More One-Minute Writing, and a Friday Flash Fiction contest entry

Over at One-Minute Writer, a Friday Flash Fiction Contest came up, along with prompts for Saturday and Sunday.

I e-mailed in my entry for the Contest – I won’t share that just yet. I liked the prompt, “Conversation Piece”, and I think I got a nice 800(ish) word piece out of it. With a bit of polishing, I think I could get it published on one of my other favorite Flash Fiction sites if it doesn’t win this contest.

Saturday’s prompt was simply “I don’t know” – and since I tackled it just after waking up, you get this response:

Where do dreams come from? Those ephemeral visions that play out through my mind in the hours of subconsciousness. Often pieces of stories jumbled into nonsense, but sometimes with narrative strands complete with climaxes and resolutions.

If I can remember long enough, I can understand what waking events led to some elements. Most parts are a complete mystery, pieced together by some deeply hidden facet of my sleeping mind.

Alas, as the dreams fade with the creeping in of sunlight, “I don’t know” is all that remains.

Sunday’s prompt was “Book”, and challenged the writer to describe a favorite childhood book. I wrote:

A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me. What a great name for a book, and what wonderful flights of nonsense it bore for my childhood. I read that book far more than any other, almost from the moment I could read. I can still remember two bits from it.

The title poem, about some poor bloke minding his own business and poof, he’s a post for some brute’s horse. The other was a bit about the Slithergadee, a sea monster terrorizing a beach full of cartoon animals. One confident rabbit says, “No you won’t catch me, old Slithergadee. You may catch all the others but you wo-” Great way to end a poem for kids!

Shortly after writing this, I discovered that the above poem was from none other than Shel Silverstein! The book A Great Big Ugly Man … is no longer in print, sadly. Old copies of it circulate, and they are not cheap – especially not if I order from here in Korea. Still, I may break down and splurge on it for my kids. It is a really funny and memorable book!

A short reflection on writing and this blog

Just came out of a bad weekend – it’s just no fun with everyone sick. Our colds, and the chilly weather, kept us all inside. I think we all came down with cabin fever, and we definitely need to get out once we recover.

But hey, one of my tags at this here blog says “No Excuses”. It’s important to write every day – even if it is just for a few minutes. Once I realized that I really, deeply wanted to be a writer, it became all the more important to keep writing, no matter what.

One really great side-effect of constant writing for me was improved communication with my wife and my co-workers. Writing things out seems to defragment my mind and make it easier to speak my thoughts. I share some of that writing on this blog, even writing that I’ll readily admit isn’t that good, with the hope that readers will eventually see improvement in my skills, and realize that they can similarly improve theirs.

To any reading this – keep writing. Keep sharing. You’ll have a lot of writing that isn’t very good, sure, but you’ll occasionally hit on something brilliant. And yes, oh yes, it is definitely worth all those hours just to get a few precious gems.