Sunday Books & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike


Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com.  One book per author per week. Amazon links only.


DAVID BURKHEAD: The Thunderer: Three Tales of the God of Thunder.


Three tales, each giving a different view of the God of Thunder:

Donner Rothskegg: When a struggling family man is mugged on his way home, a homeless drifter saves him. Strangeness follows this drifter who proves to be more than he at first appears.

In the Hall of the Giant: Thor and Loki journey to Jötunheim, the land of the giants. There, Thor faces his most difficult challenge, and his most implacable foe.

God of Thunder: In the waning days of the Viking colonies on Greenland, a young warrior follows Skraelings, raiders from the icy waste even further to the north, that had been attacking their village. He finds something even stranger and more terrifying and discovers the truth of the old stories.

(BTW, David Burkehead is in a bit of a personal pickle, and there’s a Go Fund Me.

SARAH ROTHMAN: Suicidal Samurai.


A samurai-cowboy seeking revenge.
A secret society with a propensity for murder.
An exciting adventure in Victorian Japan.

When Mori Makoto returned to Yokohama after fifteen years of exile, he did not expect to be accused of murder. But when he comes across a dead body, Makoto is unwittingly thrust into a murderous plot involving killers from his painful past. Together, with a boisterous policeman, a thrill-seeking American actress, and a beautiful and mysterious shrine maiden, Makoto will find himself up against a dark conspiracy that could threaten the very survival of the new, Japanese government.

Suicidal Samurai is the first book in an exciting new series, Meiji Mysteries.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: STUPID

60 thoughts on “Sunday Books & Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. “So what you’re saying is that we have a Vigilante Ultra killing gangsters and you have nothing on him.”

    Directory Angela Fury replied “Yes Senator, we have nothing on him but our best Agents are working on the case”.

    1. The Senator responses “The US government gives your Agency millions of dollars to deal with Rogue Ultras and you say that you know nothing about this Ultra? Do you think we’re stupid?”.

      Holding her anger somewhat in check she answers “Ultras aren’t gods and my Agents are limited by rules that you set up. If you expect my Agency to get immediate results, then yes I think stupid is a good description of you”.

      1. Note, Director Fury isn’t an Ultra but she could “mop the floor with the Senator”. 👿

  2. “It’s.. nothing. What the?” muttered Clarence.

    “So vacuum then.” replied Dieter, “Hard va-”

    “Not even. Vacuum has … stuff going on within. This.. is emptiness beyond emptiness.”

    “Damn.. that can’t exis… no.. it CAN exist, but it should damned hard to generate.”

    “Yeah. On to the next protester’s mind scan.”

      1. Nobody’s making you. 😉

        Of course, I found a way to “add” her intended prompt to my vignette. 😀

          1. (Breathe!)
            “Yesterday, upon the stair,
            I met a man, who wasn’t there.
            He wasn’t there, again today.
            I wish, I wish, he’d go away.”

            “That’s stupid. How can anyone not there go away?”

            “You think it stupid? Fine, then YOU tell him to go away!”

            “But he’s not there.”

            “Just wait.”

  3. Don’t do anything stupid, she reminded herself. You don’t know if you can give them anything in return, you may be asking for charity. “We are under a curse that keeps us from defending ourselves from a dragon.”
    The dark-haired one started. “A shadow drake?”
    Jonnet blinked.
    “Yes,” said Queenie.

  4. The door slammed. “She’s being stupid,” said the woman.
    “And it’s the height of prudence,” said the man, “to rant before the girls?”
    She sighed and turned. “Solange, I am Dagny Smith. My husband is Magnus, and our daughter, Astra. Your mother hates us because of magic, and her sister.”

  5. “He hasn’t been that stupid,” the sheriff said.
    “He turned himself in,” said Hope. “Isn’t it stupid to think that he would be?”
    The sheriff shrugged. “There’s the ones he brought in. If he’s telling the truth, who know what things they could break out?”
    “Lawyers, probably.” Hope looked over.

  6. Insane? Yes. Nothing made me so. There is power in nothing. Abd-al-Hazred sought it and it consumed him. He went not where the Outer Ones spawned, and knew not the source. Yet the al-Azif, the Necronomicon, led me there, to nothing, and there I learned: In nothing, anything is possible.

  7. Sore where I didn’t know I had places.

    The snow this winter; wet, heavy, bending, breaking trees across roads, trails. Love my isolation, nearest neighbor isn’t really near.

    Cutting tree after tree to get the jeep to the road, I must be stupid, I know I’m sore, but I’m satisfied.

    1. Where in AK, Jim?

      As a tad reading London and Service, I had visions of going up there and heading into the bush on a sled drawn by trusty Huskies, said sled laden with salt, flour, and a well-made axe and saw, etc., and hewing a personal fiefdom out of the howling wilderness. Then I got ‘civilized’.

      Years later, I spent a summer as a mechanic on a helicopter used in chasing forest fires around central AK (Delta Junction, Tanana, Tok)
      and realized that dream was no longer for me. Had dinner at the fire camp chief’s place a couple of times, and he’d done just that. ‘Course, his husky-drawn sled was a VW microbus and his axe and saw was a chainsaw, but the principle applied. Hat’s off to him an his family.

      1. “Where in AK, Jim?”
        Pretty close to 64°50’20″N, 147°25′ 26″ W.
        Only 20 minutes or so from Fairbanks & around 11 from North Pole, if I ignore the speed limit & no trees or moose in the way. 😉

  8. Snowflakes


    Not even close to 50, though I could probably pad it to fit. Still, first thing off the top of my br5ain after a morning of shoveling snow. More later (maybe).

  9. From the current work in progress, The Discarded Shoe:
    “Well, what can you tell me then?” asked George, calmed despite himself by Bob’s apology.
    “Nothing,” said Bob. “As usual. I can’t help you at all, George. Nor you either, Guruh. If I help you, it won’t go well.” Then he reached into his pocket and drew out a handful of business cards. “I can, however, help you human boys and girls as much as I like. How about that?” He handed out cards to all the humans in the room, a mischievous and somewhat evil grin on his face. “This is going to be epic, my young friends. George is on his own, but you kids can call me at this number whenever you like, and ask me anything.”
    “Really?” exclaimed Jimmy from the table. “How does the disentanglement thing work?”
    Bob gave him a judicious look. “Hmm. Better if you figure it out yourself, Jimmy. Sit right at that table, in that chair you’re in now. You’ll get it.”
    “You can’t tell me or something bad will happen?” wondered Jimmy.
    “No, not really. More because you’ll feel pretty good after you figure it out, and I don’t want to deprive you.” Bob’s smile turned predatory. “Besides, George has a joke planned. If you figure this out yourself, it’ll be even funnier.”
    “Yeah?” said Jimmy. “Why’s that?”
    “You’re a human, Jimmy,” explained Bob. “They think you’re stupid.”
    “Ohhh,” said Jimmy. “Yeah? We’ll see about that.”

  10. “I don’t think you know who you’re dealing with. I am the President of the Society of Top University Politically Independent Deans.”

    “So you’re President of STUPID, huh? Have fun with that.”

  11. “How stupid can they be?” George lowered his binoculars shaking his head.
    “What do you mean, and give them here,” Mark asked reaching for the binoculars.
    George handed them over, “If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t believe it.”
    Mark peered through the binoculars at the distant enemy forces no knowing what to expect. The site of a bunch of soldiers dancing around in blue skin paint and not much else gave him pause.

      1. Is no worry to be. Typahs we do, for if not, we not do. *grin* In other words, if you never make mistakes, you never actually do anything. *chuckle*

  12. It stood ahead, a tree and a chair visible within it, and the road led up to the paper pages. Behind it, with flying crows, spread the vast stretches of forest. Were it not for that, she would have said to walk about the book. Who knew what that book would lead to? But unending forest would be the death of anyone short of a master woodsman.
    “That’s not yours, is it?” he said.
    She shook her head.
    “It looks like yours.”
    She forced a laugh. “So it would. They are both portals. It would be stupid to overlook that.”

  13. MIA agents always operated in teams of two. In this case the team was a male and a female, both in the Multiverse Investigative Agency’s signature grey suits. After Bill scanned both of their IDs to confirm they were actually MIA agents and let them into the monitoring center where he and ‘Becca, his duty operator who had first found the issue, waited. The female agent walked across to the command console and quickly paged through the displays. Her partner hung back at the rear of the room, observing.

    “This is the way you found it? Nothing has been changed?”

    Bill nodded. “That’s correct. We occaisionally get Mages doing something stupid that ends up punching their working Bound Volume through into another timeline, and if that had been the case here, we’d have closed up the leak, charged the expense to the Registered Publisher, and sent someone along to clean up the Mage’s remains. But as you can see, there’s no RP on this one – no registration or source data at all. We lock down all the consoles as soon as we get anything as weird as this.”

  14. S is for the silly way you grin at me
    T is for my toes which curl up when you do
    U is for the useless gifts you always give
    P is my patience not quite true
    I is for the irritating love notes
    D is for the drivel that you sing
    Put them all together they spell stupid
    Which I must be to put up with this thing

  15. “That does it,” grumbled the wallaby. “I’ve written vignettes around puns, about shaggy dogs, in limericks and more! But this one is too much, it goes too far, it asks I drop my admittedly low standards too far. I decline, I disdain, and I refuse to write this stupid vignette.”

  16. “Stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID!” I growled, smacking my forehead with each “stupid”.
    “What’s wrong, Jim?” asked the Captain.
    “I was stowing those supplies, got a call to check a water coupling, and didn’t finish securing them. Now that we’ve changed heading, I’m going to have to go do it all again.”
    “Well, have fun,” the Captain replied, with a smirk.

  17. So this morning I opened According to Hoyt early, saw the picture prompt, thought “Oh, goody!”, and managed to post a drabble about it. Now I’m checking back, and see the real “Vignettes” posting. I scoll down and discover the picture was from YESTERDAY! Ask me if I feel stupid?

    At least it is 50 words! 😉

  18. “Joining a cult might be stupid, but leaving it isn’t.” Simon leaned back against a boulder, smiling in the sunshine.
    “Something else might be stupid.”
    “And that would be?”
    “Sitting here if that’s Uncle Duncan’s missing ram. He told me to watch out when rams pull their shoulders back and drop their heads.”
    Simon’s glance and sudden change of expression told me I was right.

  19. “No hiking in the park after dark.”
    But Forrest lost track of time and didn’t return to his car until after midnight.
    Fortunately, the Ranger had left the gate unlocked for him.
    Unfortunately, a parking ticket for $550 was attached to his windshield.
    Forrest sighed. “Stupid is as stupid does.”

  20. Nevermind vignettes: Today I seem to be lost in one of my periodic uncreative fogs where I’m incapable of pursuing my projects with any efficacy. I get stupid sometimes. It corresponds roughly with my migraine episodes, and I hope it isn’t anything more permanent or cumulative. I try to describe it to people, only to have them pooh-pooh it as an ‘off-day’ or just being ‘brought down to normal’. At times I’m actually vastly more capable than others. It is night and day.

    I hear writers complain about writer’s block. Maybe there is some relation.

    1. Vastly more capable than at other times, I mean (not trying to brag. I’m not vastly more capable than any of my coworkers.) Phrasing lapses and inability to find words are also symptoms.

  21. Career Day was never my favorite.
    “I’m not stupid.”
    “No, you’re not. You’re narcissistic, overbearing, arrogant, intellectually lazy, with an abundance of money, and a correspondingly inverse lack of common sense.”
    “So, Congressional material?”
    “Yes. Maybe. If you didn’t have the manners of a goat and a face with more wrinkles than a bloodhound.”
    “But, plastic surgery?!”
    I sighed. “Kid, just where do you think you’re going to buy the personal charisma to make it all happen? I weep. Next!”

  22. Mooch and Nibbles insisted that nothing existed outside, beyond the walls. Gnawing one’s way any further was to enter Oblivion, a place no responsible rodent should ever venture. Such pathetic, cowardly cheese-brains! Skidoo sniffed. I’ve been a field mouse and a house mouse. If anybody knows the truth, it’s me!

  23. “Let’s take funding from arming teachers to pay for STEM education so we can have wind and solar.”

    “Hahaha. STEM, if anything, would increase the number of school arsons and bombings. Common sense education control. Wind and solar are very near to being perpetual motion boondoggles. Your school’s sheltering of Cruz isn’t the only gross failure it is responsible for.”

  24. (Coming in a little late, thanks to another busy convention)

    Archbishop Coquinael pulled the curtain back enough to catch a good view of the Embassy Row L station. Yes, there could be mistaking the private L train of the Heir to Cody.

    This was the third time in the same number of days that Cardinal Rafferty had come to Embassy Row. Every time he’d pick someone up or drop someone off.

    Ah, yes, here came his latest guest. A layman, but not a Codylander. The cut of his clothes suggested the Most Serene Republic, although some of the other Italianate peoples followed their lead in fashion.

    Coquinael retrieved the spyglass he’d set on the lamp table. One good look at the man’s face sent a chill through the nuncio’s nerves. Dottore Venerio Soranzo was an expert in dark magic, noted throughout the eight worlds of Ixil-sun.

    Which went a long way to confirming several of Coquinael’s suspicions. Still, it seemed odd that the Heir to Cody should be so cavalier about picking up these people when the Maroan embassy had just as good a view of the L station as the Apostolic Nunciature. Archon Gorlath wasn’t stupid, and neither was his ambassador here.

    Which meant that Rafferty either wanted Gorlath to know, or didn’t care if he did. Either possibility could have profound implications, and while he could send a preliminary report to SegStato considering both, he really should find out something more substantial.

    It would be so much easier if he could just corner the Cardinal Archbishop of Codytown and ask him straight up, in the blunt and direct manner of this loud and brawling city. But as the representative of the Holy See, Coquinael had to maintain his romanitas. Which meant finding a pretext to invite Rafferty over for dinner and coaxing the information out of him over fine wines and excellent food.

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