Funny Of The Week/Nutty Newspaper Corrections Part Eight

Shoes? Missiles? What’s the difference?!


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Monday Motivations

If you’re feeling sluggish after the weekend and need a little help to unlock your writing brain, here’s a challenge for you:

Write a flash fiction piece of between 50-250 words with the following line in it somewhere:

He didn’t want to turn around; he knew just what he’d see and he could face anything but that.

Here is your challenge from last week:

Write a flash fiction piece of between 50-300 words with the following two lines in it somewhere:

Well, that was certainly fun. And very unexpected.  

You sent in some super reads:

Melissa Barker-Simpson couldn’t resist this one:

“Well, that was certainly fun. And very unexpected.”

Sophia snorted out a laugh. “Unexpected? You were asking for it. And you knew what would happen if you pushed me.” She reached out to catch a dollop of buttercream as it slid a sugary path down his cheek. Sucking the treat into her mouth she surveyed the area.Total and utter carnage surrounded them. It would take hours to clean up the food.

When her eyes flicked back to Gareth she found his gaze on her. The laughter erupted again until they were squirming on the ground like children. A glazed cherry that was attached to a chunk of cake dropped from his nose and landed on her shoulder with a soft plop. Damn him, but he always managed to have the last laugh.

Rajiv Chopra continues his Mary Jane series and says I only have myself to blame for this week’s offering!:

“Well, that was certainly fun. And very unexpected.”

The two of them lay there in the bed together, their sweat mingling, dusky smells emanating from their recent, amorous activities.

“I loved it when Spidey saw us kissing,” sighed Mary Jane. Harley’s smile was wide, and she purred and stroked Mary Jane’s cheek.

“The Joke is on my man,” she whispered. “What would I have given to see the look on his face, when he opened The Black Envelope.”

“And, to think, we gave each of them identical, Black Envelopes. We really are wicked! So, what shall we do now?” she asked, looking suggestively at Harley Quinn.

Silence followed, broken only by a few sighs.

Later that evening, a car pulled out of Gotham, and the two of them raced off into a romantic sunset. Life was theirs for the taking. There was no man to answer to, no triangle or quadrangle to get messed up in, or no mad smile to manage. They were free, and their car raced off into the distant horizon, with the two women, screaming in joy. They gave their new found freedom and love full throttle, and soon all that was left was the dust of the city as it settled down for the night.

Night, however, found four men sitting around a table, the shadows on their grim faces, the table lit solely by the quintessential lamp.

The Band of Forsaken Brothers, is what they called themselves, initially. Then, they decided that this was too dramatic a name. The League of The Black Envelope was better. This too, was not good enough.

And then, they hit upon a name. The Band of Black and Red (In deference to The Crazy One’s red mouth, and Spidey’s red costume).

They were ready for the chase!

Andy Beddy joins us for the first time with a great story:

It happened so unexpectedly I nearly spilt my latte over my wife. The middle aged man sitting next to me stood up suddenly and began singing “silent night”.

At the same time the 3 teenagers by the escalators threw off their hoodies and began to sing along in perfect harmony. Then the balcony of the upper mall erupted with what seemed like hundreds of voices all singing along with the group down here with us.
The shopping mall’s lights began to dim and the Christmas tree lights cast a warming glow over the whole shopping mall.

“What’s happening?” I whispered. I looked at Bev and I could see the grin on my wife’s face as she, too, stood up and joined in with the choir. It was then that the penny dropped, this was why she had been so slow doing the shopping today. She knew what was happening because this was the choir from her church, the one I had only recently started going to, which is why I didn’t recognise all the faces. This was a “flash mob”.

I couldn’t help, it. Standing next to my wife I joined in, squeezing her hand with joy.
All too soon it was over. The lights came back on in the mall and the hoodies were back on the teenager’s heads. Life resumed as if nothing had happened.

I looked at my wife. “Well, that was certainly fun. And very unexpected,” I said.

“Yes dear, it was.” She grinned, “Shall we go home?”






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Guest Writer Spot

I’m thrilled to welcome Murray Clarke back to my Friday Guest Writer Spot. Murray is known for his short stories, but here he shares the only poem he has ever written with us. And pretty stunning it is too.

Here’s a little bit about Murray:

Murray Clarke has a real passion for writing short stories – and began putting pen to paper when he was only eight years old (which is more years ago than he cares to remember!) He has had many flash fiction stories published, mainly in small press magazines. After a lifetime working in the broadcast television industry as part of a video crew filming on location (he was one of the first people to work on ‘Countryfile’ and ‘Top Gear’, for example), he now owns, along with his wife, the franchise to three estate agencies in the East Midlands.

Every day he writes the details on the web for many of the properties on sale, and takes professional photographs. In his spare time, he writes. Last year, being keen to improve his writing skills, Murray enrolled on a Comprehensive Creative Writing Course with The Writers Bureau, under the watchful eye of Esther Newton. His ambition, one day, is to have a book published.

Beyond The Sunset

A Poem by Murray Clarke

 A space. A void. Nothing there except his own finality.

A chance to dream. To remember what might have been.

Another time. Another place far from this place.

If only. And yet maybe his time would come again.

A chance to be happy. A chance, one final chance to

Grasp at happiness before it was too late.

He had done it all before – a long time ago. And now

It could be done again. If he was resolute and firm.

Give nothing of yourself and you get nothing back.

Put nothing in and you can expect nothing in return.

Life is like that. Of this he was sure. But even so.

Surely it was all worth one more effort, one supreme

Sacrifice? He was alone but somehow not on his own.

There were others – others who would want to help

If only he would let them. Now was the time to decide

Before it was all too late and light dissolved to

Darkness. There must be no going back. Ever.

Find the courage. Now, before it was too late.


Or face extinction.


If you’d like to see your work 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.



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My Weekly Writing Challenge – With A Twist!

This week’s challenge is a little different – there isn’t one! Instead, from next week, I’m going to be setting some new mini competitions with prizes. I hope you’ll give them a go. Watch this space for news…

Now, on to last week’s challenge and the fantastic writing I received in response.

OPTION ONE was to write a fifteen-word story with the words THUNDER, TRUMP and TIARA in it somewhere.

Sanfranciscoatheart sent in a wonderfully topical story:

Hillary trumped Trump to steal the thunder and wear a presidential tiara!!

Rajiv Chopra always amuses:

Trump put a tiara on Hillary. The Republican thunder suddeny rolled loudly across the Nation!

OPTION TWO was to write a poem or limerick on the theme of SORROW.

Keith Channing takes my breath away with his brilliant limerick writing abilities:

According to Henry Dave Thoreau,
We can make a better tomorrow.
If life is promotive
Of offerings votive,
Then living will overcome sorrow.

Now, sorrow’s a normal reaction
To a lack of affirmative action.
Related, of course,
To our old friend remorse,
That’s a consequence of an infraction.

I thought it was something quite funny,
When my Dad said, “Advice for you, Sonny.
Don’t lend and don’t borrow
They’ll both lead to sorrow.
Be smart, and look after your money.”

Convinced it was all balderdash,
I spent years being careless with cash.
I’d no thought for the morrow,
Expected no sorrow;
Then came the financial crash.

The interest rates fell to the floor
And I found I could borrow no more.
To my greatest chagrin,
Twas all lose and no win,
And not like it was heretofore.

Now, here is a word to the wise,
And I fear this may be a surprise.
The thing that’s perverse
About each prior verse
Is that it’s a whole bunch of lies.

Rajiv has written a poem on sorrow, based on a question asked him in the library:

She asked me if I was a television presenter
I really did not want to lie at all to her.
And so, I said, “Milady, this I am definitely not,
But, do you still find me slightly hot?

She turned away, and wrinkled her nose,
And blew me away, as if with a hose.
She looked at me like I’m an insect
And then proceeded to hold her breath.

So now you understand my deep sorrow,
I really cannot face the lady tomorrow.
The girl has gone and my sorrow runs deep,
Why, oh why – do I want to sleep and weep?

For OPTION THREE, your word of the week was the MUSIC. 

Rajiv shows us what music means to him:

Music is a strange thing, and it is hard to say what it means for me. I have a reasonably wide range, or collection, of music and often choose my music depending on my mood. But, I have been planning to write about ‘Driving Music’ for a very long time, so maybe this is a good time to do it.

Sometimes, in the morning, or particularly when I am stuck in the traffic, I will listen to calming music. Something like ‘The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra’, or ‘Wahe Guru’, or ‘Aum Man Padme Hum’.

There are times when I will listen to some Indian maestros, like Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia on the flute, or Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on the santoor. They don’t find their way into Western lists of the world’s greatest this, or that. However, their music is divine.

At others, I will listen to the Tuvan throat singing of Huun-Huur-Tu, or the music of Mamer, the singer from West China. I love the singing of Tenger, or Mongolian pop music.

If I listen to ‘Bollywood’ music, it is normally the music of the 1960’s and 1970’s. What is produced these days (with a few exceptions like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’) is really awful.

The other thing I like a lot, is shaman drumming, or some traditional Japanse drum groups like Tao, or the Kato drummers.

When I am in a more rocky mood, I will listen to good old rock music. Pink Floyd, the early music of Jethro Tull, the early music of Deep Purple, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, Grand Funk, ELP. The list can go on and on.

What I have discovered recently, is goth metal, and groups like Leaves Eyes come to mind.

And, what I also really like is pagan music. I have discovered some more European groups like Omnia or Faun, who are brilliant in this form of music.

I must say that some of these north European groups are really interesting.

Music is a mood thing. It needs to match the mood you are in. It can uplift you, or depress you. I generally listen to a lot of music when I am at the computer, especially when I am editing my photographs, or writing.

The waveforms of music have an intimate relationship with us, as human beings.

Death Metal, on the one hand, rouses the beast in us. It hammers at our consciousness, and can take you into an entirely different dimension. It is violent. It speaks a different language.

Much pop music of today is empty. It is, as Bowie is once said to have remarked (and, I don’t know if it is true) plastic pop that reflects today’s plastic soul.

On the one hand, like shaman drumming – they bring us back to our roots. When you listen to Shiv Kumar Sharma’s music of the mountains / Hari Prasad’s music of the rivers / Huun-Huur-Tu, you are transported back into the bowels of the earth, and you can feel the spirit of the natural world flow through you.

This then, is pure music.

Our choice of music reflects our stage in life, our growth as individuals, our society, our culture, and the state of our soul.

We each choose our own path, and music accompanies us on the highway of life.



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Markets For Writers

This week’s market will suit those of you who like a writing prompt. Scribble magazine is currently accepting entries for its annual short story competition. Your theme is FEAR.


1st: £100

2nd: £50

3rd: £25

The winning entry will appear in the winter edition of Scribble, which will be published during December 2016.

Word length: A maximum of 3000 words

Closing date: 1st November 2016

Entry fee: £4.00. Free entry for annual subscribers. 

To find out how to enter, visit the competition page.




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Funny Of The Week/Nutty Newspaper Corrections Part Seven

The difference a ‘g’ can make…


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Monday Motivations

I hope you’re all having a good Monday so far. If you’re struggling for inspiration, here’s a challenge to help your creative brain to get working.

Write a flash fiction piece of between 50-300 words with the following two lines in it somewhere:

Well, that was certainly fun. And very unexpected.  

I hope that gets the ideas coming. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Last week’s challenge brought in some interesting and entertaining stories.

Here was your challenge:

Write a flash fiction piece of between 50-200 words with the following line in it somewhere:

“No! Stop what you’re doing. Now!” he yelled. 

Hugh Roberts was first in with his clever tale:

“No! Stop what you are doing. Now!” he yelled.

Beads of sweat trickled down Tom’s face, stinging his eyes. His heart raced so fast that had it been a racing car, it would have crossed the finishing line way ahead of the rest of the field.

“Are you sure?” asked Zoe.

Tom’s head felt like it was going to explode. He didn’t want to launch himself into the unknown…not yet! Then he remembered that dream he had always had.

“No…Oh go on then,” he said, as he squeezed his eyes shut.

Zoe turned around and pushed the button. Tom’s first book had now been published.

Ageofaquariousweb felt inspired:

“No! Stop what your doing! Now!” he yelled.

As I look into my fiance’s face and see the look in his eyes I can tell he loves me. With the words of the Officiant, I know that this is real and I am happier than I have been in my whole life. Battling love TKO’s after another, I finally have found the man of my dreams.

“And if there is any one who see this marriage not fit, speak now or forever hold your peace”…

“No! Stop what your doing! Now!” he yelled. WTF….”Is that my baby, daddy, you are kidding me right now”!

“Security, escort this missing link the hell out of here. Did he really think he had a say?”

“Go ahead, son, I mean, Pastor, we are ready!”

Bubbles and Beebots sent in a brilliant story:

“No! Stop what you’re doing. Now!” he yelled.

It was the first time her father had ever yelled.

MOM was always the one harping on about math grades and coming home past curfew.

Her constant nagging made Dad afraid to come home.

When he did, he was always so nice. He took her out for pizza. He undid the locks on her cell phone.

Which was why she told the courts Mom would get drunk and hit her.

HE loved her, unlike Mom.

But he’d been somehow changing, ever since she’d moved in.

Here’s the next entertaining piece in the Mary Jane series from Rajiv Chopra:

‘No! Stop what you’re doing. Now!’ he shouted. Spidey woke up with a start. It was not a dream. He had seen her do it. He looked around. He was alone. It was not a horrible dream.
That evening he was at his favourite pub, that hated letter in hand. The letter in the black envelope. That’s when he saw those hated Hobbits, each holding a black envelope.

‘What’s going on?’ he asked, finding himself to be unusually warm and chummy. Misery does indeed seek misery, and finds comfort in the least expected places.

They showed them their black envelopes, gloomy lines coursing down their almost childlike, ageless faces. ‘A beer,’ said Frodo. ‘Let’s have a beer, and drown our sorrows together.’

Beer flowed along with their lament. Tears coursed down their cheeks. They vowed eternal, drunken friendship, and swore to find her.

As the evening wore on, the pub doors were flung open, and in walked a most outlandish person. Dressed in green, with a white pasty face, dressed in a red smile that seemed to have been carved on to his visage.

He snarled bitterly. ‘My Harley Quinn has run off with some dame called Mary Jane Parker.’

And here’s Simon Farnell‘s super take on the prompt. Please click on the link to read his story:






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