Showing posts from October, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays: Your Worst Nightmare


Bibliophilic Blather's Nightmare month ends today with a great piece by Michael Robb Mathias. Happy Halloween!

The Next Big Thing
By Michael Robb Mathias

"I won't do porn." She brushed her long golden hair out of her mascara laden eyes and sipped the last bit of her margarita. The music had stopped at last call.

"Nah, beautiful," he said as he fondled his goatee thoughtfully. "You're not porn material." She wasn't. Even when the dance floor lights went off, and the house lights came on, she looked great. Curvaceous, he decided. The tight black party dress only accentuated the look.

She pouted as if he called her fat. He caught it. With a glance around the emptying bar he put his arm around her. "You're too hot for porn. Baby, you could be the next big thing."

"Really?" She let her arm trail around his waist.

"You could be." He looked around the bar again curiously. "We'…

Winter Flash Fiction Due 11/28


Nightmare Month wraps up with on Friday with an excellent and appropriately creepy piece of flash from M.R. Mathias.

Next up is an open prompt in November, for which all of the spots are filled, I am happy to report.

So now it is time to cast our eyes toward December, a month when winter's chill rears its head. When merriment is juxtaposed with the quiet peacefulness of a snow-covered wood.

What does winter mean to you?

The deadline for winter flash fiction submissions is November 28. Remember, 1,000 words or less. Send them to Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio and purchase links with your story. Also, please remember to sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather, so we can build our online writing community.

I look forward to reading your work.


Flash Fiction Fridays: Scared Yet?


Nightmare month continues today on Flash Fiction Fridays with a great piece by Leah Griffith. Enjoy.

Too Big To Kill By Leah Griffith

My eyes were running over the pages of a good novel when I first noticed some movement in my peripheral vision. It was just a slight shadow, and then stillness. I ignored it, figuring it was just a stray lash that had been bugging me from an overindulgent application of Ultra Thick Lash Mascara I had purchased at the Rush & Shop on my way home from work last night. I’d been working double shifts at the Cranky Yankee, a small diner right outside of town, and last night was my first night out with the girls in two long weeks. Unfortunately, I ended up blowing half the money that I’d been saving on buying drinks for everyone, instead of piling it up for the big move out of my parent’s house to live on my own. I laid my book down to straighten myself, searching for a more comfortable position, and started thinking about the …

Editing for Grammarphobes: Getting the Bugs Out of Your Writing


I was reading the November issue of The Writer, a wonderful publication I have subscribed to ever since I decided to have a go at this profession, some three thousand years ago. There is a great article by Sue Sommer on pages 26 and 27 called “Don’t Let Tricky Word Pairs Bug You.”

Sue’s book, The Bugaboo Review, is a lighthearted examination of usage, grammar and spelling mistakes compiled during her years as an English and creative writing teacher.

We have covered some of her word pairs already in past posts, but here are a few new ones.

all ready/already

All ready means “completely prepared” (all is ready); already means “previously.”


Lila was all ready to go, but her friends had already left.


Discreet means “judicious or prudent”; discrete means “distinct, separate, diverse.”


Be discreet when you meet your boyfriend.

Each cow has its own discrete markings.


Veracious means “truthful, honest”; voracious means…

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Nightmare Continues


Welcome to Flash Fiction Fridays' Nightmare Month. Today, we have not one, but two stories to keep you on edge and disturb your dreams. Enjoy.

Golden Eyes
By Ivana Milaković

I wake up covered in cold sweat, sick with fear. I know it was just a bad dream, and yet, I have to get up and check her out, just to see she’s fine. Barefoot, without turning the lights on even though it’s the middle of the night, I walk to her. She opens her golden eyes and looks at me, and I start to breathe, realizing only then I was holding my breath.

Her gaze is calm, so I calm down too. I feel sorry for waking her up, and comfort myself with the thought that she always finds it easy to sleep.

Sleep doesn’t come so easy to me, though. I don’t even remember the nightmares and don’t want to; all I want is for her to be safe, and there’s nothing in the world that could guarantee me that. Nothing and nobody could guarantee me that someone wouldn’t hit her with a car for the fun o…

You Want In?


Fossil that I am, you know it has taken me awhile to get into Twitter. Well, I am discovering great things on it every day, one of which I want to share with you.

“Adopt an Indie” month will start in November, the brainchild of Donna Brown at Book Bags and Cat Naps. She has organized an event to bring authors, readers and book bloggers together to dispel the myth that the only good books come from traditional publishing companies. There are plenty of great indie novels out there. It is not just the Big Six anymore.

Readers will be able to read and review one book from the available selection, to “adopt” that indie, then have the chance to ask them questions about their work.

There also will be live chats and Q & A sessions. Bloggers will be sharing their perspectives on the changing book market, as well as posting novel excerpts.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

I have signed Bibliophilic Blather up as one of the “Adopt an Indie” blogs and will be contributing …

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Nightmares Begin


You wake, sweat oozing from your pores, after an unrestful slumber, unable to shake that dream. Welcome to Nightmare Month on Flash Fiction Fridays. First up, a great piece by Paul Dail.

Another Oldie But Goodie
By Paul Dail

Margaret Daniels awoke in the night to music that only she could hear. She sighed and wondered if she could go through with her plan, even though she knew she didn’t have a choice. The singing was only getting louder.

At being close enough to ninety that she didn’t bother counting anymore, Margaret was supposed to be finally allowed some peace, but she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since first hearing the music almost a month ago.

The Brookfield Retirement Home wasn’t much to write home about, even if one of the residents still had kids who cared to hear from them. The walls were paper thin, and Margaret could swear she knew more about her neighbors’ kids than she knew about her own. Consequently, the first night she woke to the muff…

2011 Flash Fiction Fridays Deadlines Remaining


We are getting ready to close out the year on Flash Fiction Fridays. October promises some wonderful stories of nightmares and fright. November will bring another month of open prompt, which is always fun, then December will herald tales of winter.

If you would like to contribute, here are the last deadlines of the year.

November 2011, Open Prompt, Due 11/1

December 2011, Winter, Due 11/28

Please email your submissions to me at karen(at)karenberner(dot)com and put Flash Fiction Fridays in the subject line. Don't forget to include a bio, website address, blog and any purchase links. Also, if you have not already, please sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather, so we can continue to grow our online writing community.


October Reads


I don't know about you, but once the calendar flips to October, my thoughts turn to those of horror. One of my favorite things is to transform our house into what I think a suburban vampire family's home would look like, with a graveyard and coffin in the front, creepy critters scattered about, and plenty of skulls, spider webs and misshapen gourds.

An occupational hazard, I often decorate with books and would not miss the chance to make a few piles of scary stories, appropriately topped off with a skull or two. Some of my favorites for this time of year include the following.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.
The Shining by Stephen King.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.

Since I also enjoy the old-school, gothic creepiness and tragedy of Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, I have saved Deborah Lawrenson's The Lan…