Friday Fictioneers – Vera Versus the Devil

This story gets five out of five stars on West Coast Review.

draliman on life

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, hosted as always by Rochelle. This week’s picture was contributed by FF stalwart Sandra Crook.

I’ve had a very odd and worrying week, so here’s a very odd story to go with it, best I can summon up right now.

Meet my heroine, doddery old Vera, as she sits on the beach enjoying a nice cup of tea. Feel free to apply a Northern English accent to her words :-).

To read the other stories, click on the blue froggy.

Copyright Sandra Crook Copyright Sandra Crook

“Look at them cliffs, dearie. Lovely view!”


“Nice cup o’ tea?”


“And a tasty biscuit?”


“What did you say your name was, dearie?”


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A Story A Day Challenge: Bone to Pick

A look at relationships… This gets five out of five from WCR.

The BiaLog

Bone to Pick

Joe opened stepped into his house and took a big sniff. “Smells good.”

Tom, his roommate, turned from the stove and smiled. “Thanks. It’s my dad’s recipe for trout.”

Joe’s eyebrow lifted. “I thought you had a date tonight?”

Tom nodded. “Yep.” He checked the clock “In about an hour.”

Joe glanced at the frying pan and noticed the halves of a single fish. “Guess I’m eating out.”

“Yeah, sorry, man. Jackie doesn’t really like you.”

Tom shrugged. “No worries. Although, you may be on her shit list after tonight.”


“You’re supposed to clean the fish before cooking it.”

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Bloggers Unite for Peace

We must stand together in peace. We share the good in humanity. We share the joy. We share the creativity. We will not let anyone tear us apart. I will share this message. Thank you Uncle Spike. Wishing you peace. xoxo

Uncle Spike's Adventures

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions, and religious and cultural backgrounds.

We do have one thing in common…

We believe that terrorist attacks, wherever they may be perpetrated; whether in France, Tunisia, Canada, Iraq, or in Denmark, Turkey, UK, Algeria, Yemen, USA, Lebanon, or in the skies over Egypt, or in India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Bangladesh, Syria, or Mali are nothing less…

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Musings on Dusk and Art

Vampire Maman

William Keith - Dusk Near Monterey William Keith – Dusk Near Monterey

I was in my dining room, one cat sitting on the table and one in a chair ready to take a swipe at the other’s tail. My eyes went to the painting on the wall and I allowed myself to be transported to the coast. It was dusk. The wind was in my hair, the cats were playing around my feet. The waves made what would turn into the music of the night.

My brother Max and Grandmama Lola still keep a cottage there, from their days hanging out with artists and other Bohemian types. I still love to spend time there in the cottage that now acts as a safe house of sorts.

Then I’m back in my house, transported back to another place in another century.

As I’ve often said – I can explain the wonder and awe and feeling of being…

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Short Story Sunday: A Ray of Hope (A Thanksgiving Story)

We all have an Uncle Ray in our lives – and a Ray of Hope.

Vampire Maman

Thanksgiving is in Tahoe this year. My husband Justin’s family has a large beach front cabin. It is a 5,000 square foot cabin and two other smaller A frames within walking distance. Yes, they’re insanely rich, at least to me. They’re also incredible loving and giving and have taken me into their family as one of their own.

My mom left when I was five, taking my twin baby brother and sister with her. Dad said she said she was bored with her life. Bored with my dad and bored with me. I only saw her once after that. She’d poisoned the minds of my siblings by telling them that my dad was abusive. Her new husband gladly went along and encouraged it. My brother is now a successful motivational speaker. My sister is a teacher. I don’t talk to them. They don’t want to talk to me, but they…

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5 Reasons Internal Dialogue is Essential in Fiction (And How to Use It in Your Story)

Good article for any writer.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 10.37.10 AM

Today, I have a special treat for you guys. Author, speaker, editor and long-time W.A.N.A. International Instructor Marcy Kennedy is here to talk about internal dialogue—when to use it, why we use it and how not to get all cray-cray with it.

Trust us. As editors, Marcy and I see it all. Often newer writers swing to one extreme or another. Either they stay SO much in a character’s head that we (the reader) are trapped in The Land of Nothing Happening or we’re never given any insight into the character’s inner thought life, leaving said character as interesting as a rice cake.

Like all things in fiction, balance is key. Marcy is here to work her magic and teach y’all how to use internal dialogue for max effect.

Take it away, Marcy!


Understanding why something is important to our writing lays the foundation for bettering our writing because it…

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America was founded by Vampires and Free Thinkers (or nobody wanted to be a Puritan – not really)

Vampire Maman

A lot of ignorant people like to spout off that America was settled/founded by Puritans. Sure they were here. But they settled a small area of North America – not every where. But they were so stick-up-your-ass intolerant and unfun that they aren’t around anymore. Nobody wanted to be a Puritan anymore. Can you blame them?

On the other hand, the Quakers, who were, and still are, gentle and kind folk, not to mention smart, are still around.

That brings us to Thanksgiving. I have to say a few words on that day before I go on. Please don’t make it political. People around the world celebrate feasts of THANKS. We should all be thankful for something, and we should all be thankful for the free thinking individuals who had the courage to go do new stuff and think new things and come up with cranberry sauce. President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as…

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Innocence Incarnate Vs. Femme Fatales

Great post on relationships, TV and the odd man out. Sometimes fiction is closer to truth. Five out of Five from West Coast Review.

Are nice guys actually doomed to loneliness forever, or are they just forever helpless in the power of the femme fatales they pine after?

Full disclosure: this is the kind of character dissection that happens too early in the morning just waking up between two writers married to each other. It was inspired in part by “The Blacklist” is which (spoilers!) Aram breaks a promise because he felt betrayed by sweet, smart, deadly Navabi.

Aram is an NSA coder and cracker who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a successful nerd working in the intelligence community in too-close proximity of female operatives waaaaay out of his league. Part of the problem is Aram himself; he hides nothing and expects others (read: SPIES) to do the same. But Aram also puts women he admires and respects — and also fancies — up on a pedestal, equating beauty and strength with…

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Why #MerryChristmasStarbucks is Everything Wrong with American Christianity

Great article. Anyone who has any common sense, and especially those who don’t, should read this. I urge all of you to share this well thought out, well written article.


#MerryChristmasStarbucks Blog Photo

A few days ago, former pastor Joshua Feuerstein posted a video announcing a campaign against Starbucks due to their switch from festive holiday cups in previous years to a new plain red look for the 2015 holiday season. In the video, Feuerstein claims that Starbucks wanted to “take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups” because, according to the caption on his video, “they hate Jesus.”

Feuerstein goes on to explain that when he visited a Starbucks store, he told the employee making his drink that his name was “Merry Christmas” so that his cup would read “Merry Christmas.” He later says “Guess what, Starbucks? Just to offend you, I made sure to wear my Jesus Christ shirt into your store, and, since you hate the 2nd Amendment, I even carried my gun!” Three days after the initial post of the video, it has over 130,000 likes and 380,000 shares. Feuerstein…

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Fish, Mercato Centrale, Florence

Beautiful images.


There’s something about fish in the market that makes them look especially good in black and white, don’t you think? It’s funny that most of the fish we eat are shades of black and silver and white – there are really only a couple fish that are colorful that we eat (red snapper, bluefish, Yellow Mackerel), the rest are enjoyed as visual treats when snorkeling, diving or in an aquarium.

Fish, Mercato Centrale Fish, Mercato Centrale

Fish, Mercato Centrale Fish, Mercato Centrale

Fish, Mercato Centrale Fish, Mercato Centrale

Fishmonger, Mercato Centrale Fishmonger, Mercato Centrale

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Short Story Sunday: Baker Beach

Vampire Maman

Max heard the Nessun dorma ringtone and groaned. It was his brother Andy. It was an emergency. He could sense it.

He picked up and listened.

“Max, thank God you’re there. I’m by Baker Beach. Some asshole redneck in a truck sideswiped me. The car is totaled. Can you get out here? Right now.”

Max untangled himself from the woman next to him and sat up. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine. Like I said, the car is totaled.”

“Call AAA. I’ll call Uber and get you a ride home.”

“You don’t understand man. I have someone locked in the trunk and he is pissed off.”


Andy watched at the back end of his car became even more mangled by the violent pounding from the occupant he’d locked in the trunk. The noise was even worse.

“Stop it NOW,” he yelled, “or I’ll drain every drop of blood from your body, stuff…

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The Pied Piper of Transylvania: Tripping Over Fairy Tales

Well written and super interesting.


“If you want to tell grown-up fairy tales, you have to look for the dark side” – Juan Antonio Bayona

But your profile said "handsome prince"! But your profile said “handsome prince”!

Life is not a fairy tale.  There isn’t a handsome prince waiting to emerge from the beast.  The princess is just a pawn in the game of thrones, and a means to secure dynastic succession.  Grimm’s collections, when not properly sanitized for the modern rug rat and their hyper-sensitive parents, are awash in blood and depravity.  The fairy tale of ages past was history, philosophy, and cosmology all rolled into one, a warning that at any time, the universe may conspire to befuddle your much vaunted powers of logic and rationality, demanding adaptation to overcome a descent into insanity (or being eaten).  We still tell ourselves fairy tales, but they are resounding litanies of social mundanity where the protagonist must enchant themselves into…

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