• Lit by K McLain
    Dare I forget—
    ever-faltering, ever-fumbling, a weak-willed
    votive nursing huddled flame,  I
    owe my flickered heaving breath to you.
    Too much in tandem, we snuff each other; too little and
    I dw […]

    • An interesting metaphor. Can one carry it all the way out? Does it eventually consume itself, or does it somehow replenish itself? It certainly makes one think.

    • The consuming devotion between a wick and a flame is definitely something to ponder. It’s way more abundant than we care to observe, or dare to admit.

      I like the classical phrasing and the very interesting choice of words. Lovely Poem.

    • I love this comparison of devotion to that of a candle, give too much and you burn out, give too little and you burn out, but achieve the right balance and the candle burns bright, “need unspoken, desire unspent and Love unquenched.” This is lovely.

    • Great poem. I love the metaphor. The candle burning itself out or snuffing each other’s in an unfulfilled relationship that we try so hard at.

      Much food for thought as to where we spend our energy.

      I like the rhythm of this piece and the images you paint in my mind of a struggling flame – ever-faltering, ever-fumbling, a weak-willed

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Ex Astra by K McLain


    Transmission Received from Quadrant 023.6552. ¡•ø†´ƒ∆∫


    I send this in case you decide to look for me.  I probably don’t deserve it, since I took the family orbital craft […]

    • Humorous and fun to read. I guess teenagers are the same across the universe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dear K McLain,
      Thank you for sharing your story. It was entertaining and fit the prompt perfectly. For a short story of 500 words, a transmission “help” message was a good idea. I enjoyed that it was a role reversal of an alien abduction. The flow of the story was easy to follow and it contains some good science fiction in it.
      Good luck with future work!
      Karisa Dubuque

  • Free and easy–I liked the feel of this piece, especially the phrase “checked that square.” Neatly written and clever.

  • Enjoyable…I laughed out loud at the “eating a sandwich meat first” line, and can’t get ‘limerick or a sonnet, Bro get on it” out of my head. Just a fun batch of lines…nice job!

  • Funny dropped rhyme at the end–it feels like a lot of us wrote about the process of writing rhyme this month. Clever and fun…

  • Nicely done–tough to keep the same rhyme going in all lines, but you did it well. Whimsical, almost Seussish, I wondered what took the writer to Toulouse in the first place?

    Good job!

  • Poetaster Laureate by K McLain


    Demanding deadlines, I must confess

    stoke a writer’s desperate distress

    with wordless terror, speechless shame 

    that stitches mouths shut, makes pens go lame.

    No, muses ar […]

    • You have some great imagery in here. I particularly like these lines:

      Ink torrents flush forth onto the page 
      surges of swollen, pregnant verbiage.

      Oddly enough I wrote about a missing muse too. Took a slightly different approach. Very much enjoyed your version.

    • Oh the struggle when the Muse won’t rise! But somehow she did show up beautifully in this rhyme, to help you express the duress caused by her silence and fickle behavior! You’ve touched on the universal writers’ battle to create words on the page in the face of a deadline. Well done! Great imagery and word choice. Excellent rhythm to carry the reader along.

    • Hello, You made it, made it all rhyme and with some style. I particularly liked your line: ‘I sculpt the vacuum, bend void to form’. Well done and thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Terrific ending–what is fascinating here is the way you use dialogue so well to world-build. Even for someone who is unfamiliar with the story, I found myself able to follow the magical concepts you created in a way that felt real and made me suspend disbelief. Some of that is the use of plain language, some the reactions of the characters…[Read more]

  • Thank you! Trying to be more visceral in some of my writing. Grounding it in earthy, life and death things seems to help.

  • Don’t think I deserve the term ‘masterclass’ but I greatly appreciate your comments. Seasonal change deserves the credit. Something about this time of year, the skeletal trees, nighttime noises, promise of winter…

  • Awesome! Thanks for reading and commenting–I am looking at that McCullers story right now!

  • Characterization stands out for me in this story–I’m not familiar with any of the other sections of the story, but I found this piece immersive by itself. Each of the characters came alive in the telling and made me want to read more. Great job!

  • Many thanks! It was fun to write, thinking about cthonic things long underground (or maybe deep inside?). A few scenes had percolated for a bit, but it mostly came together a couple of days ago when I spent an evening listening to stuff rustling around in the woods. Autumn’s an easy time to spook yourself…;)

  • One of the things I like best about this piece is the way the narrator’s voice disarmed me: his rambling digressions about this and that left me unprepared for the otherworldliness lurking around the corner. Clever way to dial up the suspense without the reader even realizing…

    This is a super story. I like that you took the notion of…[Read more]

  • I’ve said this before, but I enjoy the way your stories feel strange in the best possible way. There’s always a lot going on, gritty characters who are usually not trustworthy, mysticism that intrudes on reality and often a protagonist swept up in it all. Lots of great images, but this one stuck out for me: “mosquitos whined, cars hooted,…[Read more]

  • Great take on the prompt! Clever execution, and setting the story in the lifestyle of a “picker” lent the narrative an aura of realism. I especially like the care you took to bring the details of the antique wish machine to life. NIce job!

  • Cool story–I like the premise and the way you deliver it via the handyman looking for a flat to rent. It works as a nice contrast of the physical and commonplace with the uncanny and invisible. I also like the Catholicism woven into the narrative, and I think there’s room for a lot more of that, perhaps in Tim’s musings to himself.

    You…[Read more]

  • Many thanks! I tend to gravitate to the odd more than the grotesque, but this is what the muse brought this month.

  • Haha–thank you! Fall chill and all the things that go along with it rolled in for good where I am. Felt like the right kind of story for October.

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K McLain


active 1 week, 2 days ago
Short Story balance: 2
Poetry balance: 3
WTC balance: 3