Monday, March 30, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-39




Welcome back! I can't believe March is almost over. I feel like the year just started. I'd really love to stop time so I can get a few things done. (Of course, I'd have to stop it when I wasn't at work and after the kids had gone to sleep for the night...) Anyway, hopefully you can find/make the time to check out the prompt and write us a story! 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. (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 DB Foy. Read her winning tale from last week hereFoy S. Iver is an aspiring author, poet, and flash fictioneer. She enjoys reading the dark and twisted but every vulture needs gliding in sunlight so feel free to express unremitting joy. This very moment (as far as you know) she’s pounding away on the keyboard trying to get 4 stories and a novel to cooperate. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley but in her dreams, she’s climbing the Blue Ridge Mountains. Follow her on Twitter (@fs_iver) and keep up with her journey on the website (http://www.foyiver.com/).






 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-39 is:


This was neither the [time] nor the [place] for his [antics].





 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Sneak an emotion-noun combo into the story (example: "angry waffles"). Bonus points if you give me more than one.





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-38 - RESULTS!




The judge has made his decisions! If you missed any of the stories, go check them out here. Otherwise, continue reading to see what the judge had to say:



Cinders by @laurenegreene
What an interesting, and devastatingly sad tale! I felt so sorry for the boy, abandoned by his parents with nothing but a toy dragon to keep him safe. I hope one day you revisit this story. I’d love to see what happened to cause the boy to burn down the tree. Great story!


Possessed by @susanOreilly3
Great story! I love the imagery you put out through this piece, and can feel the child’s terror of the tree, and the witch living in there, but also her strength and determination to put a stop to her and protect her family. Well done!


Burning Bright by @geofflepard
Holy shit! This reads like the memoir of a very, very disturbed young man. I’m guessing that’s what you were going for, and you did one hell of a job man. Wow. I would not want to piss this dude off, at all.


Last Friday the 13th by @callthewriter
Lmao! This story is awesome! The only thing I think it’s missing is evil, possessed garden gnomes. I really, really love what you did here, especially with the neighborhood women and the hot firemen. This sounds like a very interesting neighborhood to live in, haha.


Fiona’s Tree of Life by @CharlesWShort
This story had me on edge. I thought it was going one way, but then it went this other way and I was glad! What an asshole Jackson is! She should have throat-punched him.


Pacts by @MichaelSimko1
Oh man, these are some messed up folks, let me tell you. You had me wondering what the hell was going on from the second paragraph, and still guessing at the end, very well done! I think these two psychos are made for each other!


Heresy of the Oak by rowdy_phantom
To me, this reads as a very gritty, very dark fairy tale and I love it. Sounds like something you’d use to scare kids away from climbing your favorite tree, late in the autumn. Something told around a burning, crackling fire. Loved it!



Honorable MentionFrom the Chronicles of Hamm - The Story of Epic Bacon by @jrcheary

When I read this title aloud to my wife, I believe I said, “This better be good—it has bacon in the title.” Lucky for you, I won’t have to hunt you down and hypnotize you into hating bacon for the rest of your life. This sounds like the beginnings of a really funny, really cool MG novel! If you aren’t already working on it, I’d hop to it before the health nuts outlaw bacon or something.



Special Challenge Champion - To Gain The Empty Throne by @clivetern

Wow! That’s one way to take over the world! Such an amazing tale you wove in such a short amount of words. I loved how you built this world, and then destroyed it, all in one fiery breath. Well done!



Runner Up - The Grass Never Grew by @LurchMunster

Oh my. As soon as I got into this, I knew it was going to be something haunting, and I was not disappointed in the least little bit. Great imagery, beautiful and brutal, just as I like it. And the ending—that was bloody awesome. Bravo.



Grand Champion - Peacocking by @fs_iver

Bahahaha! This is genius =D I pretty much laughed my way through the entire thing. Through all that though, I really felt the insane sadness coming from Byron. It seems a villain’s worst fear, to become irrelevant. Awesome job!






Monday, March 23, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-38




Welcome back! Life has been crazy here this weekend - the twins turn six today (Where has the time gone??? (It probably left with my sanity...)), and we had their party on Saturday. A fun time was had by all, and I'm exhausted. :) Hopefully you're less exhausted than I am and have some energy to tackle this fantastic prompt! Have at it!



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 Ray Morris, also known as @iwrites. Read his winning tale from last week here! Check out his blog here

Ray Morris makes his home in the wilds of West Texas, among the dust and devils. He got started along the path of writing when he stole his brother’s Dragonlance books at the ripe age of 12, and hasn’t looked back since. He is currently querying his first novel, working on several more, and begging his Muse to give him a break. However, since his day job is driving for eleven hours straight, he has way, way too much time to think.


When not writing some dark and usually disturbing Flash Fiction, he’s relaxing at home with his wife and dogs. And her cats. Always, her cats.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-38 is:


They never asked why [I] set the tree on fire.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include at least THREE of the following: meteor, blood, shark, ice, water, horn, wolf, dragon, ninja



 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







Thursday, March 19, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-37 - RESULTS!




Phew! Sorry it took me so long to get this to you this week! If you missed any of the stories, check them out here. Otherwise, go read what the judge had to say:




This week offered a variety of tales, from transgressive fiction, to homages, to humorous contemporary vignettes, to wild sci-fi and a Christian allegory, there is a little something for everyone here. Thanks for answering the call to create and participating in this week's challenge!

Untitled by @lurchmunster - This tale of obsession just didn't sit right with me. And it wasn't supposed to. From the first couple sentences (which included some dark foreshadowing), to the building tension as the narrator describes Florence's obvious teasing advances, to the final chilling conclusion, this piece paints the portrait of a disturbed man giving in to his basest urges. I really didn't like the narrator. I mean really. And that's a testament to your ability to get inside the head of a misogynist who would use another human being as an object, justify his behavior, and absolve himself by blaming his actions on the victim. Ew. Just ew. Not my cup of tea, as far as genre goes, but very effective.

Untitled by Audrey Gran Weinberg @studyleaks - This piece had a built-in second read. When I got to the last line, there was that moment of "Oooooh!" Part of the reason being I'm a big Wizard of Oz fan, partly because I loved how the roles of the characters were so different from their usual portrayal. There were details that really added some nice flesh to the narrative. That she was in love with rocks and stones - Emerald City, AMIRIGHT? Her commanding breasts, her cruel laugh, her forceful assistance. It reminds me of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf. Instead of calling this a fanfic, I'll call it an homage.

Untitled by Nick Hoins - This vignette, staged at an awkward social mixer, is painfully familiar. I think anyone could relate. Lovely details: flowered backpack, twirling the ends of her hair, pizza being late, even the vague description of the "cigarette tower thingy" all combined to create a scene that would fit as easily in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it would in Big Bang Theory. This ever happened to you, Nick?

Blood Runs Thicker by @fs_iver - This is exactly the sort of thing that I'm trying to work myself into writing. I loved the abandon, the pure chaos, the insane sort of anything-goes. It conjured up wild images and I could see it as something by Pendleton Ward, maybe a Bravest Warriors episode. The description of Viktoria, and the reveal of her relationship to the person she was rescuing. Hover crafts, Granite Monsters, katana sword arms, diamond crushing teeth. Holy miracle cream! This was a wild ride.

The Slayer of the Undead by @iwrites - This story was unexpectedly delightful. While I have been known to state that Jesus was one of the very first zombies, seeing him as a badass warrior in armor facing down hordes of the undead was really a treat. Nice dialogue, nice details, nice en media res. And it made me laugh. Instead of calling this a fanfic, I'll call it an alternate history fantasy... zombie horror. AHFZH. That sounds fair.

Roommate by @jaimeburchardt - This brief, comic vignette had me laughing. From Addison's constant questions, to "All up in my space!" to the slapstick scene with the narrator running around the apartment screaming GET IT OUT while Addison hops after him? I didn't expect any of it to end the way it did. But of course Addison would become a chaotic force of nature in the narrator's life that he would miss. Very Oscar and Felix, very opposites attract. It all had a taste of realism that made me wonder if it was based on a true story.

Jenny's Enemy by @CharlesWShort - As with @studyleaks' piece, this tale has a built-in second read and I found what you did here fascinating. I loved the way you brought the enemy into sharp relief with the every-day details of his actions. The first time I read it, I was thinking, "What is this? Domestic abuse? A stalker?" And when the last line brings it all into focus, I read it again to get the full effect. It was great how, in the end, their roles are reversed, and she becomes, in her empowerment, a wrench in his plans.

While it's difficult to choose standouts from these vastly differing and very enjoyable offerings, the rules dictate that I must do so. Thanks again, everyone, for playing this week and please come again to Finish That Thought! Yes! Come again! :)



Special Challenge Champion:

@fs_iver with Blood Runs Thicker.

This story is absolutely insane and I adore your unique application of the special challenge mentions. Never in a million years would I have guess someone would use them in this way. Well done. Also, I assume that "hoover craft" was an autocorrect, but I consider it a fortunate one. I wanted the first mention (not autocorrected) to be changed to "hoover craft," because it just made the whole thing even more insanely funny. (This tale kind of made me want to draw a character design for Viktoria.)



Grand Champion:

@iwrites with The Slayer of the Undead:


This story was completely unexpected. A delightful combination of light-hearted and grim. With all the details of the hero's appearance, to the fleeing Simon, the Wardens, the Undead, Judas as his brother, Jesus' stalking zombies with a magical broadsword -- I really couldn't get enough. You're going to write this into a novel, right? ;)  I giggled throughout. "It was time they learned the true meaning behind Lion of Judah." HELL YEAH, IT'S TIME. Cheers.







Monday, March 16, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-37




Welcome! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you! If you're reading this the moment it goes live, I'm a bit early, but you'll forgive me, right? Unlike those people who pinch you if you're not wearing green today - no forgiveness there! Those people are so irritating... Speaking of irritating, go check out the prompt 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 Alicia VanNoy Call, also known as @callthewriter or @dawgpainter. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here

Alicia VanNoy Call makes her living as a visual artist, but her first love is the written word. And it was during a bad case of the chicken pox at eight-years old that she discovered the magic of the short story with Ray Bradbury's R is for Rocket. She admires anyone who can turn their hand at a compelling flash fiction. It takes a deft touch to weave something successful in such few words. Her favorite flash fiction of all time? Nicholas Was by Neil Gaiman.

Winner of the 2014 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Fellowship, she is currently querying her first novel and drafting her second. When she's not painting, you can find her writing at a coffee shop around the corner, watching a geek movie marathon with her four kids, or reading in the corner. She looks forward to reading your stories. Good luck!




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-37 is:


[She] was the most irritating person [I] had ever met.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Mention one of each: plant, animal, mineral



 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, March 12, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-36 - RESULTS!




Who knew so much could happen in ten minutes?!?!? If you missed any of the stories, go check them out here. Finished? Great! Let's read what the judge had to say:




Four delicious stories you brought this week, each bursting with alphabetization and generous doses of despair. Lethal doses, methinks. Never trifle with a grammarian!

In "The Instigator," Lauren Greene brings us Quint, a zoo, and my absolute favorite, Kunkletown. Despite its flashes of humor--like the bear thief and "know-everything-itis," this story is a sad one of a marriage's end and a husband's desperate but ultimately failed attempts to prevent it. I really love how you keep tying together the physical events--the bear, the sunrise, the map--as a reflection of reality, and in a heartbreaking echo of Jessica's analogy habit. Some really good layering there, deftly tucked into the narrative.

In Messages Left," Nancy Chenier stages a fantastic countdown as her framework, beginning the story at the moment of apocalypse and moving backward through time ten minutes. I loved the awkward parallel between the boss' and boyfriend's messages, the armageddon movie and real life, and the gorgeous, compelling frame of the opening lines ("My apartment building trembles") with the ironic last ("How badly do I need a life change?"). In many respects this is a story told in pairs, and it's wonderful.

Alicia VanNoy Call brings us "A Perfect Spiral," a noir tale of a man whose grisly discovery eventually saves him. The tension of opposites in this story is just fantastic: death vs life, fantasy and dreams vs gritty noir fiction, the electric-blue light of the opening vs the dark of the end. I love, love, LOVE your last line, the way it rolls, the way it stops short; it's so perfect. And kudos for some really crisp and amazing sensory work, soggy cardboard and Hefty bags, muck in silvery hooves, rain tapping on the poncho hood. I'm crazy about it all.

Michael Simko, no surprise, presents an ill-behaved "Sweet Extinction." This massive fantasy mashup of elves ("Death to the elves!"), orcs, orgres, fairies, goblins, AND, serving as the cherry on top, Germans, pits brother against brother and pretty much everyone against everyone else in a tale of political machinations. It's a hilarious romp of a ride as the protagonist flails every which way he can. And mega props for not just throwing in a z, but giving us Zed, Zee, and Zi, right alongside Uff da and xiphoid. I was cackling out loud by the end.


Special Challenge Champion: Michael Simko. Because your words were just awesome. As they always are. :)



Grand Champion: Alicia VanNoy Call. Your episodic structure was spot-on for noir, as were the grimy details, the rain, the cop pair, the bar, the body in the alley; but the underlying magical touches of the dead, dream-speaking unicorn and the protagonist with an incurable disease transformed the story into something else entirely. Some absolutely fantastic storytelling.







Monday, March 9, 2015

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-36




Welcome, welcome! I'm so glad you could join us again this week. I am prepared to be wowed. You all bring your A-game every week, so I'm not worried. Go check out the prompt and get writing. :)



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 Rebekah Postupak, also known as @postupak or @flashfridayfic. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Rebekah's flash fiction obsession has only grown worse since she stumbled across it in 2012, and these days you can usually find her skulking about over at Flash! Friday. She's currently doing battle with an extremely ill-behaved YA novel retelling of Sleeping Beauty (who knew there were so many ways to describe a nap?!) and other nefarious projects. She is deeply grateful to all of you for tolerating her as judge this week and hopes your Muses are more compliant than hers. 




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-36 is:



If only [I'd] gotten here ten minutes earlier.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


I'm feeling grammatical today! Include at least one word starting with each letter of the alphabet. (i.e. a word starting with 'a', a word starting with 'b', etc)



 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!