Tag Archive | Dieter Rogiers

Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 7: WINNERS!

Welcome back! Once again I’m writing you from the frigid depths of my basement. My fingers aren’t quite blue, but I am imagining they are, which makes writing this Winners’ Post feel very heroic. And since each of you is a hero in my book for showing up each week and daring to raise your keyboards in a writing battle, perhaps my imagination’s not too far off, eh?  

Judge Erin McCabe says: Wow, my judging week has come around again so quickly, and of course I couldn’t be happier. Thank you all for taking the time to enter your stories; it was a tough prompt this week and required great skill to capture the breadth and depth of a concept such as destiny in such a short word count. I enjoyed the humour in many of the entries submitted this week and the diverse range of characters and plots you all devised, another great week of writing!

Like the other judges, I judge blindly, dividing entries into different categories and then re-reading until I’ve determined my final list. So without further adieu, let us begin.   

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Ian Martyn, “The Empire Builder.”  I really liked the pace of this piece and the language, for example the use of “geometric perfection” to describe the aesthetic value of the statue. Our character is destined to watch over the common man and to value his endeavours however large or small for the rest of history; a price to be paid for vanity, frivolity and lack of empathy. It seems fitting and is captured brilliantly within the language used throughout this story. 

Phil Coltrane, “Standing Before the Public Thing.” It is no secret that I am in love with the Zombie genre and so this piece really stood out to me. The theme of destiny was expertly embedded, and the reveal of the undead was a welcome surprise. I really liked the flow of the piece, but most of all the final line of “Brains,” and the casual tone in which it was expressed, caused a huge smile to spread across my face, so well done.

Tinman, “To Caesar What Is Caesar’s.” This one definitely deserves a mention for making me laugh; the theme of destiny was well constructed through the rise of Caesar Septemberus, which also linked well to the pictorial prompt. Winning the people over with Salad versus the persuasive power of pizza however is what I loved the most; so humorously written, great!

SECOND RUNNER UP

Dieter Rogiers, “Thou Wouldst Be Great.”  I loved the title and particularly the power of this entry from beginning to end. The Dictators wife: persuasive, corrupting and merciless; her power and his unvoiced submission is tangible throughout the piece. There is realism to this which I love; there have been many women through history, some known, many cloaked in anonymity, which would have taken this approach to gaining power. The theme of destiny is very strong, culminating in the ending, “Build my gallows high.” It’s a perfect ending to bring the story full circle through future echoes.

FIRST RUNNER UP

Sinead O’Hart, “The Stonecarver’s Boy.” What I appreciated most was the writer’s ability to condense the life of this boy into approx. 150 words. The idea was well formed, and the story of the boy’s work and fate were a good interpretation of both the prompt and the theme of destiny. There was also an excellent emotional aspect in terms of the Mother’s distanced love, knowing she cannot protect him but fruitlessly attempting to do so anyway. Death with a purpose but for no real purpose was well told and yet not condemned by the central characters, the frivolity of his death ultimately creating an even greater sadness within the reader.  I really liked this piece.

And now: drumroll, please! it’s back-to-back 

DRAGON WINNER

CINDY VASKOVA!!!

for

“Some Men Would Let the World Burn”

This story ticked so many boxes for me: the link to the pictorial prompt, the theme of destiny, a great ending, a brilliant title and some excellent world building. Well done, Cindy! I loved the language used to describe the deep-seeded contempt and disgust boiling over within the protagonist. The language had tones harking back to the industrial age but was also peppered with futuristic mechanical references, “buzzes and the clacks of apparatus modern.” This actually made me think of the steam-punk genre, which I really like. In particular, the line: “Is it the look of my own handmade apparatus?” really made me think, as it almost suggests, that our protagonist is a man-made man, adding a whole new dimension to his plight. I liked this ambiguity as it captured my attention and made me think deeper about the piece. Well done, a well-deserved win!

Congratulations again, Cindy! think you may be the first writer to win back-to-back, and with two different judges! Your winner’s badge welcomes you back in a very impressed sort of way. Here is your updated, still very sparkly winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please watch your inbox for another set of questions for Wednesday’s #SixtySeconds feature. And here is your winning story:

Some Men Would Let the World Burn

Let dollars be thrown in the air in celebration of the future, of prosperity and innovation, and let the electrical body be immortalized! Let men from each side of the world join hands and put great minds together to create and improve. But God let that be at a lower cost.

Oh, how each light bulb pulsates with power, so bright! So many!

In the crowd I am alone, amongst the buzzes and the clacks of apparatus modern and astonishing. Beyond that I see a society that does not abide by the rules given to it by Destiny. I breathe the air of its false utopia and it sickness me. I have seen a future of Godlike men, emotionless. So tell me Lady Republic, what shall I do to save you?

Ah, there comes old Moore, frightened and absurd. Is it the look of my own handmade apparatus?
“Visconti, wait! What are you doing?”

Salvaging, cleansing. Let it all burn.

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Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 6: WINNERS!

Welcome to the winners’ post! I’ve got company visiting, so please forgive me for dispensing with amenities and diving straight into the results (and everybody goes, IT’S ABOUT TIME!): 

Judge Whitney Healy says: Wow, Flashers (tee-hee!), this was not an easy week! If you remember from the last time I judged, I judge as blindly as I can and take notes as I read. I do my best to comment on every entry (this week some of those individualized comments will be late-coming…I had some issues with the site about halfway through my commenting phase).

After the commenting phase, I eliminate some and re-read those that make the cut. This week, Phase 2 of judging involved me re-reading seventeen of the forty-seven or so entries! Do you realize that equals 36% of the entries! Bravo, bravo!

But, before I introduce the winners, I must first mention a few other tales that did not quite make the cut but well-deserve your attention; please take a gander at the following writers’ works this week: Betsy Streeter, Tom O’Connell, Craig Anderson, E. B. Thompson,  John Shirley, Amy Wood, Jacki Donnellan, pmcolt, Beth Voso, and Matt L.  

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Karl A. Russell, “Sacrifice.”  By writing from the point of view of the young girl’s savior, Karl manages to captivate a reader into a story of rescue, leaving readers with a tale that will make anyone dab tears from their eyes. A tale that leaves a reader thinking about how life should never be taken for granted. 

Laura Carroll Butler, “Steps.” Through choosing to write her story in all one paragraph, Laura’s tale makes the allusion to the idea that life is a roller coaster without actually saying it: a true sign she has mastered her craft. Her extended metaphor for life reminds us that life will always finish full-circle.

Grace Black, “Twist.” This writer is an expert of figurative language, using phrases such as “shunning suburbia’s sun” or “had morphed like a block of sharp cheddar left out for too long”. In so few words, she is able to make a reader despise the husband and feel for the mother and son with her expert characterization.

Sarah Cain, “The Awesome Beast.” In a haunting, powerful, and mysterious story, this writer captivates a reader from the beginning with her opening paragraph. Through comparing the tiger to a coiled snake and with phrasing such as “I am not without peril for the careless”, a reader is left knowing that in the event they came across such beast they would most certainly fail.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Jeffrey Hollar, “Project Hermes.”  A somewhat sci-fi piece that echoes of Big Brother and totalitarian control. In so few words, this author shows how one agency uses the machine with the plan to train soldiers—almost all through dialogue, a technique I truly admire. Have you thought about extending this?

FIRST RUNNER UP

Dieter Rogiers, “The Line and the Loop.” This is a very complex, multi-layered piece that makes a reader think. I appreciated you allusion to the artist: it really pulled this piece together.In addition, the choice to begin many sentences with “here” causes the piece to read with rhythm, a manipulation of language I wholly admire. I also liked the somewhat social commentary within the subtext, especially show in lines such as “Here corporate suits forgot their worries for a minute”.

And now: NOISEMAKERS ON!!! it’s first-time

DRAGON WINNER

CINDY VASKOVA!!!

for

“Prometheus”

So much can be said about this piece, though I’ve been asked to keep it simple: your main character in this piece is incredible—a man who both regrets his greatest invention and feeds of the pain he watches it cause. In your spine-chilling tale, we see supreme power, manipulation, and a master of language. I particularly like the sentence “This was the unintended consequence of his frivolous ambition overreaching”—this lets a reader know to expect a dark secret with soon be revealed. I also appreciate your use of alliteration and imagery to paint the picture of a twisted creator admiring his craft. Extremely well-written, and I could see this turning into a much longer piece. 

Congratulations, Cindy! Your winner’s badge greets you eagerly below. Here is your brand new, sparkly winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me here asap so I can interview you for Wednesday’s #SixtySeconds feature. And here is your winning story:

Prometheus

The hologram screen surrounding the serpent shaped contraption buzzed lightly as it transmitted a landscape view. Footsteps echoed up and down its metal stairs. Men, women and children frantically searched their ways back and forth walking the narrow rails of the machine.

“This is the work of a brute.” whimpered the creator, as exhausted he sat, marveling in tears his creation.

His “Prometheus” wouldn’t stop. This was the unintended consequence of his frivolous ambitious overreaching. These people, at the end they found themselves starting from the beginning, no memory of minutes ago, no concept of hours gone by. He had created the sort of cycle that destroyed their minds, trapping them in a limbo of repetitiveness in which they existed in their normality just for a split second. To fear.

Soon their system would catch on the anomaly, and they would die maddened and starved becoming mere shells of humans. And he would suffer the helpless observation of that process.

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Flash! Friday # 52 — WINNERS!

OH MY WORD. We’ve made it through a WHOLE YEAR of spectacularly awesome flash fictionning here at FF. Have I told you lately how crazy I am about all of you? Thank you, thank you. And I can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow bright ‘n’ early for the kickoff of the #Flashversary. Don’t forget–Monday at 7:30am Washington, DC time!      

Our final farewell is organically bred by country gal Jaz Draper, who has brought her unique style of wit and love for dialogue to FF. Thank you so much, sweet Jaz, for your awesome contributions this past year! I’ll always be grateful for your time & spirit.    

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Judge Jaz Draper says, So this is my swan song: the last judging assignment for Flash Friday 2013. One year plus a few weeks ago, I walked into the Edinburg library 2 weeks into National Novel Writing Month and met a wonderfully supportive group of writers. No, I did not finish my novel, nor have I had much time to devote to it. But over the year I’ve gotten to read a lot of fun, thought-provoking and creative flash fiction written by our little community. Did I say little? I know Rebekah is thrilled with how our group has grown!

 

Since this is my last assignment and because I’m in a food coma, I asked Rebekah to be easy on me. She obliged by limiting you all to 100 words plus or minus 5. But once again, she selected a spectacular prompt and you, my dear writing friends, did not disappoint.

 

I don’t feel like I have many words of wisdom to offer you except: write. Just write. Whenever you can; wherever you can. I should heed my own advice, I know. Remember to always check your spelling and grammar and syntax, but do it after you get your ideas down. And practice good dialog because dialog brings characters richly to life.

 

Good luck. I’ll be watching…and reading and hopefully doing some of my own writing. Namaste.

 

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BITS ‘N’ PIECES

Jaz says: Each of these phrases reflects the title of the piece in simple summation. Brilliant.

John Cosgrove, Photographic Memories. “Grandpa didn’t hear me. His mind was decades away from here.”

Jacki Donnellan, Strands. “It must be tamed, though achieving this may hurt. And it cannot cling, nor weave itself into tangles.”

LadyhazmatThe Watcher. “Plucked from her bed like a piece of ripe fruit, she’d been peeled and parted, her tender flesh consumed by an insatiable ill on a moonless, winter night.”

Hannah Streett, Losing Meaning. “The letters jump around in their silly little jig, switching partners so often that I lose their meaning.”

Dieter RogiersThe Wager. “As the clock gobbled up the minutes, well past the hour, a sense that all was not well set in.”

Patricia Carroll, Untitled. “If thinking got me here, how do I unthink?”

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jaz says: Both of these pieces are macabre in their twist on what should be happening in a classroom.

AJ Walker, “The Practical.” The last sentence, “Unfortunately there were no graduates from Robertson’s School for Spies in 1913” brings everything together rather nicely.

Rezzi, “The Smell of Smoke.” Wow. Tough school, this one. I could palpably feel Robert’s panic. Nice, tight writing.

SECOND RUNNER UP

Today’s Chapter, “Cheese.” This piece leaves me asking myself over and over: “Did he take a picture or shoot ‘the one that starts the great war’ with some James Bond-esque camera that’s really a gun? A little time travel, some angst, and a bit of mystery. Well done. 

FIRST RUNNER UP

James Marshall, “The Adventures of H.G. Wells, Schoolteacher.” I like the unexpected reason the desk was empty. Several writers centered their stories around the empty desk, describing missing people (and the reasons they were missing were very creative). But the invisible student woven into a well-known story was a clever yarn.

And appearing for the second time (just before she begins her judging stint!) as Flash! Friday  

 DRAGON WINNER IS….

ERIN MCCABE!

for “Reservations” 

 Although there were several takes on the Indian School which aptly captured the injustice of the time, I really liked the link between Erin’s title “Reservations” and the reservations the young girl was having about the rigid, uptight white society oppressing her freedom. The phrases ‘gloriously naked’ and ‘running bare-skinned under the warmth of the sun’ and the comparison of her dress to a tipi call to mind delightful visions of the unconditional freedom and oneness with nature that was taken from the Indians in a subtle way. 

Congratulations, Erin! Here is your updated Winner’s Page, a totally awesome but retiring dragon eBadge (below), and your winning Tale. Note: Because of the #Flashversary, there will be no #SixtySeconds interview this week. However, we look forward to getting to know you better as a judge for the first quarter of Year Two!

Reservations

I wanted to strip off my clothes and run into the distance, travelling deep into the unknown, gloriously naked.

“Stop fidgeting!” my sister scolded, as I fought with my pinafore; stiff and unmanageable, it was more akin to a tipi than a dress.

“Cultural Assimilation” they called it, but in truth it was cultural assassination and schooling was a key weapon in their arsenal, aimed squarely at me on a daily basis.

If all “Americanisation” could offer was dusty rooms, starchy frocks and endlessly dull words about dead white presidents, it was little wonder I daydreamed about running bare-skinned under the warmth of the sun.

 

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