Thursday, October 27, 2016


It's time for another round of #Storytime Blog Hop fiction! Please be sure and check out these other terrific short stories, by these superb writers!

C. Lee McKenzie Beautiful
 Erica Damon Penance J. Q. Rose Sorry
 Elise VanCise Lady In The Woods Barbara Lund Spooky Space
Angela Wooldridge Quiet Neighbours Katharina Gerlach Australian Dream 
Karen Lynn The Waves at Midnight Sherri Conway Ants
 Elizabeth McCleary Over James Henry Wilcox Dead Body Canis Lupus The Picture
 Peg Fisher All In the Fall, a Fractured Fairytale Bill Bush Trapped
 Benjamin Thomas Autumn Cascade Crystal Collier Emily’s Ghost Juneta Key (placeholder)

9-1-1, What is your emergency, please?” The woman on the on the other end of the phone sounded anxious, but not particularly scared, she may even have been said to have even sounded a bit sheepish, and , well, no small wonder later on, when everything got sorted out and stories were compared and various parties interviewed, for what seemed to have been a sorceress, or a “temptress”, or mayhap a delightful devil-may-care companion up for some Samhain, Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve shenanigans with her talking familiar, an alarmingly large soot-gray panther with glowing green eyes, who answered to the name of “Trotsky” and conversed with his mistress in Russian, it all sounded rather like, well, mass hypnosis, or as if several folks had tarried too long at the Cider Barrel at one particular high-rise, during the annual Halloween party. Except for the fact that this high-rise didn't have annual Halloween parties and the tenants weren't particularly prone to this kind of delusional thinking.                                 

Some called in saying they had seen a woman in a black ninja outfit with katanas, having sport with a giant cat-like, well, leopard up on the roof garden, and wasn't that just illegal to have a leopard out in the open, in public, like that?

An older woman called, saying that her next-door neighbor had visited for tea, a wonderful tea and brought cookies, along with her cat, and the cat had yowled a wonderful rendition of “Old Man River”, while the younger woman played piano, and now the old lady felt silly calling about it, but she was a bit dubious about a house-cat the size of a house, practically, because, when last she had seen Trotsky, he had seemed much, much smaller. The woman kind of petered out on the whole "send a prowl car" thing, when asked what she wanted to do; she felt rather sheepish about it all. The 911 operator sighed; it was obviously going to be a very long night. 


A man called in flustered, because he claimed a temptress had tried to seduce him in the Laundry room in the basement and as they were about to embrace, he felt a cat winding itself around his legs, only he was afraid to look down, because the cat's tail felt HUGE, like a ship's docking rope and when he did look, OHOLYMARYMOTHEROFGOD!, he nearly fainted! He glimpsed feet the size of dinner plates! The temptress and familiar let out evil cackles and then. . . poofed away! In a puff of smoke. 

One of the many doctors who lived in the building called in, put out because he had gotten an on-call for an emergency to the nearby teaching hospital, and when he pushed the button to the elevator, the door opened, and a woman and a huge cat, or two little people in a leopard-costume, like a horse-costume only smaller, dressed in surgeon's whites jumped out. They both shouted “SURPRISE!!!” and then, they ran gleefully off down the hall. The doctor surmised from this that the leopard was real, as he didn't believe that two little people could run quite that fast, encumbered as they were by the leopard-suit clad in surgeon's whites.

The doctor said, “I know my residency has kept me pretty cloistered, but when did leopards evolve to the point that they could talk?”

The poor 911 operator, who by this time had had her fill of all of these calls answered him, “Sir, I'm not the National Geographic hot-line, nor a biologist, so I'm not up on that myself. I'll have a prowl car sent.”

The doctor, now in a huff, said, “Don't say the word “prowl”. It makes me feel like I'm “prey”.”

The 911 operator shot back, “Well fine! Why don't you just wait until I have Scully and Mulder sent out; this sounds like their bailiwick, anyway!”                                        

To which the doctor riposted, “At least they don't prowl! So there!” The 911 operator rolled her eyes; people used to at least TRY to be witty.

It was turning into that kind of night, for everyone involved and it was just one high-rise building near one teaching hospital in one state. It just all seemed to devolve into one of those half-waking, half-sleeping states, where everyone seems either confused or delusional or both.

Nevertheless, all of this DID happen, on one certain H'ween eve, and no one is ever sure why it did happen, and as the Ann Arbor police would later say, “no harm, no foul, and the “alleged perp” ain't talkin'. As if a cat could talk.” The policeman then snorted and patted the gorgeous Russian Blue on his head and left the nice lady's apartment.


As soon as the door was closed, the nice lady turned and hissed at Trotsky in Russian, “What were you thinking? I told you we could NOT do this anymore! How could I let you talk me into this!”

The cat looked at her obdurately and yawned, and then as all spoiled rotten cats do, jumped up, grabbed her around the neck, nestled in and said, “Da.” Then switched to his patently horrid English. “Is okay. I have many fun; you too! No one hurt!”

She rolled her eyes and hugged him tighter. “You've been in this country HOW LONG? Would it kill you to learn a pronoun or three? What if someone doesn't think this is so funny and they catch you “changed” and you get killed? That will kill me! Yeah, yeah, I know it was all fun and games during the Russian Revolution, but folks're different here. They're scared of their own shadows. 'Sides they might miss you and shoot me, or some stupid thing.”

Trotsky pushed back from her throat and looked her square in the eyes; this was how she knew she had something “other” than just a cat, when she found him at three weeks old tottering up a dirt road; that striking intelligence. She had long ago learned to just go with whatever was tossed her way; there were far more many things unseen than seen and she'd quit asking questions at around age 25.

He looked at her searchingly for several minutes, huffed, and said, “You think you found me by accident? It was I found you. I knew you have heart of lion; take anything that come at you. Not wrong about that. You should not worry about me. It is I who worry about you; you take too many chances.”

She was aghast. “That is what life is; taking chances. Surely you know that and lived your life accordingly. We can have fun; always must have fun, but life is to be lived and if it means taking chances, we do.” She started to laugh; “Maybe we're just arguing the same point, here, but really, if you're going to shape-shift, choose something less alarming. Next time, chihuahua.”

Trotsky's eyes twinkled. “Bah! Decent sorceress no has chihuahua. Next time; Tiger!” He laid his head on her shoulder and fell asleep, purring.                                        



Saturday, October 15, 2016


(Made ya look)

Note: This week's installment of "Throwback Thursday" is on Saturday due to circumstances that were pretty much out of my control; kinda like my life. I do try and keep my posts on schedule, but this was just one crazy-ass week.

This is another of my older blog posts that Facebook burped up today was first posted on October 13, 2013. It's amusing and has a few facts, but like many of my posts written during that time, it is also some attempt at some sort of observation and possible understanding of human nature. I'm not too sure that I'm always successful. I barely understand myself from moment to moment.

JC, Alex and I were feasting on taco salad this afternoon and watching football; a “fambly tradition”, when JC got a brainstorm. These are always terrific fun; today it was “hey! let's check into one of those Swifter-Bristle Steamboat things.” One of the reasons I really enjoy him, is he is one the best word and name-manglers I know. It only makes the confusion richer in my life. James Thurber (in a short New Yorker article, published under the name “What Do You Mean it Was Brillig?”*) once had a maid who was like that, and he used to regularly joust with her, along with his dictionary.
*The entire essay can be read at this Google link in one sitting for free. It's funny and about as astute a piece of human analysis as anything I've ever read.


Today, this would pass for random; back then, it was called "whimsy." Whatever it is, I still cackle like a hyena every time I read any of James Thurber's writings or see his cartoons. 

(Also, the uproar over the use of the term "pussy" by Donald Trump this past week besmirched a term that was originally meant to be used in quite another way. A "pussy cat" could be a very cuddly, and warm female, as it could also, as seen here, be used to mean a bunch of catty females. Whatever way it was used, it was never really meant to be used in the manner Donald Trump used it; lowering it to the status of "cunt". There, I've said the "c" word, but that is the big, fat elephant in the room everyone is avoiding. I don't want to get into a thesis of why assigning names to genitalia or to genders themselves is an issue here; but as James Thurber brought it up, I thought I'd better address it. I'll write about it soon, though, rest assured.)

While the three of us are not nearly so entertaining as James and Della in the story, we did manage to work up a good laugh about shared and non-shared things and went right off the tracks, tangential-wise. A phrase my father and Edwin Newman would just cringe over; but the fact remains the Swifter-Bristle thingy is just another white elephant that will sit around here and collect dust and we already have plenty of that. I guess that's what the Swifter-Bristle takes care of, but Jesus Christ on a, well, a bicycle, JC had purchased and was going to work on: 6 bicycles, 4 or 5 separate bicycle tires, several tubes that “fixed” themselves (then why did he need to fix them?) and, a bunch of rusty tools that he bought for a dollar or two, here and there, from “Angel,” one of the neighborhood “entrepreneurs,” who kind of speaks English, and apparently has the super power of magnetic fingers. He's disappeared and has either been deported or is in the Orient Road Jail; it all depends on which branch of the Nebraska Avenue Grape Vine you choose to believe.

So, as we ate and jabbered away - talking over one another, getting up for sodas, more taco salad, more napkins, hot sauce, and general yelling at the Bucs to “throw the ball” and “kick the ball”, or armchair coaching at it's best, certainly, a Sunday afternoon at it's best - I started in on, why we needed this Swifter-Bristle thing and reminded JC of the bike pump. Not to mention the 3, not 1, but 3 bug sprayers with pumps that lay unused while the roaches have parties and conga lines in the kitchen after-hours. Plus, I recently found another mini-pump under the kitchen sink. This I can understand; apparently, we're still not over the trauma of “Bedbug Apocalypse.”

After the bicycles sat in the back of the apartment, taking up very valuable real estate, he finally conceded, that no, he was not the next Orville, nor Wilbur Wright and sold the whole kit-and-kaboodle for I-can't-even-remember-how much money. He may have paid someone to get them gone. Hell, I may have paid someone to get them gone. It was clutter at it's finest and it was threatening to overtake the house, much like kudzu vine does, in the deep south, in the hot muggy summers of the United States. If you stand still long enough; it will overtake you and you're history. Your corpse will only appear as so much dry vine-y deadness in the shape of a screaming person, in mid-screech, the following winter. But I digress.

This isn't the worst I've ever seen, but it grows at some phenomenal rate, like 60 feet per season, or in 3 months. Kudzu vine is EVERYWHERE in Florida and is a non-native species. It has also been found in Canada, eh?

After we got through laughing about the bicycle pump, because it survived the Great Bicycle Pogrom of 2012, we started laughing about leaving things around and getting them stolen, because that happens around here, a lot. It's not just Nebraska Avenue, it's the fact that this is a poor area and lots of people are inherently dishonest. But, for every dishonest person, there are just as many giving and caring people.

I truly believe that; last week as I was sitting in the Bus Transfer Station waiting to go to my Neurologist appointment, a young man, almost a kid, who had just been released from prison, or jail was sitting on a bench, holding his belongings. He didn't have much and looked miserable and lost; he had just a bag with a few items and I knew he'd been incarcerated because he had on the shoes all prisoners in Florida wear upon release; blue canvas, with white rubber rims. An older homeless man, a type of “Veteran” who knows the ropes and there are lots of them in Tampa and I'm sure every where, walked up to the kid. The older man was holding a big, fluffy blanket. He held it out to the kid and said something. I couldn't hear, but it was probably something like, “Here, kid, you look like you could use this blanket.” The kid's eyes lit up. The two spoke for a few minutes and the older man got on my bus and off we went. I guess there are angels every where. That guy is one of Tampa's. There are a few of them here.

Anyway, when we lived at FSJ, you had to put your name on EVERYTHING edible that went into the fridge, even in your room. People didn't just put their names on stuff, they put warnings on their items. “THIS IS BUBBA'S DO NOT EAT! ILL KILL YOO!!!! Or, "This is Shanequa's YoGurt + Will Poisen U B 4 U finish!!!!" Of course, the challenge being too great, the whatever it was disappeared and was consumed.

I had all my “fun” food stolen. Stuff like Hot Pockets, and Geno's Pizza Rolls. I bought healthy stuff for salads; that went bye-bye. Names and warnings meant nothing. We had one girl who stuffed everybody's stuff in her back back and would eat it frozen in her room. Just crazy. One guy purchased two beautiful NY strips with his food stamps and just stuck them in the fridge in the “men's” house. He just went to take a pee and came back to find Crazy George, pan-frying one of them and eating the other one raw. A huge brawl broke out in this tiny kitchen with iron skillets and fists flying and people hammering on one another with meat tenderizers, because when two people fight, it's as if auditions for West Side Story dancers were being held, only the dancers were really bad; the fighters pretty much sucked, too. Oooh! Fights at FSJ were always glorious!

Then, the TPD would come and the music would stop. Anyway, once I bought some American Cheese Slices for the rock-bottom price of .69 cents a pack. They were a color and texture not found on this planet; like some kind of hybrid;
 orange-red-chartreuse-dayglo-yellow and they hurt my eyes to look at them. So, I put just the teeny, tiny, tip of my tongue to one of the slices. It still hasn't grown back yet. Just kidding.

I think we're no more than a few degrees from Radioactive with this cheese. Actually, the cheese I put in the fridge provided its own light.

Looking at that color told me that the slices probably weren't fit for human consumption, so I put them in the house fridge with a sign that said “FREE!!!” That was in December of 2010, when I first got my Food Stamps. When JC, Opal and I left FSJ, after we all had received our SSDI and we found a suitable place to live in August of 2011, I believe those same “cheese slices” were still lurking around. They may still be over there across the street, because no one ever cleaned out the fridge. I shudder to think what that's like now; more than likely, the Haz-Mat people have hauled the whole mess off. There were several things not of this earth that appeared in that kitchen with “FREE!!” attached to them. Some of the inhabitants were not from this planet, either, including myself. Good times! Good times! But, I have wandered, once again, tangential-wise.

D'you remember the bicycle pump? We immediately started to scheme about how to put this to work. We'd already had our fun with why hadn't JC sold it. He says he's been trying. I give him the ol' fish eye and he says “That's because it has something to do with the fact that you haven't put it on eBay,” which this is the first time I'm learning about eBaying his white elephant, but JC says that's because “I sleep all the time.” As if, ha! So, I didn't ask if he tried to make an appointment with my secretary, because I already told him I fired her last week, because she screwed up all of his doctor's appointments. Ain't retirement a gas?

This is the latch-key car wash across Nebraska Ave., 33602 from where I live. Tis a real dive and all sorts of nefarious goings-on, do indeed, go on. But they charge .25 cents for air!

So, I have come up with the bright idea of returning to the old days, when competing gas stations would have GAS WARS. Seeing as how the government is shut down, or posturing or huffing and puffing, we, as Senior Citizens (Creeping Jeezus, that is so NOT right to say, let alone write - I mean the whole being called "Senior Citizens" thing; the government be damned!) that I must take a stand. I have decided that until the time comes that I can either, a) con someone into printing some of my ravings and paying actual money for them, or b) find someone who is willing to accept the incredibly high costs of personal injury insurance just to have me on a stage to play my viola, due to blindness (I am so pulling THAT ONE out of my ass) that I am Challenging the Car Wash to an AIR WAR!

That's right, folks! Just turn the corner and I'll fill up your tires. You can't see the meter (because I'm not a professional-type picture-taker, by any stretch of the imagination), but this is a professional-type air pump. You can tell by my awesome advertising that I am a pro!

So bitches, it's on!

Thursday, October 6, 2016



Note: This is the post that was famously "stolen" and was being sold online when I first began my blogging/writing, or whatever this phase of my life/career is. It was brought to my attention by Aaron Brinker, a good friend, who was running a Dad blog and posting about his son. In a show of solidarity, I went along and raised hell, although at the time, I wasn't living on my writing, as many of the people who had had their posts hijacked and sold online were, so it was important that I go along, as well. I'm glad I did. Intellectual property is the property of the person who thought it up, and stealing anything like that for profit, when these wonderful men and women were trying to eke out a living was awful. With the advent of different net security features and ways to track your own work, it's much, much harder for people to get away with things like that now. Yay!

Ring ring!

Me: "Hello!"

Manager: "Hey, Mary. Are you doing anything the week of November 20th to the 25th?"

Me: "Well, let me check my calendar." Sound of pages flapping in the breeze. "Hmm, nothing but the "Merry Parade of Turkeys" and "Turkeys, We Got Your Turkeys Right Here with The Skitch Henderson Sound-Alikes." At this time, I am living in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am also still playing in Tampa and pretty much driving all over the south. I am also exclusively playing the viola, because I loathe, despise and generally hate playing the violin (Note: This is called "foreshadowing" in Great Writing, which this isn't.)

Manager: "So, you have open time?"

Me: "Yes." To my everlasting regret, I said, "Yes."

Manager: "Great! I need a violinist for..."

I didn't hear the rest. I was in shock. I told people for years that I didn't play the violin. I never played the violin - well, except for those five years, when I first started out in the Los Angeles Public School District, but we didn't have violas, we had 3rd violin parts, which were TREMENDOUSLY boring, and even in my first all-district concert, I somehow weaseled my way into the 2nd violins, which I thought pretty much sucked too. If I hadn't found violas, I might have given up the whole upper string things altogether and taken up the cello, but my hands are way too small, and all I've ever been able to play on the cello is stuff in micro-tones that sounds like “Singapore's Greatest Hits”, so I'm so grateful Beethoven wrote boss viola parts and made my life forever happy, but I'm really rambling now and if I talk about Beethoven, Mr. Wells will haunt me and give me another “C-” on a paper that really deserved an “A”. But Bobby Lee knows all about that! Oh God, I'm doing it again! Stop DIGRESSING!

So, I'd rent these god-awful violins with tin strings and "play" in these violin sections, in the hopes that people would get the hint and quit hiring me to "play" the goddamned violin. I'd tell my managers shit like, "why the hell are you hiring me to play the violin? Did every other violinist in Tampa die/migrate/go into the Witless Protection Program, where they belonged, the idiots?" They still hired me. 

These horrible bricks of wood that were rental violins also had tapes on them for the "Suzuki" method, were just terrible; my fingers would "trip" over the tape, thus un-enhancing my playing. That pussy Suzuki shit with tape is beyond horrible. How in the hell are you going to understand that when your hand shifts from From 1st to 2nd position, all of the intervals change from – for a D Major Scale – open D string, whole-step, whole-step, half-step, whole-step (or open A string), whole-step, whole-step, half-step in 1st position to - for 2nd position - (3rd finger on the G string, whole-step, whole-step (or high-position on the “D” string), half-step, whole-step, whole-step, whole-step, half-step. These configurations change for every mode (Major or minor, Aeolian – being natural minor, Mixolydian; there are seven in all) and for every scale. String players routinely shift to whatever position suits their playing style; I tend to jump all over the place; 1st, 4th 6th, 2nd, 3rd, whatever. For Shostakovich's Big Symphony Number 5, we're in about 11th position I think for the famous viola solo. We, and be we, I mean all string players are subject to this, are at the mercy of physical laws and the higher up the fingerboard we go, the more important are ears become. Some of the intervals are micrometers apart. That's where our “hand-framing” exercises come in, and that's the last of any kind of facts you'll read in THIS post. I truly digressed!

If you learn the "Suzuki" method you're hand is frozen in one position using the tape system, and if you can't use hand-framing and play by ear, and LEARN your goddamned fingerboard like the God, the Pedagogue Ivan Galamian intended, burn that hunk of wood! You don't deserve to call yourself a non-fretted string player.

I tried drinking my way through rehearsals and that didn't work. I started ending up in first violin sections. You know what really, really sucks? Playing Mozart on the violin. Yes sir, there is Hell in a barrel right there. The only two things that Mozart ever wrote that were worth a shit were “Don Giovanni” and his “Great Mass in C minor”; the latter left unfinished at his death. I have NEVER liked any other piece by Mozart; no passion, and he was too fussy, but he made up for it in spades with Don Giovanni and his Mass. Playing Mozart on the viola is a big enough pain in the ass; all precision and no payoff; playing him on the violin is just sheer torture. A lesson in pointillism to me, with all the fussy pretentiousness of that day and time. Ick.

Anyway, the other fun thing about the violin, is the climb. Lots of heights on the violin, especially in the 1st violin section. Since the dingbat managers were seating me in the 1st violin sections, bizarre things were happening around me. Sheesh. Eighteen ledger lines above the staff and I'm playing "guess the note." I can't even read that shit. It's in soprano clef. I normally read the viola clef. Okay, I read soprano clef just fine, but when you're up towards the direction of the sun weird shit starts to happen, physically. Colors aren't normal, and they begin to have an aroma. Sightings of the dead were not uncommon when I was in the 1st violins. I'm surprised the stage didn't melt or something, when I hit some of those harmonics. God knows my ears are still ringing.

After a while, I kind of resigned myself to this violin thing, but not really; I've taught it more than I've played it and I did end up buying a few of them and then sold them just as quickly as possible; they were taking over my house; I felt like the Pod People had invaded. I'm just not a fan of the instrument, as far as playing it goes. I certainly appreciate the artistry and love listening to them, but, I adore playing viola. Go figure.

I was laughing about it though, when I talking to a fellow "road warrior" about all the variations of different types of gigs and positions we've played. I played with Styx and I can't remember how this came up, but it was also the same with a Johnny Mathis tune about Brazil. "Sail Away" which is so lovely, is an absolute bitch to play. It consists of 64th notes, practically in its entirety. Everyone runs up and down the fingerboard in both tunes, and in all string sections. It almost reminded me of band music from Marching Band and then, I remembered that I didn't play in Marching Band, except that I did, for my last two years in high school. I played the glockenspiel. Badly.

Denis Deyoung's father was part of the OSS in WWII and was one of the first to reach Paris, with the Allies. You can hear the Chopin and Debussy in Styx's music. An interesting little bit of trivia along with the silly today. There, aren't you edified? And didn't I write myself out of that little digression neatly?

Styx's music is challenging and we had a lot of fun playing it. But, one of the things that does happen when playing that type of music, is you do lose the edge on your heftier musical "chops" as they're called. We were touring pretty extensively at the time with Styx and "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" -ing all over the place and having a hell of a lot of fun. In the midst of this tour, we had a layover and my trio picked up a gig. Myself, a violinist and cellist; none of us were exactly slouches. Being the, uh, "professionals" that we were supposed to be, we showed up for this luncheon or whatever the hell it was to provide "background" music and proceeded to play trios, for a couple of hours. I just grabbed a bunch of my trio music and off we went.

Now, it is axiomatic that the fewer instruments you have, the more difficult the music is going to be, especially if you are going to play, oh say, Beethoven. If we were going to play Mozart, or "Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries" (Pizzicatto all the way!), we might have had half a chance, but Beethoven? It was... interesting. I have played all of his String Quartets. They rock. His Trio in C minor rocks. It also requires lots and lots and lots of practice. Playing Styx's "Mr. Roboto" for 18 weeks straight does not constitute practicing Beethoven's trio. We all learned a valuable lesson that day. That lesson is this: Do not play the Beethoven C minor Trio, until you know the audience is drunker than a bunch of hoot owls. Thank God for alcohol that day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are: 
 Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

This is a terrific question, but I've written exactly one story, for #StoryTime Bloghop, that is part of a larger opus. You can read it here at: "The Day The Cat Got Out" I had to stop at 1000 words, as it is a flash-fiction type of challenge and the ending for it is perfect, I think. But, I'm not any good at knowing when a story should be done, or if you just edit your way to an ending and hope for the best.

Now, my father loved to read, when he was alive and he was a champion drinker and philosophizer and when he would get to talking about the authors he enjoyed reading, he would come up with some pretty funny stuff. He never tried to write, but he would say things like, “If I were going to write a story, it would be something like this: [There was a man. He lived and died. The end.] I think it lacks something in the detail, though.” He never took the art of trying to create something very seriously, or rather, he had never really thought the process through.                                         

My mom, on the other hand, wrote poetry and I believe she was quite good, but for a long time, she wrote only for herself and would never let anyone see what she had written. She eventually had some of her poetry published and won a few competitions and I read some of it, and while I enjoy it, it's the kind of poetry that I envision ladies of a certain era, say the in early '30s, would read at a summer's tea. Rather innocuous and pretty, painting pictures of little forest animals frolicking or something. I rather expect my poetry to evoke feelings of intense emotion; loss, rage, or passion unleashed. Poetry is a perfect art form, at least to me for emotions such as these. Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" is one of the finest pieces of poetry I've ever read of this type and it just smacks you in the face at the end. It's one of the reasons I love Shakespeare's plays.

My introduction to poetry was not very secure, although it had its hilarious moments - just ask Robert Lee Haycock - and it wasn't until University that I discovered the poetry of D. H. Lawrence. His poem, “Black Snake” was a revelation to me and I fell in love with poetry from then on. But, as per usual I've entirely digressed.

The truth is this; I don't know when my story is done. I haven't become that mature a writer yet. I seem to be quickly getting to that point, but I cannot give anyone any advice on how to end a story gracefully or even badly. I honestly thought we were going to write about “What Music Means to Me”, and where I got that idea from, I don't know, some kind of wish-fever-dream, since it has NOTHING to do with writing! But, I would have a LOT to say about that! Happy #IWSG'ing.

And Don’t Forget the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest!
Last year’s contest was science fiction — parallel world/alternate history — and the result wasParallels: Felix Was Here. This year, there’s a new theme and all members are invited to submit.
 Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter — blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.
 Word count: 3000-6000
Genre: Fantasy
Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain’s redemption, a hero’s lack of confidence, a hero’s lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.
 Deadline: November 1st, 2016
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group.
 Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!