Wednesday, September 17, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-11 - RESULTS!




Phew! I think I may still be dripping with pie filling and crust...Yum! :) If you missed any of the entries, go check them out here. I you want to know what our judge thought of those entries... keep reading! :) Congratulations to all!




mysoulstears, Untitled: I enjoyed your twist of a demon making the man kill the people. Favorite line: "Instead, I studied the details of their flapping wings as they moved in slow motion."

Rebekah Postupak, The Date: Loved the dialogue between your characters, nice to know that even other species can have horrible first blind dates. Favorite line: "Ant germs are not a threat I find concerning."

Casey Rose, A Good Hostess: Brought back childhood memories of some food fights between my siblings and myself. Enjoyed your description of the picnic. Chuckled at the brother being a ninja. Favorite line: "Fury took over as I sunk my white gloves into the depths of the ruined red pie, grabbed a handful and flung it into my brother's face."

S. Todd Strader, Preeminent Turpitude: Loved the title. I must admit (blushes with shame) that I did have to look up "turpitude" as I was unfamiliar with the word. Favorite line: "You cannot just incoherently string words together and call it fiction."

justpratibha, A Tall order: I loved the concept of invisible fire. Favorite line: "Is there any school that teaches not to step in the forest of invisible fire?"

geofflepard, Untitled: I got a good laugh over  the "magic "mushrooms. Favorite line: "Instantly the bushes thrashed and the bough of a tree cracked as a gangly and oddly dressed wolf struggled into our clearing."

JM MacF, The Last Piece of Pi: I love a good pun so yes, pi in all its geeky detail counts! I liked the way they were using pi to fight over the pie. Favorit line: "Nah. let 'em experience Alberta in all its glory."

christianflashweekly, The Art of Persuasion: Enjoyed your SciFi twist. Favorit line: "I also smiled that they had created and hidden an escape plan, right beside where our blanket would be put."

@goldzco21, Love and Picnics: I liked your lover's triangle. Favorite line: "An explosion of cream, walnuts, and pie crust flew everywhere."



Special Challenge Runner Up: Casey Rose, A Good Hostess. Loved the interaction between the siblings and your description of the pie's demise.

Special Challenge Champion: JM MacF, The Last Piece of Pi. Geeks of the world unite!


Grand Champion: Rebekah Postupak, The Date. You had me with:" It's just an ant." The germaphobic dragon was just too much!





Monday, September 15, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-11




Welcome back for another round! I'm not gonna chit chat today because I'm reading a book and I want to get back to it. :) So go check out the prompt and write something awesome - I'll be done with this and looking for something else to read soon. Have fun!



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.
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 Emily Karn. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Here's what she has to say about herself: I am a fifty-year old woman living in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State, I love reading, writing, cooking, and assorted crafts. I am the person of a cat.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-11 is:


Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include a pie fight in all its gory detail!




 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, September 11, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-10 - RESULTS!




Aaaaaaaand we have results!!!! (Phew! Good thing, this is the results page!) Thanks for all your brilliant entries, once again! I am continually amazed at where each of you chooses to take the prompt. Kudos. If you missed any of them, go read them here. Otherwise, TO THE JUDGING!



I know people have said it before and I agree: this was much harder than I thought. There are elements of each story that are absolutely golden. And I learned quite a few things from the life lessons that I will take to heart: manners go a long way, chinchilla’s should not be purple but purple hair on a human can save a life. Who knew?


But onto my very sophisticated and noteworthy opinions of your stories….



Lori “A Tasty Lesson Never Learned” – If only Anna had been a little more observant! Love how you adapted the prompt to be a baker specifically and the setup for her walking into the house is very well done. “The sounds of dinner cooking and dad yelling at Dodger to take the garbage out before dinner, were absent.” – the tone of that sentence changed the whole piece from being about Anna to being about a bigger picture. Really well done with the phrasing. What made you phrase it that way instead of simply saying, “She didn’t hear the sounds of….”? So much more powerful by explaining the norm and then saying “…were absent.”



Emilykarn “The Not So Great Escape” – My first thought was “I can’t believe someone wrote about a grandma being kidnapped!” and was delightfully surprised that she was snarky and no harm came to her!  The details you included were poetic and I was able to see a neon-green haired old lady driving a lipstick-red Cadillac around town. Not just red, but lipstick-red which is such a simple modifier that says so much. And I guess criminals dumb enough to kidnap grandma are dumb enough to get caught. Great balance of humor in this piece. Well done.



Stella “Plums” – Lots of great stuff going on. There is an unhappy, stuck wife who is trying to rationalize her lifestyle by living in the moment with an unsupportive husband. And a stranger at the door who is just glad to escape and find some company. Not sure if you intended this or not but I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Anna being “on a course of mindfulness” and “meditating over her quandary” and the first thing she says out loud is, “oh for God’s sake!” Such a simple way of deepening her character. Again, not sure if that was your intention but well done! The ending feels like she is going to leave her hair purple forever, leave her husband and run off with John! (At least that’s what I hope she does!)



Geafflepard.com “Just a little prick” – How can you go wrong in a story where someone is smothered by a paper mache mask?  Made out of plastic surgery brochures of all things! Such beautiful irony. I like how the levels of crazy just keep building and Anna manages to creep out the creepy. Bits of humor peppered in really made this story: “having such a major procedure as a tattoo” and “this is trusting” when she goes inside. And I had to look up “kerfuffle” to make sure it was a real word and I definitely plan on using it in my everyday vocabulary.



JM MacF “The Tragedy of Mrs. Chibbles: A tale from Persimmon Hallow” – You pulled us right into your universe and told us what was what. What about the prompt made you decide to write animals instead of humans? I really enjoyed the breaking of the fourth wall and speaking directly to the reader. So we have a vain, attention seeking Chinchilla whose strutting gets her killed. Yes, I believe it.  I like this world, I think I’ll stay and have a look around.



Michael Simko “Judgement” – The flow of this story is really well done. The religious and moral overtones throughout the story show the succinct way in which Chloe rationalizes her decisions.  Her logic is almost like reading her diary. You very eloquently capture how on the path to being a “good” person one often steps on others to get there. I would recommend the movie “Seven” if you are interested in a somewhat creepy rendition of how people’s sins get them killed. Really enjoyed this story. I would definitely read more stories about “The Maid”.



Di Eats the Elephant “Perdido” – Great rendition of the opening line. I really loved the dialogue in this. I got the perfect image of “creek rat” children always either causing trouble or seeking it out.  “I ain’t never seen a mass murderer. I reckon this is my only chance.”- from this line onward I’m am 100% on Skeeter’s side and I am on board with whatever plot he has to be a part of the action. His plan is backyard brilliance. And their shenanigans pay off when they catch the murderer.



@goldzco21 “End Game” – One killer conning another. Yes please! As soon as Stitches said “I’m up on the north side, by 38th” I knew something was weird. Honestly, I thought Chef was going to hunt down Stitches but it makes him almost more evil to use the system to his own advantage against his buddy. Love the concept of the game and how when Stitches finally gets ahead he is already another step behind.



SPECIAL CHALLENGE RUNNER UP: @goldzco21 “End Game” – One evil cancels out another and the braggart learns that the hard way.



SPECIAL CHALLENGE CHAMPION:  Michael Simko “Judgement” – Well written and really took the special challenge to heart.  “The righteousness made her feel better” and killed her in the end.



RUNNER UP: JM MacF “The Tragedy of Mrs. Chibbles: A tale from Persimmon Hallow” – For the affirmation that Chinchilla’s should not be purple.




GRAND CHAMPION: Emilykarn “The Not So Great Escape” – The guy kidnapped grandma and if he had manners he would’ve gotten away with it.








Monday, September 8, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-10




Happy September! Hope you've had a great first week of it. Thanks for coming back to join us. I've been an editing fiend recently, so I haven't been taking a lot of time to be online. ...I really love making progress again. So while I'm marking up my manuscript, you all go write something amazing. Make me smile. :) (And have fun!) 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.
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 Rasha Tayaket. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Here's what she has to say about herself: I like reading and I like writing. I write what I like to read and I read what I aspire to write. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but either way I enjoy the ride!




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-10 is:


The day [Anna dyed her hair purple] was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer [John "The Chef" Baxter] had escaped from police custody.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Incorporate some type of life lesson or moral.




 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!









Wednesday, September 3, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-9 - RESULTS!




Woohoo! What a ride! If you missed any of our amazing stories this week, go check them out here. We had another RECORD NUMBER of entries this week (SIXTEEN!!! WOW!)! You made the judge work extra hard! Let's read what she had to say:



As one who usually pens the stories, this was news to me that choosing one grand winner was to be so difficult. There wasn’t one story I didn’t like and there were six that made picking the top dog all the harder. But alas, I have chosen a winner. In the end, it came down to story and the writing combined. I was surprised at how many took up my challenge. In my writing group, I’m referred to (if by no one, but me) as the Dialog Whore. A title I rather like. So without further delay, except to thank all who participated, Alissa for hosting, and Jamie for picking my mummy story last week, here are my comments and the winners.

@postupak
Burned
I bought the medusa because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught with a phoenix. The first line and where you went with it, really set the bar for everyone else. Nice acceptance of the challenge, all dialog and the use of a mythological creature. I’m not sure I understand why she bought her boyfriend a medusa thought. Liked the end where she’s a phoenix herself.

@LurchMunster
Untitled
Poor Sally, or maybe it should be Fred I feel bad for after all, he’s now dead. I like the way your narrator decides being friends with Sally is a better deal than being friends with people like Fred. Not sure what to think about the gun at work, as I am a postal worker. Hmmm.


Rashatayaket
Charmed
Nicely done with the challenge and I like the twist. The cop just didn’t get it. Fred’s been turned into a dog, do you think that’s somehow poetic justice?


@elainefbayless
Untitled
I like the way the young girl wanted to drive the hearse today because its Halloween. And the comment about a fairy godmother. Nice touch with the glass slippers as well. As for the challenge, you hit the magical, but not the dialog only so challenge not met. Still a good story.

@CLPauwels 
Untitled
Challenge accepted in deed and I love the voice. I think everyone can empathize with buying and selling a used car, plus the salesmen are always a treat. He didn’t tell her about the dings, typical. What did happen to Fred? Well, a little poison maybe.

@StellakateT
Untitled
I like the way the two sisters are plotting against Fred, even if Gladys isn’t in the game exactly. Hawaiian shirt was brilliant. People generally love or hate them. Typo in there, but I ignored that. Although the unicorn was an unexpected twist at the end, it felt last minute.

@CaseyCaseRose
Trying Something New
Challenge accepted for sure. I think you’re missing a word in the beginning of the story. I like the visual of spit roasting Fred. Followed by the twist in the end where she tries to drive it underwater.

@JessicaCheramie
Middle Earth Pawn
You nailed the special challenge and I love the mythical creatures that inhabit your story. One thing, with so many, I lost track of who was talking and who was what.

K.L. Phelps
Dating is Never Easy
Boy, you’ve got that right, I don’t think I’d want to date a zombie. Sarah should def listen to Jennifer and not date a zombie for other reasons too. I like the chick-lit style of this one.

@voimaoy
She's Your Vehicle, Baby
A dragon to ride and keep as a pet. Love it. I mean, who doesn’t like dragons and they’re so cute. I’d personally be worried they’d burn down the house, but what do I know. I like the way the dragon got in on the dialog.

@drmagoo
Untitled
Seems sisters are the theme this week. Good banter. Not sure I understood the end though.

Sabriam 
Untitled
A house elf to help keep the place clean. I could use one of those. And the part of the elf going insane if you shave its head. There’s the cross between Harry Potter and Gremlins with the rules. Brilliant. Even accepted the challenge.

@michaelsimko1
Arrangement of Dreams
Going for the creep factor I see. So she was given him as payment for his parents to have better dreams, but he’s plagued with night terrors, nice touch. However, you have dialog tags and missed the special challenge.

chava812 @ gmail
A POCKETFUL OF STREUSEL
You do like to murder your men with food don’t you? Nice job by the way. I like the unreliable narrator. One thing I might comment on is everyone is looking all the time. He doesn’t like red.

@goldzco21
Channel 12
Consumers cannot die while using the device. That’s great. Like a consumer has the power to know when they’re going to die. Interesting way to have a conversation by having the second party only hmmm. Wonder if Channel 12 will let her stay. This begs to be expanded.

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni
Sunny Who Was No Popeye
You bring in mythology with the scarab beetle but miss the special challenge with dialog tags. I like the story and how the bug grows and changes. Fred’s fury comes out when she takes him upstairs with a predictable outcome when she leaves him alone with the bug. Or is it… nice twist at the end.



I’m taking liberties here because I can. I was told I could pick a grand champion, special challenge champion and runner ups for both, so I did.



Special Challenge Runner Up:
@CLpauwels  Untitled.  The voice came home to roost. If there ever was a time when someone wrote for the judge, I’d say this was it. And did a great job with the story too.


Special Challenge Champion:
@Edenslittleones  Untitled. You think you could send one of those house elves to my house? I promise not to shave it.




Runner Up:
@chava812  A pocket Full of Streusel  Murder by pastry is just so delicious.


Grand Champion:
Rashatayaket  Charmed. The dog clinched it for me. Justice served.




Congratulations to all! (Also, Rasha, you didn't leave a twitter account or email address, so could you message me so we can talk about your round of judging next week? Thanks! :) )






Monday, September 1, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-9





Welcome back! Glad you could join us! So happy to have you! No chit chat today...I have a lot going on and my brain stopped working. So, yeah, go check out the prompt and write us 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.
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 Lori Fetters Lopez. Also known as @fetterslopez. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Lori's short stories can be found online and in print magazines.  She writes the occasional flash fiction pieces while querying her romantic suspense, thriller, and YA fantasy novels. To pay the bills she works as a Mail Processing Mechanic for the USPS.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-9 is:


I bought the [sunshine-yellow bug] because [Fred] said he'd rather be dead than caught [behind the wheel].



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Dialog only and include a magical element or mythical creature.


 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







Thursday, August 28, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-8 - RESULTS!




Yay! Results! Sorry it took me so long to get them up, I was off the computer last night when the judge sent them and I tried to wrangle my garden into order this morning. (And a darn fine job I did of it, too!) Anyway, if you missed any of the stories, you can check them out here. Otherwise, on to the judges comments!



The Suitcase
Stella
This was a fun read, overall, as I thought it was heading in a contemporary direction when it suddenly took a detour down a magical/fantasy lane. I thought, at first, the suitcase contained the ex-husbands' underwear; what a shock to realize it was their eyeballs! How creepy-fun is that?!
The third through fifth paragraphs are particularly good – so much history revealed and so much character portrayed in so few words.
A bonus nugget-o-fun comes at the end of this piece - I love a Grandmother outside of Red Riding Hood commenting on a fellows “big eyes”.

A Recipe For (A) Disaster
Mark A. King
I love how Mr. King does a flashback in the beginning and I, the reader, don't stumble over it. Also, the writer displays excellent command over his craft with beautifully written lines like, “In the verges, skeletal metal corpses loitered like road-kill”, ”Memories tend to magnify missed details from the past”, and “I’d came to realise my hopes of finding her were a stalking ghost that would not rest.”  I love flash stories that manage to have a true beginning, middle, and end, and Mr. King achieved that. I appreciate the unusual take on the challenge in this story. I can tell I would like a longer work from this Author, he has a very authentic voice.

Karl Russell
Waterloo Sunset
Whoa, what a ride; I wish I'd had my own buffalo-innard seat-belt to fasten beforehand! The intensity of the conflict in the beginning of the story drew me in immediately, and the sharp-turn into the world of the fantastical both blindsided and enthralled me. I love the explicit descriptions (“The taxi outside was a blazing riot of multicoloured butterflies, pinned to the hide of a restless buffalo. ”) and the attention paid to small details which add depth to the story ( “I saw the price sticker on the bottom of his left shoe and smiled. Upside down, it was 66.6”). I find I'd like to read more about the place in this story, and hear more from this author.

Untitled
drmagoo
I love the MC of this piece, and also the valet who struggles to understand him. The author does an excellent job with character in this book, without a ton of description of what they wear or what color hair is or any of that. I like that. Also, as the wife of a man who travels a lot for business, this piece tugs at my heartstrings in a very personal way. I am particularly touched by the MC's fond remembrances of trips shared with his wife. The cliffhanger ending leaves me wanting to read more of this story...I'd like to see where MC and Eddy end up, and if MC gets his miracle.

Agent Brown and Cheif Bubba's First Encounter
Charles W. Short
Ha! This one sure reeled me in – I was thinking this poor traveler had unwittingly smuggled an explosive device of some sort. I kind of caught on that it wasn't so when the unpacked items were pots and pans. As a Food Network fan, I imagined Alton Brown playing the part of agent Brown. (I wonder if the author was thinking of him, as well?) I appreciate the sense of humor in this piece.

Untitled
Lori
I am known, in many circles, as “the girl who does not like zombie/vampire/undead stories.” However, this tale charmed me, or, rather, the MC charmed me.  The author executes excellent characterization with this mummy - she is so well-developed. I loved that she was simultaneously unimpressed by, yet empathetic toward, her dinner. I liked the mini-history lesson about how Mummies were preserved. I super-enjoyed her stapling her arm back on, the way I once (or twice) have stapled in a temporary hemline on a skirt I cared nothing for. This piece excellently depicted what a bother all this being undead business is for a gal. Ha. I might like to read this as a book. Seriously. (And, remember, I am the “girl who does not like zombie/vampire/undead stories”.)



It was amazingly hard to pick a winner. I honestly read over each entry several times before coming to my decision.


Special Challenge ChampionMark A. King, “Recipe For (a) Disaster” for his awesome take on the challenge concept.



Grand ChampionLori, “Untitled”, for making me like a genre I would, typically, never pick up.