Jaan’s short story Elk City, has just been published on Work Literary Magazine.
Mission: To publish the best writing, thought and information about work, or lack thereof, while providing a forum for readership to connect and respond.
WORK is dedicated to celebrating the daily grind: white collar, blue collar, pink collar, sex work, food service, freelancing and more.
Elk City is a semi-fictional account of a trip to an isolated Idaho town by a group of hippie tree planters, and the relationship they set up with the townsfolk.
A group of old timers and a bunch of kids sat around the campfire. A couple of fresh logs were tossed on, sending a rush of sparks up to the sky. Robbie Richards pushed back his grey hair, and stretched his long boots towards the fire. Someone handed him a fresh bottle of Black Butte Porter, and he took a swig. The others, young and old turned towards him as he began his story:
Dusk was settin’ in and the rain was pourin’ down like there was no tomorrow as Tim Boty and me turned onto route 14 outa Grangeville and headed toward Elk City in spring of ‘76. Tim was driving his dusty old green Saab 96. That thing had more creaks and rattles in it than an old horse buggy, but she ran just fine. Man it was comin’ down!
Check it out!
Found an interesting article on “micro fiction” on The Guardian:
Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction by David Gaffney.
I began to produce these ultra-short stories – sawn-off tales, as I call them – when I was commuting from Manchester to Liverpool…
These stories, small as they were, had a huge appetite; little fat monsters that gobbled up ideas like chicken nuggets. The habit of reducing text could get out of hand too; I once took away the last two sentences of a story and realised I had reduced it to a blank page.
How to write flash fiction
1. Start in the middle.
You don’t have time in this very short form to set scenes and build character.
Being a writer – or other artist for that matter – is a bit like being a boxer. If you think you are going to get into the ring and are not ready to take a few punches then you should not be there.
Not only is it unrealistic, but you do your audience a disservice if you are not willing to take criticism.
We are a sensitive lot and it is painful to see our babies criticized, but it is necessary if we wish to grow and improve our craft to take valid, well meant criticism.
You do not necessarily have to agree with everything, but it is important to listen and evaluate. In the end it is your name on the piece not your editor’s or other critic’s. So you need to be true to yourself, but not closed off.
– Malcolm Manness
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, 1946
English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)
Pronto voy a publicar el cuentito gratis La Habitación en este pagina.
How to assess other people’s work graciously and fairly.
As Sir Ken Robinson thoughtfully observed, we live in a kind of “opinion culture” where not having an opinion is a cultural abomination. At the same time, the barrier of entry for making one’s opinions public is lower than ever. The tragedy of our time might well be that so many choose to set those opinions apart by making them as contrarian and abrasive as possible. But what E. B. White once wisely pointed to as the role and social responsibility of the writer—”to lift people up, not lower them down”—I believe to be true of the role and social responsibility of the critic as well, for thoughtful criticism is itself an art and a creative act.
We need to relearn the skills of making criticism constructive rather than destructive, and we need look no further than the introduction to John Updike‘s 1977 anthology of prose, Picked-Up Pieces, where the beloved author and critic codifies the ethics and poetics of criticism by offering the following six rules to reviewing graciously and fairly.