Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 32 WINNERS

Week 32 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is over.  It’s ovah!!!

Judge Shay West has made her decisions…

So speaketh Dr. Shay…

The one that stands out as my favorite is Lisa Shambrook: Rumble in Brighton. I wasn’t expecting the ending at all so that was a nice surprise. So I’d go with that one as first place.

Second is Charles Short with his Invisible Warfare as it’s very much spiritual warfare and that’s something I have recently become interested in.

 

And 3rd is drmagoo. I am so curious as to what will happen with the wife. The ending was such a cliffhanger.

 

Thanks for letting me judge these. It was difficult to pick!

Congratulations to all of our Winners.  Lisa– here’s the Winner’s Badge;

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Thanks to all of our writers & readers, and thanks to Judge Shay…

See you on Tuesday for another thrilling episode of… The Mid-Week Blues-Buster…

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 32

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 32.

This is a flash fiction challenge.  The prompt is a song.  You are not required to write about or even mention the song.  It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan.  If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;

500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.

Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s prompt picks it up a little with the rockabilly sounds of The Stray Cats.
The tune is… “Rumble in Brighton”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/4F3uEQGj5mk

This week’s Judge is…author, professor and all-around fantastic person…. Dr. Shay West!!!

All right– that’s all you need from me.

The challenge is open from the second you read this ’til 4:30 Pacific Time on Friday September 27th…

Go write!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 31 WINNERS

Week 31 here at the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is in the books…

Judge Alex Kimmel has spoken.

Take it away, Alex…

First of all, thank you Jeff for inviting me to participate as Judge and Chief Decider this week! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s different interpretations of the prompt. I moved from L.A. A little over three years ago and this definitely made me a bit homesick. But enough about me! (As if you could EVER get enough ME!) All of the stories were great. Each with their own unique twist on escaping the City of Broken Angels. I wish they could all be longer so I could dive deeper into the worlds thy created, but alas…this was a Flash Fiction challenge! Personally, I give them all a badge for having balls large enough to place themselves on the chopping block. But I must choose three that rise to the top of the list. So here they are…

1. Amber’s Ride by Charles W. Short. This story literally moved me to tears. Intensely personal, I felt as if I were inside the world, drowning along side Amber in her predictable, yet extraordinary sorrow.

2. Mysoulstears by @LurchMunster How do we let someone go when we know they will only find more pain? Sometimes we have to allow those we love to go through their own struggles even though we think we can spare them a bit of suffering. A beautifully written piece describing that release and the birth of a search to move forward alone.

3. Home In L.A. By CatMoonsong A child’s life torn by tragedy finds out that the “Heart” in “Heartland” is where you feel most at home. No matter what the past tried to destroy, you always have the chance to start over and rebuild yourself.

HONORABLE MENTION My City by @MissBliss Great story made more personal to me because of the detailed and descriptive references to spots in L.A. that I dearly miss. You had me at the coyote running down Hollywood Blvd. At 3AM!

Congratulations to everyone who entered! Fabulous stuff. You all made it very difficult to pick three.

A hearty mazel tov to all of our winners.

Charles, here’s the Winner’s Badge;

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Thanks to all of our writers, readers, & to Judge Alex too.

See you on Tuesday!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 31

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 31.

This is a flash fiction challenge.  The prompt is a song.  You are not required to write about or even mention the song.  It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan.  If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;

500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.

Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

Our prompt this week is a great tune by Beth Hart.
It’s, “L.A. Song”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/H87RQJ1GZL4

This week’s Judge is writer, musician, & all-around badass… Alex Kimmel.

That’s all from me…

We’re live from the second you read this until 4:30PM on Friday, September 20th..

What are you still doing here?

Go write!  Now!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 30 WINNERS

Judge Jena Roudebush has spoken…

Take it away, Jena…

I enjoyed reading all the stories!! Thanks for letting me be judge!!

1st place- CONGRATS to… The Rogue Tinker @BryantheTinker Story Titled False Hero Loved it!! the descriptions you used were wonderful, Had my full attention for the entire story. Left me wanting more!!

2nd Place- Ouakzalcoat @ducknado Story titled The Purpose Great Story!! I liked it very much!! had my attention through out the story.

3rd Place- Jeffery Hollar @klingorengi Story Titled Convictions Overturned.

There we go…

Congrats to all of our Winners.@bryanthetinker… here’s the Winner’s Badge;

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Thanks to all of our writers, readers, & to Judge Jena…

See you all Tuesday!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 30

Welcome to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 30.

This is a flash fiction challenge.  The prompt is a song.  You are not required to write about or even mention the song.  It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan.  If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;

500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.

Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s tune comes courtesy of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The song is, “Red Eyes and Tears”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/kOdHND_wt0k

This week’s Judge is author, poet, and all around fun person… Jena Roudebush!

That about does it for me. The challenge is open from the second you read this until 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday

Now go write!!!

My Friends & I: A Music and Story Collaboration – Runaway Train

My good friend, Ruth Long, invited me to take part is a music and story collaboration.  Each writer selected a song on the, “My Friends & I”, compilation album.  The record is a collection of tunes by some very talented California indie musicians.  I’m thrilled to be a part of this project and to have had the chance to work alongside a bunch of terrific writers. The story collection will soon be available in eBook format.

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I wrote for the tune, “Runaway Train”.

 

Runaway Train

I asked a guy I found sitting on a bench outside a barber shop for directions to The Runaway Train.

He wore a faded hat two shades lighter than his beard and his brown suit clung like he’d slept in it.

“’Bout a hundred yards that way, bo.” he croaked, pointing down the empty street.

“Ain’t no bo, pal.”

He grinned at me with both teeth. “Don’t get sore. We’re all bos here.”

I wasn’t that sore. With my jacket slung over my shoulder, shirt sweat-stuck to my back, and crumpled hat in hand, I could see it.

“Say, whachoo want up at the Train anyhow? Lookin’ for old Gus?”

“Suppose I am.”

I watched the dust blow around in the wind, kissing the barren sidewalk and boarded up shops.

“What happened to this town?” I asked.

He laughed.

“Same thing that’s happened everywhere since ’29, fella. Just more of it.”

 

The Runaway Train was the kind of place you’d walk right by, unless you had to stop. Even if you had to stop you might still walk right by.

Imagine that somebody put a tin roof on an old rail car and dropped it near the end of a road the county never bothered to finish.

Wasn’t quite that nice a place.

A bare bulb sat next to the door, above a hand-painted wooden sign that read, “Beer”.

Another sign, this one featuring a decent rendition of a train steaming down a steep hill, hung from a nail in the middle of the door.

Inside was a rickety plywood counter with a couple of shelves behind it in an otherwise empty room.

Gus must’ve blown his decorating budget on the sign.

The man himself looked as dusty and down as his adopted town.

His gray shirt had room to spare and his pants were held up by suspenders.

He scratched his bald head when he saw me.

“Moe,” he grunted. “Figures they’d send you. What’d I do now?”

“No one sent me, Gus.”

He leaned against his shabby counter.

“What’re you doin’ here then?”

I gave him the cold stare.

He growled and stepped forward, wagging a crooked finger in my face.

“Listen, Moe, I ain’t laid a hand on that… woman.”

“Only ’cause she hasn’t been here, Gus.”

“You gotta give me another chance!”

“You’ve had five chances. More. Only started counting last year.”

His eyes moved to the sawed-off shotgun behind the bar.

“You can try for it if you want to, Gus.”

A car door being slammed shut got our attention.

The law walked in a second later in the form of a big guy with a big hat and a big gun belt. He could’ve come in off the set of a western. All he needed was a pair of chaps. Maybe some spurs.

“Afternoon, Gus,” he drawled, looking me over. “You I don’t know.”

“This is my old pal Moses, Zack. From back east.”

“Moses,” said the sheriff. He leaned against the door jamb and crossed his arms. “That’s quite a name.”

“He’s quite a guy,” chimed in Gus. “Aren’t you, Moe?”

“If you say so.”

The sheriff fished a hand-rolled cigarette out of his shirt pocket and lipped it.

“All right,” he began. “I know what Gus was back east, which means I know what you are, Moses. I’m here to tell you– friendly-like– that we ain’t back east. We don’t go in for that back east foolishness here. Won’t stand for it.”

He said it with a smile. And a hand on the butt of his Colt.

“So what’s Gus done to bring you all this way, Moses?”

“He’s beatin’ my sister.”

His stare faltered.

“You’re Leah’s brother?”

“That’s right.”

He nodded and ambled toward the bar.

“I know what you think you gotta do, Moses, but I can’t let you.”

Before I could argue he slugged Gus. Blood and teeth hit the floor. He gave him two more in the face, then went to work on the body.

When he was through he let him fall and looked to me.

“Satisfied, Moses?”

“Almost, Sheriff.” I took my gun out of my pocket.

“Hell. Now look here.”

“You look here. Leah told me about you. Said she went to you three times. You sent her right back to him.”

His hand floated above his holster.

“What about you, Moses? He’s been at it for years and from the sound of it you knew. What took you so long?”

“That’s a question I ask myself a lot. Leah stood it as long as she could. She’s had it. I’m a level-headed guy. Seeing my sister step off the bus with a black eye and a split lip brings out the worst in me. All I can tell you is I’m here now.”

“Not good enough.”

“That’s between her, me, and God.”

He relaxed his stance and gave me his best stare.

“You know what, Moses? I think you’re all talk.”

He drew. I let him have it. He fell, taking half the bar with him.

I reloaded and put my gun back in my pocket, then hauled Gus up.

He slobbered and sobbed.

“You’re through. She’s gonna file and you’re sign whatever she puts in front of you. Then you disappear. And when you’re gone you stay gone. Get me?”

I left him thinking it over as I headed back into the dust.

 

I stopped outside the barber shop on my way out of town.

“Hey,” said the toothless guy on the bench. “You find Gus?”

“Sure did. Thanks for the directions.”

I turned back a couple of steps down the road.

“Hey bo, you lookin’ for work?”

“Everybody’s lookin’ for work.”

“Know anything ’bout owning a bar?”

“I like beer.”

“Close enough. If you head out that way you might just catch a runaway train. Tell ’em Moses sent you.”

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 29 WINNERS

Good week here at the Blues-Buster…

Judge Gordon Bonnet had lots to read…

Take it away, Gordon…

Gotcher winners right here!

Third place: @BrewedBohemian: What a great, if disturbing, set of images. It was hard to read — violent scenes always are — but you’ve handled it masterfully. The whole thing brings up some strong emotions, which the best writing usually does!

Second place: @LastKrystallos: This one has a real mythological feel, which I absolutely loved. Vivid use of sensory and emotional words — I was right there in the scene, experiencing it. I would love to know more — who is she? I imagined that she was a Selkie, but that just may have been my overactive imagination. Either way, I loved this piece.

And… drum roll please…

First place: @drmagoo: This is one awesome piece of writing. I’m a sucker for a twist ending, and this one was a punch out of nowhere, and one that I totally didn’t see coming. You set us up, and then deliver the climax (word used very deliberately) perfectly. I’ve seldom seen it done this well. Wonderful read!

And… thank you so much for asking me to read these. It was difficult — they were all great, and picking winners wasn’t simple. It was an honor to participate!

Thanks, Gordon, for a job well done.

Congrats to all of our winners….

Eric, here’s the Winner’s Badge;

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Thanks to all of our writers, readers, & to our Judge…

See you on Tuesday!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 29

come to the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 29.

This is a flash fiction challenge.  The prompt is a song.  You are not required to write about or even mention the song.  It’s there only to get the ideas moving around in your brain pan.  If you want to write about the song (or the video- it’s all good here) go for it but don’t feel like you have to.

The rules;

500 words, but it’s a slushy 500, meaning you can go up to 700 or as low as 300.

Post your entry right in the comments section of this post.

MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR TWITTER HANDLE NEXT TO YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST.  IF YOU’RE NOT ON TWITTER GIVE ME AN EMAIL ADDRESS OR SOME OTHER WAY TO GET A HOLD OF YOU!

The challenge starts whenever I post this on Tuesday and ends at 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday.  You read that right.  Pacific Time.

This week’s prompt is provided by Manchester duo… Hurts.
The song is, “Stay”.  Here’s the link; http://youtu.be/1nP3XB7hrFo

This week’s Judge is none other than The Sultan of Skeptophilia… Gordon Bonnett!

The challenge is open from the second you read this post until 4:30PM Pacific Time on Friday September 6th.
Now go write!!!

Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 28 WINNERS

Week 28 of the Mid-Week Blues-Buster is in the books.

The magnificent KD McCrite has rendered her decisions…

Take it away, KD!

Thank you, Jeff, for asking me to judge this week’s story offerings. I enjoyed reading everyone’s work and commend you all for taking the time to write them.
 
In the #1 spot is “Family Calls” by JeffreyHollar. Mr. Hollar told a great story in a short space. He proves to be skilled at story-telling, with a grasp of the “show, don’t tell” rule that is so essential to create a good story (though I would have liked to been able to “see” the ring the mother had given to Andy). This story opens the door to more. Great job!
 
Number #2 was written by drmagoo. Very well-written with lots of vivid imagery. This writer knows how to engage all five senses, giving readers a sense of being there. The ending is both satisfying and intriguing. I loved it.
 
 
In the #3 place is the piece written by theroguetinker. This story sets the reader up for suspense and takes us right through action without letting go of our throats. I could see the scene and felt myself engaged in events. This is a great teaser for a larger work. Super job!
 
Congrats to all of our winners…
Mr. Hollar– here’s the Winner’s Badge;
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Thanks to all of our writers & readers and a special thanks to Judge KD.
See you all on Tuesday…