Guest Writer Spot

Yes, I know it’s Saturday and I don’t usually post on Saturday, but my feet didn’t touch the ground yesterday. So my Guest Writer Spot is slightly delayed. Apologies. 

If you’d like to appear in my Guest Writer Spot, please contact me here or by e-mail: I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines.

This week, it’s my pleasure to welcome Kat. I don’t know anything other than her name and the fact that she’s a very talented writer:

It’s Getting Out of Control


It’s getting out of control, the need to flee.
The wanderlust taking a hold on me.
The yearning to escape, the yearning to explore,
God, there’s got to be something more.
Trapped and unable to move,
Knowing deep down I have something to prove.
The burning within my chest,
Too many emotions left unexpressed.
It’s getting out of control, the need to scream,
Tears falling in unsteady streams.
It keeps on building, threatening to explode,
Every smile on my face seeming borrowed.
The light that grows dimmer, the one in my eyes,
The one place that betrays my disguise.
Nothing else shows what’s within,
Impatiently waiting for my life to begin.
It’s getting out of control, all the endless questions,
Trying so hard to squeeze out my confessions.
There is no rightful answer, I don’t know how I feel,
But a smile on my face will undoubtedly seal the deal.
Asking if I’m okay, the question never expired,
My mind screaming no, and my mouth saying I’m tired.
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I Need You – Again!

Competition Time! Last week I set a mini-competition within a mini-competition! Lots of you took part in my recent flash fiction competition where I set the theme of ‘The Discovery’.  T…

Source: I Need You – Again!

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I Need You – Again!

Competition Time!

Last week I set a mini-competition within a mini-competition! Lots of you took part in my recent flash fiction competition where I set the theme of ‘The Discovery’.  The results can be read here, if you missed them.

So I’m now looking at running my next mini-competition, but I’m not quite sure of the theme to set. So, that’s where you come in. What theme would you like to write about? I’ve already had some excellent suggestions. Thank you. If you have any more, please leave your ideas in the comments box or e-mail me:

The one I choose as the theme of my next mini-competition wins £10 and a copy of my book of short stories. 

You have until 24th December. Come on, give it a go!



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Markets For Writers

This week’s market is a fun one. ‘Writing Magazine‘ are holding a dialogue-only short story competition. No descriptive narrative is allowed to accompany the dialogue so you have to let your characters’ words ‘show’ the reader who the characters are and what’s going on. Here are a few more details for you:


1st prize:       £200 plus publication in ‘Writing Magazine

Runner-up: £50 plus publication on the website

Entry fee:      £5 (£3 for subscribers)

Closing date: 15th February 2017

Word limit:    1500-1700 words

To find out more, visit the competition page



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Funny Of The Week/Nutty Newspaper Headlines Part Four

Words fail me…


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Monday Motivations

Well, this Monday certainly came round far too quickly. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Here’s a new challenge for you:

Write a story or poem on the theme Flashback.

Last week’s theme was Darkness. There were some fantastic pieces:

I’ve really missed Keith Channing‘s limericks so it’s great to see him back:

Distinguishing darkness from light
Is the primary duty of sight
The differing shades
Twixt Heaven and Hades
Are as varied as daytime to night.

Adam Dixon has written a brilliant story. I love his descriptive skills:

Darkness. How she had come to adore it. She scoffed to recall the days when she used to be frightened of it. Those days were long, long ago, a mere salty speck in the maelstrom of her memories, but she could still recollect them, most likely because they amused her. Darkness…how could she ever bear to part from it anymore? The daily struggle for survival sapped her prodigious, near legendary strength, and it was only in darkness when she could allow herself to drop the illusion of invulnerability. It beckoned with kind, assuring fingers, promising safety, and comfort. The younger ones, so full of vigour and ambition chose to stay out hunting, only retreating to their own dark sanctuaries at the last moments. She was the opposite now, choosing to remain with her darkness for as long as she could. Darkness understood her. Darkness saved her.

Soon, her hunger would become great again and she must answer its demands. She would rise and stalk the night under the cover of darkness instead of being held in its embrace; a poor substitute in her eyes. Oh, feeding still had its charms as well as its purpose, but the thrill of it had deserted her long ago. She still enjoyed the coppery taste of blood and feeling its warmth flow through her body, but the struggles and cries of her victims no longer delighted her. When once she had prowled the earth like a great huntress she now only thought of her darkness and how to hurry back to it. Whenever she crossed paths with others of her kind they would stand agape, their awe and fear stabbing into her nostrils with irritating predictability. They beheld her alabaster skin bathed in the glow of the moonlight and the luscious dark hair which framed her regal face and saw a goddess in the flesh. She in turn saw only petty distractions and rushed by them. It had been centuries since any could threaten her, so did not waste time toying with them. The darkness called.

Presently, she must leave her darkness, but she would return and the deafening noise of the world would disappear for a time. She was safe in the darkness. She loved it, and it loved her. She was certain of that.

Lynne Love is the winner of my latest flash fiction competition. Please read her latest super piece of writing:

And here’s the latest installment in the Mary Jane series from Rajiv Chopra:

Darkness engulfed them. They groped about, flailing their arms and coughing in the musty room, and finally their fingers touched.

Her breath rasping, Harley managed a croak, ‘The Dark Knight will come for us.’

A tight slap sent her reeling back. ‘You still have feelings for him, you bitch,’ came an angry voice in the dark. ‘How could you?’

‘No, I have no feelings for him. But, he and I have a legacy, and he will respect this,’ replied Harley. Her fingers reached for Mary Jane’s face in the dark, and she squeaked, ‘Please darling, you must believe me.’

A long pause followed, and then came a reluctant, ‘Oh, alright’ through the darkness that enveloped them.

Light streamed in through a break in the wall, and a cackling laugh was heard. The room was suddenly filled with blinding light, and the two girls found themselves huddled in a corner of their room, shielding their faces. Ice seemed to run through their veins, and they froze in fear and panic.

Fighting back the desire to blubber like fools, they lay back, hands held tight.

So, you think you could escape us?’ a voice sneered. Mary Jane opened her eyes slowly, to see Spidey sneering at her. His eyes and demeanor had changed, and he was no longer the loving Spider she had known. He was a stranger- arrogant, cocky, insolent and full of anger. He seemed to want to assert his superiority over her at all costs, and he stood there in the arrogance of his pride in having her as his prisoner.

Meanwhile, two smaller gentlemen appeared from behind his knees. The two hobbits no longer seemed the gentle souls that she had known. A sneaky vengefulness and spite seemed to have entered their mien, and she could not believe the transformation.

Finally, a foul, cackling breath hung close to Harley’s lips, and she opened her eyes, to look at the Joker. He was on his hands and knees in front of her, cackling with a wild glee.
A darkness seemed to have come over the four men who beheld the two women who sat crouched in the corner.

A darkness also entered the hearts of the two women.

Ah, but The Dark has many shades, and many characteristics. The Dark manifests itself differently in different beings, and brings out some of the essential traits of the person it enters.

The Dark entered the six people in the room, and what different shades we see before us.
Let me, Loki – Prince of Darkness, cause the six to freeze for a while, and let me ask you – what do you see?

Do you see the Darkness of anger and hatred enter the two women? Do you see the Darkness of spite, pride and cruelty enter the men? Do you see the Darkness of sneakiness enter the two Hobbits?

What will I bring to the table now? What shall you see? Do your eyes pierce the veil of illusion? Or, will you allow yourself be carried gently into the cool night, to seek the direction this tale shall now take?

EDC Writing‘s is short, but very effective:

Shows as camera ready
Loved-up sky adores
No feeling in the dark
Half a day alone

Please visit Simon Farnell‘s website to read his great offering:



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Guest Writer Spot

It’s Friday and time for my Guest Writer Spot, which gives writers the opportunity for their  work to be seen and read by others. I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines. If you would like some of your writing to be featured on my blog, please contact me here or by e-mail:

This week,  Donny Marchand is my guest writer. He’s featured a several times before in my Friday slot but if you haven’t come across his work before, here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:

‘I have only started writing for publication a short time ago, and been fortunate to have had some modest success, in the placement of my work.

‘I have had four short stories published in a magazine entitled ‘Dimdima’ whose main office is in Mumbai, India. Two articles  published in a newspaper, ‘UK Column’ who are based in Plymouth,UK, and one short story in a magazine ‘Stories for Children’ out of the U.S.A.’

Here’s his latest entertaining story:

Taxing Times


Donny Marchand

Natural wastage was the current tag being bandied about by the banksters to represent, “given the boot”. Sixteen years of loyal service by a staff member meant nothing to these self-centred bigwigs. Arrogantly padding their fat salaries with enormous bonuses they conveniently awarded themselves under the guise of performance related, and they saw no need to justify their gratuitous action. In many cases the money needed for this highway robbery, was acquiesced by laying off the people who actually did the work, thus eliminating the need to pay them. And Salvatore Collecci was one of those unfortunate expendable workers. A person now referred to as natural wastage.

At first Salvatore tried to get his life sorted by doing everything on the straight and narrow. But nothing he tried worked out for him. All the jobs he applied for came to nil, and he felt he was riding on a treadmill leading to a dead-end. He was either too old, unqualified, or just plain unsuitable. The harder he toiled things just got worse. The tragedy that really broke the camel’s back though, was when his wife packed her bags and strolled out the front door. He became so destitute that he started drowning his sorrows in alcohol. Meandering from soup kitchens to gin parlours, and back again, he deteriorated at an alarming pace. Finally, when his house was repossessed he  quickly spiralled down to rock bottom, and came to the conclusion that his only chance at survival was to become a thief. And so he began his journey into the life of crime. 

At first his pilfering was all just petty stuff. But he couldn’t help  becoming addicted to the thrill and danger of escaping without getting caught, and decided to step it up a notch. So he started mugging people late at night in parks, alleyways, and dark, dingy back streets. Then Salvatore graduated to robbing all-night gas stations, and convenience stores at gunpoint. and  finally he made the big jump to holding up banks, so in a way he had come full circle. His infamous notoriety was spreading like wildfire, and because he gave instructions to bank tellers on little paper notes to cough up the dough, his nom de plume had become “The Bank Manager”.

But the bank once again became his nemesis, for on the fourth stick-up he got collared. Sentenced to only five years because it was his first offence, he actually got out in three. Idleness never being one of his faults, he utilized the time behind bars studying accountancy. To call prison study courses unusual was the understatement of the century. The accountancy courses had curious curriculum names such as, Sidestepping Tax Flaws, Soiled Bills Washing, Pension Fund Evaporation, and so on.

While doing his nickel he spent hours on the Internet, finding and cultivating relationships with potential clients for his intended accountancy business when he got out of the clink. He was so successful at it, that his venture was off and running the moment he walked out the gate, a free man.

Shortly after his release Collecci bumped into Jack Grollington, one of the top executives of the bank that had laid him off.

“Salvatore, it’s good to see you my boy. The scuttlebutt on the street says you’re flying high. I always knew you’d do well, said that to everyone constantly.”

“Did you, Mister Grollington?” retorted Collecci, “Then why did the bank give me the push? Corporations usually hang on to their best talent, so why was I dismissed?”

“I fought very hard to keep you, but the board outnumbered me by twelve to two. Being outvoted by such a large margin, I had no choice but to acquiesce.”

 “You said twelve to two, so if one was you, who was my other fan then?”

 “I don’t think it would be proper for me to divulge that information.”

 “Oh come on, Jack, nothing drastic is going to happen, and you know it.”

 “Okay, but promise me you’ll keep it under wraps, for her sake anyway.”

 “Oh, so I had a female admirer then, come on let the cat out of the bag, so I can gloat.”

“Well if you really must know, it was that air-head Dorothy Danderbratch,” Grollington divulged with a sly grin beaming across his face.

“Oh my God, not her!” exclaimed a startled Collecci.

 “I thought you might feel queasy about that,” retorted a cocky Grollington.

 A totally embarrassed Collecci looked nervously at Grollington and pleaded, “Promise me you’ll never tell anyone else about Dopey Dandruff voting for me, please!”

 “Well,” responded Grollington, “There is this one thing I’d like you to consider doing for me.”

“Anything, Jack, just name it.”

 “I understand from some people I know in government, that although your firm indulges in some pretty sharp practices, it is able to avoid any kind of punishments. This protection your company receives, a barricade against the law that allows you to triple the profits of your clients without any penalties being awarded against them. Am I correct so far?”

 “Pretty much so,” answered Salvatore in a confident manner.

 “Then tell  me, Sally, my boy, what kind of schemes could you come up with for my bank?”

 “Well for starters, I could triple your loan profits, with no risks to your bank, or any bad publicity.”

“How would you create that miracle?”

 “No miracle, just an illusion.”

 “Can you be more explicate?” asked Jack.

“Simple, it goes like this. I will set up one of those quick money loaning businesses, you know the ones you always see advertised on T.V. Let’s say we call it Speedy Loot. We get two flunkies to be the directors, mainly as a front. Then I negotiate, and set up a business loan between your bank and Speedy Loot. The directors run the company, take a modest salary out of the company’s profits and agree to be responsible for the company and all its dealings, including its usury. Your only connection to them is as a banker who gave them a business loan, which is a private matter between your bank and Speedy Loot. Each month they make a loan repayment to your bank of sixty per cent of its profits which is written in the loan agreement contract.”

“That’s one idea, anymore you’ll have to pay for,” explained Salvatore.

 “That all sounds very interesting, so I wish to make you an offer to take on the position of chief consultant to the bank.”

 “And the remuneration?”

 “How does half a million a year, plus bonuses sound to you.”

 “Make it seven hundred thousand and we’ve got a deal.”

 “I’ll meet you in the middle, six hundred thousand plus bonuses. I believe that’s a fair offer.”

 “Six, bonuses, and a seat on the board,” proposed Collecci.

 “Well Miss Danderbratch was voted out a week ago, so I guess you can have her empty chair. So, it looks like you’ve got a deal.” Concluded Grollington, as he extended his hand.   

As they shook hands Grollington invited Collecci to a private do being held that evening for the top executives of the bank, in the penthouse of the Marlborough Parkside Hotel.

Collecci accepted the invite. Then as they parted and headed on their separate ways, Grollington yelled back to Collecci, “Oh Salvatore, bring your favourite lady if you want.”












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