This week’s bite has a different flavor than the last two. It’s a bit more conventional fantasy. I got the idea from a ten foot high pile of snow that reminded me of a lizard skull. Long past when the rest of the snow had melted, this monster pile of snow sat in the middle of a brown patch of grass and kicked my mind into writing mode. The first line came to me and I imagined it was going to be a novel, because I loved the line so much. The ideas fell off around 1500 words and I got frustrated with it so I left it hanging. When I started this challenge with myself a few weeks ago, I revisited this one, because I thought it might just work as a flash piece. It ends on a little more of a cliffhanger than I’d like, but I think it works. I may still go back and make a longer format story out of the idea later. There are a few things I’d like to try with it. The magic system I had envisioned would be neat to play with, I think.
Here is the link for Last Days of the Dragon. This story is about a woman who discovers that the last dragon of her world is dead. I concentrated mostly on building the world behind this one. I hope you enjoy it. Comments certainly welcome if you’re inclined!
Next week’s installment may be a story about a carjacking. I’m not sure yet. I have about 600 or so words of it written, but I ran into a dead end. I also have a more horror-slanted idea with bugs that has been buzzing around in my brain since I wrote the Beetle Juice story.
Ryan’s Word of the Day is callipygian. It means having a nice ass. I wouldn’t kid you about this, it really does.
Here are your science tidbits for the week:
2) Here’s a ScienceDaily post about a new material designed to mimic human skin. They hope to use this tech for much more than just medical purposes, suggesting it could be used for ships and spacecraft.
3) An article about inter-species nookie between mammoths and elephants on LiveScience. (Am I the only one who lives for the day that they Jurassic Park up some mammoths?)
4) One of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, is now thought to be the most likely place in the solar system to find life. Details in this article on Nature.com. PS – If you are as into Saturn as I am CICLOPS is the place to be. Really beautiful high-res images that will spin your head.
5) Cephalopod skin has the ability to see colors, according to this article on Physorg.com. They use this ability in order to make convincing camouflage which is really neat.
Ryan’s Word of the day is autodidactic, one who is self-taught.
So far in this one flash fiction a week challenge I’ve been having a great time. Writing flash fiction is teaching me tons about brevity and the best ways to get things across. Not only that, but it’s been a hoot. The titles and taglines have come fast. Honestly, that’s what I was most worried about starting this. How in the world was I going to come up with 50 plus titles a year? It seemed impossible to me. Yes indeedy, I do have title issues, but it seems not with these guys. I wonder why that is? Maybe because I’m trying so hard not to be serious.
Anyway, this week’s helping is called Victory or De-Feet and features a man with a foot fetish. This story focused on character and relationship development. Once again, I wrote and edited it over two days. I hope you enjoy it. Please leave comments if you feel inclined.
Next week’s story may be one based on the staring line mentioned here. I’ve already written that story, but I may try something else between now and next week. We’ll see. I am supposed to start edits on Broods this week, which will chew up all my writing time, if it happens.
Ryan’s Word of the Day is glossolalia which means speaking in tongues.
While I browsed through my Google Reader feed this morning, an idea occurred to me. I’m a big science fiction fan, and though I haven’t written much in the genre yet, I know I will. I’m always on the lookout for cool science tidbits that would make good story fodder. Every week I’ll pluck out a few of the best and put them up here for your (and my) brainstorming pleasure. I’m going to shoot for Fridays with this, but this week I’m putting it up a little early because I’m hoping to dedicate tomorrow to writing since I have the day off.
This week’s story fodder:
1) Human echolocation a blog post by Ed Yong about how amazing the human brain is, more specifically how blind people develop a form of echolocation.
2) Ancient Sea Monsters Were No Shrimps is an article on LiveScience.com that talks about some neat fossils found in Morocco of huge predator shrimps known as anomalocaridids.
3) Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Science meets fiction in an article called Drug May Help Overwrite Bad Memories on ScienceDaily.com about a new drug that doesn’t touch memories, but could potentially erase the bad emotions tied to them.
4) Here is a conversation between two science nuts (science writer Carl Zimmer and scientist Timothy Lu) discussing bacteriophages, a topic near and dear to my heart. Phages have gotten a lot of science press lately, but I first heard of these teeny guys in a virology course more than a decade ago. My professor explained why he thought bacteriophages could be instrumental in defeating genetic disorders and quite literally stole my imagination.
I hope you don’t mind a brief aside here: To this day, Robert Leamnson, the professor I mentioned above, is the person who had the biggest impact on my life. I found out recently that he passed away. Learning of his death upset me quite a bit and I did a few web searches trying to find out what I could about what he had done after I left school. I found a paper he wrote about learning that shows what he was about better than I could ever explain it.
Ryan’s Word of the Day is convivial, an adjective that means festive.
Here is the link to my first ever weekly (I hope) flash fiction, Beetle Juice. I might write another story that takes place in this world at some point because I find the magic system intriguing.
This was written and edited over the course of two days. I concentrated mostly on developing the magic system, so the characterization isn’t as strong as I’d like. I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment if you feel inclined.
I’m going to try to put one up one of these every Wednesday. The next piece of flash will either be one about a man with a foot fetish, or a story based on the opening line I mentioned in this post about inspiration.
Ryan’s word of the day is pulchritudinous. Believe it or not, that huge, ugly-sounding word is an adjective meaning is beautiful.
I wrote a piece of flash fiction over the weekend for an anthology taking submissions on KindleBoards. Generally, this form is considered to be any piece of fiction under 1000 words, though some markets constrain the requirements further. I’ve never been much for writing short stories, I think mostly because I tried to use my own ideas and I always want to expand on them until the story no longer fit within the confining word counts. Since someone else provided the seed for this one, it was easier for me to shape that idea into a bite-sized morsel of story than usual.
This story, titled “Love in a Time of Bunnies,” presented a nice writing challenge for me. It’s a humorous romance, which is not at all something I usually write. Building story and character arc in such a small space forced me to make the most out of every word. Interestingly enough, I had a lot of fun doing it! So much fun that I think I’m going to try to write a piece of flash fiction a week and post it up here. It will be interesting to see the evolution of my writing as time goes on and also to find out if this becomes a joy or a trial. This week’s flash is courtesy of an idea from my husband about a magic system involving bugs. That’s all I’m going to tell you for now.
To pull this off long-term I’m going to need a bunch of writing prompts, because I don’t trust myself to keep the stuff in my head under 1k words. I found a site that offers a prompt a week called Flash Fiction Friday which I’ll be trying a few of no doubt, but I’m open to other ideas. Do you know a site with writing prompts that you like?
Ryan’s Word of the Day is phlegmatic, which describes a person of calm or stoic demeanor.