My entry for Shenandoah Valley Writers Flash! Friday Flashversary contest:
To call this a slow writing week for me would be an understatement. As a recent Facebook meme states, this was my week: “Writer’s Block–when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.” That’s exactly the way it felt, and I’m not really sure what I did to piss them off so they’d spend the week sulking in silence. I guess it’s like marriage–you’re expected to read minds and know what’s bothering the other person.
In reality, spring cleaning–indoors and out–was the culprit. Unlike many writer friends, gardening is not a chore I like. It doesn’t free my mind to be creative. It just makes me mutter about how much I hate it, but I figure the neighbors would get upset if I allow the flowerbeds to go au naturale. I did get a certain amount of satisfaction from reorganizing my household filing system so that, next year, when I take everything to my accountant he won’t quirk an eyebrow at the pile of paper I hand over.
Bottom line: Not much writing or revising done, and two blog posts missed (including one on the Tom Wolfe Seminar I attended and will write about). It’s been a while since that happened (probably the same time last year). Though all was not lost. I did manage to come up with some decent ad copy for a radio spot to promote the SWAG Writers Book Fair later this month. (See the first item in the column to the right). Somehow, thirty seconds worth of words is little compensation for a week’s worth of missing creativity.
On Wednesday I look a brief look at the photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers and literally said, “WTF?” (Well, I didn’t use an abbreviation.) As this week’s pattern played out, I sat down yesterday to write something, and, even though I had a concept, I couldn’t force the words onto the screen. I even switched to pen and paper because sometimes that gets the creative juices flowing, but zilch, nada, nothing.
I must have fallen asleep last night with the concept in mind because, boom, I woke early this morning with the story in my head. I got up immediately and got it into a Word file, and, whoa, 121 words. On first glance, I figured there was no way to cut twenty-one words, but I did; and the concept is intact. This is what I love about Friday Fictioneers–I’ve reached the point where not doing a Friday Fictioneers story would mean letting myself down, and that’s great inspiration.
Today’s story is “Siblings,” and you’ll see a dedication at the beginning of the story. I didn’t lose my only brother in Vietnam, like the story’s protagonist, but I did lose him in another war–one called Type One Diabetes. As usual, if you don’t see the link on the title, scroll to the Friday Fictioneers tab above and select it from the drop-down list.
As much fun and as much as I learned at the American Writers and Writing Program Conference last week, I really missed doing my 100-word story for Friday Fictioneers. Moreover I couldn’t wait until Wednesday rolled around to see the picture, and, wow, the story popped right into my head. I almost couldn’t wait until Friday.
For a review of a chapbook I purchased at the conference click on: Book Review – Betty Superman.
Here’s the inspiration photo from Madison Woods:
The following story is dedicated to friends who served in Vietnam. By the way, in the story I use a term which some may find offensive, but it is a historically accurate term used by U.S. soldiers in that war.
I never liked working on the plumbing in an older house. The cellars and crawlspaces were damp; their fetid smell stirred memories best kept hidden. I needed this job, so I went in.
The day was cold. Fear made me sweat, and the corrugated ceiling put me back in the box where Charlie kept me during my reluctant sojourn in the Hanoi Hilton, the old one, not the Hanoi Hilton Opera there now, a real hotel.
I kept my eyes away from the air hole. If I looked, Charlie would be looking back, like he does in my dreams.
For more 100-word stories by Friday Fictioneers, go to Madison Woods’ blog and have a read.