Tag Archive | Gordon B. White

Sixty Seconds with: Gordon B. White

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Gordon B. White.  Read his winning story here. Then take a minute to get to know him better!

1) What about the prompt inspired your winning piece?  Googling “Patron Saint of Anemics,” the closest match was Our Lady of Thorns – which sowed the seeds for plant imagery.

2) How long have you been writing flash? For years, but never in any structured manner. Before the last two years or so, it was literally all marginalia.

3) What do you like about flash? With too much space, I ramble. Instead, I find creative liberation through formal constraint: poetic forms, flash, handcuffs . . . . wait, what?

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Suggest a beginning, vividly describe the middle, point to possible ends.  Stories resonate when readers fill the gaps with themselves.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Our own Rebecca Allred. While off-the-cuff she sparkles, her polished work really shines.  Her diligence in revision inspires me..

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Race the Date and The Angry Hourglass. I also participated in (and won!) last year’s Cease, Cows! Hallow/Hallowed contest.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? Anything you need!  Poetry and short fiction for pleasure; memos and reports for work; several unfilmed (and one “filmed”) screenplays.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? I’m not scary enough for “horror,” but I like pulling apart the human condition with inhuman hands. Sooooo, “dark speculative”?

9) Tell us about a WIP.  Generational tensions between a young Russian dog-poisoner and old Norwegian seal-clubber clearing Fiji mermaids off the wharves outside The Union Hall. 

10) How do you feel about dragons?  Ever since I realized that my dog looks like Falcor The Luck Dragon, my estimation of them has further improved.

Flash! Friday Vol 2 – 14: WINNERS!

With many thanks for your patience (a power-blasting snowstorm in MARCH in the DRAGON CAVES!? outrage!), please join me in thanking outgoing judge Whitney Healy & congratulating our newest batch of winners. PARTEH IN THE DRAGON CAVES!


Judge Whitney Healy says: The Ides of March are upon us, as is the imminent end to an intricate journey. This experience with judging has been fun: it allowed me to evaluate short fiction, entertained me, and motivated me at times to write myself. I am happy to be throwing the gauntlet to new blood: I highly recommend the experience. You will learn something about yourself, your writing, others, and others’ writing. I say I am happy to toss the challenge to another because I’m ready to start focusing on my own writing and (hopefully) compete again at this lovely competition. Eleven of the forty entries made my first cut this week, and the stories were widely diverse and (as always, delightfully entertaining. Applause to all!



Jacki Donnellan, “The Domestic Dancer.”  I loved how we see the innocence of the janitor in this piece and how much he admires the young dancers. We grow to love the janitor and how he has supported this dance school for so long, and then we grow to hate the head mistress for removing him when he meant absolutely no harm. This was an entertaining tale of the sadness that often happens in our culture when someone is not accepted. 

Craig Anderson, “Dancing Days.” In so few words, a dedication to dance is made. We cheer for the dancer, as she has wowed the fans to the point all artists wish to reach: tears. But then, by an astounding turn of both language and events (the first part of the story is detailed and descriptive, while the second part is fragmented dialogue), we see that it is her dance that is helping her deal with the traumatic shock attached to an accident. Definitely worth a read, for those of you who missed it.


Caitlin Status, “Your Little Ballerina.”  I wanted more of this story: there’s a lot underneath the text. Why is the mother leaving her daughter? Who is Heather? What has the mother done that makes her so ashamed of herself? Or, is the mother ashamed of her daughter? Through the uncommon use of second-person point of view, the accusatory nature of the voice of this piece makes a reader feel as if she is the panicked mother who so wants what is best for her daughter (or so it seems). I appreciate the shifts between narration and dialogue as well.


AmyBeth Inverness, Untitled. I could read this story again and again and still laugh. There were many tales of jealousy and revenge this week, but most of those tales did not state such theme so subtly. In this piece, a young girl chooses what appears to be a modest type of dance (as her mother thought ballerinas’ dress was far too scandalous), but we find out otherwise. Instead, we see a young girl capable of manipulating and very in charge of her life–and how I would have loved to see Clementina’s face when the girls’ “grace” was displayed for all of the world to see. A hilarious tale of what, to me, is sweet, sweet victory.

And now: for his FIRST TIME EVER (’bout time!), it’s Flash! Friday  


Gordon B. White!!!


“The Our Lady of Thorns ‘Lil Sprigs’ Dancers”

I began my second reading of this tale by looking up the definition of the word “sprig”–and boy am I glad I did. I knew a “sprig” could refer to a small plant just breaking the surface of the soil, or perhaps the “sprig” of rosemary we add to something when cooking, but when I saw the other definitions, I realized a “sprig” is also a small branch or a could refer to offspring. Now pay attention to this story, folks. Thorns and sprigs in title: refer to nature. “Twist(ing) like a dogwood(‘s) branches”: refers again to trees. Collapse to the ground like kindling: kindling=wood. The last dancer’s name is Rosy, a play on the rose. Are you seeing a pattern? This writer knew exactly what he was doing with every phrase: every word on the page, every phrase, every rhetorical device, every image, wove an image of trees and the power of nature. In a dark and somewhat unnerving tale, this author uses his deliberate choices in language to manipulate both a reader and the audience watching the dance: a stylistic decision marked by a master of their craft. Not to mention the pacing was great and you could picture every “sapling” of detail he created. A well-deserved win: I’d like to see more of his writing!

Congratulations, Gordon! Your winner’s badge waits for you below. Here is your winner’s page and your winning tale on the winners’ wall. Please contact me asap so I can interview you for this week’s #SixtySeconds feature. And here is your winning story:

The Our Lady of Thorns “Lil Sprigs” Dancers

Hours later, the hurdy gurdy still grinds away and the girls still twist like dogwood branches in the spring breeze, trembling with the cold and exertion. The swollen red and white balloons are the only things holding some of them up.

A susurration of whispers stirs through the crowd.

“Will there be no volunteers?” Sister Agatha raps her birch cane against the stage. “None willing to donate? Not even an iron coin or a piece of beef?”

One by one, the balloons pop and the pale girls collapse to the ground like kindling.

“For God’s sake, stop it!” A man finally cries out and pushes forward, rolling up his shirt sleeves. “Just take it already.”

Sister Agatha plunges her needle into the crook of his elbow. The thick redness sluices up the surgical tube. She smiles and looks down at the lone girl still dancing, trembling like a daisy.

“This one is for you, Rosy. The greatest dancer of all.”



Sixty Seconds with: Rebecca Allred

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Rebecca Allred.  Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her better.

1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece?  I thought that for there to be something new, something else needed to be destroyed.

2) How long have you been writing flash? About 3 months.

3) What do you like about flash? I feel accomplished for finishing a work, and often my flash stories serve as seedlings for larger pieces of fiction.

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Pay attention to language. You don’t have a lot of words to work with. Make every one count.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Gordon White. He’s a wonderful writer, and his feedback helped me get my first story (flash!) accepted for publication. 

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? Race The Date and Finish That Thought. Also, I’m starting my own THIS SATURDAY! Y’all should come over and play.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? I write short stories and I have a few wannabe novels in various states of disrepair.

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? Horror – my mind wanders into dark alleys, always asking “what’s the worst that could happen?” I write down the answers.

9) Tell us about a WIP.  I’m working on a short story about a doctor forced to consider the virtues of alternative medicine when fighting disease. 

10) How do you feel about dragons? I love them. Growing up, my friends at school called me The Dragon Woman.