Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.16

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 16 went live today and contained three flash fiction pieces that have appeared on my blog as Flash Fiction Fridays. Do email me should you like to submit your own. This episode contained:

See the links above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

Thank you for downloading / listening to this short story episode – I hope you enjoyed it. The next episode will be a hints & tips episode in a fortnight, then short stories return a fortnight thereafter.

All the details of these episodes are listed on this blog’s Podcast Short Stories and my email address to submit a short story for critique (or review for the Short Story Saturdays) is morgen@morgenbailey.com.

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You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Flash Fiction Friday 53: The Moon by Will Macmillan-Jones

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the fifty-third piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 410-worder by comic fantasy (“and a little horror”) author and interviewee Will Macmillan-Jones.

The Moon

It started in a bar, as do so many things.  A dim-lit cellar, where the smoky jazz played by the house band drifted like the haze rising from the myriad of cigarettes.  He had been coming to the bar for a couple of weeks, but had not made acquaintances there, not yet.  Twice now, he had seen her across the room, her flowing blonde hair shimmering whilst the beguiling music played and the deep-voiced girl with the microphone sang slowly of love and loss, heartache and regret, and – yes – occasionally of passion and joy.

Suddenly, as the music swirled sensually around, she was beside him at the bar.  Their eyes met, and held in a long, long look before he turned away to order another drink.  Disturbed, shaken by the casual intensity of her gaze, he trembled as she lightly placed her hand over his.

“You seem to be alone,” she murmured in a velvet voice.  He nodded.  “So am I, tonight,” she said softly, then kissed him and took his hand in hers.  Looking into her eyes his drink lay forgotten on the bar, as she pulled, with such tempting pressure, on his arm.  Responding, he moved closer to her, smelt the subtle perfumes, entranced.  As they moved away from the bar the bartender swept away the drink with a wry smile.

“Where can we go?” he asked, a quiver in his voice.

She answered with a smile that shivered his soul, and slowly licked her lips.  Then turned, as he watched – but not for long – as she swayed out through a door marked ‘PRIVATE’.  Without hesitation, he followed.   Through the door lay a set of steps, leading downwards.  A warm, dim glow lit the stairs, and reflected from her golden hair.

His breathing became short now and he hurried forward, filled with anticipation and desire.  Yet, he did not anticipate the figures that appeared behind him, and seizing him in their strong hands threw him across the cellar floor and onto the low altar that lay in the center of the cellar.  Other, hooded ones took him, and bound him spread-eagled on the stone. Gently, they took his clothes, and left him naked. Wildly, he looked around as the hooded figures began to sway and move around the altar as they chanted in a strange tongue.  His bowels loosened as She approached, crowned now with ivy, raising the sacrificial knife above her head, filled with anticipation and desire.

I asked Will what prompted this piece and he said…

In the summer of 2011 I was lucky enough to join a weekly flash fiction competition on the Authonomy authors’ website.  The judging panel was the other writers who entered the competition, and the only prize the experience of writing a completely new short story every week for three months.  But what a prize that was…this was one of them.  Some of the other writers liked it.  I hope that you do.

I did. 🙂 Thank you, Will.

Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz. He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office.

Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job. He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing”.

His publisher’s website is www.safkhetpublishing.com. You can read my interview with Will here.

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with crime novelist Ann Cleeves – the five hundredth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Bailey’s Writing Tips short stories ep.014

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number 14 was released today. This is a monthly series tucked in between hints & tips or red pen critique sessions.

With the occasional exception, these are the flash fictions that have appeared on my blog as ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’, reading out three per fortnight. Today’s are Her reflection calls her Tess (925 words) by Kimberly Gray, The Picture (418 words) by Will Macmillan-Jones and Sacrament (831 words) by Travis Eaton.

I don’t critique them but simply reading them out and I hope you enjoy this format.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

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Kimberly possesses such a strong desire to reach people.  To reach them in a capacity people will trust she is sincere.  That brought on the donation of time she spends donating much of her writing to charity and the time consuming column of dear addict. Quite insecure about the quality of her work, she finds it is improving so much over the years the awards were well-deserved. It is not easy for her and at times, mental illness can take over and not allow her to write.  She always says it is the mental illness that gifts her with the imagination to be able to write. She certainly is determined and has much fun working hard, regardless of the task. Still loving being the best pillow fighter, holding the best title for champion, 3 years running now.

She can be found at (are you sitting comfortably?)… Sunnie Day’s feature, Kimberlyslyrics, Smashwords, Prey, Dear addict, lyricsingray, Hubbie, Top 200, 800 days 1st feature, 2nd feature, one of four blogs, SligoBay and bbnix. She can also be reached via email: lyrics@rogers.com and I’ll put all the links on this episode’s page on my blog (I’ll give the details for that after these biographies).

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Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz.

He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office.

Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job.

He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing” and he can also be found at www.thebannedunderground.weebly.com and his publisher’s website is www.safkhetpublishing.com.

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Travis is a 33 year old living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is currently studying Professional Writing & Editing at TAFE which he says is “the poorer equivalent to University”. Sounds good to me. His blog is http://traviseaton.wordpress.com.

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That’s it for this week. Thank you for listening to this new short story episode. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to bringing you another in a month. In the meantime, the next episode will be either a red pen critique or hints and tips. All the links mentioned in these shows are listed on the podcast short stories page of this blog.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on this podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Flash Fiction Friday 46: Blank. Screen Blues. by Will Macmillan-Jones

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the forty-sixth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 407-worder by comic fantasy (“and a little horror”) author and interviewee Will Macmillan-Jones.

Blank. Screen Blues.

I should be working.

Oh god, we need the money, and I should be working.

What is wrong with me these days?

I don’t seem to work, just stare into this blank screen.

I looked in the fridge this morning, and it’s not as full as I would like.  OK, there’s some milk left that the kids didn’t use this morning on their cereals before they went to school.  At least they didn’t miss the school bus – that would have been a nightmare, I’m not sure that there’s enough money left in the bank to put the petrol in the car that would drive them all that way.

At least there’s some stuff in the freezer, they won’t starve tonight, although she will say some pretty nasty things to me about their diet.  Can’t leave them on frozen chips every night, their brains will implode, or explode, or something.

Oh sweet god, I need to work, to do something that will bring a shekel or two through the door.  At least I managed to hide that last letter from the credit card company, and the bank statement.  They came when she wasn’t here.  Not that she’d gone shopping or anything, there isn’t the money for that, she’d just gone round to her mate’s house, to get warm for a change, have some proper coffee instead of this cheap rubbish we get now.

And complain about how I never seem to do any real work now.

But it’s not easy.  Maybe there’s a support group?  Could I get some help?

There’s only one sort of help I feel as if I need right now, though.

Actually, there’s two.  The second one’s a lottery win, or someone throwing some money at me.  Last week I found ten quid in the street, someone had dropped it.  It was great for a moment, just to hold some real money again, but it didn’t last long.

It’s not as if there isn’t anything I can do.  Over there, the other side of the desk, if I did that for Jim, he’d pay me, I know.  Maybe not today though, and today I can’t focus.

God, I need to do that work.  We so need the money.

But I’m sat here in front of this blank screen and all I can think of is filling it, with some drivel probably, because it’s the weekly Flash Fiction Competition – again.  And I’ve got Writer’s Block.

I asked Will what prompted this piece and he said…

In the summer of 2011 I was lucky enough to join a weekly flash fiction competition on the Authonomy authors’ website.  The judging panel was the other writers who entered the competition, and the only prize the experience of writing a completely new short story every week for three months.  But what a prize that was… this was one of them.  Some of the other writers liked it.  I hope that you do.

I did. 🙂 Thank you, Will.

Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz. He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office.

Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job.

He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing”.

His publisher’s website is www.safkhetpublishing.com.

You can read my interview with Will here.

***

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with the four hundred and fifty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast – short stories episode no.12

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘short stories’ episode number twelve went live today, Monday 18th June.

I’ve been starting off the first few weeks with the flash fiction that have appeared on my blog as ‘Flash Fiction Fridays’, reading out three per fortnight. Do email me (morgen@morgenbailey.com) should you like to submit your own. The podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

This episode’s were Bowed out (742 words) by novelist and short story author Marc Nash, Hachette (582 words) by comic fantasy (“and a little horror”) author Will Macmillan-Jones and Over by me, Morgen Bailey.

See the links above to read the stories… or hear my dulcet tones on the podcast.

Marc Nash is London born, bred and resident. He says he’s always resorted to the written word, thinking himself an observer by temperament. After a brief adolescent delusion that he could write lyrics, he passed over into writing stage plays for 10 years from University onwards and then when his twin boys arrived in the world meaning he couldn’t really hang around theatre bars at night, he tried his hand at prose fiction. His blog is www.sulcicollective.blogspot.com, he’s @21stCscribe on Twitter and is very active there. He has a couple of websites on the novels, http://marcnash.weebly.com and http://marcnashNIMN.weebly.com as well as a YouTube channel with 17 literature related videos (just type in sulci collective into the search function).

Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz. He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office. Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job. He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing” and he can also be found at www.thebannedunderground.weebly.com.

I’m Morgen With An E, a writer of over 7 years (although I do remember writing a story about an ampersand when young and dabbling with limericks in my 20s, although I’ve always had my head in a book; formerly Stephen King but my tastes have softened somewhat… to crime and humour). I’m passionate about the craft, and wanted to share with you my knowledge and experience gleaned to-date, having studied under the tutorledge of Sally Spedding, Judith AllnattSue Moorcroft, Joanna Barnden, Jane Adams, and Myra Schneider, amongst many others (I love going to workshops and conferences) and most recently Helen M Hunt. I write fiction, mainly short stories and novels with some poetry, and have been published in the UK, and rejected in the UK and overseas. I’ve written four and a bit novels (three for NaNoWriMo) and the ‘bit’ is a conversion of my Script Frenzy 2010 script which I’ll continue at some stage. I post three to four items a day here (including interviews, guest blogs, author spotlights, flash fiction and poetry), have eBooks on Amazon and Smashwords including free eShort stories, the $0.99 Story a Day May 2011 collection I mentioned earlier and a 1,000 sentence start writer’s block workbook (which also includes over 50 weekly tips), again on Smashwords for $0.99.

 

Thank you for downloading / listening to this short story episode – I hope you enjoyed it. The next episode will be a hints & tips episode in a fortnight (when I’ll be talking about eBooks) then the short stories return a fortnight thereafter.

All the details of these episodes are listed on the podcast page of this blog and my email address to submit a short story for critique (or reviews for the Short Story Saturdays, mentioned below) is morgen@morgenbailey.com.

The podcast itself is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Flash Fiction Friday 39: The Picture by Will Macmillan-Jones

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the thirty-ninth piece of flash fiction in this series. This week’s is a 418-worder by comic fantasy (“and a little horror”) author and interviewee Will Macmillan-Jones.

The Picture

The Picture hung in the window of an art gallery in the arcade.  Every day, on my way to and from the office, I walked through the arcade with its myriad of tiny exotic shops on my way to and back from the station.  As the arcade was narrow, and roofed with curved glass for natural light, the images of the passers by merged with the reflections of the goods on sale in the various windows.  Sometimes I had fun with the curved glass, making silly faces that bounced backwards and forwards across the street, from shop window to shop window.  Other shoppers would snigger at me, but I sometimes caught them doing the same.

But whenever I reached the art gallery, I would stop, and peer at the portrait of a young girl.  She was pictured in the first flush of her beauty, a sweet smile on her lips, her head lowered slightly so that she seemed almost to peer upwards through her auburn hair.  Her dress swelled and flowed, and when the light twisted, to me, she seemed almost to move.

The label below the frame said, simply, ‘Portrait of a girl’, with no artist listed.  I did go into the shop to enquire, but the price – well let’s just say it would take me a long time to earn that much, let alone spend it on a painting by an unknown artist, however captivating.  For it was captivating, at least to me.  I found after a week or so that I couldn’t walk back to the station without passing the gallery.  If I tried, I felt uneasy, insecure, and when I got home I had no appetite and slept indifferently, and with disturbing dreams.

At last, I decided that I must break this spell, and stayed away from the arcade for a week.  A whole week, it felt like a lifetime.  Then, following a very long day in the office, I was hurrying to catch the last train home.  A violent storm raged the heavens, rain and wind battered the glass of the arcade, as I followed the damp footsteps of the last hurrying commuter.  Rounding the corner, I glimpsed a figure that moved against the glass of the arcade, and seemed to shimmer.  Panting, I followed the foot prints that led towards the glass – and stopped.  The footprints led through the glass, and I shook to see the girl gaze adoringly into the eyes of a lover.  ‘Portrait of a couple’ read the label.

I asked Will what prompted this piece and he said…

In the summer of 2011 I was lucky enough to join a weekly flash fiction competition on the Authonomy authors’ website.  The judging panel was the other writers who entered the competition, and the only prize the experience of writing a completely new short story every week for three months.  But what a prize that was… this was one of them.  Some of the other writers liked it.  I hope that you do.

I did (it’s really sad). Thank you, Will. I’ve been writing a short story a day since May 1st (for Story a Day May then 5pm Fiction) and I’m loving it. 🙂

Will is a fifty-something lover of blues, rock and jazz.

He presently lives in South Wales, and has just fulfilled a lifetime ambition by extending his bookcases to fill one entire wall of his home office.

Working as a professional tax consultant, he writes to escape the stultifying boredom of his job.

He has an irregular blog, www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com where he “rambles incoherently about writing” and he can also be found at www.thebannedunderground.weebly.com.

His publisher’s website is www.safkhetpublishing.com. You can read my interview with Will here and with Safkhet publishers Kim & Will Sutton and their authors Sheryl Browne and Bruce Moore.

If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with publisher Ilaria Meliconi – the four hundred and second of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.