The Flash-Liebster Award

Flash Liebster canted

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster award.  YEA ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What, you may ask, is a Liebster?  It’s an electronic badge to put on your blog, and comes with a small list of things to do – which are then passed on…and on…and on.    Brandon over at CoolerBS Reviews flashed me the ‘official’ nomination.  Thanks Buddy!!!

I look at this as a fun exercise.  I get another blog posting on my site, something to write about, and, because I have this curious itch to NOT follow instructions to the letter – imma change this thing out a bit.  Give it a left-ward spin, so to speak. 😀

First and foremost – the badge.  I took a quick stroll down Google Images, and found a bunch of different styles for the Liebster.  So….being the ‘shop addict I am, a new badge of my creation has emerged.

Next, let’s take a look at these rules…

**cue warning sirens!**

I’ll do my bit, and follow some of ’em for king and country and all that jazz – but I’m really mixing up the challenge portion of the Liebster.  For those of you who I’m passing this on to – if you want to pass my version on – knock yer socks off.  If you want to go tratitional – knock ’em off again.  If it’s too much work – keep the socks on.  I’m not forcing anyone to contribute.  This is supposed to be fun, right?

The ‘Traditional’ Official Rules of the Liebster Award:

If you have been nominated for the Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information.)
  • Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  • List these rules in your post. You can copy and paste from here.
  • Once you have written and published the rules, inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have even heard of it.)

Now – because I’m kinda blending things up here – I’m going to answer Brandon’s questions as posited on his blog:

  • If you can remember, what was the first blog that you really got into?
    • Well, seeing though I’ve gotten to the point in my life where it’s an accomplishment to remember what I had for breakfast this morning – I couldn’t really tell you what blog first caught my eye.  I do remember the first one I CREATED – it was filled with rather hostile criticisms about those ‘stick in the mud Puritans’ who have invaded Public Health, and how they fight for anything but.  I learned a valuable lesson writing that vitriol – it does help to get it off your chest in a public forum, but it’s not sustainable unless you’re willing to get sucked into the anger.  I’m too much of a pacifist at heart to do the continous angry-sucking thing :O – so I didn’t blog for years after burnout.
  • If anything, what do you write besides blog articles?
    • Oh…the usual – grocery lists, business emails, snarky comments on Facebook.  Yaknow – stuff….
  • If you could tell yourself one year ago a single sentence, what would it be?
    • This one is tricky – because knowledge of future events can have far-reaching and unforeseen repercussions.  What If I tell myself not to eat that cheese sandwich on the 21st of March, opting instead for the corned beef, which is bad, and I get a stomach flu and die?  Or to invest heavily in some well-researched stock, make enough money to successfully launch a bid to become the first woman in the Oval Office?                                           END OF THE WORLD!!!!                                                                         But…if I must pick but a single, solitary sentence…I’d go for “You gotta fight – for your right – to Cooooooooooooon-do!”
  • What is your favorite genre to read/watch?
    • Whew – this is an easy one.  I’m horribly addicted to science fiction and fantasy.  Don’t make me choose between the two, because that’s like asking me to choose which kid I love more!
  • Have you ever been paid for anything you’ve written?
    • Nope.  Never a single red cent for a word – unless you count re-writing company policy manuals or Standardized Operating Procedures. (NOT recommended reading, BTW…)
  • Which weather would you prefer, too hot, or too cold?
    • I’d rather be too cold than too hot.  It’s gotta be the amount of all natural insulation I carry on my person at all times 😉
  • What is your favorite poem?
    • I’m not a poetry buff – my eyes tend to glaze over when I see lines of verse.  Although, on the flip side – when I start writing poetry -really BAD poetry, BTW- you can tell I’m going through an insanely bad period in my life.
  • If you were only remembered for one quote, what would you want it to be?
    • Free Willy! – damn…that one’s taken!  The quote I’m GONNA be remembered by, though, is probably “What are you, fucking NUTZ?!?!?!”
  • Where do you write your blog articles? Do you write in an office? A recliner? At a coffee shop? Somewhere else?
    • Sometimes, I’ll have a fantastic article idea at work – which I then quickly jot down to work on that night, so that’s part of it.  Most of my stuff is written at home, on my computer, which is set up around my recliner.  Ah…my recliner – bed, seating, office all in one big, brown, squishy article of furniture.
  • What is your favorite blog article you’ve written?
    • Again, with picking the favorites…I can point out pieces of flash that I’m mighty proud to have constructed, random thoughts that I’ve put on electronic media that felt right at the time, short stories I’ve carried around for decades, paintings and drawings and photographs where I froze exactly the right moment in time – but they’re all part of me and my creative process, and “favorites” really never had much bearing in my contemplation of them.  Next, shall I pick a single hair from my body (it could be from ANYWHERE!!!) which I can announce as a favorite?
  • How do you feel about the Oxford Comma?
    • I feel with my fingers – specifically, the nerve endings just below the skin.  Never been to Oxford, but I hear its lovely this time of year.

Forward!  Onward!  To my mysterious, unique list of items that make me…me.

The things we do for fame!

  1. I was once a blonde and a redhead at the same time.
  2. Pizza – white sauce, lots of veggies, hand-tossed crust.
  3. One of my favorite shirts has dalmatian spots all over it.  I’m wearing it right now.
  4. Add bacon, chicken, and lots of cheese.
  5. I once ran an avatar series on an E-Cig forum that were all shots of my boobs.
  6. BACON!
  7. Two words:  Cat Person
  8. Did I mention BACON!?
  9. I once fused RHPS & LOTR in a dream:  Transvestite Hobbits did the Time Warp!
  10. When taking the Pepsi Challenge – I chose bacon.
  11. I’ve never flown commercial, nor have I seen the ocean – any ocean.
  12. You can never say BACON! enough.

Now for some real fun –

The NEW AND IMPROVED! ‘Official’ rules of the Flash-Liebster Award

  • Give a super-special shout-out to the person who nominated you for the Flash-Liebster, and post a link to their blog in your blog.
  • Display the Flash-Liebster badge proudly in your blog – either on the side for all eternity, or within your post accepting and passing the award forward.  Or…if you’re really adventurous – do BOTH!
  • Post your original work of fiction, based on the prompt given you, and following any word limits, time lines, or special challenges included.
  • Copy and paste these rules into your post.  Heavy editing is encouraged…
  • Giggle maniacally as you select a list of vict…….er……. nominees to pass the Flash-Liebster forward to.
  • Continue to giggle as you find the most obscure photograph you have ever taken to offer up as your own challenge.  Hand-wringing while cackling like an evil supervillan is optional at this point (as is taking and posting video of you doing so), but really, really FUN.
  • Make sure to detail out any differing word limits or special challenges you wish to pass forward.
  • Hit that ‘publish’ button.

After all that work on rules and regs and stuff –  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create an original work of fiction, 250 word limit (+/- 10 words) based on the below photo prompt:


Tracks behind my old apartment

As for nominees?  Naaaah…that’s too close to picking favorites…

I follow a lot of different blogs, and you’re all unique and special and fantastic in your own, unique, special and fantastic ways.  As far as I’m concerned – each and every one of you is worthy of a blogging award!  I lurvs ya all!

Sooooo –  anyone who follows the Tempest & the Teapot is eligible to put my special Flash-Liebster award badge on your blog and pass the distinction on.  Post your original work based on my photograph on your blog with a ping-back to the T&T.  Contrary to the usual flash contests running on the web – no time line.  Take what time you need to craft a damn good short story.

Flash Fiction – Waterfall: 1 – Man: 0

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

It’s rare I have 2 ideas for a round of Flash over on Flash! Friday – and even stranger to tie the two stories to each other – but that’s what happened this week.  We had the challenge this week to use the Man vs. Nature theme, and a wonderful shot of a waterfall for out photographic prompt.

I couldn’t help but to get a bit silly in the first piece, but…never fear – I got all serious by the end of the second.




A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Dream

196 words


“Give me a sound ship. And give me the waves. Lastly – Give me a star to steer her by.”

These were the prolific words I first heard on my Father’s knee. Words I dreamed about every instant of my childhood. Words I clung to going through my rebellious teenage years. Words I saved and sacrificed for throughout my working career. Words I finally realized into reality in the sunset years of my life.

If words can lay a path at ones feet, a map of desire one will follow throughout the long, yawning years of existence – then it was these three simple statements which laid my bootie-clad toes on the trail.

I never doubted – never wavered in my life’s goal – and earned the freedom to pull my lifeblood from the water. My ship is small – but our hearts beat as one. I go forth upon the waves to pit my wiles against the most abundant element on the face of this Earth. Proudly, I cast away from the shore to sail off into the crimson and gold sunset.

I’m fairly sure…no…I’m positive… I never requested a freaking WATERFALL be at the end of my journey!


To Dream, Perchance…ending in Nightmare

209 words


“Well…NAOW what?”

My dream is shattered – its bones lay scattered amongst the rocks, its body reduced to splinters and flotsam dancing in mocking merriment amongst the tidal pools swirling in complete abandonment at the bottom of a rather unexpected waterfall.

I first felt the pull deep in my gut – the stern suddenly pulling hard a-port as the bow shoved water out of its way starboard. The spinning sensation intensified in my head as I felt the hastily-dropped anchor scrape along the bottom of the river-bed…dragged without purchase by the strong current of gravity-influenced water.

At least the water washed away my body’s response to the chaotic, tumbling, twirling, ugly dance we performed over the lip of the falls, ending with my spectacular belly-flop in calmer waters. You know that old saying: ‘First you say it, then you DO it?’ Yup…accurate.

I raise an ineffectual, dripping fist toward the heavens, screaming my protest at the top of my aged lungs.

“This wasn’t part of the dream, damn-it!”

Unheard, to be certain, as the throaty growl of the towering sheet of clear/green-y water drowns out all other noise.

I lay a wet cheek against a pillow of mud – letting the salt of my tears mingle with the remains of my boat.


Flash Fiction – The Chains of a POW

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

I’m continuing to dig out the flash pieces I’ve submitted for Flash! Friday – here’s another one I’m rather proud of.  I’ve never served in the military, but I was the oddball child (of 4) who didn’t.  My family is steeped in military service.

I can only imagine what it must be like to have to serve as the might of this nation – a position that is equally vilified and revered – or to take another life in the execution of that service – but the voices certainly have their take on it.

With Memorial Day looming on the calendar – this is a small tribute to what some people have to go through after having offered their bodies and souls for the good of their country.


The Chains of a POW

205 words


Innocent eggs and bacon sizzle merrily in their pan.

The chatter of machine guns
forcing their deadly payload
into unsuspecting human flesh.

Fruits, ice and yogurt whipped to a cold, sweet froth in the whining blender.

The howl of the air-raid sirens
bouncing off the barricades
singing the song of death’s guarantee.

Bread warming, drying, golden brown in the toaster that ticks, ticks, ticks…


Screaming. Endless screaming. My throat is sore, my head aches – but the scream will not stop pouring from my lungs. The flashback knifes into my brain, no less real, no less sharp or shiny than the cutting utensil on the countertop before me.

Blood – copper-tinged red runoff from the steak stains the white marble cutting board.

So. Much. Blood.

An ocean of brutally spilled life, thwarted promise, foiled dreams. I’m overwhelmed by the fluid – drowning in an endless typhoon of death.

He stands again, firm and solid in my mind’s eye, atop the wooden battlements, armament cradled lovingly in the crook of his arm. Cold eyes, cold face, determined to end my screaming by slamming the butt of his rifle across my fragile nose.

They say you have to let the war go – but it refuses to loosen its grip.

It’s the little things that make your day…


A couple of months ago, I put out a post about ways to amuse yourself at work when you are sitting on hold.  Or, rather…how I amuse myself when I sit on hold…

Today – I got an extra-special message interspersed with the tinny Muzak tinkering in my ear.:

“You are number…one…in the queue.”

finally – someone noticed 😀



Flash Fiction – For so Long as One Remembers, we Shall not be Forgotten

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Once again into the fray that is flash fiction over on Flash! Friday – our hostess on the site delights in putting 2 prompts together that require some serious shoehorning to put together.  I love how this makes me shuffle perceptions around!

This week the photo prompt was a Navajo man dressed as Zahadolzha – one of the panoply of Native American Gods, and the required story element of the week was a downtown setting.
Mind twisting, no – trying to put these two together?

My story is nowhere NEAR the intensity of what others put up, but it holds its own.  Enjoy!



For so Long as One Remembers, we Shall not be Forgotten

210 words

Silent. Unmoving.

Only the breeze running slow fingers through the feathers in his hair betray his composition is flesh and blood, rather than stone and determination. The traffic buzzes around him and his carefully cultivated square of earth, grass, tree and bush. He, and the meticulously-designed park in the center of town, appears curiously out-of-time.

Memories. History.

He remembers the Great Spirit crafting a beautiful blue-green jewel; proudly displaying it within the sterile blackness of all. The Sky Woman shaking the Water of Life from her shawl. The Breathmaker again sculpts his figures out of clay while the Trickster tempts the pale ones from across the great Ocean. The devastation visited upon the Earthen Mother.

Knowledge. Wisdom.

The child at his side, a waxed paper cup of water, sugar, and unnatural chemicals in her outstretched hand – a kindness for this strange figure clothed in the furs and feathers of his native dress.

Their hands touch around the offering. The child’s eyes widen and age as memory flows.

Torch. Passing.

The ancient man – a figure appearing from time long forgot – fades to nothingness in the afternoon sunshine bathing the downtown park square. The child, her head full of old memories, will carry forward the History of the People.

Thinking of Lard


Me…ice water challenge…last summer

For clarity – I.  Am.  Fat.

I am not overweight.  I am not undertall.  I am not large, rotund, or whatever other polite phrasing can be employed to describe the mass of my body.

I.  Am.  Fat.

But I’m not unhealthy.  The ticker still works.  The mind is sharp as a tack (granted, a little rusty, but I digress…).  The plumbing takes what I eat and converts it to energy and waste products without bias or complaint.  I take zero prescription meds or supplements.  I will occasionally cop to taking an analgesic for various aches and pains that come from 29+ years walking this Earth, and fully admit that I’ve slowed to a leisurely pace in my daily activities.

Now, If you believe the health fascists out there – I should be either dying, or dead. I should be regularly pestering my doctor about this ache or that pain.  I should never leave his office without making a new appointment.  I should be on several prescription medications to moderate my heart, my blood pressure, my cholesterol, my glucose levels, my emotional stability, and my bowels.

And I should be TERRIFIED by the horrible spectre of aging, determined to beat it off with a large, heavy object.

Wait – I AM a large, heavy object! 😀


Taco quiche…noms

It doesn’t end there, unfortunately.  According to those ‘in the know’ in Public Health, I should also be regularly beating myself up over what I choose to put in my mouth, and self-flagellating over my lack of determination in the gym.  And for the icing on this cake (mmmmmm – cake….) my doctor, my publicly-elected officials, and the public at large should all be more than happy to assist in my flogging.

for my own good, of course…

Why is everyone in the field of Public Health worried over what I do with my body?  It’s not their body – it’s mine.  They don’t feel the ache in the back that comes from sleeping flat.  They don’t feel the stubbed toe.  They don’t have to clean the glasses that perch on my nose.  They don’t know that Orange Milano cookies are a confection that makes my tongue sing in joy, and Sauerkraut and Dumplings is the traditional Christmas dinner of my family.

They refuse to acknowledge that I am a thinking adult, capable of making my own decisions, and living with the consequences of them.

Everywhere I turn – there they are.  Bemoaning the health of our nation.  Wringing their hands in agony over the obesity epidemic, the smoking epidemic, the sugar epidemic, the lack of proper funding to assist them in the wars they are waging on health and decency and common sense epidemic…

Oh…wait…no…that’s accurate.  Nevahmind…

Waving around another half-baked study which tells the masses that they are doing it all wrong! even though it was their advice in the first place.

Fat is bad for you!                                                          Not ALL fat is bad for you!

Eggs are bad for you!                                                    Eggs are good for you!

Alcohol is evil!                                                            A glass of wine may have benefits.

Smoking,       salt,           sugar,          trans fats,             cholesterol,             tri-glicerides


Sorry – I’m too busy being irritated…

There is a rather old bit floating out there on the ‘net about ordering pizza after the scourge of “Public Good” has convinced the masses that what they do is for ‘your own good.’   I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is just ♦bullshit, or just ♦around the corner.

Micro Bookends – Face Book

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Here’s another Flash Fiction site I watch a lot, but don’t often contribute to, as I sometimes, for the life of me, canNOT pull a story out of my head with the requisite beginning and ending words.  Today – I found something in the dark, cobwebby recesses of the creative pathways which stuck on the walls.

The Micro Bookends are challenging – word count is only 100 (+/- 10), you get a photograph to encorporate, and he gets to pick the beginning and end word.  This week, he put us in the evil Face <micro> Book.

It was the image which supplied me with the necessary imputus to create something – the technique is something I’ve had in the back of my head to try.  You deliberately drag the camera with the lens open – tracking a moving subject – to keep the subject in focus, but to blur the rest of the shot.  The photo prompt is a fantastic representation of this technique.

I managed this for the story – Enjoy!


Precognition:  It’s a Bitch

109 words 

“Face it, I’m just too damn fast for you!”

His words ring true, as I’ve always been the slow one.  I prefer deliberate steps, taking the time to assess before committing to a path, rather than rushing willy-nilly into any number of potential disasters.

But that’s only because I see every path in the myriad of possibilities stretching beyond infinity.

He stumbles, my rapier accidentally lodged between his ribs.
He gloats over his victory like a preening peacock.
He gently disarms me, stealing my heart with a kiss.


His possible futures spin out farther – husband, father, pauper, recluse, corpse.

I see all possible history, before its committed to the book.

Flash Fiction – Flash Frenzy Round

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

There was a new twist for Flash! Friday called “The Flash Dash!”  posted a few weeks back I had the opportunity to participate in.  I had a blast with this one.

She posted the prompt:

Start the story with the words:  “He shouldn’t have sounded the gong”

at exactly 10am EST.  Everyone had 30 MINUTES (!!!!!) to post their creations of anything up to 500 words.

Let me say that again:  THIRTY.  FREAKING.  MINUTES.

I’ve gotten used to the tight timelines on normal flash challenges – you have a day to come up with your best work.  I usually have to work work in to this equation, as well as sleep, work prep, eating, commute – all the stuff that happens on a day to day basis.  But this – 30.  FREAKING.  MINUTES.

Talk about pressure…but the good kind.  The kind that gets you hyper-focused on what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it, and exactly WHAT you are putting together for story details.

Long story short – I read the first sentence.  Cursed it.  Howled at it, much like the sound howls across the bowl of the gong.  Then I got into it – and put this out with 2 minutes to spare.


To Witness

155 words

He shouldn’t have sounded the gong, but the great disc of beaten copper had other plans. It needed to sound. Needed to ring. Needed to spread its message far and wide.

Needed to release the entity painstakingly trapped within the myriad reflections chasing each other across the bell’s etched bowl.

It had picked the slight man out of the teeming crowd of curious onlookers, each salivating at the chance to glimpse this freshly-unearthed artifact rumored to date from before the earliest of Antiquity’s greatest civilizations. Captured his will with a single flash of redirected sunshine. Drew him through the crowd like a lodestone.

The man struck the copper disc in a flurry of speed, using his head as the mallet, and the gong sounded. Vibrations not heard since before the dawn of civilization rang out amongst the crowd, who were unfortunate enough to witness the release of the last remaining Old God.


Flash Fiction – Let’s Make a Deal

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Here’s the thing – you have to be in your right mind to create words, sentences, and paragraphs that flow into an orgy of sights, sounds, smells and sensations – but if you’re in your right mind, those ideas are suppressed by numbers, and business-proper vernacular, and PC-friendly discourse.

In other words – you don’t have to be crazy to write good fiction – but you might as well be.

Flash Friday’s challenge on the 1st of May was a Catch-22 – with a REAL creepy picture for a prompt.  Given the darkness inherent in the shot – was it any surprise that my submission turned out demonic?


Let’s Make a Deal

203 words

“Do you want to play a game?”

The child is small, cherubic – rosy cheeks and curly blonde locks. Standing on one side of a crudely-made cardboard cell door, I on the other, we capture each other’s eyes through the ‘window.’

“No child. I have no time for useless, diversionary games.”

The door is pierced through on one side by an old, rusty set of keys.

“It will be a fun game.”

Oddly enough, the door comfortably occupied the middle of my living room – the diametrically-opposed realities of belonging/not belonging curiously held in abeyance.

“Corporate mergers are fun, child. Building my empire is fun. I need none other.”

Was that a flash of red in the child’s bright blue eyes?

“This game is called Sell Your Soul. We’re playing this game now.”

A finger of ice delicately traces a caress of shivers down my spine.

“Respect and adoration yours, until your end of days.

Your price: your tattered, tainted soul, now destined for my maze.

Turn the keys to play my game.”


I reach – keys rattling against my fingers.

I don’t feel the scratch – only the icy fingers of poison crawling up my arm.

“Did I forget to mention it’s a very short game?”

Flash Fiction – They Never taught THIS in Law School!

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

BoyohBoyohBoy – I’m behind in posting out all the flash stuff I’ve written, but, then again, I HAVE had other stuff exploding all over my real life lately.  The good news:  I still have a SQO – the not so good news is the relationship is still on tenderhooks.  But…at least we’re talking and within each other’s visibility fields.

If you could heal a broken arm in a day, though…everyone would be insanely reckless…so all good things and piss & vinegar and all that rot…

Enough platitudes! 

This is the most recent flash piece put out – over on my favorite home of Flash! Friday.  They wanted a lawyer as a main character, and a rather famous photograph (below) to piece the story into – so here’s what this twisted mind-o-mine came up with, which was creative enough to warrant a special mention for a ‘Wonderfully told story and a great ending.


They Never Taught THIS in Law School!

202 words




Salt brine and sea spray fill my nose.  The stink of machine oil and burned gunpowder haze coat my lungs with vileness.  An unearthy howling/crashing/screaming cacophony batters my ears as a million reflected points of blindingly hot sunshine hammer against my over-exposed retinas.   My eyes adjust to focus on the spinning propeller rapidly filling my frame of vision as the airplane gallops across the deck – tossing broken men and the materials of war akimbo – its path of destruction honed on my square-meter of decking.

I suck in a terrified breath and throw my hands up in meager defense – thus extracting my hand from the crooked old man’s handshake.

Abruptly – the vision is gone…I’m in one of the cool, filtered-light receiving rooms of the courthouse with a heart threatening to pound itself straight out of my chest, sweat drenching the interior of my Italian suit, and moments away from soiling myself.

“My appologies,” I whisper hoarsely to my client, who’s eyes flick from his still-outstretched hand to my eyes and back with undisguised disgust.  I’ve just broken the first law of Psyche Court:  don’t break contact during a deposition.

It ain’t easy being a paranormal lawyer.