Thursday, January 31, 2008

February Host Needed

Now it's true that BunnyGirl is going to do our special holiday themed FFCs, but we still need a host for February's regular FFC. If no one steps up, I can do it, but since the point is to get folks involved, I'd prefer to have someone else host.

Holler at me via my email link over to the right or leave a comment below with an email addy so I can get in touch with you if you're interested.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Support A Writer Day: Patry Francis - Liar's Diary

I blogged about Patry Francis a while back. She's a writer whose book, Liar's Diary, is coming out this week in paperback. She also has cancer, as I did not so long ago.

Patry is, I believe, an Everywoman. She worked and took care of her family, all the while, toiling away at her book. Everything I read about her by people who've met her and known her for some time is positive. That's rare, that is.

So why blog about this lady? Well, she's dealing with her cancer as I type and I feel for her. She's an amazing woman all the way around. And, she's a writer who could use a hand promoting her book, Liar's Diary, while she's focusing on her health. I daresay you'll run across her name all over the place too in blogs and articles and websites for a time as @ three hundred folks have signed on to give Ms. Francis a boost for her book, Liar's Diary.

Here's the press release:

A Novel
By Patry Francis

“The new questions and revelations just keep coming…Readers will be heartily rewarded.”—Ladies’ Home Journal

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to yourself.


Patry Francis is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, and This is her first novel. Please visit her website at

Praise for THE LIAR’S DIARY:

“Twists and turns but never lets go.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.”—Publishers Weekly
“Outright chilling.”—New York Daily News
“Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!”—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

“Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars.”—Romantic Times


By Patry Francis
Plume Paperbacks / February 2008 / $14.00ISBN: 978-0-452-28915-4

Readers Guide available at

For more information or to schedule an interview with Patry Francis, please contact Laurie Connors, Plume Publicity212-366-2222 /

I don't know about you, but I'll be picking up a copy right quick.
Thanks for your kind attention. Go give someone you know who's been affected by cancer a real good hug and give them a copy of Patry's book. And HEY! Don't forget to get one for yourself too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January Flash Fiction Carnival: NEW

Thank you, one and all, for submitting your stories!

Now here's the deal:

  1. Read the lovely stories that everyone has written!

  2. Comment on every participating story as there are only eleven flashes in this FFC. Our policy:

    Participants are expected to comment on their fellow writers' stories and to be constructive in their criticism. A pat on one's figurative headbone is swell, but an honest critique is better and helps everyone. Non-participants are welcome and encouraged to comment on stories as well.

  3. Here are the stories --

    The Getaway, by William Edwards.

    Tall Tales of Q, by Kate Boddie.

    Something Old, Something New, a Will and Diana Adventure, by Ann Pino.

    Beginnings, by Serena Casey.

    Memorable, by Gwen Mitchell.

    New Blood, by R. Jill Fink.

    The New Jacket, by Dante Persechino.

    New, by Ray M. Solberg.

    Forceps, by Caleb Mark.

    Spirit Twins, by Gayle Hedrington.

    Shelf of Dolls, by Alannah Joy.

    Go read! Write your comments. Try to have them completed by the end of January.

    Enjoy---and thanks for joining in January's Flash Fiction Carnival!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

January FFC: Forceps by Caleb Mark

© Caleb Mark

The developments that had occurred to his anatomy were unexplainable. Each cell seemed to have a mind of its own, knitting together a form that would last for decades.

Some recent changes were evident on his exterior. Lanugo, once present all over his body, now only grew on his upper arms and shoulders. In the past few weeks he had added a considerable amount of body fat. The extra fat would help him in the colder climate. His small frame would also need the stored energy for the activity that lay ahead.

A short time ago his world had begun to close in on him. At certain intervals he would be held tightly. As the pressure was released he would then float freely, suspended in the liquid that was his home. The forces were becoming larger and closer together, pushing his head into a tiny tubular hole below. He hung upside down. As he pressed into the opening, it widened, and like the neck of a balloon disappears as it becomes inflated, the hole slowly became a part of the wall of his home.

At one point, a thin membrane that surrounded him broke and the liquid emptied itself out into the passage below. Without the fluid to fill the sac he was in, his space became even tighter, making movement more difficult.

The opening he was being pressed into expanded with little effort and his body inched through with each push. Before he had fully passed through the first opening, he found himself at the second one. It was not visible from his position but it was there nonetheless. Navigating it would be much more complicated. Unlike the first opening, the rim of this second crevice was bony and would not stretch. His head needed to turn in order to fit. In the accent, his body rotated right, making it easier to maneuver, but something was holding him back.

The tube that grew out of his stomach had slipped in between his head and the walls of the tight passage. He became stuck. The pushes from above weren’t taking him anywhere now.

From below, two objects worked there way toward him. The outside world wanted him. The way it would reach him was by two prongs, placed firmly on each side of his head. Up to this point he had been pushed from behind. Now he was being pulled forward.

His body faced downward as he reached the third opening. A few moments later the top of his head was visible to the outside world. Shoulders, torso, arms, legs and feet slipped out. He was leaving behind the protection of his old home; however, he was also leaving behind its restrictions. His arms and legs now squirmed freely in the grasp of two large hands.

A device was placed over his mouth in order to suck out some of the fluid. His bluish color gave away the strain he felt within. He alone held the power to change from blue to pink. It was the first thing he would ever be asked to do for himself.

With his first breath, the ductus arteriosus in his heart began to close. Blood flowed to and from his lungs. He had experienced breathing like movements before. Now it was the real thing.

There had not been much to look at inside the womb . Now there was a reason to gaze at his surroundings. Two dark pupils could be seen through the squint he held.


BIO: I am pretty new to writing. I have had story ideas floating around in my head for years but never the nerve to do something about it until recently. I teach upper elementary students and would probably be more likely to write to that audience. I recently started browsing the Absolute Write Water Cooler and saw a post about this site. Thanks for the opportunity to post on the FFC.

January FFC: Spirit Twins by Gayle Hedrington

Spirit Twins
© Gayle Hedrington

Joyce jumped out of the water giving a shriek. "Did a fish bit you?" The handsome Beach Man asked.

"Something did." She hoped he did not notice her blushing. Whatever bit her did so, right on her crotch. She wondered if the creature sensed her sexual excitement, brought on by Mr. Beach Man. He had that affect on her.

"Where did he bite you?" His voice echoing genuine concern. However, Joyce's hesitation caused him to say "Never mind, I don't need to know."

Joyce was about to ask his name, when the fish returned for another nibble. Again she vaulted out of the water with a shout.

"Did he bite you again?"

"Yes" She gave out a slight laugh.

"Let me see... if I can see him" as he moved towards her.

At that moment, the fish tasted her crotch again. "I saw him that time. It's a small perch, come over here and I'll show you." He held out his hand.

Joyce wadded towards him and stood aside him. "See that fish there? He is the one that's biting you. He remained still and they watched as the fish neared their feet. When it maneuvered to nibble his toes , he kick his foot to disturb the fish and it swam away.

They both giggled.

"What's your name?"

"Doug" He replied and held out his hand. She took his hand and as they made their first physical contact.

"I'm Joyce."

Finally a name! Joyce had always referred to him as Mr. Beach Man to her friends. All her friends knew of him from her constant chatter. They wanted to meet the man who had locked Joyce's heart without a word being exchanged. Her friends had never seen Joyce so taken. She fell in love with Doug the instant he passed her eyes. What was not to love? Bronze skin, broad shoulders, and full bodied, sun streaked, brown hair. It was the type of hair that could never be out of place even when tossed or ruffled. Joyce possessed the ability to see beyond the physical frame of a person. She knew that he was her spirit twin, she felt it in her soul.

The second and last time she saw Doug was at the beach. It was a week or so after their first meeting and Doug joined her on the blanket. The two engaged in conversation until the inevitable came up. Doug confessed, he was married but separated. Joyce explained to Doug. about the past year in marriage counseling and that even the marriage counselor had said there was nothing more she could do. Doug told her to make her husband pay attention to her. He encouraged her to scream, cry to do whatever it was she had to do. She explained to him that she did and it didn't work. Doug confessed it didn't work for him either.

"You'll end up going back to your wife." Joyce told him.

"No, I don't think so. He said with a firm positive tone.

Doug was starting a new job on Monday and it he wouldn't be at the beach during the week. Joyce was leaving the next day for a wedding in Atlantic City. If she only knew it was the last time that she was going to see him, she would have left her number under the truck's windshield wiper. Both of them were assured they would see one another, the following weekend at the beach. Joyce mentioned the shortness of swimming days left, but Doug assured her there were still several swimming days ahead. Each of them loved the lake and swimming.

Joyce couldn't wait to get to the beach the next Saturday. She hurried there so she wouldn't be late and miss Doug again. As she pulled into the beach parking lot, her heart sunk. Signs were everywhere "Beach Closed - Until Future Notice - due to blue/green algae". Joyce stopped and asked the attendants when the beach would open again, and they said they didn't know. Joyce drove off and cursed herself under her breath, that she never asked Doug his last name.

Preparing for her new life in San Diego, Joyce wipes the last tear that she will ever shed for her defunct marriage to Frank. Although she is glad to be getting far away from Frank and the heartache, she doesn't want to leave Doug. She still believes, he is her spirit twin and they belong together. It wasn't as if she didn't try to find him. She spent two days riding around his work place looking for his truck, but never found it. He must have bought a new vehicle. Trying to reach him by calling work was impossible, she didn't know his last name. It is now up to fate, what will be will be.

Joyce droped off the rental car at the return center, her pace is fast as she walks toward the terminal. "Joyce! Is that you?"

As she turns she see Doug. "What are you doing here?" She can't believe her eyes. The site of Doug makes her feel as giddy as a teenager.

"My mom is sick. I came home to see her."

"You came home?"

"Yes, you were right I went back with my wife."

Joyce's heart sunk, and she felt sick. All she could say was "Oh."

"However I filed for divorce. I thought about you everyday."

"What are you doing?"

"Moving to San Diego."

"Really? What about Frank?"

"We're divorced."

"Give me you phone number, and address. I will see you when I get back to California. I know this sounds strange, but I feel like I belong with you."

"Really? I feel that too."

With that, the spirit twins embraced, kissed and of course exchanged phone numbers.


BIO: Gayle Hedrington lives in New Hampshire. She writes a weekly news column,and writes fiction and non fiction. In addition to writing she loves,animals, and cooking.

January FFC: The New Jacket by Dante Persechino

The New Jacket
© Dante Persechino

Picture if you can. Not, shopping for ‘dress” clothes for about six years. Try to fathom what a nightmare it would be. To load up the kids and head on down to the “Mall” area, to shop. Well, that is the situation that my wife and I were in, when one of my relatives died.

I know it sounds selfish. But one of my greatest fears had come true, the moment one of my cousins died. And I would have to go through the first circle of hell, known as shopping for “dress” clothes. I know,….. I know, it sounds totally selfish and self absorbing. My poor cousin had just passed away. And all I could think of, was that I would have to try to find something to wrap around my giant body.

You see; the last time I wore “dress” clothes, I was about 40 pounds lighter. Yikes, I thought. I am going to have to go to the Chubby Hubby section to fit into anything.

Since 1987 I’ve followed a vigorous workout routine. I started off, back then, doing an intense five day routine of weights, aerobics and running. I was in great shape. Not to mention the fact that; I ate next to nothing. I drank beer and snacked from time to time on jelly beans (and similar foods) to keep from passing out. I was a single guy. So when did I have the time to really eat a good meal. I was going to school, working a part time job, creating visual art and selling; said artwork. I was dating anywhere from three to twenty girls (Really, I am not bragging or anything, I used to always date at least three. It kept me from taking any one girl, to seriously).

After getting married, I didn’t just let myself go. I didn’t stop working out or anything. But, because of a car accident. I could no longer run or do aerobics. Yet, I still kept up my vigorous weight routine. I started walking, golfing and found a new passion. Kung Fu, to keep myself in shape. So, it was not my workout that had really changed my body. It was my diet.

Since the inception, of my obsession, with fitness. I was on a strict “Low fat” diet routine. Eating egg white sandwiches with hot sauce (To boast my body metabolism). Munching on fruit or raw veggies was my normal way to eat. And then all those “High Protein” diet books came out. I decided to try them,……all of them! Then after gaining 15 or so pounds, I thought, “what a great book this would make“. I’d sample every “Worthy” diet book on the market (And some not so worthy) and write a book about my experience! This lead me, to where I am now. Forty pounds heavier and in search of a new jacket. Maybe some pants to go along with it. Since my dress pants felt a little snug also.

The plan was a simple one. My wife and I were not, going to drag the kids through the mall; kicking and screaming, while Daddy tried to find a “New Fat Jacket”. So we dumped the kids off at my mothers and “stealthfully” raced away. My mother peering out the window like Godzilla looking for his next victim.

As we drove away in the “car of tranquility“, we decided on another mile stone of our journey. We were not, going to “Hit” some mall based store like JC Penny, to find my mammoth clothes; But a Gentlemen’s Warehouse. It may be a bit more expensive. But it would save us hours of running around looking for just the right jacket and pants, for the sorrowful event.

Boy, did we make the right decision!!

We walked into Gentlemen’s Warehouse. And were immediately greeted with a smile from a man, who’s attitude about selling clothes was, to say the very least, positive! As I came to know Paul, Our Sales Consultant (and my soon to be, new best friend). I had visions of being in a haberdashers, in the late 1800’s. Paul was a man who knew his business. He asked politely (Everything Paul said was polite): “What it was that I was looking for?” I told him my situation (My whole situation!!). And Paul whisked us off through the process of getting me fitted. He never said a word as he measured me. My waist, neck, inseam etc, were all processed and tallied. I, of course, was wearing sneakers. So Paul estimated my foot size (Very accurately, I might add), snapped his fingers and another sales associate appeared with my size 10 and a half wide dress shoes in his hands, along with a pair of new dress socks. To be mine throughout the fitting experience.

He virtually floated effortlessly throughout the store, grabbing pants, shirts and of course jackets on his way. With several pounds of clothes in his hands, he ended his journey on a huge black slate table in the middle of the store. In what seemed like a matter of a split second, Paul had six pair of pants. A couple of shirts. And, of course, a jacket all neatly folded and laid out for my inspection.
As I came out of the changing stall. I felt as thought the clothes looked good. But my “Spider Senses” were tingling. Which meant that something was amiss. I climbed up on the platform in front of my wife, Paul and, the rest of the store. Again,…. Imagine if you can, after six years of testing diets and gaining forty pounds standing in front of three huge mirrors mounted in such a way, as to see every angle of your body. In a very well lit show room. Add on to that, that now everyone in the showroom is peering at you, in your new dress clothes.

I stated to Paul that everything felt great. But that the jacket seemed snug around the shoulders, arms and chest. He looked with great care at my shoulders, and said: “Yes, well that should fit. But if it feels snug to you, then it won’t due to have you unhappy with the jacket. Lets try a 48 instead.” (I thought: “Oh my God, A forty eight. What the heck does that mean.? I am jumping up in size here like Rosie O’ Donnell at an all you can eat buffet contest“). Paul found a jacket that would now fit my immense body. He threw it on me and stepped back. (Now I am thinking: Any minute midgets dressed as “tiny clowns” are going to jump out of a small car and mistake me for a circus tent) “What do you think of that one?” Paul questioned. My wife piped in with: “I like that jacket, it makes you look so handsome”. (Yeah right, I thought. You could plaster me with butter and ask a half starved Sumo wrestler if I was handsome. And he would shy away as if I was Quasimodo. )“Good then”, my wife said, “Well take all of this”; As I oozed down off the foot and a half high “Biggest Loser” platform. But not before noticing how old my grey hair made me look, in the searing beams that they called a “lights“.

I sulkily walked over to the table that Paul had had my new wardrobe on. And as Paul and my wife were discussing further matters of my new clothes. I flipped one of the pants over and almost had a heart attack. It wasn’t the price that hit me. It was the size!! The pants that I had had on, were a size 40! I never wore a 40 in my whole life. EVER!!!

I wanted to run. But where to. Should I just “chuck” my credit card at my wife and hide in the car? I cannot face Paul again I thought. With him knowing that, ..(Sigh).I, “Pizza the Hut“, wear a size 40 waist. So I did what any proud man would do. I confidently, and with all the composure that I could muster, asked Paul: “Hey, Paul. I noticed that these pants are a size 40.” I went on to say: “Now I feel real bad Paul, I never wore this size before in my life, I feel real huge!”

“ Not at all sir” Paul exclaimed! “The 46 jacket that you first tried on comes proportionally with a size 41 pant”. “This means that your waist is a size smaller than the normal man”. I thought: (Yeah,…right, a normal fat man). “In fact sir, you had to jump up in jacket size to a 48”. I am now thinking: (Yup, that’s Me alright,… fat all around). Paul went on: “And a man with a 48 jacket should wear a 44 waist,…proportionally that is”. “In fact” Paul continued: “Your wife and I were just discussing the fact that: we MUST take in your new jacket around your waist area.” “So sir,…this means that you shoulders, chest, arms, neck and back are much larger than your waist” “Your upper body is huge compared to your hips and waist”. “Do you work out Sir, because we usually only have this problem with football players and professional athletes”?

(Silence),….I must have looked dumbfounded beyond belief! With those few sentences from Paul, all my dreams had come true! I never wanted to kiss another man in my life. But at that moment, I was so “Freakin” happy that I wanted to plant one right on him (Paul and I are both happy I didn’t). In an instant, I went from feeling like Marlon Brando’s backside to Conan the Barbarian’s biceps.

Of course my wife didn’t hear the end of it for weeks. And all she would do is smile. As if she knew a secret that I didn’t. Did they conspire to tell me a lie? Or was she just smiling because I was happy. I will probably never know. But one thing is for sure. I don’t ever want to find out!!!


BIO: Dante Persechino. (The Big Kahoona)

A visual artist, writer, martial artist and Mr. Mom.

As a visual artist:
I've had several one man shows. Open juried shows and won some prizes. My work has been on several television stations including one out of Boston. My artwork has also been in a movie called "Say You'll Be Mine", formerly known as "Strangers in Transit" by Michael Corrente (It was never released as far as I can tell).

As a writer: I wrote for, under the pen name of The Big Kahoona. I am working on three books right now. And around seven or so on the back burner.

As a martial artist: I enjoy the greatest of luck, since I study under a great man (A nice onetoo) and martial artist. Mr. Wen-Ching Wu. Mr. Wu's top instructors are Ryan May and Frank W-Lynch (Who I am proud to call my brother in law).

As a Mr. Mom: It is the toughest job in the world. But, it is also the most rewarding one.I wouldn't trade it for anything.

January FFC: The Getaway by William M. Edwards

The Getaway
By William M. Edwards
Copyright 2008

“If you could kill somebody, and know with 100% certainty you would get away with it, who would you kill?” Harrison asked Tom, his neighbor at the long mahogany bar that curved gracefully into a circle in the middle of the elaborately detailed facsimile of an Irish pub. The insanely aggressive air conditioning also made the soupy New Orleans air clammy as an Irish winter.

“It’s supposed to be a two part question,” Tom responded, “first, ‘would you kill?’ and then you ask, ‘who you would kill?’”

“I don’t believe it,” Harrison said after sipping the facsimile Irish whiskey produced by specially fabricated bacteria that converted plastic reclaimed from a garbage dump in New Jersey. “Everyone has a person in his past who needs to die. Now tell me yours.”

Tom laughed. “It’s an easy question for me: My ex-wife. Twenty years ago, I went hunting in Alaska with my father. We killed a bison the same year America signed the Convention banning all consumption of freshly killed meat.”

“Nobody remembers what real meat tastes like.” Harrison said nodding.

“I kept one last bison steak in my freezer. I hoped to share it with my children one day.”

“And she ate it?” Harrison asked.

“No, she doesn’t like meat. She fed it to her boyfriend while I was on a business trip.”

“Ouch.” Harrison responded wincing.

“Now tell me yours.” Tom asked sipping his synthetic beer.

“If I did that, you might try to stop me.” Harrison said winking.

Tom guffawed.

“Okay, but can you at least tell me how you would get away with it?”

“Four years ago, NASA received images of a planet from another system. It’s like Earth’s big brother but without 25 billion people crammed on its surface. Einstein’s theory of relativity provides that nothing can travel faster than light. In sixteen hours, I’m boarding a ship that will travel to this planet at near-light speed. Once this ship is launched, nothing can intercept it. Even radio transmissions sent hours after the launch will dissipate into space before they ever catch up to the ship. And it’s a one way trip.”

“How long will it take you to get there?” Tom asked.

“16 years to me. On Earth 160 years will pass. That’s Einstein’s relativity. Your grandchildren will be dead from old age when I arrive.”

“You might be the only humans left if the war starts,” Tom responded referring to the rising tensions in Asia.

“Yep. The 32 people on this ship will be all that’s left.”

“What if you’re wrong? You’re leaving everything,” Tom asked.

“Tom, we’ve taking real chickens, cows, and pigs. We’re going to plant real food, breath real air, drink fresh water and see the real sky like our grandparents did. A new world.”

A dark square inconspicuously pinned to Harrison's shirt vibrated softly.

“Yes?” Harrison said into thin air.

“OK. Thanks. I’ll give it to you when I get there,” Harrison said ending his half of the conversation. Harrison touched the square and spoke softly.

“Call taxi.”

“Calling taxi,” chirped an electronic voice in response.

“My treat. My money won’t do me any good out there,” Harrison said pressing his thumb into the pay pad.

The driver dropped Harrison off in front of The Gentleman’s Taste, an upscale strip bar. Harrison walked around to the back door of the bar and gave it three loud raps. An enormous man opened the door casting a nervous look down the alley.

Harrison removed a package of cigarettes from his pocket and tucked it into the bouncer’s meaty hand.

“I’ll know if this is the synthetic stuff,” the bouncer threatened.

“This is the real thing. There are less than five hundred packs like this left. It’s worth what you make in a year,” Harrison responded.

Harrison headed directly for the VIP lounge ignoring the neon-lit women undulating to the obnoxiously loud music. The lounge windows muffled the music while allowing a view of the dancers.

“Hi Matt.” Harrison said to a man in his fifties stuffed into a gray business suit.

“Harrison? Let me buy you a drink.”

“Don’t bother. I’m not staying long.”

Harrison touched the pin on his shirt again without sitting down.

“Call taxi,” Harrison said softly.

“Harrison, I always felt badly about that patent dispute we had over my invention,” Matt said offering Harrison a synthetic cigar.

Harrison drew a small black pistol from his waistband and depressed the trigger three times. The club music drowned the soft “psst” “psst” “psst” sounds made by the tiny darts of depleted uranium. Harrison then turned the pistol and dispatched the witnesses.

“Electromagnetic hyper-accelerator. I’m just pissed you got the royalties when I bought this thing. How do you like MY invention now?” Harrison said to the dead businessman.


The intense light from GJ 388, the sun from his new solar system woke Harrison up on the morning of their final deceleration. The group of 32 on board had grown to 72 over the last sixteen years. NASA extensively screened the pool of potential passengers with the goal of achieving the most reproductively capable population to colonize the new world.

The ship detached from its final stage leaving only the landing module to touch down on a pre-selected landing site.

The group clamored behind the airlock while the outside sensors confirmed the presence of breathable oxygen. It hardly mattered what it detected. They were all dead anyway if the original assaying of the world was wrong about the atmosphere.

The door opened revealing an asphalt and steel spaceport not unlike the one they left. A crowd of thousands of people cheered excitedly as a band began to play.

The bewildered passengers slowly descended into the cheering crowd.

“Are you Mr. Sanders?” A man in a black uniform asked Harrison.

“Yes. How did you people get here?”

“Mr. Sanders, it’s because of Matt Curtis, the inventor of the electromagnetic hyper-accelerator. Modified and on a large scale, it punched the ship right through the light barrier. Our grandparents settled this colony 60 years ago. Now, sir, I need to talk to you about some deaths that occurred in New Orleans the night before you left. I have the video and, there’s no statute of limitations for murder.”

Bio: I went to the University of Kansas School of Law. I now work for the government as an attorney. I live near Kansas City with my wife and new son.

Monday, January 14, 2008

We Have a Holiday Host!

I am happy to announce that the intelligent, beautiful, and talented BunnyGirl has agreed to join the FFC 2008 team as host for our holiday themed flashes.

WATCH THIS SPACE for her announcements about holiday flash specifics.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Do You Crave POWER?

Are you interested in having a group of writers follow your lead? Do you feel up to the challenge of creating a theme for the next Flash Fiction Carnival? Finally, are you willing to put forth the time and effort to promote the FFC you host and gather the permalinks and stories to be hosted here at the FFC 2008 blog and then post them on the expected day? Shoot me an email and volunteer!

Seriously, we need hosts for the coming months. My goal is to have up to four people signed up for each month to host so if one or two have something come up in their schedule, someone else can step in to fill the void. Also, if you are interested in hosting special FFCs, send me a proposal and I'll discuss it with my advisors (yes, I do have advisors) and if it flies we'll give it a go. As of now, I'm thinking that after a while I'd like to offer up themes for micro-flashes to be delivered in 24 hours. Traffic to our little FFC 2008 blog is increasing daily and as interest grows, hopefully the number of writers will as well.

Finally, I'm thinking of creating a password required workshop blog that would enable people to post flashes they're working on and get crits/comments from folks to make them better. Since it would be open to those with the password only, it would enable writers to perfect their pieces to be submitted to lit zines and so forth. What do you think? Either email me or comment below about this idea.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

How's Everyone Doing?

I've got something in mind for my FFC post. I aim to get it up next week.

How's your story coming along? I can't wait to read it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The World Is Welcome!

I just took a gander at the stats map and I'm happy to report there is interest from all corners of the globe. That's just GREAT!

We have interest from writers all over Canada and the USA, and a good many flashers from Australia, Ireland, and the UK. Japan, Israel, Germany, Sweden and more have all come in to have a look at the theme post, the FAQ, and my general silliness.

I hope all of you join us for January's FFC. Don't forget, you don't need a blog to join in the fun and you are free to write in your preferred genre or stretch a bit and try a new one.

Thanks for stopping in. I can't wait to read your stories!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January Flash Fiction Carnival Theme: NEW

The stories and links are LIVE! Go! READ!


This is Arachne Jericho, your hostess for 2008's January Flash Fiction Carnival.

If you're new to Flash Fiction Carnivals, please see the FAQ and read Virginia's intro post and the sidebar. PLEASE ask questions in the comments if you have them. Other people likely have them as well.

The theme for this carnival is:


You may write in your preferred genre or try something new. (Ha!) It is entirely up to you.

You have from now until the end of Friday, January 18th, to finish your stories.

If you have a blog:

  • Write a 500-1000 word flash story based on the theme, NEW.

  • Turn on your comments! (You can leave comment moderation on to avoid spam and/or abuse, but everyone must be free to comment on your story post. Feedback is what we want, so this is a must.)

  • Email the carnival host, Arachne Jericho, with the permalink to your individual blog post. Your email address MUST be valid so we can verify that we've received your entry.

  • That's it!

If you don't have a blog:

  • Please send a short biography with your story. A few sentences is fine.
  • Please proof your story before hitting send. FFC hosts are not your mama or your English teacher and your story will be published as we receive it.

  • Send your bio and edited story via email to me, Arachne Jericho. Your email address MUST be valid so we can verify that we've received your entry and confirm your participation.
After midnight PST,
January 18th,
NO more submissions
will be accepted.

Stories being hosted in the FFC 2008 blog will go live, along with everyone's permalink, on January 21st.

Each carnival member MUST comment on a minimum of 10 participating flashes by the end of January.
This is an obligation, not an option.

Note: This number may increase if we get a huge number of entries, but it will not go above 15 at the most. The FFC III demonstrated that more than that is too many for most people to manage. You are, however, free to comment on as many stories as you wish as long as you meet the minimum number.

CLICK HERE to submit your stories & bios or permalink to your story's blog post.

Happy writing! HAVE FUN!

-- AJ!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Flash Fiction Carnival FAQ

What is a Flash Fiction Carnival?

  • In a Flash Fiction Carnival, participating writers write and post a flash fiction story in their blog based on the theme chosen by the FFC host for that carnival. Flash fiction stories are short, usually limited to 500 - 1000 words, though each carnival will have its own specific word count range per the FFC host's guidelines.

  • Each person involved in the carnival then comments on the flash fiction stories of other members. There will be a minimum number of different stories each FFCer must comment on, but all readers are welcome to post comments on any or all of the stories participating in the flash.

Do I need to write in a specific genre?

No. Any genre is welcome. You can write what you're comfortable with or stretch a bit and try something different than your usual milieu.

What kind of themes are chosen?

Past themes included Beginning, Madness, and Transform. Ann Pino/BunnyGirl hosted Halloween and Winter Holiday themed FFCs in her writing blog as well.

How do I submit a story that's on my blog?

  • Write a 500-1000 word story that suits the theme of the FFC and post it in your blog. (Note: Length may vary per the preference of the individual FFC host, so please verify story length in the theme announcement and guideline post.)

  • Turn on your comments. You may leave comment moderation on, but people must be able to comment on your story post. Otherwise you're pretty much defeating the purpose of participating in a FFC.

  • Email the carnival host with the permalink to your story's individual blog post. Your email address MUST be valid so we can verify that we've received your entry.

Can I still participate if I don't have a blog?

Of course! In that case, you email your story to the carnival host to be posted here on the official Flash Fiction Carnival 2008 blog. Here's what you do:

  • Send us a short biography with your story. A couple of sentences are just fine.

  • Proof your story before hitting send. FFC hosts are not your mama or your English teacher and your story will be published as we receive it.

  • Send your short biography and edited story via email to the relevant FFC host. Your email address MUST be valid so we can verify that we've received your entry.

I saw this really cool flash somewhere else that fits the theme. Can I use it for my entry?

    Absolutely NOT! You are only to submit your original material to the FFC 2008 blog. You can read it at the bottom of the page, but here is our

    All participating authors are expected to submit their own original material. It is the responsibility of each individual to police themselves, not that of the blog owner or FFC hosts. In that vein, all participating stories belong to the author submitting them. This means © 2008. Thank you for your cooperation and veracity.

Hooray for Arachne Jericho!

The lovely and talented Arachne Jericho has volunteered to be the host for January's FFC.

Huzzah! Hurrah! O frabjous day! We have ourselves a host!

It is yet to be determined when the theme and guidelines will be posted, but I have a feeling it will be soon, so make certain to return before too long.

I'll be looking for hosts for the upcoming months as well, so do keep us in mind if you are inclined to be a leader among writers. You may contact me via the email in my Blogger profile. Don't forget, you need a Blogger account so I can add you to the team.

If you have a question, please feel free to ask in the comments as others probably have the same one or something similar.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome Flashers!

Because everyone who blogs does not have a specific blog dedicated just to their creative writing, I decided to create a blog dedicated to Flash Fiction Carnivals. Why? Simplicity.

Writers who wish to participate will have one central location in which they will find the current theme for a FFC. For now I envision no more than two FFCs to be running at a time. One will be the regular monthly themed carnival and the other will be seasonal or topical in some other way yet to be determined.

Hosting can and will be passed around. Each person hosting needs a Blogger account so they can be added to the list of posters for this blog. That way the host can run the carnival more easily which only makes sense. Since the hosting spot will switch off among different people, each host will post the list of participating stories in their personal blog as well as here. The chosen theme will be posted in the host’s blog as well. If someone wishes to host a carnival and does not have a blog, they may host it all in this space. That's one reason I created it.

Writers who do not have a blog but wish to participate in a FFC can be hosted here. All they have to do is send their flash story to the current FFC host per the instructions in the theme announcement. For easier navigation, the sidebar will be emended so that the top module contains links to the current FFC and theme announcements.

Comment moderation is not enabled as yet. Abusive comments will be removed, however, as will those deemed to be spam. Moderation will be enabled if comment removal becomes too much of a problem.

You will notice that AdSense ads are part of this blog. The reason for this is that eventually I hope to offer prizes to participating writers. These prizes will NOT be monetary. More than likely prizes will start out as gently used books from among those sent to me by my bff. The revenue from AdSense clicks will be to defray shipping costs. If needed I will add a PayPal button to that same end. This blog is not about profit, it is about writing. I have no idea when or how this will work, I am just seeing if people are interested in having this as an incentive. Suggestions and comments are welcome. Feel free to email me privately if you so desire.

If this thing flies? I figure the possibilities are endless. One day we may find a publisher who wants to do “The Best Of…” or we may decide to self-publish via POD. This site is about challenging yourself to write to a theme, to become a better writer, to see what other writers do with a common theme, and to have FUN.

January’s theme will be posted in the next couple of days. WATCH THIS SPACE!