This blog may seem a little unfocused, but then so am I - I'm a writer, photographer, trombonist, grandfather, and promoter of graffiti as an art form and a community change agent. You can subscribe to my posts, over on the right-hand panel, via RSS feed or emails, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
2500 words in 8 days. Last Friday, at midnight, I got my prompt for the first round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. Genre ghost story, subject a donation, character a child psychologist. I was just getting used to my own 1000 word/week challenge, then I took this on. Why not? It's winter, and Ottawa has been hit with lots of snow and a cold winter blast. A good time to stay in, make some soups and stews, and write.
Note - I really did try to complete this Sunday, but that damn Netflix interfered!
This time, the challenge for Flash Fiction Friday was a location and a thing. Randomly chosen from two lists. I ended up with 'a quiet suburb', and 'animal crackers'. My word count was 997, just under the 1000 limit.
Just Animal Crackers
Patrick clutched his chest and waited for the pain to subside.
“Calm thoughts,” he said. “Breath in . . . and out.” Nothing serious, in his opinion, probably heartburn. Still, these twinges, plus flat feet and a wonky hip, had persuaded him to retire after a career as a security guard. At least he could sleep in, to noon if he wanted. Easily done here, in his home on a quiet suburban street. Too quiet. The parents drove to the city for work, and the kids were all in school or day care. His wife had died a decade ago, and he had no hobbies, so he’d spent several years of his retirement being both alone and lonely.
In general, yes, it is strange. But specifically, that's the title of a video game I started watching last night, a choose your own adventure sort of game, where your character is a 16 yr old high school student. I know, a little weird for me, an old grandfather. Max has to make choices - which door to open who to talk to, how to act toward them, what things to pick up/push/throw. Plus, she has a 'rewind' power, so she can go back a few minutes ad try to change what just happened. And not always for the better. It's well rendered, with a great soundtrack, an interesting plot, good characters, and lots of emotional moments in the narrative. When I streamed the first episode I had a lot of viewers, with some even adding hints. Or voting on choices.