Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Janet Flash: Bird

by Michael Seese

OK, this time Janet really went 'round the bend. She proposed a contest that consists of 4 rounds, with each round potentially (author's discretion) building on the previous. So we have

Round One
closes: 12/25
Number of words: 30

Round two
Closes: 12/28
Number of words: 25

Round Three
Closes: 12/30
Number of words: 25

Round Four
Closes: 1/1/18
Number of words: 20

Until the contest opens, the keyword was a secret.

For round 1, it was "bird." So here is my entry:

“Birds were meant to fly,” her mother cooed. “So fly.”

Faith pushed her out. She caught an updraft, and soared, gloriously, finally tasting freedom.

Returning home, she found an abandoned nest, too soon tasting emptiness.

Round 2 (posted today) it was "ring," which just happened to be the word the story I'd already roughed out needed. 

I won't post round 2 or 3 until I complete and post round 4.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Funny Foto #78

by Michael Seese

Spotted at the local supermarket the other day.


For the life of me, I can't figure out why they thought to put ping pong balls in the beer aisle. I can't possibly see how the two go together.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Janet Flash: Everything

by Michael Seese

Apparently, there is some notion that there's good luck associated with saying "Rabbit Rabbit" on the first day of a new month. Or so Janet Reid would have us believe. I may need to Google that for confirmation. Regardless, it served as  the basis for this week's flash fiction contest.

So our charge was to incorporate

in a 100-word story. The result for me was "Everything."

“You’re so lucky,” Bonnie says, bouncing Chloe on her hip. “You have everything. Your freedom. Your figure. You traipsed around Paris, while I grew fat, eating everything in the house. We should’ve traveled when we had the chance.”

Her words doth protest regret, but belie enviable joy.

“It’s amazing to watch them turn into ‘little people.’ Nick is his daddy. And Riki’s meticulous ways. Mini me! I tell you...”

While she babbled on, gushing baby bliss, my mind wandered upstairs, to the would-be nursery where the crib sat. Half assembled.

“Yes, we have everything,” I say, holding it all in.

Not to boast, but I'm VERY proud of how I worked "kismet" into it. 

Have you had some good luck lately? Tell me about it.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Janet Flash: The Long & Winding Road

by Michael Seese

Sometimes, for one of Janet's contests, I read the words, and one stands out as "the word" that launches the story. This week, nada. Because the key"words" came from this

and were:


In fact, I sent her a tweet to tell her she was a sadist. But I thought it over, and kept coming back to "nick" as "knickknack." And from there arose "The Long & Winding Road."

I paid the bill. It was all mine now. The manager cut the padlock.

“Some of it weighs a ton. You might want a dolly. We close at 8:00.”

Then he left me alone with the knickknacks of a life I’d spent years imagining.

A blonde Fender Telecaster. 1962 model, or thereabouts.

Postcards from haphazard stops along Route 66.

Personally autographed posters of Mick Jagger and Peter Frampton.

A well-worn little black book. That I kept.

I closed the door, and left the rest for scavengers, one step closer to knowing the man the birth certificate called my father.

Did any of you all discover anything interesting while going through your parents' old things? Share.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Janet Flash: 18

by Michael Seese

Another busy week. 

Last weekend we had the usual lesson carousel on Saturday, the twins' birthday on Sunday, a grown-up Cub Scout meeting on Monday, and (of course) Halloween on Tuesday. After that, I had to work on a Pinewood Derby car, in preparation for Saturday's race.

So I didn't have time to post this, my entry in Janet's latest contest, which was LAST Friday. Gushing over the Soho Press anthology The Usual Santas, Janet asked us to incorporate the words


in a flash fiction piece.

I had a few false starts with regard to ideas (I found the word "caper" to be challenging, because I wanted to use it on a way that didn't mean "exploit") I settled on "18."

Despite a spirited breath, I still missed candle number 18. Again. The lonely flicker danced in my parents’ eyes, sparking a bittersweet rewind / replay.

“Short stuff” taking her first unsteady steps, falling into the comfy chair to giggle through Cat in a Quicksilver Caper, howling in ecstasy after seeing the word “Congratulations” below the Harvard letterhead.

I wasn't prepared to leave all that behind.

Dad finally broke the requisite silence. “So, how are you holding up, sweetie?”

“Same old story. I miss her. I miss her so much. I wish she were still here.”

I’m still here, Mommy. I am.

Since this was last week's contest, I can say it didn't win. But I like it. And if I may both, I was pretty proud of the "spirited breath" line.

Feel free to let me know what you think,

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Janet Flash: Spotlight

by Michael Seese


The kids are back in school, so that means sports, and lessons, and homework, and Scouts. (If you want to buy some Scout popcorn, let me know.)

And as mentioned somewhere in the past, I haven't posted much here because I've been focusing on a new book. Then along comes Janet to break the monotony. 

Thoroughly thrilled with MarcyKate Connolly's book Shadow Weaver, Janet sponsored a contest.

Write a 100-word story, using:


Since it's fun to spread out the keywords across multiple words, I tried to think of how I could use "weaver." I came up with "weave realities." And the rest of "Spotlight" fell into place.

Countless cameras flash as I step onto the red carpet and into the glare of scrutiny.

I spackle on the magic smile, and they buy the act. They can't see the shadow of shame consuming my flesh. Starstruck, they weave realities, imagining what it's like.


Some of us made deals with the devil.

“You can be a star, darling. I just need one thing...”

Others said “No deal.” But he took their soul anyway.

I escape into the lobby. And breathe. Surreptitiously eyeing the other Beautiful People, I wonder how many are thinking what I am.


Topical, no?

As always I welcome your feedback on this story, or on the recent revelations coming out of Hollywood.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Janet Flash: Just Visiting

by Michael Seese

I spent most of Saturday working around the house, trying to "cut the table" as they say, offering me precious little time to write. So when I went to bed, I didn't have anything solid to submit to the latest Janet Reid contest, in honor of her "new best friend Snappsy The Alligator." 

We had to use the words:

But sleep has a way of working magic. And 30 minutes before the 9:00 a.m. deadline, I posted "Just Visiting."

I opened the door silently, reverently. Everything was as I remembered it. The furniture, now comically small. The plush alligator and tie-dye tiger flanking blankie. On the shelf, guarding them all, Iron Man. I picked up the picture of the three of us. I thought he was just unhappy. But looking at it now, I see it in his eyes.


I never asked Dad if that was why he did it. The sentence, carried out today, guarantees I never will.

Closing that door tightly, I prayed it would never snap open again, like the eye of an awakened dragon.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.