A little success


, , , , , , ,

OK, so I didn’t do Nano. I ran out of steam and never caught up. But I have had another article published in Twist & Go magazine (The home of two-wheeled commuting – Mortons Media Group – out 16 December).tw and go

The full-page piece is a review/comment/opinion on my experiences riding my Honda NC750X over the past year and a half.


So that has to be better than a 50,000 word pile that will never see the published page – surely. I think so. What about you?

Nano no-no


, , , , ,

I started well with a couple of thousand words on the first day. Then came day two … nothing. And so on. Now, more than two weeks into Nano and I am officially retiring.

My story fizzled out, faded, flumped. I ran out of steam(punk), and I just ain’t got enough hours in my day to get it all going again. So I’ll put it all on hold until November 2016, when I’ll try again. I managed to complete the challenge in 2008 and 2009, so I know it can be done. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready to judge the One Word Challenge for November, so may be I’m saving myself … or is that kidding myself.

Good luck to all those Nano-ers still banging away (at keyboards!). Keep those words flowing!

And, in the words of the Terminator, I’ll be back.

One Word Challenge – The Tunnel


, , , , , , , , , , ,

The prompt for the October challenge was trouble. It was another tricky one. I decided to go ‘steampunk’ and introduce one of my regular characters to the Writers Online event.

I’m pleased to say that I was chosen as the winner, with the prose judge commenting:
Brought back memories of the steam age. Clever use of alliteration to capture the train sounds. Good story with a hint of mystery and the last line comes as a shock. (and who, exactly, was Smythe?)

Of course, regular visitors will know Smythe, and his associate, Fortesque, from their adventures posted here for the Inspiration Monday challenge. But with no more ado, TheTunnel …

***The Tunnel

The train lurched as the brake blocks bound and squealed on the iron wheels. Chains and buffers clanked as the carriages cannoned into each other. The lights went out, then there was quiet. 

Farther along the tunnel Smythe could hear the steaming of the idling engine; waiting to be released.

He poked his head through the open window and peered through the darkness towards the front. There were three carriages between him and the engine, and he could make out the orange glow from the open firebox door. Behind, the only evidence of a way out was the distant, grey daylight reflecting on the damp, brick walls.

As the passengers got used to the dark and the stillness, they started a murmur of questioning conversations. Smythe turned the brass handle, pushed open the carriage door, and dropped on to the ballast.

His shoulder was level with the footplate, so he climbed the ladder and pulled himself into the heat of the driver’s cab. The fireman’s shovel leant against the coal piled in the tender, and an oily rag draped over the regulator. 

The engine hissed; impatient. In the distance another engine whistled as it entered the tunnel.


(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody

*The OWC is a monthly challenge for a piece of flash fiction, 200 words or less, prompted by one word.

French fancy


, , , , , , ,

September, and we were sampling the cuisine and, more importantly, the wines of the Loire Valley. The prompt for the One Word Challenge* was Fantasy; where on earth was I going to get my inspiration?

We toured through Tours, chuntered around Chenonceaux, and nipped up to Nantes; from bistro to bistro, bar to bar, bottle to bottle – and then …

Anyway, I managed runner-up with this entry, accompanied by great comments by the judge; thank you, Mike Olley:

“Oh, how cruel real life is, hence the need for fantasy. You built this illusion perfectly for a harsh shatter reveal. Great stuff.” And:

“… for the well-written “build ’em up, knock ’em down” structure; Scratch is runner up with ‘French Fancy’.”

(* Writers Online’s monthly flash fiction challenge – see previous posts for details)



He took his usual seat at a small table in the corner of the cafe, and picked up the menu. He knew its contents by heart, closed his eyes and drifted back to the bistro on Rue de Berthelot. His favourite waitress appeared at the counter, she noticed him, and headed over, her stilettos, taller than was appropriate, clicked on the stone floor. She smoothed her tight, black pencil skirt over her thighs, and, as she sidled between the tables, he was sure there was more swing in her hips than on his last visit. She leaned forward to take his order, and he was enthralled by the sight of her breasts vying for position in the open neck of her white satin blouse. Her lips parted, just enough to slide the end of her pen between them, as she prepared to note his every desire …

The empty chair opposite scraped on the floor, jarring him back to Ethel’s all-day-breakfast-includes-tea-and-toast cafe. She smiled at him, in the gap-tooth way only Ethel could. “The usual, mugga tea anna bacon sarnie, is it, luv?”


(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody

Watered down


, , , , , , , ,

The One Word Challenge for August was, I thought, particularly difficult. On the forum that month, there had been discussions around the relevance of the submitted story to the prompt word. It was felt that sometimes the link was so tentative as to be just thrown in to qualify. With that in mind, I tried to make my story fit on all counts. It didn’t win, but I was pleased to be chosen as runner-up.

The contest is monthly, and the members of Talkback, Writers Online forum, are challenged to write a piece of flash fiction (in this case no more than 200 words, or a poem of 40 lines or less), in response to a single word prompt – the One Word Challenge.

The prompt was water. Here is my submission:


Watered down

It took me eighteen years to get this far. I was born and brought up in a small town on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. I enjoyed the all the good things in life that you can only get from nature; fresh air, open space, and clean, bubbling springs.

It wasn’t all fun though. The heat, and rough and tumble of the factory changes you. I endured the beating. I knew it was for the best, and it made me what I am. Over time, just waiting and mulling things over, quietly and alone, I have matured. I am no longer the wild, raw ingredients of youth. I’ve become more than the sum of my individual parts; I’ve gained a singular, individual character. I have my own strength, standing apart from others.

But look at them! Splashing water around as if there was no tomorrow. It’s not necessary, you know. The last thing I want is my personality to be diluted by a bunch of cheap boozers in a dingy downtown bar.

We single malts must take a stand; stay true to our heritage, and remain untainted by tap water … although a large ice cube is rather pleasant.


(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody

Look up!


, , , , , , ,

It’s amazing what you see when you change your perspective. I sat in the back garden and looked up at seagulls squabbling, and saw these clouds. They’ve probably got a technical name, and there may be some folk lore about the weather they portend, but I just thought they were worth sharing …

cloud5 cloud4 cloud3 cloud2 cloud1

One Word Challenge – Winner!


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, it may not be much to you, but to have your work judged by your peers and regarded as the best of the bunch, is an achievement.

Each month in the writers’ forum, Talkback, on the Writers Online web site (home of Writing Magazine) there is a challenge for those who like to write flash fiction. The challenge is to write, in 200 words or less, a story inspired by that month’s chosen word. In June 2015, the word was zest.

The poets among us can write a poem of 40 lines or less, in whatever style they like. The winner of each section gets to choose the word for the following month – and judges the entries. There is no prize, no national publicity, just the warm glow of knowing that your writing is not all bad.

One Word Anthology CoverAs a result of all these ‘flashes’, an anthology of contributors’ work has been published as One Word Anthology (Alfie Dog Fiction). Of course I’m in it. For every copy sold a donation is made to Medical Detection Dogs. Go on, buy a copy. You know you want to.

(One Word Anthology available from Amazon, too)

I hope you want to read my winning entry for June’s zest 

* * *

A New Life

For three long years she had been prisoner, unable to escape her single room. Light filtered in through dusty panes, her dismembered parts casting shadows on the floor. His tools were laid out, meticulously arranged so each one was to hand when needed. Bottles and jars with golden fluids lined the back of the bench, each one labelled.

Now, with slow precision, he had put each little piece back in its rightful place, making sure it was wiped clean of any impurity. The smallest piece of grit could mean disaster, and he’d have to rip her apart again.

He ran his fingers along her curves, caressing her body. She didn’t respond though, she sat there, impassive. Was she teasing him? He was eager to get started, he wheeled her out in to the daylight, smiled and patted her lovingly. Today, he would see if she had the same zest as before.

He swung his leg over and straddled her. He kicked her once, twice, no response. A little tickle at her under-belly and another kick. That’s what she needed! The old Norton’s engine burst in to life, spitting smoke from the exhaust. Life was good again.

196 words

* * *

(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody

Vauxhall Viva – rides again!


, , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve just found out that Vauxhall cars have launched a new model called the Viva!

Oh! The memories! I owned a Viva the first time around, in the 1970s. Compare the now and then with a look at my post about the 1970’s models and the latest offering from GM. ‘Just like the old Viva, but completely different’, says the advert. Well it certainly is – including the price!

Take a look at Gerry Marshall,too. One of the greatest Vauxhall saloon car racers ever! And some YouTube flix with Gerry and the cars in action. Great stuff!!

Inspiration Monday – Paper Police


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, I’m inspired! Here is a re-hashed flash to fit Steph’s InMon challenge for 23 June 2015. It gives my intrepid heroes an airing, although not fresh air …

* * *

The Library

Sir Algernon’s cellars seemed to run on under the house for miles. Smythe and Fortesque were sure they must be beyond the foundation line by now, but the serpentine tunnels and slow decent had fuddled their sense of direction.

The flickering candles in their lanterns picked out a door in the gloom ahead. A tall, dark, oaken door, heavy with black iron nails and a latch. They heaved against its weight; it opened as if it had been waiting for them.

Inside, the room opened to a high gallery. They couldn’t see the roof as the candle light couldn’t make it that far. There were row upon row of wooden shelves stretching as far as the glow would allow them to see. The tops of the shelves disappeared into the blackness above.oldbooks

The stale, still air was filled with the quiet hiss of whispered words.
“Listen, Sam. Communication!”
“But they are only books.”
They edged along the aisles. The shelves towered above them, leather bound volumes filled every inch-space. So much knowledge radiating into the world, so much information hanging in the air, waiting to be inhaled.

The farther they went, the older and mustier the books. The tone of the voices changed, now they seemed like they were Latin, then Greek. There were scrolls on wooden spindles, wrapped in flaking velum, or may be papyrus, all too fragile to touch. The voices were deeper here. A darker tone, of knowledge serious with age, originating before Man could write. An original knowledge, a knowing without teaching; of natural laws. A knowledge of things only the gods should know.

At the far end of The Library, the only light was from the tomes themselves; a grey-green, primordial emanation from between the covers.
“Look, Joshua!” Sam’s whisper barely louder than that of the enveloping shelving. “Could it be the meaning of Life itself?”
A volume, embossed ‘Number 42’, glowed brightest, high up, just beyond his reach … as always.

* * *

(c) 2015, K Patrick Moody

The Loyalty of Dragons


, , , , , ,

Have you ever seen those old maps, the ones on buff coloured, crinkly parchment? Always in one corner there would be an area, unexplored by the cartographer, that mysteriously warns, ” ‘ere be draggons”. (This should be spoken idragon loyalty awardn the voice of one of Jack Sparrow’s crewmen).

Well, shipmates, I be most honoured to have been give a dragonny award by one of me fav’rite colonials, Mistress Stephanie Orges; she of Bekindrewrite fame.

Part of the award says I must write seven interesting things about myself …

  • I ride my motorbike almost everyday. Only snow and ice will keep it in the garage
  • I passed my advanced riders test last year (Institute of Advanced Motorists, IAM)
  • When I was six years old my local church went up in flames while I was in it. I guess that was a sign …
  • I’ve completed the NaNoWriMo challenge twice but never edited the resulting manuscript into anything publishable. But one day …
  • My first poem was published when I was 11. My poetry hasn’t improved since.
  • My Chinese astrology animal is the Dragon!
  • I can link my family tree back to 1100 AD, to an event only 30 miles from where I live now. Don’t feel the need to travel much in our family.

I hope that’ll do. Thanks for the award Steph!