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I've got quite a bit of news to catch up on, so here goes:

First off, "Her Name is Mary" received a Daily Deviation on September 12th (as I said, I'm a bit behind with this). I rather liked what I did with it, and evidently so did some others. ;) If you're here because of that, thanks for your attention and I hope you continue to enjoy my work! Thanks also to akrasiel for featuring (and do send your DD suggestions her way!).

Her Name is MaryI was about to close up and hang the sign on the door when the knock came, timid, as though it wasn’t quite sure that it wanted to be heard. For half a heartbeat I thought of leaving it unanswered, but no matter how late the night, turning custom away leads only to hunger; so I opened the door, and found before it a woman, with a large oval mirror clutched to her breast. It was an older piece, framed in tarnished silver, but her eyes were what caught me: large and dark, and almost frightened.
She hesitated a moment on the doorstep, until I waved her inside. “Come in,” I said. “Are you selling, then?”
She shook her head, setting the mirror down carefully, face-down, on one of my end-tables. “Only as a last resort,” she said. “Do you do repairs?”
The question startled me, and I checked in the midst of closing the door. “Generally not,” I answered at last, but closed it all the same. “I resell antiques, Miss –


"Her Name is Mary" was written for the second week of A Game of Genres, the results for which have at last been finalised (handy links: Week 1 Results - Week 2 Results - Week 3 Results - Grand Prize Winners), and in fact won third place for that week, which is the other half of that news. As is so often the case, I've found that my own tastes and the judges' aren't perfectly aligned; so here are my own favourite stories from each week:

Week 1: Urban Fantasy
"Moonlight Meeting" by squanpie is a lovely story containing some beautiful imagery.
Moonlight Meeting    We stumbled from the dockside pub, laughter and the final bell ringing in our ears. She held my hand as if the world was ending, and tugged me across the road to the promenade. One night only, she’d told me much much earlier, when the line of empty glasses stood at one and a half. And boy was I going to make the most of that night.
    A light fog had rolled in off the sea, just enough to blur the lights of the pier and cast a halo round the moon as it sank towards the waves. In the damp air, her hair moulded to the curves of her face, a trail leading from cheek to full lips that tasted of sea spray and worlds unexplored.
    A taxi slowed as it passed us, the driver hopeful, but I never looked up. Her deep dark eyes held me ensnared, drowning in the sorrow held back below the surface.
    “Shh,” she said, holding a finger to my lips, though I’d said nothing. “The moon is bright; the ni


Week 2: Paranormal Mystery
ThornyEnglishRose tells ghost stories in a wonderfully matter-of-fact way, and "Robbie and the Birds" is no exception.
Robbie and the BirdsDue to circumstances that I don't wish to go into, I once had to secure a new home for myself and my six-year-old son Robbie, and I had to do it with very little money – that is, very little in terms of buying a home.  It seemed a miracle when I found a two-bedroom house within my budget.  It even had its own little back garden.
'There must be a catch,' I said to the agent.
'It's been unoccupied for a year,' he said, 'and the year before that it changed hands three times.  The back door needs the lock fixing, but apart from that there's nothing wrong with it in practical terms.'
'Does that mean it's haunted?' I asked.
'I think it's something like that,' said the agent.
I didn't know whether or not I believed in ghosts, but I was sure that if they did exist, they didn't harm anyone.  I'd been worried about having to buy a place that had problems with the plumbing and electricity, or holes in the floors, or at the very least no separate bedroom for Robbie.


Week 3: Post-apocalyptic Fairy Tale
Leonca's "Just Right" makes for a very neat (and surprisingly realistic, considering) reversal.
Just RightSomething was off about the Woods that morning. Papa Bear couldn’t define it, but the feeling lifted hairs on his back while he suggested the family cut their pre-breakfast walk short. The feeling solidified when they found the front door open. He poked his head inside the cabin and huffed in the intruder’s scent. A human female, young and injured. As he took in the last detail he noticed spots of blood leading to the kitchen.
Mama picked up Baby and held him tight. The scent of her fear pricked those hairs on Papa’s back as high as they could go under his shirt. He knew she was thinking the same thing. An injured human cub, in their house. Were the parents tracking it? Few things were more dangerous than a human who believed you were a threat to its cubs. Even unrelated cubs drew this ferocity from them. It hadn’t been a year passed since Big Bad Wolf found that out the hard way. Mama still made pies for Papa to drop off at the widow’s house on his way to




Some other things that are going on:

:bulletblack: THE GAUNTLET is running until the end of September - which, because I've put this off for so long, means you'll have to hurry to join in. ;) It consists of nine flash fiction challenges in ascending order of ridiculousness, and while it's meant as a month-long challenge, you can still jump in and see how far you get! Sometimes a sharp deadline is more of a help than a hindrance, after all.

:bulletblack: Memnalar's annual Halloween contest is on in a few days. Check his page on or after October 1st if you'd like to enter, or right away if you have prizes to donate or want to try your hand at judging.

:bulletblack: Cinestress is holding a short film competition (deadline: December 21st), for those of you who are interested in film-making!

:bulletblack: The Flash Prompts with which FlashFictionMonth fills the eleven twelfths of the year that aren't, in fact, Flash Fiction Month, have gone from monthly to every other month, so the current prompt doesn't expire until the end of October.



The fun anecdote would go here if I had a fun anecdote:

...but I spent my morning watching a flock of doves repeatedly take off, fly in a few circles, and then settle back down on the same roof they'd started on, so there's not much to tell. I'm currently suffering an unexpected loss of enthusiasm for the Gauntlet, which would usually be exactly the sort of thing I'd be excited about; I hope to regain it in time to finish off the last three stories, but, well, we'll see if that happens. :shrug:

Thank you, and I hope your autumn/spring/current tropical season is going well.
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:iconscfrankles:
SCFrankles Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sorry you had to drop out of The Gauntlet - you were doing so well (as always ^_^). Still, fingers crossed it'll be coming round again. I'm certainly already looking forward to having another go. 

And I've commented over there properly, but congratulations on the DD - it's a really lovely piece ^__^
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2017   Writer
Thank you! :thanks:

I do hope the Gauntlet comes round again. I really was looking forwards to that epic finale, but right now it's an effort even to get out of bed. :faint: Still, at least I've got everyone else's entries to enjoy!
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:iconthornyenglishrose:
ThornyEnglishRose Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the feature and the accompanying kind comment - I'm glad you agreed with the judges on that one! :D Congratulations on your DD. It seems GoG brought the best out of many of us. :)
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017   Writer
Definitely. :D And you're absolutely welcome!
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:iconliliwrites:
LiliWrites Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017
Anyone who even attempted the Gauntlet has my respect. That thing is quite the challenge, but it's producing some epic stuff. :D 
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017   Writer
I usually love that sort of challenge, but it's been a hard month. Also I might be kind of demotivated by the fact that I kept messing up the rules just slightly, and more often than not I didn't even notice until after posting them. ^^; At this point I might have to give it up completely just so I stop thinking about how I "should" be working on that while I'm not really able to.
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:iconleonca:
Leonca Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the feature. =D
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017   Writer
You're absolutely welcome! :D
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:iconakrasiel:
akrasiel Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017  Professional Writer
You're welcome! I quite enjoyed your story :la:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017   Writer
:thanks:
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:iconwindysilver:
WindySilver Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Congrats on the DD! I haven't read your stories that much since for some reason my watch did not notify me about your deviations even though I watched you (when I saw that you were doing your stories for the Gauntlet I was alerted to that fact), so I don't have it all in the ever-growing mass flood of deviations to be read. Gonna read them at some point, though ;)

The mental image I got of the flock of doves actually amused me :lol: I hope you get your enthusiasm back! :)
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017   Writer
Thank you! I wonder what's going on with the watch - must be a glitch of some sort. Hmmmmote

I hope my enthusiasm returns soon, too. I was pretty impressed with how quickly you got through the Gauntlet yourself!
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:iconwindysilver:
WindySilver Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Probably a glitch. I often get duplicate notifications for the same journal entries. The record is at least 9 notifications, maybe even over 10 XD

Yeah, I was kinda surprised as well that I managed to finish it with lots of time left. I did use my phone at school to continue most of the stories whenever I was bored to hell during maths lessons, though, so that gave me time to do them. Only the last ones I wrote on my laptop only, because they really needed a big screen and working multi-tasking (urgh, multitasking on a phone which closes any apps as soon as it can :facepalm:) And most of the stories are also short, so that made the time spent writing them shorter.

But on the other hand, I don't know how good my stories are. Speed may have overridden quality; I admit that once the results for Game of Genres Week 3, I realized I had fucked up my entry because I think it's not really a fairy tale ^^; Oops... Oh, and I had to rewrite the eight Gauntlet story because I wrote it totally wrong from the challenge's point of view. I'd say my best one may be the sixth one... Or at least I like it the most. :lol:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017   Writer
I've definitely made some mistakes following the Gauntlet's rules, too. For the most part I didn't even realise it until I'd already posted them.
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:iconwindysilver:
WindySilver Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, those scenarios sure are annoying! Well, at least you've done the challenges... and perhaps the judges won't notice the mistakes among the many entries... :lol: 
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017   Writer
One can always hope. :XD:
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:iconwindysilver:
WindySilver Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Yup!
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:iconmemnalar:
Memnalar Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
:headbang:
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2017   Writer
:pumpkin:
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