Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Few More Prompts, Early One Morning


Sometimes I wake myself up laughing.

We will not be silent


What I see before anything else, is space


There is some sort of weight on her face

Playing Pool on Pen-y-Fan

I could smell him on my fingers, long after

Big-Eyed, on the Beach

Garway Hill, Real Meat, Rabbits

Bike on the Line

What is it With Michel?

Ship to Shore

Black Dahlia

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One More Hit and a Pile of Prompts

ColinU posts another small hit, a short to Giggle Water.

Here are half of today's prompts

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Lard, Rain

See the child, he is pale and thin.

What Beauty Doesn't Mean

China! Oh China!

A Taste of Honey

The Beat of a Bird's Wing, Dying

The Frank Child is Naughty

Simon Says

The paper max bought that morning carried the same news


Up the Junction, Down the Dole

The lie detector was asleep when he heard the telephone ringing


Granted, I am an inmate in a mental hospital


There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills

The Entertainer

Hale knew that they meant to murder him

Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday.

You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning

Two mountain chains traverse the republic

This is a true story but I can't believe it's happening

Monday, August 28, 2006

150th Hit of the Year

Catching up.

TomC had a subs blitz a week or two ago. That has returned three hits, at three different zines, courtesy of Duotrope. The third is our 150th of the year.


Two Sets

Back from a few days in Paris (Jeez my feet still ache)

Two different sets of prompts posted in BC for the Daily Flash Session.

Never Had it So Good


The Smell of the News-of-the-World and Roast Beef

Vespa, Soho

Family & Kinship in East London

Gaggia Nights

When I read in the paper

a new car, a refrigerator, and a TV screen

Madrid is Full of Boys Called Paco

The Gambler, The Nin and the Radio

The Quick Red Fox

What a Difference in Jean Since She Was put on Horlicks

Amazing Race

A Tiger in the Bedroom

Hunter's Wife, Hunter's Wellies

Make Hunger History

The Great Lollipop Debate

Why They Don't Learn to Speak English Like What I Do

The Misrepresentation of Casanova

Tiny Tears

Why Did the Crocodile Cry?

The Oldest Gig in Town

The Importance of Being Burnished

Milky Coffee in a Bowl, Warm Croissants

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Meeting again tonight at 8PM, but here are today's prompts

All that day she thought of Michaelis

What did you do in the peace, Daddy?

In their last, fading days

The water is brown but they say it's safe to drink

Juanita Creehan was a waitress in a piano bar


I don't know how I feel until I hold that steel

Saving Mrs Birch

Sometimes she wnted to tell her husband

Agatha Christie's AWOL

I stayed a boy for twenty-nine tears, became a man in twenty-nine minutes


Once when she was sixteen, a boy kissed her at a barbecue

They went to Texas

He used to polish his wooden leg with sunflower oil

He was forty-nie the day he was born

Uncle Tom used to say "over-take, Ronnie, not take-over"

National Adultery Week

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday on My Mnd

Another Blast for a Day, Folks.

You know where we are

Here are the Prompts

His Wife Rang Me and Asked Me Straight Out


Tree of Night

Child, Beauty, Pageant

Jeremy and the Oggle-Goggle Box

Credit the Jew

Puke, Puce.

Believed to Be Carrying a Liquid


On My Left is, On my Right

A Story Told Via a (TV's) Big Brother Scenario

Nazis and Testicles, the Truth

A Mink of One's Own

One day in the Life of Ivan Ellavanitch

The Man Who Looked Like Hitler

If George Best Had Been Scottish (and Played Bowls)

Why Time Travel Didn't Work Next Year


So Ugly He might Be Swedish

I Love Jennifer Eccles

Love, the Bloody Armistice: Discuss.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Five Flashes, Ten Prompts, One Hit

The Tuesday Blast Success was repeated last night, and we will run it again today/tonight with a get together at ten PM.

The Prompts are below

Very pleased to announce a BC "virgin" has now lost her virginity. Our 146th hit of the year goes to Bonzoid who has had a story accepted for

happy Dances all round please.

Here are the prompts for today/tonight, email me if you would like to join us just for the day.

The Smell of Sundays*

The Smell of a Lonely Sunday

Deadline Friday

Awl's Fare

Sorting Out His Papers on the Kitchen Table

The Cobbler's last Pair of Shoes

Romeo & Juliet on MSN

The Owl & the Pussy-cat, a Marriage Made in Hell

Jenkins' Ear

Her Pea-green Boat and What happened With the HarbourMaster


Mrs Jones, the Gentleman From Hitachi is Here to See You

The View From the Cross

Asso Asoo Yogoshi. Me welsh-Speaking Japanese

On the Importance of Voice


My New Painting: A Black Cat in a Coal Mine at Midnight

Potatoes, Lamb, Peas, Mint-Sauce, Gravy

* I just remembered a poem wot I writ 40 years ago (some of it )

Sunday is Cabbage-Steam
Oxo, Mint and Lamb
Screams and squeals outside
and Spanish Eyes

Remember Family Favourites was it, the thing where they talked to troops overseas andplayed them a record... and remember "Spanish Eyes" was in the top thirty for 417 years...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Last Night, and a Coupla Hits, and Today

Yesterday in BC we had a set of flash prompts, all were invited to write a flash and we met at 10PM "live" to discuss the batch. It went well with six posted flashes, 37 critiques and almost all the flashes placeable with the odd tweak.

Another example of focus and incentive turning a dull time into a productive one. We plan to do the same today/tonight. If you are non-BC and care to join us for the session, email me, alex.keegan at

Before I post today's prompts, note a couple more hits, one is another flash from our July Blast (they are starting to land now). One story goes in RAW the other in Smokebox.


All Greek To Me

But then again, it was a Friday...

Do You Like Pie?

The Moment he Climbed Into the Lorry and Left the Compound

Ways of Dying

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit


On the Importance of Never Being Caught


The Taming of the Shoe

Pink Skin, Black Heart

Her Magic Cloak, Again

High Definition, Divorce

Green, Green, Green Oh Green!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Evening Prompts

if you're good you write a story including them (responding to) all

They Used to Play Football

The First Sign Was Losing Things

".. so Grant just said to them come on along to a wonderful party..."


The Train Now Arriving at Platform Nine

The Portable Dinosaur

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

Mrs. Munson finished twisting a linen rose in her auburn hair...

Shingle Dear, Not Sand

Scottish Football? An Oxymoron?

Tom gets his second July Blast Story Hit in a week, a stroy about the woes of being a Scots footie fan, going in print mag "Delivered"

Sunday Morning's Prompts


Puncture 17

This Squashed Cabbage Leaf

To the Last Man

On the Origin of Woman

Dr Dicksheet & the Village Boy Ahman

God's Jukebox

And on Your House, and on Your Family

Cheese, but then again, it could be Brain


Known Each Other Years, May Have Been Lovers...

The Wedding Day of Di & Dodi

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hits & Prompts

A hit at Laura Hird and Southern Ocean review (details shortly).

Here are today's prompts

Mr & Mrs Dee and Their Daughter Elsie

In My Carry-On Bag

It Looks Like a Turtle, But...

Sore Throat

Probably Tuna

Calling it Off With Elaine


Archeology: Uncovering the Unknown
Diplomacy: Covering up the Known

What's Wrong With False Hope?

Sister Susan Sitting on a Sofa

Various Outrages Also Known as a Restaurant Bill

Maximum Effort, I Think it Moved

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I've had a lot of distractions lately, family stuff, the cabins, the chapel, doing an academic course (horribly behind on that too) remodelling Kingfisher Barn to make it more marketable,,,

I'm blocked, have been for a while.

Am I filling my life with "things" to cover over the cracks in what really matters to me (writing) or is this just a phase where genuinely, the many other things are in the way, have to be done and are taking my physical and psychical energy?

Or has the well run dry?

I usually poo-poo "block". It often comes down to laziness, self-indulgence, the attitude of the wimp, but my problem is less about wanting to write or being able to put sentences together, right now it's a deep lack of worthwhile themes, kernels, ideas that will produce a story that could be aimed higher than some lowly ezine.

I'm back from a week away, trying to kick some ass in Boot Camp (feels like wresting with a blancmange) and subbing the many stories still not packed away (why does the better stuff languish, the comfortable fly off the shelf and into magazines)

That's another point, dissillusionment with the market, especially the UK.

But I know the way out of these things. READ READ READ, poetry, shorts, newsprint, and write ANYTHING. A poem, a rant (hell I could wrie an article about how to break block, I've given enough advice on the subject)

But I still feel impossibly barren.

Today's Boot Camp Early Morning Prompts.

Not Required on Journey

Behind the Mask

Sucrose, Fructose

The English Civil War, 2027

Why Ping Pong Balls Are Never Pink

The Man Who Rushed to Catch United Airlines Flight 63

Blossom's First Kiss

Running Lights, Running Scared


Google "Slate Dreams"

A story beginning: "We were on the outs, had been for a couple of months..."

A story ending: "... but then, what did she expect?"

and these were posted too

Woden's Day

Giant Lizards, Flightless Birds with Whiskers and Penguins in a Rainforest

Burning Ciphers on the Round of Space

Bloody Heroes, Dirty Zeroes


My Life With Master

Eating From the Freezer of Doom

Attention Scum! – A Guide to Parenting for The Working Classes

How to Divide and Conquer Via Taxation

Dinamo Who?

Watching Paint Die

Bye, Bye Shadowlands

I Have Heard the Big Music (and I'll Never Be the Same)

I Left My Heart in Aberaeron

Purple Pontrhydfendigaid

When I'm on fire (about 200 years ago) I'd get seventeen stories from the above, might well write a story combining 4-10 prompts. Now I look, read, look, read, and nothing happens, nothing happens.

You think I'm beat?

Just watch this space.


Monday, August 07, 2006

July Blast Final Figures and a Lesson

156,573 Words

144 Items Written
134 Submissions
064 Rejections
018 Hits

Top performer was TomC wirh a solid 32,612 words, more than one story per day average, 30 subs. In July Tom had 4 hits and has reported an August hit with a July Blast story.

I should say that my own performance was abysmal. I usually aim to be Number One in all our challenges and up to now have always managed it. But this time Tom deserves the credit as THE MAN.


You think these figures are good?


Boot Camp is aptly named as a hard-working, highly-motivated place, yet look at the averages for the figures above. In a place where the ethic is WORK-WORK-WORK these were the figures, with about half a dozen not recording ANY writing.

(They may have written and subbed, but if they don't post to say so...)


Now divide by 31 (the number of days...)


If we are writers we must write and 300 words is a single page of writing. Anything less means we aren't even pretending to be writers.

When I have done surveys at Writing Conferences the average word-count REPORTED (and I strongly suspect it is an inflated figure) is 147 words "per day". These again are relatively motivated people but they write (probably) less than 3,000 words a month.

I think it was Ray Bradbury who said we have to write a million words just to BECOME writers. I'd agree with that.

We have to have daily, weekly, monthly targets and EXCEED them.

Look at Boot Camp's successes, just for 2006. 13 First prizes, 50 Prizes-Places-Finals. What percentage of all the prizes are we taking and yet we have (officially) 27 members (about 2/3 active).

What would we be doing if the 27 WORKED (and I include me in that), what if we had thirty members working HARD, writing 500 words on a bady, 1000-1500 on a good day? Well, for one thing. Just 16 people signed up for the July Blast, 12 did not. One individual paid £30 to join us for the month and then wrote the dizzy total of 1,571 words, 51 per day. If that's a blast, what is coasting? (Of course his lack of productivity was somehow my fault...)

Had we had 32 not 16, and each working hard to match Tom's output (just 1,052 per day) we would have produced a million words, 550 submissions and more than 100 hits.

There is no "magic" in the process. The more we write the better we get, the more we critique, the better we get, the more we sub and get feedback, the better we get, the more subs we make, the more hits we get.

And you need to know one very important thing: quantity does NOT mean lower quality. The buzz, the drive, the extra mile walked often produces from somewhere within, something special.

Sure maybe 20% of the output isn't that good, but the good pieces are often VERY good, and it's all material for future rewrites. Half of my competition winners were written during "Blasts" and many were flashes.

The key is start working harder, more regularly, without excuses. Stop pretending.

In July how many words did YOU write? What did you do to make yourself a better writer? How many competitions did you enter? How many submission did you make?

You have 31 days less to live. You will NEVER get them back.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Few More Publications

For Boot Campers

2006 Pubs Latest

79 Colin "Torn" by JJ at Green Muse
80 Lexie "Lucy Glows" at Southern Ocean Review
81 Lexie "In the Loudness of Morning" City of Derby Website

Losing Count of Winners!

Just checked and we've had FOURTEEN FIRSTS not 13

and this week's hits take the Prizes/Places/Finlas total for the year to FIFTY

Prize Money earned $5,750

Total Winnings $5,750


01 Colin $200 First Place in Slingink's Eurofiction
02 Mike Joint-Winner in 7Q FF9
03 Dave Joint-Winner in 7Q FF9
04 Lexie Wins Adult SS of the Year (£300) in "Killie"
05 Cally Wins Dark Tales ($60)
06 BCer wins 7Q FF10
07 Hazera wins Doorknobs & Bodypaint First Place
08 Alex Wins Pencil Bantry $300
09 Lexie Wins Cotswold Prize $1,000
10 Cally wins Bank Street SS Prize $140
11 Alex wins Lichfield Prize $250
12 ColinU wins Cadenza $400
13 Caroline wins Poetry Prize TBA ($200)
14 Gabiotas wins $400 First at FirstWriter


01 Lexie $150 Second Place in "Dame Throgmorton"
02 TomC gets $100 second in JBWB
03 BCer 2nd in 7Q FF10
04 Cally Joint second in Writers Dock Comp
05 Lexie $300 second place Philip Good Memorial Prize
06 Cally in Woman's Own (Prize Value estimate $250)
07 Colin Second in Flash Comp ($50)
08 Lexie $400 Second in City of Derby


01 Lexie in 7Q FF9 Third Place
02 BCer 3rd in 7Q FF10
03 Tom's $25 3rd in Oz
04 Lexie $200 3rd in The New Writer
05 Alex $150 third place Philip Good Memorial Prize


01 Alex Night Train Yates Comp, Last 12 "Floating"
02 Alex Poem in "Out of Love" Anthology
03 Laurie (Nartje) in "Out of Love" Anthology
04 Lexie, State of Being" HR at HISSAC (only winner is announced)
05 Lexie, second story finalist at HISAAC
06 Colin finalist in HISAAC
07 Colin HR in JBWB
08 Cally in Final of Belvedere
09 Lexie in Fish Anthology ($100)
10 Lexie last 140 of 1800, Fish
11 Haz named in Best of the web shortlist
12 Lexie Final of Writers Forum
13 Alex last 3 in Carve "Overseas Writer"
14 TomC HR'd in Bank Street SS Comp
15 TomC 4th in Twisted Tongue
16 Alex at Philip Good Memorial (second story placed 3rd)
17 Lexie at Philip Good Memorial (second story placed 2nd)
18 Cally HR in Lymm Festival $20
19 Colin Finalist, $40, dinner at Frome
20 Cally Finalist Flash FictionComp
21 TomC finalist, ditto
22 Britbird shortlisted in Pier Pressure
23 Colin HM in Momaya (and in Anthology)

00 Laurie recently left but was also HR'd at Bank Street (not counted)

Lexie also recieved $25 & $10 payments

Winnings in Dollars, £ = $2, Euro = $1
for simplicity of calculation

A First, A Second, an Hon Mention

I've been away a week, selling the last log cabin and working at The Chapel. Come back to a fistful of Boot Camp Hits

Gabs wins $400 First Place at FirstWriter
Lex wins $400 Second Place in "City of Derby"
JJ (Colin) gets an Hon Mention in Momaya and will appear in the Anthology

Colin also has a story going in Cezanne's Carrot and a piece at Laura Hird's Zine. Tom is appearing in Canopic Jar and BritBird is to appear in the anthology "39 Emergency Exits"

That's THIRTEEN First Places for BC in 2006