Stumbled into the flash contest circuit when floundering around with this twitter thing. Shortly thereafter I started seeing this #flashdogs hashtag everywhere. A hesitant e-mail later and I find myself in the company of some amazing artists.
Since the 2-year-old squidlet manipulates my leisure time, flash has been pretty much the only writerly outlet that I can cram in during naps. However, inspired by several #flashdogs, I’m taking 2015 to attack the hiatused novel.
Why do you like flash fiction? Besides being able to read it in bite-sized chunks, the craft impresses me over how much can be expressed in so small a word count.
Been writing long? Yep. Mostly for fun. It kept me from being bored in school (and made me appear industrious).
You write anything else? Genre-wise, I’m all over speculative fiction (SF, fantasy, horror). Length-wise, I have several moldering NaNoWriMo drafts. Editing takes longer than creating for me.
Any advice for other flash writers? Weekly contests are a great place to hone one’s craft—and the community is so very supportive. Also, if you can get a gig judging, take it! It forces you to pin-point exactly what works (and makes you realize how very divergent judging tastes are).
Any interesting writerly projects in the pipeline? As above, 2015 is dedicated to polishing my YA fantasy novel.
Old as the hills and heart just as trodden. Everyone I’ve ever loved has ground my lofty peaks to weary slopes. Sanae crushed me under her hopscotch Keds, her silky black braids flicking farewell. Natalie next, her DocMartins did harsh platonic work on my devotion, anarchy symbol imprints. Roger was a dabbler and me an equal-opportunity paramour until his plaid high-tops dribbled my blood tastefully down the pavement. Lady Luck, Lady Justice, Father Time—all similarly crushingly cruel.
Ah, but my sweet barefoot Ouzo! Our bacchanal never ends. Quick, quick, look upon me, dearest. For in your eyes, I am mighty Mount Olympus and this is our Golden Age.
God of the Diggers
“Water?” Ricardo shuffles. “Blood’s better.”
“It’s all we got.” I make the offering. Tio, protect us.
“Behind me, hermano,” I warn, but he hustles ahead. The recent discovery of a zinc vein convinced him there’s silver ore hidden in here. Foolish. Tio hasn’t spit up silver in years.
Ricardo halts, drops like a coal sack.
Tio’s poison fingers reach for me, but I can’t leave Ricardo. I tug him toward the main tunnel. Talons claw my throat. I cry out.
Answering shouts. Hands hook my armpits. But Tio’s breath is deep in my lungs.
A man mutters the Lord’s Prayer.
Foolish. Only one power reigns within the shaft’s gate.
I’d researched the Cerro Rico mine in Potosi, Bolivia because I wanted to write an alt-historical piece for the prompt “from the margins”. That project still simmers unfinished until the squidlet allows me longer swathes of research time (satisfying historical fiction takes a huge amount of it). So, when I saw the picture of the mine, I knew I wanted to bring in some elements of the miners’ plight that continue to this day, in particular the belief that a demon is the only power that one can appeal to underground.
To Fit The Crime
Anon666 said: “ouch. Lol!”
LoveLupus: “Sooooo GROSS!!!!”
JCorner: “Yeah, thx for ruining my lunch. Why???”
DRs: “JCorner, #listeningfail.”
JCorner: “Over the trash thing? Thought that was a joke. btw #screwyouandyourhashtags.”
Maryanne202: “The jerk kept stuffing her blue box with his garbage. It wasn’t even recyclable! smh”
Cadensmummy: “Not sure the compactor a fair response. [[[TRIGGER WARNING parents with young children: excessive gore]]]”
LoveLupus: “ne1 know how to post this on fb?”
Rick_UnRoll: “She warned him like a million times.”
JCorner: “That chunk’s not recyclable either.”
Maryanne202: “True, the green bin woulda been more apropos.”
Gerty44: “Don’t you DARE post on facebook!”
DRs: “Careful, Lupus… Gerty’s tweaky about sharing.”
The recycling pile put me in mind of how sensitive neighbors get over local trash procedures, the most egregious of sins being using someone else’s bins. The first bookend got me thinking of recording a particular trash battle. I first sketched out the battle and realized it would be longer than 100 words, so I went with reactions to the battle.