

*Eve to be used as a name, not a noun (so not just at the start of a sentence)

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 14th November, words posted Friday 15th

 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, 1 November 2019

Pinch and a punch


I’ve said it so often it’s beginning to sound insincere (which definitely is not my intention, not am I complaining!)  but when, week after week, each  and every entry appears to surpass the previous ones – at least until I re-read them on Thursday prior to making a choice – the need to set one of you above the rest does feel, no matter how I shift and re-shift the goalposts, more than a little unfair. This week I juggled endlessly with three entries, all of equal merit, but in the end, my ball skills being what they are, dropped two and was left with John’s ‘Cause and effect’. And the need, again, to thank you for all the comments you make on my somewhat self-indulgent pieces.
Next week’s words have a spark of topicality:

Words for next week: census extrovert bonfire

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 7th November, words posted Friday 8th

 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, 25 October 2019

Quality ever-rising


We’ve some good friends visiting from Alabama this week – a mini writing group – and although  time to properly read and judge has been in short supply, my early rising has enabled me to pick, from among this week’s offerings of, as Patricia says, depravity – Holly’s ‘Keeping the peace’ as this week’s winner. I’m sort of covering my eyes in anticipation of what you will make of this week’s prompts.

Words for next week: bullock odour tangent

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 31st October, words posted Friday November 1st

 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, 18 October 2019

Hot chocolate indeed ...


As usual I began going through the week’s entries,  making a note of potential winners . Stopped myself when I realised it included every one. So, this week John gets a mention for his Bray Chronicles, all the more impressive for his saying he ‘couldn’t do’ serials. That second episode was a fine example of the several vignettes we were treated to, all magically creating unease without spelling it out. Patricia’s ‘Supply and demand ‘ a good example of that. Jim’s ‘The battle’ up-ended expectations  and David’s ‘Such big eyes you have’ a vivid modern upending of an old tale.

And since  I cannot split the four of you, and am as admiring as ever of Antonia’s weekly tale, I’m declaring every one a winner this week. Well done and thank you all for the richest of writings and caring-est of comment.

Words for next week: innocent lodge uncover
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 23th October, words posted Friday 24th

 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, 11 October 2019

A failure of communication


Too hastily posted, but unwilling to spell it out over-baldly, I failed to make my last week’s post completely clear: the old lady was blind, as well as being robbed blind by two opportunist burglars-become murders – my apologies.

At least this week’s winner is simple enough to decipher: Patricia’s five-episode ‘Reflections’ was stand-out. Not so much for the multiplicity of episodes but the skill in the build-up and repetition of prompts without them jarring. And, of course, the ever-increasing tension.

Words for next week: cardboard confluence drama
Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 17th October, words posted Friday 18th

 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, 4 October 2019

“Overheard on a saltmarsh”


A poem by Harold Monro which never fails to fascinate me, from which I’ve take the words for next week
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Winner from this week, chosen in a bit of a rush as I’ve been to the Inner Hebrides and back since Monday, where WiFi was but fleeting, but even on a stolen glimpse Jim’s gruesome ‘Tailor-made’ haunted my imagination, sufficiently for me to declare him this week’s winner. Thank you all for your participation.

Words for next week: beads stare voice

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 10th October, words posted Friday 11th

 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, 27 September 2019

A bad case of the bends


A week spent trying to unblock a new-installed sink, fearing the necessity of the removal of a just-laid floor; thankfully averted after half a dozen kettlefuls of boiling water (that after visits from three different professionals, the last of which probably helped). Inbetweentimes reading and enjoying the week’s wonderful offerings.

A supplementary ‘Well done’, John, for a triple episode of inflated horror (have you read Tom Sharpe’s ‘Wilt’ books? you’d enjoy the blow-up doll in one of them) and top place goes to Patricia for the complexity of emotions aroused by ‘Here comes the bride’. Thank you all for your ever-entertaining entries.

Words for next week: collar pot-pourri lint

Entries by midnight (GMT) Thursday 3rd October, words posted Friday 4th

 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, 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.