Friday, June 8, 2012



Today's judge, and last week's WINNER is H.L. Pauff! 

Here are H.L.'s answers to my 'getting to know the judge' questions: 

If you are currently querying right now, please tell us about your book.
I’m currently querying my novel titled A Thorn in My Side. It follows uninspiring substitute teacher, failed self-published e-book author and all around rotten human being Jim Thorn. Let go from his job, he comes home to find his apartment vandalized and mysterious symbols carved on his bathroom door.

Run by a wealthy eccentric who has dedicated his life to solving the universe’s strangest mysteries, The McLannon Group is comprised of slackers, dimwits, FBI burnouts, devotees to fictional religions and senile assassins. Struggling for decades to solve an ancient formula, the Group discovers the answer in an eBay listing that features a carved up bathroom door touted as “original art” by “famed author” Jim Thorn.

High on the promise of a cash reward and seeing the potential to get into the pants of a failed FBI agent, Jim Thorn joins the McLannon Group on an adventure across dimensions and through time to topple a tyrant and save two different worlds.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off my entire life, but I became serious about writing after taking a creative writing course in college and enjoying it immensely.

Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? 
When I write, I generally start with an overarching idea and then I just see where the story takes me.  

What is one piece of advice you would give new writers? 
Designate a spot in your home that’s your “zone”. Go there every day and write. Don’t do anything in that space other than write. When you enter that space, you know it’s time to get down to business. When other people see you in that space, they know not to bother you.



H.L. Pauff's 3 Word PROMPT:

bathroom, hooligan, vengeance


Ready ... set ... FLASH!  

To Review:
PROMPT (varies each week)
50 word minimum / 350 word limit
24 hours
The full rules are HERE


*Remember, post your entry right here in the comments, please!  Don't forget word count and Twitter handle!  (Or another way for me to reach the winner!) 


  1. Word count: 332
    Twitter: @Anyechka

    Pete thought trashing a bathroom was a whole artform, the same way he’d made all his other mischief into an exact science. He knew how to make toilets run, how to clog up sinks and then make them overflow, how to throw wet rolls of toilet paper onto the ceiling, how to ruin mirrors, the whole nine yards. Even if his cousins, aunts, and uncles thought he were a young hooligan, at least his grandma Kit thought he could do no wrong. She’d even taught him how to trash a bathroom and make other mischief.

    Owen knocked on the door. “Are you almost done in there? Your new cousin Irisa’s welcoming party already started. It’s very bad form for a guest to avoid festivities. And given how unpopular you are in this family, you already look bad for being a no-show.”

    Pete continued writing on his aunt and uncle’s bathroom wall with a bright purple lipstick he’d found in the cabinet. “If no one likes me, they won’t care if I don’t show up. And how come they named the kid almost the same name as my other cousin who was just born?”

    “Iris is American, and Irisa is British. It’s not like they’ll be raised next door. Besides, the names don’t have the same pronunciation. Now quit stalling for time and come join the party.”

    As his father’s footsteps receded, Pete began contemplating whether to clog the toilet with the shower curtain or cut it up into little pieces and throw them all over the floor. But first he had to figure out how to get access to the shower hooks to even rip it off. Finally he decided to climb onto the toilet to reach the high shower ledge.

    The next thing he knew, a key was turning in the lock and his furious uncle Fritz was standing there, a number of his cousins behind him. From the looks on their faces, he knew they wanted vengeance.

  2. Word Count: 346
    Twitter: @lissajean7

    I really need to pee, but the bathroom is still occupied. This gas station is the worst one yet, but probably the only one for another hour or more. I don’t have a choice. I won’t make it that long. I wish I was a boy. Then I could just walk over into those bushes and be on my way. I’m tempted to do it anyway.

    I’m bouncing. I try to stop, but it’s gotten so bad I find myself doing an adult version of the pee pee dance. I stare at the faded red door, willing it to open. How long does it take to use the bathroom? Crap. Literally. I don’t hear a fan. It must be broken. I sigh. It’s going to reek in there.

    I try to decipher the ‘decorations’ left by whatever hooligans inhabit the middle of nowhere. The ‘artist’ is either a fan of Picasso, or doesn’t understand basic human anatomy.

    I knock to let them know someone is waiting. No one answers. I knock louder and say, “Could you please hurry up?” Still no answer.

    Someone has to be in there. This is one of those places where you have to ask for the key behind the counter. I asked. No one could accidentally leave with a foot-long bathroom key. And who would do it on purpose?

    I pound on the door, “If someone is in there, answer now! I’m going to check if there’s another key!” No answer.

    The clerk resembles a cow, blinking slowly and chewing gum. It seems that thinking isn’t something he does often. “Well…” He glances around. “Oh.” He reaches over and picks up the wooden dowel with the key. “I guess it was returned.”

    You guess?!? I feel my eyes bug out of their sockets. I snatch the key and do my business, being sure not to touch *anything*. I wish I didn’t even have to step on the floor. I want vengeance. Somebody should pay for this horrendous experience. I swallow my frustration, return the key, and continue on.

    Worst. Stop. Ever.

  3. Word Count: 348

    "Minister Katesh, There has been a explosion on level one!"

    "What are talking about, Simi?" the minister asked!

    "Just moments ago a crude explosive device was detonated in the bathroom on level one. There are several injured civilians, and most regrettably two are dead." The clerk went white as he delivered the report.

    "Do we know who was responsible for this attack?"

    "There was holographic graffiti left on the wall outside of the blast area. It said --"

    "Don't tell me, those blasted Lunar Hooligans!" Katesh said as he slammed his fist on his desk. The Minister turned to stare out the large plate glass window. Something must be done about this, and this time it will be decisive!

    " Sir, it appears the attack was spurred by the life sentence handed down to the gangs leader for the last act of terrorism."

    "How do you know that?"

    "Vengeance is ours!, that's what the message said. What else could it have been?"

    "I don't know, Simi. But I will see to it that someone pays the ultimate price for this. They want vengeance, I will give them vengeance. This time the guilty party will receive a death sentence!" the minister exclaimed.

    "Execution!" the clerks legs almost buckled. "We haven't enacted a capital punishment for almost one hundred years!"

    "Then it's about time we dust off the old ways and put a end to this." Katesh said evenly.

    "But sir! Are you sure about that course of action? If they are willing to kill innocent civilians for a life sentence, what will they do when we execute someone? And what will the people think?"

    " I don't care, it is time to put a end to this! And if it means we have to execute every last gang member to do it, then so be it!" Katesh said in defiance.

    "As you wish, Sir." the clerk said as he turned to exist the minister's office. This is a dark time, Simi thought as he stole one final glance back at the minister before he shut the office door.

  4. Rebekah PostupakJune 10, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    I want vengeance. Crave it. THIRST for it, do you hear me? Those vicious hooligans—no, vandals! delinquents!—have deprived me for the last time, and I’m taking my own back.

    Please understand, I am normally an easy-going kind of woman. Years of pain and abuse (yes, I dare use that word, ABUSE!) have melted my unyielding steel into pathetic, worthless, rippable aluminum foil. I hate myself for it, but at least in allowing the suffering day after uncomplaining day, I’ve managed to fashion a kind of peace between myself and my tormenters. It’s not a real peace, of course, but it’s the only way I’ve found to survive this life.

    Until today.

    No more.

    They are hammering at the door, demanding entry. Their furious shouts make the walls tremble. I hear the white rage of their strategizing, feel it seeping beneath the door and across the cold, hard floor, where it’s now crawling up my legs. I tremble too, tears stinging the corners of my eyes, but I

    Never again.

    My house.

    My bathroom.

    176 words