Each day a lovely little website referred to as Flashy Fiction offers a writing prompt to a photo. Today’s prompt was a two-fer because it’s been combined with Friday’s prompt.
I had to do one for today. The opportunity was too good and the prompt too right-up-my-alley. So, this is what I wrote for the photo above. I hope you enjoy it. And please, stop by to see all the offerings on Flashy Fiction. You’ll be glad you did.
The Light of Meaning
Within me grows a tension I cannot place. What could cause this sensation of impending destiny, which perches like a vulture just out of visual range? Does my breath come short and quick because of unexpected claustrophobia at the looks of this canyon before me?
My friends don’t seem to notice how silence surrounds this place, how the scent of dust carries with it a hint of the ancient. Their shouts fall short of my space, leaving me in a personal bell jar inside these striped red walls.
Illusions of undulating Dune’s Shai-Hulud flash across my mind. I wonder if this was how Paul felt the first time he waited for that beast to rise from the desert floor. Would there be such a ritual for me to perform for the coming secret to reveal itself? And how do I know there is a secret?
Footsteps echo. Shock sweeps through me. I recognize them as my own, though I don’t recall moving into the inner recesses of a side chamber. Dim illumination draws me forward, faster as hesitation drops away. I must know this thing that would be.
Twists and turns, dried water channels of exquisite sandstone, bring me, at last, to the chamber. I burst forth from the passage, panting in excitement and terror. Finally, I see what has haunted my vague dreams for longer than memory reaches. It waits; one glorious beam of pure light.
Within that circle of illumination is the future I’ve tried to escape from and now run to in a sprint of desperation. Could my heart beat any harder and remain caged within my body? Could my responding body contain so much light?
A jerk, like that of a tether drawn forward suddenly, pulls me into the beam of sunlight that squeezes through a tiny overhead opening. My head arches back. My chest swells and rises, as if I’m a mere marionette and someone has yanked my string upward. My mind is filled with music, sweet and gentle, as it ebbs and surges through the channels of my soul.
Home comes calling. I have been away longer than I can imagine right now. My mind registers the knowledge of a previous, though, different life elsewhere; a knowledge that explains so much that has confused me during this life.
The music and light fill me with the purpose I’ve been seeking. All is clear now. I have come this far to learn that only one act of mine is necessary for my life to have meaning for this world; to learn that with that act, I have completed my purpose here and can go home again.
Is there any better bliss than such sure knowledge?
- I’d like to order one Shai-hulud Special with extra Spice (theecaffeinatedcrow.wordpress.com)
- Friday Flash Fiction – “Humble Pie” (kbnelson.wordpress.com)
- Flash Fiction 100 words: CONFESSIONS (auroramorealist.wordpress.com)
- Desert Warrior (unduecreativity.wordpress.com)
- Flash Fiction Month: Why is it useful? (natashamcneely.wordpress.com)
If you’re looking for a lunchtime break with a little fiction of a different type, head over to Two Voices, One Song. I’ve posted a new bit of Flash Fiction there this morning titled “Choices.”
Later today, I’ll have a new, regular post here with pics, but I thought I’d give you all a heads-up about a quick read. Hope you enjoy it. While you’re there, and if you have time, take a look around. There’s plenty to see.
Here’s the link.
See you all in a bit. Have a great afternoon, peeps.
Yesterday two new postings were placed on display at Two Voices, One Song. I should apologize here for having neglected to keep everyone posted as to new offerings over there at the house.
You’ll find new poetry, new essays and profiles, discussions on philosophy and brainstorming sessions as Meena Rose and I work through a book that she’s writing.
Please take the time to explore the many rooms of Two Voices. You’ll find plenty of new Flash Fiction to keep you reading for a while. Enjoy yourselves, Please. We like drop-ins over there, too.
You’ll find everything you could want there for the asking. Look into all the rooms.
I hope you go that often. It’s an exciting place, all things considered.
Go to: http://2voices1song.com/
You’ll notice it’s now a freestanding website. Those who like Flash Fiction will have a great time. I posted a new one in the middle of the night that’s first up on the roll–a fantasy piece that leans toward the dark side. Have fun.
Good Morning, all. I’m excited this morning. A bit of shameless promotion here.
It’s a powerful little story that I think you’ll enjoy. To get the app and the story, please look here. Enjoy!
Have a terrific and relaxing day, peeps. Give your bodies engine a reason to feel good tomorrow and your mind a reason to surge forward with creativity.
- Find readers for your stories (valeriesirr.wordpress.com)
Obviously this is the last day of May, but it’s also the day before the launch of a new website called “Two Voices, One Song.” My friend, Meena Rose, and I have created a new joint venture. It’s a blending of philosophies, perspectives, and visions, which I hope all of our regular readers will enjoy.
We’re inviting our readers to take a peek inside this new space before the rush of tomorrow, to have a look at the rooms within our freshly built abode.
Does this mean that Claudsy’s Blog will cease to exist or be abandoned like an old toy in favor of a new one? Not for a long while yet, is the only answer I can honestly give. It does mean that I’ll only be posting here every other day, instead of daily, as is now the case.
Meena and I are blending as much as we can of who we are as people and writers to give readers a far better look into our minds. Among the rooms at “Two Voices, One Song,” you’ll find regular brainstorming sessions between us while we work out problems with pieces of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. You’ll find regular pieces of finished fiction/non-fiction, as well.
Memoir entries centered on travels we’ve made, and understandings or thoughts we’ve taken away from those travels, will show up in the garage each week. Discussions of philosophy will take place in the Library, even while meditation is offered in the Garden. For those in need of writing prompts, there is a large selection from which to find just the one to stir the imagination and the Muse.
Along the way, we’ll have links to places we find worthwhile, engaging, or instructive. We urge every visitor to take advantage of these offerings and to offer feedback in return.
Profiles and interviews, stories and articles, poems and projections all come together there for savoring by the reader.
In the meantime, I’ll be having regular posts here as well. If I do fiction there, it will show up here. The same holds true for poetry and questioning pieces.
And while Claudsy’s Blog will migrate much of its content to the new site, Claudsy’s Calliope will do the same; as will Trailing Inspirations. This co-mingling of content and perspective feels like the proper thing to do right now, in this surge of creativity that was fostered at the beginning of May.
Please enjoy a tour of “Two Voices, One Song” and see if what you’ll find there will be as suitable to you as my offerings here. Once you’ve been there, leave me a comment here. Tell me your thoughts on this coming attraction.
I’ve come to enjoy seeing all of my visitors here over the past many months. You’ve made my daily postings so much more than they were when they came fresh from my cranium.
Thank you all for sticking with me and what I might bring to the table. I’m looking forward to having you visit for a long time to come.
Until I see you again on Saturday, a bientot,
PS: Flash Fiction Friday erupts from the Kitchen with a story from yours truly tomorrow on “Two Voices, One Song.”
- Meena Rose On the Air (claudsy.wordpress.com)
- Spotlight Saturdays: De Miller Jackson (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- Observations of a Modern Day Ancient: Saga of “As the Arrow Breaks” (meenarose.wordpress.com)
- on “black box” (sippey.com)
- A Passion for Immortality: On the Missing Pulitzer and the Problem with Prizes (themillions.com)
- Genre Fiction and the Real Problem With Philosophy of Science [Uncertain Principles] (scienceblogs.com)
- CPASC Philosophy (cpastorycentral.wordpress.com)
- Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Philosopher, Part 1 (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Preface to D. R. Popa’s Crossing Washington Square (literaturesalon.wordpress.com)
An entire genre has developed itself over the past 40 years or so. Ever since the original Star Trek warped through space, we’ve toyed with the idea of all those stories that never got written about the characters that intrigued us, who captured out respect and hearts. The movement became known as Fan Fiction.
I doubt any serious TV viewer has passed up an opportunity to fantasize about what would happen if… and brought the conjecture back into the series fold as a full-blown story, whether it was written down or not. I’ve done it for years—had whole scripts with good plots, great characters, and even parts for all the regular characters. And the sad thing is that I could have done something with them, if only as fan fiction and not sent the script to the studio for consideration by that series’ team of writers.
It’s one of those “I should have” things that many of us live with on a daily basis. “I should have” gone to see… “I should have” known better than… Truth is, I had a girlfriend back in ’67 when I lived in LA, who’d just sold her script to Desilu Studios for a Star Trek episode. The day after she got word, she was murdered two blocks from our building. The incident sort of put me off Fan Fiction for a while.
Last year I sat down to write poetry of a minor competition—there were no prizes involved, but critiques. My piece didn’t do very well. The audience was too young. That happens more frequently than older writers want to believe.
I still have the poem, which I’ll share here in a moment. I went back through it and changed a few things here and there. It leaped out of the hard drive this morning, screaming at me to find it a home. Since I don’t have any markets (that I can find), I decided to drop it here in order to create a challenge for those who’re up for it.
Everyone has/had a favorite show from their childhood. Now’s your chance to create a little fan fiction to commemorate that show. Write a story in 200 words or less using your favorite character from that show. Or write a poem about said character in a new situation. Recapture the heart of the character and share it here with us.
There’s no prize involved; no judging either. We are merely sharing bits of imagination for the fun of it. Be sure to inform us at the end of the piece the name of the show and the character’s name if you haven’t used it in your story. That’s all there is too it. Don’t be shy. Branch out and explore some fun. I can hardly wait to see what everyone comes up with.
Here’s my poem and how I approached my character from those long ago days of the 60’s,
Remembering Past Trails
He ambled toward the pioneer wagon,
His body sinew-lean, gently rocking.
Crevasses furrowed his weathered face,
Aging him—crinkling blue eyes and tightening lips.
Suspense rose with the background music
As one gloved finger tapped his hat brim.
He posed no menace in this traveler’s guise,
Yet his eyes told of his struggles with it.
His voice stayed low and warm when asking
For water, even as his glance saw all in view.
He gave news of trouble, possibly in days to come
From those who would steal and rip the land asunder.
When thirsting horse and man had quenched their need,
The lean stranger–gun on hip, whip on saddle–mounted.
His mission complete for now, another family warned.
Next week would come more trouble for a man named Rowdy.
Fan Fiction for a little series known far and wide as “RAWHIDE”.
Bring you chairs and wait for the show. I’m so looking forward to watching the coming attractions. Now’s your change to break out. Take it.
- Fan Fiction Addiction (limebirduk.wordpress.com)
- Fran Drescher Reads Naughty Nanny Fan Fiction On WWHL (perezhilton.com)
- Looking for a good Fan-fic!? (phoenixfeatherbird.wordpress.com)
- 30 Days of Blogging Honesty: Day 2 (westendsingleton.wordpress.com)
- Unlikely Fan Fiction Crossover Battles: When Diablo Meets My Little Pony, Horrible Things Happen [Diablo] (kotaku.com)
During the past few days on Claudsy’s Blog, discussions have risen about many issues. Definitions and roles began this journey of the week. A killer interview with Walt Wojtanik kicked over a massive rock to cause a landslide of hits and comments for both Walt and me.
I announced a guest blog that I’d done over in Pat McDermott’s kitchen, and took on questions about illiteracy in America yesterday. Sort of looks like I’ve been spinning the wheel of subject chances, doesn’t it?
The idea of subject chances sums it up very well. Claudsy’s Blog has always been a morphing kind of place. Like most people, I have whims. At present I’m redefining parts of blogs, types of writing projects, and future possibilities. I’m exploring both the writing world and myself.
My explorations have created a need to jump hurdles of my own making. Trained as a sociologist, with degrees in psychology, etc., my vision of the world tends to be a bit more esoteric than some people’s. I can’t look at something and see only one aspect. Too many factors go into the overall impact of each subject’s aspects.
Character building, for instance, by my current definition, refers to characters created for my stories. Developing a teenager for a short story or novel, as one example, requires knowing how a child is likely to live in a specific region, with specific types of parents, living with specific limitations, boundaries, etc. Every good writer builds a character with care and craftsmanship.
Finding character traits and circumstances doesn’t always take vast amounts of time. This afternoon a story came across my news feed, which carried one of the strongest characters I’ve seen in a very long time. The young lady in question was perfect for an idea that I’d been working on for a while.
A 15 year-old girl suffers from a rare, debilitating disease that has determined her entire life. She cannot eat as others do. A combination of an autoimmune disease and severe food allergies forbids her to eat anything by mouth other than potatoes. Sounds fictional, doesn’t it?
Her hurdle of choice is to become a professional chef. This lovely young woman wants to cook for those who can enjoy the food she’s denied. And she’s well on her way.
Talk about character. This is the type of model that makes for exquisite story characters. They are real, living and breathing in the world.
You might ask what kind of story can be built around such information. Here are some of the plotlines already under consideration.
- YA—female lead enters cook-off where one of the requirements has the chef sampling her own developed recipe concoctions
- YA—female lead suffers from condition which forbids eating—must come to terms with the social ramifications of the condition
- Woman in late twenties who’s never gone out on a dinner date of any kind finds herself in a mandatory situation where she must attend such a function—perhaps work-related–and she either eats and becomes violently ill; or refuses to eat but must explain why to the other attendees; or she attends and explains her situation and proceeds to show everyone how she eats through a feeding tube. I know, drastic but doable
- YA—female lead who develops a close friendship with a boy, and then must disclose her situation when she won’t eat his birthday cake at a party.
- Additional scenarios can make for uncounted possibilities
Choosing the most viable scenario for the proper market is the key to succeeding. If this type of character is used wisely, several stories could come from it without having to change many of the social details. I would change quite a few of the personal details for reasons of sensitivity. Believe it or not, I don’t like exposing real people to unwarranted scrutiny.
The original story, I believe, was released so that other possible sufferers of this often misdiagnosed condition could check into its possible connection to them. I have nothing but the highest respect for this young lady and the struggle that she faces in coming years.
“Characters” like her keep my faith in human kind from sinking into the abyss of cynicism. I thank the heavens each time I find such a model for some of my characters. The next time you read a book with a character in it who keeps flashing through your mind for days or weeks afterward, stop for a moment and contemplate. Who was the model for this unforgettable character; what was the whole of her/his life?
Share your thoughts on this question of character hurdles and what they represent. Comment with your ideas, methods, and formulas.
Until then, a bientot,
For the story of Samantha Pecoraro and EoE (eosinophils of the esophagus), follow the link below.
Once in a while I write a bit of flash fiction. The exercise isn’t the easiest for someone who’s in love with word volume, but it’s terrific for honing skills used to tighten a story, make it crisper, and give it a memorable delivery.
Now that I’ve found a new outlet for flash, I can indulge each day, if I choose, to write short short stories to great visual prompts. This is one story I wrote this morning. If you’d like to check out the site and the prompt, I’ve left the trail of breadcrumbs at the bottom of this post. Enjoy the read, and let me know if I did deliver.
One Last Flyer
Visitors jostled each other, shoving forward to Seaport’s Punta de los Muertos. The village overflowed with contestants and spectators for the first annual “Kite Fly on the Point.” Thousands of feet of light kite cable hung from flyer’s belts throughout the park.
Amelia flexed her already aching hand around the looped cable at her waist. Beside it, dikes rested in their holster if she needed to cut the cable during the extravaganza. It wouldn’t do to get dragged into San Diego Bay during her event.
Too soon, Amelia heard her name. One hand filled with jewel-toned fabric, the other gripping her cable, she stepped to barrier at the edge of the sea. She waited for the nod to let out her kite.
With long practice she played out the ruby pennant sock and its cable, waiting for the next errant breeze. One after another, her jewels fled to the sky; pulling, towing, always reaching for the heavens, her pennants few straight and true on the stiffening breeze. It seemed so long since she’d danced this way.
Twice her flags attempted escape. Twice she pulled them back into line, her control cables requiring all her concentration, all of her strength. She’d only added the one flag, the one for Rachel. And yet, it screamed for release, just as her baby girl had near the end.
Amelia’s right hand dropped that control line, slid her hand to the holster, and pulled out the dikes. A hundred feet of cable or a thousand, it didn’t matter. Some things needed to be let go of, and Rachel’s kite was one of them. Her baby could fly it in Heaven.
After all, wasn’t that really why she’d come here today; to let go of all the struggle and the pain?
She felt someone pull at her arm. They weren’t stronger than her resolve. Cutters met cable, a quick crimp, and the kite leaped toward the stratosphere. It bucked, flapped in exuberance, and flew as an arrow on the long flight.
Now they were all free.
Find more excellent fiction and prompts as: http://flashyfiction.blogspot.com/2012/04/strung-still-but-free-to-fly.html#comment-form
- Ice (eunoiareview.wordpress.com)
- Friday Flash Fiction – “Morning Glory” (kbnelson.wordpress.com)
- Cimarron Session – flash fiction (alreadynotpublished.wordpress.com)
- Flash Fiction Friday: Buried Treasures (rnfontenot.wordpress.com)
- Go Fly A Kite (marshmallowmondays.wordpress.com)
- Trinidad and Tobago: ‘Kite-man’ wants return to local culture (repeatingislands.com)
Today’s poetry prompt, though, asks for that very thing. Poetic Asides Two-for-Tuesday Prompt Challenge: Write a science fiction poem and a fantasy poem. So without further ado, I give you my response to that challenge. (Note: For me, it can be serious and filled with drama. I can also do the twist.)
Where mottled sky and earth meet,
Dark shadows pool amid cliffs and plains.
Under stars making up Ryan’s Hope,
All my children begin their pilgrimage
Toward the annual space dome challenge,
On a search for tomorrow’s new tech,
That will ease the days of our lives
And take us through the coming cycles
Of our guiding light, with the bold
And the beautiful flashes of Earth’s last
I wait for their return, for their new knowledge,
Knowledge that will temper our fears,
Watching as the world turns its face once
More toward our sun, to live in constant day.
© Claudette J. Young 2012
Road traveling star lanes
Divested weather vanes,
Enter worlds before unknown
Ever searching adventure,
Many times liquid streams,
Plains, mountains, fancy dreams.
© Claudette J. Young 2012
Dream of Home
Green-lit caverns deep
Warmth-washed moisture seep,
Emerald pool crystalline
Bathers recline, eased within.
Muffled laughter ripples soft
Against pinnacle ceiling aloft,
Spending regard gentle and pure
Ever drawing me toward the lure,
Of sweetest home beyond compare
Acceptance true in the heart’s lair,
Smiling eyes open embrace here
Evaporating distant fear.
Know longing gentle breath
Inside home’s green caverns depth.
© Claudette J. Young 2012
All people have routines of some kind, and writers are no different. Routines can be elaborate, superstitious, or just plain odd. That’s allowable.
Contracted reading preferences can become as much a routine as the genres that keep a writer comfortable. During my teen years I concentrated on literary genre and classics. When I hit twenty, I moved on to—dare I say it?—romance novels. Okay, I was a normal young woman.
For decades after I left young adulthood, I read science fiction/fantasy almost exclusively. I had an entire library, floor to ceiling, filled with the genre. During the last several years most of that library was donated to larger lending libraries in my area.
Expanded reading can have a profound effect. On a whim, before getting rid of my personal library, I went to the local library and borrowed several books from the mystery genre and a few in non-fiction science. That whim led to a feeding frenzy of reading. A new world had opened up before me, showing authors, writing possibilities, etc. that I’d not anticipated.
I tried to read everything. Non-fiction came in so many forms that I almost glutted myself trying to sample all the entrees. I revisited ancient history—pre-Biblical–and philosophy, along with world history from 500A.D. to 1700A.D. History became a friend that could keep me fascinated for hours with its tales of intrigue.
“Salt” held me in thrall for days as I discovered its particular journey through civilization and the part it played in developing the world. “The Tao of Physics” left me speechless and questioning about the very nature of reality. Volumes on theology piled up beside the bed.
There was something wondrous and invigorating about expanding one’s book bag.
My personal expansion had come and I’d reveled in it. The groaning board of literature presented itself to my every desire. That’s when writing took over and contraction began.
Writing has its own form of contraction. For me, it was children’s literature. I studied it, wrote it, and enjoyed its delights. I still do.
After a couple of years my enthusiasm faltered. When I used my own style, stories didn’t work well. I couldn’t find the groove that would send me into the genre full-time. I’d never had problems writing fiction for children, until I started studying it and working with it constantly.
Ideas surfaced from everywhere. Short or long, stories moved inside my head. Fiction or non-fiction, it didn’t seem to matter. I was told that I expected children to read at level higher than standard. It was true. I expected kids now to be like kids when I was in school, and they’re not. The standardized language levels used now seem more elementary than those used in the 50’s and 60’s.
Once again, expansion would come to my rescue. I couldn’t connect with editors seeking stories for younger children, but I could connect with older children. I could write for the YA market, but that dealt mostly in novels. I wasn’t sure I was willing to invest that much time for a novel at that moment.
What I did was begin a book of poetry for the YA/Adult market. I’d experimented with several forms of poetry for years, when I stumbled onto a form known as “sestina.” It fit the bill perfectly for what I wanted to do.
I wrote the entire book in sestina form about the journey the moon makes in orbit and what it would see on its journey each night. I grafted visual verse onto social studies and geography and took it for a spin around the world. With satellite photos to illustrate the locations referenced by the verse, the journey broadens into an educational opportunity for the reader. This marriage of verse with both concrete and abstract reality breaks no new ground. It merely expands on what is available for the learning.
Soon “The Moon Sees All” will go to a publisher for evaluation. It may be rejected. It may not. Time will decide that issue.
In the meantime, I continue to expand my options. I do well in literary. I have fun with fantasy. I thoroughly delight in non-fiction. I can choose now to contract and focus in one area at a time, or expand to embrace several areas of focus. There is no longer a conflict.
My active routine now is to embrace whatever crawls onto my plate that day. Ask any bushman. You never know what’s palatable unless you try it.
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