Showing posts from September, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Free-for-All Draws to a Close


It has been a great six weeks, hasn't it? My thanks to all of the Free-for-All contributors for their fantastic stories.

Loosening up the word count requirement has been so successful, I am making it permanent. From now on, Flash Fiction Fridays stories can be 1,000 words or less, which I think will encourage more writers to participate.

The Free-for-All might be ending, but don't forget to come back next week for Nightmare month in October.

And now, a wonderful piece by Cleveland W. Gibson.

Remembering Blue Eyes
By Cleveland W. Gibson

I feel sick with excitement as I gun my trusty white steed into a frantic canter.

A curse to all Roman emperors comes to my lips when I hear the villagers to the left and right of me chant, "JARGE! JARGE!"

The sword, in my hand, is ready for use. I wave it above my head. What an act, especially when I'm petrified, not a real hero.

A black rock looms up ahead. It is menacing. I see a fair-haired maiden i…

Editing for Grammarphobes: Drop the 'S,' Keep the 'D'


It seems to me many people write how they speak. However, they fail to realize that even if one is writing dialogue, the audience is still reading the work, not hearing it. Here are a few examples of words and phrases that are mispronounced or misused more often than not.

Supposed to

The “d” is supposed to be there. The word is not “suppose.”

Used to

Same holds for this phrase. It is not “use to.”


One moves toward something. There is no such word as “towards.”


It is not “anyways.” I hear this all of the time. There is no “s” in anyway.

Coming Next

Please join us as we wrap up the Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All with a wonderful piece by Cleveland W. Gibson.

Monday Morning Business


Greetings to you on this Monday morning. I don't know what the weather is by you, but it is a downpour outside my office window. Dark and dreary, it puts me in the mood for work, which I guess is a good thing.

Nightmare Flash Fiction

First order of business is a reminder that Nightmare Flash Fiction is due Monday, October 3. I am not holding too tough on the 500 words or less, though. I think 1,000 words or less still makes a good, quick read, as I come to believe from the September Free-for-All, so I am open for anything from 1,000 words or less. 
There are some creepy stories lined up, which I am sure will get you in the Halloween spirit. A few spots are still open, so if you are interested, please send your stories to me at karen(at)karenberner(dot)com. 

Amazon Gift Card Winner

Congratulations to Leah Griffith who will be receiving a $25 amazon gift card in celebration of Flash Fiction Fridays' First Anniversary. Leah writes a great blog, Eating…

Flash Fiction Fridays Anniversary Contest: Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card


Bibliophilic Blather's first anniversary celebration continues today with a chance for readers to win a $25 amazon gift card. Just comment at the end of this post and sign up to follow the blog. It's that easy. You will automatically be entered in the contest.

Bibliophilic Blather is proud to host Flash Fiction Fridays, which features microfiction from authors of all genres. Instead of weekly writing prompts, each writer presents his or her interpretation of a monthly theme in 500 words or less. A big thank you goes out to all of this year's Flash Fiction Fridays contributors for sharing their work with us.

And now, here is an appropriately titled piece to continue our September Free-For-All. No themes. No word count. Open prompt. Enjoy.

By Eileen Granfors

When they dropped off Max and Cheryl, Gordon drove to their favorite lovers’ lane in the upper lot of the high school. Though they had been together so long, they had done nothing…

It's Bibliophilic Blather's Anniversary!


One year ago this week, it was time to make something of this space. Sporadic posts would not cut it. So, I tried to find my niche.

After spending ten years editing and writing for magazines, I knew the importance of proper grammar and how it could make or break a piece. Writers needed to know the rules, but who had the time to take a refresher English class?

During its first year, Editing for Grammarphobes has covered everything from misplaced modifiers to last week's post on football words. I hope it has made the somewhat droll topic of grammar more palatable.

Okay, so that covered Mondays and Wednesdays, but what about Friday? Then I discovered flash fiction.

From its very first story by best-selling author Karen Cantwell, Flash Fiction Fridays has featured talented writers from all around the globe, each lending their unique voices to our ongoing sharing of work, making the best day of the week even better.

The blog could not be called Bibliophili…

Attention Fellow Janeites: This Book is for You


I was tired. Over last couple of days, I had been writing some particularly rough scenes for my WIP, tentatively titled How Long ‘Til My Soul Gets It Right?, which probably is too long for a title, but I will deal with that later.

This one is about another member of the Classics Book Club, Catherine, who played Audrey the Country Wench in As You Like It, the Bibliophiles’ field trip at the end of A Whisper to a Scream. And she can be exhausting. Fascinating, but exhausting.

Sunday morning, I was maxed out. It was a dark, rainy morning, the perfect time to make some tea and enjoy a book. I have many on my to-read list, but was in the mood for some complete escapism. I had downloaded Definitely Not Mr. Darcy the previous day, having no desire to wait patiently for its arrival. That’s the great thing about e-books, don’t you think? One click and bam! It’s on your Nook, Kindle or, in my case, iPad. Very fulfilling, really.

My family was occupied, so after…

Flash Fiction Fridays


No themes. No word count. Open prompt. The Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All is running through September. Today, we have a wonderful piece by Jennifer Orozco. Enjoy.

By Jennifer Orozco

He will be home soon.

She is standing at the sink, washing the dishes. The bubbled, hot water is a shock. Her hands are red and stinging, but she scrubs the inside of the glass anyway, making a circle within. She’s always wished for a kitchen window, but their townhome looks out to an alleyway overgrown with honeysuckle and scattered with dead, wet leaves. It is fall, but nothing hinders the thick, brown vines from proudly announcing their presence.

She wonders if he will see it in her face. He has always been able to read her when her eyes flit away from his, or when she overcompensates by searching his face, meeting his stare steadily. It is disconcerting what he can see when he is looking.

She has made king ranch casserole and the aroma of the bell peppe…

Editing for Grammarphobes: Are You Ready for Some Football?


Come the second weekend in September, I put down Pride and Prejudice and my tea for a few hours to yell “Hit somebody!” from gridiron sidelines. My neighbors have been known to hear me utter the phrase, “He faked him out of his jock strap!” through open windows on more than one occasion during Chicago Bear games.

I love football.

Now that the NFL is in full swing, I thought it would be fun to focus on some of the words that are frequently used when writing about the old pigskin.

Please note that this post refers to American football. My condolences to our European readers for the United States ripping off the name of your sport, which also is lots of fun to watch. I very much enjoy Manchester United. Rooney is a god.

Anyhow, back to the National Football League, per The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law.

It is ball carrier (two words), but ballclub (one word).

Blitz is both a noun and a verb.

Goal line, is two words, as in Matt Forte…

The Gift of Validity


Writers often feel like they are in a vacuum, isolated, solitary creatures who release their work and have no idea whether or not anyone will buy it, yet alone like it.

One side of my brain is a firm believer in the English Romantic’s view of art for arts’ sake. Writers must stay true to their work and write the stories we are driven to create. Writing done for purely commercial consumption usually lacks soul or depth of spirit, don’t you think?

However, my brain’s other half recognizes writing is still a business and all of us hopes our work will sell.

Every once in awhile, we get lucky.

On Friday, a well-timed advertisement on Ereader News Today brought me sales the likes of which I have never seen before. At one time Friday night, and then again on Saturday, A Whisper to a Scream was #92 and #99 on the Kindle Indie Best Seller List on There it was on the same page as behemoth John Locke and the brilliant Helen Smith!

Every time I ch…

Flash Fiction Fridays


No themes. No word count. Open prompt. The Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All is running through September. Today, we feature a great piece from Wesley Jacques.

By Wesley Jacques

While sitting here watching my cat watch me, a golden cat that leaves stray gold hairs on every thing he touches, I contemplate murder, felinicide. Not because he's a troublesome cat in any way. More the contrary. He's loyal and loving. I watch him watch me with kind eyes and he reacts affectionately to my petting his fur (some attaches to my hand.) I consider killing him now simply because there's a knife in my hand from lunch. I cut bits of cheese and ate it with grapes. My furry friend had a turkey feast from a can. We enjoyed each other's company.

But now that lunch is over and the knife remains, I wonder how difficult it'd be to kill an idle animal with a soft white belly. I imagine it wouldn't be difficult at all. He sits there and clos…

Read Any Good Books Lately?


I hope all of my American readers had a good Labor Day weekend. I took a few days off, hung out with family and friends, and had a marvelous time.

I also had the pleasure of reading a fantastic book,Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin, a historical fiction piece based on the life of Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is the compelling story of Liddell and Wonderland creator, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), their relationship, a misunderstanding and its ramification upon both of their lives. Beautifully written, I could not put this down.

Another wonderful novel I read recently was Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith, which has no correlation to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland whatsoever, except the obvious pun in the title. When Alison Temple’s husband leaves her for another woman, Alison impulsively gets a job with the private investigation firm she had hired to track her husband. This leads her on an adventure of …

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Free-for-All Continues


No themes. No word count. Open prompt. The Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All is running through September. Hope you enjoy this great piece from Beverly Diehl.

Getting Wet with the Suicidal Bees
By Beverly Diehl

Usually she only had to share the pool with the Suicidal Bees.

Janey dubbed them that, because there were always several struggling in the water. She’d find a leaf and carefully scoop the creatures out of the water, onto the cement... where they’d promptly crawl back into the water.

She decided Suicidal Bees would be a great name for a rock band.

“Hi,” the guy said. She said hi back, checking him out, pretending her attention was elsewhere.

Cute. Probably played in a band, like the kids in the apartment currently getting the full blast of the hot August sun straight in their windows. Janey noticed them loading and unloading at odd hours: huge boxy equipment on rolling wheels; black guitar-shaped bags; milk crates with mysterious wires and cor…