Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Prediction - naughty or nice

And so we start to veer towards the Christmas season. Whilst the supermarkets have had their decorations up for a whole month already, we in our household shall uphold tradition and not put up our sparklies until 1 December. Santa Claus is firmly in the mind of my son and, with all this in mind, I do have to ask all my visitors, have you been naughty or nice this year ;-)

Having read the entries this week I think I know the answer to my question. So, who has been the most devious?

My winner this week is Mr John Xero with Wildwood. John, this was an absolutely perfect example of how to do horror in 100 words. MR James would have been proud to produce such a piece and I can hear the trees whispering as I walk past them on my way home of an evening now. Excellent!

My runner-up this week is Sandra Davies with It's not me, it's hymn. Sandra - I loved the way that this initially felt like a kitchen sink drama, a loveless marriage leading to years of drudgery, but then we are presented with those two simple questions; they died, or did he?  Totally lifted it up a level and has been rattling round my head ever since. Very nice writing. 

Congratulations to John and Sandra and with thanks to the rest of you who let us peek into the deepest secrets of your minds this week. One thing I would like to add is that some of you do post without commenting on the other entries. Whilst there is no obligation to do so, please try and comment if you can, call it my entry fee if you like ;-) 

Now, on to this week's words. Winter is approaching but I don't think that is what is causing the chill in my household. I approach my tome with trepidation and a hot water bottle as my breath plumes before it. The crisp pages open and the following words spill forth:
  • Madam
  • Chirp
  • Jab
An interesting threesome for us this week. Wonder what these will conjure.

The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine. Just have fun!
You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 6 December to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 7 December. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it.
 
Please tell your friends and, as I said, do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!

Looking forward to seeing what you hit me with this week!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Prediction - giving thanks

As my friends across the pond celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought it only right to offer a word of thanks to each and everyone of you, irrespective of nationality, that visits my humble blog each week for The Prediction. I stalk follow a number of you on social media outlets and often see comments about how the community here has spurred people on in their writing endeavours when those voices of doubt about writing ability have crept into people's heads. Do give yourselves a pat on the back and take my thanks for coming by each week to read, write and comment.

Speaking of social media, Cindy Vaskova is celebrating the 1 year anniversary of her blog. As a one off special, she is inviting people to drop by before Sunday and offer three words for her to write a 100 word flash. She will write a flash for EACH set of prompts given. I urge you to go visit as I am sure the resulting tales will be amazing.

One more quick plug and then the winners, 99fiction (where my flash Screamless is) are holding  their latest 99 word flash fiction competition. More info here and comp closes 9 December. Do drop in an entry and I believe a bottle of wine is on offer.

Now the winners this week. Well there were a lot of stand out entries but, with the weather turning distinctly dark today as the wind howls outside my window, I decided to go for what I can only describe as pure horror.

Congratulations Marietta Miles with your second entry The Island. Marietta, you left me with a total sense of desolation. To command such a feeling within 100 words shows the power of the piece. Even now I am haunted by the image of Marie, violated by the men of the island, living an eternal death in the bottom of that well. I would urge others to re-read this and just dwell on the image we are left with.

And my runner-up this week goes to Matt Farr with The Empty Space in the Soul. Matt, similarly to Marietta you scored a direct hit with my emotions. The phrase 'last week I smiled and the guilt nearly overwhelmed me' was so powerful and knocked me for six in just ten words. The Empty Space in the Soul is such a sad tale and one which I fear too many people have experienced first hand. Strong stuff indeed.

So, on a slightly downbeat, congratulations to Marietta and Matt and bravo to the rest of you. There were a number of stories I was considering for first and second place which could easily have won on another week.

Now on to this week's words. My tome is starting to nest at the moment as the cold nights are drawing in. A bed of feathers and fur seem to be his wont but what's that secreted just beneath his spine, something pink and thin with a sticky end. Oh dear God, has anyone misplaced a finger.....well, whilst you all count your digits, here are our three prompts:
  • Invisible
  • Touch
  • Gall
The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine. Just have fun!
You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 29 November to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 30 November. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it. Please tell your friends and do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!

Let's see what you can do to my senses this week!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Prediction - nano nano

So, it's NaNoWriMo at the moment or, as I believe it is called, National Novel Writing Month where people have one month to write a novel. I am envious of people who are capable of doing this as it takes me ages to craft such a thing. However, I would be really interested to hear from any Predictioneers who are taking part and how they are finding it.

What I do tend to do quickly though is flash and I was pleased that 99 Fiction decided to published my flash fiction piece Screamless this month. Take a look here and see what you think.

Right, you read that, back now, good. That brings me on to this week's winner which is.....drum roll please.....

......well I've got joint winners as I just cannot separate them, both being so good that it wouldn't be fair for one to 'lose'. My winners are AJ Hayes and Zaiuregrey.

AJ - I loved The Ladies In Hats. There was something about the way you intertwined the exquisiteness of the fine Sunday morning dining and the elegance of the aunties with the grotesque of the caged/chained child. The ending was uplifting as much as it was darkly disturbing. Such a well balanced and executed tale.

Zaiure - Favors was a punch to the gut of a story. Packed with excellent description, this is a vivid depiction of a 'lamb' fighting back against a cunning predator. I was reminded of the superb film Hard Candy and this was more than a match for it. You truly captured the scene to perfection within 100 words.

No runners-up this week, just my admiration for how well everyone used that curveball that was myopic.

So, onto this week's words. It's late and my tome seems slightly docile at present, a nice juicy steak washed down with some chianti seem to have abated him this evening but I do wonder how I will get the stains out of his pages. Anyway, no matter, let's see what words he will whisper to me....
  • Interfere
  • Pitch
  • Shade
Innocent enough looking words but where will they take you this week. And I am going to give you a fortnight, in fact, as in typing this up I realise that the deadline would be my dear wife's birthday and I doubt she will be very happy for me to be judging when I should be wining and dining her. So a fortnight you shall have.

The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine. Just have fun!
You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 22 November to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 23 November. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it. Please tell your friends and do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!

Show me what you have and make it pitch perfect!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Predition - serial killer

So Halloween has been and gone. I trust that you came through it with your souls intact and your demons sated.

Now before I go into judging mode I want to make note of a couple of things. The first is, for those who didn't clock it in the comments section last week, that our very own John Xero came runner-up in The Times' 50 word ghost story competition out of a field of about 1,500 entries. Our sincerest congratulations to John, the talented bugger, whose story can be found here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/competitions/article3580545.ece.

And secondly, I have not paid tribute to Sandra Davies for her long running serial The Blacksmith's Wife. For 41 episodes (which is equivalent to ten months!) Sandra kept us enthralled with the tales of our headstrong heroine. Some of us, me included, were unsure if she would survive the end of episode 41 but our worst fears were realised. A toast to Sandra whose complete work can be found here: http://sandra-linesofcommunication.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-blacksmiths-wife-serial.html.

I urge you to go check out both John's and Sandra's pieces using the links above.

Now onto the winners for this week. Well, I have to say that the standard was exceptionally high this week, and we know that high is the norm here, so it made it tougher than usual. After much procrastinating I have forced myself into a decision and this week's winner is.....

....Asuqi with Fried Ends. Asuqi, there was just a beauty to the writing and the whole feel of this piece which just cried out to me. A feeling of loneliness permeates throughout. There is just one word to sum up this piece for me. Perfect.

My runner-up this week is AJ Hayes with Killing Field. AJ, this was a lesson in how to let the reader's imagination do the work. Hints of what is happening dangled before us, glimpses at best, which tantalise us all the way. And I loved the way the reprieve for our potential victim is so short lived. Top writing.

So congratulations to my winner and runner-up mixed and the gentlest of curses on the rest of you for making my task so hard with such great writing. Do keep it up!

And onto this week's words if I can just get our trusty tome to co-operate. He's always crabby after the Halloween period once the pumpkins flames are extinguished and the spirits tend more to the alcoholic than the otherwordly. Let's give it a try.....and the words are: 
  • Chamber (will allow chambermaid, chamberpot, etc)
  • Myopic 
  • Divert
Hmmm, seems like he does have a grump on as those could be tough, especially myopic, but let's see what you can all come up with. I have thoughts brewing already.

The usual rules apply: 100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction. All variants and use of the words as stems are fine. Just have fun!
You have until 9pm (UK time) Thursday 8 November to get your entries in. New words will spill forth and winners will be announced by 9am Friday 9 November. If you can, please tweet about your entry using the #fridayflash #100words or #flashfiction hashtags and blog if you feel like it. Please tell your friends and do give feedback to your fellow Predictioneers - everyone appreciates it!

I look forward to your entries this week to divert me from the mundane!