Let the adventures begin!

As of today, entries are officially being accepted for the March 2016 contest, "On An Adventure!"

As a reminder, here is the original blog entry, including instructions on what the terms of contest entry and final prizes are. Y'all have two weeks to get your entries in, but with us utilizing the Kudos system for votes there is a minor advantage to posting earlier, though not as much as you might think! (Just look at the last contests' entries to see THAT!)

January 2019 Contest Prizes Teaser 2!

Another weekend, another teaser of some of the books you can find in the Doppler Press bundle being offered as a prize in the Reader Retention contest!

For those of you who may have missed it here are the rules. For everyone else, here's the next two books to be revealed from the curated list!

My Choice:

January 2019 Contest Prizes Teaser 1!

Details are somewhat settled on the prize front, and this time we've got something super special for all of you avid readers out there: book bundles!

Yep! Miss Erin's putting in some overtime to help with this 'un, and we're going to offer two bundles of (platform free) ebooks for our top two prizes!

First place: 15 Doppler Press eBooks, 12 curated by me and Erin and the other 3 winner's choice

Second place: 10 Doppler Press eBooks, 8 curated by me and Erin and the other 2 winner's choice

Super Early Contest Announcement: January 2019 "Reader Retention Contest"

Okay, I know I said I'd wait 'til the end of the month, but dangit I just can't!

It may be a while in the brewin', but that time is gonna be needed if you're gonna make a solid effort at this 'un! That's right, this time around we're goin' fer SERIALS!

Double Dip Contest ends this weekend!

Just a reminder for everyone that tomorrow is the last day to get in entries for the Double Dip challenge! Get those entries out there, and if you entered early, please remember to tag your story with the "Double Dip Story Contest" tag (seen above) so that silly me can find them easily. Victors will be determined next weekend, with the prizes being delivered on October 18th due to Real Life Stuff.

Reminder: September 2018 Double Dip Story Contest Kicks Off Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the first day to allow entries in the September 2018 Double Dip Story Contest!

For those who missed the announcement, the challenge is to write a story with A) a music-themed slant, B) a theater/acting themed slant, or C) both! Two subsets of stories, two prizes. For more detailed rules and regs, the OG blog post can be found here:


September 2018 Double Dip Story Contest!

That's right folks! It's time for the announcement of the September story contest, and this time we're doing something a liiiiiitle bit different. How, you ask? Well, this time 'round there isn't just one challenge to complete... but two!

Yep! It's the double dip story contest! And what does that mean exactly? Two different challenges, two chances to win, and twice the story writing fun!

Staycation Story Contest Winners!

It's time to announce the winners of the July story contest!

We had a lot of great entries this time around. I want to make sure every last author who wrote for the contest knows just how much I appreciate their hard work. It's the stories that keep a site like BCTS alive, and without your dedication and effort none of us would have this wonderful place to call home.

July Staycation Contest over!

The contest for July is over! Entries closed! No admittance!


That said, now that entries are closed, you all still have juuuuuust under a week to get your voting done. I'll be opening all the stories at midnight CST this coming Saturday, and the number of votes the stories have at that time is the value they will be ranked on. You'll get the announcement concerning winners early Sunday, along with the announcement for the September story contest!

Just over a week left on the 2018 Staycation story contest!

Just a reminder to people that the Staycation story contest closes entries on Tuesday, July 31st at Midnight whatever-the-heck-your-local-time-zone-is, so if you've got an entry waiting to be written then hop to it, and if you've got one waiting to get posted, then what's the hold up huh?


Melanie E.'s Fairy Kiss-and-Tale Story Contest: Results!

It's been a week, and huzzah! The votes are in!

All the stories in the contest did quite well, but two in particular managed to grab the most thumbs-up from our readership, and those two were:

Cursed, by Nuuan

The Fairy, by Bru

Congrats, young authoresses! I get paid this coming Thursday, upon which each of you will be given your prize, a three month subscription to the BCTS Hatbox!

Ten Entries available, get your votes out there now!r

The contest has officially closed (and been so for several hours too!)

We've had ten excellent entries, and now it's time for you readers to really make your mark! Just click on the tag for the contest above to go to a list with all the stories. Read them, and vote for your favorite ones!

Kiss-and-Tale Contest: The Final Day!

Just a reminder to anyone with plans to enter still, today is the final day of my Fairy Kiss-and-Tale contest! I'm working on the honor system here, so as long as you have your entry in by midnight your time (May 31 2018) we'll call it gravy.

We've had a lot of great entries, and I've already got plans for another contest here in July! Sadly I actually haven't finished my OWN entry for this one yet, though since I'm ineligible for the prize anyway it doesn't matter much :)

Melanie E.

Still two weeks left on the Fairy Kiss-and-Tale contest!

I'm running a bit behind on reading/commenting on entries (what can I say, I'm terrible at time management,) but if the number of other comments and kudos is anything to judge by then the contest will be fierce.

If you're not sure on the details, just click that story tag over this blog here, and it will take you to a list of all the entries so far, as well as the rules for new stories.

Bonus: if we can get at least 20 entries in total, I'll donate a dollar to the hatbox for every entry written.

Melanie E.

Unofficial May 2018 BCTS Contest: Fairy Kiss-and-Tales

So who's ready for another not-in-any-way-sanctioned-by-management story contest?

Melanie E.'s Fairy Kiss-and-Tale Contest

Dates: May 1st 2018 - May 31st 2018

Everyone loves a little romance, and everyone loves a good fairy tale, right? Well, here's your chance to write your own mash-up of the two!

Reminder: Melanie E.'s Fairy Kiss-and-Tale Contest

Just a reminder, there's still three weeks before the end of the contest deadline! We have two entries so far, and I can't wait to see what else people come up with!

If you're interested but missed the original announcement, contest details can be found by clicking the contest tag in this blog's description. The only thing that's changed since the original post is that we have moved from unofficial to being officially sanctioned.

Good luck!

Melanie E.

Re-finding a Friend Long Gone

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I've said it before here, and I'll say it again: I'm a huge game geek.

I've been looking to re-obtain a 360 for a while now, since I have a stack of games for it and the original Xbox I've acquired over the last couple of years via yard sales and thrift stores because they were too good of deals to pass up, even if I didn't have the console at the moment.

That all changed last night, when I traded a friend of mine at work a spare NES I had lying around plus a few carts for his old 360 he doesn't play any more. Now I can play all those games, horray!

The new keyboard is in!


So far I like it... but this is gonna take some getting used to.

I ended up compromising on several part of my initial plan, mostly because I found a good deal on what I got. Is it mechanical? Well, it's mechanical-ish: it's still membrane keys, but with a mechanical action on top of it. It also has LEDs in it in colors, but luckily they aren't super-glaring (though the mouse is a bit more obnoxious with its cycling I can't seem to turn off.) And... it was 34 dollars including shipping.

Yeah, that was worth the compromise.

Tappity Tappity Tappity: Your Keyboard And You


Word documents.




All of these things, when used on a modern PC, rely heavily on a keyboard. I use mine constantly, and though I'm not what I would normally call a particularly picky user... I'm starting to have some issues.

Job Hunting for Millennials Part Deux: The Internet Lies

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First things first: thank you to everyone who responded, both via comment and PM, to my last blog. I was rather upset at the time (to put it mildly,) but as with so many things in life just knowing I have others around who care and understand went a long way toward helping me cope. You're all amazing.

Now, on to today's subject: The Interview.

Job Hunting for Millenials

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I may be on the early side of that particular designation, but I'm pretty sure I qualify, right? Born in the late '80s, some college but no degree, blah de blah. Yep.

So here's the deal. I've spent the last 3 months looking for a new job. I've applied for quite a few, as a receptionist, at call centers, more than a few sales positions from Best Buy to Target... all in all, I've sent out probably 10 or 12 resumes/applications.

I've gotten a call back on all of 2, and an interview out of only 1.

Help me make a web site!

No, really!

I'm looking for a few interested tech-heads, game geeks, and dungeon masters! You! Yes, and you too!


For a venture I'd like to try: an LGBT friendly (though, to be clear, by no means strictly LGBT FOCUSED) gaming site.

Making Up the Numbers (Preview/Demo)

Making Up the Numbers

A DEMO of a new story in the works by:
Melanie E.


Yep. I'm writing this. What you're seeing here is a first draft of the first 3 chapters of a brand-new tale by yours truly that, when finished, will be submitted to Erin for use in the hatbox and, maybe, for Amazon sales. We'll see.

It's been a while since I wrote anything substantial, so this time around I'm going for something a bit, well, a bit different.

Hope you enjoy the demo, and if you like it... well, keep an eye out :)

A Bad Case of Writer's Block Isn't Always a Dirth of Creativity

I know I've never been the most cherished author here, but this has always been the place I felt most comfortable sharing my creativity. I love writing, and I love stories, both reading them and sharing them, and for much of the last 10 years BC has been THE place I did so.

A Day Without Pain

A Day Without Pain

A Hatbox Short by Melanie E.


"It's the least we can do."

That's what they had said when they had come into his hospital room, clipboards in hand and curious, though not unkind, looks in their eyes.

It was natural for those who were healthy to be curious about the dying after all, and that was exactly what he had been doing, slowly and agonizingly, for the last three years.

It had started out innocuously enough, with a twinge in his temple when he would stand up or turn his head too quickly. The twinge had turned to a spike, and the spike into a burning lance, piercing his head with every movement.

For years he had devoted his life to becoming one of the most promising young talents in the computer technology world.

He felt it somewhat ironic that he would die not being able to stand looking at a monitor for more than five minutes without a morphine drip in place.

I'm usually an advocate for "Every Vote Counts,"

And that if you don't vote when you can, you shouldn't (not CAN'T, never 'can't,') complain most of the time, but this year....

This year.

I was registered on time. I've been following things, planning to cast my own vote (the 'Deez Nutz' ticket, if anyone's curious.) But when it came down to actually going today, seeing every single Trump sign up and down the roads, knowing just how the ticket would fall regardless of whatever I did.

Call me a coward, but I stayed home.

Sometimes "Just Do It" Isn't Enough


I think everyone here's seen just how dead my writing, or even reading on the site has been of late. I could make excuses, but there's really only one reason behind it all: I just can't seem to make myself do it.

PFH? 1/3 done. Phoenix Soars? 2/3. I have various other projects hovering between 1/4 and 3/4 done, and plans for oh so many more, but it seems like if I manage 500 words in a month any more I've pushed myself hard. It's just... ugh.

Not Every Story Needs a Sequel

We authors here at BC are blessed by our readership.

Really! BC has a large, mostly active community of readers and writers, and comments on stories are quite common, which is a wonderful change from the majority of other fiction sites I've seen, even mainstream ones. The community here is supportive of new writers, positive in their outlook on most tales, and generally a great place to be a part of.

Now, having gotten THAT out of the way, on to the point of this blog.

A Palace of One's Own

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I quite like Sherlock. Not only is Benedict Cumberbatch a great choice for the role, but the individual cases are usually interesting, if not quite as complicated as I'd like at times. Then again, I've only made it through the first and second seasons, so I may be missing some of the best.

Back on point, the series has a lot of great elements, but one of the ones I've found most attractive is the concept of the Mind Palace. I loved the concept from the show, and after doing some (very superficial) research into the ins and outs of its purpose and the method of using such, I decided I should have one of my own.

Cultural insensitivity, or poetic license?

I've been watching a Travel Channel series on Netflix called Expedition Unknown. Not only is the series itself great -- Josh Gates was always amazing on Destination Truth too, and is more than a little hunk-y -- but the places he goes and the things he sees are nothing short of awe inspiring.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-Girls

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When I was around a year old my aunt Paula moved in with my mom to help take care of me. My sperm donor was never much of a parent, even then, and between me, her job, and a little sister on the way, she needed the help. To this day, my aunt has been a huge influence on me, both in the things I like and the way I see the world.

Non-TG related, but seeking answers

Anyone who has spent any length of time talking to me already knows this, but just so it's stated... I'm a video game geek. Not like some casual "yeah I play on occasion" or "I like X series but not much else," but a dyed in the wool, I-can-name-you-the-processor-chip-from-every-console-ever-made kind of obsessed gaming geek.


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