Flashes of inspiration #13 – Entries

Writing prompt: Businessman seated on a telephone wire. Watched by a crow.

Hey there, here are the entries for the latest Flashes of Inspiration contest. I’ve been joined by the lovely Tabatha Wood, who interviewed me last week. In case you weren’t aware, she has a collection of short horror fiction out, called Dark Winds Over Wellington. You can check it out here. Okay, so the words this week were Seminal, Ferocity, Pyjamas. We had 400 words to play with and we were looking to evoke a bygone age with our writing. Let’s see what we’ve got…

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Flashes of inspiration #12 – Entry

Writing prompt: Horse & rider racing. Dazzling sunlight. Classical architecture.

‘Dim ond fi,’ as they say in these parts. Only me this time, but I enjoyed the challenge. It feels good to be back in the saddle, so to speak. So what have I got here? A little vignette, flinging us back to past days of glory and tragedy, swords, sandals, and beating hooves. It didn’t quite do all that I’d hoped but I’m content with it.

From next week I’ll be getting some signal-boosting assistance from my good friends at the Ginger Nuts of Horror, so hopefully we’ll start seeing a bit more company and competition around here. I’m happy to keep plugging away for my own satisfaction but the frisson of competition definitely adds something. It drives us to do better each time, and I think it sharpens the mind, makes us more aware of the power and significance of each word, each line.

Anyway, here’s my nugget of creativity for this week…

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Flashes of inspiration #11 – Entries

Writing prompt: Young boy floating in a lake which reflects the cosmos.

A quiet one this week, just the two of us. It’s still working though, still getting me writing regularly instead of just thinking about maybe writing something one day. I’ve just had FB memories popping up today reminding me of one of the books I’ve actually nurtured from conception to reality, so that’s a boost for me too. Proves we can actually do something if we set out with determination and follow things through all the way. Anyway, enough bunkum from me. Here are this week’s entries for Flashes of Inspiration.

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Flashes of inspiration #10 – Entries

Writing prompt: Young boy adrift in a stormy sea, standing in an upturned umbrella.

The lightning has struck and here we are again, caught in the flash. A few more entries this time round. Glad I pushed the boat out one more time after last week’s wee wobble. You’ll recall there’s a prize up for grabs this time round – a copy of This Twisted Earth. Well stuff it, you’re all winners. A copy of the book will be winging its way to each of our entrants this week. Thank you for joining me. I’m thinking of shaking things up a bit for the next 10 contests. Similar set-ups but with some specific targets, encouraging us to flex some different writing muscles. Until then, why not have a read of this week’s entries?

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Flashes of inspiration #9 – Entries

Writing prompt: Extreme close-up of an long-lashed eye. A naked man clambers through the pupil.

Another week has flown. I almost didn’t make this one. It’s been a tricky time and I’ve been kind of overwhelmed. Back on track now. The last editing gig is almost done and the tangle of personal bits and bobs are starting to resolve themselves at last. Anyway, moving on. Just two of us taking part in the challenge, so no voting required. Not sure if the change of days has affected things or if the stars of creativity just failed to align for the folk who would usually appear. We shall have to see. In the meantime, here are the entries inspired by Jono Dry’s art.

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Flashes of inspiration #8 – Entries

Writing prompt: A woman standing by an open-casket, touching the corpse within. She catches our eye...and smiles slyly.

Time’s up. Just a couple of us this week, so no need to vote. It’s all about the exercise of writing, making inspiration a reflexive habit instead of an occasional experience. It’s funny, but my story twisted in my hands. I had thought to dive into madness and necrophilia, but those laughing eyes (and my protagonist’s wittering way) dragged things around to a different kind of darkness. And Tabby’s story? Yeah, that feels right. It’s a good ‘un. Well, why don’t I shut up and just let you read them, eh?

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Flashes of inspiration #7 – Entries

Writing prompt: A serious-looking chimpanzee in a business suit. He holds a gun, and looks ready to use it.

Morning all. These are strange and strained times for everyone at the moment, so it’s understandably hard to commit to anything non-essential. The lack of entrants to our little contest this week shows that people have other things on their minds, and that’s cool. It means a lot to me that people generally are taking part, engaging with the images and words, sharing their talents and growing their creativity. I’ll keep doing these contests because I want to challenge myself to keep writing as much as anything, even in these little snatches. It keeps the candle aflame and builds the muscles of the imagination.

That said, we are officially taking a month off because my family and I are heading off to New Zealand. The next contest will be posted up on Thursday 9th May. Until then, keep plugging with your own creative endeavours. Oh, and here are the entries for this week. (No voting.)

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Flashes of inspiration #6 – Entries and voting

Writing prompt: Close-up of the cracked face of an android woman. Blue eyes shine out from beneath a ragged white fringe of hair.

Morning lovelies, I won’t badger you to enter this one again. It finished last night! Are you curious to see what our writers came up with? I certainly am. If you already know how this goes then slip straight on down to read them and then vote. If you’re a newcomer to the site then I’ll briefly explain. The image above was set last week as a prompt for our writers to play with. The only constraints were the word limit (just 400) and the fact that three key words had to be included in some way – Perdition, Transform, and Decorous. Up until now, we’ve always done the contest for fun. This time there’s a prize on offer: ‘A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power.’ Well, what are you waiting for? Read on…

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Flashes of inspiration #5 – Entries and voting

Writing prompt: A gas-masked youth in leathers rides a crazed merry-go-round horse in a post-apocalyptic fun-fair.

The bell has struck, the hour has come, and all the entries are in. Thanks again for those who have submitted to Flashes of Inspiration. I realise time is short and you all have busy lives. What’s heartening is that I seem to be getting new people every time, which gives us a good variety of styles and mindsets. Who are the authors? I hear you ask. You’ll find out next week when I declare the winner. Winner? I hear you prompt – because there may be new readers here, ya know. Oh yeah, you can vote on your two favourite pieces. Take a read of the three submissions below then pick your two favourites. I hope you enjoy them.

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Flashes of inspiration #4 – Entries and voting

Writing prompt: A parade of proud druids, dressed in bright Celtic garb, passing a mighty tree..

Morning all, and thank you for joining me again to read and vote on the Flashes of Inspiration contest. There’s some wonderful work coming in, tackling the topic in a variety of ways. I love it. Our voting system is slightly knackered at the moment – the company who provided the voting code now want to charge me to continue using it. Rather than delay things here on the site, I’ll ask you to cast your votes in the Comments section. Just jot down the titles of your two favourite pieces, and feel free to add any additional thoughts as to how or why they grabbed you. I’ll total up the votes on Thursday 28th Feb, reveal the authors, and announce the winner. Right – let’s read those Flashes…

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Flashes of inspiration #3 – Entries and voting

Writing prompt: A human skull resting on straw. Through an eye-socket weaves a buttery snake.

Morning all, the time is up and we have a new stash of flashes to read! The magic words to use this time were Huckster, Pilot, and Decoy. The word limit was 300. As ever, I’m posting them up anonymously and you’ll have one week to vote. I’ll reveal the names of the authors and announce the winner on Thursday 14th February. I should add that I’ve failed to join in again this week. Apologies. I’ve been knee-deep in editing. I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and writing again next time.

Read and enjoy.

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Flashes of inspiration #2 – Entries

Writing prompt: A wooden table. Slanted slats like prison bars. A flower blossoming, poking through.

Hello, lovelies. Time’s up on our second Flashes of Inspiration contest. A quiet one this time, with just two for you to read. A reminder – the challenge was to evoke wonder in just 400 words. The above image could be used in any way to help inspire, and the following words had to be used by the writers: Speckled, Fortune, Droplet. I shan’t ask you to vote this time around. It would seem odd, somehow. Just read and enjoy.

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Flashes of inspiration #1 – Entries and voting

Writing prompt: Night. A transparent umbrella. A girl sheltering within, silhouetted against a fire.

Time’s up on our first Flashes of Inspiration contest. (I say contest, but it’s all in good fun.) The rules were simple. All our intrepid writers had to do was produce an engaging piece of fiction, using no more than 500 words. Any genre, any format. The featured image was open to interpretation, but the piece must include the following three words:

Isolation / Bubbling / Tribal.

Let’s take a look at what came in:

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