Tag Archives: flash fiction

Very Short Stories – Take Me

♦ It’s time for another of my Very Short Stories! If you haven’t read any of mine yet, I encourage you to go and check out Covered in Cream, Prometheus, If We Hadn’t Had Sex and The Quoit, if you have time. And they each fit on a single Post-It note, so I’m thinking you definitely have time.

And since we’ve established that time is a thing you have, here’s another one!

Very Short Stories - Take Me

Just in case you can’t (or don’t want to) read my handwriting:

I’m too wise to give myself away. Take me. Possess me. Grab your compass and carve your initials into me. Invade me; let me be your spoils of war. I am not a gift for you. I want to be stolen. Snatch fistfuls of me and stuff me into your pockets. You just can’t have me. But take me all the same.

The prompt for this one was very strange indeed. It’s not the title phrase. It’s not even mentioned in the “story”. Heck, it hasn’t even got anything to do with the story! I tried to get inspiration by hitting “Random Card” on Magic: the Gathering card database Gatherer and this is what I found: Master Transmuter.

And inspire me it did! The beautiful hair, the cool blues, the filigree body… Filigree, is there a way I could use that? Perhaps writing on skin? Or the filigree look of fine hair? No, wait go back to that last thing. Suddenly I had the idea of writing on skin, which lead to possession, which lead to… this.

Which is one reason it irks me to see people saying that the form for Very Short Stories is to take a one-word prompt which then becomes your title, or things like that. Not so! In fact, I don’t give a fuck what inspires you. One word, two, ten, a picture, a mood, a smell… Just get inspired! And when you do, write what you’re inspired to write on just one side of a Post-It note. That’s all.

Give it a title. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter. This “meme” (I never quite intended a meme, but people seem to be calling it such, which is awfully flattering) is just about getting writing onto the (very tiny) page. About the challenge of a tiny creative space juxtaposed with the ease of fitting the short writing time into your schedule.

Time that, hey, we’ve established you’ve got when it comes to reading a couple of these. So maybe read some more? Since my last one of these, there have been new Very Short Stories posted on Cammies on the Floor, as well as by Valery North and by F Leonora Solomon. Check them out.

If you have time left over when you’re done, why not write your own? All it needs is you, a writing implement, a Post-It note and whatever your imagination gives you. And if your imagination is too wise to give things away? Take them all the same. ♦

Very Short Stories – The Quoit

♦ It’s been a little while since we’ve had any Very Short Stories. Not content with the three linked just there, I’ve written another. And I’m not the only one! Please do check out these Very Short Stories by F Leonora Solomon, Cammies on the Floor and Adriana. They’re great!

If you’re still not sure how to get involved yourself, it’s easy: find a word or two (or really anything) to use as a prompt, get inspired, then write a teeny-tiny story on only one side of a post-it note. Hotel stationery works well too! When you’re done, let me know where it is so I can link to you. A link back would be nice too.

And write as many as you like! I find these a great little exercise to get your creative juices dripping or to just let out some writing in a way you perhaps don’t always have time for. I’ve even written one of these on public transport.

Anyway, here’s my latest:

Very Short Stories - The Quoit

“Down by the quoit we met and fucked. Your eyes, pricked by pollen, streamed as you came. Shallow white scrapes furrowed my shoulder blades; the granite had held me as hard as you had. That Indian summer couldn’t last. But I still carry the sound of still air peppered by your grunts, the thrill of something so vital perched panting on the dry rocks of the dead, the pressed gorse in my wallet from your hastily gathered bouquet.”

For those of you who don’t know what a quoit is, you may know them better by the name dolmen. Where I’m from, we call them quoits. In any case, they’re (mostly) neolithic tombs made from big-ass rocks. They’re pretty cool and we have quite a few notable ones in Cornwall.

Today’s Very Short Story is, I have to say, rather Cornish-tinged. Quoits, granite in general, gorse, all are vivid parts of my background, though I sadly never had sex up against one. I suppose there’s still time?

In any case, given that today is the day that we the Cornish have finally been recognised as a national minority group (for which I’m ecstatic) with the same rights and protections as the Welsh, Irish and Scots, I thought a bit of nostalgia for the land of my fathers (bro goth agan tasow) was apt. I hope you enjoyed it!

What would a Very Short Story tinged with your cultural heritage be like? I’d love to see some! ♦

Very Short Stories – If We Hadn’t Had Sex

♦ It seems my Very Short Stories idea has been catching on! When I last told you about them, one other, the lovely Innocent Loverboy, had joined in. Since then, four more have cropped up! So please go and read the wonderful posts by Jilly Boyd, Girl on the Net, Lady Pandorah and Ruby Goodnight.

I am, I have to say, absolutely thrilled and humbled that so many lovely people are joining in! Thank you, all!

For those who’ve missed what this is all about, it’s very simple. I started writing teeny-tiny flash fiction on Post-it notes. First, Covered in Cream, then Prometheus. Want to join in? Here’s how it works: Take a Post-it note, find a prompt word from anywhere you like, write a story no bigger than your sticky note. Then share it with the world and let me know! A link back would be lovely.

In fact, I wrote another, so here’s another example…

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“Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t have damp jeans on from not giving the dryer enough time to run. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t be out of breath from having to run for the train.

Perhaps, if we hadn’t had sex, I’d have an extra £1.60 in my pocket because I’d have waited for change. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, my damp jeans and my damp knickers (nothing to do with laundry) wouldn’t be combining unsettlingly. Maybe if we hadn’t had sex, I wouldn’t be grinning. ”

I’m cheating a little, as it’s a sort of literary-ised (totally a word) version of a few real events from my mad dash to my train to get to Eroticon 2014 for the Friday.  But I think it still counts. If not fiction, then fiction-ish.

I managed with smaller writing (made more troublesome by the train I was writing it on, sorry) to make a grand 92 words this time, but it looks like I’d have to write very cramped to manage many more. But that’s fine by me. It’s the dinky aspect of this that appeals to me and I’ll likely try to write bigger next time.

Next time? Oh, yes, I’m certainly keeping these going. In fact, Eroticon gave me several ideas! What about you? Can you write a story on a Post-It? When will the inspiration for your next Very Short Stories hit? ♦

Eroticon 2014 – Sunday, Part 1

♦ The previous day at Eroticon 2014 had ended with a cocktail party to which I’d managed to buy Crush a ticket. After train shenanigans, he showed up shipshape and Bristol fashion and we headed to the bar. It was a great evening and I’m glad he was there as he got to say hello to old friends and meet exciting new ones and I frankly enjoy dragging him into my sex-based social world. He did so well there, too! The sheer amount of secret geeks he caught with his top was impressive.

The morning wake up was full of sleepy sex and sneakily snapped Sinful Sundays, making me only just on time for the first session and only managing a breakfast of yesterday’s sausage rolls as I left Crush lying in. But never mind! It was a lovely sunny morning to spend all day inside talking smut.

Again, I was conflicted. The flash fiction workshop sounded right up my street, but in the end I decided I could already kinda do flash fiction and so I should probably focus on an area where I need more help. So I took a seat in Kay Jaybee and Lucy Felthouse‘s Step up: making the move from short stories to novels. I’d met them both before a couple of times, notably at the awesome Kinky World Book Night held in Cardiff last year (which I briefly wrote some NaPoWriMo poems about), and they’re lovely guys, so friendly and encouraging. It was a bit of a shame that their self-introductions were so long as I already knew a bit about them and it took a fair bit of time out of the bulk of the session, but when we got to the crux of it, it was full of helpful advice. Short stories are a  brilliant apprenticeship, we were told, for novels and Kay and Lucy even thoguht they were harder to write!

I’m not sure I agree, but I haven’t written a novel yet, so perhaps I will when I have. In fact, we were told to write down a reason or two that we hadn’t yet written a novel so that we could discuss them. Time was a big factor for me and we were advised to set aside time every day or at least in a routine so that it becomes a part of everyday life. My other main problem is that I’m just not sure I can write enough content, specifically plot and “stuff happening” to fill a novel. Plus, I feel like it’s OK for a short story to be a glimpse, a mood, an idea, a narrative where we know we’re not getting the full picture, a flavour. Whereas I feel like novels are the whole story, a fullness, you need a complete story with all the trimmings and not just a flavour or a feeling.

Whilst those points were not directly addressed as such and I still came away a little unclear on them (running out of time was a major factor of the session, again leaving me wishing for less, admittedly pleasant, introductions),  I did come away feeling more confident. Do things that scare you, we were told, and also told that writing a novel still scares these novelists every time.

The next two short sessions didn’t really grab me. Sex toy reviews are a big interest for me, but I’d be assured that the session was more for beginners than for me. While anonymity obviously interests me, the idea of writing anonymity guidelines in-session really put me off. Luckily I met a few people from Kristina Lloyd‘s aforementioned Fiction in a Flash long workshop in the break who assured me that she’d welcome people in for the second half.

I nipped in and scribbled down some notes still left on the Powerpoint before the session restarted in earnest. Based on the previous ideas of starting in media res, of implied plot between the lines and behind the story, of a key image or visual heart, of yearning, of the twist or turn and of sexual specificity in describing what makes the encounter meaningful, we were given a very unusual collection of writing aids.

Eroticon Flash Fiction Workshop Prompts

The idea was to look through these nail varnishes and wall colours and find a name that evoked something and that we could use to prompt a piece of flash fiction. With names like Ruby Pumps, Savage Ground, It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere and Cat’s Paw, there were a lot of wonderful images that sprang to mind. I’m definitely going to be looking at these sources for inspiration in the future! It’s interesting in that when I was thinking of where to find prompts for my Very Short Stories, I’d actually stumbled on the idea of hitting “random” on Gatherer to find Magic the Gathering cards that might work as they often have evocative names. It’s a similar idea that I’m glad to see actual proper writers doing too!

We then used our selected names, I picked “Down Pipe”, to decide what elements based on that would appear in our proposed story. I had images of rain, brickwork and vertical space, of blow jobs and tumbling down the rabbit hole. The harder task was to pick some things that would certainly not happen. I struggled, but managed that they don’t leave the room and it doesn’t stop raining, as well as a few other things. Before the end of the session, we were asked, which of these might actually happen anyway? It was a fantastic session and I’m quite sad to have missed the first half, especially as I enjoyed Kristina’s session so much last year too.

With the pause for lunch comes a pause in my writing! I’ll have my post about Sunday afternoon at Eroticon 2014 up soon, though, so don’t go away! ♦

Very Short Stories – Prometheus

♦ You may remember I posted something recently about Very Short Stories, the idea of writing flash fiction that fits on one side of an ordinary Post-It note. I shared my first attempt, too, a bit of a silly-but-sexy piece inspired by coffee (but not written whilst drinking it).

Heck, it’s even caught on a little bit, with bloggers keen to try their own versions and with some, like my friend Innocent Loverboy, having finished their Very Short Stories already. If anyone else has done one, just let me know! I’d love to read it and to let people know about it here.

In any case, I thought it was high time I did another. Again, I’m showing you both the actual Post-It and then giving a transcription for accessibility purposes…

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“You stumbled into my Friday night a repentant Prometheus, bringing fire back to my belly. You left the bar with my number and a taxi fare. By Monday you could mould me like clay, breathing life into my cock at a whisper from your lips. Thursday evening saw the perfect retribution, as I chained you spread-eagled to my bed. Your liver untouched, I gorged myself on your cunt.”

Again, not a perfect tale, but again un-edited (except a word or two as I was still writing) and teeny-tiny. This one is a mere 55 words compared to the previous 62. My prompt, if you hadn’t already guessed, was the name Prometheus. Although I was inspired by finding the name out of context, I love the myth and soon ideas and analogies came racing to mind.

I’m quite pleased, though I wonder if I might be trying to do too much in too small a space (that may sort of be the concept, I suppose) and it’s certainly good to try some straight-up erotica rather than last time’s playful pretend porn.

What do you think of it? ♦

Very Short Stories

♦ I popped into WH Smith’s recently to pick up a much needed new pencil case (my old one smells awfully of old curry, don’t ask) and some other stationery things. After all, with Eroticon 2014 coming up, I need to be kitted out to write, write, write (and not smell like old curry).

While there, I found a notebook that’s perfect for taking with me, as well as this interesting little thing…

Very Short Stories - Cover

It’s not, as it first appears, a notebook. It’s a tiny, adorable little pad of post-it notes. I just don’t need post-it notes in any way, but the cover of the pad caught my attention. “Very short stories,” it says. Sure, it goes on to say “about milk, cheese and bread”, but the idea of very short stories wouldn’t let go.

I didn’t need to actually write my shopping list, after all. And the pad was small enough to keep inside my new pencil case, meaning I could write any time. And the longer I stood there, the more I saw the little pad of “very short stories” as a challenge.

Dammit, I could write very short stories in it! I could! And they’d be sexy and tiny and I could make it work. And even if I couldn’t, the exercise was bound to be interesting, worth blogging and undoubtedly very useful for honing my skills at writing bigger, longer stories.

So I bought it. Today, a few days later, I decided to give it a go. I logged on to Twitter, determined to take the first word of inspiration that hit me. What follows is the result (in picture form for authenticity, then transcribed for accessibility). It took me about three minutes, from that first word I used as my muse to drawing the little diamond signature in the bottom.

Very Short Stories - The Coffee Story

“Alone together at last. The long day had led to aching anticipation for this moment. I licked my lips, savouring the view. Strong, dark, patiently waiting for me and covered in cream… I had fantasised about you, but now I worried you were too hot to handle. Taking the plunge, I took you in my hand… And drank you. Thank Christ for coffee.”

And there you have it. Perfect? No. Fantastic? No. But at a mere 62 words and in a mere 3 minutes or less on a theme chosen at random from a word found on Twitter and essentially unedited, I’m quite pleased with it. I’m certainly going to write more of these. It was a nice challenge to keep it ambiguous until the last (calling coffee “he” or “she” seemed disingenuous) and I like the playful idea.

Maybe the Very Short Story (flash fiction on teeny-tiny post-its) will catch on and bloggers and writers everywhere will join in! What do you think, could you write a story on a post-it note? And what are your thoughts on mine? ♦

Want to see the next Very Short Story of mine? It’s called Prometheus.