Thursday, April 23, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-42 - RESULTS!





If you missed any of the stories this week, go check them out in the comments section here. Back? Great! Here's what the judge had to say:




Firstly, another thanks to our gracious host for her work in arranging this weekly jolly. Secondly, thanks to the writers who ventured into this week’s prompt. Sorry your results are a little short. It reflects my growing migraine, and not your wonderful writing. 

Hollygeely - Raisin Brain
The emotional turn at the end was a nice element in this story.

Audrey Gran Weinberg - Info Desk Delight
I like the clash between logical officiousness and personal expectation.

Honorable Mention
Susan - Served Cold
A soupćon of The Devil Wears Prada here, though I would have cheered that book more had its MC plotted revenge as carefully as this one.

Special Challenge Champion
Lauren Green - Truckin’
The main thing I like about this story is that the MC is not a nice person. Great to see someone moody, mean, and selfish being written as an MC.

Runner Up
Foy S. Iver - Steer Into The Curve
Really good premise. I’d love to see this worked up into a full story.

Grand Champion
geofflepard - The Secret in the Cellar

A lot of creepiness in this. Really nicely done, with a wide open ending which lets fearful thoughts percolate.





Monday, April 20, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-42




Welcome back! I'm so glad you could join us for another romp around the flash fiction gardens! Or, if you're like me and suffer from seasonal allergies, perhaps a garden romp doesn't sound so appealing? It's so disappointing to have absolutely gorgeous weather, but the moment you go outside it seems that every gland in your face both swells and leaks, not to mention the sneezes. Ah well, perhaps a romp in the office will suffice, BUT ROMP WE WILL! A LITTLE POLLEN WILL NOT STOP US! So onward friends! Write some wonderful romps! Have at you!



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence. (Allowable alterations listed below)
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Clive Tern. Read his winning tale from last week here! Clive writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories from a secret redoubt in rural Perthshire, Scotland. When not writing, reading, educating (his two oldest children are home educated), or caring (various health issues in the family, from Epilepsy to autism to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), he likes to plan a menu, don his chefs jacket, and pretend to be the next Masterchef. He’s currently working on two projects, both collections of short stories. the first is to be a cycle of fifty stories, one for each US state - a challenge for someone who has never been there. The other is a collection of tales set on a non-earth world with a vague steampunk ethic - a challenge for someone who has never been there. Follow him on twitter @clivetern, and spot his occasional gripes about how hard writing is at www.clivetern.com.






 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-42 is:



When we hit the [county/state/whatever] line we cheered.





 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include a description where the main character is compared to a fruit.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!





Thursday, April 16, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-41 - RESULTS!




Woohoo!!! Great job everyone! If you missed reading the stories, go check them out here. Now you can read what the judge had to say:




Thank you to everyone who participated, and I was thrilled to see that every entry took on at least one of the special challenges. I enjoyed the stories, and thank you all for making this a tough one to judge.


Pouring
by Susan @susanOReilly3
An intriguing exploration of chronic pain set to meter, and loose rhyme. I didn't realize the inherent poetry at first, but by the second paragraph, found myself falling into a sort of natural rhythm.

Heavy Cloud
by Alicia VanNoy Call   @callthewriter
A trip to an exotic land that is not all it's cracked up to be. The repetitions work well to get the reader into the feeling of the never-ending precipitation. This is a very effective piece at carrying heavy emotion.

Coffee and Donut
 By Emily Clayton @emilyiswriting
I like the playfulness of the aliens, and the novelty of how to extract knowledge from words - for us it comes so naturally. I particularly how Coffee described what the book tasted like to them.

Take Out
By Fred Yost @waidr
My curiosity is piqued as to the nature of Jade, and why she is unkillable, and also about the broader world of the mobs. This feels like a piece of a larger work, but also an inevitable conclusion bundled nicely in the presented piece.


The cross to the left
By Mark Driskill
An alternate telling of a well known tale, looking at the impact of the life (and death) of one who is normally cast as a background character. I like the parallels between this story, and the more commonly told tale.

Special Challenge Runner Up
Moments lost, like tears for rain
By David James Ashton  @davejamesashton
A great capture of the senses in a unique setting, and in so few words. The sense of loss of something so simple helps us to really understand the character.

Special Challenge Champion
Passing Storm
Lauren Greene @laurenegreene
Nice job on meeting both of the special challenges, particularly intriguing with a blind MC. I also like how you bring the idea of the storm back around as a metaphor for her experience.

Runner Up
An Act of Kindness
Geoff Leopard @geofflepard
I like this one, a story of connection, and re-connection in the rain. Plus, I have a fondness for London. I like how you managed to move away from the original feel of the rain, and make it circle around to joy.

Grand Champion
A Storm in Collar Gap
Stuart Turnbull @clivetern

Very compelling imagery, particularly along the taste and smell spectrum, and I like the slow build up to what happened. At the end I felt the mix of hope and sorrow, and the final release of the tears with the rain.





Monday, April 13, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-41




Welcome back for another round! I hope your April has been fantastic so far, and that it keeps getting better. Go check out the prompt and write something amazing. I know you can.




If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence. (Allowable alterations listed below)
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Christy Shorey. Read her winning tale from last week here! Christy Shorey is a writer in Florida, where she lives with her husband and two cats. A librarian by day, she loves stories, and loves to learn how to craft them better, including the class she is currently in about Diversity and Narrative. Once class is done, she will return to any of three novels that are in various stages of their life. A 7-time NaNo WriMo winner, she tends towards novel length works, but loves flash fiction as both a challenge and respite from longer pieces.

She can be found on twitter (@weylyn42), on her blog (www.crushedmuffin.com), and at a joint website, presenting stories and webcomics by her and her sister (www.presumedhuman.com).






 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-41 is:


It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains.





 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include all five senses, OR all seven colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV).





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!





Thursday, April 9, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-40 - RESULTS!




Woohoo! If you missed reading any of these stories, go check them out here. Otherwise, I won't waste any words and we'll get right to the judges comments:



Michael Simko: Spoiled
There are some wonderful throw away lines in this that inform the wider world (I particularly liked the one about the cats). There was also a feel of a wild riff on Bradbury’s story The Veldt. What is the ultimate toy a child can receive, and how will it be used. Very nicely done.

Miranda Gammella: unnamed fragment
As an amuse bouche this is inventive and involving. Too launch us into a WIP with no background was brave, and yet I felt that the details we have, the glimpse we have, of this creation was coherent and involving. I wish Mirja’a Upinde’s blessing on her quest of righteous revenge.

Dave James Ashton: Glark the Collector
An interesting take on the human experience as misery. I was reminded that it is good to think of how others see us, and what would the reaction be if they have the power to act on what they see.

Carolyn Astfalk: Busted
Some nicely comedic touches and we’re left unsure if this is a fangirl, or actually a survivor of a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. There was a small issue with a cell battery that I struggled to reconcile.


Honorable Mention
Lauren Greene: Frayne’s Sacrifice
This grew on me with each reading. Frayne’s discovery of Bash and her new life, and his comprehension of what that meant were nicely played. The shared dialogue was delightfully Mars/Venus in tone, and the last line is lovely.


Special Challenge Runner Up
Studyleaks: Returning Home
This was a story that left me wanting more. I want this story, but much bigger and longer. It built in crescendo, and we are taken to the brink of knowledge the alien wishes, only to be remade in the hands of a child. I love the conscious effort the MC takes to retain its new found humanity.

Runner up
Foy S. Iver: WC:337
I was delighted with the line I provided for this weeks prompt. I love the way it is challenged by the second line used in this story. Then I get to the end of the story and find that the Special Challenge has also been subverted. Very clever writing.

Grand AND Special Challenge Champion
Christy: Silent Night

Genderless protagonists are difficult in the English language - we tend to default one way or another. This story provides a being who responds to stimuli, who has feelings and desire, but is uncontaminated by gender. I love the response to the wind chime, and that last sentence casts open a door to a back story that is the end of humanity itself. Terrific.





Monday, April 6, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-40




Welcome to April (in case you missed it)! I hope you had a blessed Easter celebration. With a quarter of this year in the past, I have to tell you that I'm behind on my goals. If you see me around - especially on facebook - tell me to get off and get back to work. :) Now go check out that prompt and write a story!



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence. (Allowable alterations listed below)
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Clive Tern. Read his winning tale from last week here! Clive writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories from a secret redoubt in rural Perthshire, Scotland. When not writing, reading, educating (his two oldest children are home educated), or caring (various health issues in the family, from Epilepsy to autism to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), he likes to plan a menu, don his chefs jacket, and pretend to be the next Masterchef. He’s currently working on two projects, both collections of short stories. the first is to be a cycle of fifty stories, one for each US state - a challenge for someone who has never been there. The other is a collection of tales set on a non-earth world with a vague steampunk ethic - a challenge for someone who has never been there. Follow him on twitter @clivetern, and spot his occasional gripes about how hard writing is at www.clivetern.com.






 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-40 is:


It was the night of a blood red moon.





 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Use an alien protagonist, on Earth.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!






Thursday, April 2, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-39 - RESULTS!




Phew! I made it! I battled through technical difficulties, children on spring break, and a desire to sleep all day to bring you the judge's decisions - and it's not even noon! I've even showered! Wow, I might even get a chance to write this afternoon! Anyway, I hope you're overcoming your own battles today. If you missed any of the stories, go check them out here. Otherwise, keep reading for what the judge had to say:



Thank you, Alissa, for hosting and trusting me with the judge’s gavel. (I only smashed a few things with it.) Thanks also to everyone who shared - I loved the ways you all found to incorporate the special challenge. That said, on to the #JoyfulResults!



Not Ready Yet by RealMommaRamblings
Wow, this guy is stellar! Though she’s not ready yet, I hope she doesn’t give up on him and herself completely. The fact he went to the trouble to get “a new plastic cover” on the seat and “a bottle of hand sanitizer in the cup holder” tells me that he doesn’t mind the fact she’s compelled to count or can’t stand crowded spaces. I came to the end thinking, please, please be ready eventually. 
 

Coup Détente by Rebekah Postupak
This needs to be a children's series. Seriously. The description of Asher “going all grumpy toast” and the MC’s eyes as looking “like Taylor Swift’s might be if she bought her makeup at CVS” were perfect! The special challenge took on a pleasantly uplifting hue with “hopeful steeples” and that happy coincidence of surreptitious dragon defenders. Much enjoyed. :)


Served Cold by Susan OReilly
Though this entry was late, I wanted to include it in the comments at least. Talk about a frustrating job! Anyone who could ask “to speak to the organ grinder not the monkey” is horrible! I chuckled at her form of revenge - “photographs of the most unforgiving outfits of his that he thinks have been destroyed...will accidentally find a way into my last column a printing error” - seems so fitting. 


Special Challenge Runner Up
What Maisie said next… by Geoff LePard
The interaction between these three felt like watching not reading. Little hints dropped give us keen insight into how their marriage is coming along (from Duncan) “'I wondered when you'd ask. It's been like this for three days” (to Martha) ''Thank you, Maisie but I think it's your father's turn” as if he is a child, too. I was happy they kissed in the end. The cheeky nod to the special challenge hidden in the mother’s words “surprisingly emotional inanimate objects” made me laugh and earned this story SC Runner Up! “Angry knife” sounds like a perfectly normal description to me.


Special Challenge Champion
The Last Straw by Lauren Greene
I loved so many of the lines in this tale and the special challenge combos embedded in it. Here are a few of my favorites: “Kids flitted around like anxious butterflies,” “My daughter sat in the glum corner,” “He wove tales with a dishonest thread.” We learn so much from details “like he had the cracked window in our lonely bedroom”. I cheered when she walked away at last. Great job inspiring emotion and working in so many combos!


Runner Up 
When someone asks if you are a god, you say- by Michael Simko
This was so much fun to read! I could get lost in a series with this MC’s voice. From the twist on the prompt, to the name meanings slipped in (Ehtisham was ill-named at birth, methinks), this bit of flash hooked me. I would love to sit down with these gentlemen and hear which is the worst death they’ve lived through (I have burning to death down in my biggest fears book). That “optimistic meat grinder” sounds terrifying.


Grand Champion
‘For Everything there is a Season’ by Clive Tern

I absolutely loved this! And not just because I saw my husband and myself (though the roles might be reversed). When I read “in forty-eight years it hasn’t changed” my insides melted. Paul has it in perspective in my opinion. When you get to that age, the inevitability of your own death looms closer and suddenly you realize, why not laugh at a funeral or make your move while your “blue tab” is in effect. Beautifully human story.