Monday, January 31, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Split Infinitives

Today, we are going to explore a gray area in grammar, one that has some uses that are clearly wrong, as well as others that could go either way.

Split infinitives break up a compound verb, usually by inserting an adverb in between.


She had to quickly leave.

The preferred sentence would read as follows:

She had to leave quickly.

The Associate Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law states, “In general, avoid awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb (to leave, to help, etc.) or compound forms (had left, are found out, etc.)” It gives the following example.

“Awkward: She was ordered to immediately leave on an assignment.

Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately leave on an assignment.” 

Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style also cautions writers to avoid it unless they want to “place unusual stress on the adverb.”

However, both sources note sometimes a split is not awkward, and, if edited to follow the rule strictly, the sentence would become stiff and too formal. Strunk and White even go as far as to say it is a matter of ear. When is the last time you read that about anything related to grammar?


She wanted to really help her students. 

The alternative sentence of "she really wanted to help her students" places the emphasis on the wanting to help, rather than the actually helping.

Or AP Style’s sample:

The budget was tentatively approved. 

It does not work to write “the budget was approved tentatively.” It sounds a bit awkward, right?

A Reminder 

Romance pieces for February’s "Flash Fiction Fridays" are due today. Please see the deadline the right for submission information. Thanks.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Anything Goes Month Concludes

Line Five 
By Karen Wojcik Berner

He was mean, the man at the DMV. You could tell just by looking at him. He did not make pleasant chit chat. Instead, he would huff and puff and blow your dreams down.

All these idiots. How many times did he have to repeat the same question? Nevermind his tendency to mumble. He played games with them. If he didn’t like the look of you, read line five for the vision test, the one so small no one without a magnifying glass could make out. Come back again and play the numbers game to see if you win the pleasure of his company on another day. Stupid bastards. What were they going to do? Pick a fight? He held the power, not them.

Look at this kid’s shirt. Why would anyone want to go to Mongolia? We have everything here in the good, old USA. What the hell was wrong with him? “Line five.”

Yeah, the Department of Motor Vehicles was his domain.

How he hated the teenagers, especially the boys wanting their licenses so they could get laid in the backseat of their father’s BMWs. The girls, well, they were different, coming in here with their tight shirts and skinny jeans, all “That’s right, old man, you wish you could get some of this.” Let’s see how proud your parents are of your straight-A ass now when you fail a test any moron can pass. “Line five.”

Then there were the old people practically decomposing as they waited in line, for god’s sake. Some could barely walk, yet here they were, trying to keep a license that should have been taken away years ago. Every day he would get stuck driving behind one of these fossils, driving frick’in ten in a thirty zone. “Line five.”

“Go grab some lunch. Betty will cover for you.”

He rubbed the girth extending over his belt and turned his chair to leave.

“Jesus, Betty. Would ya let me get up first or are ya gonna give me a lap dance in front of all these people?”

Betty shook her head and rolled her eyes. One more year until his retirement.

He didn’t see the car speeding through the parking lot, the one that sent him flying, landing with a crash through his own Ford’s windshield. Everything went blank. A white light beckoned him. He floated towards it.

What was this place? There were a few people in line ahead of him. What the hell was taking so long? Some guy, dressed all in white, was standing in front of large sparkling gates.

“Let’s see what we have here.” The guy in white stared blankly at him.


“Nothing.” He made a notation on his clipboard.

“What’s your problem?”

“Getting testy are we? Read this.”

“Can’t make out the words.”
“Line five.”

The clouds beneath him broke apart, and his body was engulfed by the flames below. 

By Kae Cheatham

She lives where neither postman nor UPS make deliveries until after 3 p.m. So she sleeps late. At noon, she shampoos her hair, polishes her nails and reads. Words bunch to black solids, resembling packages.

Her mother warns her not to hope. Last year he forgot her birthday, this father who lives so distant; she called him, plaintive and suppressing hurt.

"I'm sorry, sugar," he said. "So busy in June."

And at Christmas, she thinks, staring toward the street. His phone number has changed; it’s unlisted.

Today she turns sixteen. Her mother gave her a stereo and told her now she can date; that evening there is a party, and tomorrow she will get her drivers license. Surely he'll remember.

The postman comes at 3:10 and she is surprised only by a card from her French teacher. She displays it with others from friends, from uncles and her aunt and both grandmas.

Two hours later, the noisy sound of air brakes hurries her to the front room. A brown truck idles in the neighbor's drive—golden monogram on the side. She stares, palms damp, heart like a butterfly. The bulky vehicle backs into the street—moves out of sight.

Unclenching cold fingers, she turns away thinking, Maybe tomorrow.

This story is part of the collection, Lost News: Short Stories and Long Poems, available on Kindle. Kae Cheatham, author of twelve published titles, writes from her home in Montana, where she also works as a photographer and editor. To learn more about Kae, visit her website or her blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Whisper" is a Book of the Month on goodreads

A special Thursday blog post for a special occasion. A Whisper to a Scream is the novel of choice this month for the KindleClay group on 

For those of you who do not know, goodreads is the world's largest social network for readers. Its site states there are more than 4,300,000 members and 120,000,000 books on their shelves. It's a great place to talk about books of all sorts. There are also trivia games (which I love), groups on every conceivable genre and reading recommendations.

Please join me over at the KindleClay group for books, smarts and intelligent discourse, as Clay likes to put it. Click on the widget on the right of this page or use this link:

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Homonyms

While surfing the web for interesting grammar tidbits this morning, I came upon a tremendous find: “All About Homonyms,” by Alan Cooper. Although it is an older site, Cooper provides one of the most extensive list of homonyms I have ever seen.

To review, homonyms are words that sound alike, but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Here are a few I noticed on Cooper’s list. At least one will shock you.

auger: a part of a drill
augur: to predict from signs or omens (verb), a soothsayer (noun)

aural: relating to hearing or the ear
oral: of the mouth

plural: more than one
pleural: the cavity that surrounds the lungs

stationary: not moving
stationery: materials for writing or typing, such as pens, paper and ink, or letter paper with matching envelopes

sundae: an ice cream dessert
Sunday: day of the week

Okay, did you know stationery is how you spell the word for matching writing paper? I remembered it vaguely somewhere among the cobwebs of my middle-aged mind, but it is misspelled so frequently, I thought I was nuts. I double checked it with Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, and sure enough, Cooper is correct.

A Call Out for Comedy

This week wraps up Anything Goes! month for “Flash Fiction Fridays.” February’s Romance theme is shaping up to feature some great stories next month.

However, it is winter in Chicago. As I look ahead to March, traditionally a month that provides one teaser day of warmer temperatures and clear blue sky, followed the next by a blizzard and six inches of snow, I cannot help but think, “Ha, ha. Very funny.”  I need a good laugh during the month of March, so I am happy to announce the March "Flash Fiction Fridays" theme is Comedy. 

Let’s have some fun! 

Please submit your stories, 500 words or less, to by February 28. Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio with your story. Also, please remember to sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather, so we can build our online writing community. 

Thanks. I look forward to reading your work.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Monday Morning Quickie

I am in mourning and only have the energy to muster up a grammatical quickie on this Monday, a bleak day on which Chicagoans awoke, not with visions of a potential Super Bowl appearance dancing in their heads, but with the realization the Packers will be playing Pittsburgh in two weeks. My condolences to the New York Jets fans, who are experiencing the same, sickening feeling today.

Okay, back to editing and grammar.

Biannual means twice a year or happening every six months, which is the same as semiannual.

This is not to be confused with the word biennial, which means occurring every two years, according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Anything Goes Month Continues

Round and Round
By Sharon Cupp Pennington

I watch the child from across the room, someone’s niece or granddaughter. I don’t recall. She’s all of three-years old and having a full day of it: Hide-n-Seek behind the sofa, bouncing on an overstuffed chair, taxiing her button-nosed teddy bear in the red wagon, laughing, singing, doing the “tushy” dance — wiggle, wiggle, skip, skip, bow.

Center stage, she curtsies with impish elegance in her pink tutu and tennis shoes. Heads turn; a momentary hush falls over the room. Family members, once immersed in talk of baseball scores and politics, applaud. Her ever appreciative audience.

The child mounts her yellow tricycle, and a woman’s voice calls from the kitchen, “Easy, Sasha. Watch out for the sharp edges on that coffee table.”

Round and round, she goes; faster, harder, frenzied. Paint worn, silver and black labels peeling, the tricycle looks as though it’s braved the journey countless times, and may a hundred more.

The woman’s voice calls out again, “Better slow it down, Sasha. You’re going to spill someone’s iced tea.”

Round and round, the chubby-cheeked daredevil flies. Tiny hands grip the handlebars, her head a flurry of nods and shakes, her dark hair a mass of maverick ringlets that seem to multiply by the nanosecond. She smiles and giggles, shrieks and squeals. Sneaker-clad feet spin in perpetual motion — a blur of pedals and spokes and tires.

The tricycle protests in agonizing creaks and groans. Round and round, the trusty cohorts travel in ever diminishing circles. She leans forward, this elfin femme fatale, further and further, until her elbows jut back like embryonic wings.

Round and round, until she’s nose to nose with the handlebars. Slowly, her eyelids droop and her head sags, tiny chin to chest. The tricycle coasts to a stop.

The child sleeps.

“Round and Round” garnered an honorable mention in a 2003 contest titled "Frenzy" and hosted by the website Writer Online, and an honorable mention again in a 2006 Whim's Place flash fiction contest. Sharon Cupp Pennington’s short stories have appeared in numerous online and print venues, with anthology contributions to The Rocking Chair Reader in the "Coming Home" edition (2004) and "Family Gatherings" (2005), A Cup of Comfort for Weddings: Something Old, Something New (2007), and Good Old Days magazine (March, 2007). Draumr Publishing released her debut romantic suspense novel, Hoodoo Money, in May 2008 and the sequel, Mangroves and Monsters, in November 2009. She resides in Texas with her husband where she is currently working on her next project. To learn more about Sharon, visit her website.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: A Little Dash Here and There

Although there are several kinds of dashes, each differing in length, the most common are the em dash and the en dash, named so because of what size they were back in the typesetting days. Em dash is as long as an “m”; en dash takes up the same amount of space as an “n.” 

Here are a few common ways they are used.

Em dashes denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure, according to The Chicago Manual of Style. 

“Will Jay Cutler — can he — complete the passes necessary to beat the Packers on Sunday?” 

They also can be used in dialogue when the speech of one character is interrupted by another. 

“I’m not sure,” he answered cautiously. “I think he also needs —”

“Needs what?” she interrupted impatiently. “Of course he can lead the Bears to victory!”

Summarizing clauses preceded by collective main subjects need em dashes.

Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, and Earl Bennett — they are all good targets for Cutler’s passes.

The Chicago Manual of Style also states “a defining or enumerating complementary element that is added to or inserted in a sentence may be set off by em dashes.” It also may be set off by commas, enclosed in parentheses or introduced by a colon.

This NFC Championship game—the first between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers since 1941—promises to be a showdown for the ages.

I hope the Chicago defense—led by Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Tommie Harris—crushes the Packer offense.

En dashes are half the length of an em dash and longer than a hyphen, The Chicago Manual of Style notes.

Em dash : —
En dash: –
Hyphen: ‐

They are used to connect related dates, times or reference numbers.


winter of 1978–79

pp. 7–14

But never, from pp. 7–14. That phrase should be written as from pages 7 to 14.

Coming Up Next 

Don’t miss this week’s Flash Fiction Fridays featuring Sharon Cupp Pennington.

P.S. Go Bears!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Great Writing and MLK

It is Martin Luther King Day in the United States, a day when we honor Dr. King’s message of equality for all.

Not only was Dr. King a great man for what he accomplished, he also was a great writer who gave our country some of it’s best rhetoric of the 20th century. His “I Have a Dream Speech” is an amazing piece, which always brings a tear to my eye, no matter how many times I have heard it.

Yahoo! has a little history section on Dr. King today, which includes some of his quotes. I would like to share a few of them with you. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’"

Words to ponder. Words to live by. Thank you, Dr. King.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Anything Goes Continues

By Suzanne Tyrpak

My fist closes around the packet. I shove it into my jeans. 

The man behind the counter glances up, peers at me through black-framed glasses. “Can I help you?”


I wander through an alphabet of vitamins, another aisle of shampoo and lotion. I spot the kind my mother likes and squeeze a glob into my palm. It stinks.

“Pamela!” she screeches across the universe.

I run past stacks of Coca-cola, heading for the vegetables. Skirting a display of tomatoes, I crash into a pyramid of onions. People dance, avoiding them.

Uh-oh, here she comes. Click, click, click, on spiky heels.

I escape into the candy aisle, grab a yellow bag. Peanut M&Ms. Yum! My teeth tear the wrapping.

Her voice bounces down the aisle. “Put those back, I’m warning you.”

I dodge a shopping cart, run past Hershey’s Kisses, Gummy Bears, Strawberry Twizzlers.

The dead animal department smells. Cold catches in my throat as I pass coffins of cow, waxy chicken legs, frozen turkeys smothered in plastic wrap. What happens when you die? Do you go someplace better? Like a super-duper Wal-Mart where you can check out all the stuff you never got for Christmas.

I duck into the bathroom, head for the nearest stall, slam the door and snap the lock. 

She can’t reach me now.

I pour M&M’s into my mouth. The sweet explosion makes me want to puke. I spit the mess into my palm, chucks of red and green and blue.

The bathroom door creaks open.

Tap, tap, tap across the tiles.

I take a gulp of Lysol air. Maybe, if I hold my breath, I’ll be invisible.


I see her shoes, black and shiny, pointy tips—the wicked witch.

“I know you’re upset.”

“I hate you!”

She bends down, grabs my ankle. I kick, climb onto the toilet seat. No cover. My foot slips into the bowl, splashes.

I curse.

She’s tugging at the door, rattling the lock. “Let me in. I want to talk to you.”

Her face peers up from the scuffed floor.

“Your mascara’s running,” I tell her.

She tries to slide under the stall. Gets stuck.

I laugh, chocolate dripping from my mouth.

I’m choking, tasting salt. Water’s running from my eyes, snot is running from my nose. This dumb place has no toilet paper!

“Pammy, open up this door—”

I shove my hand into my pocket, feeling for my prize. I draw out the packet, rip the plastic, slide open the tiny box. My legs feel like Gummy Worms.

The razors glisten.

She’s begging now. “Come out, Sweetheart. I’ll buy you that candy.” 

I prick my finger, barely feel it. A red bead forms—round and perfect as an M&M’s. It plops into the toilet bowl, a swirl of pink. I watch it disappear.

Then I draw a line.

My wrist oozes, warm and wet.

I paint a happy face in red.

Finally, I’m in control.

And now it will be Christmas, any day I like. 

Suzanne Tyrpak has published short stories in Arts Perspective magazine, the Mota 9: Addiction anthology, CrimeSpree Magazine, and the anthology Pronto! Writings from Rome, along with notable authors including Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Engstrom, Terry Brooks and John Saul. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers awarded her first prize in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest, and Maui Writers awarded her third prize in the Rupert Hughes writing competition. Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction), a collection of nine short stories about dating, divorce and desperation, is available on Kindle. J.A. Konrath says the stories are “pure comedic brilliance.” Red Adept says“the writing style was terrific.” Her new novel, Vestal Virgin, is also available on Kindle. To learn more about Suzanne, visit her blog


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: What Do I Do About...?

When referring to movies, songs and books in your writing, do you put quotation marks around the titles or should they be italicized? Do you capitalize all of the words and articles in a title? What about a particular song in an opera? How about paintings? Computer games? Television shows? Plays? What if your character is watching Modern Family or playing Rock Band?

Well, it depends what you are writing. 

In all cases, the main words of the title should be capitalized. Do not capitalize articles, such as a, and, the, or an, unless they are the first word of the work’s title. Nothing should appear in full caps but acronyms, such as computer programming languages or association names.


The Catcher in the Rye
Call of Duty
Don Giovanni

If you are contributing to a magazine or newspaper, The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law states to place composition titles in quotation marks. 

However, if you are writing a novel or non-fiction book, put the title in italics, according to The Chicago Manual of Style. I’ve chosen to follow that rule for this blog as well. Parts of books or articles from magazines should be enclosed in quotation marks, but the full work should be in italics.


“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” from Prufrock and Other Observations

The King’s Speech

The Star-Spangled Banner

Grant Wood’s American Gothic

An article in Fire Chief Magazine, “Fast-Response Residential Sprinklers Take the Fire Service Into the Future,” features research on that issue.

The Clash’s "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" appeared on their Combat Rock album.

The song title should not be italicized because it is part of a full album. The Chicago Manual of Style states song titles and short compositions are usually put in quotation marks.

2011 Flash Fiction Fridays Themes

Here are the new themes and deadlines for this year’s "Flash Fiction Fridays."

February 2011, Romance, Due 1/31

March 2011, Comedy, Due 2/28

April 2011, Spring Fever, Due 3/28

May 2011, Parenthood, Due 5/2

June 2011, Escape, Due 5/30

July 2011, Summer, Due 6/27

August 2011, Pets, Due 8/1

September 2011, Getting Schooled, Due 8/29

October 2011, Nightmares, Due 10/3

November 2011, Travel, Due 11/1

December 2011, Winter, Due 11/28

Remember, 500 words or less. Send your submissions to Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio with your story. And please don’t forget to sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather so we can build our online writing community.

It is going to be a great year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: One Word or Two?

Do you have those words that, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot remember if they are supposed to be one word or two? The ones that do not look right, even after spellchecker assures they have been typed correctly? Here are a few.

awhile versus a while

This one is tricky, in that awhile is an adverb, and a while is a noun phrase meaning “length of time.”

She plans to be in England awhile.

She plans to stay in England for a while.

breakup versus break up

Breakup is a noun meaning the dissolving of a relationship. Break up is the verb form.

The breakup hurt Missy more than she had thought.

Riot police could not break up the protests in the downtown streets.

cannot versus can not

Although technically both forms may be used, cannot is more accepted in modern language.

I cannot understand why the Packers won last night.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Anything Goes

It is the first Friday of January and that means Anything Goes! To start us off, here's a piece of noir by Jeanette Fratto.

Night Duty
By Jeanette A. Fratto

The cigarette dangling from his lower lip gave off a curl of blue smoke that rose to join the rest of the stale air in the county jail waiting room. Taking one last long drag, Sam Biggs ignored the ashtray and flipped the butt onto the cement floor, grinding it under his foot. He was not a happy man. It was 2 a.m. His eyes burned, and his head hurt from no sleep and too much cheap whiskey the night before.

He had barely stumbled into bed an hour ago when the phone rang. Johnny Prince had been arrested again, and his sobbing girlfriend-of-the-moment begged Sam to meet her at the jail immediately. She had the ten percent bail money and didn’t want Johnny to spend one more minute there. She must be new, he thought, as he groped for the clothes he had just taken off. Johnny was a good customer of Biggs Bail Bonds and probably spent more time in jail than at home.

Now he stood in the smelly waiting room, running his hands through his thinning hair, growing more impatient by the minute.  A twinge in his stomach told him his ulcer was acting up. Rubbing the paunchy area above his belt, he felt little relief. The drinking’s got to stop, his gut kept telling him, but he was celebrating his fiftieth birthday last night. A man alone had to have something, even if it’s only bourbon.

Restless, Sam stepped outside for some fresh air. Shivering in the chilly night, he pulled his frayed jacket collar up around his neck. Reaching in his pocket for his cigarettes, he remembered that he’d smoked the last one. Sam noticed the ashtray stand near the door,  a cigarette butt still smoldering. No one was watching, so he sidled over and picked it up. He inhaled deeply, cursing his fate that his livelihood depended on such losers. I can’t do this anymore he thought, as he watched the smoke he had just exhaled slowly disappear into the night air.

When the bimbo shows I won’t take her money, he decided. Let Johnny rot in jail. His mind was racing now. My brother’s been after me to join him on his farm, help him with the chores now that he’s getting older. Free room and board. No more jails, crooks, and dumb broads. Heal my ulcer maybe. Sam was elated with the thought.

High heels tapping on cement announced the arrival of Johnny’s girl, Marcie something. Sam returned to the present, surprised how beautiful she was.

“All the money in cash, like you said.” She handed the bills to Sam, who counted them, then went inside.

Returning, he took Marcie’s arm, propelling her towards his car, telling her it would take a couple of hours before Johnny’s release.

“I’ll buy you a drink while you wait. Here’s my card . I’ve been in business over 20 years . . . ”

Jeanette A. Fratto is a Michigan transplant now living in southern California. She has bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in social science from California State University-Fullerton and worked for twenty six years with the Orange County California Probation Department. Her first novel, No Stone Unturned, is available through Outskirts Press. To learn more about Jeanette, visit her blog, JeanetteWrites.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Editing for Grammarphobes: Apostrophes Gone Wild

I see this error every day, and it makes me cry inside. Perhaps grammar teachers are trying, but no one is listening. Let’s face it. Grammar is not sexy, but without its proper usage, a Rhodes scholar can look like a middle school dropout.

How many of you spotted this egregious error polluting otherwise festive holiday cards? What is wrong with the following line?

Season’s Greetings from The Idiot’s

Written as it is, the statement begs for the question “Idiot’s what?” The Idiot’s dog? The Idiot’s island vacation? Neither a dog, nor an island can convey wishes. This merry signature is a victim of apostrophes gone wild.

I’ve mentioned this problem before, early on, but it needs to be covered repeatedly and illustrated in its various ways. The line should read as follows.

Season’s Greetings from The Idiots

No apostrophe. It is a plural form of the last name Idiot and assumes there is more than one Idiot in said family. Otherwise, it would be signed liked this.

Season’s Greetings from Bob Idiot

Have you spotted any apostrophes gone wild? Please share them in the comments section, along with any editing questions you might have. I will incorporate your responses in future “Editing for Grammarphobes” posts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

May I be so bold as to proclaim 2011 as “The Year of the Indie?” There are rumblings in the industry, sightings on the bestseller lists and conversations on Kindle Boards that are fueling this thought. A dynamo by the name of Amanda Hocking has taken the world by storm, selling a whopping 99,000 books in the month of December alone. Several indie authors have been approached for traditional publishing contracts. Some agents are even advising their clients to self-publish as the first step on the road to a full-time writing career. 

It is a brand new world out there, an exciting time to be both reader and writer.  I am glad to be a part of it.

A Whisper to a Scream has been redesigned for your enhanced reading pleasure by Dellaster Designs. If you would like to preview the new look, download a free sample here from

Bibliophilic Blather still will be featuring “Editing for Grammarphobes” on Mondays and Wednesdays, but I might be adding a few more comments of my own on various topics I cannot keep my mouth shut about. That’s why the blog is called Bibliophilic Blather, right? 

“Anything Goes!” is January’s theme for “Flash Fiction Fridays.” There are some great pieces scheduled. Today is the deadline, by the way, but feel free to send in your stories throughout the next few days. We all are a little behind due to the holidays.

Next month’s Flash Fiction Fridays is Romance. If you would like to contribute, please e-mail your 500-word or less submission to and put “Flash Fiction Fridays” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include a short bio. The only thing I ask in return is that you “follow” Bibliophilic Blather so we can build our writing community. I am looking forward to reading your work.

Here’s to 2011. May it be productive for us all.