Fast Fiction: A Clear-Eyed Expert on Anxiety

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

Anxiety is the most subjective state that we can achieve  —It doesn’t require a reason for its coming.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: A Clear-Eyed Expert on Anxiety”

Fast Fiction: A Winning Strategy for Digging Your Own Grave

Hello again everyone,

I made my first blog post in four months yesterday, and only my third blog post in two and a half years yesterday. It felt good to put up some fresh content. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to self-isolate, I really do not have the excuse that I’m too busy to put things up on this blog. A quick flip through my notebooks says I have 40 or 50 things that I could share here if I would just bother to type them up, to say nothing of actually creating new content.

They say if you do something regularly for two weeks it becomes habit-forming. It seems I will be living in my home for the next two weeks. Why don’t I try posting onto this blog twice a day for two weeks, and see if it becomes something I do regularly?

So let’s begin with more fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the (now slightly modified) rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

“Would you like to wish for something?” The stranger asked me all at once.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: A Winning Strategy for Digging Your Own Grave”

A Dream I Had That I’m Now Writing Up as an Idea for a Movie, Because Why Not?

The pitch:

It’s the Time Machine meets Passengers meets Meets Logan’s Run without a time machine or a spaceship or a society that kills anyone over 30.

Intriguing, right?

In the not too distant future, a man and a woman with movie star good looks but average joe jobs live their lives in a way that would be recognizable and sympathetic to a general audience. We establish this during the opening credits of quick cuts set to frenetic music. They start their mornings together eating cereal at the breakfast bar of a small but comfortable looking condo. They kiss each other goodbye at the subway station. She works as the executive assistant of an obviously important person where she sits behind an imposing desk next to a big door looking bored most of the time. He works in a cubicle farm where he spends a lot of time on the phone fielding calls that obviously frustrate him. Each day ends with them having dinner together on the couch watching television. This cycle happens three times in the first three minutes without dialogue. We establish in this fast montage their lives are routine, mundane, and the details don’t matter, but their happiness is in being together.

The first sound we hear from the two of them after the opening credit music ends is the sound of running water. He’s in the kitchen washing the dishes after dinner. She’s still on the couch. The news is on. A familiar television anchor’s voice is saying something we cannot quite make out over the sound of the water. The tap is turned off abruptly. “What did he just say?” She asks.

“Turn it up,” he says, returning to join her on the couch.

The anchor continues that the president will be addressing the nation in the coming hours, but that a breaking story confirmed by many sources suggests an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and will make impact within the week; that the government has known for years and kept the information under wraps to avoid a panic because there is no realistic way to divert or destroy the asteroid. More information will be coming soon. The anchor cuts to a talking head asking, “Professor, what does this mean?” Outside there is the sound of squealing tires as drivers panic behind the wheel. There are car horns and sounds of collisions. A cutaway to the condo tower shows the lights coming on one by one in every suite, something we can see from buildings in the background is being repeated throughout the city.

Continue reading “A Dream I Had That I’m Now Writing Up as an Idea for a Movie, Because Why Not?”

Fast Fiction: The Confessional Booth is Not a Happy Place for Father Marco

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another of those pre-scheduled blog posts of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. The premise is explained more fully here. Here’s a quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers’ group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

Rule #5: I have all these posts set up to go out through Twitter. If I’m going to queue up twenty or so of them into the distant future, I will schedule them to go out at 3 am on a Sunday. I reserve the right to reschedule these posts based on other things that should take priority on this blog.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

“This is what it means to be fallen creatures,” Marco said. “In the Biblical sense.”

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: The Confessional Booth is Not a Happy Place for Father Marco”

Fast Fiction: Japanese Baseball and Midnight Day Trading

Hello everyone,

It’s time again for another pre-scheduled blog post of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For more on the whole premise, check out this post. In the meantime, here’s a quick recap of what this is all about:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers’ group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

Rule #5: I have all these posts set up to go out through Twitter. If I’m going to queue up twenty or so of them into the distant future, I will schedule them to go out at 3 am on a Sunday. I reserve the right to reschedule these posts based on other things that should take priority on this blog.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

Did it bother him that I was indifferent to his nighttime activities, even repelled by them?

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Japanese Baseball and Midnight Day Trading”

Fast Fiction: Horticulture Can be a Cruel Mistress

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another of my pre-scheduled blog posts of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For more on the whole premise, check out this post. In the meantime, here’s a quick recap of what this is all about:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers’ group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

Rule #5: I have all these posts set up to go out through Twitter. If I’m going to queue up twenty or so of them into the distant future, I will schedule them to go out at 3 am on a Sunday. I reserve the right to reschedule these posts based on other things that should take priority on this blog.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

She does not answer. She looks at him with eyes that could be looking at an overgrown bush in the corner of a garden.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Horticulture Can be a Cruel Mistress”

Fast Fiction: After the Apartment Building Tumbled Down

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another of my pre-scheduled blog posts of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. Here’s a quick recap of what this is all about. For more on the whole premise, check out this post:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers’ group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

Rule #5: I have all these posts set up to go out through Twitter. If I’m going to queue up twenty or so of them into the distant future, I will schedule them to go out at 3 am on a Sunday. I reserve the right to reschedule these posts based on other things that should take priority on this blog.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

There was no more blood, though she could feel it crusted inside her head.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: After the Apartment Building Tumbled Down”