Tag Archives: contest

Flash Fiction Contest Winner and More

English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone. Today is the day that I announce the winner of the 4th of July contest winner. I received wonderful entries which made the decision hard. I can fully understand that line all the judges say, “I wish they can all be winners.”  What I’ve decided to do is have a runner-up, who will receive one e-book of his/her choice. Today I will be posting the winner and the runner-up plus an Abecdarian poem I wrote called The 4th of July.  For those of you who don’t know what an Abecdarianpoem is, I’m here to help 🙂  The poem is comprised of  every letter of the alphabet to start you line. It is fun to do and can be a real challenge. I hope you enjoy all the post and please have a safe and happy holiday.


!st Place Winner: John Granger

An Understanding

Nathan was having trouble standing still.  It wasn’t just the normal nervous energy of a 14 year old; Nathan wanted to get away from this place.  He looked at his mother, standing to his right, and wondered how she could just stand there looking so calm.  He surveyed the other families in the cemetery, all with fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands or wives just like his Dad.  He couldn’t understand why they all just stood there passively listening to this Major or Colonel or whatever his title was blather on and on about the meaning of their loved ones’ deaths.  And yet, he stood here passively, too – not screaming out and running to get away from the thought of it, like he wanted to.  He was just standing and pretending to listen. “The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on what our country means and what the sacrifice of the men and women who lay here means…” the man at the podium was saying. Nathan couldn’t see any sense in any of it.  He didn’t understand why his Father had been sent half a world away, why someone who never knew his Dad would walk up to him in a crowded market and blow himself up, or why his Mother insisted on bringing him to this stupid memorial service.  All it meant to Nathan is that he would never talk to his Dad again, never play catch with his Dad in the backyard again, and that his morning was being wasted listening to this garbage. “These are our American heroes.  They chose to put themselves in harm’s way in order to defend a way of life, to defend what they held most dear…” Nathan had an involuntary reaction to the word ‘heroes.’  He hadn’t even realized that he was listening and suddenly a lump formed in his throat.  His Dad washis hero.  He suddenly was listening intently to what the man had to say.  The man was explaining exactly why his Father had done the things he had done and although Nathan had heard the patriotic rhetoric before, it suddenly rang true in a way he hadn’t experienced previously.  His anger and resentment melted into pride.  He looked at his mother again and finally understood everything. Runner-up:  ES

The Fourth Cycle 49SE lumbered over and sat down by one of the great windows of The Distant Searcher explorer vessel.  It stared out into the vast emptiness of space, as it had done so every cycle for several revolutions.  In the darkness, a doorway slid open.  Another terraforming unit walked in, and stood near 49SE. “I extracted more information in the object that we found floating in space.  You know, the one near the burnt out planets,” 82NS said, “It is in a strange dialect, but I believe that it reveals ancient culture.” 49SE turned to face it’s worker counterpart. “What does it say?” it asked. 82NS lumbered closer, and placed broken remains of an ancient satellite near it’s counterpart. “Well,” 82NS started, “This one contains activities that ancient ones seemingly practiced.  They apparently celebrated something on a fourth day of a July.” 49SE stared at it’s counterpart with it’s work-worn iron face. “What is a July? What is a day? Was it a celebration for an achievement?” “Apparently, it was to celebrate the ancient’s independence from another group of ancients.  I believe that it was celebrated to commemorate that.  Not much else remains on the cylinders, other than a few practices observed by these ancients.” 82NS said. “What practices?” 49SE asked. “One of the symbol data cylinders mentions the eating of ‘hotdogs’ and ‘parades’.  Other than that, I do not understand how the various surviving images coincide with each other,” it’s counterpart replied, as it displayed images on itself for 49SE to visualize. “What is a hotdog? What does it have to do with commemoration?” 49SE asked, “What is a parade?” “As far as can be deciphered, a hotdog is a cheerful display of colorful vehicles and music commemorating victorious soldiers and independence from ancient beings.  A parade is an edible, protein based material that the ancients consumed.” 82NS replied. 82NS began lumbering towards the door, then turned back. “Oh, another cylinder mentioned the celebratory exploding of pyrotechnic compounds in colorful displays.” 49SE looked up at 82NS, and stood. “There is an asteroid belt between The Distant Searcher, and our next assigned mission.  It would be agreeable if we may continue this ancient practice of exploding objects in a celebratory manner.” 82NS nodded in agreement. “Happy fourth cycle to you, my friend.” it stated. “Happy fourth cycle to you!” 49SE replied as the two terraforming units left the room.


A celebration recognized in 1872

Between memorial and Labor Day

Celebrating American freedom

Declaration of Independence signed July 2, 1776

Event that went around the world

Fighting for rights from Great Britain

Government of the people, by the people

Home to all

Initially only thirteen colonies

Justifying our right to be free

King no longer has a say

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Making our country favored by all

National Anthem is the song of the day.

On the fourth the nation was born

Parties, fun, and games rule the day

Quality of life is our goal

Rain sometimes spoils the parade

Squealing children run and play

Time of remembrances

Uniting the country

Voices of politicians heard

Wonderful fireworks displayed

Xenophobia isn’t our norm

Yesteryear was great but tomorrow is greater

Zillions have and will celebrate the 4th of July

 abecdarian poem, using the 26 letters of the alphabet chronologically. An abecedarian poem is a special form of an acrostic poem, in which the initial letters of the words beginning each line or stanza spell out the alphabet in order.


Author Notes Xenophobia is a fear of anything foreign.
© Copyright 2012 Okiegal930 All rights reserved. 

200 Word Flash Fiction (The Rent)

 Hello everyone, today I am publishing a 200 word flash fiction story which I won a contest with. I was given a specific list of words to use in creating the story. The words are in bold print. I do hope you enjoy reading it and please let me know how you would improve it.   Shirley
The Rent


The forecast for the day is cold with a winter storm warning. I don’t want to get out of my nice warm bed, but I know I have to. There are many errands to run, and I have to do them before the storm hits.
Why Mrs. Flannigan has me pay my rent in person, I’ll never understand. It would be easier if I put it in the mail with my monthly bills. There isn’t any use crying and whining about it. That’s the way it is.
I back my car from the drive for the ten-mile trip to Mrs. Flannigan’s. Myphone is in my purse for an emergency. The sleet and freezing rain are  already falling. The radio announcer tells everyone to stay off the roads. I’m not the smartest person, because I’m driving. I can’t drive fast because of poor visibility.  My hands are gripping the  wheel and my knuckles are white. Relax, Sally, you can do this.
The bridge over the lake is icy. What is that idiot doing? He’s going too fast. I’m in the middle of the bridge. I can’t scoot over. No, oh God help me.
Paper reads: Trucker and young woman join fatality toll.

A New Contest


Hello to everyone. Today I’m making a big announcement.  I am sponsoring another writing contest. The topic of this contest is National Pride.  It can be fiction or non-fiction, and no more than 1200 words.  The winner will receive  three ebooks of your choice and posting of your story on this blog.  The runner-up will receive a copy of the Historical Fiction, Dobyns Chronicles when it is published in a few months.

Please send the stories to shirley_mclain.com with your email address and the three ebooks you would like if you win.  All entries must be to me by May 31, 2012.  The winner will be announced June 15, 2012.

Use your creativeness and get out of your comfort zone a little bit. I look forward to receiving some great stories.


Better Than Sex Cake and a Guest


OK, let me start out by saying this is my second attempt at posting for today. I’m not sure what happened to the first one but I think it’s floating around in cyberspace somewhere in a few hundred pieces. I’m not one that gives up easily so I’m doing it again.

Today I feel like a cook and I want to share one of my favorite dessert recipes with you. It is mouth-watering good and easy to put together. I gave this recipe to a friend of mine in California and she now makes it every Easter for her family.

Just to let you know, I did not name this cake. You will have to make your own judgements about the title. The ingredients you will need are: 1 yellow pudding cake mix, 1 large box of french vanilla pudding mix, a large can of pineapple, 1 cup of sugar and whipping cream.

Bake the cake according to package directions. I bake mine in a mall aluminum turkey roaster for the high sides. Punch holes over the top of it and let it cool. While the cake is cooling place the sugar and pineapple in a saucepan and heat until all of the sugar has melted and you have a thin syrup. Pour this over the top of your cake. Let it cool. I put mine in the freezer to chill it down quickly. The trick is not to forget it. Mix up your pudding and spread it over the cooled cake. At this point you can sprinkle anything you want on top of the pudding. I use coconut and pecans but it’s entirely up to you what you use. Mix up a bowl of whip cream and put it on top of the pudding. You can sprinkle what you want on top. That’s all there is to it and you have a super moist melt in your mouth cake. Be sure any left overs are refrigerated.

Changing subjects completely, I want to remind you to enter the 100 word flash fiction contest. You can find the instructions in the previous post. I am also posting for Mark Lee, from the Masqueradecrew blog spot, Click HEREHe is wanting to tell you about a contest the crew is doing.


We’re hosting a short story writing competition. The prompt is being emailed to early responders right now, and it will become public on our website March 15th.

But we need more than just submissions, although we’ll take as many as would like to enter. There’s lots of other things people can do to help us out, however. For instance, we need judges or readers. We’ll also need people to help us edit the winning entries.

Last but not least, as is being done here, we need people to spread the word, tweeting on Twitter about it or hosting a guest post from us. Whatever you would like to do. We would like to get the word out now, but also during the competition. In exchange, we’ll promote you and/or accept guest posts from you.

Interested in helping, let Mark know.

I wish you well until the next time.

Flash Fiction Contest

Cover of "Obsessed"

Cover of Obsessed

I was thinking about a character in my book,  The Tower. Tony who is completely obsessed with the protagonist. Samantha (Sam) was on his mind constantly. This obsession with Sam caused him to make  costly mistakes in his life.  Have you have been obsessed with someone or something?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary  defines obsession as a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>.  That definition covers a multitude of things. A person can have an obsession over anything from dust to peanut butter,  or I should say from A to Z.

I have been obsessed with reading a book.  Just couldn’t put it down until it was finished. Right now I couldn’t tell you the name of it if my life depended on it, but I’ve been there and been totally drawn into the story. That’s one of my wishes for my books. They won’t be able to put it down once the reading has begun.

I think new love is an obsession.  Do you remember the time when you waited with bated breath for the phone to ring, just to hear the voice that began your heart fluttering.  Hanging onto every word that came out of their mouth and always wanting to hear more.  The anxiety that built because you couldn’t be with them as much as you wanted. The tears when they had to go away. Fantasizing your life with them, happy forever after.  It’s a wonderfully, miserable time.

Some people can carry an obsession to the point that it is dangerous for the person who has the obsession, or if they are obsessed with another person it could be dangerous for them also. There has to be some mental instability to stalk someone just so you can see their every move during the day or night.

I said all of this to make the point that obsession can be a good story line because of the tension that it causes.  Write a 100 word piece of flash fiction using obsession and see what you come up with.  In fact the person who submits the best flash fiction to me will win their choice of an eBook (under $4.00) from Amazon.com. A winner will be announced April 14th.  Please send  the flash fiction as an attachment along with the name and author of the eBook you would like to have. Please include the email address where you would like it sent. Emails will be deleted so be sure you attachment has the needed information. Last day for submissions will be March 31, 2012 and the winner will be announced on April 14th, 2012. Send entries to shirley_mclain@yahoo.com Happy Flashing…..