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Sep 15, 2018


In. Objectify me, please!

WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 03:36 on Sep 26, 2018


Sep 15, 2018



WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 06:06 on Nov 1, 2018

Sep 15, 2018


In! I want to be a TV remote!

Sep 15, 2018


I especially enjoyed the stories below so wanted to give the authors a quick shout out (in no particular order). There probably should have been more but twenty-something stories is a lot to read and remember in a short time span.

False door of Kha, Egyptian, 2288-2170 BCE (ancient Egyptian door) - The history bits included in this story were wonderful, as was the door being disoriented when removed. I laughed when the door was so pleased after someone apparently set their lunch on top of it (on top of the glass that now covered it), believing it to be an offering.

The Pipe and the Crab (Meerschaum smoking pipe) – Very original. The first paragraph drew me in: “When eyes are carved, the stone begins to see. When a mouth is carved, the stone longs to babble. When the face is finally carved, the stone begins to think, to love, to feel pain.”

The cool image of a hermit crab walking around with a pipe for its shell has stayed with me, too. I like to walk the beach and coming across something like that would be quite memorable. Nice work.

Bed (hospital bed) - I would have liked this even better without the sticker element, which I found a little distracting for some reason. But I loved the idea of the bed holding the patients’ memories. Also, how the memories were wiped away with disinfectant and how an earlier patient’s good memories could mitigate a current patient’s bad ones. Nice work.

Rust (wrought iron gate) – “...By now, it’s well aware of the way the man unlatches the gate, with a brusque chop, and it knows the dreary fumbling of the woman. But this small child, carried through the gate in its bundle of blankets, wakes up and wails, sending uncharted resonances thrumming through the gate’s iron bars. “

Showing the girl born into a less-than-stellar home, wanting to leave and finally succeeding, through the eyes of the entry gate. Skillful subtlety here, letting the actions speak for themselves without author-added emotion.

Self-Improvement (statue of the Buddha)- Loved this fresh take on the different phases of a young girl's life. Good job.

WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 16:35 on Oct 3, 2018

Sep 15, 2018


Thanks for the crit, Sitting Here. Much appreciated.

ETA: LOL John Madness. I'll try to keep Adam Sandler out of it!

WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 00:06 on Oct 3, 2018

Sep 15, 2018



WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 06:09 on Nov 1, 2018

Sep 15, 2018


Thanks for the critiques, judges. Much appreciated.

I found this week’s challenge to be a tough one. That said, here's my take on the stories:

My favorites (in the order they were posted): Remembrance and Safe Harbour.

Discarded by NotGordian (a soothing bottle of aloe vera) - I liked the last one by this author better. Here, first, I didn’t care for beginning with the word “smash” four times. It seemed like more something you’d find in a story for young children.

This had an odd and interesting premise but it was either jumbled or overpacked. I had to read it several times to decipher it, and even then I didn’t get all of it.
I didn’t get the cockroach paste thing and it was gross. Then I didn’t get the two stomachs thing.

The next issue was if Sonny was the sunglasses, the discarded sunburn lotion (which further confused me because aloe vera is used to treat sunburns) or some other person/object. SUNglasses, SUNburn lotion, SONny and a couple of pronouns in a story about a bunch of unfamiliar things, that makes for a very confusing paragraph.

“The couture sunglasses had come home, vaguely red after a day in the sun. She had grabbed someone named Sunburn Quick-Fix. But when the sunglasses tried Sonny, he had come up with nothing. “

I eventually realized (I think) that the sunglasses came with a person attached, Sonny was the bottle of Sunburn Quick-Fix and that the paragraph begins a stint of going back in time to tell us how Vera had ended up in the dump in the first place. Straight linear order of events would have been easier to follow.

Also, the focus on the cola bottle and some of the other things just seemed like the story was going all over the place. If the main idea was discarded cosmetic products, why not focus on another discarded cosmetic product instead?

I got a kick out of the name “Vera” for the bottle of aloe vera lotion. I also liked the idea of a cosmetics graveyard.

Remembrance by Yoruichi (false door of Kha)- Wonderful. Loved this!

I picture the shelter worker getting caught up in this craziness and pouring the stew into an empty cardboard box at our “door’s” request, then catching herself and kinda sadly cracking up at the absurdity of it all.

Rubber Duck by slughead42 (rubber ducky) - This started a little slow but I engaged with it well once the girlfriend was brought in. I especially liked the portrayal of her constant break up attempts. Who doesn’t like crazy love. It felt very real and I wanted to see what would happen next.

But then I didn’t like what happened next. I wouldn’t have understood the ending if hadn’t already known the prompt, I’d just have been confused at why our main character made faces like a duck in his ad. But mainly, “Surprise! The story is really from the point of view of a rubber ducky” is not a good surprise. I would have liked it much better if he was instead clearly a rubber ducky the whole time.

Insurrection by Deltasquid (graffiti painting of Danny Devito (wearing a big white wig) on a brick building, with the words “Artists must suffer for their art. That’s why it’s called PAINting) - I don’t think this story fit its prompt very well but I liked it for the most part. An artist who patches up soldiers near the battlefield by painting on them with blood and mud, interesting.

I wondered if Delacroix was meant to be the French painter Eugene Delacroix or if there might have been Danny Devito references or other references in the story that I missed.

I especially liked this line: “Against the walls of the souk lay civilian casualties, piled up like layers of lasagna by a cook who overdid the tomato sauce.”

I wasn’t crazy about the ending. A nitpick: I think the last line would have been better placed with the paragraph that preceded it. Setting that last sentence in its own paragraph struck me as kind of like showcasing it as a stronger “final word” than it warranted. More at issue though is that death endings usually seem just too easy.

But overall, it was competent and well done.

Warmth by Fuschia tude (a warm wool sweater) - I thought this showed promise but could use some work.

The beginning, Lexi running away from her mom and saying the gingerbread thing seemed strange behavior for a college-aged girl. If it was really a vision the mother was having, then it confused me that soon in the story when I was still trying to figure out what was going on anyway.

Also, what is with Lexi’s head going about its business independent of the rest of her body? Yikes!

"A head popped out of the dorm room at the end of the hallway."

"Lexi had her head at her side, curled up warm in the blanket beside her."

But my main problem with this story was that I didn’t connect with the mother. There was too much about her emotions. And the mother seemed to feel like the daughter was just fine whereas she, herself, was really the one in pain whenever anything happened to the daughter. I would have appreciated that more if it had seemed meant as intentional irony.

Also, I couldn’t really fit the mother’s characteristics in with the prompt object. I think of a warm wool sweater as a care-giving object, whereas the mother seemed more wanting caregiving herself. Then I thought maybe the daughter was the warm wool sweater but I didn’t really see that, either.

But, a mother and daughter, a bad situation, and memories. That, I liked.

A Glass Eye by Derp (a glass eye, duh) – This story was competent and used the humanized prompt well. My only complaint was that I felt like it could have been a little jazzier, drew me in a bit more, but I can’t think of any suggestions right now.

Safe Harbour by Staggy (an old wooden dock) - This was great.
I felt like I was there. I also liked the depth of it, underneath the dock/weather story, there’s a sad family issue. The father stays solidly put while the son prefers to roam free. It ties up beautifully at the end, too.

Teeter-Totter by QuoProQuid (a seesaw) – Nitpicks: If Laura H. sits down next to our MC, then Laura H. wouldn’t be looking across the table at our MC. Also, it’s “discreet,” not “discrete.” And “Led Zeppelin,” not “Led Zepplin.”

Nice little story here though, a crossroads moment in time where our MC could go either way.

Glub, Glub by Anomalous Blowout (the earth’s moon) – “Bethany's wedding is perfect. It sprawls across the manicured vineyard like a couple acres of floral psoriasis.” Loved that.

If I understood this right, it was an interesting take on the prompt to have our MC feeling like the moon in orbited around her sister. It also had nice little touches, like the craters on the MC’s face, only showing one side to the light (camera flash).

But after, it didn’t seem to quite all add up to a cohesive story. It didn’t seem very believable to me that she’d basically steal someone’s car (even if for a short time) to go dump some fancy goldfish into a lake. I’d have liked it better if the story events involved some kind of direct confrontation with the sister. I had the feeling that I had missed something and maybe I did.

Finding a Rhythm by Antivehicular (a grandfather clock) – I thought this was a little mild, I guess, for lack of a better word. But it was clever and well done, a kind of everyday slice of life piece. Also, good use of the prompt.

Thank You. I Love You. Treatment Works. by Sitting Here (a shark in a jar etc.) – This was a lot to pack into such a short story. The MC’s background seemed a bit too contrived or too … something for me to be able to connect that well with it. And deliberately soiling the tank was kind of icky. Then again, it was a very strange prompt. Competent writing. I liked the last one by this author quite a bit.

Ring of Ghosts by Fumblemouse (fine tooth comb) – I didn’t get a sense of Josie herself having characteristics of a fine tooth comb, although she did go through her things “with a fine tooth comb” looking for the ring, and a fine-tooth comb look seemed evident in the slices of light through the curtains.

Also, it seems Samuel is the ghost of her deceased husband. But then she “drifted towards sleep in the ghostless darkness” when he was in bed next to her and she heard him breathing. So then I wondered if I’d misunderstood the whole story.

I think it would have worked better with a little less added in emotion/sentiment.

I liked the “ring” still being present because the skin was whiter where the ring had been worn for so many years. I would still like to know what happened to the real ring, though.

A Game Worth the Candle by Thranguy (a bigger candle) – This starts out a bit confusing, an unattached voice saying things without context. But it’s not long before it’s explained. Our MC is thousands of years old and we’re with him after he ran into a fire.

The MC recounts a lot of his past, with the current dramatic scene only returned to now and then. It came across as a bit tell-y.

Although the MC did go into a burning building, (so there’s an association with fire, anyway), and we had the “game worth a candle” phrase, I didn’t see the MC really having any characteristics of a candle himself.

It had some interesting points about how things might go if we did live for a very, very long time.

WhoopieCat fucked around with this message at 05:39 on Oct 9, 2018


Sep 15, 2018


Hats (a drabble)

I wanted to do something wild on my vacation, so I decided to buy a hat.

“No hat,” my husband said. “Only crazy women wear hats.”

“Come along. I am going to get a big hat.” I pulled him down the mall corridor by his right hand, the one with his wild vacation-bought ring. It was carved from shell. I had one, too.

“The craziest women wear the biggest hats,” he said.

Just then, woman walked by, wearing the world’s tiniest hat.

It was the size of a pineapple ring, a tuna can, a doughnut.

“Don’t look at her,” he whispered. “Don’t talk. Just keep walking.”

We thought that maybe we’d better go on home.

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