This is a quick reminder that the voting for Round 10 of the Title Challenge closes tomorrow at 12:00 (Noon) Central DST Time (Chicago time). Your time depends on your location and whether your time zone follows DST.

If you’ve read the stories, you can vote for them HERE. Coincidentally, that post also has links to the stories in case you get a sudden urge to read them before voting.

I kid, of course . . . you should definitely read them before you vote. Heck, read them even if you don’t vote. After all, reading is fundamental.

Gary and Perry have been neck-and-neck for most of the round, so even a few votes could affect the outcome.

These photos are from early October, and I figured I’d share them before we transition out of Fall and into Winter proper. Of course, that only applies to readers living in the Northern hemisphere.

By the way, did you notice the bird?

Anyway, here are a few more . . .

This is the Tenth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 10 Title — Once Upon A Time… — was chosen by me. Gary will choose the title for the next round.

Assuming everyone has read the three stories titled Once Upon A Time, this is where you get to vote for your favorite. If you’ve not read the stories, links are provided below.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span various genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This is the Tenth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 10 Title — Once Upon A Time… — was chosen by me. Gary will choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories spans various genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

Here’s the blurb for this story:
General Harold Dickens Barker spent his life as a music manager. He hitched his wagon to a soulful singer by the name of T. Tyler Griffin. They sold more records than Elvis, until they didn’t. See what happens when you make a deal with the devil.

This is the Tenth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 10 Title — Once Upon A Time… — was chosen by me. Gary will choose the title for the next round.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span various genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is Perry’s submission.

Here’s the blurb for this story:
Nathan J. Derkle fancied himself an intrepid reporter – with a penchant for supernatural mysteries. He finds himself interviewing Reveille Evans, a man on death row, who claims that the man he killed is still alive, and that the man, perhaps, has always been alive.

This is the Tenth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 10 Title — Once Upon A Time… — was chosen by me. Gary will choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is my submission . . . and something completely different. In fact, so different that it’s not a short story. It’s the beginning of a novel. Let me explain . . .

The time was October 2016, and I planned to partake in the NaNoWriMo effort. To that end, I wrote a scene. Nothing planned, just something that came to me. That scene is the first chapter below, but you can read the original HERE.

My last NaNoWriMo was in 2015, so what happened in 2016? Well, bluntly, Trump happened. Literally that . . . and now, six years later, it’s all still a big mess. I’ve done some writing since then, but nothing beyond short stories. Then, on Wednesday, I had an epiphany . . .

Since I’m never in the running in these challenges, why not take the opportunity to kickstart a project I’d laid to rest? And I did, writing about 9,000 words to add to the existing 1,200.

No, it’s not a stand-alone, and it’s unlikely the next title will match this story . . . but I aim to finish it before the end of the year. It will be published in spurts and in addition to future Title Challenge stories.

Here’s the blurb for this story novel:
Some have destiny thrust upon them.

There’s one other thing I need to explain, and that’s the term ‘Clipper’ (taken almost verbatim from the original post, correcting for clarity):

I struggled for a few minutes to come up with the word “Clipper” (and the subsequent “Clip”) because I wanted a derogatory/common name for Meya’s position as a way to indicate both how folks thought about her and her kind, but also to set up stuff for later on. While explicit, the thinking was that she was law enforcement, and as part of being convicted for a crime, one would have their earlobe clipped. Getting arrested again would mean losing the other earlobe. The third time, you are done for. It’s an easy way to keep track of criminals, a visual rap sheet that would travel with the person and make them easily identifiable. 

That’s a pretty good explanation as things go, but clipping hasn’t played a major part in the story (so far). Still, I felt it needed clarification.

One final note. . . 10K words are a lot. Don’t feel you have to read it, and certainly don’t vote for it unless you’re actually looking forward to subsequent chapters.

This is the Ninth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 9 Title — Behind the Green Door — was chosen by Perry. I’ll choose the title for the next round.

Assuming everyone has read the three stories titled Behind the Green Door, this is where you get to vote for your favorite. If you’ve not read the stories, links are provided below.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span various genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This is the Ninth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 9 Title — Behind the Green Door — was chosen by Perry. I’ll choose the title for the next round.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span various genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is Perry’s submission.

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
Rocco D’Angelo wanted to be his generation’s next Philip Marlow – the preeminent Private Investigator. But he screwed up and got a girl killed. Now, in the latter years of his abject career, he gets one final opportunity to redeem himself. However, the mission is virtually impossible. It’s his task to rescue a baby . . . a baby that died 30 years prior, unbaptized. It’s Rocco’s job to save her from Infant Purgatory!

This is the Ninth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them unfamiliar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 9 Title — Behind the Green Door — was chosen by Perry. I’ll choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories spans various genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
It’s Halloween. I couldn’t resist waking a few classic monsters from their coffins or crypts. James, a backyard bard, tells a campfire horror story that gets just a little too real for his audience of neighborhood children. In the end, we’ll find out who the real monsters are (insert evil laughter here…).

This is the Ninth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them not familiar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 9 Title — Behind the Green Door — was chosen by Perry. I’ll choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is my submission written with a day to spare, for a change.

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
Your life continues Behind the Green Door . . . or, does it?

This is the eighth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them not familiar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 8 Title — Dear John — was chosen by Gary. Perry will choose the title for the next round.

Assuming everyone has read the three stories titled Dear John, this is where you get to vote for your favorite. If you’ve not read the stories, links are provided below.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This is the eighth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them not familiar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 8 Title — Dear John — was chosen by Gary. Perry will choose the title for the next round.

As a reminder, the writing challenge has no restrictions, and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. Most of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range, with a few pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines, but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is Perry’s submission.

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
Teddy is an uptight trivia nerd, too obsessed with factoids to live his best life. After missing a critical question on John Denver, Teddy focuses his big brain on knowing all there is to know about the deceased musician . . . including Denver’s tragic and mysterious death. Who knew that God simply needed a tenor to join his heavenly band?

This is the eighth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them not familiar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 8 Title — Dear John — was chosen by Gary. Perry will choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
No need for an intervention. Just because I’m also an 8th-grade teacher doesn’t mean I’m suicidal like my protagonist in this story. John’s been down a rough road and has had a really crappy role model. Will he let his past define his future? Read on to learn his fate.

This is the eighth round of the Title Writing Prompt Challenge. For them not familiar with the challenge, a quick summary: three writers offer the fruit of their labor and inspiration based on a given title.

The Round 8 Title — Dear John — was chosen by Gary. Perry will choose the title for the next round.

The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the G and PG rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Those ratings are guidelines but they are subjective. If you find a story disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, stop reading and move on to the next one. The same goes if you are not interested in finishing a story. It may seem like obvious advice, but these days many people go out of their way to experience outrage (and then complain about it).

This, then, is my submission written with a day to spare, for a change.

And, here’s the blurb for this story:
Ladies! Does your man mystify you? Is his behavior leaving you confused? Let me mansplain men for you! Send your questions, and I’ll answer them! Just write to Dear John and get manly advice for women about men!