Drabbles are 100 word stories, no more and no less. One of mine won a prize in a recent Scribophile contest. I chose my favorite Groucho Marx quotations and wove them into a more contemporary satire.
Second Place: Leftover Duck Soup
Judge’s Comments: “Loved the comedy running through this. It reflects Groucho Marks’ humour so well, I could see the conversation taking place in my head. It made me laugh out loud, which given the subject matter, is no mean feat. And all dialogue, which isn’t easy. Nicely done!”
I hope it will afford a chuckle! Here’s the story:
Leftover Duck Soup
“Groucho, you can’t possibly vote for him again! Think about our children!”
“Why should I care about posterity? What’s posterity ever done for me?”
“You think he’s done a good job with Covid? You’d take hydroxychloride?”
“Certainly, I intend to live forever, or die trying.”
“Didn’t you hear Fauci last night?”
“Why a four-year-old child could understand that report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child.”
“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
“I can’t stand it!”
“Thanks for coming. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.”
I belong to Scribophile, a writers’ group which fosters peer review for writers seeking their best work. Alex Cabal, the group’s administrator, sponsors competitions to provide members both incentive and focus. I entered “Llorona” in the “Who’s Afraid of the Dark?” contest and just learned that it was awarded first place.
We were quite simply enthralled by this spooky western featuring the imperturbable Joaquin Murrieta, a gray-shaded hero who faces evil and brings goodness where it’s needed. We absolutely loved that this piece, though short, went for the interplay of light and dark within humanity and succeeded in doing so with subtlety, charm, and adventure. Interesting, nuanced characters felt authentically real as they inhabited a near-tangible setting for an entertaining take on the classic ghost story, celebrating the light that empathy gives us, and how it can be used to both mitigate and snuff out darkness.
I thank Alex, the judges and all those who entered for helping me find my best story!
I belong to Scribophile, a writers’ group dedicated to raising the quality of members’ writing and sharing useful information. Members gently (but incisively!) critique each other’s writing and sometimes pool their efforts in publications. I’m greatly honored that editor K.T. Stephens included a story of mine in the latest Seven Deadly Sins Anthology: Avarice. The book was published today and is available on Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle book. Here are the links:
I thought I’d give you a heads up. I’ve made a modest contribution to what promises to be a great anthology. Avarice is the latest volume in The Seven Deadly Sins, a YA Anthology and will be available early in April. My story “Fallen Angel” is tucked into the mix of compelling stories. I’ll update you as publication approaches.
WELCOME!I've dedicated my life to literacy and literature for young people. I'm sixty-three and don't intend to change my focus now. I hope that this site will contribute to both! I hope it will be of use to kids, parents and teachers who love to read.
For Kids: I want to know what you think of my story! Writing can be pretty lonely and authors like to hear from readers. Ask me questions about Chaos Gate and I'll do my best to answer them as quickly as I can.
For Parents: I want to know what you think of my story! I'd also like to know how this website can best help you, what activities here are most effective and what you would like to see me include in the future.
For Teachers: I know how hard you folks work. I'm offering you effective, interesting activities to accompany Chaos Gate, whether you're reading it aloud to your class, using it in small groups, or simply have one or two students reading it on their own. I have (or soon will!) comprehension questions, vocabulary activities and word find puzzles in pdf format for every chapter. Check them out and take what suits you best.
Robert's story "Joaquin's Gold" just won the
2010 Art Affair Western Short Story Contest. The story brings legendary bandit Joaquin Murrieta back to Central California during the 1880's in a search for hidden treasure. Robert hopes to produce a book including all of his Joaquin Murrieta stories. Stay tuned.