Flash Fiction Fallout


I had a blast playing the writing game hosted by The Final Twist! Reading the fun flashes others posted during the week, training my synapses, and using the prompts to write daily all inspired me. If you weren’t able to play, go check out the post at www.TheFinalTwist.Wordpress.com! Here’s what I came up with from the prompts:


Monday: Full Moon

Stars, lights, bangles, music; a full moon on an overcast night. Mardi Gras dreams.


Tuesday: The Gift

Cradling my wife’s fragile hand, I lay beside her in silence. No more hospital alarms. The first gift of our marriage sat upon her finger, the last delivered as I join her in eternal rest.


Wednesday: Bad Resolution

What-ifs filled her mind, but the resolution remained buried six feet under a headstone. She’d visit again next year, to assure herself he remained that way.


Thursday: Closure

The photo album closed slowly, its cover becoming the lid of a different coffin.


Friday: Idea

1001 ideas, not a single one worthy to post.


The last day summarizes it all. The struggle for the perfect, concise story. But maybe if I learned and grew a little, those 1001 miss-steps will lead to a beautiful new dance.

Let me know if you’d like to play the game here!

Happy reading,


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More than a Little Steamy-Punk


I was nervous about beginning “A Study in Silks” by Emma Jane Holloway. After all, the main character is Sherlock Holmes’ niece. The time frame may be loosely based on the original series, but the Steampunk twists and interwoven magic could potentially make it more cheesie than Roquefort. Would I compare it to actual Sherlock tales and be deflated?

Gratefully, no. In fact, the pages flew by fast and I rushed out to buy the remaining books (A Study in Darkness and A Study in Ashes) as soon as I neared the book’s end. Love triangles, mystery, corrupt governments, humanistic heroes, and shady characters; this book had it all and hidden gems for fellow Sherlock fans. With symbolism and tie-ins, “A Study in Silks” has a depth that is hard to find among modern shelves and a gift for those looking for more. Thank you Ms. Holloway!

Happy Reading!



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Fun and Flashy Fiction

Image from the 2014 Dublin Writers Festival

Image from the 2014 Dublin Writers Festival

Science fiction, literary fiction, and pulp fiction watch out! The new kid on the block is flash fiction. With a limit of 2000 words, it makes an author trim everything that isn’t needed, leaving only the most powerful message behind. Perhaps the most famous is attributed to Ernest Hemingway:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

The shortest of shorts thrive on Facebook, blogs, and other social media. The Writer’s Circle and Writer’s Write both started FF sessions on FB with a prompt. The Final Twist just started a week-long game with daily prompts. Do you want to play?

Happy Reading!




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A Briefing on Manga


'Reading Pile'

‘Reading Pile’

I’m moving. There isn’t much time in between chasing a toddler, repacking all the things she’s just dumped out of a box I just packed, painting walls, and installing hardware that doesn’t scream “I was installed in the 70’s”. But I still need my story fix, something short and sweet to slip between chaotic moments.

Bring on manga. Full of pictures and plot, manga is easy to pick up and put down during hectic days. And delicious when you can read an entire volume in one sitting.

During high-stress times I reach for shoujo. It’s aimed at girls and, like Disney’s princess flicks, ends with uplifting moments and smiles.

When I want a little more meat to my feminine plot, Joesi is the way to go. It’s written for ladies 18-30, more Desperate Housewives and less Cinderella.

Breaking barriers is fun. Maybe that’s why I read Shounen (written for young men – think Pokemon) and Seinen (for men 18-25), usually looking for an action or fantasy journey.

My latest read was Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi. Packed with humor, romance, and excitement, Dengeki Daisy is a shoujo tale about a young girl named Teru whose brother, the only family she has left in her teens, dies. Before he passes away he leaves her a phone, through which a guardian named Daisy contacts her. But Daisy is more than the gentle, faceless, saint he appears. I liked it enough to invest in all 16 volumes, pre-ordering the last.

If the fiscal investment is too high to try a new medium, take a peek at Bato, a site full of fan-translated subs. When you fine the gems you want to invest in, please do. Word artists deserve the support of their fans. (…and it’s nice to eat and pay bills.)


Happy Reading,





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Book Review 101


As my struggle to find reading time continues, I found this gem shared by one of my writing hero teams, Mark and Charlotte Phillips. The words that struck me are ” Anyone who reads book reviews is sure to have come across one of he increasing number of lazy reviews – the ones that make you wonder if the reviewer read the book, or just read the back cover.”, inspiring me to improve and add depth as I continue. The original posting is found at www.thefinaltwist.wordpress.com, my tribe of book lovers and creators.

Next week I will be going into the world I found that allowed for time nibbles instead of gulps; the graphic novel.


Happy Reading,


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Once Upon a Child

Kids get the best highs on books!

Kids get the best highs on books!

I have a confession. On occasion I raid my daughter’s books. Sometimes to make sure they are age appropriate, (that’s what I tell her…) but usually because they’re fun to read. So, snatched between super fun summer days of swimming, Heart Party painting, and camp, I delve into the children’s library section for some shared reading fun.

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, written by Obert Skye, was one such find. It’s whimsical in a way that is reminiscent of Harry Potter with a splash of Alice in Wonderland. I recommend it for children and adults alike, and it would make a great shared bedtime book as the land of Foo is created by our dreams.

Another child-friendly find was the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia C. Wrede. I stumbled upon that one through Mighty Girls Facebook posts, a fun resource for the mothers of little girls. It has strong female images for young ones, but the books appeal to both genders as well as being a fun read. (We’ve started adding them to our library at home)

While delving I found my own ancient, well-loved book from childhood, The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye. I was able to enjoy the book once again and share it with my little princesses at the same time. Its tale is timeless.
Happy Reading!


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What was your Genre again?

Romantic Historical Paranormal Thriller Conspiracy Mystery anyone?

Have you ever picked up a book, read it, and then wondered what the store or publisher was thinking placing it in the ‘insert genre here’ section? Perhaps alien invaders with different expectations or sets of emotions took over the placement department. Or maybe it’s an employee’s last day and their greatest triumph is your confusion. (It couldn’t possibly be that some genre’s are hot following popular and lucrative movie deals.)

The current repeat offender vortex genre is the Paranormal Romance section. My bookstore has it placed in the romance section. Other stores might put it with sci-fi and fantasy labels. That’s kind of how that genre ‘rolls’.  When it comes to romance, I want my ‘happily ever after’s and the newcomer on the block breaks that rule more frequently.

A recent genre switch of the paranormal romantic kind involved Doppleganster, by Laura Resnick. Don’t get me wrong, steamy parts exist. But they don’t drive the novel. If anything the romance exists as a side car in a hopeful oddball leading lady’s dream. It may step up in the next book in the series, but the book isn’t centered around the couple. Mystery is the main plot element. Paranormal is flying all over the place. It’s a brilliant book. If you are looking for a quirky good read, it’s just the thing. But if you are looking for a bon bon and bubble bath side dish of mushie gooshie romance, you’re better off pulling any of the 500 Kingdoms books by Mercedes Lackey. Which I found in the fantasy section.

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