Writing

4-24-2022: Content is being selectively restored. If you have an interest in a piece “withdrawn” do not be bashful; ask for it to be restored. Time permitting, I may do so, but only if asked.

2-5-2021: ALL CREATIVE CONTENT HAS BEEN REMOVED. These pages remain until all internal links are removed to prevent broken links. If you feel a need to see a particular piece, it can be restored for a limited time on request accompanied by a “pretty please.”

Conversations

“You know, what I should have said to the insufferable snot was…”  You’ve been there, right? “Conversations” includes snappy rebuttals that never occurred until two or three minutes too late. It also includes entire conversations between two or more people built around observation of human nature, odd exchanges between insanely different personalities, frustration with societal rules and missing rules, and pure moments of insanity (on my part).  I do offer that more than one was an attempt to address a serious problem, question, or issue.  It’s up to you to discover which those might be.

“Conversations” often crosses the line into NSFW. People talk, and it’s not always, “Golly, Bubba!” or, “Jeepers, Emily!” and such. Writers write what they know: you’d wonder if I ate a lot of bar soap as a kid. Not really. Soap was an expensive commodity, so I suffered more than one trip to the woodshed, which is not a great way to encourage building a snazzy vocabulary. The message kind of gets lost in the moment.

For occasionally poking fun at segments of society, “Conversations” also routinely has to be considered NSFW.  Obesity, slovenliness, gender, youth and age, bigotry, radicalism, politics, and religiosity head the list of not-off-limits touchpoints.  If you really take offense when your manner of dress is belittled, don’t wander through “Conversations.”  There is not enough time to preface or catalog classes of folk who might consider each piece offensive. Then, any piece might poke at more than one, um, ah, personal trait.  You have been warned.

Milestones

“Milestones” is a collection of vignettes – times and places missed or desired that never were – people who’ve walked through time with me, or those I wish had. Most of the pieces started when a character appeared from nowhere, looking over my shoulder as I pounded-away on another story. Arriving fully developed, they either didn’t fit what I was working on at the time, or when we chatted, it became obvious they needed their own stage, a different plot, more room to grow. These usually shorter pieces tend to melancholy, but not always. Their tone is generally softer. Unintentionally, most have underlying ‘morals’ which surprised even me as I recorded what characters said or the events they described.

Life’s Like That…

…is a collector for little pieces: life observations and truly odd ramblings that could be blogs but have more permanence. Pieces will fit one of four themes:

  • Life’s Like That – Just observations and reflections
  • Here’s the Deal HTD – Usually humorous frustrations that don’t make the grade as full-blown rants.
  • Life in Five Minute Segments FMS – Pieces on life being interrupted by other pieces of life no more important than that just interrupted.
  • A Little Too Close to the Edge TCE- Pieces that might just cross the line to mild insanity.

Beware the occasional NSFW.

Short Stories

Short stories are short stories. C’mon, try to keep up! These are distinct from “Flash” in that they will exceed 500 or 1,000 words, common magic numbers for “Flash Fiction.”

Let’s play the logician’s game: all Flash Fiction pieces are Short Stories but not all Short Stories are Flash Fiction. “Short Stories” are generally 7,500 words or less. But publications and editors are fickle, unpredictable, and refuse to be pinned down to concrete, uniform rules. They can do that; it’s their football, so it’s their rules.

There are some NSFW (surprise!) boats in the “Short” pond. Anything above “Flash” in length usually takes long enough to mature, I remember to tag them “NSFW.” But not always. That doesn’t make you feel comfortable at all, does it?

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction includes the shortest of short stories. Properly written “flash” includes plot: beginning, middle, and end, or introduction, development, and resolution. There are those who insist flash end with a “twist” or surprise.

Flash includes the absurdly short – six, ten, or twenty-five words, the modestly short – one-hundred to three-hundred words, and a more forgiving form running from five-hundred to one-thousand words. Some dare call up to three-thousand words “flash,” but that is something of a stretch.

The inherent difficulty is obviously the length, challenging a writer’s skills. One must excel at the writer’s craft to develop characters, setting, and plot in, especially in shorter forms, a confining space.

Poetry & Lyrics

Words destined to accompany music is usually lyrical, at any rate poetic. Poetry has so many variants, any attempt to enumerate even the most popular forms or styles is a foolhardy undertaking.

Novellas and the like

These are extended short stories. Or short stories are abbreviated forms of, for example, a novelette. Departing “short story” length, novelettes run to less than 25,000 words and novellas to less than 50,000 words.

Novels

Longer story forms, running from 50,000 words to 110,000 and beyond. Insanely long novels like to call themselves “Epics” or “Serials.”

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