Monday, November 17, 2014

Flash Fiction

I had a 'bout of Origami creativity strike around 2 years ago - one thing I was absolutely obsessed over was making a paper rose.  I started small and simple, with an iris and a crane, and progressed up through boxes, crabs, lotus flowers, neat little spinney toys, tessellations and other mathematical forms until I was ready to tackle the rose.  I never did figure out how to properly 'close' the form's bottom end - but I took one of the better roses and stuck a light inside it.  You can still see some of the printing from the inside bleeding through.

I did all different colors, too...

It's such a flashy little flower, which brings me to the topic of the day - Flash Fiction.

Insert fanfare here...

I'd never heard of this concept up until a few weeks ago, when I was, once again, searching the blog-o-sphere for that next creative spark.  I give out a hearty hat-tip to Brandon and his blog:    Coolerbs Reviews

Granted, reviews usually aren't my thing - but you did suggest a new book for the kindle that I've got lined up in my purchase queue.  You also introduced me to this Flash Fiction thing.  Many, MANY thanks for sharing your short fictions with the've presented me with an ever-expanding assortment of new ideas to put my creativity to the test.

The concept of Flash Fiction is infuriatingly simple.  The host site posts a picture, an idea, a specific starting/ending word, or any other variation that a mind can come up with.  The participants then post a story with this theme in mind. 

That covers the fiction aspect...

The Flash part comes in with a quick timeline for submissions (24-48 hour windows), and a small word count (I've seen 55-500 word counts).  If you feel the need to more traditional flashing...please DON'T post any pictures, and have a friend's phone number memorized for bail money.

I can see my fingers antici-                                                                    pation!

This is a style of writing I can really get behind.  I get to crystallize a single moment of time - flash frozen - for the reader's consumption.  And, with weekly contests floating around the 'net, I have several sources of nourishment for my muse, giving her exactly what she needs to power my writing - that all illusive, yet vital as breathing, initial spark.

That, I've found, is the hardest part of the creative process - that initial thought, the tiny push that starts the rock rolling, to become the thunderous 'IDEA' that rolls along the neurons of my mind, stirring up the roadbed and leaving new pathways to explore in its wake.

And in the beginning...there was a...monkey?

Here's a flash fiction site I found on Friday:  Flash Friday.  They posted a picture of a monkey seated on the balcony of a (I assume) hotel room in a tropical location - you can see the expanse of aquamarine blue water and a cityscape behind the creature.  The length of the story was 150 words (+/-10), and you had to squeeze in the name of an author.

Granted, I could go to the site and swipe the picture - but I want to allow click-backs to this wonderful, dragon-citing blog site - so go see it for yourself.  And maybe...leave a story or two...

Sadly, I found this site on Friday afternoon, and submissions had to be put in by Midnight.  Life, Groceries, and the SQO happened Friday evening - so I couldn't finish up this first Flashy Fiction story until today.  I simply couldNOT leave a quickie piece to languish half-done and unshared - so Enjoy!

MonkeyBusiness - 146 words

"The Balcony!"

She glares first out the window, then swings violent eyes to me, certain the declaration of not-to-be-seen things once again proves I'm insane.  She storms from the room, anger trailing in her wake, snarling "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape!"  as I stretch a calming hand toward her shoulder. 

The words are laced with all the fury of Pierre Boulle's first pen stroke, and the room shakes with the thunder of her slamming the door.

Forever, it has followed, silent shadow, tormentor and muse.  The fecund stench of hot fruit announces his appearance, a drift of grey fur follows in the wake of his vanishing. 

He mocks me,
inspires me,
denounces and fires me.

Wizened face,
cold eyes, grimace
For me only, not the miss.

For to me
but alas she cannot see...

The Monkey at my Back.


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