About Rumple_deWriter


I have been a country grocery store clerk, oil field roustabout, infantry soldier, paper pusher, out-of-work, and a newspaper columnist. I am now trying to add published novelist to my resume. My short fiction has appeared in: WORKERS WRITE: Tales From the Clinic (SS anthology), NIBBLER, ABSOLUTE WRITE (newletter article) ROSE & THORN, DEADMULE, USADS, NEW WORKS REVIEW, CHICK FLICKS, MUSCADINE LINES, and LONG STORY SHORT. LSS also ran an excerpt of my second novel, WE DANCED TO RAY CHARLES, a coming-of-age love story that was named a Faulkner competition semi-finalist and a finalist by the Santa Fe Writer's Project contest.

edited to add: Since joining SS, 've lost all sight in my one remaining eye due to a detached retina. Could be worse. At least I no longer have to look at myself in the mirror each morning. Interests

Relationship Status:
lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction, Arizona, United States
Local Time:
20 Feb 2019 07:15
writing, sports, reading
Favorite Books:
most of the good 'uns
Favorite Authors:
a bunch of the good 'un
Favorite Movies:
Favourite TV Shows:
news and sports
Favorite Music:
anything but rap and atonal


Date Joined:
24 Aug 2011
Last Visit:
19 Feb 2019 (11 hours ago)
Page Viewed:
7,309 times
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Latest Forum Posts More forum posts »

Topic: Challenges and Prompts
Posted: 12 Feb 2019 05:00

If the next contest is something along the lines of, 'Threadjack of the Year' this sucker will win hands down, imo. ;)

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Topic: Challenges and Prompts
Posted: 07 Feb 2019 07:27

Two Challenges To Prompt Your Imagination - sorta

Those folks wary of traveling to the top of the forums page may have missed the two challenges now available in the 'Challenges and Prompts' (just for fun) forum.

The 'Time Warp'' challenge is for stories in any category, up to 5,000 words.
The Describe the Singer one is for micro fiction.

No pressure, no deadline. Each challenge has its own entry guidelines, including word limit.

So far, nine brave souls have taken on the 'Singer' challenge while 'Time Warp' is well represented but the exact number of entries is beyond me -- among many other things.

Anyway, take a look at the 'Challenges and Prompts' forum and give both of them a try. You have now been officially challenged. ;)

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Topic: Calls for Themed Submissions
Posted: 04 Feb 2019 07:46

Excerpted from the free online newsletter of, Authors Publish -- highly recommended.

Carina Press: Holiday 2019 Proposals
This is a call for proposals for romance novels on the Holiday theme. They want contemporary romances set against holidays that fall from October to January. Holidays celebrated by all different faiths, belief systems and cultures are included, as are Christmas stories. The books do not need to be set in the US. They welcome #ownvoices stories, as well as LGBTQ+ and poly pairings. Writers need to send a query letter, a synopsis and an extract. Carina is a digital-first imprint of Harlequin.
Deadline: 27 February 2019
Length: A minimum of the first 7,500 words of the work in progress for the proposal; the actual novel is to be at least 50,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Darkhouse Books: What We Talk About When We Talk About It: Variations on the Theme of Love
They want poetry and prose on this very broad theme. Their guidelines say, “What is love, anyhow? You can love your partner, your friend, your country, your dog, cat, rat, your local library, your family, yourself. You can love money, liquor, food, wilderness, or the dive bar on the corner. What does love make people do? What will people give for it? What will they steal?” For this issue they lean towards the literary while welcoming all genres. Also see this page for their anthologies on other themes, with other deadlines.
Deadline: 28 February 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: Royalties
Details here.

Uncanny Magazine: The Disabled People Destroy Fantasy
They want fantasy stories from writers who identify themselves as disabled; identity is what matters for this issue (see this essay on their website, Disabled Enough). Their guidelines say, “We’re looking for immediate and visceral tales of danger, fun and inventive adventures, and fateful journeys to distant lands or to the dragon’s lair in your own backyard. We’re looking for intricate, challenging tales with gorgeous prose, verve, and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs.” They do not require stories to explore issues relating to disability, although those are welcome. They are also looking for essays that explore the relationship between fantastical literature and disability, and will accept pitches or fully written essays. They also accept poetry.
Deadline: 28 February 2019
Length: 750-6,000 words for fiction, 1,000-2,500 words for essays,
Pay: $0.08/word for fiction; $60 for essays; $30 for poetry
Details here.

Tell-Tale Press: Creatures
They want fantasy, horror, mystery and science fiction stories about creatures: animals, insects, arachnids, dinosaurs, aliens, monsters, cryptids, legends, mythical, or mythological. They want writers to think outside the box. The stories can be about vampires or aliens, werewolves or unicorns, but these must be new and fresh, something that hasn’t been thought of before or hasn’t been worked with much. They will be accepting one novelette-length work.
Deadline: 4 March 2019
Length: 500-10,000 words (see guidelines)
Pay: $5-25; $50 for novelette
Details here.

Hippocampus Magazine: Ink
This creative nonfiction magazine is publishing an anthology that will celebrate print media—magazines and newspapers—from the pre-digital age. Their guidelines say, “We want to hear stories from all parts of these operations, from the newsroom to production. We want to hear from those who worked for small town papers and big city dailies. We want to hear about how these publications built community, impacted change, celebrated local milestones, or mourned national tragedies. We want to hear how people chased stories, and we’re interested in the stories behind those with the bylines. We want to hear how your printed words made a difference—as well as how your career affected you.” They do not want individual reflection per se, but rather compelling essays with a clear narrative arc.
Deadline: 30 March 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words
Pay: $25
Details here

Highlights Magazine: Several themes
This is a general-interest magazine for children ages 6-12. They are currently interested in short stories on these themes: historical fiction set during periods other than World War II, mystery stories featuring boy protagonists, humorous stories featuring girl protagonists, sports stories for younger readers featuring girl protagonists, science fiction, graphic (comic-book format) stories, stories set in countries outside the US (currently do not need stories that focus on food traditions), holiday stories (especially Thanksgiving and Easter; do not need Christmas or Halloween stories). For poetry, they currently need short verse (up to 10 lines), especially non-rhyming and/or humorous poetry; they aren’t accepting poems with nature or seasonal themes or poems about dogs at this time. They also publish puzzles, articles, and activities.
Deadline: Unspecified
Length: Up to 750 words for fiction (see guidelines)
Pay: $175 and up for fiction and nonfiction, $75 and up for My Sci submissions, $40 and up for poetry, crafts and puzzles
Details here.

Topic: Story Openings; the good, the bad, and the pitiful
Posted: 01 Feb 2019 19:24

“The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.”

'Milkman,' by Anna Burns

Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 26 Jan 2019 15:33

Afternoon, Larry. Having been born with two left feet, just the idea of a four-hour dance workshop makes me woozy.

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Topic: Challenge: describe the singer
Posted: 25 Jan 2019 08:36

Curvy, there's no need to know anything about her. Just use Google Images to pull up a lot of photos and take it from there.

What I was most interested in was how folks would describe a fictional character who, like her, might not be a classic 'beauty' but is considered cute and sexy in an appealing non-threatening way.

Whether you give it a try or not, I'd really appreciate your input.

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Topic: Challenge: describe the singer
Posted: 24 Jan 2019 15:35

Anna, there are no hard and fast rules to that challenge, mainly because I couldn't find any guidelines for challenges. Ronstadt was picked because she had a long career and because she is one of those individuals who, while not classically beautiful or handsome are sexy and I wondered how other writers might describe that condition.

If you have more questions or ideas for improving the challenge, pass 'em along.

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Topic: Challenge: describe the singer
Posted: 23 Jan 2019 19:17

Hi ya, Fate, and welcome back!

Sorry about muddying the waters. My thought was to have each challenge response have a similar title so they'd be easy to find but with a unique tag to make it, well, unique. The first thing to occur to me was the writer's SS name (handle). However, dang near anything else will do the job.

Since you're a caffine addict, be sure to stop by the 'Inspiration Coffee Shop' in 'The Break Room' forum.

note: I'll swear on a stack of Strunk & White's 'Elements of Style' that I posted a similar reply a few minutes ago. Just mentioning that in case you get two heading your way.

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Topic: Challenge: describe the singer
Posted: 23 Jan 2019 17:42

The challenge is simple: Using the prompt as a guideline, describe in 100 words or less, the singer as if she was a character in your short story.

Prompt: With no fanfare, the singer steppes onto the small, dimly lighted stage and slips through the band members until she reaches the microphone stand. The moment she taps on the mike's grill, a bright spotlight illuminates her from head to toe. "Hi," she says, "waving to the suddenly hushed audience. "I'm Linda Ronstadt," and begins to sing.

That's the challenge: describe Linda Ronstadt at some point in her career facing an unknown audience in an undefined setting, and do this in 100 words or less not counting the prompt which need not be included.

Submit your response to Story Space Microfiction with the title, "Challenge: Name the singer -- along with your handle

Post any questions, reprimands or words of wisdom here.


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Topic: Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted: 02 Jan 2019 09:14

Fuzzy, when it comes to being clueless and out of the loop, if I'm not in a class by myself, it sure don't take long to call the roll. That said, in the last few weeks, I've heard nothing about a new contest. That includes any scuttlebutt on the 'Mod Forum'. Maggie and others have indicated that another contest might be a possibility somehow, someday but, to the best of my limited knowledge, there have been no ongoing discussions.

BTW, hope you got that kettle of hot water you asked for last year. ;)

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Stories Published By Rumple_deWriter All Stories »

Challenge: Linda Ronstadt -- RdW

“You guys are nuts.” The Skeptic was in rare form as the four men studied the petite singer flitting around on the dim stage.   “I mean, sure she’s cute, but in a small-town high school cheerleader sort of way. No way is she this smoking’ hot sex object you guys keep raving about. But…”   The Skeptic stopped as the singer approached the microphone stand. Waited for A bright spotlight...

Added 05 Feb 2019 | Category Micro Fiction | Votes 8 | Avg Score 5 | Views 556 | 8 Comments

How To Be A Happy Hooker: musings on openings in literature

For the benefit of any unsuspecting reader, let me state now that this is NOT an article about how one might become a contented courtesan or smiling strumpet. Nope, not even a titillated trollop. Sorry about any confusion, honest. Truth be told, this assault on good taste and English letters is concerned with the fine art of creating attention grabbing hooks in the opening lines of your...

Added 18 Dec 2018 | Category Musings | Votes 11 | Avg Score 5 | Views 271 | 7 Comments

Now and Forever

Now and Forever: a love story The dream was back--so were the eyes. They hovered in an angry sky just above the horizon, seeing everything but focusing on nothing. Amy knew those eyes—knew a time when they’d been filled with happiness and a love of life. But that had been before her brother came back from Vietnam. Young, naked, and skinny, she stood alone and vulnerable on a hill surrounded...

Added 14 Aug 2018 | Category Romance | Votes 8 | Avg Score 5 | Views 208 | 5 Comments

All about the nice VA lady and a new iPhone

How’s by you, Grady Lee? Funniest thing happened yesterday. This nice lady from the Veterans Administration stopped by and said what I really needed, I mean with my having gone from hard of seeing to being blinder than any known bat, was one of those so-called smart Apple iPhones. I told her I knew a bit about the thing, how you made gestures to work it, and let her know I'd been...

Added 04 Aug 2018 | Category Flash Fiction | Votes 14 | Avg Score 5 | Views 325 | 12 Comments

The New Patient

On a hot Friday afternoon in the summer of 1970, a young nursing student left work at the VA hospital, and hurried out to the nearby bus stop on First Avenue. The usual stop-and-go Friday traffic appeared to be stuck on stop. From the open windows of a gypsy cab came the sound of an all-news station. “In other national news, a Defense Department spokesman said 18,000 of the 31,000 US...

Added 28 Feb 2018 | Category Flash Fiction | Votes 12 | Avg Score 5 | Views 501 | 10 Comments

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch. 12, Love on The Levee

   The official plan, as carefully explained to all parental units, had called for Amy and Libby to share a motel room. The guys would stay with Mark’s roommate who was supposed to be in summer school. In reality, Mark’s roommate had just flunked out. And no one questioned that Bob and Libby would have the motel room to themselves. Once they were dropped off, Mark and Amy headed for...

Added 01 Nov 2017 | Category General | Votes 2 | Avg Score 5 | Views 685 | 2 Comments

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch 11, Journey South

  Alexandria, a small, nondescript city on the Red River in central Louisiana, is the symbolic checkpoint separating the state’s French, Catholic south from its Scots-Irish, Protestant north. In the pre-interstate days, a two-lane highway weaved its way south from town toward Baton Rouge. A picturesque, tree-lined bayou flanked one side of the road. On the other side were pastures and a...

Added 18 Oct 2017 | Category General | Votes 3 | Avg Score 5 | Views 457 | 4 Comments

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch 10, Moonlight and Revelations

 The phone wouldn't stop ringing. Amy, sitting at the table on the other side of the kitchen, eating a bologna-on-white-with-mayonnaise sandwich and heading into what she sensed would be one of the   steamier parts of,"The Carpetbaggers," tried to ignore the noise, though she couldn’t help wondering what had happened to her sister who always tried to beat everyone else to the phone. Jan...

Added 09 Oct 2017 | Category General | Votes 5 | Avg Score 5 | Views 500 | 5 Comments

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch 09, Darrell's Disaster

Delmar Bullock wasn’t impressed, not one little bit. The three young farts standing just inside the door to his storage shed didn’t seem good for much, most of all a Klan job. At first, they tried to act cocky like this was no big deal. But none of  ‘em said a word after seeing the cross he put together that afternoon. He wondered why Jack Boudreaux, who always worried about security...

Added 25 Sep 2017 | Category General | Votes 5 | Avg Score 5 | Views 434 | 5 Comments

Dancing to Ray Charles: Ch 08, Boudreaux Family Values

  “Hey, good lookin’, what ya got cookin’ tonight?” At the sound of Darrell Ray’s cocky, teasing voice, Bebe gave him an unhurried glance. Then she took her time putting away an unread folder, turning off the fluorescent desk light and covering the typewriter. When everything was in order, she leaned back and met his gaze. It was way past the lumberyard’s two o’clock Saturday closing time....

Added 18 Sep 2017 | Category Drama | Votes 4 | Avg Score 5 | Views 364 | 5 Comments

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