All I Have in My Life is Flash Fiction

A more accurate pic would of course be fingers on a keyboard...

A more accurate pic would of course be fingers on a keyboard…

It’s true dear reader. Some weeks ago I hit on the idea of a regular Friday Flash Fiction challenge to give me regular material – and I’ve now forgotten how to do all the irregular material.

What to write about on a Wednesday, I pondered to myself a couple of days ago. And Saturday scribblings, what might they involve? Monday meanderings too, it would be unfair to dismiss this day just because it doesn’t begin with an ‘F’ and therefore doesn’t meet the alliteration criteria.

In my defence, dear reader, life has been rather busy of late. Much scribbling on many subjects has been done, leaving me a little jittery at the end of the day and in serious need of time away from the laptop. “Urgh,” my poor fried brain sighs to itself, “no more blasted writing for goodness sakes! Reading only, and reading of the loveliest, lightest of topics* must ensue, perhaps adding the odd sprinkling of lovely Prosecco and a teensiest bit of reality TV via Strictly Come Dancing.”

This week’s offering needs some explanation. I started up a flash fiction discussion thread on LinkedIn several weeks ago and it is still running. This was my response to a 100-word piece someone contributed which used ‘thread’ in a different, but clever way…

The Trouble with Fridays

Aunty Em agreed with her niece; Fridays were indeed difficult and blasted bobbins running out were a pain in the neck.

Is it time to start a new thread, dearest Jane?” she asked, “you may be right you know. This one has run its course.”

The two of them nodded sagely. From outside the house, though a rustling was heard.

The FFC friends stood at the door. “We have more threads for you,” they told the twosome. “Can we carry on?”

*OK, I may have said I can only read the loveliest and lightest of topics these days, but one book I read recently which I absolutely loved was Gordon Lawrie’s Four Old Geezers and a Valkyrie. It’s gorgeous and I really recommend it.

The Many Adventures of Flash Fiction Writers

So, some weeks ago, I started writing flash fiction on a regular basis. Mainly, it gave me a regular topic to blog about it. Always a bonus, as when you start out on blogging you usually fire off blogs left, right and centre at the beginning of your online life. Two months down the line and you get to the stage where you can’t bear to switch on your computer, so racked with guilt are you over your failure to write, entertain or annoy the masses.

I hit on a regular topic idea and heaved a sigh of relief. Heaven, I thought to myself, I have at least one thing I can blog about once a week. Folks may read it, folks may not, fellow bloggers may like or comment… or they may not notice. But my conscience will be squared. Hey, I signed up to this blogging deal, which meant writing when there is theoretically nothing to write about, and doing something on a REGULAR BASIS.

LinkedIn Flash Fiction Challenge

Actually, those preceding two paragraphs friends? I wandered off on a tangent. My main point is – at the same time as starting a regular Friday flash fiction post, I also started a flash fiction challenge on LinkedIn, asking fellow writers and editors to contribute to a 100-word flash fiction piece on a Friday as a kind of relaxing way of switching off.

It proved to be incredibly popular – lots of people joined in, lots of people contributed on a regular basis and I really enjoyed everything that I read. It takes talent and skill to write a 100-word story, and people also made their contributions topical. One lady chose to plagarise existing stories in a really witty way, another person went for plays, whilst several people opted for seasonal themes such as Halloween.

Publish, Publish, Publish

Three weeks in and people on LinkedIn started suggesting I take it further. One person said a website, another dreamt up a book of flash fiction stories for charity, another individual gathered together most of the stories for me and in general people seemed willing to sign over their permission for stories to be published. (I thank you).

So watch this space. It looks as if a Friday Flash Fiction challenge website may well appear. Here is what I hope. We post up lots of stories, which people like and then hundreds, if not thousands, of people all over the world start to contribute…

And now for this week’s Friday Flash Fiction challenge:

The Glamour of Writing

In her youth, Jenny had imagined the life of a writer as glamorous.

As she scribbled out her endless short stories which detailed the adventures of a teenager not dissimilar to Jenny, she imagined a grown-up writer’s life to be more or less the same. She would wait for the muse to strike and she would write about whatever took her fancy.

And get paid for it.

Alas, reality had since bit. Writing jobs often involved creating thousands of words about display cabinets or toner cartridges. And getting paid more than a pittance was the exception and not the norm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – a Winter Warning

Hello once more friends. It sure is getting cold out there, so I urge you to come in, pull up a seat and help yourself to a warm drink or two. I have hot chocolate on offer, but there is also mulled wine for the alcoholically-inclined (I include myself within the latter group).

Ah, the task of personal blogging has become 300% easier since I hit upon the idea of a regular feature and the Friday Flash Fiction challenge is just that. I also have to thank the Friday Flash Fiction challenge for keeping me sane. This week, for example, I have written out an awful lot of words about display cabinets. The joy of dashing out a mere 100 words of lovely fiction is a joyful escape.

Anyway, here is November’s second 100-word* flash fiction story…

WINTER WOES**

Marcus viewed the approach of winter with dread.

You know it will soon be time for your nightly duties,” Rachel had told him the other night as she pulled the curtains shut. Marcus tried (and failed) to look enthusiastic.

She’d told him years ago that this was the duty of every husband. Marcus wondered if this was true. He’d never dared raise the subject with his Wednesday night drinking pals.

That night, Rachel slid into their bed with an inquiring look. He assented with a sigh. A pair of ice-cold feet attached themselves to his much warmer legs.

*The diligent amongst you may notice this particular flash fiction story is a word or two over the 100-word limit. Tsk! Brevity will be back next week.

**Most of my flash fiction stories aren’t autobiographical. This one definitely is.

Friday Flash Fiction – It’s A Holiday Theme

Ay yes, Cava was consumed. It helps with creativity, scientists have proven.

Ay yes, Cava was consumed. It helps with creativity, scientists have proven.

Dear reader, Friday 1 November finds me back staring out of windows as the rain lashes down. Autumn is here and it’s being shoved heavily from behind by winter, desperate to join the party too. How is 1 November with you?

It’s a far cry from my activities of last week which included spending the bulk of my time outdoors dressed in shorts and t’shirts. Did I fulfil my mission, did the lap top I took with me make an appearance out of the rucksack? Was it fired up? Were writing duties undertaken, despite the siren call of Cava, sunshine and walks on the beach?

Well reader dear, ahem – WRITING WAS UNDERTAKEN. Sorry for shouting, but it’s just that I did rather surprise myself. There is a lot to be said about sitting on a balcony to write. Since returning home, I’ve been Googling ‘living abroad’ and indulging in fantasies which involve six months of the year spent in sunnier climes and a little apartment, complete with bijou balcony, where I perch myself every day and tip-tap-type out words of wisdom. Or words that get me paid at least.

Anyway, back to the Friday flash fiction challenge! I’ve taken on a holiday theme for this one. Of course, it does not reflect anything that may or may not have happened last week…

Manners Maketh The Man

Penny bristled to herself – was it really that hard for holiday-makers to learn the words ‘por favor’ or ‘gracias’?

The group had been getting on her nerves all week. The loud singing, the crass remarks and the lack of manners particularly piqued Penny.

Tony, the biggest and loudest of them, was now at the bar. “Oi Manuel,” he snapped his fingers. “Six vodkas and cokes.”

As he passed Penny’s lounger, she stuck out a foot. Tony and his tray went flying. A nasty accident, but not one which could be blamed on the hotel. The waiter and Penny gave each other the ghost of a wink.