A Small Male Dog


Trifecta Challenge: 33 to 333 words featuring the word Dwell: a : to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon “tried not to dwell on my fears”  b : to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon “reporters dwelling on the recent scandal.”


“You need to stop brooding over it.”

“How on earth am I supposed to do that?”

“I don’t know exactly, but if you don’t stop, you’re going to lose everything you’ve got left.”

“His dreary apartment, his dreary social life and you.”

“Thank you for not using ‘dreary’ to describe me, too.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Seriously though, he’s gone and he’s not coming back. You need to get out there again. Find someone to share your life with. Have a life.”

“It’s hard not to dwell on it. He was all I had for almost ten years. My life revolved around him.”

“Yes and that’s exactly the problem. You never had a life outside of him. You need to get one.”

“How on earth am I supposed to do that?”

“Well, I don’t know, but you’ve got to try. You can’t go on revolving around someone who isn’t there.”

“Men are bastards. They all leave eventually.”

“Not all, dear. Maybe you should start small. Get a small male dog.”

Black Friday Crush

Image from villagevoice.com

Trifecta Challenge:  33 to 333 words featuring the word Anticipation: a : visualization of a future event or state b : an object or form that anticipates a later type

Image from villagevoice.com
Image from villagevoice.com

David glanced at the clock. Five more minutes. He leaned against a washing machine, crossed his arms and looked at the horde of consumers pressed against the door. It was the same every year. Two years ago, a five-year-old had been trampled. Nobody in that mob gave a passing thought to that little boy now. They just wanted to get inside to save up to 50% off televisions and toasters they didn’t need. Most of the people probably weren’t even buying Christmas presents.

He wondered what it is about people that requires them to have the biggest, brightest, flashiest, newest whatever. What is it about Americans that makes them think it’s alright to spend Thanksgiving in a tent in a parking lot just to buy something that isn’t even necessary in a survival of the fittest sort of way? If David was honest with himself, it disgusted him, but he had learned to let that go. His job was to sell those toasters and televisions while incurring the fewest fatalities possible.

Two minutes. People were beginning to crush the front with the anticipation of the doors opening. The safety glass, which had replaced real glass after the masses had actually pushed right through it last year, was beginning to bow with the weight.

David and Neil, the assistant manager, attached themselves to safety harnesses. David glanced at Neil, who nodded assent. At a count of three, David turned the key and Neil opened the door. A swarm of humanity buzzed around them, shoving them out of the way. David just hoped that nobody died this year. The store didn’t need any more bad press.

Trifecta Check-In

Said to a writer friend of mine not even a half an hour ago.

If you hadn’t noticed, I love prompts and writing challenges. I just started a new one that The Daily Post recommended. Trifecta asked me to answer ten questions. Here we go.

1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?

Goldfish is my name. It’s not the name my parents gave me, but it is a real nickname.

2. Describe your writing style in three words.

Eclectic, Ridorkulous, Short-Attention-Span (if you hyphenate it, it’s one word, right?).

3. How long have you been writing online?

Since Myspace, however long ago that was. A long time by internet years. I started a proper blog at Blogger in 2007 or 2008, and moved to WordPress in 2009.

4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in?

I’ve written for the Daily Post and Plinky for a few years now. I just started a Flash Fiction Challenge to push myself to write more fiction. Challenges are good. More, please.

5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing.

I have a tendency to write awkward sentences, e.g., I put subjects after verbs like Yoda. I usually end up having to go back and rearrange. It would be nice if I could get them in the right order out of the gate. Also, I need to add more humor to my fiction. I can write funny blog posts, but have yet to write some funny fiction. And while we’re being truthful, I really need to start editing before I publish.

6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Add more unicorns. Honestly, I can’t remember any writing advice that I’ve been given, which isn’t surprising since I can’t really remember anything. Let’s go with the experts, shall we?

From Buzzfeed.
Did you know this is what Steinbeck looked like? I didn't.
Did you know this is what Steinbeck looked like? I didn’t.
I really like the phrase "the hobgoblin of little minds."
I really like the phrase “the hobgoblin of little minds.”
Said to a writer friend of mine not even a half an hour ago.
Said to a writer friend of mine not even a half an hour ago.

7. Who is your favorite author?

How on earth can you expect a writer to only have one favorite author? That’s like asking a chef for only one ingredient. It ain’t gonna happen. If I have to pick a desert island author, it would be Bukowski. If I have to pick the most technically brilliant author of prose, it would be Conrad. If I have to pick one author who just had all his damn ducks in a proper row, Shakespeare. Best mystery writer, Chandler. Funniest, Douglas Adams. This could go on forever.

8. How do you make time to write?

I slack at my job a lot. I’m not paid enough to actually work for eight hours a day. My salary is worth about five hours of solid work at most. I don’t feel too badly about it, because when I am working, I accomplish a lot.

9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition.

He beat up the DJ because he didn’t like the beat, then he beat it out of there only to have his heart skip a beat when he ran right into a policeman on his beat.

10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading.

Hm. Tough one. I couldn’t pick, so I asked a friend and he said The World’s Dumbest Cat.

Where Will It Be Found?

Portland Quarry. Image from Wiki.

Triple challenge combo achievement unlocked!
Daily Post prompt: A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.
Flash Fiction Challenge: Where will it be found?
Trifecta Challenge: 33 to 333 words featuring the word Crush:to reduce to particles by pounding or grinding <crush rock>

Pete just wanted to get back to the bed that he had lately come to think of as his. It was the one place that made him feel better about his current lot. All day long, he thought about the moment, hours later, when his shift and the hour-long commute would be behind him and he could finally crash-land on his bed. Whenever he got back to quarters, he fell diagonally on his bed and didn’t move for a long while. It was his favorite moment of the day: the longest possible time from having to go back there again.

He couldn’t wait until this job was done and he could leave this forsaken landscape. If he had known, he never would have signed on for six months of this. The boys all felt the same. This was a private job and his union had been very angry with him for taking it, but the money was great.

The foreman was a back-breaker. He never let up. He kept saying that the sooner they find it, the quicker they get out of here. It was true, but there’s only so much a man is willing to do for an hourly rate. It’s not like he and the boys got to keep it once they finally got it. They all kept wondering where will it be found? They had a betting pool going. Pete’s money was on finding nothing. They’d been hauling rocks for three months already and hadn’t found a thing.

Pete sipped his last mouthful of cold coffee, suited up again and went back out to crush the earth. Eventually, they had to find it, right? Unless it just wasn’t here…

Portland Quarry. Image from Wiki.
Portland Quarry. Image from Wiki.