Thursday, March 23, 2017


Janet Reid's latest contest...

So, here are Pablo and Henry.
Tell us what they're thinking.


UPDATE:  Janet has listed the finalists, and I made the listNo explanation required of why I love this one, right?  [ HERE and HERE ]

She's added a twistNow, on to the new and diabolical way to torment you!
The prize for this contest is that the winning entry will provide the next prompt word for #100.
And I can hear you all shrieking and saying "oh my god, she IS going to pick Hooptedoodle, I knew it!"
But no. I'm going to let you choose your own adventure torment! From the entries above, pick the word that you think should be Word #4 for Contest #100.
Remember, a good prompt word is generally short, has more than one meaning, is not by definition pornographic or a swear word (although any word can take on those characteristics depending on context!)
Post your suggestions in the comment column. Include the entry writer with the word too, if you would.


Saturday, March 4, 2017


Janet Reid's Contest #99

I'm reliably informed that this is the 99th flash fiction contest. (That number excludes contests that involved stacking books to make sentences, or anything involved with photos.)  99 is such a great number.  For me, it will always be the number associated with Maxwell Smart's sidekick: Agent 99.  In honor of #99, let's have a writing contest!

The usual rules apply:
1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.
2. Use these words in the story:  agent  99  max  well  smart
3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the prompt must appear in consecutive order. They cannot be backwards. Thus: max/Maximus is ok, but agent/argument is not
4. Post the entry in the comment column of THIS blog post.
5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.
7. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)
11. You agree that your contest entry can remain posted on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't later ask me to delete the entry and any comments about the entry at a later date.
12. The stories must be self-contained. That is: do not include links or footnotes to explain any part of the story. Those extras will not be considered part of the story.

Contest opens: Saturday 3/4/17, 9am ~~ Contest closes: Sunday, 3/5/17, 9am

Payday, and Muldoon’s at maximum capacity.  Yanks are singing “99 Bottles of Beer,” and Da’s discussing art with his mates.

“Looks like an orgasm, art at its worst,” said Da.
“It’s Jackson Pollock, ya eejit!”

“C’mon, Mam’s waitin’ dinner, and she’s in a fit.”
“Feckin spuds again.”
“Jayzus, Da, you’re drinkin' us all into vegetarianism!”

I held him while he splashed his wellies in the alley. “You’re a gent,” he said.

Mam handed me the letter from University.
“Are’ya accepted?”
I was. But with five wee-uns, and Da’s drinkin’, she needs my wages.
She bowed her head and exhaled.


UPDATE:  The finalists are posted; her decision comes later. I didn't make the finalists or even a mention.


UPDATE: 7 May 2017

Well, this is very interesting.  It was reported back in 1995 that Modern art was CIA 'weapon':

For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.
The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.