Just a little note to say: I know I’m viciously late on my most recent flash, but it’s for a good reason. I took last week off to start planning my novel for National Novel Writing Month, which began on Sunday along with the month of November. I’ll catch up with the aforementioned Superlative exercise as soon as I’ve written my 50,000 words.
“The Nicest Kid in the Universe,” is a parable about Franky Gorky, the titular child, for although he is the “nicest” kid, “he wasn’t the smartest kid.” Because Gorky isn’t smart, he doesn’t realize that the moon waxes and wanes on its own; he believes that his wishes are responsible for this, a fact which leads him to run across the street on Christmas morning as his grandmother is parking across the street, and get “rubbed out” by a drunk driver. The story ends with the introduction of a first person narrator and a moral, as if it has been told to frighten a child into good behavior.
My response to last week’s “Restrained Impulse” exercise is below. I have to say, I’m not sure I hewed as close to the exercise as I could have. I wanted to present the story of a gang flunky who couldn’t keep from laughing as a way of replicating Robert Hill Long’s dynamic of a small girl who couldn’t keep from dancing. A flaw in the story, I think, is that my main character doesn’t have a strong relationship with a single person, as Long’s girl does with her father. He also feels a little generic to me
I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. This week’s exercise is based on Robert Hill Long’s “The Restraints,” found on p. 131 of the book Flash Fiction, edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka.
Here’s my response to last week’s Meta Exercise. Since Julio Cortázar used a narrative piece of art, a novel, to construct his excellent short short. I thought I’d give myself a challenge and try to do the same thing with a less experiential sort of art, in this case, sculpture. Points to anyone who can identify the sculptor.
Last week I neglected the blog due to a family emergency, but this week I’m back with a short-short exercise based on Julio Cortázar’s “A Continuity of Parks,” found on p. 137 of the book Flash Fiction, edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka.
Imagine a bar of soap lying by the side of your sink. It’s a flat, creamy beige block no bigger than a deck of cards, with edges that aren’t quite plumb, smoothed by hand and water. You made it from skin-scarring lye and olive oil in the pot you use to make soup, carefully weighing the ingredients on a postal scale, and whirring them together with a hand blender, watching carefully for the signs of miraculous alchemy, the puddingy texture, the marks on the surface that stay turgid for a moment before vanishing. You poured the soap into a shoebox mold, and cured it in the open air for a month, to remove its green bite.
For those of you who don’t know, a short short, also called flash fiction or micro-fiction is a short story of as few as 200 words or as many as 2,000. It’s bite-sized fiction or nonfiction. Fringe publishes them, as do many journals, but Quick Fiction is famous for publishing excellent flash fiction of 500 words or less exclusively.