Deathmatch 2011 – Round 4

Final Round | Round 6 | Round 5 | Round 4 | Round 3 | Round 2 | Round 1

Jeffrey Ross vs. Martha Tuff

Fatty, Fatty, Fat, Fat By Jeffrey Ross

“Fatty, fatty, fat, fat!”

The words sang from the un-tuned babble of children. They echoed off of the P.E. building’s cream brick and out into the open field. Five fourth-grade classmates were playing a game of kick the dirt at the crying child, a crying child huddled in a ball within their circle.

“Here fatty. Have some dirt. I bet you even eat dirt, you’re so fat.”

“Yeah, you’re so fat you went to the beach and Greenpeace tried to push you back in the ocean,” chimed in another voice.

Read More | Final Votes: 49.9%

Deathmatch By Martha Tuff

He’s got an axe in one hand, dripping, red splashed handle and a club in the other.

“I’m going to fuck you up,” he snarls.

And he does and you know it, well you know as long as you’re still breathing, as long as you’re still alive, which isn’t much.

There’s nothing much left when he’s done, just a messy pulpy pile of what you used to be.

Read More | Final Votes: 50.1%


RichmondHill – 2011/02/28

Jeffrey Ross was by far the better writer and storyteller.

That was one amazing race, nevertheless.

Congratulations  to the folks who got the most votes. .

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28


And here I thought it was going to be all lollipops. And I do eat worms. I will be back. Even if I’m a zombie writer. Mar Mar 😉

Saddle broached the subject that took over the comments for a time. He wrote “…a lot of people can relate to a story about picking their nose too…anybody can tell it like it is about native culture…aboriginal alienation…anger…gratuitous violence…not too many offer any solutions…”


I’m sorry that’s all you see. There’re plenty of publications that write what you are looking for. I’ve got to write for many. Check out native people’s magazine, beesum’s the nation, windspeaker, etc.


The story wasn’t about culture. It was about the lack of it. Aboriginal culture thrives in spite of your ignorance. This story is not about that. This is not the forum for that. You have only proven that you are naive, and as much as I hate censorship, I was embarrassed that this forum was taken over by cheap clichés in an attempt to attack me. The worst crimes perpetrated against our “ancestors” are unacknowledged ones.


“all i ever wanted to do in life was find a cheque in my mailbox every month, fish for salmon whenever i wanted, and dwell on atrocities perpetrated against my ancestors…turns out, i have to get up every morning, wage a pitiful war against my fellow neo-cons, and adapt…trying my best not to hit anyone with a stick…”


Assimilation, adaptation, paint it whatever you like. I hear it every day. It used to be nigger jokes by drunk white boys down south. But they had the stones to call me nigger to my face. It doesn’t change, does it.


Mar Mar, thanks for a clean fight. I liked much of your story. Sure I got lost. But you had me at the dark setting in the end. It was good. And I was too nice.


Someone said in here they are just words. Terry Eagleton said Literature is an ideology. It has the most intimate relations to questions of social power.


BP Thanks! Hal. Lindsay, Nathaniel, Brooke, Richard, Derek, and Tara.


My artist friend said you let the go work and the audience’s truth is more important than the one you wrote with. Well, it sure will show you what you didn’t look for. A novice painter asked his teacher, “When should I consider my painting finished?” and the teacher answered, “When you can look at it in amazement and say to yourself, “I’m the one that did that!”

“Which amounts to saying never.”


But you gotta put it out there. This was a critical step in my process. It was fun. I would recommend it. For a week I was a writer. Tomorrow I go back to dig ditches. I’m not even kidding. I will be back.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

Fight to the death, fine opponent.

7newspapers – 2011/02/28

What a terrific battle.  The kind where you want to refresh your browser every ten seconds to find out who’s winning now.  BP servers must be going crazy.  I almost feel like heading down the cyber cafe to get one more vote in.  But I wouldn’t, that would be cheating ; )

Lady Bathurst – 2011/02/28

I think Tuff Tuff is gonna be singing:

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

and Jeffrey eats worms!

Lady Bathurst – 2011/02/28

grade four class president now in progress…   Jeffrey has coodies

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/28

…gad…there’s an odds on chance your concession speech will be better than your story…just do your part and see that the bitch gets through…and its not about flower garlands or who marmar decides to lei next…you and i have some unfinished business…as bad as your writing is, you’ve got a head start…the best way to becoming an interesting writer is to lead an interesting life…i take you back to the race for grade four class president now in progress…and their cheesy slogans ; )

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28

You sound shook. Big guns just bark louder.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

Oh Jeffy, hang in there buddy. You are fighting with the big guns! Still of course I’d love it if we could all hold hands and sit in a circle and make flower garlands, but a match is a match and I’m not tired yet…

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28

Vote for Change! Come and take it! Don’t tread on me! No justice just us! JUST DO IT!

Vote for Jeff. I don’t have an army.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/28

Actually, saddle, my emotional investment in this contest is wrapped up in you.  I just wanted to see you freak out tonight after all the rage and tears.  But it seems like Jeff’s camp has slowed down… maybe MarMar will survive the night after all…

I’ve already written my concession speech, I just don’t know who to address it to.  I don’t expect to win regardless of who makes it through this round.  My four months of tropical isolation are at an end.  My bag is packed, and I’ll be in Colombia by the end of the week.  I’ll do what I can to spam the bookface for votes, and I’ll drop in to blow you kisses, but I can’t promise much.

Still, I’ll take heart in knowing how much you miss me….

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

Oh Jeffy, nice try, really, but you know you have nothing, just a mess of wasted metaphors.

Vote for Mar.  Join the Mar Army.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28

if heaven were so great there wouldn’t be a hell. VOTE FOR ME.

Observer – 2011/02/28

Just a few hours left and things are finally getting back to story discussion!  I rate what I read on the ‘sense’ factor. The more to be seen, felt and smelt the better. Both Jeff and MarMar are strong here.

Jeff”s dry dusty landscape truly has us feeling the heat and anxiously waiting for the cooling rain. Tear  tracks in dirt glimmer on cheeks and the bond between child and dog is made real.

MarMar has us in the dark bar straining to see our cards and lines such as ‘if you didn’t know him, you’d be worried’  and ‘he got old before he noticed, now it was too late’  give us a quirky surprise at the turn of phrase. I could feel the fingers of that strong veined hand digging into my throat.

Strangely enough one weak point for me in each story was the difficulity to follow what was happening at times. Looking at what you’ve written from the view of what the reader ineeds to know is an art in itself.

Thanks for letting ‘just anyone’ enjoy the match. Will be watching till the end.



backinthesaddle – 2011/02/28

…never mind the flake…the last guy you want to trust with your life is some kid from admonton with two earrings…he’s just playing the game, confident of your victory, he has no more to gain from you and your supporters, since next round you go head to head, so now he’s only fighting a rearguard backlash from angry ross supporters he may have previously alienated, hoping to suckhole a few votes in the process…the backlash is never much anyway, when their “chumpion” loses, supporters lose interest really quick, they get on with their lives, never giving a backwards glance to Broken Pencil or any of its authors…those that do stick around tend to vote objectively for the story they think is best…actually, griffis still voting like crazy for you, knowing how dangerous it could be if ross’s team gathers momentum…i thought it was a bad sign, to see your overnight percentage decline, since you typically gain during this time frame…but it looks like your tribe has gamely stepped it up…of course, even if you maintain the percentage as is, as the leader, you are gaining numerically in votes…participating in the Dearthmatch comment board is almost like a free psychoanalysis…tell me something i don’t know, you mean pricks…i’m afraid i won’t be offering any stellar links…what? and be held personally accountable for these ignorant, childish comments?…i don’t use a pen name…i’d strongly advise all of you to get one…my first published story was so bad, bordering on homophobic…that i was forced to go out and publish 20 more so i  so i could of couch my evil character and petty vindictiveness under the cloak of art and the moniker of struggling writer…but this is about you…i should ask, Mar Mar, in case you’re not around next round for questions, what did you read this week to recharge you batteries?…i mean, beside James Fenimore Cooper ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

All votes for me go to heaven.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

Oh Jeffy, keep your silly trains. I want all the glory.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28

If you vote for me i will give you back all of your gravy trains.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

Brown, it’s OK you are flaky, but geez, hurt a girl’s feelings 😉

This race is a close one! Keep voting til midnight people! Go Gore!

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/28


I’m just flaky like that.  Hope you can forgive me.

Do you ever watch UFC?  I love it, unapologetically.  I almost always root for the underdog.  So I’ve actually been waffling on my votes all week.  Ross had you early on, and so I voted for you until you had a good lead.  Then I felt bad for Ross, especially with all the mud slinging, so again I switched benches.  Now that it’s neck and neck, I might just slam one more beer, fall asleep with the light on, and wake up around three to see the aftermath.  I should probably go into politics.

You really do have to love how close it’s been, and how it’s swung back and forth.  Much more exciting than last week, but I won’t rake that up again.  Even though I just did.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/28

RichmondHill, thanks for your friendly comments. I really appreciate you reading and critiquing my story. You are right that Jeff and I have very different styles, both in how we write and how we have approached the contest.

Succincubus, thanks for the great questions. Regarding the overall style of the story, I wanted a story that was both shocking yet vulnerable. I believe the “awkward” writing style and chunky descriptions are a good foil for the lumbering characters, uncertain and unfulfilled despite their rough and tough appearance. It’s a typical story with known scenes of returning home alone after a night of drinking and dissatisfied, as well as the norms of father/ son miscommunication. But really I wanted to write something fun and ridiculous.

Brown, I am saddened to know that you are no longer supporting me. What gives? I voted for you!


jeffrey_R – 2011/02/28

Succincubus. I liked the dog part so I kept it. The dog is lonely and misunderstood. The girl shares something beyond peanut butter sandwiches. Sure, the dog has a potential for violence. It also has a potential to just be a good dog, when it’s not being kicked around.

The dog is a breeder. It exists to breed more violence. If I wrote about the dog, it would be about the loss of her children to be trained in being cruel.

I kept it because it seemed important to me. But I’m not the reader.

RichmondHill – 2011/02/28

How are you doing, MarMar?

Jeffrey is at his grunt-work contract job, so he is missing this mad race.

You paint very sensory (I think that is the word) pictures with your use of description:

Your money smells like sweatpants and second-hand smoke. He shoves it in the waistband of his pants anyway, crumbled up against the gray curly hair on his belly. A person can almost smell the body odor.

You also create tension through understatement: such as in the bartender observing the card game: “What’s the point in having sherry in a place like this”, nameless faceless bartender thinks to himself. Better not to look up, better to be quiet, the unseen fast fingers pouring the whisky polishing endless beer glasses.

Jeffrey writes from the heart and it comes through in his descriptions of people, places, and atmosphere. His work is deceptively multi-layered for a short piece. Each read reveals something new and surprising.

I need to ask, him, though: How do you “sick” a dog?

The “Internet” generation, I guess.

I hope you both win.

succincubus – 2011/02/28

extropian: you said you want the discussion to be more focused on the writing. I AGREE!!! This should be a fight between the writers, and the writers and the commentors, not the commentors vs. other commentors, unless its ABOUT the STORIES. That’s what we’re here for!

So in that vein, I want to ask Ms. Tuff a question: you said you intended your story to be choppy, muddled, rough and tumble. Can you talk to us more about why you designed it that way? Why did you want the conversation not to go anywhere?

And Mr. Ross: Some people have loved your scene with Posey the dog, and some people said they don’t know why it’s there. Why did you include this scene? What’s it’s purpose? Or isn’t there one? But let’s talk about it.

The race is still fractions of a percentage apart, so nothing is decided yet! I sure hope this one’s a hot, sweaty, juke & jive foray right up until the end…

fluttershy – 2011/02/28

troll saddle is troll

extropian – 2011/02/28

censorship is a bad idea on this kind of forum. I think a thumbs up / thumbs down system would work just fine. you could set a limit where a comment is deemed so negative, by the posters not the moderators, then it can be removed. you may not like what backinthesaddle is saying, and some of it has been pointless, he/she\’s written some really funny lines that are just as amusing as anything I\’ve read in the stories so far. just wish the critique could be a bit more focussed on the writing itself…

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/28


I disagree.  I think the comments should remain uncensored.  Words are just words, and if this is anything resembling a community of writers — would-be writers, Saddlebags would contend — then we should be willing to endure a bit of painful ignorance with the knowledge that freedom from censorship is crucial for the survival of the written arts.

Saddlebags hasn’t made anyone bleed.  He has, however, proven himself to be a lonely, angry hominid with a penchant for attention whoring.  And look at the result — MarMar was doing quite well in this race until he starting slinging salmon and sweat lodges.  How many did he sway to Jeffrey’s side?  The final heat is pregnant with votes of retaliation.

I was voting for MarMar earlier in the week, but I’ve waffled to the Ross camp.  Sorry MarMar.  I have a sadistic desire to see the trollish temper tantrum when the fat sister sings at midnight.

RichmondHill – 2011/02/28

Thanks for making the Deathmatch possible, although at this point it is not about the quality of writing, but about who has the most diehard keyboarding fans.
Still, it is good exposure for the participants.
I would like to point out that your Comment Board had degenerated into a forum of personal racist attacks, juvenile name-calling and illiterate tirades.
In the future, I would advise monitoring the comments and in the meantime, eliminating the offending ones, freedom of speech notwithstanding.
Otherwise, this is  a fun race.

Observer – 2011/02/28

Saddle – Over the top attacks make me curious as they are a sign of deep insecurity. Prove me wrong. Mount up with a ‘stellar and beyond criticism’ example and let the awe begin!!

Jeff and Martha – Love your grit to put it out there and roll with the horse kicks . . .

hosebag – 2011/02/28

Oh saddle, If only you could get back in the saddle you might not be so cranky.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/27

…yeah that’s right puss, lemme hear you moan…spoken like a true loser…hey look, i found a toonie in jeff’s comment …someone should check on mitzi…she might be laying on the floor somewhere after falling off her walker ; )

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/27

It’s been a blast. And it doesn’t look like anyone is reading this comment board anymore since it’s been hijacked.

Tomorrow is work, so I won’t know what goes down until I’m done. No comps accessible where I work.

My artist friend said you let the go work and the audience’s truth is more important than the one you wrote with.

I’m down with that. I wrote a story about a little neglected girl, maybe a bit angry, who took some information and ran with it in the wrong direction. I thought it was ok. Not Cat in the Rain quality or anything.

Growing up out there, everything in the desert is prickly, thorny, and mean. So, the death match is a cake walk. People shouldn’t take this personal but is seems to swing that way.

I’ll take what is useable from this and apply it. It’s been a blast, and I hope I win.

Mar Mar, good job! BP thanks for this. We need more people taking more chances.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/27

…if by making the reader feel awkward you mean nauseous…and by being a kid you mean being a dilettante…then i think you’ve succeeded…i think someone took a crap and titled it “Deathmatch”…my writing is stellar and beyond criticism…in order to have a writer to writer conversation, i’d have to find another writer and i’d be hard-pressed to find one here…looks like this squeaker is almost in the bag…at least i’ve managed to silence the fruitcakes…mitzi didn’t have much useful to say anyway…maybe it’s another grammersdorf protest, remember how well it worked for her…have you got a third period kick in mind, i step away from my “compy” a couple hours and find you bleeding from a few holes you didn’t have before…remember, they fight dirty…maybe you can mention how filial you are to your granny to attract a few sympathy votes ; )

hosebag – 2011/02/27

this old squaw gets her cheques direct deposit and the only salmon on my table is from the local chinese market. i’m not too big on bloodletting OR bullying but whatever turns your crank and gets you published, well, i guess that’s what it’s about. ain’t never been to residential school but i’ve certainly felt the pain. well, hell, i got family i’ve never met cos the man alienated them before i was a twinkle.

jeff, i hope you clean up here…you and yer fat sister!!! ;-))

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/27

I’m still in it to win it! I’m getting caught up in making  a grammy’s dinner and being a good host.

This has been awesome. Killer mice? I’m writing a short story about a subway cleaner. I once had to wash up a puddle of blood from a subway car. It was everywhere! One guy told me that on new year’s someone took a crap on a seat and left a toonie in it.

Those were good times. But this is obvi way better.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/27

Oh and since I’ve been out for a little while, just want to mention that you are all fantastic and I’m loving the banter! Where’s Jeffy poo?

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/27

I AM RIDICULOUS! Today I am working on a story about mice! Bloody and cute mice.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/27

Saddle, I am a kid sometimes and I love it. This story is intentionally rough and tumble, just like this contest. The characters are awkward; the language is awkward and choppy. It’s over the top; it uses tried and true descriptors all muddled together like the blood of a mass murder. This is the point, Saddle, a conversation, an awkward bloody conversation that doesn’t really go anywhere but wants to get you dirty in the process regardless.

One should feel proud you are so picky, Saddle. You’d make a great editor. Or fashion consultant.

I still want to read your stuff, and how so I can somehow critique the shit out of it, but so we can talk writer to writer instead of villain to villain, although you are probably a much better Venus flytrap that anything else.

I want to use the word awkward as many times as possible and leave you feeling…awkward.

Fight on, Saddle man.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/27

“And he does”…probably the most undescriptive passive verb you could…”and you know it”…like what? you wouldn’t know it? useless….”well you know as long as you’re still breathing, as long as you’re still alive”…”which isn’t much”…awkward usage here too, you’re not much alive…”a messy pulpy pile”….that’s so kiddish…i can’t go on….

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/27

Harumph…you know what’s ridiculous, marmar?…the idea that your grampa is going to fuck somebody up with an axe in one hand and a club in the other…i don’t think you’ve really thought it out…you need two hands to get a good swing in with an axe…unless it’s a hatchet and a pretty small club…but it’s not, it’s a lumberjack axe dragging on the ground…and another thing…why’s it dripping with blood already…he hasn’t hit anybody yet, he says he’s “going” to fuck you up…and maybe the poker game is a metaphor for the Deathmatch…but really, what the hell does it have to do with a vicious beating…nothing really…that’s why everybody is deploring your clunky transition…you don’t deserve to win this…i don’t even know why i bother…do you have any strategy for the Dearthmatch?…no i guess, because you can’t even pull away from the most ridiculously stupid and trite revenge story ever….penned by jeffrey ross…your friends are apparently mute slackers who couldn’t give a shit…

7newspapers – 2011/02/26

This is Martha’s hour.  She’s a pretty good peacemaker too.  It’s hell being sick when you’re in the conversation.  Old Saddlesore seems to have said too much, stirred up a hornet’s next, the whole Ojibway Nation is on the warpath.  Those old voters are the best.  So much time on their hands.  But they go to bed early.  Make hay while the sun shines ; )

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/26

…let me put it another way…all i ever wanted to do in life was drink, fuck and moan…but that’s just me personally…where do you get off on calling me a cowardly racist?…i’m barely cowardly at all…oh, the mother in ross’s story was in a residential school…ooooh, she was privileged enough to move to arizona….ooohhh she talks too much when she drinks…and if one of our little warriors gets insulted, well then we’re going to assault you with a weapon, with the approbation of our elders…get a grip…what’s so pathetic is that you spew homophobic slurs under a fake name and can’t even see the ignorance of your own hypocrisy…even mitzi think’s your fat ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/26

Kharma, thanks for the kind wishes. It has been a great race and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Jeffy’s been the one to beat!

Oh and don’t worry about Saddle. He just loves to get a rise out of people and you are giving him a notch on his belt if you respond to his obviously ridiculous comments.

How did these stories bring about racial tension? Seriously? C’mon guys.

Let’s get back to the gore. Metaphorical gore.

My grandpa will kick your grandpa’s ass.

Kharma_baby – 2011/02/26

Saddlesores: In spite of  your racially motivated shortsightedness, Native Canadians do not get a cheque in the mail every month. We do not fish salmon whenever we feel like it. Many of us don’t even live near salmon fishing. and we don’t sit back and whine about historical atrocities.

Before perpetrating untruths, get your facts straight, you ignorant waste of space.

You are a coward, using this platform to spread racial hatred and lies, under a fake name.

Why don’t you take your ignorance and crawl back into  your sludge pit.

I hope everyone sees you for the cowardly racist you are.

kharma_baby – 2011/02/26

Jeffrey and MarMar both have fought a noble battle.

This is a very close and fascinating race.

Feel better, Martha dear. and Jeffrey hang in there.

The rest of you who have been supportive and civil, thank you.



extropian – 2011/02/26

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/26

Geeze, this isn’t supposed to be a forum on trolling (or is it?). Maybe Death Match will get an entry in Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Get better Mar Mar. And yeah washed out eyes, awesome. I see weathered emotional empathy, and you see some emotional apathy. Duelling granpas!

Why’s this remind me of Ellison’s Battle Royale?

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/26

…stop it, please stop it…you’re going to make all the kids with earrings excited…have a little symptahy for mar mar, we don’t want to make her any sicker than she is….it’s getting hotter than a sweat lodge in here…i’m so misunderstood…i wanted to slam ross so hard for putting a monsoon in arizona…but it turns out, there are monsoons in arizona…you read, you learn…he’s really not such a bad guy, a peacemaker, with a knack for writing…incomplete contest entries…one of those residential school success stories we don’t hear much about…writer’s are notorious for craving attention…even know-it-alls like slipslap who get some kind of charge or feeling of superiority giving putridly stale guidance to ‘net newbs…when i woke up this morning all i was craving was…pie…now i find myself attacked on all sides by savages…ill-educated intolerable types who step way over the border in uttering insults deem politically incorrect in Toronto and most polite society…on behalf of limp dicks everywhere i hereby lodge a formal protest with this publication…it’s one thing to raise the banner of kharma…it’s another to live it…all i ever wanted to do in life was find a cheque in my mailbox every month, fish for salmon whenever i wanted, and dwell on atrocities perpetrated against my ancestors…turns out, i have to get up every morning, wage a pitiful war against my fellow neo-cons, and adapt…trying my best not to hit anyone with a stick…but i’m warning you, if some mouthy geezer with a walker gets in my way, look out ; )

doggywoggy – 2011/02/26

backinthesaddle sounds like a victim of bullying whose only recourse in life is to badmouth others after getting it face down style without vaseline once too many times ;D

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/26

Oh my! I’ve been super sick! Have you missed me? Seems things have gotten a little nasty. Come on people, especially you, Saddle. Haven’t you something nice to say?

Jeffy, good to see you on here. Nice little bit poetry by the way…

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/26

All the flourish had gone out of their fight. Bobbing, weaving, jabbing had turned into clubbing, wild open swings, and running head-long into each other. The two warriors had battled it out late into the final round, and now they approached each other punch drunk, like intoxicated pandas.

The crowds demand for blood turned into laughing, mocking, screaming. The fighters were left in the halo of the bright lights. There was only the smell of beer, whiskey, and tobacco. The bell rang and they began again.

slipslap – 2011/02/26

(for those who are new to this game) \’Feeding the trolls\’ refers to: \”When you reply to a troll or group of trolls on the internet, usually angrily and while showing signs of being offended. When you do this, you give the trolls the attention that they crave. You\’re responding in the way that the troll wants you to respond. You get upset over something that someone posted on the internet.\”

mbrown – 2011/02/26

Backinthesaddle, you have an axe to grind for some reason. Do not address me again on this board. I don’t know you and I have no interest in knowing you. This publication should be monitoring the board because if I were an admin here, your hateful and angry comments would be deleted.

I as a Native woman can relate to this story because I went through this as a child myself. Though I wasn’t called fatty fat fat, I was called “skimo” and “eskimo pie” instead. I too stood up for myself in much the same way as the little girl in the story. When children are pushed in such a way, they push back! That seems to surprise you. I guess you weren’t a child ever in your life.

Your comments Backinthesaddle are bordering on racist. Should you continue I will place a complaint with the publication. I can respond to your hate with a bit of class but do NOT take that as a sign of weakness, I am far from weak.

Hi Zo, tell Jeffrey I said hello and I will continue supporting him, all the best to you both, Mitzi:)

kharma_baby – 2011/02/26

Thank you, Zo, for bringing this back into the realm of civility.

Constructive comments on the quality of the writing should be what this is about, encouraging and nurturing new talent, not a platform for juvenile outbursts.

I am looking forward to more intelligent and supportive input for the writers.

I am of the school that throws punches and any handy projectiles and then asks questions of the scattered  corpses too late.

Zo – 2011/02/26

saddle, I think you might be moving out of your element.  Anyone can tell it like it is about native culture?  And black culture?  And hispanic?  Also, attacking other people’s comments, especially when they thankfully have nothing to do with you, or yours, is childish.  Finally, sometimes there are no solutions.  Sometimes things just suck.  Like what Aboriginal people in Canada have had to endure.  But I’m sure you know all about that.
On a different note, MarMar, I loved your description of the light in the bar.  Just enough light to tell the difference between sherry and Jack.  Loved it.  And Ross, I love the way you create such a beautiful relationship between Posie and Sandy so quickly and have it resonate so strongly.  Looks like it’s going to stay close til the end.

Kharma_baby – 2011/02/26

And you must be an expert in picking puss-filled saddle sores, you limp-dick faggot.

Back off, or I will beat the slime out of you with my aluminum walker.   

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/25

…a lot of people can relate to a story about picking their nose too…anybody can tell it like it is about native culture…aboriginal alienation…anger…gratuitous violence…not too many offer any solutions…mitzi…

mbrown – 2011/02/25

Love the story. Of course a lot of people would be able to relate to the issue of bullying. I liked the element of Native culture that you brought out in the story– an awareness of and acknowledgement of our ancestors. You have your mother’s gift Jeffrey and I find your style is much like hers. Best of luck to you with the contest. I will be sitting here voting for you and supporting you, mitzi

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/25

off the fence beaulieu…griff’s got it right…if mar mar loses, i’m taking it personal…ross’s story will go viral…trust me ; )

succincubus – 2011/02/25

It’s a dead heat going into the weekend. I’m on the edge of my stool waiting to see how the tides will shift as the M-F’ers are released from their cubicles and the entertainment industry workers must clock in for their longest shifts.

Whose friends will have the most free time and dedication to plunk away at their laptops and banter with online strangers?

Did I say how much I LOVE how close this contest is? Delicious. Whoda thunk it.

danielperry – 2011/02/25

Hi Martha. Hi Jeffrey. Congratulations to you both on your vivid descriptions, your active writing, and your very different stories of characters standing up for themselves. I enjoyed reading them, and it’s great to see that vote-wise, you’re both still hanging in there.

Jeffrey, your scenery is beautiful, described with a naturalistic bluntness that generally succeeds and only falls flat occasionally. I found your story to be the more visual of the two, and I liked knowing where the characters were come from and what they’re setting out to accomplish. To the point that your word choice does repeat itself a little, this didn’t bother me so much. There’s a simplicity and a clarity in your writing that I admire, and I really liked the way you brought the subject position in at the end to hammer home the point.

Martha, you did less sensory work, but you did more with the narrative voice than your opponent. Writing in the second person is not easy, as every “you” action has to be something “I” (your reader) would plausibly do in the circumstances, but you pulled it off. You did a lot with very little, and though it pains me to say as someone who (thinks he) writes like a minimalist, I wanted a little more background, setting- and character-wise, maybe just 50-100 words. That said, I think you write an “edgier” fight scene than Jeffrey does, and I enjoyed the irreverence of your conclusion.

Not revealing who I’m voting for, this one’s too close to call.

Good job and good luck to you both!


PS, to DGB and Dani: Sorry to miss your round, was out of town last week. I will enter the fray re: “Brink” next round, and Dani, if you’re interested in my thoughts on your work, Round One will tell you where to find me.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/25

Happy 50th, Broken Pencil ; )

7newspapers – 2011/02/24

Don’t tell me.  Someone threw a party and nobody invited you.  Who throws a party and charges ten bucks?  I’d pay ten bucks just to slap the bald guy ; )

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/24

…wrong again, suckface…the music in your head is only a side effect of mixing your geritol with your clozapine…and comments in favour of a certain author almost never persuade anyone…i think we finally found someone more unlikeable on the board than me…kharma, you wrinkle faced hobbling pedantic windbag…is there anything worse than listening to a blind bat ex teacher?…why don\’t you crawl back to the old folks home before some fat girl smashes you in the face with your own cane…more gore?

succincubus – 2011/02/24

Alright, DGB, I suppooooose I can see your argument. Even though comments in favor of a certain author/story can sway the unbiased public (assuming there is any out there, besides me). But it still chaps my cherries to think for a moment there is a “flaw” in my “logic.” Harumph.

Speaking of Star Trek, does anyone else hear the music in their head every time they login to the Deathmatch from the episode when Spok and Captain Kirk are forced to battle to the death? I’m talking old school ST, none of this Next Generation business. Data was the only good part of that debacle.

I’m sure it’s on YouHoo, somewhere…

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/24


One small flaw in your logic, sir:  this isn’t a meritocracy.

(And I mean ‘sir’ in the Star Trek sense, which is completely ungendered, obviously.)

If Ross was Dean Koontz and MarMar was Raymond Chandler, it still wouldn’t matter, because they are neck and neck.  So if I was to vote strategically, yeah I supposed it would be for MarMar, because she’s been under more than over.  Not that a few votes here and there would make a big difference, but following your premise, the vote underdog is the one to pick; the writing quality is irrelevant.

But that’s not why I picked MarMar.  I really just want to be able to crack a joke in the semis about a standoff between her “messy pulpy pile” and my own….

succincubus – 2011/02/24

Okay DGB I got another question for ya. I know this isn’t your round, but I like to pick on you a little bit anyway. It’s fun cuz you don’t mind…

So I was thinking, you’ll be facing off against the winner from this round to make it to the final match. Wouldn’t you want the weakest story to win, to make the upcoming battle easier for you?

Or are you one of those chivalrous shining-knight types who says “May the best man win!” with triumphant bravado, and doesn’t have a short sword tucked in his boot top?

I’m not saying anything at all about whose story is better. Not saying that Ms. MarMar’s story is weaker because DGB is pulling for it. It’s very – Tarantinoesque.

I’m just mmm, postulating.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/24

It’s true. I’ve neglected this comment board, and you fine readers. Even Saddle because that person took the time to read the stories, and I’m glad I could help you with your vocabulary.

I didn’t write the story for death match. I was sending out new work and I got an email from BP saying, hey death match, think about it. Sweet, I thought. Should be fun.

I mean about the story. I was going for imagery and setting, and as saddle put out there in that brass tacks way, a simple revenge story. It’s a little more than that, but whatever. I wanted to remember AZ becuause it’s frosty outside, too.

Yeah DGB, the granpa is partly imagination and partly a gauge for the girls emotion.

Tommy thanks for the most useful criticism. Yeah, I like repitition so sue me.

MarMar’s got moxy. What kind of novella? I like the moodiness, the fact it was written for the competition. I had a hard time following the first bit, but then it sunk in.

Right now i’m being consumed by poetry, and some new short stories. Yeah vote for me.

kharma_baby – 2011/02/24

The reason I like ghosts,  Saddlebag, is that soon I will be one.

kharma_baby – 2011/02/24

Blank – like much of the commentary.

DGB:  you are a rose between many thorns.

I am 85 years old, half-blind and arthritic.

I used to teach English and still love literature

& good writers. Now I hobble about with a walker

and a magnifying glass. But this is fun. Vote for

the good guy.



David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/24


Nope.  Not sure what my genre is, but nope.


Well put.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/24

Yea! Vote for me! You are all lovely! And gorey gruesome!

kharma_baby – 2011/02/24



Madeline Masters – 2011/02/24

Ghost stories – fun tangent!

DGB: Yours is a good one. Have you ever written it out as a fiction or nonfiction piece? Or is that not your genre?

Mr. Ross: seems like Ms. Tuff is dominating the conversation. Why don’t you tell us what you really think of her story, and why you chose Fatty, Fatty, Fat Fat for the Deathmatch? The discussion board’s always more fun when the conversation is two-sided.

Ms. Tuff: I’m really enjoying reading your comments. I like that you’re willing to share your personality and put yourself out there in such a potentially brutal setting. But you seem not to mind a little rough & tumble. ;D

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/24

I don’t know about the other two, backinthesaddle, but I’ve been casting for MarMar too.  Since it’s not my week, I’ve been slacking, but now that I know how strongly you feel…. well… perhaps I’ll spend a few fewer hours courting jellyfish, and I might even have a few unemployed friends I can recruit to the cause.  Obviously none of us wants to see how screwed up your face gets when you’re actually upset.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…somebody’s going to have to start paddling faster…we gotta turn this leaky gondola into a dragon boat…while i’m trashing lit zines, i’ve always refrained from submitting to joyland…of course it was an upstart a few years back…and it’s simplistic brown layout…and chaotic multi-city editorial system…which essentially means that nobody reads the stories anyway…put me off big time…but now they’ve been around a while…and gone into high profile big-shot advertising mode…so maybe they’re trying to boost their readership…and it’s time to have another look…oh joy ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

“weaning myself of TO canlit chicks” – thank you for making me laugh.
You do what you have to do, Saddle, you always do.

More gore?

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…of course if you win…i’m throwing six votes a day behind griff…sorry mar mar, but i’m weaning myself of TO canlit chicks, can’t spread myself too thin…i’m actually the crazy bitter guy sitting on a sewer grate in dusty orange coveralls staring at the girls…my friends would attest my hair is …ummmm…not greasy….and as for Kharma-baby.  anyone who’s first comment is “Comment” and lists the paranormal among her hobbies should probably go under FAS-baby ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Oh dear, Saddle. Who knew I’d make a friend?

You are a silly and I love da banter.

Thank God you aren’t that crazy bitter crazy man I had pictured who hangs out in the back at movie theatres and stares at all the girls with his long trench coat and greasy hair…

Keep writing, keep bantering. Rock solid gold fun times.

kharma_baby – 2011/02/23

Chill, Backwards Saddle. Who pissed on your leg?

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…your winning Pilot Magazine story may have been a delight to write, but most definitely shouldn’t have been a delight for anyone else to read…mar marrrrrrrr…you know i’m only teasing…it’s a deathmatch…personally, i find you to be the best thing about this year’s dearthmatch, with griff a close second…that was probably his earring he rediscovered dead centre on the bed…right where he left it, chalk it up to a spazzy right-brained writer-type with a regular habit of misplacing things and then jumping to paranoid hair-brained conclusions…but i will warn the boys now …if mar mar loses…no matter how much i hate his token story…i will personally see to it that ross wins the dearthmatch…i’m just saying…factor that in your voting…no but anyway MM, your feisty playfulness and refreshing humility is already a victory.  Keep writing ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Wow, Saddle, not sure how you got so bitter but I’m sure it looks good on you.

As for my previous work with Pilot, I wish I could count the editors and other contributors as friends. They seem to be pretty cool people to me but I haven’t met most of them. And no, I didn’t get paid for those stories and regardless of your opinion, they were also a delight to write and I feel very happy that the artists were able to choose which flash fiction suited their art. I think it’s a great idea to have collaboration across the board. And  to clear it all up, I mentioned in my bio that I was *a* winner of the contest which is absolutely true. I am just getting started and it’s great to finally be out there and part of the conversation. I am currently working on other stories as well as a novella for submissions. As I said before you have to start somewhere so here I am. This is art, and I don’t believe there are wrong answers.

Thanks for your ghost stories Kharma and Dave! You are awesome. I believe!

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…ya caught me jeffy…it takes a pretty serious injury to cross the “aggravated” threshold…he did crumple in a heap…with blood pooling in his forehead and eyes searching the sky, his arms prostrate…then she whacked him again in the face when his head would have had minimal give…fat girls can really swing a bat, but we don’t know how big the branch was…maybe he managed to get his hand up in time to protect himself…he was able to roll over and verabalize lucidly…we’re just gonna have to wait for the doctor’s report…yeah, i am pretty much an expert on most things…there is no such thing as ghosts, griff…except madeline m, she keeps reappearing to haunt this comment board…still, she can knock on my door with her goofy stalker art anytime…and yes, mar mar, you owe the whole world an apology for your pilot project story, and probably this one too…you missed the whole point of tooloose’s illustration, which was a suck up enhancemant of the Canada Art Council Logo…easier to make the connection when you see them both on the same page…how the Canlit tree is flourishing verdantly, sending readers on new voyages of discovery…or more likely how boatloads of gold are being expended on a tree that is bearing no fruit…the main thing is, did you get a $100 honorarium?…i bet hal and derek beaulieu did (any relation?)…the old boars know their way around the canlit trough…which reminds me, i was going to add that the Danforth Review and PA Tyler also piss me off for rejecting most of my better stories…but i should probably be thanking them and their stringent standards for saving me the embarassment of seeing my worst stories in print…something which BP didn’t spare you with these clunkers ; )

Reader – 2011/02/23

Saddle’s use of the ellipsis isn’t confouding, its just wrong and non-sensical. It undermines every comment this person has made and is so distracting it is impossible to get beyond two lines.

If you can’t express your criticism coheriently you should refrain from commenting as poor grammar (not to mention unnecessary insults) actually expose you to be the weakest writer here.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/23


Oh thank god, I thought ghost stories were going to take over. Your use of an ellipsis is confounding. Is it aggravated assault? And are there lots of fat chicks in jail? Are you an expert on both because you come across as like it. Maybe a CO or just wasting time until parole?

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…what’s scary to me is how bad ross’ story is…brown brown brown…wilted wilted…AHHHH…AHHHH…raise? her chubby legs…as fast as they could carry her…did you plagiarize that line from some children’s book you got at home?…The clouds were gathering…you can do better than that ross…the horrendous repetition of the conjunction “and” is only marginally less irritating than seeing a comma repeatedly in front of it…her mother had had moved (sic)…the sound travelled faint into the distance and disappeared around the corner…really?…i haven’t seen a sound disappear around a corner lately…and will residential schooling make a gratuitous cameo appearance in any more of your stories?…finally, i’m troubled by the only moralizing i can find in your story about the wanton violence at the end…that of the old man cheering her on as she jumps the one kid from behind and then again as he’s laying on the ground, which she follows up by smashing a nearly little girl…basically aggravated assault with a weapon…all because she got teased for being fat and got a little dirt kicked in her hair?…probably why there’s so many fat chicks in jail…what you should do, is go back to school, finish your grade 12, and submit again next year…

kharma_baby – 2011/02/23

Don Jail has the “Hangman’s Graveyard” where executed prisoners were buried. There are stories of  evil hauntings from there.  There are a couple of theatres were the actors refuse to leave. The old Elgin has some pretty famous ghosts.

U f T has that stone mason who committed suicide in the name of love.

The sports hall of fame, a  former bank, has a haunted ladies’ room,. where a spurned lover committed the unholy act.  People see her all the time.

Halton County has hauntings, including some Aboriginal spirits.

My house has a pianist who performs at midnight. At first I wet my pants, Now I just enjoy ti.

Check out the files of Creepy Canada. A new book on Ghosts of Cottage Country looks good, too.

Paranormal is a hobby of mine. Once I stopped being scared witless by the shades, it is fun.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/23

Ghost stories?!? Awesome.

Victoria is supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in Canada.  I don’t know what I think about ghosts, but this is what happened to me… cross my heart and all that.

I moved into this apartment that had been vacant for three months.  The landlord didn’t say why, and I didn’t think to ask at the time, although in retrospect that is pretty strange in Vic where apartments are in short supply… especially one on the edge of downtown.

After I moved in I noticed a red stain on the ceiling between the kitchen and living room.  Ketchup?  Most likely.  Then I noticed a bunch of very blood-looking speckles all around  the bathtub facet.  Strange.

Then stuff started to go missing.  Really obvious stuff.  Like I’d put a CD on and put the gem case beside the stereo, then come back to swap it out and the gem case was gone.  Then, like a week later, whatever went missing would reappear in an odd place that made no sense.  But don’t worry, I was pretty chronic back then, so you can safely discount my testimony.

Then my ring went missing.  It was a ring I bought in Colombia and I always wore it, and the only time I took it off was at the computer.  For some reason it bugged me when I was typing, so I always slid it off and put it beside the keyboard.  That’s exactly what I did this one day, and I was quite conscious of doing so, and then a minute later the ring was gone.  Unlike my other missing items, it didn’t show up a week later.

About six months later I had met a nice human female and we decided to move in together.  It was moving day and I had packed up and moved almost everything out of the apartment.  The only things left:  cleaning shit under the bathroom sink, my bare mattress, box spring and frame, and a couple garbage bags stuffed with clothes.

I was in the bathroom with this particular human female, while she was cleaning around the sink and I was packing up whatever was under the sink.  I said to her:

“Remember that ring I told you about?  I was kinda hoping I’d find it in this move…”

I got up about 30 seconds later, walked into the bedroom, and the ring was lying on my mattress, dead centre.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/23

On first glance I thought the story was about sealing. You can really run with that.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Moxy Tuff, I just may use that…

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Meaning, just in case it wasn’t clear, my childhood home, I am still convinced as I was when I was five that there are dead babies in the floorboards. It still freaks me out!

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

It is close! I’m still in it to win it!  C’mon peeps! Vote Vote Vote for me! And gorey grandpas!

So nice to see you, succincubus.

Proxy site? Wha?


Fav ghost story – my own from my own creepy haunted house! Dead babies in the floorboards! Eek!

succincubus – 2011/02/23

Aw gee thanks, you’re makin’ me blush!

And I do like that word “Moxy.” Maybe you should be “Moxy Tuff.” Wow, that’s so — 1921. That’s good. Whadaya think?

And it’s a cloooose maaaatch – I looove iiiiit!

Wonder if that other girl is still voting 50/50 with the proxy site…

HalNiedzviecki – 2011/02/23

Hey everyone, Hal N. here. Great round so far, looks like it’s going to go down to the wire! So, yeah, the commentators seem to have fallen by the wayside but we’ll try and get them going for the next rounds. Also, wanted to invite everybody out to the BP party next week – join Broken Pencil for a celebration of our 50th issue of the magazine and 15 years of publishing. The party and fundraiser is at 8pm on Thursday March 3 at the 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture (918 Bathurst Street – two blocks North of Bloor Street). Be great to put faces to names of all those of you voting, critiquing, complaining…Martha, Jeffrey, what do you say? Handshake at the BP shindig? For complete info about the party go to

and now back to the DM…I love that Tuff (actually her real name as far as I can tell) wrote a story called Deathmatch for Deathmatch. And yet Ross’s story is also pretty kick ass and has lines like “Posie’s owner thought she was a mean-ass killer pitbull, and used her to breed other mean-ass killer pitbulls to fight each other at the edge of the city. Posie liked peanut butter sandwiches.” So overall I’m torn. Both deserve to move on, but only one will!

Reader – 2011/02/23

Ellipsis Points:

“Ellipsis points (or marks) are a series of three dots that indicate the omission of quoted words … Other uses of ellipses are to show a trailing off of thought at the end of a sentence or to show a pause, as is done with a comma or a dash”

The New York public Library’s Guide to Style and Usage

As with every other devise, over use irritates the reader and makes the writer look pretentious.

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/23

I can’t remember the last ghost story I’ve heard. But I have fond memories of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Thank you Reader. You are a lovely.

Anyone want to chat about their favourite ghost story?

ReaderE – 2011/02/23

Martha: I like your moxy! And your story! Have some vote!

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Do what you gotta go, Neutral.

Thanks for reading!

Neutral – 2011/02/23


Saddle is a dick.


I liked both stories, but I think I’m going with Fatty Fatty Fat Fat


Good job to both of you.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

I missed you! And the guest commentator!

And I agree with you absolutely, Jeff. Deathmatch is a great forum for ideas and chatting with other writers and getting out there! I heart Broken Pencil for this opportunity. This isn’t about masterpieces, we all get better the more we do. This is about being a part of a writing community, supporting each other and having a great time in the process.

I’m having a blast!


jeffrey_R – 2011/02/23

Thanks for the constructive comments. I liked those last comments by Mar Mar on small victories. My short isn’t a masterpiece. It was fun to write and a chance to bring an idea to life. I’m sure my writing will get better the more I practice the craft.

I get a kick out of this sartre quote: A novice painter asked his teacher, “When should I consider my painting finished?” and the teacher answered, “When you can look at it in amazement and say to yourself, “I’m the one that did that!”

“Which amounts to saying never.”

But you gotta put it out there.

succincubus – 2011/02/23


Anyone miss me?

Another question for BP: What the hell happened to the guest commentators? Are we anonymous commentators too lowly to be graced with the chosen brethren’s presence anymore?

I feel like we’ve been shoved off shore with no rudder. At least the authors can be our paddles. As long as they both decide to stay in the damn boat. Makes me sad.

Tommy – 2011/02/23

Idea for BP. If a writer wins a round he/she is allowed to revise their story for the next match.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/23

Tommy – thanks for your constructive criticism. I appreciate that you read my story and gave me some sort of feedback about the story and not about me personally.

As for you Saddle, my dear, this story isn’t my masterpiece, but a conversation starter. I write other stuff, we all write other stuff, some of it gets out there and some of it sits in a drawer somewhere and some of it is still being edited and some of it won’t leave us alone. Little victories are still victories and help me keep going. I am not going to apologize for a silly story that was fun as hell to write and even funnier still to share.
Keep writing, Saddle.

Tommy – 2011/02/23

Martha, Intense story with some good lines, but hitting a reader over the head with a 2by4 isn\’t difficult. It\’s penny arcade bravado. Strong voice and tone carries throughout, but gear shift to poker game confuses. It reads as two separate stories smashed together. Change the word crumbled to crumpled. Two clunky sentences – The head of the axe drags… and Danny stumbles trying to find… Best line: you already tooted this horn, but I like – If someone loved him, they\’d be worried.

Tommy – 2011/02/23

Jeff, I think the strength of your story lies in the setting details and imagery woven throughout. Uncertainty of where story is heading also good. I would consider a different title, something more meaningful, perhaps tied to setting. Greenpeace insult too thoughtful for a fourth grader. Beautiful contrast/description of scenery/old man, but take out line – The folds of… (shown previous). Be careful of word repetition – weathered, wilted grass, iron tree(p.4), and pandemonium. Delete line – Her mother warned her.(heavy-handed) and the paragraph, Posie\’s owner thought she was…(obvious to reader through previous comment). I do like the dog sequence and that it is brought up later in reference to pet marten. Substitute the word still for prostrate (sounds awkward). I was confused about the old man. Like DGB said earlier I would clarify this in your story, not as a footnote in your bio. Best line: She would walk it to school and introduce it to Posie. (empathy moment)

Kharma_baby – 2011/02/23

Wanna-be writers who can’t get published elsewhere populate these “Comment” opportunities. Boring!

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/23

…nice comeback mar mar…i mean, percentage wise…your reparte is hitting new lows…you must have half of england voting for you…either that or a couple computer geeks, can i be the first one to cry “Foul!”…you didn’t even win that Pilot Contest, Farina Seritalovazhiznik won, you were only one of about 10 other writers “chosen by the artists”…which only means, you had more friends in the contest…but which bodes well for you here…don’t worry about my writing…worry about your own and coming up with more than a non-sensical half-baked idea for a story which your lazy ass then submits as a finished “artistic” piece…i’ve been published everywhere except Taddle Creek…which i’m proud of…McSweeney’s…which is understandable, their stuff is mostly off the wall unreadable, but which still pisses me off, does anyone ever go there to read and not submit, no i didn’t think so…or the New Yorker…which pretty much goes for everyone i’ve ever heard of…okay, not the Paris or Ontario Reviews either, but fuck’em if they won’t take email submissions…same for most of the staid and stale Can Lit establishment….fuck Narrative Magazine, they charge a reading fee…but pretty much everywhere else that accepts submissions by emails and which has been around for more than 7 issues ; )

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/23

hahaha MarMar and saddle, you’re making me weep.

Ross — where’d you go?  is he an imaginary friend or what?!?

Kharma_baby – 2011/02/22

Good  story. ROSS. Strong use of imagery and narrative creates atmosphere and empathy. Feels like you are there. Keep writing.

Kharma_baby – 2011/02/22


MarMarTuff – 2011/02/22

Hey well Saddle er up, you gotta start somewhere.
Where can I find your stuff? Hmm? The I’m-too-good-for-you-lit quarterly?

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

…hey mar mar…i checked out your “winning” story in pilot magazine…you’re really hitting the pro circuit in all these high power competitions…i nearly barfed at the quality of the stories there too, i’d hate to read the losing entries…near as i can tell the pilot project is a sad sack backwater eddy for washed up toronto hack writers trying to give meaning to the empty efforts of lacklustre illustrators who otherwise couldn’t find homes for their frivolous doodles…a lot of familiar names, wink wink… … my story?…oh, i’ve got more than a few kicking around…but if i ever waste a good one by submitting to pilot project?…promise you’ll shoot me? ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/22

So we’re getting bloody, no holds barred – these talentless writers are fucking you up, eh saddleman?

It ain’t over till it’s over and I am not going down without a fight. Super charge, c’mon people. Where’s my peeps? Where’s the crew who loves dirty grandpas?

Fat girls are *so* last season.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/22


Pulling no punches, eh?

Where’s your story, backinthesaddle?


backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

…c’mon mar mar…i thought girls were supposed to be more socially connected…things are starting to look grim here…time to make your last stand…pull out the stops…you gotta come up with some sort of extended plan quick…and you boys here…it’s not the quality of the story you have to worry about…it’s the pulling power…make this the night of the long knives…or be sorry later…

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

Zo what?…friend?…you’d have to be a blood brother to vote for a high school level story like this…and who you calling a lesser writer?…the final eight is not a place to be screaming for constructive criticism to bolster your pathetic no-hopers…gimme Mckinley Hellenes…or even an Illuminati….i hereby declare 2011 to be the largest gathering of talentless wannabe’s ever in the history of the Dearthmatch…

Zo – 2011/02/22

Critic or writer?  Story writer or comment board writer?  Story writer who made the deathmatch cut or fuck-head?

Keep yourselves in check.  Deathmatch? Yes.  Place for well-thought out and maybe even constructive criticism?  Yes.  Dart board for writers who didn’t make the cut?  Fuck no!

I was impressed with both of the stories right off the bat because both writers had the balls to write them and submit them and have them picked apart by lesser writers.  Both have weak points, and strong ones.  I’m voting for Jeff’s story, because I think it’s better (better setting, better characterization, more varied vocabulary, stronger ambiguity), and because Jeff’s my friend.

And, let’s be honest, here:  in spite of any literary merits, this is mostly a competition about who has more smart-phone enabled friends.  Or unemployed ones.  So, let the button-clicking war begin!

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

…kickass grampa’s and gratuitous violence…the BP theme for the pairing…beginning to look like ross is pulling a grammersdorf…but make no mistake, contestants…there are too many ways this story can go viral…head him off at the pass while you can…tuff must feel a bit for the fat girl…she knows what it’s like to assume the fetal position surrounded by a circle of schoolyard bullies kicking dirt in her face…that’s why she goes under the handle of mar mar…can you imagine going through life named martha ; )

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/22

Hell ya, steaming up. David, of course you want to fight with me, cause even though I fight dirty.
Blood in yer eye.
Loving Deathmatch and of course I wrote “Deathmatch” for Deathmatch!


More gore.


Love gore more.


Vote for me and my kick ass grandpa.

David Griffin Brown – 2011/02/22

she is kinda hot

I thought the old man was her imaginary friend.  I didn’t guess that from the story, though, but the bio tipped me off.  If so, it’s not so strange that he followed her as she ran.  That made me like the story a lot more… the suggestion that she has this imaginary friend or maybe ancestor who is telling her about her history, giving her strength in the face of bullshit from (her) society, but also echoing some of her own thoughts, like encouraging her to take revenge.

…and Ross

As a criticism… like I said, that wasn’t apparent to me until I read the bio.  So maybe you can do some other subtle thing to clear that up, because the old man chasing the kids off at the beginning makes him seem pretty damn real.  Or maybe I’ve totally missed the boat?


Some stories don’t make sense, and some aren’t supposed to.  I like it!

Awesome: “He got old before he noticed; now it’s too late.”

Now… who will I vote for…. I guess I have to decide who I want to face more in the semis!

jeffrey_R – 2011/02/22

Hi, this comment board already looks like a good time. I haven’t even commented yet, and I’m getting attacked. Less pandemonium, more comedy. I’ll take that under advisement.

I’m looking forward to some Tuff competition.


ur right, saddlebags, she is kinda hot – 2011/02/22

Okay Ross. Lets do this. The fatty fatty scene is overdone like you were going for comedy instead of realism. I didnt laugh. You said PANDEMONIUM twice, which is pretty weak. The pitbull scene is weak as well as pointless. Was that just so you could make the wordcount? The guy yells at her from the backyard. She runs away. As I hold that image in my mind, I take an ax slash from Tuff\’s dad… Old man says, \”Let\’s get going, youre going to get in trouble.\” What the fuck? Shes running away! Hes walking with a goddam cane! How does this make any sense? And if hes worried about her getting in trouble, why does he encourage the beatdown? Because shes a \”warrior\”? And thats your entire point? Fat girl gets revenge? Oh and then it rains for catharsis… great. Thanks for coming out.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

…if you think about it, and notice the title on the second read, it’s pretty clear she wrote it specifically for the Dearthmatch, the analogy pops out pretty clearly…not even considering she’s quick to fire the first shot across the bow…i’m liking it more now…ha ha…fat sister ; )

Madeline Masters – 2011/02/22

Mr. Ross: I really enjoyed the imagery and setting in your story. I think that’s it strongest point. You did a wonderful job describing Arizona, especially the dead calm before, and the start of, the rain. Even if I’d never been to AZ I would know exactly what it feels like from your story.

Ms. Tuff: Wow, you are perfectly cut out to be in a Deathmatch, name and all! I had some trouble following your story line. But I think this piece is perfect for the setting. Was this a story you already had written and chose to submit here, or did you create it specifically for the BP Deathmatch? Either way, I think the audience here will love it.

MarMarTuff – 2011/02/22

You’re going down Ross, you and your fat sister.

backinthesaddle – 2011/02/22

Fat Girls starts out a little prosiac…i wanted to make fun of it long before i finished…ding a ding a dong a ling a ding…but it slowly takes you in…you wonder where its going…so many possibilities…what’s with the old man…what’s going to happen with the pitbull…a few new words to my limited vocab…then it ends abruptly, nothing more than a revenge story…i already want to vote against it…Axe Man is heavy on the schlock value…a bit confusing as it cavalcades through the grungy images…becomes nothing more than that…takes us nowhere…still…marmar is hot…and losing bad…two important considerations in my voting ; )

Broken Pencil – 2011/02/22

Round Four! Beginning a little late! Deal with it!