• Glad to hear it Jackie! It’s such a lovely feeling to know that my work cheered you up. The festive season isn’t happy for all, and I wish you peace and whatever makes you smile now and in the new year. Take care and thanks for stopping by and giving me your feedback.

  • Congratulations Jane on completing your series. How satisfying that must be! I’ll admit I don’t think I’ve read all the episodes, but this stands alone very well, as I immediately felt roped in. I love the names ‘Amari’ and ‘Absidion’ – it’s not easy coming up with original names and you seem to have a knack for it. An intriguing story – well done!

  • Thanks Jane for stopping by and giving me your feedback. I’m really pleased the way this month’s contribution turned out, and so happy that you and others have enjoyed it. Wishing you a happy festive season, albeit a somewhat different one this year! Take care and stay safe!

  • Wow really your favourite? That is high praise indeed! It really was one of the ones I enjoyed writing the most. I’m also really happy you appreciated the title – I’ll be honest, I was quite chuffed when I came up with it. Typically, the title is one of the last things I insert, depending on how the story goes. This time around, once I decided…[Read more]

  • Thanks so much Seyi for your great feedback! All goes well in my little corner of the world, Malta, although we are still battling the virus. It will be a very different Christmas but this whole year has been a roller coaster of unpredictable events for me, some good, some less so, hey ho. I’m so happy you enjoyed my story, which is one I…[Read more]

  • Hey Julie – that was a really enjoyable read. Just as Ivy did with Jerry, you lull your reader into a false sense of security, before your twisted twist. At first I wondered about your choice of word ‘cackle’, one associated more with an old crone, or evil witch, which led me to thinking that perhaps Ivy was a ghost. But later we find that the…[Read more]

  • Wow Sudha – you were certainly right about the similarities between both our stories. We were ‘in tune’. I was gripped from the get-go and couldn’t wait to see how the story would develop. Kudos for “Other creams pale in comparison” – nice tie-in with what was about to happen. Also the clever allusions to how the cream was so effective that…[Read more]

  • Hi Charles! I loved how there seemed to be a quasi-Kafka-esque tone to the piece; when your MC sees a nose in his cereal I thought maybe an accident at the cereal factory; but then you said it was his own, I was intrigued! A highly original story, which however, could have done with slightly better editing to weed out the few grammatical…[Read more]

  • Thanks so much Julie for taking the time to read and leave your feedback! I’m really happy it worked in the end, as just like my MC Anna, I had my doubts at the very beginning when I was scrabbling about for ideas. But then thankfully I was inspired and this ended up being one of the stories that took me the shortest time to write. It helps so…[Read more]

  • Wow you really nailed it with your feedback; I feel ‘seen’ haha. I’m impressed that you really picked up on all the little effects I embedded in the text. I’m especially happy that you picked out the “bottom hovering” reference, as for I while back there I sat and pondered whether it was to be edited out or not.

    Re alliteration of the M’s,…[Read more]

  • Thanks so much for your positive feedback! It’s so funny how when I sat down to write, I had such a different idea for the story. It was going to be about a much-hyped New Year’s Eve Millennium party, because they all were, and I wondered at the time how many people were as disappointed as I was after midnight. I sat and chewed on this for a…[Read more]

  • Oh Peggy, this was beautiful and I can truly say my eyes welled up and I have a lump in my throat to match Gigi’s. This was laden with emotion without being cloyingly so. You struck a beautiful balance between the bitter and the sweet, which is what life’s all about isn’t it? It struck close to home as I shared a special bond with my own…[Read more]

  • Hi Peggy! Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. So I got the idea after being horrified a while back by a pair of Gucci ‘distressed’ tights selling for $190! And I thought heh they must be laughing all the way to the bank. The world of advertising has always intrigued me, and when I was a teenager I even cut ads out of glossy magazines and…[Read more]

  • You captured the mood of the piece very well and took me back to those days of teenage angst with your story. The ending was particularly funny as I recall how teenagers would create a fantasy out of anything. There were a few grammatical issues and typos but nothing major. It was a bit slow to start but once you established the friendship…[Read more]

  • Phew Del now that’s a twist and a half! Well done. You conveyed the panic, and triggered my hatred of enclosed spaces with your descriptions. You also managed to convey a lot of information without making it too obvious, as you fed us more and more detail as the story developed. I really enjoyed this and congratulate you on a job well done!…[Read more]

  • Becky commented on the post, Hyped by Seyi 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    Hey Seyi! hope all is well with you. Another awesome story from you, where you really brought out the various characters. An original tale of revenge! I loved the description of the hairstyle parted like sections of a pineapple – how do you come up with these original descriptions? Your skilful descriptions, sprinkled with cultural reference,…[Read more]

  • What an original concept Barbara! It’s a bit like futuristic Stepford Wives, as you mention in your story. I laughed at the line where you mention CPR being the thing that could revive their sex life. Very witty! You conveyed the mood as well as the hollowness that your MC feels as she tries everything to please her husband. You fleshed out…[Read more]

  • Heh funny you should say that Barbara! I’m actually a qualified copywriter who once worked in advertising and marketing, so I wrote from experience, although this campaign was entirely fictitious. You’re very right about the confusing M names; can’t really justify that, it’s how they turned out! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the…[Read more]

  • Empress’ New Hose by Becky#It was 2pm on the dullest, dreariest Mondayest Monday, as I gathered my files together in preparation for the weekly marketing meeting.  October was always such a busy month for us at […]

    • I loved it! Apart from anything else, what a brilliantly clever marketing idea – are you in the trade, by chance? Entertaining, definitely. And so well-written. I liked the bookending of the Mondayest of Mondays with the Fridayest of Fridays. I liked the characterisation of Melinda, Melanie and particularly of Anna herself (though I got slightly confused by having Melinda, Melanie and Madison all having names that started with the same letter). The voice of Anna was very clear and her creativity came across in her language. Well done, this was very enjoyable.

      • Heh funny you should say that Barbara! I’m actually a qualified copywriter who once worked in advertising and marketing, so I wrote from experience, although this campaign was entirely fictitious. You’re very right about the confusing M names; can’t really justify that, it’s how they turned out! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for taking the time to read and give me your feedback! Take care!

    • Becky, this was fabulous! I love the creative way your MC turned a crappy product into a new fashion statement, much like holey jeans, ahem, distressed denim did back in the day. You must have been very good and actively sought after while in advertising and marketing, if this is an example of the level of work you produce. I can just image how popular Duncan’s biscuits will be! I did I mention, I love your gran, her advise for a strong cup of tea is spot on! I loved the pace of the story, the humor sprinkled throughout, and especially the creativity of the MC. Well done, indeed!

      • Hi Peggy! Thanks so much for your lovely feedback. So I got the idea after being horrified a while back by a pair of Gucci ‘distressed’ tights selling for $190! And I thought heh they must be laughing all the way to the bank. The world of advertising has always intrigued me, and when I was a teenager I even cut ads out of glossy magazines and kept them in a folder. I later went on to get my degree in English and Communication Studies and a diploma in Copywriting. Nowadays, although I no longer work in this field, I do work for a high-end retailer of luxury goods and play an active part in curating our own marketing materials before they go out.

        Gran’s words of advice were actually my own. It’s one of my firm beliefs that tea soothes the spirit (and if that fails then there’s gin hehe) and makes things good even for a little while. May I take this opportunity to wish you a happy festive season and very best wishes for the new year. Stay safe and thanks once again!

    • This was a fun romp through Women’s fashion. Your take on the prompt was brilliant and a hell of alot of fun to read. No critique – just praise.

      • Thanks so much for your positive feedback! It’s so funny how when I sat down to write, I had such a different idea for the story. It was going to be about a much-hyped New Year’s Eve Millennium party, because they all were, and I wondered at the time how many people were as disappointed as I was after midnight. I sat and chewed on this for a while, one thought led to another – party – party clothes – other interpretations of the prompt ‘hyped’ – and a little kernel of an idea was sown. Glad you enjoyed reading my story and I wish you a lovely festive season and very best wishes for the new year!

    • Hey Becky!!
      I loved this story, especially the “snakes and ladders”. I’m glad you repeated the “ladders” comment a second time, because that’s when I understood the reference to how hosiery commonly rips…like a ladder. In the US, we call the game chutes and ladders by the way but of course the snake is so much more of a powerful image. The title and brand of “Empress” is a very clever reference to Emperor’s new clothes.
      My story is also about marketing and makes a reference to Emperor’s new clothes. I read another reference to the story in someone else’s work as well. It’s interesting how certain similarities pop up.
      I liked the story about Gran’s philosophy of tea. I LOVED the alliteration with all the “M”‘s particularly Melanie the marketing meerkat…I really laughed at that one.
      The bottom hovering hesitantly was a funny action…We’ve all been there and it gave Anna a certain vulnerability that she is not as important in the office as she thinks.
      Really enjoyed how “Distressed Diva” caught on in a goth-punk look which you described very well. “L’air du temps” cracked me up–we had very cheesy commercials for those here in the states…great touch that Miranda wears that fragrance-she’s not so high end herself.

      A very enjoyable story- I enjoyed it so much!
      Happy Holidays to you and happy new year!

      • Wow you really nailed it with your feedback; I feel ‘seen’ haha. I’m impressed that you really picked up on all the little effects I embedded in the text. I’m especially happy that you picked out the “bottom hovering” reference, as for I while back there I sat and pondered whether it was to be edited out or not.

        Re alliteration of the M’s, it’s funny how that works for some but not for others; different strokes for different folks.

        I was unfamiliar with the cheesy ads for “L’air du temps” but glad that you too noticed that my Miranda was hyping herself up to be more than she really was; she hints at that when she refers to the advertising agency as being one of the smaller firms.

        The only point in which I beg to differ with you is in Anna’s own character; it is others who value her talent, but she herself admits she was dry for ideas for the Duncan’s Biscuits campaign; I wanted her to be vulnerable because in a sense, she sees herself as that too. As a copywriter, you’re only as good as your last campaign, and that’s why I didn’t let her ride the wave of her success for too long, as she reminds herself that she still has the biscuit campaign to plan. My last line also bore witness to that as she sees herself as a “wretched writer” – that feeling I’m sure we ALL share when we struggle with a prompt and/or a deadline.

        Other than that, I loved your appraisal of my story and take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy festive season and best wishes for the new year!

        • Hi Becky,
          Thanks for the clarification of Anna. I was writing from the point of view of how the others in the company might see her as someone “exalted” as a senior writer. But I totally understand the “wretched writer” feeling and the transient glory of a great campaign until the next job comes in and you’re down at the bottom again wondering if you’ve got another one in you.
          I appreciate the explanation.
          Thanks

    • Brilliant- thanks so much for your hugely entertaining and funny story. Love the puns, alliteration and dead pan humour. Happy Festive season to you .

      • Thanks so much Julie for taking the time to read and leave your feedback! I’m really happy it worked in the end, as just like my MC Anna, I had my doubts at the very beginning when I was scrabbling about for ideas. But then thankfully I was inspired and this ended up being one of the stories that took me the shortest time to write. It helps so much when one draws from one’s own experience. Glad you enjoyed it and I wish you a lovely festive season and best wishes for peace and happiness in the new year!

    • Hey Becky, and how goes it? This was great fun. I really appreciate the piercing of this particular veil, brand marketing has always fascinated me. I liked the description of Melanie, the ‘eager and as yet unjaded intern.’ This tells us all we need to know about the other more experienced team members. When Melanie piped up about the awful quality of the Empress Tights, i thought she would have a larger part in the story. I am glad you took the story via the less predictable route, with your main character, tired, burnt out as she seemed, pulling something out and going on to hopefully do the same for Duncan biscuits.
      Great writing, as always and I enjoyed the storyline and the main character tremendously. All the best and hope you have a great end of year and a wonderful New Year. Regards, Seyi

      • Thanks so much Seyi for your great feedback! All goes well in my little corner of the world, Malta, although we are still battling the virus. It will be a very different Christmas but this whole year has been a roller coaster of unpredictable events for me, some good, some less so, hey ho. I’m so happy you enjoyed my story, which is one I really enjoyed writing, as I immersed myself into my MC’s predicament, drawing on experience and trying to figure out what I myself would do in her position. Melanie was a fun character – being unjaded yet green (see what I did there?) she would have been the only candidate to pipe up and express her opinion so frankly. I wondered whether she should play more of a part in my story, but decided to leave her as part of the boardroom vignette. After all, 1200 words is not a huge budget to play with. Best wishes to you too!

    • I really had a good chuckle at this story. So far, this is my favourite ‘Hyped’ story I’ve read. It takes great skill to write humour and not force it and this story nails that skill. I laughed out loud at the ‘little marketing meerkat’, the tights that have a shorter life span than a mayfly, the Mondayest of Mondays, and the Fridayest of Fridays. There was very little I didn’t like actually although the names of too many characters were a little overwhelming. I think they say, in a short story, three named characters are plenty?
      But overall you created a good piece that tickled my funny bone. A huge well done to you! Good use of prompt and a clever little title too.

      • Wow really your favourite? That is high praise indeed! It really was one of the ones I enjoyed writing the most. I’m also really happy you appreciated the title – I’ll be honest, I was quite chuffed when I came up with it. Typically, the title is one of the last things I insert, depending on how the story goes. This time around, once I decided on the concept, the title was the next thing to emerge, then of course the name of the brand Empress, and it all followed.

        I totally understand how the number of characters could be overwhelming in such a short context – elsewhere I also got feedback that it was confusing because all their names begin with M. Fair point, and noted for future reference.

        Thanks once again for taking the time – I loved that you chose to mention my favourite bits in the story too :). Best wishes!

    • Hi Becky, I am afraid I can’t add any more to what has already been said. I enjoyed this delightful story a lot. It was very cleverly written and funny:) And I have to say that Anna is mighty talented. Using the major flaw in the stockings to actually sell them:)
      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Thanks for sharing:)

      • Thanks Jane for stopping by and giving me your feedback. I’m really pleased the way this month’s contribution turned out, and so happy that you and others have enjoyed it. Wishing you a happy festive season, albeit a somewhat different one this year! Take care and stay safe!

    • Very imaginative. I really needed the humor this week.

      • Glad to hear it Jackie! It’s such a lovely feeling to know that my work cheered you up. The festive season isn’t happy for all, and I wish you peace and whatever makes you smile now and in the new year. Take care and thanks for stopping by and giving me your feedback.

  • Hi Michael – Your feedback makes me very happy because that’s exactly the vibe I was going for in my mind. I could even hear the narrator’s voice in my head. When I write, it’s always a mini-movie in my mind, although I stop short at casting it with known actors. Thanks again for taking the time and take care.

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