Entries tagged with “String-of-10 FIVE”.


 by Gay Degani
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Gay Degani
Life is a crossword puzzle done in ink.No matter the effort, I still mess up.  Thank goodness, I am not alone in this human flaw.   I put in the “perfect” answer with confidence until I run out of squares.  Why didn’t I count before I brandished my pen?

So I apply White-Out. Now I can’t read the numbers on the grid.  I squint, I use my nail to scrape, dig in the basket on the breakfast table for the magnifying glass.  I look at the numbers around the “unreadable” number and deduce.  Oh yes it’s number 4 or 7 or 9, isn’t it? Why don’t I just take my time?  Make sure everything fits before I go for it?  Sometimes I just don’t.  I want to “go.”  The trick is once I decide to go and it doesn’t work, I have to “let go” and get on with it.

This is how I feel when I write, too, that organic unwieldy process. Get an idea and dive in, feet first, an adventure that could lead me just about anywhere.  Let’s go.  Bombs away.  Then I realize I’ve gone on a tangent.  I look around for the white out, but there isn’t any for this particular kind of puzzle.  What I’ve got in front of me is a mess that doesn’t make much sense.  I highlight those 1000 or so words and let my finger hover over the “Delete” key. But wait, I don’t tear up a crossword puzzle when I screw it up, do I?  I reread, rethink, reconstruct and review.  And that’s what needs to be done with the story too, but this is hard.

There are things I understand about the revision process after years of trying to learn to write well, but sometimes knowing something intellectually doesn’t always translate into using the tools you should.  I’ve written articles, here in fact, about questioning the text, asking yourself what does your character want, what stands in her way, what does she do about it, and how is it resolved. But sometimes I cannot see through the jumble of words on the page.  I can’t let go of what came out of my brain the first time.  But I need to.  This is important.  I need to.

I need to push away from myself and search through my own writing as if I were someone else. And when those “other” eyes reveal that “the story doesn’t work,” “the story doesn’t satisfy,” “the character takes no action,” “there is no change,” “there is no meaning,” then I need to let go of the piece as it is and be willing to challenge the story in whatever way that  joggles me into better understanding its structure, its characters, its emotion, its theme.

First, it’s hard because there are often many things I love about what I’ve just put on paper, a turn of phrase, a character who is funny, a scene that really seems to work, but taken as a whole?  It has no meaning.  Sometimes it is easy to get rid of the mess.  That’s why they put trash cans on your computer screen, right?  Second, it kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?  The story I just whizzed through?  My subconscious  is more creative and original than the left-brained me, isn’t it?  Third,  there’s so much fun in that initial rush of words, I just wanna do that again. But I can’t  let any of this stand in my way because the reality is first drafts aren’t perfect.  I have to let go of that idea–and the idea that writing could be easy.

I have to realize that my  mess-up isn’t a mess-up.  It’s a search.  It’s like filling in a word in a crossword puzzle that turns out to be wrong.  Do I leave the incorrect answer there because it “fits?”   It looks right?  Am I really too lazy to change it?  Does that help me to complete the puzzle or does it lead me astray? I know that I must let go of first words and first thoughts and use the tools of craft to help me work toward a piece of art.

String-of-10 FIVE is LIVE

For the week of February 3 through February 9, Flash Fiction Ch

ronicles is having its Fifth String-of-10 Contest—String-of-10 FIVE—for the best 250-word story written from a randomly selected string of ten words.  GUIDELINES

 STRING-OF-10 FIVE PROMPT:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW 

I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs 

STRING-OF-10 FIVE GUEST JUDGE: KATHY FISH

I am pleased to announce that this year’s Guest Judge will be Kathy Fish.  Kathy Fish’s short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, The Denver Quarterly, New South, Quick Fiction, Guernica, Slice and elsewhere. She was the guest editor of Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010. She is the author of three collections of stories: a chapbook of flash fiction in the chapbook collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women, (Rose Metal Press, 2008),  Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011) and Together We Can Bury It, forthcoming from The Lit Pub.

Coming this month:

Flash Fiction Chronicles Series of Creating and Publishing Fiction Chapbooks From Bonnie ZoBell:

Victor David Giron at Curbside Splendor, February 7Tammy Lynne Stoner at Gertrude Press, February 21

Every Day Fiction’s Top Author Interview

Aliza Greenblatt will be interviewing Kevin McNeil whose story “The Merry Jester” was the top story for January at EDF.

 

String-of-10 FIVE Flash Fiction Contest is sponsored by Flash Fiction Chronicles.

It begins February 3 at 12:01 PST

For the week of February 3 through February 9, Flash Fiction Chronicles is having its Fifth String-of-10 Contest—String-of-10 FIVE—for the best 250-word story written from a randomly selected string of ten words.

For String-of-10 Five contest only!

IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE SUBMITTABLE FORM PLEASE SEND YOUR ENTRY TO gaydegani@yahoo.com WITH “STRING-OF-10 5 ENTRY” IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

 

STRING-OF-10 FIVE PROMPT:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW 

 

I want to put a ding in the universe. –Steve Jobs 

 

 

GUEST JUDGE: KATHY FISH

I am pleased to announce that this year’s Guest Judge will be Kathy Fish.  Kathy Fish’s short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, The Denver Quarterly, New South, Quick Fiction, Guernica, Slice and elsewhere. She was the guest editor of Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010. She is the author of three collections of stories: a chapbook of flash fiction in the chapbook collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women, (Rose Metal Press, 2008),  Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011) and Together We Can Bury It, forthcoming from The Lit Pub.

 

The guidelines of this year’s contest are listed below.   The contest is open for one week only.  All entries must be submitted through our Submission Manager.  There will be no other prompt words for this week while the contest is running.  Regular daily prompts will begin again next Sunday.

GUIDELINES

  1. The prompt for String-of-10 FIVE will be available at 12:01 on Sunday, February 3, 2013 here at FFC.
  2. There is no entry fee.
  3. Submit stories up to 250 words. Title is not counted int the 25o words.
  4. Enter up to two stories per author.
  5. All stories must contain at least four words from the String-of-10.
  6. You can use any tense of the words and any recognizable form.  For example, if the word  is “jar,” “Jargon” would not qualify while “jar-like” chin would.
  7. You can use a prompt word in the title.
  8. Seamless integration of any four of the prompt words is the goal.
  9. The quotation is given for thematic inspiration.  Using the theme of  ”if one makes a ding in the universe, such and such will happen” is not necessary to win.  However, this year we will give out *a special prize for the story that best  incorporates the theme,  The Patricia McFarland Memorial prize. First, second, and third place winners are eligible to also win this prize, but any story that is submitted that best uses this theme may win.
  10. Entries must be received by 11:59 PST Saturday, February 9.
  11. Winners will be notified sometime in March 2013.  Publications will follow in April.
  12. All decisions made by the FFC staff and our guest judge are final.
  13. Submit all entries here: SUBMIT TO STRING-OF-10 FIVE

 

For String-of-10 Five contest only!

IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE SUBMITTABLE FORM PLEASE SEND YOUR ENTRY TO gaydegani@yahoo.com WITH “STRING-OF-10 5 ENTRY” IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

PRIZES STRING-OF-TEN FIVE FLASH FICTION CONTEST

1st Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Every Day Fiction in April, 2013 and be paid the standard payment of $3.00 per story.  A $50  Cash Prize from Flash Fiction Chronicles will go to the first place winner. A choice from Every Day Publishing Book List along with a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Deganieditor of Flash Fiction Chronicles, will also be awarded as well as an “I Write Every Day” t-shirt. As a special bonus this year, Kathy Fish, our guest judge, is awarding an autographed copy of  her collection Together We Can Bury It.

2nd Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April. (There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles). A $20.00 cash prize will be awarded as well as a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Degani, the editor of Flash Fiction Chronicles. A special bonus this year, Kathy Fish, our guest judge, is awarding  an autographed copy of her collection Wild Life.

3rd Place: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April(There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles). A $20.00 cash prize will be awarded as well as a copy of Pomegranate Stories by Gay Degani, the editor of Flash Fiction Chronicles.

The Patricia McFarland Memorial Prize: Winner will have his or her story published at Flash Fiction Chronicles in April.  (There is no payment for publication at Flash Fiction Chronicles) and a cash prize of $25.00

All four winners will be interviewed at Flash Fiction Chronicles.

 

Stories from the fourth String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—When Elliot Let Go by Troy Farah

2nd Place—Dutch Boy by Len Kuntz

3rd Place—Nothing Left to Lose by Andrew Stancek

Stories from the third String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—Pretending by A. S. Andrews

2nd Place—Today She Will Write Cool Things by Romit Berger

3rd Place—Wingless by Karolyn Reddy

 Stories from the second String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—Salvation by Ann Pino

2nd Place—Gypsy Flour by John Towler

3rd Place—Good Morning Susan by Brittany Soder

 Stories from the first String-of-10 Contest

1st Place—The Haircut by Sharon E. Trotter

2nd PlaceThe Forever Summer by Mary J. Daley

3rd Place—Choices Made by Jim O’Loughlin

 

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NOTE: Jim Harrington’s Market updates which usually appear on Sundays will begin again next week.

Gay Deganiby Gay Degani

First, I want to wish everyone reading this a very happy and productive New Year.  Hopefully you are working away in your garret, at some coffee house, or on the beach, but writing writing writing.   With a new grand-baby in the picture and a newly retired husband, this year has been a great deal of fun, but also one of the least productive I’ve had in the last five years.  The struggle to balance REAL LIFE and the writing life never seems to get any easier.  With that in mind, FFC co-editor, Jim Harrington, offered some advice in a November article about setting goals, “Thoughts on Writing Goals” and Tara Laskowski ‘s article, “My New Year Writing Resolutions,” will appear in this space on January 7.

 

Flash Fiction Chronicles’ String-of-10 FIVE Flash Fiction Contest coming in February

I am pleased to announce that this year’s Guest Judge will be Kathy Fish.  Kathy Fish’s short fiction has appeared in Indiana Review, The Denver Quarterly, New South, Quick Fiction, Guernica, Slice and elsewhere. She was the guest editor of Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010. She is the author of three collections of stories: a chapbook of flash fiction in the chapbook collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women, (Rose Metal Press, 2008),  Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011) and Together We Can Bury It, forthcoming from The Lit Pub.

For the week of February 3 through February 9, Flash Fiction Chronicles is  having its fifth annual contest—String-of-10 FIVE—for the best 250-word story written from a specific prompt.  At 12:01 on Sunday morning, February 3rd, we will post  a string of ten random words and a thought-provoking aphorism as our contest prompt.  Entries will be accepted during the designated time period  using our SUBMISSION MANAGER.  Guidelines and List of Prizes forthcoming.

 

Bonnie ZoBell’s Chapbook Interviews

 

Bonnie ZoBell

Flash Fiction Chronicles Series of Creating and Publishing Fiction Chapbooks featuring  Bonnie ZoBell’s interviews with the editors and publishers of chapbooks by writers of short fiction, poetry, and novellas continues this month with the following:

Gloria Mindock at Červená Barva Press,  January 10

Diane Kistner and Jon Pineda at FutureCycle Press,  January 21

Interviews in the following months include talks with Victor David Giron at Curbside Splendor, Tammy Lynne Stoner at Gertrude Press, J.A.  Tyler at Mud Luscious Press / Nephew chapbook series, David McNamara at Sunnyoutside Press, and Diana Arterian at Gold Line Press.

 

 Something to Think About

“The desire to write grows with writing.” Desiderius Erasmus

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