Sunday, June 12, 2016

Janet Flash: "Untogether"

by Michael Seese

It's been a few weeks since Janet Reid held one of her 100-word contest. But this week our patience was rewarded. The words:


And here is "Untogether."

Emily smiled. She'd grown weary of living in her sister's shadow, following her every move. But today, finally, she didn't mind.

Emma earned straight A’s. Emily had straight lines on her thighs.

Emma published four books. Emily had a blog.

Emma owned a house in the ‘burbs and the Hamptons. Emily owned only debt.

Emma had perfect pitch. Emily could carry only a grudge.

Emma gave Momma and Poppa three little ones. Emily had cats.

Emma always erred on the side of caution. Emily erred on all sides. But today she would not.

Jumping is idiot-proof.

And in case you're wondering, "Untogether" in not a word, but songs by Belly and Lush

Saturday, June 11, 2016

It Never Gets Old, Part 2

by Michael Seese

No, my blog did not needle jump. I'm not stuck in a groove. This is a reference to the broken record comment in  yesterday's postFor the second time this week, I got a little present in the mail.

This appears The Literary Hatchet #14, published by Pear Tree Press.

I was especially gratified to receive this acceptance letter a few months back, as this particular story had been rejected five times before. Just goes to show you the value of persistence. Not to mention revising older stories as you become a more mature and (ostensibly) better writer. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

It Never Gets Old, Part 1

by Michael Seese

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I never get tired of holding a book with my name somewhere within it. (Not counting the phone book.)

This is from Confessions Of A Shapeshifter edited by Terrie Leigh Relf.

 Tune in tomorrow for more...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Janet Flash: Dumb Animals

by Michael Seese

This week's Janet Reid contest was somewhat challenging, given the nature of the words:


Luckily, we're allowed to tack extra letters onto the words. Doing so allowed me to write "Dumb Animals."

The deer chuffed as it pranced in the white fluff.

“Take a breath, squeeze the trigger,” Dad urged me.

I froze. The deer spied me and dashed. I exhaled relief. Clearly, bloodlust is miffy. Then Dad coolly felled it.

He sulked the entire drive home. “It's just a dumb animal,” was all he said. The relief of his silence lasted only to the front door.

“I need a stiff drink, and... Look at this house! Where’s your idiot mother?"

That day, for the first time in my life, I saw my Father as a killer. It wouldn't be the last.

I've got to say, "miffy" is a pretty cool word. (And yes, I had to look it up.) 

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Janet Flash: Fifth Wheel

by Michael Seese

Two weeks in a row with a Janet Reid 100-word contest.

This week our mission was to include


Since we are allowed to "expand" the words, I immediately thought of "whee" as "wheel." And out came "Fifth Wheel."

“Just ignore Fifth Wheel,” Eric said to his friends. Elias hated the nickname. But if it meant his big brother would play near him…

“Look, Fifth Wheel, don't tell Mom. Maybe I'll let you keep half your allowance.” Elias, too young to know the word “extortion,” smiled feebly.

“If you don't scream, Fifth Wheel, we'll make this quick,” Eric leered as he and his friends stood, belts at the ready. For a brief moment, Elias saw Dad in Eric's eyes.

When he turned 16, Elias stole the car and took off, making sure Eric learned what four wheels felt like.

Ironically, the day I wrote this, my two boys got along perhaps better than they ever have.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Janet Flash: Unanswered

by Michael Seese

I guess the previous Janet Reid contest tuckered her out, and she needed a break. But she is back, with a twist.

We still had to write 100 words. But the new wrinkles this week:

1. Start with this phrase:  "And then she saw"
2. End with the phrase: "stunned her."
3. Use these three prompt words: cat   hat   splat

The result was "Unanswered"

And then she saw the hatchet bearing down on her skull. She closed her eyes and waited for the SPLAT or SPLORK or whatever it would be.

The blow never came.

“Well, well,” said a low voice.

Margot peeked. Her deranged ex hung frozen in time. Beside him stood God.

“You haven't spoken to me in 15 years,” He said. “Now you want my help?”

Margot was in no mood for catechesis.

“Seriously?” she fumed. “Drunk pervert father. Abusive husband. I never stopped calling. You didn’t answer. Just go ahead. You've been dying to.”

His Mona Lisa smile stunned her.

We'll find out tomorrow how "Unanswered" did. Until then, what do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Castle: Heartbreaker

by Michael Seese

First, we had Castle jetting off to La-La-Land. Then we had Beckett flying solo. And now “Heartbreaker,” aka the Esposito Show. As I've said far too many times, I enjoy the episodes where the supporting cast takes the lead. So I suppose we'll soon be seeing “Ryan Time.”

“Heartbreaker” let us see a few different sides of Esposito. We saw frustration, which often seems to be his primary emotion. But the conversation he and Sonia had in the car -- the one Castle and Ryan eavesdropped on -- was genuine and tender. His speech in the van, as Ronaldo is driving them to the gold stash, showed his nobility. Then we saw his inner strength when he slapped the cuffs on her yet again.

Plus, we were treated to a glimpse of his family, including a feisty tia who slapped him upside the head. “Estupido! Don't let this angel get away twice.”

And of course in addition to tenderness and strength and nobility we had humor.

Esposito: "Sonia and I were kind of involved."
Castle: "Involved? Like dating?"
Esposito: "Dating? No. Come on. Dating. We... we were more like engaged."

Castle: "So, did you ask for the ring back, or did you let her keep that so she could trade it for cigarettes in the prison yard? That's... don't answer that."

Sonia: "And speaking of, I need new clothes, because this outfit is damn near ten years old. And I got a rep to protect, so I need labels."
Esposito: "Fine, whatever. Let's just hurry up and get this over with."
Sonia: "Didn't I used to say that to you whenever you got frisky at night?"
(Followed by Ryan slapping a hand over Castle's mouth, preventing him from saying what they all wanted to.) 

Sonia: "How dumb do you think I am?"
Esposito: "Don't answer that. It's a trap. Trust me."

Then the big sad one:

Esposito: "Nine years ago, I found out you were a thief. You know what I did then?"
Sonia: "Yeah. You arrested me."
Esposito: "No. I went home, and I packed a bag. And I grabbed my passport, cleared out my savings account. I was ready to abandon everything I believed in because I couldn't picture a life without you."

And as Esposito was trying to sort through his complex relationship, we saw the same in the Castle-Beckett-Lucy triangle.

I was in stitches when Castle and Lucy were jostling back and forth.

Lucy: "No, Rick, you're amazing."
Castle: "No, you are."
Lucy: "No, you are."
Castle: "No, Lucy, you are."
Lucy: "Rick, you are amazing and you know it."
Castle: "Stop it."

And then Lucy’s dismissal of Beckett: “Great. Have fun. Goodbye. Leave the house.”

Naturally, Beckett would never allow herself to play second fiddle…

Interesting aside: Toks Olagundoye (Hayley) was listed in the opening credits, but never appeared.

Updated aside: In the back of my mind, I'd wondered if Hayley's increased role was in preparation for a possible Beckett departure. Now we know.

We're looking forward to trying to catch up. In the meantime, please share your thoughts on “Heartbreaker.”