This week marked the much-anticipated (well, by me anyway) return of the Monday Mixer and it was certainly marked well. I don't make it easy to dive through all of the hoops to complete an entry and so I especially appreciate and admire those who not only enter but absolutely excel. With a round half dozen entries this week, I am choosing an additional Honorable Mention to give all of you a little something by way of thanks.
Last Krystallos for her story Illusions - While I am normally a very ardent admirer of Lisa's stories, this particular one just didn't work quite right for me. It seemed to be a bit too busy with the shift from Tolkien, to Princess Bride and I'm not quite sure how Tootsie fit into the tale. So, while a very imaginative effort it confused me just a bit too much.
Mark Etheridge for his story In The Badlands - This story had the seeds of a good tale but didn't quite blossom into a real flower for me. In flash fiction, the word count limitations make the choice of each and every word exceptionally important. The repeated use of the word "water" detracted from the potential to add more story. Additionally, the first two sentences of the tale were a bit too much listing for me.
The Imaginator for his story Badlands. Good flow in a piece of flash fiction is an important consideration to me. The abbreviated length of the story makes it essential to control the pace by a subtle mixture of longer and shorter sentences. Sentences that are too short make for a choppy read. If they're too long they rush things along, in my mind, and sometimes rush it too much. That was how I felt in this case when the tale seemed to end just a bit too abruptly for my tastes,.
Bullish for her story The Negotiation. With this delightfully folksy tale, Ruth demonstrates what so many excellent Mixer entries have, which is that sometimes "less is more". Employing only three of the prompt words allows this story to be so much more imaginatively filled out with the remaining words. I think this story made excellent use of simple story telling and well-chosen imagery to lend to its charm.
K.R. Smith for his story Sam. While I am long familiar with K.R. from his ongoing supportive feedback on various of my pieces, I am ashamed to admit I'd never really read much from him. As a first time competitor here at the Mixer, he came in with his guns fully loaded and really delivered with an impressive five prompts used. This tale had a natural drawling quality to it that just worked perfectly. I especially liked how it closed without any real resolution of the conflict but at, nevertheless, a perfectly natural point.
Rebecca Kovar for her story Just Desserts. This story grabbed me and drug me along with the harsh imagery that made it possible for me to see the whole thing in my mind as clearly as if I were part of the affair. The Main Character's terse, no-nonsense approach to justice and retribution made her easy for me to like. I wasn't aware Kaia was a character in another tale but this flash piece definitely left me wanting to know more about her. As someone who has turned a flash character into an entire book, I enjoy seeing others write a character who could, just as easily, rate further consideration.
Please bear in mind my decisions are entirely subjective and may not find favor or agreement with all, but decisions are like that. For those writers not mentioned, no slight is intended and I hope next week will find you back for more.
Here is the link to view and read all of the truly inspired offerings for this week. Please show a little Monday Mixer love and make a point of clicking on each entry and checking them out. Remember, each link clicked on takes you directly to that particular writer's page and provides them blog traffic and, hopefully, feedback to encourage them to come out & play next week.