Looking Back at 2013 -- An I Must Be Off! Retrospective

I've been so busy with the present that I haven't had one second to sit down and reflect on the past. Finally, today I'm sitting at home all alone with nothing to do. I've cleaned the house. I even mopped the stairwell yesterday (but I heard the tenants upstairs doing the same thing two hours later, so I'm wondering if they were critical of my work). Lord, I wouldn't blame them.

So: the past. One reason I started I Must Be Off! was to remind myself of where I've been--which is good since I can't remember much about 2013 at all right now. Hmmm. Let's make this fun. I'll scrounge up some pictures and post some them here, and if you can tell me where they were taken--all places I visited in 2013--I'll send the first five people a book. That's fun. I'm not sure which book yet, but a book. Books are fun.

OK, an hour and 20 countries later: wow. I'd honestly forgotten about some of these places; and if you'd asked me which year I'd visited them, I wouldn't have had a clue. My mother was right: I will forget where my hands have been. Some of these are quite difficult, so I've given you a hint (and that's why they call me adorable). Also, you could review 2013 on I Must Be Off! to help answer these. Below, there are also two more ways to win a book, so keep reading past the photos.

Hint: One of the Oldest and most interesting monasteries in the world (because of where it's built).

Hint: One of the largest Volksfests in Germany, near Berlin. I need the name of the town where this is held each year.

Hint: I was in this town for a writers' conference.

Hint: This is one of the Czech Republic's quaintest villages.

Hint: This ruin is on one of the Balearic Islands.

Hint: This town is famous for a certain type of wine.

Hint: This valley is at the end of my Read through I Must Be Off! A-Z.

Hint: This structure is the symbol of the island its on as well as a whole chain of islands.

Hint: You certainly won't catch me here during the 2014 Winter Olympics.


Traveling is only one aspect of this thing I call me. Or Christopher. I sometimes call myself Boopie. I also write, and if you haven't read any of my stories, well come on. Why not? Have you not heard that reading my stories makes you 84% prettier? Who in his/her right mind would pass that up? I've been reading my stories for years. Over and over and over again. Here are the links to some of the stories I published in 2013. Again, let's make this fun (and prettier). If you want a book from me--it might be my book or it might be a random yet incredible book on my shelves--all you have to do is visit three of these sites and comment on the story. They're all online and all free. If there is no possibility to comment at these sites, you can comment here. I also published in print in 2013, but I won't ask you to buy anything here.

Prime Number Magazine

Crack the Spine, Issue 86

The View From Here

Flash Frontier

Pure Slush

Pure Slush

Apocrypha & Abstractions 

Flash Frontier



I also published quite a few book reviews in 2013. To win a book, you could also comment on three of these book reviews. Where you're not given the opportunity of commenting at the site, you can comment here.

Kathy Fish's Together We Can Bury It, Books at Fictionaut

Colin Winnette's Fondly, Metazen Sunday Review

Bud Smith's Tollbooth, Metazen Sunday Review

Jincy Willett's Amy Falls Down, Metazen Sunday Review

James Claffey's Blood a Cold Blue, Books at Fictionaut

Claire King's The Night Rainbow, Books at Fictionaut

Robert Vaughan's Microtones, Books at Fictionaut

J.P. Reese's Dead Letters, Metazen Sunday Review

Alex Pruteanu's Gears, Books at Fictionaut

Marcus Speh Birkenkrahe's Thank You For Your Sperm, Metazen Sunday Review

So good luck, everyone. I hope to send five of you a book.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Indiana Review, Quiddity, SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, Crack the Spine, Feathertale, The Best of Every Day Fiction, Pure Slush, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen. 


  1. WoW a lot of writing you have done, very impressive.
    I will get back to this page to read a bit more over the weekend.

  2. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours!

    1. Thank you, Jerry! 2014 is going to be very strange, but I hope it will be a very strange adventure.

  3. 2013 was really good to you. I wish you 2014 to be even better.

    1. Hi, Laura! Thank you! And I hope 2014 is great for you as well!

  4. Wonderful photos! Love that helmet-like building on the Canaries!


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