Thursday, December 21, 2017

The holiday flash fiction contest is nigh!-your help is needed here!

Here are the guidelines:

Round One
posted: 12/22
opens: 12/23
closes: 12/25

Prompt word/s:
Number of words: 30

Round two
Posted: 12/26
Opens: 12/27
Closes: 12/28 (9am)

prompt word/s
Number of words: 25

Round Three
Posted: 12/28 (noon)
Opens 12/29
Closes: 12/30 (9am)

prompt word/s
Number of words: 25

Round Four
Posted: 12/30 (noon)
Opens 12/31
Closes: 1/1/18 9am

prompt word/s
Number of words: 20


You can write an individual story for each round OR you can write a story that builds on previous entries.

IF you write a story that builds on a previous entry, you MUST include that entry above the new entry. The previous entry does NOT count for the current entry word limitation.

Example

Round One: The Shark laid in wait for Santa Claws.

Round Two:  The Shark laid in wait for Santa Claws.
Fortunately, Santa was aware of Shark's plan and came down the drainpipe, not the chimney.

Round Three: The Shark laid in wait for Santa Claws.
Fortunately, Santa was aware of Shark's plan and came down the drainpipe, not the chimney.
Unfortunately, Shark had filled the drainpipe with Tears of Writers and Santa arrived drunk and disorderly at the Christmas feast.



And for today's fun, we need some good prompt words.  Make suggestions in the comments section. They do not have to be holiday themed.



63 comments:

Kathy Joyce said...

Delectable
Grinch
Holiday
Smiles
Presents

Timothy Lowe said...

scotch
kilt
bagpipe
blarney
egg

Or, what the contest is going to be...

utter
mayhem

Lisa Bodenheim said...

stockings
toys
lights
sing
tree

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Magpie
Holly
Bough
Cheer
Eggnog

Dena Pawling said...

The
An
It
Was
Said

Kitty said...

In honor of Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story":
Bacchanalia
Clodhopper
Flick
Furnace
Fudge
Tinkertoys
Clinker
Fragile
Theme
Meatloaf
Statue
Ovaltine

(Notice, I did not include hooptedoodle.)

Amy Schaefer said...

Kitty, I watched A Christmas Story with my kids yesterday - it is my favourite holiday movie. My youngest keeps saying: "Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defence."

We have lots of holiday suggestions already, so I'll just add random words I like:

euphonic
eviscerate
surreal
defenestrate
lugubrious
placate
preen
whisper
zealous

Colin Smith said...

Dena beat me to my original suggestions (what are you doing up this early, Dena?), so here are my alternatives:

Colour
Favourite
Aluminium
Polystyrene
Marmite

Nathan Holland said...

Zenith
Esoteric
Nidus
Culmination
Cheers

James Leisenring said...

Torture
Excite
Anxious
Thrill
Torment
Enthuse
Delight
Hell

Oh, wait, prompt words? Sorry I was just trying to work through my various emotions

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Murmur
Thin
Grasp
Time
Mere

Karen McCoy said...

Ham
Pie
Spin
Rant
Slumber

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

sand
dune
palm
tree
seaweed
driftwood
jellyfish

Mike Hays said...

cartilage
limb
skull
sled
decoration

Barbara said...

Crocodilian
Rhythm
Tweezers
Peanut
Lollipop

Julie Weathers said...

Oh, stop tempting me.

chestnut
pudding
gingerbread
chatelaine
pismire
welkin
sanguine
cozen
galimaufry
sweven
besom
espy

Kerry Bernard said...

coprophagous

Kerry Bernard said...

coprophagous

Claire Bobrow said...

peel
fruitcake
robot
comet
ale

RKeelan said...

Bin
Hex
One
Two
Six

And since I've made my prompt word suggestion contribution, I have a question: If you choose to build on a previous entry, does it have to be your entry, or can it be any that strikes your fancy?

I may have imagined it, but it seemed from the previous blog post like that would be allowed.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

At this point we should hand Janet a dictionary, both OED and Webster’s, and be done with it.

Didn’t we decide that we could only use our own entries to build our stories? Or did I imagine that?

Sherry Howard said...

This feels like a playground where the kids are planning mayhem for the adult in charge, AKA the query queen.

Occult
Persnickety
Mistletoe
Cheezits
Gosling

Janet Reid said...

Miss Julie you are the Mistress of Mischief,
and the rest of you are accolytes at the shrine of Jocularity.

I'm getting some very terrible ideas.

Colin Smith said...

Elise: I think using other people's stories is definitely on the table--Janet may even have approved, if I recall the comments.

My understanding of what Janet says above is that we can build on ANY of the previous stories, or create new stories. If you do the math, the last story should have a TOTAL of 100 words, including all previous stories used.

I presume there will still be a prize for each round, and a grand prize for an over-all winning story? Or, since each story can be stand-alone, will there only be prizes for each round?

John Levins said...

Janet,your flash fiction example was pretty darn good! I love “Tears of Writers!” It inspired these words:

Tears
Disorderly
Claws

RosannaM said...

Oh, boy. Most of the above commenters are wicked. Wicked indeed, with words one would have difficulty fitting into a two thousand word entry, let alone a paltry 100 word limit. I think they're getting coal in their stocking!

I do have a question, though. Are we going to get 5 words each round, or a total of 5? Like maybe, 2, 1, 1, 1?

John Davis Frain said...


cat

or, as I refer to them, catastrophe.

Julie Weathers said...

Miss Janet

Well, gallimaufry pretty much describes these contests. Note the correct spelling this time.

I have no doubt you're getting terrible ideas. The very premise of this contest terrified me.

Kathy Joyce said...

It's a sad commentary on my state of Christmas readiness that I'm looking forward to this contest!

Kate Larkindale said...

So many of my favorite words have already been mentioned, so allow me to toss a few more into the soup:

Morbific
Socks
Galoshes
Mukluk
Ocean

Steve Stubbs said...

Theme:The Shark De-claws Santa

Tardy Wurdz:

Putrid
Pulchritudinous
Ugh
Blah-G (rhymes with blog)
Versial (the opposite of controversial)
Grinch, Wrench, Ryan-Stench
Cossack in a Cassock
Unpresidented
Brobdingnagian
Cryptoversifier

Terri Lynn Coop said...

I gotta roll with Dena on this one.

Otherwise, *sigh*

tabernacle,
carbuncle,
podcast,
stealth,
advertising

I am SO glad I wandered back to the reef in time for this one, even though I have to lie about that robot thing. It's awkward.

Terri

Colin Smith said...

Terri!! Lovely to see you on the Reef again! I look forward to what you come up with for the challenge. :)

Beth Carpenter said...

Question: If the previous entry/entries contained fewer words than the limit, is the next entry allowed to go over? For instance, in your example, entry #1 had eight words. Could entry #2 have 30+25-8=47 words? Or is the limit still 25?

Prompt words:
Huh
Bell
Carol
Snow
Dark
Play
Solstice

Lennon Faris said...

belfries
bah
chime
peace

Richelle Elberg said...

All I can add at this point is that I'm terrified. But in a good way. ;)

Anonymous said...

Whole lotta S&M going on over here today. It would serve you right if Janet decides everyone has to use the words they suggested.

I'm with Dena, who appears to be the only sane one in this bunch. This is going to be difficult enough as it is.

sun
sand
fish
tan
hot


Dena Pawling said...


Colin - I wake up at 5am on weekdays. Doesn’t everyone?

Kdjames - it’s been a looooooooong time (read: never) that I’ve ever been called sane. But if I want a fighting chance at this contest, I need words like the ones I proposed. Either that or my entries will all sound like “‘‘twas brillig and the slivy toves.”

The rest of y’all qualify under the S&M label. And from the tone of Janet’s comment above, she will owe all of us who attempt an entry a bottle of scotch. Or three.

Anonymous said...

Dena, "sane" is a relative term over here. In keeping with brillig and slivy, this is going to be my motto for this contest:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, “it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.”

Julie Weathers said...

KD

Whole lotta S&M going on over here today. It would serve you right if Janet decides everyone has to use the words they suggested.--Fortunately, I am familiar with using those words I posted. On the plus side, I didn't suggest flibbertigibbet, which was used in RC.

Craig F said...

I would like to only see four prompt words, one used each day.

Orange
Purple
Quark
Logarithmic

Dena- What's wrong with twas brillig and the silvery toves?

KD- Sounds like you need a FLA vacation already. It's 82 today. Low was 68, so come on down

Julie Weathers said...

Dena

I vote for your list. KD also has an awesome list.

Good luck to all you intrepid souls.

Steve Forti said...

Can we do "liverpudlian" backwards again? That was fun.
And we simply must have "bumble".

Anonymous said...

HA! Julie, I know you're familiar with using those words. I'm always impressed by the range of your vocabulary. I just have an issue trying to fit all that into a 100-word story.

Craig, I lived in south FL for four years. It was way too far south for this Minnesota-born girl (I've got my fingers crossed for snow!). I was hoping that list might appeal to a shark stuck in the northeastern US in December. :)

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

In the spirit of diversity, may I add

Asia
East
Orient
Spices
Chi

french sojourn said...


unseemly
rabid
crab
straw
man

Jo Connolly said...

How about some hipster-newsmonger-speak:
Full stop
Tone deaf
Deep dive
Unpack
Optics
Drill down
Blowback
Spitballing
Tick tock

RosannaM said...

how about
light
child
fig
must
stable

I quake in my size 5 boots at some of the shenaniganical lists above. Yes. I made up that word. It fits. You all know who you are!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

RosannaM,

Shenaniganical!

I love it.

(...might steal it, too bwahahaha)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Light
The
Lamp
Not
The
Rat

Yeh, I know. Couldn't resist. I just love that movie.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Um, I just read the comments. You guys are as crazy as a republican at a Schumer rally.

Megan V said...

Naughty
Bus
Elite
Merit
Index
Siege
Pole
Owe
Fresh
Resolution
Star
Flight
Solve
Play
Shod
Clack
News
List
Persecute
Candle
Fast
Crave
Sleep

AJ Blythe said...

For those of us having a DownUnder Christmas:

sun
pav
prawn
mango
cicada

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

Speaking of S&M:

leather
mistress
handcuffs
chains
rope
touch
pleasure
boots
stockings
macaroni

Kae Ridwyn said...

I'm with AJ Blythe on this one. Hey! How about one of the four entries should be set Down Under?
If that's too hard, how about just adding a little pinch of flavour instead:
Koala
Kangaroo
Wombat
Platypus
Kookaburra

Kathy Joyce said...

Ginger, macaroni? Something tells me I shouldn't ask.

Julie Weathers said...

KD

HA! Julie, I know you're familiar with using those words. I'm always impressed by the range of your vocabulary. I just have an issue trying to fit all that into a 100-word story.

No, I don't really have an extensive vocabulary, but I have a fair to middling acquaintance with vintage vocabulary. If Janet were to make use of any of them, it would be one at most and they would be easy to fit in.

Out of curiosity, I wrote up an 83-word story with 7 of the words.

Anyway, I think y'all will have your work cut out for you even with Dena's list.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I'm just sittin' over here... reading. All these comments. And I'm flummoxed, blinking rapidly, unable to add a thing to the existing zany kookiness. YOWZA!

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

KATHY JOYCE - Gotta throw something ‘strange’ in there to make people wonder!

John Davis Frain said...

I've been getting sideways glances from Calvin after my earlier suggestion, so I'm adding one to my previous list.

dog


There, the universe is back in balance.

Ashes said...

Present
Build
Maker
Kind
Pole

Michael Seese said...

@Amy Scaefer. You wouldn't know this, but I live about 30 minutes away from where Christmas Story was filmed. When I was a kid, I went to the downtown Higbee's all the time with my grandmother. And during my walks through the town where we live now, I see at least 6 or 7 leg lamps in windows.

Mike Mikula said...

Dear Ms. Reid:

Apologies but this was the only place on the page I could post my story.

Part One:

“Chuckee!” Alice screamed skyward as Charlie Chirplan climbed toward five phoebes and joined their maneuvers like he’d spent none of the past eight years in a birdcage facing the television.

Part Two:

Soaring with the phoebes felt right, Charlie Chirplan thought, almost as good as not having Alice’s every thought ringing in his ears, yet he worried.

Part Three:

Resting above a supermarket, collying a giant K, Charlie Chirplan relished the new freedoms of phoebe life. Who's a pretty bird? the only thing missing.

Part Four:

Alice avoided her absent friend’s cage. She watched TV and worried the vacancy on her ring finger; all was lost.