October Editorial – A Return to Horror during “Scarefest” on Inkblots

Hey Inkblotters!

Returning after our September break, we’re back to bring you lots of fantastic content as part of our Halloween Scarefest. After a short break away to Austria, where I was unfortunate enough to be ill for half of it, it was nice to be back in the UK and ready to start afresh at work once again. Despite my time away from Inkblots, I was still busy and didn’t get much of a chance to recuperate in between different jobs. But, with that said, it’s nice to be back again writing the editorial for October.

Moving swiftly on, then, there are a number of changes currently taking place within the Inkwell forum. In what will be announced officially soon, we’re moving away from the writing forum platform and focusing solely on Inkblots Magazine. As it stands, the magazine is a great way to showcase the talents from many of our contributors and, we feel, it’s the best place to continue our little community. Unfortunately with my time stretched in multiple directions, I can now longer run the forum as I have been doing for the best part of two years. And with no one ready or willing to take that responsibility on, our writing forum must come to an end.

Of course, we aren’t just dropping it entirely. And for those who are members of the forum, they will be able to save all of their work before we archive everything completely. The official closure for The Inkwell forum is December 31, 2015. But until then, we’ll continue as a community on both the magazine and the writing forum.

Getting down to business, October’s content really gets us in the mood for a good old scare. Kicking off with our Scarefest content on the 5th is Dizzy Dazzle’s thrilling short on wolves, while on the 15th we’ve got a particularly interesting psychotic tale from Lockmaker entitled Mulberry Way. The short poetry spotlight is once again returning on the 25th, so don’t miss it, and we’ve also got returning contributor Alex McCarron and her short fictional piece, Morte Mare, penned in for prime time scaring on October 30th.

As our Fiction Frenzy competition ended back in August, I’ve taken the time to read through the entries and have finally crowned a winner. Check back on October 20th to see who won and to read their gruesome entry. Of course, I can’t end the editorial without mentioning our next Half Hour Challenge. Inspire yourself with a horror classic under the theme: The Devil Inside. As a fan of horror, I’m going to revel in reading your entries.

For now, I hope you have a fantastic October and I’ll be back in November for our Winter special issue.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Kevin Dooley

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August Editorial – Brighten Up Life with a Little Bit of Sunshine

Hey Inkblotters!

Welcome to August’s editorial post, where it’s starting to heat up in Britain with a little bit of sunshine, though mostly rain! Aside from the July two-week heat wave, it seems our summer has notoriously left on vacation, or in the very least just moved location. More than ever, I’m desperately looking forward to my week-long holiday to Austria in September. And as we all need a little “R & R”, Inkblots will be taking a break from publication for one month. We’re back in October with our Hallowe’en Scarefest though, and we’ll still be taking in submissions throughout September.

Moving on to August’s content, we’ve got lots of beautifully written work to share with you from our pool of regular contributors. With sunshine as our overarching theme, HHC veteran writer Rob kicks off creativity on the 5th with his flash fiction, while we have some wonderful poetry from the lovely Arwa later on in the month. As part of my Nana’s passing ten years ago, I also have a short poem to share with our readers as a tribute to her life. As always, make sure to check back during the month for new and original work.

August’s Half Hour Challenge should get the inspiration cogs turning with the following quote: “Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos”. It’s a lovely summery theme, a little light-hearted, and it’s also delicious to eat, so why not? Our Fiction Frenzy is still running until August 31st, so if you are planning on sending an entry in under either of the themes, Sunlight and Moonlight, then please send an email to theinkwellwriting@gmail.com before the closing date.

For any members of the forum, we’ve currently reverted back to our original domain name creativewriting.freeforums.org. All your work is still there, so please don’t panic. But for now, please access the writing forum via that URL address. Our administration team is currently assessing the situation and we’re hoping to make an official announcement in a couple of months.

Right, I won’t waffle on any longer – have a wonderful August and September! I shall be back for another editorial in October.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Leo-setä

July Editorial – Tipping the Scales with a Range of Content

Hey Inkblotters,

Wow, what a busy June we had, whizzing by in a flash. But now isn’t the time to be thinking about the madness of last month, rather I’ll be looking forward to July and the content we’ve got on offer. As the summer holidays kick in towards the end of the month for the kids, sports days arrive, and the temperature just keeps rising – especially during this British heat wave – it’s a good idea to slap on the sun lotion once again to save yourself from getting burnt. Though, that being said, it’s an unfortunate Factor 50 for me again.

So with July just beginning, we’ve got a whole range of content to share with you under this month’s theme, Tipping the Scales. It’s a theme that’s given a lot of our writers food for thought, so regular contributor Terrestris Veritas brings his A-game on the 5th with HHC, Spark of Hate. Later, we’re featuring beautiful poetry from Lost in a Dream on the 10th, while on the 20th and 25th we’ve got a double poetry special from new contributor Scarlet Hardy with her wonderfully written ode. Of course, lots more short fiction is on its way as well, so check back continually throughout the month.

As per usual, our Half Hour Challenge for July shares a similar theme to the one we run on Inkblots. So if you’d like to submit anything to us this month, make sure you write a piece within 30 minutes with Justice in mind. Also on the agenda is our Fiction Frenzy – which we’re running over two months starting from now until August 31. We’ve got two fantastic wide-ranging themes to inspire you: Sunlight and Moonlight. Remember to check our submissions page for all the details on our Fiction Frenzy rules; you can take as long as you want on your entries!

So with all that said, have a great July and I look forward to reading all of your submissions as part of our Fiction Frenzy.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Mike Bitzenhofer

June Editorial – The Many Faces of Betrayal

Hey Inkblotters!

Wow, we’re halfway through 2015 and I still can’t quite believe it. I’m craving the heat of the summer sunshine, too, as it’s only arriving in fits and starts here in the UK. With the beginning of June, the festival season kicks off once again, children can’t wait until school’s out, and parents are a bit concerned as to how they’ll keep their offspring occupied throughout the summer. It’s a slightly busier time for me, as I not only have a number of work events and exhibitions to attend, but also the biggest gaming event of the year springs up, namely E3. But don’t worry, Inkblots will continue to bring you fresh content this month.

And speaking of which, last month we had some fantastic poetry and short fiction, and it continues into June under a new theme, Betrayal. Yes, it has many faces, often hiding the truth under our feet. But it’s also a great theme to explore. Veteran forum member Sparky takes June’s first slot on the 5th with his short story, while on the 10th we have beautiful poetry from Kvothe. Later, we have a special two-part fictional piece from Rob and a superb poem from new contributor Awokunle Toyin Sheriff on the 30th. Of course, that’s not all the content we have planned, so make sure you pop back during the month to view the latest work.

As per, the Half Hour Challenge theme for June works in conjunction with our current content theme for the magazine. So to inspire our fellow writers, we’re asking you to pen a short story, lyrics or poetry with Poison in mind. Perhaps you think of a plant, or maybe it’s the famous Alice Cooper song. But whatever your inspiration is, we hope to see some fantastic entries emailed over to us. Check our submissions page for all the necessary details. And before I forget, Inkblots is bringing back the FICTION FRENZY starting from July 1 until August 31 once again. More details will come in July’s editorial.

But for now, it’s time for me to wrap this post up, so have a lovely June and keep writing!

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Aasif Iqbal

May Editorial – Lending Strength & Salvation to those in Need

Hey Inkblotters,

With the recent earthquake crisis in Nepal, it appears mother nature isn’t quite on our side over the past few months. Although I’ve personally witnessed an earthquake having been close to the epicentre, it was nothing compared to the 7.8 magnitude in Nepal. It’s still a scary experience, however, and feeling the earth and the foundations of your own house move beneath you is something equally terrifying and incredible. But for those that lost their lives in the tragedy, a little strength and salvation is needed, especially for many left without family and in desperate need of aid. If you would like to donate to the appeal, you can do so over at PayPal.

So with the warmest thoughts being sent out to those in need, our content for May reflects strength of all kinds. This month we begin with Rob’s half hour challenge entry on the 5th, following up with Miss Smiley’s beautiful lyrical ensemble “Hold My Hand” on the 10th. We also have some absolutely wonderful poetry from returning contributors Ashcloud with “Waterworks” on the 20th, and two from Katie Allen on the 25th featured in our Poetry Spotlight. As usual, we also have a few surprises popped in for good measure.

In keeping with our content theme, the half hour challenge hopes to inspire and give Salvation to many. Sometimes all we need is a little dash of hope to carry us through the day. If you’d like to send us your HHC entry for May, all the important details can be found on our submissions page.

And with that, have a lovely May and enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Slalit

April Editorial – Step into Spring with the Sweetest Thing

Hey Inkblotters!

We’re happy to step into Spring this bank holiday weekend – or not, depending on how the weather is in your country. Here in the UK, it’s miserable and wet, on Good Friday as well! A considerable change compared to last year with the scorching Spring sunshine. No matter what you’re getting up to this weekend, make sure you have a blast. At least I won’t be getting burnt this time around, a particular of my skin type sadly. Though I will be eating my fair share of Easter chocolate, preferably not all in one go!

Speaking of Easter, it brings us nicely to our running theme for content this April. We’re celebrating “The Sweetest Thing” this month with content ranging from poetry to short fiction. As per, we shall be kicking off content with a Half Hour Challenge entry from February with Miss Smiley’s “A Thorn Amidst Joy” on the 5th, while on the 10th Ricardo’s poetry, “A Sweetened Ache”, will set our hearts alight in a fiery way. And later in the month, new contributor Katie Allen shares her absolutely delightful poetry on the 25th, so make sure to look out for “L.O.V.E”. Of course, we have much more superb content to share with you throughout the month – don’t miss it.

It goes without saying that our Half Hour Challenge theme for April is sickly sweet and joins our current content with a sticky, gooey-like smear. I’ve been directing The Inkwell’s fellow writers to this scrumptious video featuring the friendly Pooh Bear, where everything is honey. The sweet condiment is, of course, our HHC for this month. If you’d like to send us any of your work for the challenge, you’ll find our submissions page gives you all the important details.

And with that, I wish you a wonderful Easter weekend.

– Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Sally Ann French

The Game – Part 1

Written by Dice

Both opponents have met and are in place. The stage is set. One side sets up the trap to lure his or her opponent in. But the Game is never completed so easily.

The newest weapon in the Game is SMS. Opponents can make challenges or counter their opponent by sending text messages or ‘texts.’

A ‘text’ bout is dependent on the player’s wit and composure. The player must be able to think quickly – a text takes seconds to reach its destination so delaying tactics are not available to the player.

The man is on the offensive, the woman on the defence. The man thinks he’s being social with his text chat with the typical, ‘How are you?’ and ‘What are you up to?’. This is all very friendly, a neutral stage of the Game if you like. But the Game cannot stay quiet for too long. The woman is most likely to make the first move, since they are known to want to test their opponent. One of the strongest moves a woman has is the ‘Suggestion Tactic.’ Women are experts at applying the ‘Why don’t you do this?’ move.

In this turn of events the man can have a selfish attitude, but to win he must appear as the ‘Gentleman’ and so if faced with this attack, a man has got to think fast. Through wishing to win over the woman, he must admit that he is under the mercy of her needs and must comply or counter with an excuse. Excuses for not complying with the Suggestion Tactic are difficult to design and, with the lack of time between moves in a text war, the man has little time to plan his next move, usually admitting defeat within the current battle.

This move is quick and decisive and, though it is considered the woman’s victory, it comes at a cost. The man does receive a form of point that is mentally recorded by the woman. These can be cashed in by the man, usually at the woman’s leisure in order to win the Game.

Every time we read this short satirical piece, we can’t help but chuckle. Dice’s matter-of-fact storytelling gives it such depth despite its surface context. Texting is such an intricate part of our lives now that we can’t help but be influenced by certain emoticons, the amount of kisses to pop on the end of a text, and so on. The relationship between men and women has never been so complicated. If you enjoyed Dice’s satire, check out some of his other pieces including, ‘The Writer’s Block‘ and ‘The Paper is a Stage‘.

Featured Image CC, woohoo_megoo