They say time is relative. Funny, but I don’t remember having a relative named Time. I did know someone whose last name was Time that I was quite fond of. His first name was Quitting. We got along extremely well and often shared a beer or two after work.
Quitting came from a rather large family and had a good number of cousins. One of them became a lightning rod for controversy. People either loved or hated him. Complaints range from having to reset clocks twice a year to blaming physical illnesses on him. He is also charged with being a thief. Daylight Savings steals an hour every spring, but gives it back in the fall. I wonder what he does with that hour during the nine months he keeps it?
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our faithful facilitator, who takes a licking and keeps on ticking, is Jonnette Cameron Swayze Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
“Perry, you attended the Pre-Paint-Drying Banquet last night. How do you see this battle shaping up? Is there one player who might come from nowhere to pull off an upset?”
“Keep an eye on ‘Plain Jane’ Jones. If she performs with the same intensity and passion she displayed in my hotel room last night, she’ll blow this thing wide open. That is, if she’s not too exhausted.”
“Perry, surely you don’t mean—”
“That’s right, JB. She painted all four walls and the ceiling. We spent the next six hours just lying on the bed watching it dry.”
*the above is an excerpt from “The Joys of Watching Paint Dry” starring the never-popular Perry Block, who happens to be celebrating a birthday today.
During your school days, how many of you went on a fieldtrip in a big, yellow bus? Personally, I loved being free from the confines of the classroom for a few hours. It was always adventure. On an *FFA trip one my buddies got sick from smoking a big, green cigar he’d snuck on the bus. He spewed puke across four seats—with an hour ride still ahead of us.
Another memorable trip was a tenth grade biology trip to the sewer plant (no, we weren’t greeted by Ed Norton). We toured the entire facility and saw first-hand how raw sewage is processed. The solids were dumped in mountainous mounds across a large field. The most important thing I learned from that trip, was how to spread it around.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the bus driver on this fieldtrip of 100 word adventures is Ralphetta Kramden Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
Failing body parts and malfunctioning organs are the heavy artillery in the Master Procrastinator’s arsenal. Not only is it unethical to force a person to perform a task which might further aggravate an injury, it’s also grounds for a lawsuit.
To help sell the medical exemption, I recommend practicing your grimace and other facial expressions of pain and agony in front of a mirror daily. It doesn’t hurt to work on your vocal tones either. The last thing you want to do is come across as whiny or pitiful, both of which kill any sympathy you may have accrued.
*Future Farmers of America
-The above is an excerpt from “The SevenSix Habits of Highly Effective Procrastinators.” This helpful essay and more can be found in One Idiot Short of a Village, which can be ordered by clicking on the cover (found on your right), or by emailing the author.
The county fair started yesterday. If you’ve ever wondered why they call it a “fair” it’s because they don’t want to set the bar too high. You can imagine how disgruntled attendees would be if the called it The County Super Fantastic, Mind-blowing Extravaganza and it failed to meet those expectations.
By the same token, they don’t want call it the County So-So, or County Ho-Hum either. The word “fair” tends to imply that the festivities are at least one notch above mediocre and that you might actually find it entertaining and fun—if you bring enough cash.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the ringleader of our troupe of above-average story fabricators is Theodora Rustbelt Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
Dashing into the churning foam, our kids were quickly neck-deep in the pea-soup mixture.
“Come on in,” they called. “It feels great.”
Evidently, their opinion of “feels great” and mine are entirely different. Splintered sticks, coarse gravel, and broken glass lined the bottom of Lake Hades. I clung to Connie’s hand while tiptoeing through the underwater minefield.
At least we didn’t have to worry about frigid water. I’ve sat in hot tubs that were cooler. The only thing missing was the massaging jets.
To fill the void, Mother Nature substituted small fish with an insatiable appetite for male leg hair.
*the above is an excerpt from the short story, Adventures in Camping
William Shakespeare didn’t earn a reputation as the greatest writer in the English language without knowing how to craft a good insult. Whether tragedies or comedies, his plays are peppered with vicious put-downs sure to keep his audience entertained. Here are a couple of my favorites.
“He is deformed, crooked, old and sere; ill-faced, worse bodied, shapeless everywhere; Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind; Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.” – The Comedy of Errors. “Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.” (I would have said ‘on my arse’ instead) – King Lear
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our feisty facilitator, who can dish it out as well as take it, is Wilhelmina Snakewit Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
“Have you met the couple who moved into the Fredrick’s house?” Judi snuffed the butt of her cigarette on an empty beer can.
“Her name is Nikki. She’s a freak.” Wanda cleared a spot on the ottoman with the heel of her flip-flop. “What they did to that house is a crime.”
“You’ve been inside?”
“Yeah, it’s bad. I almost hurled a couple of times. The counters were spotless, you could eat off the floor, and the toilet had clean water.”
“That’s disgusting. How can people live like that?” Judi flipped a booger across the room. “There goes the neighborhood.”
Like millions of other Americans, my name is on 342,751 mailing and telemarketer lists. As a member of this elite group, I’m entitled to thousands of “special offers” not available to the general public.
Since turning sixty-two, my options have been upgraded to include end-of-life opportunities. First comes low-cost life insurance, followed by a pre-paid funeral plan, and if I act now, they’ll throw in a reverse mortgage—turning the entire deal into a package they call the “Moment of Mortality Trifecta.”
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our sponsor who offers a FREE photo prompt each week just for playing along, is Divinity Smurf Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
copyright – Ronda Del Boccio
The stakeout was Blockson’s idea—as was the set-up.
Lowry hated the long hours of watching and waiting, but catching the mime red-handed was his only ticket to reinstatement on the police force.
Blockson had posed as a homeowner and casually mentioned (three times) his rare 1936 invisible guitar to the cable installer, Theo Updyke, a known blabbermouth and cousin to the suspect.
If all went according to plan, it would only be a matter of time until the mime showed up to nibble the irresistible bait.
“There she is,” whispered Blockson. “Let’s move in. Got the invisible handcuffs ready?”
School starts back in our area on August 13th. Many of the local stores, such as Walmart, provide a display containing supply lists to assist parents with their back-to-school shopping. For some reason, each child is expected to be equipped with six boxes of facial tissues. I suppose these are to dry the teacher’s eyes when your child drives them to tears.
To mess with the store, I like to call a manager over and tell them I’m looking for the supply list for children who are home schooled. It gets ‘em every time.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the schoolmarm of 100-word stories is Margot Liberty Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
copyright – Dale Rogerson
From the moment her first guest checked in, Dale regretted opening an air BNB.
“The bed is so high, I had to use a stepladder,” one visitor whined. “And these chairs—my feet don’t even touch the floor.”
A guest from Scotland criticized her cutlery. “You call this a knife?” he screamed. “A serial killer would wear out his arm trying to crease a marshmallow with this thing.”
Her next client, from Arkansas, wanted to know if she served homemade biscuits and gravy.
Couldn’t they just relax and enjoy the beauty of Montreal?
Who knew Fictioneers would be so picky?
In America’s heartland, it’s popular for people to decorate the back of their vehicle with decals depicting stick-versions of the entire family. Evidently, the most prolific family surname is Ass. The given names are as follows; Jack or Wise (Dad); Smart (Mom); Lazy or Dumb (male teenager); Kiss (his younger sister); Stinky (family pet), and Fat (the live-in relative who won’t lift a finger to help).
I’m not sure I want to be acquainted with the Ass family (although, we may be related via my wife’s Cousin Eddie), so I simply respond with my own bumper sticker which reads; “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.”
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cat-herder in charge of ramrodding 100-word stories is Wee Rowdy Yates Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
photo copyright – J. Hardy Carroll
April 15thdawned gray and gloomy in Blandville. The town square was devoid of color except for occasional washed-out splotches of pink and blue. There was not a hint of lavender to be found.
Shelley was performing outside the Post Office, hoping to bring a little cheer to the deadline taxpayers. So far, no one appeared interested in her act.
Was it her prosthetic-leg-tip-jar? Or perhaps her black & white mime costume simply blended into the scenery?
Then she noticed two young women. One was walking an invisible dog on a leash.
Damn, where do I get one of those?
I don’t normally post book reviews. In fact, this is the first since I covered Dick & Jane back in 2012. As you may recall they went on a bicycle ride accompanied by their dog, Spot. For me, it was an exciting and unfortgetable adventure. However, I’m here to tell you that Lucy in the Sky by John Vorhaus is even better.
My first introduction to Mr. Vorhaus was a book entitled The Comic Toolbox. His writing credits include episodes of The Wonder Years, Head of the Class, and Married . . . with Children. I thought to myself, anyone who writes that much humor can’t be all bad–so I decided to order one of his novels. I’m glad I did.
It’s the late 1960s and Gene Steen is a 15yr-old boy growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His is the prototypical “Father Knows Best” Midwestern family and life is pretty predictable.
That is until his long-lost cousin, Lucy, shows up on their doorstep. She is pert, sassy, sexy, and hip beyond his wildest dreams. Gene is blown away by her “coolness” and idolizes her on many different levels, including her worldly knowledge and personal philosophy. With Lucy’s help, Gene learns to “question reality” and the importance of taking a stand for the things you really believe in.
But Lucy also has a past. And a dark secret that she can’t hide from—even in Milwaukee. Soon she is on the run with Gene by her side and the tempo escalates to a stunning conclusion.
Lucy in the Sky is a fast-paced story with more twists and turns than a drunken snake in a bowl of spaghetti. The book is true to the realities of the era while delivering an uplifting message about personal power and believing in one’s self.
It’s a great coming-of-age story that anyone can appreciate, especially those of us who lived through that era. To learn more about the author, or order one of his books, simply visit johnvorhaus.com
If you’ve ever submitted an article or short story for publication, you’ve probably received a rejection letter or two. Most are quite brief and often an obvious form letter. Here’s how to respond.
Dear ______, Thank you for your letter rejecting my submission. I have received rejections from an unusually large number of popular publications. With such a wide and promising spectrum of rejections, it’s impossible for me to consider them all. After careful deliberation, and because a number of publications have found me more unsuitable, I regret to inform you that I’m unable to accept your rejection. However, circumstances do change and I will keep your letter on file in case my requirements for rejection change.
If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the editor in charge of word count is Sarah Josepha Hale Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
It had been a long, frustrating day.
Marvin’s talent for creating timeless melodies and unforgettable lyrics had garnered dozens of awards and led to worldwide fame. The walls of his studio were covered with gold records and plaques commemorating his success writing soundtracks for movies and television shows.
Why was he struggling so with this song?
The melody came easy. It was clever, catchy, and simplistic in nature.
Yet for some reason, he just couldn’t find the right word to complete the opening line.
Mary had a little fish
Mary had a little turtle
Mary had little poodle
Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Flash Fiction, and Poetry
Stories From Within
Finding ways to make words sparkle
This is the blog of a woman who is seriously on the edge and I mean right ON the edge…no, not there… just a little bit further… further than that…no, further still…just a tiny bit more… just move slightly to the right a little…no, that’s too much…just move a tad to the left…that’s right, just there…now you’ve moved too far to the left… Damn, what part of the ‘on the edge’ do you not understand? Oh, and her matricidal boy genius, come devil spawn.
Or the three people I guilted into reading this blog, whatever.
Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.
Confessions of a Delusional Maniac
I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.
All the Blogging That's Fit To Print
AS I TOLD THE GIRL THAT I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO, THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME HERE TODAY.
I don't write, I touch without touching.
A Humor Blog
Stylistically Abusing Language for the Betterment of Mankind
Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!
An author's perspective of mystery and more.
And the worst things. And all that weird stuff in between.