Monday, June 29, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-52




I cannot believe that Finish That Thought has reached two full years of flash fiction madness! Thank you to everyone who visits, writes, and reads the amazing stories each week. Since next week starts year three, this is something like New Years Eve, right? So let's celebrate!!!! This prompt is just begging for a party!! Go check it out and write something!



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 Audrey Weinberg. Read her winning tale from last week here! Find her on twitter here. Audrey (Gran) Weinberg was born in Los Angeles just a few months before JFK was shot, but she swears she didn't do it. After years of living in different countries, and having experienced both much love and great loss, Audrey is now gratefully leading a "pretty mundane existence" with her sweet boyfriend and 2 pretty amazing teenage children just outside of Amsterdam. 
Audrey has published 2 short stories and is currently figuring out how to edit her first novel. She co-authors the Studyleaks blog (studyleaks.blogspot.nl) together with a group of her students under the pen name 'Study Leaks Amsterdam.'



 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-52 is:



The [wedding reception] was going exceptionally [well] until [all the lights went off].




 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:



Include a juicy family drama.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Wednesday, June 24, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-51 - RESULTS!




WooHoo! Thanks for the fun! If you missed any of the stories yesterday, go read them here. Finished? Good. Now let's read what the judge had to say:



No Contest @fs_iver
Succeed to spite (or in spite of) your Father, a common enough motivation. Our protagonist has clear goals, which he pursues with single-minded intensity: To beat both his old man and the local success story by age 25. Then the final line; how far the mighty have fallen. Nice ending.

Just a Taste @agardana09
OooOo there’s some creepy goodness here. The new guard learns to respect the prisoner’s powers, even through the bars. We’ll have to live with our curiosity, needing to know more about both the prisoner and Ms. Jones.


Special Challenge Champion:
The Gentleman  @needanidplease
Dad is indeed a profound influence on his eldest child. But there’s a problem with that, he might not be the best influence, at least not in the eyes of his spouse. The tale has a poignant ending, delightful downbeat…and the limerick echoes the boy’s feelings, both happy and terribly sad.


Grand Champion:
Nothin’ for Nothin’ @studyleaks

This delightful little scene communicates the dehumanizing life of a cubicle-farm telemarketer, and the (partially imagined) vision of a typical caller. “She had been beautiful once. A long time ago. I recognized that feeling,” might be a capsule moral for this tale. By the end of the call, the marketer is still pursuing a sale!






Monday, June 22, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-51




Welcome back! Thanks for joining us for the fun this week. I just got back from UtopYA con (at which I had a blast!) and I am still recovering. The con is in Nashville, TN and features indie pubbed books as well as small press books, a few traditionally pubbed books, and hybrids. They're changing their name and expanding genres next year, so check out their new website at www.utopiacon.com. With that out of the way, go check out the prompt this week! 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 D.E. Park. Read his winning tale from last week here! Dave (D. E. Park) spends his spare time writing flash and micro fiction, and just attempting to get enough sleep. He’s a first-generation computer nerd (older than the internet), a lifetime devourer of SF&F (loser geek), even a comic book fan (three strikes!). He actually hasn’t been actively writing for very long (you can't tell?) He lives in Chicagoland with his wife Annie. Follow him @parkinkspot and check out his writing blog at parkinkspot.wordpress.com.



 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-51 is:

As per the rules, you only need use the given first sentence. However, I allowed two sentences today so you may use the first or both as you see fit.

Going with a father's day theme opening line this week (a quote from Spike Milligan):

My Father had [a profound] influence on me. He was [a lunatic].




 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:



Include a classic aabba limerick (extra points for clean, amusing, and related to Dads). Don't worry, I won't judge them on anapestic precision--I'm not even sure how to!





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







Friday, June 19, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-50 - RESULTS!




I've finally managed to get a consistent wifi at UtopYAcon at Starbucks across the street, so this is going to be short. If you missed any of the stories, go read them here. Now read what our judge had to say (yesterday, when she sent it to me...):




Destiny's gift by Geoff (@geofflepard)
What starts out as a magical love story takes an eerie turn at the end. Geoff builds a magical albeit a little creepy, world. We are told of the central character that, “Slowly she would reveal her own feelings. We wait for a fairy tale love story to unfold only to learn of the shocking ending, but as the narrator said earlier in the story:  the events, “They all fitted like a perfect jigsaw.”

Made for Television by Dave (@parkinkspot)
The perpetual dilemma for any artist is whether to choose money over art. Dave presents this conundrum with a humorous tone that is effective.  He observes, “The life of a director is an endless series of compromises.” The question is how far down that slippery slope he is willing to go.  I loved the striking similes, such as: “He cast a vast shadow like a skyscraper” and “he's whiter than sour cream.” Jesus and Mary Magdalene were never so controversial than in this little tale.

Revival by Rebekah Postupak
This is a story of an unfortunate stage manager who has to lead an unruly cast to the successful production. Leave it to Rebekah to twist the plot lines, include the characters that are far out of this world, and blend the literary or fairy tales. She does her magic in this story. I cracked up reading the exercise routine of the god; the images are so lively that I could see them in my mind’s eye. She also tweaks common phrases to suit her needs, “Don’t get your loincloth in a wad.” 

TAKING DOWN THE MATRIARCHY by Foy. S. Iver
Foy builds a futuristic world where a little girl waits for the future husband to incubate in a lab. Her use of language is exotic, “his pectorals perfectly plump, his Gluteus quite Maximus, his obliques a cinched corset of trim waistline.” The picture of a matriarchal society, where the neutered males run out of the lab like rats, is chilling. Her world building skills are out of this world. She also incorporated all four challenge words seamlessly.


Special Challenge Champion - Foy. S. Iver


Grand Champion - Dave (@parkinkspot)







Monday, June 15, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-50




Welcome back! Thanks for joining us today. Go check out the prompts and write us something amazing! :)



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 Pratibha Kelapure. Read her winning tale from last week here! Pratibha is a writer and poet. She is the founding editor of The Literary Nest journal. In her previous life, she served the Silicon Valley as a VLSI Software Engineer. Other than that she is a wife, mother, and a community volunteer.
You can learn more about her on twitter @needanidplease and at https://ahousesparrow.wordpress.com/




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-50 is:


[Thomas] flinched when [he] first laid eyes on the [male lead] with the physique of a Greek god for the role of [the prisoner].




 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:



Use any two of these elements in your story: an amusement park, a skyscraper, a tower-bell, an umbrella.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, June 11, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-49 - RESULTS!




Congratulations to everyone! Thanks for joining us. If you missed any of the stories, you can read them here. Otherwise, here is what the judge had to say:



Desperate times in Santa Monica by @studyleaks
This tale takes you on the roller coaster with Steve and Jean as they wait for mysterious and unexplained missiles to hit them. Stuck indoors, afraid of the radio for its ‘fabrications and exaggerations’ or its platitudes’ they chip and chisel at each other until they focus on Jack– their son? – when they begin to agree with each other. Is Jack safe? That seems to be the one remaining hope. Nice dialogue and a well-paced story.


The first Rocket Scientist by Gordon759
This is interesting, telling a historical incident in beautiful prose. The story is well known but it bears the retelling and the sang froid of both Wellington, and especially Congreve when the rocketeers came under attack is lovely. ‘“Good for a first shot.” The major commented, as he lit the fuse on the next rocket.’ I much enjoyed this.


The Grown Ups Are Gone by Sacha Black
Oh heavens this was hard. The tenderness between the youngsters, the evidence of a little hope creeping back into their lives. Joe can see another horizon, one which might prove to escape but first Lara must fetch help. Joe is ready to provide cover as she ‘pepper potted’ her way across the path. And then the crunching disaster, the devastation. Bang. War is bloody but never more so than this.  This story demanding reading again and again and the end gets no better. 


After the Electricity Died by willowdot21
This is a mini epic, describing the collapse of civilization in a few words. We learn that Dan and Simon have tried to retain knowledge, for a time when others can be brought together to try and restore a semblance of normality. Dan recounts his hopes, despite an underlying fear which at the end Simon ends when it becomes apparent that law and order have finally broken down and war is inevitable. Truly a dystopian tale, well told.


Mad Dash Escape by asgardana
This is a wonderful story of a descent to madness and how the sane want to believe that there must be a reason, beyond the obvious. John is dragged along despite misgivings; he has to make a swift choice and understandably sides with his wife, Emily. But by the end his horror is revealed in her true psychosis. A chilling story, with a horrific twist.


Always The Scientists by Amberlee Dawn
This reads, to me, as a somewhat surreal story, set in a future war situation but with similar issues confronted today in conflicts. Oliver is misused throughout and is doing his best but, sleep deprived, he is barely functioning. A clever story highlighting the failures of those in power and the sacrifices of those who aren’t and how, behind it all are scientists whose talents are ignored. Well done.



Special Challenge Runner Up: 
Man and His Shed 
Rowena Newton 
This is a grand tale with brilliant humour dotted throughout. The war zone is a common one – the marital battlefield – but it is ripe for neat phrases. When George fails to tend the yard we are told it ‘had become such an embarrassment that Margaret now parked around the corner and had acquired a PO Box’. And when Margaret contemplates leaving she hesitates because of a ‘man drought’ knowing he has ‘a man in hand’. But there is always a toy boy, Audrey’s bloke who “had talents in other areas and that his lifesaving skills extended way beyond the beach”.
It’s a toss up between the old and the new and finally Margaret makes a decision; she goes to George’s shed. His refuge where he is making some incomprehensible invention. That’s it. Margaret is leaving. Until she remembers the dog. Delicious!


Special Challenge Champion: 
Bribery 
Sarah Unsicker 
I enjoyed the ‘war zone’ here, between grandma and granddaughter. Grandma is denied the weapons she needs so resorts to those she isn’t used to and while is pleased they work regrets having to use them. The relationship is neatly drawn and there’s a lovely touch in how Grandma is distracted from the washing up in just the same way Chelsea is from her allotted task.


Runner Up: 
Army of Ineffective Badness 
parkinkspot
This is a hoot, deliberately corrupting the Good v Evil story into a plot device that has to circumvented. His Badness is too clever, too cool, too sure. Some lines are fabulous. ‘Dark Lord had several flaws as a speaker, including soliloquies and belaboring the obvious.’ And on capturing the Hero’s love interest, ‘The Dark Lord delivered the standard misogynistic magic words, and negotiated the evil kiss despite her ridiculously ineffective struggles.’ He has to succeed until, at the inevitable denouement he realizes he failed to take into action the Hero’s Unrestricted Serendipity’ I want Captain Fodder, Dark Lord’s side kick to have his own story next time.


Grand Champion: 
Enemy at the Door 
Pratibha 

This has a real sense of time and place as the two men listen for orders, tapped in the inertia of war. Some beautifully phraseology. ‘I need action to keep my mind still.’ Someone appears – friend or foe. The men are terrified but eventually one goes to see who is there. It is a friend, or is it. They treat him but even so, as Vikram says, “This is war, everyone is an enemy.” There is such a poignant tone here and you can hear the mouth organ providing mood music as this sombre but superb story unwinds.





Monday, June 8, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-49




Welcome back for another round of fun! I'm so glad you decided to join us today. Go read the prompts and write your amazing stories!



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 Geoff Le Pard also known as @geofflepard. Read his winning tale from last week here!  Check out his website here. Geoff Le Pard writes, walks and cooks. The dog approves two of his current career choices. Geoff has given birth to one novel, a second is on its way and he hopes for a large family.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-49 is:


"I'll tell you what you need, and that's a [rocket scientist]."




 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:



Set your story in a war zone.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!