Before we start with the usual nonsense:
You may have noticed that since Friday the site is changing.
Nik (We wanted to blame someone specifically) is revamping and to be truthful we are not sure what will react with what, so there maybe some glitches here and there.
Please give us a couple of days for the systems and changes to settle down.
If there are any issues with any of the stories for any length of time, we will re-publish them at a later date.
If there is anything that remains a problem for any of you, please let us know and we will kick Nik on the shins.
We reached another milestone this week. We now have had over four hundred thousand hits. That is just about the same amount of swear words that I normally use in a two thousand word story!
You’ll have noticed that we don’t publish photos of ourselves. There are none with Diane and her new buttock implants showing off her panties and botox induced expressionless pout.
I am not pictured in my Tesco boxers pointing at my six-pack. To be truthful I found having a six- pack uneconomical, it’s cheaper to buy twenty four cans and a lot more potential for thirst quenching.
Unfortunately we have no cute kittens and thankfully we have no ugly babies being sick at inopportune moments, which, by the way, is never fucking funny!! All we have is some great stories written by some unbelievably talented writers and a passion for showcasing them and their work.
We once did a Q&A session for another blog and we were asked the question about our disappointing number of followers, I think to date we are getting close to fifteen hundred. We don’t think that is a low number. We are delighted to have those as we know that everyone who follows us does it for the love of a short story and not for any shallow sycophantic voyeuristic type of trend following.
Thanks so much guys to everyone who visits the site in whatever guise.
One thing that came up this week that I’d like to mention and that is writers work being critiqued. This is like burying a body somewhere, you really need to trust who is involved. Diane knows that I will never mention where her other fourteen husbands are, but that is the positive and healthy type of relationship that we have.
When someone looks at your work, they need to be honest. Now normal folks families and friends are supportive and protective and they are maybe not the best at commenting on your masterpiece.
They say subtle things like:
‘Sweetheart, this is truly the greatest thing that has ever been written.’
‘Stereotypical stereotypes are so unique when you write them the same way as everyone else.’
‘Using the word stoically will never have been done before, you are a clever cookie.’
‘How romantic – Your character has green eyes.’
For each of those phrases a more truthful reaction would be:
‘This is pish.’
Another huge mistake when asking someone to have a look at your work is to ask someone who doesn’t read much. How are they meant to give you advice on something they have no experience of? That’s like asking your tyre fitter what you should do about your piles. Although maybe blowing them up would be a new form of removal!
You need someone to be honest. They need to tell you if they are struggling to understand. They have to point out if the reading isn’t smooth. They can’t be enthusiastic about no punctuation. They must question any inconsistencies in plot. Basically they need the balls to say, ‘Well, on the plus side, you signed your name…’
Richmond sausage time!!
…Here’s another terrible link, so onto this week’s stories. These authors never had any of those issues.
We had two new writers and three old friends for your reading pleasure this week.
Topics included; a robbery, helping, fairy tales, a watch and coping.
As always our initial comments follow.
First up on Monday was a new writer to the site.
We welcome Martina Braunegger, hope she has fun on the site and most importantly, we want to see more of her work.
‘Mercy‘ got us up and running.
‘Martina has done dark and twisted beautifully.’
‘I loved the references.’
There is no need for an introduction with our next writer.
I actually need to apologise to Mr Fred Foote. I hadn’t realised on his last story and never mentioned that he has broken the sixty mark. That is another landmark for this brilliant writer!
‘Health Watch‘ was story number sixty one!
‘The ending was very honest.’
‘A bit of fun with some dark ideas.’
‘Fred’s writing brain dips its toe into many a subject.’
On Wednesday we had our second new writer.
We extend the same welcome to Peter J. Stavros.
His first story for us was, ‘Dead Rock Stars.’
‘The melancholy and sadness was done very well.’
‘The wordplay was clever.’
‘I felt for both characters.’
Martin Toman was next up.
‘Bruise Free Tattoos‘ was Martin’s third story for us.
‘Really good tone.’
‘The MC is very visible.’
‘The ending with the mother was a nice touch.’
And we finished up on Friday with ‘Crisis Line‘
This was story number eleven for Harrison Kim.
‘The whole idea of some of those who want to help need help themselves is very good.’
‘There is an air of madness about this that I enjoyed.’
‘The story is tantalising. There is a lot about the MC that isn’t said.’
That’s us for another week.
Just the usual folks.
Please keep the comments coming. There have been some new folks over the last week and that is all good!
And why not have a go at the Sunday Re-Run? Pick an older story that you have enjoyed and write a critique or introduction for it. You can also throw a few questions in for the author. We’ll print exactly what you send us.
Leila had a break last Sunday when Frank Beyer gave us his brilliant introduction. Hope to see more from him.
Leila states she was on holiday but there has been a territorial conflict regarding a new office chair and her two fur hats. I think that Leila was a battle casualty but she can’t mention this in case she ensues more wrath.
Just to finish off, I’ve been talking about honest critique. I wanted to give you the best example on a bit of omission of the truth.
In another lifetime I was a tasting demonstrator in Marks & Spencer. There were six of us and we all took turns over the weekends. One of the ladies I worked with was, without doubt, the best seller I have ever seen.
But I thought she had met her match when we were asked to let the customers taste a new line of flavoured water. It was disgusting. I’m sure kidney infected piss would have tasted better.
I was slagging off Lillian, telling her that there was nothing positive that she could say about it and she had no chance of getting even one sale.
I followed her onto the shop floor and when she reached her demonstrating table she immediately shouted over to a family and said, ‘Now isn’t that a handy sized bottle!’
They came over and you just knew that they were too polite to say anything. They bought a bottle and Lillian gave me the finger!
So in tribute to the lovely Lillian, who I think of manys a day and our very own Leila Allison for her inspiration of the idea of last line –
The moral is: You can spin a bottle but not a bad story!