Tritely Challenged Anthology Release

Hot on the heals of the release of anthology Adverbially Challenged Volume 3 comes Tritely Challenged Volume 1, which hosts 100 of the most cliched works of flash fiction by 100 authors.

This time, Every Cloud… makes an appearance in the first, of hopefully many, volumes containing witty and amusing cliche-riddled stories. It is due for release on Saturday 28th April 2018.

TritelyChallengedVolume1bookcover

 

(Tritely Challenged Volume 1 – cover artwork by David Fielden)

I don’t make any money from this book and neither does the publisher as the proceeds from book sales are donated to Book Aid International. You can find out more about what they do here.

All I receive is some exposure for submitting my flash fiction to the challenge, which will appear alongside 99 other authors whilst helping and providing awareness for Book Aid International.

If you fancy helping to raise LOTS more for good causes, take part by submitting your stories to the challenges or buying a copy of the book, which will be available as a Kindle eBook or in a printed format.

 

Kindle eBook Copy

The Kindle eBook version will be available on all Amazon websites by searching for either the:

(1) Book name Tritely Challenged, or

(2) Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN): B07CN9TNCF

 

Printed Copy

The books will also available in printed paperback copies available from the Amazon websites.

The ISBNs of the book are:

  • ISBN: 1986635619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1986635615

 

To read some of my other work, see Short Stories or Flash Fiction, and to find out more about Tritely Challenged, check out the links on my site to guide you there. Why not submit your own short story?


 

Mosey

Mosey

by Gavin Biddlecombe

Hank drew at Champion’s reigns, directing him to the boisterous saloon, dismounted and moseyed up to the swinging doors, spurs clinking with each step.

The din settled within as the punters paused to examine their newest guest, silhouetted at the entrance. Hank ignored the rank, stale smell of sweat as he stepped forward, motioning to the barman.

“A bottle of sarsaparilla,” he called.

The barman reached under the counter.

Hank gripped the handle of his Colt revolver.

The crowd held their breath.

The barman’s hand appeared with a dirty brown bottle which he then slid across towards Hank. He released his grip and reached for the bottle. A slight nod put the barman at ease.

A spittoon rang in the background as the folk began to settle, prompting the piano’s jovial melody to pick up where it had been interrupted.

 

(Cliché Writing Challenge “Mosey” – 140 words) – Max 150 words


 

Continuing with the theme of flash fiction submissions to nonsensical challenges, “Mosey” becomes my second for the Cliché Writing Challenge, or as the first volume being released later in the year is called Tritely Challenged [Volume 1] (further information closer to the date of release).

I find when I’m writing these, my original ideas don’t make the final cut. When I start typing away and the the words fill up the page (screen or paper), the flow of the story begins, characters develop their own personalities and the scene appears, taking shape in my mind on how I want the place to look, feel and possibly smell. This is the flow that dictates the final outcome.

When I focus too much on sticking with the original plan, the creativity tends to dry up and that’s when I come to a dead-end. When this happens, I review my original thoughts and draft up another.  I don’t think I’ve wasted my time in making such changes as these often make up the bone structure (in part) for another story.

Let’s get the nib twitching…

 

Anthology Book Launch – Adverbially Challenged Volume 3.

Wow. Decide to move and soon it’s been a couple of months since the last written piece appeared on this site. Okay, so I lie a little. I have been sneaking in a few short stories here and there but they’ll require a little more editing before I’ll submit.

On the whole it has been a hectic few months where time has been allocated to other important areas albeit for the short-term. People have been toiling away in the background with their own work projects, which has resulted in a flash fiction on this site appearing in an anthology. That’s right, Cinnamon has joined a whole load of other adverb-riddled stories.  It is due for launch this Saturday 17th March 2018, and I am grateful their effort has made this possible.

Adverbially_Challenged_Volume_3_front_cover

(Adverbially Challenged Volume 3 – cover artwork by David Fielden)

I don’t make any money from this book and neither does the publisher as the proceeds from book sales are donated to First Story, a UK charity that helps improve literacy in low-income communities.

All I receive is some exposure for submitting my flash fiction to the challenge, which will appear alongside 99 other authors whilst helping and providing awareness for First Story.

If you fancy helping to raise LOTS more for good causes, take part by submitting your stories to the challenges or buying a copy of the book, which will be available as a Kindle eBook or in a printed format.

 

Kindle eBook Copy

The Kindle eBook version will be available on all Amazon websites by searching for either the:

(1) Book name: Adverbially Challenged, or

(2) Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN): B07BGZZ6DL

 

Printed Copy

The books are also available in printed paperback copies available from the Amazon websites here.

The ISBNs of the book are:

  • ISBN: 198493760X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1984937605

 

To read some of my other work, see Short Stories or Flash Fiction, and to find out more about Adverbially Challenged, check out the links on my site to guide you there. Why not submit your own short story?


 

Golf Swing

Adverb Writing Challenge: Max 100 words (excluding name and title).

 

Golf Swing

by Gavin Biddlecombe

Gripping the club tightly between incredibly tired, sweaty hands Joe stood eagerly over the tiny, pimply white ball hidden snuggly in the long grass. Crazy eyes stared longingly at it as the club was drawn menacingly up high behind his head. Pausing momentarily at its peak, the club swung down in a sweepingly wide arc.

Joe gazed searchingly into the distance where a minutely, teeny round object would blend easily into the infinitely expansive sky. He turned smugly to his companion laughing heartily behind him.

“Nope still there, mate,” declared Andy amusedly, highlighting his friend’s hilariously failed attempt.

 


Golf Swing is my second contribution to the adverb writing challenge, previously covered on this site (link above for more info). The story was submitted for Volume 4 of the challenge.

The first was Cinnamon. Having received 100 submissions for the Volume 3, the third collection of stories by the 100 different authors is currently being produced with an expected release date of March / April 2018. Further details closer to the date.

 

Dolls

Dolls

By Gavin Biddlecombe

 

“What’s she whining about now?”

“Leave her Paul. You know Tiny’s scared when there’s a storm.” Andrea rolled over pulling the duvet up around her. “Rescues tend to be a bit apprehensive. You’ve seen how she’s been in the past.”

“But she’s out of her bed this time.” Paul clambered out of bed and gave up on finding his slippers in the dark. “I’ll go see what she’s up to.”

Facing the front door to their one bedroom apartment Tiny ignores the creaking floorboards as Paul ambles his way down the corridor towards her.

“What is it girl?” he asks, rubbing her back before approaching the peephole. “Still not used to storms are you?”

“What is it honey?” calls Andrea from the bedroom.

“Nothing I can see. The landlord needs to fix that light outside. It’s flickering again.”

A low grumble down in Tiny’s chest slowly develops into a deep, vicious growl, her hackles rising.

“There’s nothing out there,” suggests Paul looking down at her and trying to keep her calm. Tiny, barking wildly at the door forces him to take another look outside. Andrea stumbles down the corridor after them.

“What on earth is going on out here? We’re going to wake the neighbours at this rate. Are you okay Paul?… Paul? What are you looking at?”

“Did you order any ragged clown dolls?” cries Paul.

“No, why?”

“Then, I think the neighbours are the least of our concerns.”

 


 

Every Cloud…

The Cliché Challenge was a little harder than expected. Then again, the others weren’t a piece of cake either. With a maximum word limit of 150 words, I had to cut my original draft by nearly 100 words. And, no matter how much I tried to think of one, it seemed harder to add clichés to the story than just getting on with the tale. This is the latest available challenge from Chris’ website (as of Oct. 2017) and my fifth contribution. If you give any of these a go, I’d like to hear from you and how you got on.

I’ll also be submitting some unpublished ones to competitions to see how they do. I will, in the meantime, be adding to my current list of shorts as well. This will definitely keep me busy.

 

Every Cloud…

By Gavin Biddlecombe

 

Where’d he go? she thought, finishing tying her skates. He’d vanished into thin air. Jane made her way to the ice rink.

“What’re  you doing down there?” she laughed, looking over the wall.

“I’m barking up the wrong tree,” he replied. He paused as she stepped onto the ice, sliding across gracefully, “Whereas you take to it like a duck to water.”

“You were chomping at the bit,” she said, skating over.

“I believe” he smiled, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Before having the chance to stabilise himself, his legs shot out from under him. Trying desperately to grab him, Jane lost her footing, ending up flat on the ice beside him.

“It goes without saying,” he groaned, “This is very painful”.

“If you think about it, every cloud has a silver lining”.

“Why do you say that?”

“We’ve already got ice for our bumps and bruises”.


 

TritelyChallengedVolume1bookcover

 

Watched

Watched

by Gavin Biddlecombe

My bruised hands support me on this rough branch high above the ground. I’m thankful to be up here and even more so that it cannot climb. It’s been a few days since I found my refuge but the unbearable heat works against me.

The sweat rolls down into my tired eyes, stinging them and blurring my vision. I glimpse it occasionally, stalking in cover. Watching me. Waiting.

Its odour is repulsive. It lingers, clogging up my nostrils more than my own unwashed stink. I know when it’s close as I fight off the urge to gag from its overpowering stench.

The random dropped nut which taps its way down the branches beneath it is no longer a distraction. I recognise its sound, just audible but ever present. Continuous.

I reach for my water bottle, rationing the warm but satisfying liquid that slides down my dry throat as I fight off the fatigue. I must hold on. Surely, one of the others must have got away and found help.


 

Sensory Writing Challenge. 175 maximum word limit.

 

Trampoline

Continuing with the series of flash fiction challenges, my next was for the Nonsense Writing Challenge, also on Chris Fielden’s site. “Trampoline” is my contribution to the challenge. Once Chris receives 100 authors for this piece, an anthology is published whereby profits raised go towards another chosen charity (details of which are available on his challenge page).

 

Trampoline

by Gavin Biddlecombe

“This bouncymathingy is defective,” shouted the Troll, dragging a trampoline behind him.

The flustered salesman, caught unawares, looked around him. Now the centre of unwanted attention, his other customers refrain from their spending activities, drawn in by the curious character.

“I’m sorry, sir, what seems to be the issue?”

“Just look at my horns. They’re bent.”

“Aren’t they always bent?”

The Troll pondered, “Good point. But still, look at my bashed head.”

“And this ‘bouncymathingy’ caused that?” asked the salesman, examining the item. “It looks fine to me. Did you fall off it?”

“Of course I didn’t fall off. I came in yesterday and had a recommended practice session before I bought it.”

“I see.”

“Yeah.” The Troll responded. “I was hoping to give those three gruffy billy goats a scare as they trotted passed. All I ended up with was this sore head.”

“And they did that to you?” asked the salesman.

“What? No. I had another practice before they turned up but it doesn’t seem to work very well under my bridge though.”

“You used it under the bridge?”

“Does it matter?”

“I imagine it’s a low bridge.”

“What’s your point?”

The salesman relaxed as his customers continued.


 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is my contribution to the Adverb Writing Challenge, found on Chris Fielden’s website, or to use its full name Mike’s Not-Entirely-Serious Wantonly-Rule-Breaking Adverb Writing Challenge”. Trying to recite this can only result in some tongue knotting, so I can understand why it was shortened.

Their aim is to highlight some common writing mistakes and force the writer to use them to create some seriously, or not entirely serious as the above name suggests, flash fiction. I was keen to get involved and there is a maximum 100-word limit for this one (excluding title).

With every 100 submissions, their team edits and creates an anthology where profits go to an assigned charity. In this case, First Story. You can learn more about this on my writing challenges page.


 

Cinnamon

By Gavin Biddlecombe

Sneakily, she snuck out of the corner of the room, slowly inching forward until she reached the base of the extremely comfy looking double bed.

Stretching her neck over the edge by their feet, she quietly peered at the two people sleeping restfully.

“Good” she thought cheekily, “this time I’ll successfully reach my target”. Stealthily climbing up, she crept methodically along until eventually finding the perfectly ideal spot.

In between them, she happily curled up, licked her lips and gave a final wag of her curly tail as she dreamily shut her eyes for a comfortably peaceful sleep.

 


 

Adverbially_Challenged_Volume_3_front_cover

Skydiving Not Quite For Beginners

Skydiving Not Quite For Beginners is my contribution to the 81 Words Writing Challenge. I came across it on Christopher Fielden’s website as I needed a few extra prods to keep me writing and having bought his book on how to write short stories, I also checked out his site.

81 Words requires the flash fiction to be exactly 81 words, excluding the title. Skydiving Not Quite For Beginners has been greatly thinned from its original draft. It took several attempts to get there but I got it down to a coherent format. It’s incredible how much can be said with so few words. Just consider Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Six thought-provoking words…

Back to the 81 Words, it’s a great little challenge and well worth giving it a go (see link above for further information).

Also, good luck to Chris who’s also trying to achieve a Guinness World Record for most contributing authors in one book. The aim is 1000. At the time of writing, 330 stories have been received. 670 more required to publish the anthology.


Skydiving Not Quite For Beginners

by Gavin Biddlecombe

“Wind’s too loud. You need to speak up.”

“Jack, right?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m Dave.”

“Hi Dave. New to skydiving?”

“Pretty much. This is my first solo jump.”

“I figured. Haven’t had any lessons have you?”

“What makes you say that, Jack?”

“What you’re looking at isn’t your altimeter. That’s your wrist watch.”

“No problem. I reckon I can get the timing right.”

“Brings me to my next question.”

“Best be quick before I pull the cord.”

“Why the rucksack?”

“Ah. Now then…”