Sometimes you see a writing prompt and you think and ponder and mull, but nothing comes. Rarely, exquisitely, you see a writing prompt and an idea for a story pops out of your brain, almost fully formed, like Athena emerging from Zeus’s head.
This is one of those times. The writing prompt for Brilliant Flash Fiction’s latest contest was It Came In the Mail. The basic premise for my story, including the ending, came almost immediately. To my delight, it went on to win the contest.
Here’s my opening sentence:
“It came in the mail, addressed to The Occupant.”
You can read the rest of the story on Brilliant Flash Fiction’s website here. And if you would like to enter their next contest, the prompt is Aftermath and the deadline is 15 January 2017.
Finally, if you’re wondering how I knew about Athena, the goddess of war, let’s just say I may have been her in another life…
Who were you in another life?
In Up She Rises, Rachel has this to say about her best friend Sheila:
“Sheila has been leaving behind a trail of broken hearts since seventh grade. She always has several men on rotation. It’s her rule of three: one on the way in, one on the way out and one on the side. I have the same rule. For books.”
Here’s my latest book rotation:
One on the Way In: My Kindle is bursting with books. I much prefer reading physical books, but it’s time to dip into my digital store. Choices include:
I was going to ask you to vote, but having just finished a door-stopper, I’ve decided to go for the shortest of the three: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri it is.
One on The Way Out: Fifty pages into All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, I started to worry it would end too quickly. For a francophile like me there was much to love about the Parisian and Malouin settings. Marie-Laure was a compelling character and her various relationships (with her father, uncle, Madame and Werner) were engaging. I also loved Werner who tried to do the right thing. But I was wrong in thinking the book would end too quickly. For all I enjoyed it, it didn’t need to be 544 pages long.
One on the Side: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I adore Patchett’s writing. This would be the one on the way in, but I don’t have it. I’ve placed a reservation at the library but so have a few other like minded people. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.
What are you reading?
Up She Rises is set in the 1980s and music (both pop and traditional) forms the backdrop to many of its scenes. Remember that classroom scene I posted awhile back?
In the car yesterday, I flicked between radio channels and found Irene Cara belting out What A Feeling from the ’80s movie Flashdance. There’s a Flashdance reference in Up She Rises, but what struck me yesterday was the lyrics which I’d always found quite cheezy:
Take your passion
And make it happen.
Huh. That, my friends, is what I’m trying to do with writing.
So, with leotards raised in solidarity, enjoy the song (because how could I not post it?) and here’s to making it happen. Whatever your it may be.