I’m so happy! I’ve done it — a hat-trick! Finally won Reedsy for the third time. The story that won it was Bridgemoss Guardians! I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all the team over at Reedsy — these weekly contests are wonderful. I’ve really become a better writer because of them.
Hey everyone! How we all doing? Good? Grand! I’ve been shortlisted for the Reedsy contest again! Always lovely. This was for the contest Superpower! I chose the prompt, “Write about a person who collects superhero comics.” The comedic, alien sci-fi slant came very quickly — and the mental image I found to be quite endearing! The title of my story is A Little Bit Off, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.
We all knew there was something a little bit off about Hugh.
I’ve now lost count how many times I’ve been shortlisted for the Reedsy contest, which to date I’ve won twice… Still hoping for that third win, at some point. 😉 If you’re interested in reading the others, check out my Short Stories section! The ones that have asterisks have either won or been shortlisted. Well, until next time, have a great day, and look after each other. 🙂
Well, it’s been a while since I won/almost won the Reedsy contest! I don’t mind, though — it’s getting more and more popular by the week, which means it’ll be harder to win each time. Plus, there’s some awesome writers putting out some truly amazing stories over on the site, so it’s tough to compete!
With that in mind, I was super-pleased to hear that my psychedelic and dreamy story, Sea the Moon, was shortlisted for last week’s contest! This marks the fourth time I’ve been shortlisted for this contest. I’ve won it twice (and would love to win it a third time, but we can’t always win, can we?) so far, which I’m very proud of.
The seagulls were weeping again. They had woken her from her sleep. It was funny, now that she thought about it. She’d also fallen asleep listening to their shrill pleas. It reminded her of the song her mother had sung to her as a baby. Sunset and sunrise, bird calls and bird cries.
So, a massive thank you to the whole Reedsy team — not just for liking my stories (which is always appreciated, and is quite the confidence boost) but for hosting these weekly contests in the first place!
Hey, everyone! Sorry for being so quiet on here lately, but life has been so busy! Anyway, I’ve been shortlisted for the Reedsy contest again! This marks the second time I’ve been shortlisted for the contest. Of course, I’d love to win the contest again, I’m still really pleased at being shortlisted!
If you’d like to read my previously shortlisted story, What Did We Do? click here or here. And if you’d like to read my stories that actually won, you can read The Things That Do Not Float here and here, and Astro Naught here and here.
Check back tomorrow to read my latest entry! I feel as if I’ve broken new ground with this most recent piece…
So, I didn’t win the Reedsy contest this week, but I’m not going to grumble, considering I’ve already won it twice! (Three times would definitely be nice, though…) However, I received an email telling me that my story What Did We Do? was very well received, and was actually shortlisted for the prize — so I’ll take that as a sort of win, in any case.
And if you’re interested in my previous stories which won the competition, they’re called The Things That Do Not Float and Astro Naught. You can read the former here or here, and you can read the latter here and here.
Another nice post to be making, in between all of the scary stuff! In addition to Chris nominating me for the Liesbter Award, PJ has nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award! First of all, thanks so much, PJ — it really means a lot! Having two of these things in a week really put a smile on my face. If you haven’t already, I heartily recommend paying PJ’s blog a visit — it’s full of incredible poetry! PJ’s words are honest and sincere, and possess a quiet profundity that I think is really rare. So be sure to check out PJ’s work!
The rules for the Real Neat Blog Award are fairly similar to the Liebster Award:
Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
Nominate any number of people, linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated
So, let’s answer PJ’s questions! PJ asked some really insightful questions, and I’ve tried to be as honest as possible!
What are 3 things we can’t live without?
The biologist in me wanted to start listing the technical requirements for life, but anyone can pick up a textbook and find those out. 😉 For me, I think the top three things that I couldn’t live without would be:
Love — I cannot imagine a life without my partner
Music — a life without Pink Floyd or David Bowie or The Smiths? No thanks!
Books — who’d want to live in a world where neither King nor Pratchett put pen to paper?
Who do you wish could live forever?
Stephen King! His books were the first ‘adult’ books I read, in that awkward phase between childhood and adulthood — I was searching for a novel that appealed to me, and then boom, I read The Shining. Life was never the same, for 14-year-old me! Everything King writes is (in my opinion) gold. Plus, he writes faster than I can read! I don’t know how he does it. I hope he can keep pumping out novels for ever…
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Oh, I have so many. I guess my biggest one would be people who make loud noises in quiet places. For example: people who talk loudly in libraries, people who have conversations over their phone’s loudspeaker whilst sitting in the quiet zone of the train, people who blast obnoxious music from their car, etc. I guess my biggest pet peeve is just inconsiderate people!
Name a memory that changed you in some way and why.
Sitting in the sun with my grandmother, after we’d both been for a swim. We sat there, letting the sun dry us, talking about nothing in particular — just enjoying the good weather and each other’s company.
I think this memory taught me of what’s really important — loved ones and happiness. And the importance of just relaxing and having a moment to catch your breath!
Night owl or early bird?
Night owl by nature! The darkness just feels right — not in a spooky way, either. I guess I’m just a nyctophile! However, I’m learning to appreciate the mornings more, as I get older. I try to not sleep in too much, anymore. I’m starting to enjoy the productivity that can be found in the daylight!
If you could travel to anywhere (for free) in the world, where would you go?
I’ve done a fair bit of travelling already, but there’s still so many places that I haven’t been. It’s my goal to have visited everywhere at least once before I die. If I could pick one place right now, I guess I’d pick the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand.
What’s your inspiration?
Honestly? Everything. From the book I’m currently reading (Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men), to the TV series I’m watching (Disenchantment), to the music I’m currently jamming (Anthrax’s Among the Living album, Ghost’s Seven Inches of Satanic Panic EP, Foals’ latest singles from their upcoming album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost — Part 2, and Michael Kiwanuka’s You Ain’t the Problem), to the time of year and the weather — Josh in the sunny summer has very different creative ideas compared to Josh in the blustery autumn!
My seven questions:
1) What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? If given the chance, would you do it again?
2) If you were to meet a genie, what three things would you wish for?
3) Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert?
4) In the future, humanity makes contact with an intergalactic alien species. You get the honour of presenting five pieces of art (music, books, TV shows, movies, etc.) — what do you pick?
5) What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?
6) If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
7) If animals could speak human languages, which species would be the rudest?
Gary Jefferies — not only is Gary a tremendously friendly guy, but he writes some terrific stories! Be sure to check out his work. Also, head on over to the community of writers that Gary is building with Rachael Ritchey (whom you should also check out) — BlogBattlers! They have monthly prompts, and it’s a lot of fun participating.
PMu — there’s some absolutely gorgeous artwork on this blog. Just go and have a look. Take my word for it.
Floating Gold — I found Floating Gold through the aforementioned BlogBattle. Like Gary, Floating Gold writes some amazing stories, and I cannot recommend them enough. So pop on over and have a read!
Seolin Jung — An Alien at Sea’s blog contains some amazingly creative pieces of fiction. Seolin’s work often broaches the topics of mental health and other such emotionally-charged subjects — always handled in a caring and intelligent manner. Have a read!
As with the other award nomination, there’s no pressure at all to make a response post! This is meant to be lighthearted and fun. If you do decide to make a response post, get silly with it and have fun! Have a good one!
Well, this is quite a nice post to be making — Chris Hewitt of Mused.Blog has nominated me for the Liebster Award! First of all, thank you very much, Chris — it really means a lot. If you haven’t visited Chris’ blog yet, I thoroughly recommend Mused.Blog — check it out! He’s got some excellent short stories and flash fiction going on.
So, what is the Liebster Award? Well, it’s essentially an award for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers (such as my blog). It’s an award given by bloggers to other bloggers — I think it’s a great way to support new bloggers and blogs that might otherwise fly under the radar.
There are a few rules to the award — answer the questions posed by the person nominating you in a post (with a link back to them), set five new questions, and nominate other bloggers wither fewer than 200 followers.
Okay! On to my answers! Chris came up with some really cool questions, so I had to give it a bit of thought… Be warned, these answers are quite lengthy! 😉
Oh no, it’s another global apocalypse. Only one book, one movie and one song will survive into the brave new world. Which do you pick?
The book would have to be Stephen King’s The Shining — it was one of the first ‘adult’ books I ever read… there are few authors who can tear your heart in two whilst absolutely terrifying you in the way that King does.
The movie would be Aliens! I love all things horror, and the original Alien is a masterclass in claustrophobic terror, but I just love James Cameron’s sequel! “Get away from her, you bitch!”
The song would be Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. I dare anyone to listen to that song and not sing along — perfect for lifting spirits after the collapse!
Battle Royale: a T-Rex, three tigers, one hundred rats, which would win? Show your working out.
Now, that’s a good question. Buckle up for the answer!
It’s been estimated that the T-Rex had a bite force of 431,000 pounds per square inch (psi). A tiger has a bite force of 1,050 psi — which is still huge, considering that it’s twice that of a lion (we humans have a bite strength of 200 pounds). Rats are astounding creatures — they have a bite force of 24,000 psi! So, all of these creatures have the ability to puncture one another’s flesh with a reasonable amount of ferocity. The T-Rex could kill the other two in one attack, whereas the tigers would take a while to bring down the T-Rex. The rats would likely fail against the other two individually, but as a collective they might have a chance to bring down the predators.
The speed of the animals would play a large role, too. It’s been hotly debated how fast a T-Rex could run, but current estimates are around 11 and 33 miles per hour (mph). An adult tiger can run at 30 – 40 mph, so they’d easily have the advantage over the T-Rex — likely managing to get lots of quick attacks in between the Rex’s slower movements. Rats can only manage a paltry 8 mph — a good portion of their army would likely be KOd rather quickly by the predators.
You’d also have to factor in the hides of the animals, as well — how well could they withstand the attacks of the other two? I’m not an expert on this, but I’d guess that the T-Rex had very thick skin and would be able to take a lot of damage. Tigers are also fairly resilient animals, and could likely keep fighting until their last breath — but I imagine if the Rex were able to land a solid attack, it’d be an instant game over for the tiger. Rats, on the other hand, would likely face an instant death should an attack be successful against them.
Additionally, you have to consider terrain. Whose home ground is it? At the moment, I think it’s fairly even between the T-Rex and the tiger, but if the animal were in an environment to which it has adapted, I’d say that’d swing the balance.
Finally, we have to acknowledge bacteria and disease. The Rex existed at a much different time point to the tiger and the rat, so it would likely have a much different immune system. It’s well known that rats are efficient carriers of disease — if they were able to take a quick bite at the Rex, it’s probable that the prehistoric predator would not have the capabilities to deal with modern day diseases, such as the plague (yes, it’s still a thing). This might also be true of the tiger, as well — due to difference in environments.
Overall, I think it’d be close between the two predators, but the victor would likely die shortly after from infection. I think the likely winner would be the rats, due to their sheer number — a good few would perish, but I imagine one or two would escape the chaos, long enough to see the predators fall to disease.
The Gods have chosen to remove one of your senses, in exchange, they’ll make one of your remaining senses a super-sense. Which one do you lose, and which one do you improve?
Technically, we as humans have a bucketload of senses — such as the sense to gauge time, senses for balance, senses for gravity, proprioception, etc., but I’m gonna keep it simple and stick to the basic five. (Have a google search on this topic, you can really go down the rabbit hole on our different types of senses!)
I’d choose to lose my sense of smell. It’s important for enjoying food, but I reckon it’s the one that I could do without.
I’d like to improve my hearing — imagine being able to navigate in the pitch black, using your own sonar!
You have died, bad luck! Luckily you’ve been offered the choice of being reborn at a time and location of your choosing with all your current knowledge intact. Where and when do you choose?
I’d like to go back to the mid-seventies. 1) I could see all of the awesome bands in their prime — Pink Floyd, Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, David Bowie, The Smiths, Joy Division etc. 2) I have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in neuroscience — I could win some Nobel prizes and be set for life with the winnings! The seventies aren’t so far back in time that scientific research would be difficult to conduct, and with knowledge of the right answers, I could focus my research.
What’s the best and worst thing about blogging?
The best thing is easily the other bloggers! I love the sense of community and the encouragement everyone gives each other.
The worst thing is the feeling of guilt I get when I can’t post or respond as quickly as I like! Sometimes, life gets in the way…
My five questions:
1) If money were of no importance, what would you be doing with your life, right now?
2) What’s your favourite genre, and why? (This can be for books, movies, or music!)
3) If you could take credit for one piece of work in history, what would it be? This could be a book, a song, a movie script, etc.
4) If you knew you would die in a year, what are the top things you’d like to do before kicking the bucket?
5) Tell me something that I (probably) don’t know! Did you know that the prominent joints on the legs of a flamingo are actually its ankles? The knees are closer to the body and are hidden by feathers!
PJ — PJ writes amazing poems, and has a real talent when it comes to making a big impact with few words. PJ’s works have an authentic rawness to them! (PJ actually nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award, which I will be responding to soon!)
Rachel Admas — Rachel makes stunning artwork, often on paper. Her work is brilliantly original — I can’t recommend her blog enough.
The Rookery — a hypnotic blend of art, profound poetry, and general musings on life. I’m not quite sure what category The Rookery falls into, but it’s all brilliant!
There’s no pressure to make a response post, this is just a bit of fun! If you do make a response, I hope you have fun with it. The rules can be found here. Happy blogging!