General Cable 7


General Cable 7 by Francis DiClemente

Prompt: Using the above image, write a microfiction (less than 500 words—yes, 501 is more than 500). In your piece, respond to the image in the above photograph. Your piece may take any form you like as long as it includes less than 500 words and relates, in some way, to the image. Have fun with it.

Deadline:  October 31st, 2010Midnight

Submit: MMR Online Submissions

Winner: First place will be published in Moon Milk Review.


Vallie Lynn Watson holds a PhD in fiction writing from the Center for Writers, University of Southern Mississippi. She recently guest-edited the inaugural issue for Blip Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review online). Her manuscript, A River So Long, was first runner up in the 2009 Miami University Press Novella Contest. Excerpts from the work appear or are forthcoming in Pindeldyboz, Product, Journal of Truth and Consequence, Sunsets and Silencers, 971 Menu, Trailer Park Quarterly, Women Writers, Oracle, Staccato, Metazen and Ghoti. New fiction coming soon in Moon Milk Review.

6 Replies to “General Cable 7”

    1. Hi, Doris. Go to the “Submit” link at the top. Read the guidelines. Submit via the submissions manager. We look forward to reading your submission. Rae

  1. Hi Rae,
    When I write short short fiction that requires adherence to a certain word count, I count words such as “a lot” and “no one” as one word since they have their own meaning which is not the same as either one of the comprising words. Do you do this as well?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Susan,

      I certainly understand the question and thank you for asking it. I go by what I’ve found to be the standard word count rule for many readers whether they are journal editors, publishing house editors, or agents, and that is to count words separately. In this case, “a lot” would be two words not one.

      I do understand the gray area, as the common understanding and intention of “a lot” is that it functions as a single meaning; however, as far as I know, “a lot” is still an article plus noun as “a” and “lot” are actually being used individually in their own definitions and parts of speech. The etymology of “a lot” or “lot” specifically suggests that “lot” is “someone’s share” (, and therefore, does function, both in the contemporary and classical sense, as its own meaning. “A” and “lot” function as two words, the “a” interchangeable with a pronoun or proper noun.

      • She gathered a lot of stuff from the apartment before leaving him.
      • She gathered her lot of CDs and bonsai trees and the miniature collection of plastic bobble heads before leaving him.

      • She left him a lot.
      • She left him on Wednesdays and Fridays and every other Saturday evening between the hours of ten and eleven when the moon was full or her favorite cover band played “You Shook Me All Night Long” at the biker bar down the street.

      One might suggest replacing “a lot” with “lot,” plus the added details, is a better construction, and therefore, “a lot” as one meaning, could be considered clichéd and too vague. In the second usage, “a lot” appears to be completely inappropriate for the intention of the clause and might even be considered a far lesser construction for many of the same reasons. Regardless, as I see it, the intention and usage of “a lot” is two words in both cases.

      All in all, thank you for the question. I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought on “a lot” this much prior to your question. I suppose, when I do think on it, I don’t use “a lot” much in my own writing, except perhaps in dialogue informality. Your question has made me think on this not only as an editor but also as a writer. Much obliged.

      All best,

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