• A brisk autumn breeze diverts filthy pirate stench from my nose.

    Unforgiving waves strike against the hull of our rowboat, causing freezing saltwater to splash my face and bite my eyes. Every sudden burst is a […]

    • Hi Maria,
      I love pirate stories set in fantastical world and now you’ve added fairies, a male one, making it superb. Your storytelling is a joy to read as you use dialogue to lead the way. And since it’s pirates talking, I’d suggest giving the Captain a little more accent and lingo to bring his “piraty-talk” out.
      I am now wondering what will happen to Calico. I’ll look for your next scene as I am now hooked. ~ Astrid

    • Hi Maria,

      What I liked: The whole narrative. What’s not to like about pirates, magic, murder, adventure… especially when it’s well written. The pirates are casually blood-thirsty and that adds an edge to every encounter with them. The mythology about male fairies and wizards and the war over them is cool and original.

      What I think needs some work: I agree with Astrid. If you’re going to have the pirates talk like “Pirates” then I think the should ALL talk like pirates and ALL the time. In the interest of not having them all sound like the same pack of scurvy dogs, you could limit the dialogue of those scoundrels who are lower down the command hierarchy. They aren’t military, but they are structured. You could also have a pirate or two who is better educated, foreign born, or just not from around here, so they don’t indulge in the vernacular. Almost like people living in Louisiana. Some speak English, some speak French, some speak Creole, some speak a pidgin stew of all of it.

      Nice work here. Looking forward to following this story.


    • This is awesome! I love tales of magic and mayhem and this tale drew me in completely. Forgot I was only reading one scene. I love it. Well done!

    • Hi Maria,
      One heck of a magical story! I really like the Peter Pan vibes that I got while I read it. I liked your characterisations especially that of the Captain. The entire theory surrounding fairies and male fairies was an engrossing read.
      The second half of the story took me by surprise. The captain must have very specific use for Calico, because the end kind of shook me. I would really want to see if a boy that brave would agree to accept the tutelage of a pirate who just murdered his mother in front of his eyes. Waiting for more! Thank you for sharing!

    • I love it, super enchanting! What a great story to introduce male fairies. I enjoyed reading/listening to the pirate talk. This was a good description, “Unforgiving waves strike against the hull of our rowboat, causing freezing saltwater to splash my face and bite my eyes,” I could feel the sting. I enjoyed seeing the story through the pov of someone that seems to be a villain. Whisper von Fleet, great name. I can’t wait to see what happens with Calico. Something to think about, it would be cool if Calico and his mom put up a fight or ran. It would make the readers feel more attached to him and his mom, and very disappointed when they get caught.

    • Strong story, really enjoyed reading it.

  • Sizzle, a maestro Wizard, Luca a fallen King, Freckle, a court magician, and Milo, a half-wit first-mate, have nothing in common except one obligation, to rescue the women they love and admire from Carcerale […]

    • Ohhhh a lot of intrigue and convoluted plotting. Excellent. Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

    • This sounds like a lot of fun. I love a good fantasy tale. Good luck! Looking forward to reading more of it.

    • Hi, Maria Sorry only got to read a partial scene. It looks interesting and will check back to read the remainder. Like the characters: Whisper and Sizzle are great names for characters. Thanks, Sharon

    • I love that you gave us a plot. (I wish I could plot!) Way to suck us in! This sounds like it’s going to be an epic fantasy! I can’t wait to read more!

    • Nice story outline, I am looking forward to find out who’s HIM and who’s the hero!

    • Very interesting, I would love to see how your story unfolds.
      Some things that came to my mind.
      Why doesn’t Whisper want the women to come out the water, won’t Heads and Tails be dead? Sizzle, Luca, Freckle and the magicians want to take their women out the water because Heads and Tails will be dead right?
      Is Whisper a Villian? You don’t have to answer those questions. That’s just what I was thinking.

  • Freckle didn’t extend an invite to the funeral reception. No surprise, since the festivities happen in the Ballroom. One fairy in the castle is enough. Once the King’s men lowered Darius’s casket into the earth […]

    • Hi Maria,

      Season’s greetings.

      I love this and feel it has legs to go the distance.
      Your words have a flare… “as the Air fairies dance ballet amongst the goldenrod stalks.”

      A few thoughts:

      I do love the character names. Only one small consideration. Early in the piece, you mention “Dawn” is coming.
      While this is a reference to early morning, it might be read as another character. Consider adding more than just a reference to “dawn”.
      Maybe “… heralding another day” or some such.

      This part might be better as 1 longer sentence. Perhaps “…surrounding area; a signal fire fairies…”

      Instead of “for even Cimulldure to fantom”, do you mean “for even Cimulldure to fathom”?

      Make the story goal clear, at the outset, and keep your characters busy either in support of it or against it.

      This feels like a good one in the making.


  • wisdom, my motivation to scribble
    i embrace, pen in hand, and drift away
    trespassing thoughts, and harassing dribble
    with my words pure freedom is here to stay
    all relationships meet, judgment moment
    fresh […]

    • a beautiful self revealing personal poem .Deep feelings expressed

    • Hi Maria, wow you chose to write a sonnet, amazing. I find them so hard and dread it when Mia makes us write one a year. This was really well done and I really liked your last two lines – full of hope and strength. Thanks for sharing:)

    • Great poem Maria. I love the power in the last verse of resurrection from a forgotten and neglected self in order to please others. The message in your words is very strong.

      Sometimes we need to let things or people go so that we can grow.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Maria,
      Goodness me, an out-of-season sonnet. Well done. My favourite line: ‘staying here with you, it’s myself i lost’. Brilliant.

    • Hi Maria
      Very daring and equally beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • A brisk autumn breeze diverts filthy pirate stench from my nose.

    Unforgiving waves strike against the hull of our rowboat, causing freezing saltwater to splash my face and bite my eyes. Every sudden burst is a […]

    • Whoa !
      I lurv a good fantasy and this is a good one!
      I was captivated by the story,as much as those scurvy pirates and the ending has me wondering what Whisper has got up his sleeves- hope this expands into a full length novel.

      Perhaps my only crit is to inject more suspense into the first half,where he tells the legend of boy fairies , use more dramatic,descriptive writing inbetween all the dialogue to create a darker,forboding atmosphere.

      Other than that small finessing, I loved it!

    • Great imagery to open with – I love the sea biting the MC’s eyes. You draw the crew vividly too and the MC’s appearance is subtly revealed. I agree with Kim, you could sprinkle some seeds of what’s to come to build the suspense. But the ending was chilling – particularly the reference to the mother as a vessel. I wonder if Calico will ever trust Whisper enough to learn from him!

    • Hi Maria,

      I have read this in another forum but enjoyed it once more.
      I’m delighted you are pressing on with this adventure.

      Did “The boat fell silent” or did the crew in the boat fall silent?
      Instead of “An eager young pirate yells”, could this pirate have a name and be the person whom the MC directs most of his story?
      Perhaps “for as long as this universe has existed”. I suggest adding “has” towards the end.

      If you do proceed with this as a children’s book, which I hope you do, some references may need to be revisited.
      Such as “…as men carnage, steal, and rape until Chimes voice …”

      I like where this is going.

      More, please.


  • halo of luminescence once danced above my head
    sweet innocence stolen with guiltless brevity
    light peeks through, releasing dawn. twilight has fled
    i struggle to wake from the warmth of your bed
    will today […]

    • Hi Maria,
      A beautifully written piece! A heartfelt ache of passion, hope, and uncertainty rings true. You wove these threads wonderfully and I my favorite line “if life ends this moment, will you fret for all unsaid?” Wow!

    • I love the Villanelle format and you have done this beautifully

    • 👏👏👏
      Brilliant! The lyrical rhythm of this one captivated me and held me spellbound, so good!

      Did you do two poems then? , I commented on another ‘Light’ that you submitted -also v good!

    • Hello Maria,
      Ooh, a villanelle written voluntarily. Such a difficult form. I like the story you have woven into the poem and hope all goes ok in the end for the narrator. He / she has a lot of doubt about the wisdom of the night’s passion. Great poem.

    • Love this poem Maria. The thoughts of the morning after. I love the lines you chose to repeat as we do in our heads when we ask the question of your title. I enjoyed your word choices that line up with the subject – passion, promises, cherish.

      The doubt and uncertainty is palpable, looking for a sliver of hope.

      Great work.

  • Hey, girlie!

    thanks for sticking with me! I’m bumping into walls with52/52. But I appreciate you!!!!

  • There I lay, sucking hard on the filter of a cigarette perched between my first two fingers, sprawled in the middle of Main Street, planted in front of that righteous church. The sun beat down hard and strong. […]

    • 🤣🤣
      I recall this one.

      I would change the word ‘cynical’ cry to something that evokes a feeling of wanton desire….actually dont think you need anything other than the ‘cry’ as you go on to describe it . Maybe instead of ‘coyote howling at the moon’ you could say ‘coyote howling in glorious triumph’ – as that is what she feels…not something sad and mournful.

      Still a cracker of a story , as always I enjoy your writing 🤗

    • Hey, girlie!

      thanks for sticking with me! I’m bumping into walls with52/52. But I appreciate you!!!!

    • Hey Maria and how goes it? This was super-easy to visualize (I wonder why? 😀) and you give a great sense of atmosphere with some wonderful details (‘Sour Grass County’ is a great touch.) I’m not sure you need maniacal AND evil to describe her grin though. Blowing the plume of smoke may also not need ‘sarcastically’ to qualify it. The piece works really well, in spite of these minor issues. I couldn’t stop grinning as I read. Well done and regards, Seyi

    • Hi Maria, i love the visual of your opening line….sucking on the cigarette, lying on the street and in front of the church…….would look fabulous on screen. Also really like the goosebumps rising.

      She’s not the lady that one would want their daughter to emulate but she is a gripping character that sticks in the reader’s craw. A normal woman might be sucking on three cigarettes after a romp with cowboy johnny.

    • Hey Maria,

      Great imagery and an easy flowing story.

      I agree with the previous comments.
      In addition, consider swapping out “that” from “that righteous church” with perhaps “their righteous church”.
      This small switch might set off the difference between your MC and the others.
      I would drop “all” from “They all gathered” and would work the sentence a little harder to evict the “so” that follows.
      It all adds to the power of the scene.

      Great job.


  • A brisk autumn breeze hinders filthy pirate stench from my nose.

    Unforgiving waves strike against the hull of our rowboat, causing freezing saltwater to splash my filthy face and bite my eyes. Every sudden burst […]

    • Hi Maria

      Well, there’s a lot going on here. I know a lot more about fairies and wizards and such than I ever did before. I get the Pirates of the Caribbean-esque nature of the ship and crew as they arrive onshore. Without knowing much else about your story, I thought the scene captured the essence of barbarism and historical invasions. Calico is a perfect name for him.

      Quite a startling end.


  • faded cloud-covered moon, lurks on the prowl
    a danse macabre of shadows, haunting the dim
    my demons, hungry predators, I am their prey
    bravery spills into fear, an ominous adversary
    ghosts of yesterday poll […]

    • I love this !
      your last line is the perfect wrap-up to the angst and terror that comes before it.
      Really great work Maria!

    • A great poem – the Light combating the darkness of the ego! Excellent.

    • Hi Maria
      Wonderful poem. Light overcoming all defying forces…. And some wording! I had to look up many of them. Well done and thank you.

    • Gorgeous imagery. I love the use of all the colours of the spectrum – finally resolving into ‘light’. I think we’ve all been there – battling those demons and hoping and praying that Light will win the day (literally) and we will all live to fight again.

    • Hello Maria,
      Your poem gives a chilling version of night followed by the joy of the light of day and all its colours. I’m not sure who the ‘you’ is, but it now worries me that I might have frightened my children irrationally and without realising it by reading all those bedtime stories! Well done with this powerful poem.

  • Luca Nightingale: Head Curator of The American Museum of Natural History, King of Les Amouroux Island, Queen Reign’s husband, Nala and Grey’s father

    Sizzle Calico: Captain Calico, Captain of the Sinful Abby, Top […]

  • I hear Bradley’s authoritative voice command his army of minions. “Get him!” I dash for the dirt trail behind the neighborhood. It’s the quickest route home.

    The angry pack closes in on me. Someone yells, “You ca […]

    • Nice job Maria! You create a believable world for our narrator–I can feel his loneliness. You also create a loving family that feels realistic. I especially like the dialect you gave the parents. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Maria,

      I like the top and tail approach, setting up the story then wrapping it up.
      The dialogue and speech idiosyncracies work well as does the descriptions of the chase.
      The MC is a clever kid; he avoided multiple bashing.

      I offer a couple of small points for your consideration.

      Your word choice made me think.
      Instead of “The Valeninos aren’t making the cut”, would this work better “The Valenino’s don’t make the cut”.

      I wonder about the need for repetition in the last line, ” I’m Casper, Casper the Friendly Ghost”
      Would one instance of the name work just as well?

      Truth be told, sadly there is a lot of this in our childhoods.
      Is there any truth in this submission or is it all from your imagination?

      Keep writing.


    • I dont think this is a rewrite of an oldy? I would’ve remembered I’m sure.

      3 years is an awful long time for this kid to be chased by the gang? perhaps realistically a few months ? I would love to know how this pans out the following day – does he finally get the acceptance .
      I agree with Lauren above – the dialect gives a nice Italian twang and paints the picture of the family’s roots perfectly.
      Is it Valentino’s or Valeninos? a typo there.
      I think this could be reworded to read better : She smiles, (making her entire face join in,)

      your story zipped along . giving a real-quick read and was hugely entertaining – as usual Maria!

  • Luca Nightingale:           Head Curator of The American Museum of Natural History, King of Les Amouroux Island. Queen Reign’s husband Nala and Grey’s father

    Sizzle Calico:       […]

  • try today to weep less
    crack a playful smile
    enjoy your morning coffee
    ditch those filthy cigarettes
    pass on that afternoon bourbon
    let the day steal every thought
    melt during tonight’s sunset
    twinking stars […]

    • Hi Maria,
      Whoops I nearly missed reading this one and that would have been a pity! I like the feeling of companionship the poem gives the reader, the promise of help each and every day. Not sure if this is prompted by ‘bowl’, or just a good poem to read anyway.

    • Hi Maria, this must have posted late as I had missed it. A nice, simple, sweet poem, with an important message. I feel the support here of a loved one, always there for their partner, no matter what. I like the, go to sleep – rather than wallow, idea. And the “I’ll be here for you, let’s try again tomorrow” ending. Well done.

    • Reading this I felt a comforting hand on my shoulder. Well, well done. Your words flow nicely, and reach the audience with a tender, yet powerful punch.

    • Maria – these sound like worthwhile goals.
      Thanks for writing. Maybe one small typo – “twinking” might be “twinkling”
      Wanda Lovan

    • Thanks for sharing

  • *For those who are familiar with my work, I have been taking my old stories from when I first started with Deadlines for Writers and editing them with my new knowledge. Funny, when I first wrote these pieces I […]

    • I enjoyed reading this story the first time. I think you did a good job editing it. Nicely written and fun to visit again.

    • Hi Maria. Your story is full of voluptuous sensuality and imagery. I love this line: ‘ My tail strokes my neck like a needy lover.’ Your second sentence seems a bit clumsy: ‘Blurring my vision drifts a hue of red stain,’ I think it’s too passive. ‘a drifting, hue of red stain blurs my vision’ is more active. I think you’ve switched tenses at the end of the story as well ‘A naughty girl grin crept across my face’ Should be ‘creeps across my face’. Great choice of names for the places and characters in the story. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Maria, This story pulled me in and I really liked the way you portrayed the character Bijou, giving her lots of room to grow into her role. It also made me a little sad she was not in love with Nala, but only with Calico. It seemed like a heartless way to be. Thank you for your story.

  • Wings that flutter
    colors bright
    I take a photo
    you take flight
    once a caterpillar
    now a creation
    you steal my breath
    with appreciation
    Read Maria Delaney’s work. 

    • I like the rhythm of your poem. It feels like a butterfly taking flight. I thought your poem was beautiful. Thank you.

    • I like the way you described the butterflies gentle ways. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Maria,
      Isn’t it maddening how butterflies don’t pose for the camera?! I like your rhyme and rhythm. In fact I like it all.

    • Shae replied 5 months ago

      LIke you , I have very little luck capturing a butterfly’s picture. Shae

    • Hi Maria. This is wonderful. Such an exquisite work. I loved each line. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi, Maria
      I’ve been trying to capture photos of hummingbirds at my feeders – They flit around almost as much as butterflies.
      Keep up the good writing.
      Wanda Lovan

  • Did you enjoy your funeral?

    Not in the least.

    Why not? Most do. They call it, closer.

    I always detested the odor of funeral parlors. 


    That over-the-top floral stench of flowers on top of flowers. 

    I g […]

    • where are the flowers? later ? gripping story, scary in the beginning but well placed with the theme.

    • Hi Maria,
      I experienced a strange deja vu while reading this. I think I have read a part of this story before. Your imagination is warm and rich, just like your imagery. Your take on the ‘flower’ prompt was extremely powerful. I like this quirky twist on the entire afterdeath theme. Well-written! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Maria, this is a very interesting take on the idea of purgatory. I thought the faceless therapist was an excellent way to set up the events after the death of the MC who was shown as an unrepentantly unpleasant person. It was interesting that you positioned her as someone very well aware of the effects her actions had on others – you painted her with absolutely no redeeming qualities. And yet, her stream of consciousness asides, such as when she ponders ‘I didn’t think they allow dogs in here’ is somehow endearing, so that I finished by feeling rather sorry for her and wondering why she had behaved so very badly in life. It was a really good read, thanks.

    • Hey there

      this a re-submission from last year ?

      still a good story – you do perverse death very well. I think here and there the narrative could be tighter, more concise but I still love this concept – and this is one of those stories that doesn’t get old – still highly entertaining

    • Hi Maria!
      Such an amazing storyline, I love that your character is stagnant and the growth we all see she does not. It’s a gorgeous tale that can intertwine with our lives, it can be something that makes us look at ourselves and wonder what we have not forgiven.
      I love the Purgatory Mission statement: “Even though the eyes view passive shades of magenta and mulberry, the mind is still guilty. A damaged conscience is a powerful force that controls our emotions. Until mind and eyes both meet, a soul will forever be in pain.” It speaks volume to those being stuck there.
      Also, the way you have paralleled Purgatory to therapy, the exercises, the goal setting, all of it seems focused to the “patient’s” and getting them out of Purgatory. I love that.
      Overall, a wonderful story, dark but a wonderful balance of hope speckled throughout. I like your contrast to the theme – lack of flowers at the funeral, very creative. Thank you for sharing!

      Summer H.

    • Crazy good. At first, the masses of unbroken dialogue got me, but it actually worked incredibly well. And it opened up space to pack a lot of story into the word count. Nicely done. Take care.

    • Hi Maria,

      This is a different take on dialogue, but it works.
      The story has allowed your imagination to go for a wander bringing back a delicious short story.

      I wonder about “He spit on me.” I think it should be “He spat on me.” The verb is used more than once.
      The last line is correct to dwell on “yourself”, but do you need the repeat?

      Writing about death holds something for you. Good for you.
      The thought of purgatory always makes me think that souls are visitors shedding their human cargo of emotions.
      Thank you for sharing.


  • are you a girl? or are you a boy?
    this answer still lies unknown
    your sanctuary is the waters of my swollen
    between us, is skin and bone
    will you bake mud pies in a make-believe
    wear a frilly pink […]

    • Such lovely sentiments, Maria – perfectly conveys the ‘mystery’ around pregnancy. Love it. Not knowing was always the most important part. I think you captured this ‘wonderment’ beautifully here x

    • Now, these are among the most sincere words a mother can say to her expected baby. Though full of phantasies, or maybe because of them, it is very touching. I also like your style. Thank you for this beautiful poem.

    • Yes, these are certainly the kinds of thoughts which surround one’s baby-bump. Whimsically expressed!

    • A beautiful poem about the thoughts of an expectant mother. You have expressed her feelings so well whether it is a boy or a girl, as long as its healthy. Well Done!

    • Hi Maria, a gorgeous poem. I particularly like the shape and form of it. It draws me to it even more. And yes I think expectant mothers have all been here with these pictures and questions buzzing in their heads. Thank you for sharing:)

    • Hello Maria,
      Yours is a very apt poem for these gender fluid days. All these things are now being done by either boys or girls, and who really cares who does what? Only the mother, pondering the future for their unborn child. Thanks for sharing this thoughtful poem.

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