Thursday, July 24, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-3 - RESULTS!




SO SORRY!!! I had this in my email late last night, and decided to put it up this morning... Yeah. I just realized that thinking about putting it up is not the same as actually putting it up. Doh! Thanks for your patience (and forgiveness!). If you missed any of the stories, go check them out here. Without any further ado, here's what the judge had to say:




Five really strong pieces for this week makes judging difficult. Thank you all for taking on the prompt and running with it.
As anyone who knows me will attest, I am a softie and too nice. So I will take it easy on the exclamation points, adverbs, and other little things that distract from a piece and focus on the story.

Emily Karn

What a great idea with the vampire/zombie honeymoon suite. I love how our introduction to him is the spike being removed from his eye. You had a great twist on the trope to have the father-in-law be the one to kidnap the bride and to stake the son. There’s so much going on a mere 498 words here. With a little rewording this could be a fantastic piece.

Erica Rahaman

                First, I completely understand Tanner’s rage over serving turkey at a wedding. What’s next — tofu? That is almost as bad as having an ellipses at the end of the opening sentences.
                This is a very stark look at why you shouldn’t invite anyone to weddings. I’d love to know why our nameless killer needs an invitation to the wedding. The last line has me suspecting that Tanner’s little sis has shown up to berate him. It’s rough to be the killer when mom will find out. Your visual elements are superb.
         Such a great piece to be 511 words — or 11 over. I may be judging, but even I must abide by the rules. A fantastic first run in the flash contest.

Billie Jauss

What a great job of showing what kind of ladies that Elise and Sally are. I snickered at seeing how you changed out decay for cheap perfume (some may argue that those are one and the same). I do believe you may be obsessed with the word obsession, but then it works.  A little sad to see decay switched out with cheap perfume — but who am I to judge. Wait, I am to judge.

JM MacF

What a fun little story you’ve provided. I love how you kept it all in one charming scene. Percival and Wilfred remind me of the old bald men in early cartoons. They sound like Pride and Prejudice meets Wedding Crashers. It’s very nice to see how non-violent your story went. And now I want canap├ęs, thanks for that.

Lori

What a delightful psycho-killer tale. Martha is sweet other than that little killing thing. I’m not sure if this is a horror story or a cautionary tale about not using female justices of the peace / ministers, but either way well done. I love the twist on Martha killing her husband over a mistake. And she is pretty spry for someone of her age (50 years of loving him, plus twenty in the mental health ward).
If this is your “not best” then I can’t wait to see what you are able to bring out for future challenges. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Judging:

Alas, the matron in charge of this contest demands we have a winner:

Special Challenge Champion:  Billie Jauss
    Your deception element was awesome. I love how Elise tried to pull a fast one on Sally, but that Sally turned the tables on her. This was made all the better because we know that cheated on her boyfriend, so we knew to keep an eye on her.

Grand Champion: Billie Jauss
                Strong story, relatable characters, and a delicious bit of cattiness to win. Perhaps an odd obsession on obsessions which borders on inception obsession. 2Become1 is a wonderful name for their new business. This is a wonderful piece (and well played using the [] around decay to change up the prompt.





Monday, July 21, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-3




Welcome back!!!! Before we move on, if you haven't seen Weird Al's "Word Crimes" video yet, it's worth a look. I LOVED it! Here's a link to it on Grammarly's website, if you need it. You're welcome. :) Laughter is the best medicine, right? Anyway, you may now go and read the prompt for the week and get writing! Yes, I just gave you permission... No you didn't need my permission... I gave it anyway. I like to go above and beyond what is required of me. ;)



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 Michael Simko
. Also known as @michaelsimko1. Read his winning tale from last week here! Michael writes Adult & New Adult Thrillers and Mysteries. He is just beginning querying his storm-chasers-on-a-mission novel. He can be reached at @michaelsimko1 where he tweets about writing, technology, and tornados.



 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-3 is:


The scent of wedding cake, flowers, and [decay] assail [me] as [I] approach the table.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include a deception that backfires.


 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, July 17, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-2 - RESULTS!





WooHoo! I finally made it to the computer to post the judges comments! :) Sorry for the wait. If you missed the entries, go here to read them all. Otherwise, let's read what the judge had to say:




Charles— Proofreading is tough, especially when on the clock. Something always slips through the cracks. That being said, your secondary characters were awesome. They really helped push the feeling of a rock climber brotherhood. It was a nice reveal when it turned out they weren't mean, like I thought, but teaching him an important lesson.

 

Emily— Your first paragraph was perfect. I was drawn in immediately. Your descriptive language was amazing. I feel a little cheated though. I have no idea who your characters are or where they were exploring. It feels like a small excerpt to a longer story. Maybe something you can build on. You definitely have something here.

 

Mary— Great story. You took the special challenge and used it to your advantage. I loved the line where your character was counting dead flies. It made me chuckle. I also enjoyed the trippy passage of time. You were doing everything right, but, and I hate that I didn't mention it before, you managed to use one of my biggest pet peeves in flash fiction—the “it was all a dream” twist. You could have taken the story in any other direction and I would have eaten it up. Still a great story though.

 

Michael—The setting you crafted was amazing. I felt like I was in those mountains, and I swear I could smell the rain (and it’s 105 degrees here). I loved your ending. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the husband’s last words paired with the oncoming rainfall makes it seem like his wish will come true. Beautiful tragic ending to go along with the beautiful world you created.

 

Amy— I like the way you played off of Hansel and Gretel. Most people don’t realize how sick that fairytale villain is (a cannibalistic, child abducting old lady), but your take brings it from fairytale to reality. I hope they managed to escape.

 


Special Challenge Champion -- JM MacF (Mary)

 


Grand Champion -- Michael Simko

 

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-2




Welcome! I'm so glad you could join us again this week. I'm currently on vacation in Colorado, so if you can spread the word this week, that'd be great. I'll try to get online to remind people, but I may be away from internet for at least part of the day. Thanks for helping out! Now go check out the prompt for the week 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 Carlos Orozco
. Also known as @goldzco21. Read his winning tale from last week here! This is what he has to say about himself: I live in the Yakima Valley and work at a library with the community engagement team. I love me a good short story of any genre (I’m reading collections from Raymond Carver and Phillip K. Dick right now). No blog, but you can tweet me @goldzco21. I am currently on a flash fiction contest binge so feel free to drop a comment on my stuff if you see it. I love feedback.



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


[Many days had] gone by, and [he] remained [enslaved] in the [small cabin].



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Change the weather as the story progresses. One weather change minimum.


 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, July 10, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-1 - RESULTS!




Thank you all for participating! I had a lot of fun reading the entries. I'm completely exhausted now (packing for a cross country trip the day you're supposed to judge wasn't great planning on my part...), but I think I have everything done... Hopefully. If you missed reading any of the offerings, go check them out here. Otherwise, here are my comments and decisions:


Michael: I loved how you took the question in the beginning of ‘can you help me bake a cake’ and made it harder than asking her to marry him at the end. That was fun. I also enjoyed how the instruments used in baking a cake are MacGyver-like to someone unfamiliar with them (props for that). My favorite line, though, was when she asks him when he thinks he’ll get good at this parenting thing… “Probably about the time [she] leaves home,” is perfect. I feel like that all the time.

Emily: So much fun! I loved how you mixed the MacGyver I know with an older man struggling with arthritis and no time constraints. Nostalgia smiles all over the place! I really enjoyed the idea of his having a muse – it’s such a common idea for artists that it makes so much sense. My favorite line: “…that’s the problem with this younger generation, no imagination.” Loved it.

Charles: Moving can be so difficult. I never moved as a child, but I’ve done so several times as an adult and it’s never easy. I loved how your story showed that there are good thing and bad things and all our attitude needs is a little perspective. I loved the line “…a little bit more than ridiculous dusted in flour.” The picture was perfect.

Casey: Party planning competition at its finest. I loved the description of Cromwell Clutterbuck and all that you conveyed in two short paragraphs – the details were great. Also, you use of language flowed very nicely and you had some very evocative words! (Seriously, where can you use the words soiree, macerated, and sumptuous in the same story? Well, lots of places probably, but they were super fun!) By the end I was slow clapping along with him. “Honestly,” fireworks and dogs? Shoulda thought that one through.

Mary: He’s like a child! The little stinker. I loved how you painted their relationship so clearly. When he’d put five pages in the box and she’d fill four boxes, I laughed hysterically when she told him, “You’re going to keep at this until you have your mess cleaned up.” Also, I love the line, “A slow smirk seeped across Jamison’s lips…” Very nice.

Carlos: So much fun! I loved the situation you created, and all the doubt as to who knew what and when that might change. Their situation certainly was dire if ten MacGyver’s couldn’t fix it! Sheesh! Or the criminal hugely underestimates MacGyver. I’m seriously interested to know if he just happened to carry around a portable hologram thing-y or if he MacGyvered his own way out of the situation…

Rebekah: You can paint a picture with words like no one else I know. Such a hard subject matter. I winced in all the places. I was shocked at her unexpected, but totally should’ve been expected, getting knocked unconscious. And I willed her to run – far and fast and forever. But I was confused at the end. Was she sending a daughter off? Without her? Or was she living a fantasy? You needed a few more words.


Festive Challenge Champion: Casey Rose

Special Challenge Champion: Emily Karn


Grand Champion: Carlos Orozco





Monday, July 7, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT - YEAR 2, WEEK1




WELCOME, WELCOME!!! I'm here to kick off year two! Thanks so much to everyone who's joined me over the past year. I've had a good time, and I hope you have too! I'm not one for fanfare, so we're just going to get on with the party. We're open longer than usual to celebrate the milestone and allow everyone who wants to participate an opportunity. So put those thinking caps on and INSPIRE me!!! :)

And just to make everything MORE EXCITING, we're going to have a SPECIAL FESTIVE CHALLENGE (again, since no one took me up on it last week...)! We're having a party! Include one or more party items (including, but not limited to: streamers, noisemakers, cake, ice cream, pinata, fireworks, etc)


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 (Special times for THIS WEEK ONLY!!! Prompt goes live Monday, Noon EST and ends Wednesday 7am EST (or later, as long as you get it posted before the judge looks at the blog Wed morning!) If you're close and would like me to postpone looking at the blog until 8 or 9, just message me and I can probably find something else pressing to do until then. ;) ) Winners will be posted before I go to bed Wednesday night (I'm leaving for vacation Thursday morning!).



Oh, and feel free to change pronouns, punctuation, tense, 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... ME!!! Alissa Leonard
. Also known as @lissajean7. You already know where my blog lives (hint: you're here). If you would like to read one of my very favorite flash pieces I've written, you can go here. Or here. Or here. (Okay, I have too many! I'll stop now.) Our winner from last week, Eric Martell, graciously allowed me to judge on this first week of year two. You should go read his winning tale from last week (here) if you missed it though!



 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-1 is:


[He] paused and said, "[Fine], [inspire] me," arms crossed and eyebrows raised in disbelief [that I could do any such thing].



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Macgyver[ism] (use it as a noun, a verb, a person, a reference, whatever - if you aren't familiar with Macgyver *hangs head and sheds a tear for you*, here's a link to the wiki page)


 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







Thursday, July 3, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #52 - RESULTS!




I love how each entry was completely different from the others. It's so much fun to see the unique ways a prompt will influence different people. Thank you all for sharing your stories with us! If you missed any of them, go here before reading the judges comments. So without further ado, let's read what the judge had to say:



Sonja: Regretfully this story must be disqualified for failing to start with the mandatory first sentence. Kudos for the reference to my favorite hero/vilian Vlad the Empaler. Favorite line: "The light from the fire made the colors glitter and made them look even more out of this world."

dr.magoo: Delightful story. Enjoyed your twist: the scientist they hired to catch the dinosaurs being responsible for releasing them. Favorite line: I mean, sure, the transformer which supplied the power to the safety fence had blown up, but the Apatosauruses were kind of slow, and it should be hours before they started causing problems.

mysoulsters: Like the way you turned the song lyrics into part of your story. Favorite line: "And I know, not one of them went to heaven when they died."

Anonymous: I loved your twist of making the dinosaurs old retired people. Your imagery of the vets using their scooters to cause havoc in the town was hilarious. Favorite line: "So I can just leave when the dinosaurs go on a rampage."



Grand Champion AND Special Challenge Champion:  dr.maggo

A delightful story with an interesting twist. Loved your details.