Mysteries of Nature

writing_instruments I know it’s in my nature to write.  To want to write, anyway.  But getting to the keyboard and actually turning something out has proven to be a challenge, and not in a good way.

The why behind not writing has, therefore, been very mysterious to me.  No matter how I tried I just couldn’t seem to get over the hurdle and get to pounding the keys.

I looked for some way to break the chain of inertiaNaNoWriMo came to mind readily and quick this year.  The problem with NaNo is, it’s ruthless, relentless, and promotes a sensation of failure among those who don’t accomplish the 50K in 30 days.  At least that’s what I’ve seen from those I’ve known who tried it.  The pressure is too much.  It’s a fun idea, but I think part of the problem lies in the timing.  It’s not like the holiday season doesn’t have enough pressure already.  Tack on trying to get a novel written in a short month and it’s a recipe for failure.

So I kept looking.  I’d been seeing this #FridayFlash thing going around Twitter for a couple of months through my buddy Al Bruno III and he graciously invited me to join.  It’s a movement to post flash fiction every Friday and then collect them into a collector site and give folks some exposure.  At least to each other.

But there’s another benefit.  When I finally accepted Al’s invitation, it made me do something I hadn’t done previously.  It made me write.

So far it’s been a lot of fun.  I’ve written a couple of flash pieces (less than 1000 words), and you can see those over at my fiction blog if you’re interested.  They carry the “#flashfriday” label in the title, except my first effort (which is titled “Morning Commute” if you’re wondering, which you probably weren’t).  It’s tough to try and tell a full story in that small a space so a lot of them end up being vignettes instead, but they’re a lot of fun to do and I’ve noticed it’s forcing my prose to be tighter and more concise.  My wife actually made me chop one of them so hard I was afraid I’d lost something in the cuts, but it turned out pretty well.  (It would’ve been too saggy and telegraphed without them, so kudos to you, babe!  Good eye!)

I’ve started writing them ahead of time to post on the Friday following, and then I go and add the piece to the collector when I have time on the actual day.  For now, it’s the only fresh writing I’ve done, and it feels pretty good.

If you’re looking for a way to practice, stay sharp or sharpen up, and like reading short, punchy pieces and offering some feedback, give #FridayFlash a shot.  You might like it.

Thanks, Al.


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14 thoughts on “Mysteries of Nature

  1. I think it’s a great idea, Darc. Not as much pressure, and great practice as you really need to hone those editing skills to pack a punch in an abbreviated form. I’ve been so crazy with work these past few weeks I haven’t had the chance to really enjoy some focused reading time. Can’t wait to read your brilliance. 🙂

    “Brilliance”! HA! Oh, D, you’re too sweet. If I ever WRITE any brilliance, I promise, you’ll be the second one to know. (I’ll be the first, and probably have to hear it from someone else! 😀 )

  2. That’s good news, dear Knyt. You’re writing, woo!

    Aw, thanks Sher! 🙂

    I’ve been dismissing recent story ideas as not long enough, but I always forget I can write them as long or short as I want! Way to stay in a box, Sher.

    You should play along with #FridayFlash. It’s fun! 🙂

    I would disagree with you about these stories of yours being vignettes, though. Take Morning Commute for example. Beginning: Protag sees friend on the train…something’s not right. Exposition: Friend tells about this thing that happened to him. Ending: Everything you set up is fulfilled…The not-right thing is revealed. You start with his friend on the train, you end it when he’s gone. A thread followed to its logical conclusion. Story.

    Hm. HM! I didn’t realize! How cool is THAT?! Thanks again, Sherri-kins! You never fail to make my day brighter. 🙂

  3. I tried writing my first flash story in August and found the it exhilirating. At the time, I thought I would write more to use up some of my “great” ideas that I’ve never been able to develop into full stories, but so far I’ve only written one other flash piece. (Both are on my blog.)

    OH? Really? Links, please!! PLEASE! 🙂

    It seems to have rejuvenating effect on you, so keep it up. You may even be inspired to develop one of your flash stories into something longer.

    True enough. You never know where the flash (no pun intended … okay, maybe a little) of inspiration will come from. I try to keep an open mind. Thanks for the encouragement too, Linda. 🙂

    (And some day, probably after the first of the year, I plan to sit down and read your entire online library.)

    Aw, I’m flattered. But don’t feel obligated. And remember — especially with the “novels” — those are mostly rough drafts. Be patient. 😉

    • I have links to them on my I Write page:

      (I hope the blank targetting for that link works in comments, so it doesn’t direct off your blog.)

      It didn’t, but that’s not what the “nofollow” attribute’s for; it’s actually to prevent spam. I fixed it though, and I’d like to say thank you for being so courteous. 🙂 I appreciate that.

      Just as an fyi, what might work instead is the target attribute, thusly:

      [a href=”new.html” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”] Open new file [/a.]

      (Note the attribute is target=”_blank”; i.e., UNDERSCORE and the word “blank” all together in quotes for the value. “Blank” tells the browser to open it in a new tag. Also note I’ve changed the braces before and after the tag names to keep them from being tags. Heh.) This is what WP uses for it’s own links to open them in a new tab.

      Thank you for the link! I’m off to read. 🙂

      • Yes, I used the html code you gave, but apparently WP stripped it and inserted the nofollow attribute instead. WP lets me edit links others post in my comments to include the target=”_blank” attribute, but apparently won’t let it be used in comments directly. Bad, WP!

        YES, BAD! (That really is weird. I think it’s to prevent spam, like I said before, with spambots redirecting to spam or malware sites. Makes sense, I guess. 😦 )

  4. I love your Friday Flash posts. I can always find a way to fit in a couple of pages. Wonderful to know it keeps you writing! Even better that I get to look forward to a good read on Fridays.

    Jaymie, you’re way too kind. 🙂 Thank you for saying something so nice. I hope I continue to offer good stuff in those posts. (I have a tendency NOT to post if I feel it isn’t any good.) But no promises. 😉 Thank you again!

  5. What is Fridayflash? I wrote a flash fiction story on Friday. Does that count? There seems to be some community of bloggers Friday Flashing that I’m missing out on.

    That’s how I’ve found most of your stories. The thing J.M. Strother’s doing every Friday, with the collector and all? That’s the #FridayFlash thing. 🙂 You’re already in, far as I can see, Jared. And yeah, any fiction under 1K words seems to count (they’re not strict about word count I don’t think).

  6. FlashFridays sounds like a blast. I’m so easily distracted that having a goal helps.


    Hi, Tirz! Come on and play. It’s a LOAD of fun! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  7. I’m glad you are having as much fun on #fridayflash

    It’s been a blast so far Al, and I’ve read some really great stuff too. Yours among them. 🙂 Thanks for the intro and encouragement. 🙂

  8. I actually followed somebody’s flash friday piece to J.M. Strother to get the specs. I’m planning to join Flash Friday Mania . . . If thanksgiving doesn’t wear me out first! So far all of the Flash Friday stories have been great. Can’t wait to jump right in.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

  9. Hey, whatever motivates you to write is a good thing so I’m glad to see this is helping you.

    Thanks, Delaney! I owe a lot of motivation to my wife, and my friends, and to the good Lord above. Not a lot of it’s working right now, ‘course, but it’s getting there. I gotta write this week’s entry soon. 🙂

  10. Hey there, Darc. I’ve been reading your blog lately rather fast and not leaving comments because, well, I haven’t been able to think. But of course since you mentioned NaNo, your post has been on my mind and I had to come back to it. First off, no reason to do NaNoWriMo if it doesn’t strike your fancy. It works for me, but some people need a different motivation. And every region is different depending on who the liason is. My region is great. My experience has been that while 50k is the official goal, each writer should feel free to set his or her own goal. I have NaNo friends who just want to do 30k (a couple who try for 100k but they are insane). No one gives them a hard time. At our write-ins we cheer people on and commiserate when it isn’t going well. We have a end of the month party and everyone is encouraged to come whether they wrote 50k or 5. And I know lots of NaNo writers who have done this every year and never make it. They keep plugging away and they are awesome. I even know a NaNo writer who makes 50k every year and then deletes the whole thing.

    That last statement simply floors me. I can’t imagine working that hard and then just deleting the file. UGH. And don’t worry about not reading; I’m surprised you’ve been here as much as you have, frankly. If I had done NaNo I wouldn’t be around anyone’s blog for 30 days, I’m sure. So thanks. 🙂

    So if you were here, we wouldn’t want you to feel like a failure no matter what. You’re writing something. That’s what counts.

    That’s the spirit! 🙂

    Write the way that works best for you!

    I’m hoping to. I just haven’t figured that out yet.

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    The same to you. I hope it was awesome for y’all.

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