It's been a few weeks since I last posted an Audience Participation Twitterstory. Heck, it's been a few weeks since I last posted anything at all. This isn't due to any life changes or major catastrophes: it's entirely due to laziness and neglect. I do apologize for the neglect.

That said, I will be attempting to post these twice a week instead of the usual once, perhaps even posting two at the same time.

For those unfamiliar with the Audience Participation Twitterstory, here is how it works. Submit a word, any word, and I will use it in the body of a Twitterstory, with full acknowledgement and linking to your website, blog, twitter page, or where people can purchase your book.

This week's word is "Apropos," provided by my good friend Dan Klibanoff.

(character count, including title: 125)

Hopeless Romantic

"What's the title of your new story?"

"I Want My Heart to be Broken."

"Well, knowing you, that's very apropos."

Continuation of the Audience Participation Twitterstory: send me a word and I will use it in a story.

This week's word is 'skankalicious' provided by my friend and soon to be extremely successful writer Jason Korolenko, author of The Day I Left and the forthcoming Relentless - The Book of Sepultura. (Don't forget us when you're big and famous.)

(character count: 154; without title: 135)

Ear of the Beholder

“We need to talk” and “skankalicious” were deal breakers for Marie. Yet, that Bobby used both in the same sentence endeared him to her.

Another installment of the audience participation Twitterstory.
This week's word--taxidermy--was provided by legal assistant extraordinaire Danielle Murphy.

(character count: 149; without title: 135)

Where They Met

She put Nana’s gift—taxidermy lessons—in the box in the way back of the closet. After Nana’s funeral (dementia), she decided to use it.

We continue on with the audience participation Twitterstory. For those wishing to participate, send me a word through any social media forum, email, or carrier pigeon. I will include that word in a Twitterstory and link to your website, Twitter and/or Facebook page, or any other site of your choice. If I receive 140 suggestions, a second collection of Twitterstories will be released.

This week's word is 'buffed,' provided by writer Christopher Chik (@g1mpy), purveyor of all things baseball and space at his blogs and He is also the writer of the first installation of the forthcoming Tequila Kitty Project, and is hard at work on a novel about an autistic baseball pitcher and his struggles to succeed.

(character count: 147; without title: 136)

Role Models

He buffed the hood of the remote-control car to a shine and drove it into some books: stand-ins for a fence. Just like Daddy really did.

This is the second installation of audience participation Twitterstory. This week's word --'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis'-- was provided by Timothy Woodward, author of If I Told You So, an LGBT Young Adult story about coming out in rural NH. It was recently listed on the GLBT Round Table's Rainbow List. (A review will be forthcoming.)

The audience participation Twitterstory is fairly simple: send me one word, any word, and I will write a Twitterstory with it and will link to your website, Facebook page, or site of your choosing. If you wish not to include a website, you still receive credit for having provided the word.


(character count: 154; without title: 140)

Cause of Death

“You sure?”

He nods.

“Maybe it was pneuomonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.”

Flash of a smile, sobbing laughter, like an abandoned seal.

Today marks the beginning of a new phase of the Twitterstory: audience participation.

After A Little Soul was released, a friend read the book and decided to have some fun both at my expense and with my cooperation. "Let's see you write a Twitterstory about mayonnaise... in two minutes." Condimental was the result of this challenge. Frustrated and intrigued, she continued to hurl words to me, and I would attempt to write a story with them, with varying degrees of failure and success.

But now I call on you, dear readers, to be active participants in the Twitterstory project: provide a word in the comments below, in an email with the subject "Twitterstory word", through the many social media outlets I utilize (Twitter with the hashtag #TwitterstoryWord; my Facebook page; LinkedIn; Fictionaut); or via carrier pigeon, smoke flares, or Pony Express, and I will write a Twitterstory using that word. You will also receive credit in all the media forums where the story is posted.

A few parameters to avoid confusion:
1. No word is off-limits except indefinite and definite articles (a, an, the).
2. If the same word is provided more than once by different people, that many stories will have to be written.
3. There is no limit for how many words one person can provide.
4. Stories will still be posted once a week.
5. If you have a website or any social media page you want me to link to when the story with your word is posted, please let me know.

The first installation of the audience participation Twitterstory is below. The word was "weeping willow." It was provided by Erica Dorsey, the same person mentioned in the mayonnaise anecdote above.

As always, thank you.

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(character count: 146; without title: 132

Weeping Willow

She lay down, wishing its branches were hands, pushing her down

to the roots. There, she could start over.

(character count, with title: 63)


Now I am become love, the other destroyer of worlds.

(Character count: 150; without title: 140)

Motel Room

Bernard's on the bed, head down, hand shielding his eyes. "Just wait til tomorrow."
On the far side, facing away, she puts her shirt back on.

(character count: 143; without title: 133)


I have committed to nothing. Therefore I have committed to something. The first sentence is now moot, and this story will eat itself.

(character count, including title: 133)


I sentence you to life: birth, death, wailing-on-the-ground grief, skipping-through-a-field-holding-hands love, repetition.