Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hello, friends.

I know it’s been a while, and I apologize for the extended period of silence on my part. I’ve started and stopped writing this post a dozen times or more over the past few months, trying to decide how much to say, but in the end the reasons don’t matter much and knowing the details won’t change the outcome.

I’d like to say how thankful I am for everyone who has volunteered their time, contributed photographs, and written stories over the past few years. This feeling of community and sharing is part of why I’ve struggled so much with the idea of stopping my work on this site. I’ve spent a great deal of time running scenarios through my mind in which I’m able to continue hosting weekly flash contests, but I only have so much time and energy, and I’ve finally accepted that I can’t do everything.

All this to say that, as of now, The Angry Hourglass/Flash Frenzy is officially on an indefinite hiatus. I still have hopes that at some point in the future it may return in one form or another. I’m certainly open to suggestions.

From the very bottom of my heart thank you, thank you, thank you! For every word written and read, every comment posted, every judge who faced the frenzy. I have never felt more happy or accepted as I have in the writing community. You are all family in my eyes. Be kind to one another, and don’t be strangers. Until next time…

~R

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Round 134: Winners

Posted: April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy Tuesday, friends! Before we get to the winners, I have a quick announcement. Due to an exceptionally busy second half of the month, The Angry Hourglass will be taking a brief hiatus while I wrangle my life back into a functional order. Flash Frenzy will resume May 6.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who submitted work this past weekend, and I tip my hat to those of you who completed the special challenge. Thanks also to Jaime for issuing the challenge and judging the results. You’ll find his top picks below.

Hey folks! First off I just wanted to say it’s a pleasure being back to be a judge here. It’s a great opportunity to read new works and see new talents. This round delivered just that, as well as some flash gems. Thank you to everyone who participated!

3rd Place: ewansmithxxx – “Dream Job”

I’m a sucker for stories that are just dialogue (hence this week’s challenge), so thanks to Ewan we’re given a nifty spin on a scandal. The gloves and the countdown were nice touches, sir!

2nd Place: Stella Turner – “Traveling in the Heat”

The letter format was the obvious thing that stood out about it. The way it developed onward from its seemingly innocent beginning, however, is the real payoff. And the sign off.

And our Round 134 FLASH MASTER is..

FLASH MASTER

KM Zafari

with

“Festival of Love”

I’m always hopeful of reading fresh and inspiring works whenever I judge. I didn’t expect to be knocked on my ass with a final sentence like that. Engaging, romantic, and heartbreaking. Excellent job on this one.

Congratulations, K.M.! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie!

And that’s it! A short, sweet winners post before our short, hopefully sweet break. I hope everyone will check back in a few weeks for Round 135. In the meantime, satisfy your thirst for fiction by checking out THE INFERNAL CLOCK.  Cheers!

Flash Frenzy Round 132

Posted: March 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy Saturday, writers! Welcome to Flash Frenzy Round 132. Our judge this weekend is Voima Oy.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

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photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome back. I hope everyone had a wonderful set of holidays. The Angry Hourglass is back, and Jaime Burchardt is here to help us kick off the first Flash Frenzy of 2017. This will be another multi-photo prompt. You may incorporate images and themes from as many as you like, but your story must clearly relate to at least one.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

Hello and welcome back. It’s good to see you all here again. I’d like to say thank you to all the writers who posted stories this weekend. I thought the multi-photo format would be a fun challenge, and I’m glad to see others liked it as well. You may see this format again in the future. Thanks also to Jaime Burchardt for judging the trick or treat kick off. You’ll find his comments and top picks below.

Just want to say, I’m really glad AH is back in full swing, and I loved this new format! And I’m glad it started off with a bunch of solid stories all around. This, folks, was not easy.

2nd Runner Up: zevonesque – “Time Flies”

The experience of an emotional rollercoaster in 360 words. It’s glorious when it’s done right. Solid job.

1st Runner Up: Steph Ellis – “Canvas”

I felt like the sole purpose of this story was to reach a unique level creepiness, and by god it did. It really did. Well done.

And our Trick or Treat FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

Rebekah Postupak

with “The Costume”

Just wonderfully told all around. It’s well paced, intriguing and the ending’s caliber is one of a true storyteller.

Congratulations, Rebekah! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie! Thank you again, Jaime, for judging this round’s entries. Next weekend, Marie McKay presides over the return of Flash Frenzy. Hope to see you all there.

Update

Posted: August 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

Greetings, friends.

This is a quick note to let everyone know that The Angry Hourglass is not dead. In the wake of buying a house, moving to a new state, and starting a new job, I’ve been a little overwhelmed and haven’t had much time or energy to pursue outside activities. However, my schedule is beginning to stabilize, and the plan is to resume my flash fiction hosting duties in November. I still need to recruit judges, so if you’re interested PM me, otherwise I’ll be sending out invitations later in September.

I apologize for the hiatus lasting longer than anticipated, but I hope you’ll all be ready to rejoin the frenzy in November.

Cheers,

~R

Welcome back, friends. Hope you all had a wonderful week. Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend and wrote stories. Thanks also to Sal Page for reading and judging. You’ll find her comments below.

Holy Water and the Church of Greasy Hamburgers by Richard Edenfield. Great title. Family holiday/day out as religion. The characters of the parents are wonderfully drawn with mentions of their little ways. The mother only ever eating other people’s fries and the father’s obvious-to-all stinginess. The stick of chewing gum like the lake’s diving board and ‘The water felt like a good pair of worn jeans, instantaneously friendly and knowable’ are both ‘spot on’ similes. For all their quirky ways, they feel like a normal family. The idea of them ignoring each other and in silence at the end as their way of achieving togetherness feels very true to life.

Fishin’ in the Rivers of Time by AV Laidlaw. Another lovely title. Four adults briefly relive their childhood. The noticed details of how they have changed now they’re older give way to acting like children again. But things are not the same: the heat feels different, the planks are worm-eaten and the hut is mildewed. And then that last line shows the past is the past and their reliving has been a brief act. Nicely done.

Cliché for Lemmings by Steph Ellis cleverly uses the prompt in a metaphorical way. ‘Dip your toe in the water, they said, no need to dive straight in.’ The narrator, though, does dive right in, lemming-like, persuaded to be part of a medical trail because they’ve invested in the company. At the end the narrator is having an out-of-body experience …‘died and gone to heaven’ metaphorically or literally?

In Green and Gold by Casey Rose Frank, the narrator’s remembering the past details of her and her friend’s youth, through colours, characters and conversations. I love the concept of ‘At the day. At nothing and everything’ and the description of the water on the decking in ‘secret inkblot messages’. The penultimate line spells out baldly where they are now and the ultimate confirms that this is all memories.

Practice Makes Perfect by CR Smith. Do we really need water to learn how to swim? I love the swimming instructor’s unconventional methods, the implication that he’s not letting his pupils anywhere near water until their technique is perfect. They practice their strokes and dive onto mats and the only water is in buckets to practice holding their breath. And the idea of a boy sent home for not taking it seriously is very funny. The whole concept is appealing in its absurdity and the image of them diving into the lake at the end leaves the reader wondering whether all this practice will have worked.

The Lake by AJ Walker is from point of view of someone who believes god is telling them to kill trespassers to the lake that they will taint if they swim in it. It appears to be his lake, though we don’t know this for sure. He has made the lake ‘a place of god’, ‘drunk of the lake’, refers to the ‘power of the lake’ and uses religious language, such as worship, blessed and devout. This is chilling in that the narrator is utterly convinced others are wrong and he is right and yet the reader can see his victims are just people wanting to spend time by and in the lake, through what he is saying about them. There’s the implication that this is something he’s done before and will do again as he drags their bodies into the lake.

In Nothing and Always by Catherine Connolly, it gradually becomes clear the narrator is revisiting an event from the past, the moments before her death. She is with herself the whole time (‘My feet mock me’ and the pressing on together works well here), knowing what is about to happen as her sister, it seems, is encouraging her to jump into the lake. The sister who she never sees here, though I can’t help wondering whether if this happened it would help in some way – seeing it over and over & making the decision not to watch it ‘this time.’

Splash by Voima Oy. At first glance this is short and descriptive but on further reads we can see there’s a lot going on under the surface, just like the lake itself. The lake idyll of the past has been ruined by overuse and pollution but the narrator knows it’s more than that. There are powerful images of three eyed fish and the – possibly alien – silver rain from a cloudless sky – contrasting with the reflected clouds in the first paragraph – that doesn’t cause a splash. The narrator saw and the reader can only imagine what next for the mutant water plants (those innocent sounding green shoots are anything but that in context) and anyone ‘brave or foolish’ enough to attempt a swim.

Second Runner Up – Splash by Voima Oy

First Runner Up – The Lake by AJ Walker

And our Round 90 FLASH MASTER is…

FLASH MASTER

CR Smith

with Practice Makes Perfect

Congratulations, CR! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie! Please contact me here with any bio information, publications, links to personal sites, or any other information you would like to appear on your winner’s page.

Thanks again to all who participated this week. Hope to see you all again this upcoming weekend.