The polls for the”D” Stories are now closed. Soon, the “E” Stories will go live.

You can check the results of the voting HERE (D Stories). But, as I know no one cares, I’ll force the results onto you now.

Here’s a photo before I continue . . .

This little guy likes to travel back and forth across my back yard . . . but, if it notices me when I’m out there, he bolts and runs off as if the dickens were after it. I’ve never done anything to warrant this apparent terrified reaction. If it keeps it up, I’ll get annoyed and start chasing it, at least giving it a reason for being scared of an old man with a camera.

I belong to an online writing community that I joined after attending Viable Paradise in 2015. The thing is, I had forgotten all about it until the other day when a fellow attendee mentioned he was participating in one of their challenges.

As it turned out, it was the last of five challenges and I’d missed the first four, and it won’t be repeated until next year. I’ll have to try and remember to check next December.

Anyway, I decided to participate in at least one, and this is the prompt I picked:

“Write a story set in the year 2120. Realistically, what do you think could be happening? (Obviously you can’t cover everything, so keep your focus tight.)”

The polls for the”A” and “B” Stories are now closed. Tomorrow, the “C” Stories will go live.

You can check the results of the voting HERE (B Stories) and HERE (A Stories). But, as I know no one cares, I’ll force the results onto you now.

Here’s a photo before I continue . . .

click photo for larger version

Can you guess what it is? I mean, yes, ice. What else? Read on, and I’ll tell you.

This post covers the fiction I published on this blog from March 2015 through March 2016.

If you’ve not read the previous two posts about this blog and my fiction and you have a strong desire to read all the fiction I write, here’s a quick reminder. The first four years were covered in THIS post. The year five was covered in THIS post.

Following that progression, this post should cover year six of dispersering fiction. And so it does.

If you have no desire to read any of my fiction, stop right here and go on your way as nothing below will interest you. Vade con spaghetti monstrum volantes.

If you thought there was a lot of fiction during the first four years of this blog, you’ll think in the next year — March 2014 through March 2015 — I must have gone fiction nuts.

Maybe, but remember I also wrote opinions (future post to be) and did near-epic writing on many of the posts showcasing my photos.

Sometimes I wrote stuff most people (including regular readers) plain missed.

For instance, for a long while — October 2012 through December 2015 — I posted a printable monthly calendar. The first part of the post covered the process and background story of the photo I used, but usually, there was some writing aimed at being informative, humorous, or both. Most people, even them who read most of what I publish, missed most stuff. By the way, as far as printable photos go, I thought them pretty good.

Anyway, why did most people miss some of the writing?

Yes, he do.

Recently, I had the occasion to interact with relatives I’d not seen in a while. Part of the conversation rolled around to what I do for hobbies. I mentioned my blog, and I provided the information for the blog, for SmugMug, and gave them my email.

I don’t expect them to check things out (photos or writing) because those conversations are just stuff people say, like we’ll keep in touch and let’s do lunch sometimes and let’s meet up later; I’ll give you the best deep massage you ever had.

Disclosure: no one has ever said the last thing to me, and that’s good.

When I mention I dabble in writing, most people express an interest in what I write. Again, I’m near-certain it’s just polite social-convention that won’t lead to anything and be quickly forgotten once a bit of time and distance come into play.

The voting ended and the results are in . . . but, before I present the winner — if you haven’t yet done so and if so inclined — please take a few minutes (about 15-20 minutes) and read the three stories in THIS POST for context. Otherwise, dear reader, skip this post as the awards will be meaningless to you. Well, OK, they’re probably only of importance to the writers. Still, award-winning fiction is (maybe) worth reading.

The results below are based on 19 votes (out of 121 total views). I had warned the writers who contributed their stories that my 1,500 followers are mostly no-show and fewer than 1% engage with the blog.

I was encouraged by the nearly double the number of votes of the first challenge, but discouraged by the drop in participation. The first challenge had fewer views but higher participation in voting (20%). This challenge had more than twice the views but only 16% participation. What do it mean? I don’t know.

So, what are the results?

My third reminder for readers  — if they are so inclined and have not already done so — to vote. In this case, vote for one of the Christmas Short Story Challenge submissions. The poll is at the end of that post and we hope to surpass the ten total votes we had for the previous challenge.

Continuing where the last post left off, here are more photos from September of this year when I watched clouds morph into interesting patterns as a front passed over the area.

The workflow for the processing of the images includes a combination of DxO PhotoLab and the Nik Collection with the occasional tweak in Lightroom.

This post contains three Christmas short stories. Two are from twin brothers and one is from me but they are presented anonymously so as to not bias the readers. Sorry it’s up so late; it was supposed to go live at noon but stuff intervened.

As you might remember, we did this once before and we’re repeating the challenge. This time, with a Christmas theme.

Please encourage friends to read and vote (share the link to this post). Also, if you happen to recognize which story belongs to which writer, try with all your might to vote on merit only. We’re trying to avoid making this a popularity contest (says the guy who’s not very popular).

Whereas before we had a word limit, this is a bit less structured because . . . well, there’s no other way to say it; some people can’t follow rules.

What we ended up with is a short story/poem, a medium story, and a longer story.

By the way, I’ve had an earworm for a few days now and I hope if I can pass it on to my readers, it will finally leave me alone. So, here goes . . .

This post is about the three writers (Perry, Gary, and me) providing critiques both for the stories of the other writers and their own submission.

If you haven’t read the stories, this won’t make much sense and since we only had ten votes, there are mighty few who will find this post of interest (if any).

I’ll start by saying none of us are professionals. Gary has a literary degree but what he provided is more along the line of notes than critique. Perry is still swimming in the pool of his glory, and I hold little expertise other than knowing what I like.

There’s another elephant in the room . . . we aren’t the readers who voted on the stories. We don’t know why they liked one story over the other. That’s who we should be asking, but even then, people reach opinions at a subconscious level and when asked, they retrofit reasons to justify their decisions.

Instead, you’ll get us, writers, saying why we like our story over the others. Oh, yeah, and throw something out about each other’s stories.