Out with the Old…

Posted: January 6, 2016 in Announcements


Though I’ve been pretty silent these past few months, I haven’t been idle. Right now Half-Mad Rantings: 2015 is wrapping up (some final editing needs to be done and then uploading the relevant files to CreateSpace) and it is filled not only with the dozen or so pieces of flash fiction published here last year, but also four longer pieces that are brand spanking new! So, keep your eyes open for the announcement that it’s available in the next couple of weeks.

Along with that I’ve also decided to re-vamp the production process here at Half-Mad Rantings. In the last few years I’ve been tied very tightly to the awesome Chuck Wendig‘s weekly Flash Fiction Challenges. However, there are weeks where his challenges don’t really sync up with what I do here or (like last summer) there are times when he’s uber-busy with being a full-time writer who hits conventions and thus doesn’t have time to update the Challenges. So, being that his “roll a d20” style challenges have been my favorite (randomness +  story seeds = fecund garden of creativity), I stole  borrowed all of his posts that have done that, rolled a d20 twenty-four times and came up with ideas for 2016’s stories. The first one is already finished and will be published on Friday – which will be the new “Story Day” and I’m aiming to publish at least one story a month. Though, since I have all the writing prompts I need right now, I’ll be able to work on the stories continuously without interruption.

So, here’s to the new year!


So, this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at terribleminds (in honor of Mr. Wendig’s Star Wars novel, Aftermath) was to come up one’s own space opera. Mine lacks some action, but I feel set ups the possibility of some space epic-ness, so I give y’all “The Conversation”:

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Flash Fiction: Late and Solo

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Fiction
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Hey All,

I know it’s been awhile (holy crap…two months?!), but I’ve been exceedingly busy with my day job. Anyway, there was no Flash Fiction Challenge over at terribleminds this past Friday, so I decided to get down something that’s been in my head for the last week or so. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more stories out during this last quarter of the year, but for now, enjoy “Sermon”:

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Hey, everybody! I know it’s been close to a month since my last post, but I’ve been unbelievably busy with the day job. Anyway, this week’s challenge over at terribleminds was to use a random title generator to come up with a title for your piece and go from there. I chose the title “The Whispering of the Lights” (because it sounded perfectly creepy and Lovecraftian) and pounded out the following:

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The only stipulation in this week’s challenge over at terribleminds was to introduce a dead body in the first paragraph of the story. I’d already had an idea for the continuing story of Gavrin the Mountain and Drayos the thief, so it didn’t take me long to cobble together “For a Glittering Gem”:

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This week’s FFC over at terribleminds involves using a randomizing feature at Flickr called “Interestingness” to find a picture to serve as a prompt. I came across a picture titled “Kermit needs to cross” and found it just odd enough to get my brain spinning in a vaguely Lovecraftian direction. So, I present “It’s Not Easy”:

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Ah…”Roll a d20 and combine two things to create the basis for your story.” Honestly, this has become one of my favorite types of FFC that Chuck Wendig does. The freedom inherent to it is nigh-unbounded and the possible “ingredients” are always so fresh and interesting. This time around, I rolled “Grimdark Fantasy” (think “Low Fantasy, George R.R. Martin-style”) and “Parallel Universe.” I took my best stab and came up with “The Basket”:

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