Animal Instincts

Two weeks ago, I should have posted about my upcoming vacation. I intended to post while I was away, but yeah, that didn’t work out. As a way of announcing my return, I’m sharing Arpita’s observation on how animals have adapted to life in the bustling city of Bangalore. As humans have become more adept at tasks, we’ve lost touch with our instincts, which means that when navigating our way across a heavily-trafficked street, we may be better off following a dog’s lead.

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Ten Really Good Titles

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

In my latest effort to promote Friday Fictioneers, I’m providing links to ten really good story titles for this week’s competition:

  1. A Lot Can Happen Over Coffee
  2. Aquafakery
  3. Bigfoot & Elvis (Oh, R’lyeh?)
  4. The Final Post
  5. Grandma Fell
  6. If I’m Not Back…
  7. Lake Whatcom Divorce
  8. Not What He Expected
  9. RFDS
  10. When All Else Fails, Call Dad

A Picture Can Tell a Thousand Stories (at least 10, anyway)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Not being inspired by my latest entry for Friday Fictioneers, I decided to share some more worthy stories from the same prompt. These were chosen pretty much at random:

 

  • neeltheauthor provides a tale of a man with a good reason to conceal his identity
  • In Fellow Passengers, Anita shows a chance encounter that may be more than a coincidence
  • A different random encounter leads to an uncomfortable scene in Rowena’s Not Tonight, Josephine
  • Rachel Bjerke’s narrator is on a mission in Upward Mobility
  • Flight To Freedom from James McEwan shows the desperation of a traveler who has good reason to be anxious for her flight to depart
  • M. Phyllis Moore provides a mythological twist in Traveling
  • I’m not quite sure I understand The Hireling, but I enjoyed this story from Sugar on the Bee
  • gahlearner describes a tense scene in Gesundheit!
  • venkyninja1976 gets lyrical in Soaring Memories, Starry Hopes 
  • And to complete this list, a sonnet from Ladyleemanila

One Photo, Many Stories

As a frequent participant in Friday Fictioneers, I thought it was time for me to show the variety of stories that come out of these contests. Below are ten randomly-selected entries for this week’s contest, for which I had submitted Artistic Vision:

  • In Birthday Party, Iain Kelly adds an unwelcome visitor to the scene
  • Neel Anil Panicker provides a similar dark twist in The Lure
  • A Dangerous Game by Colline Kook-Chun uses the children’s game as a parable of innocence
  • The party ends abruptly in Granonine’s Game Over!
  • Many stories had the donkey coming to life, but Reena Saxena’s I believe in you provides a literary twist to the device
  • It’s hard to make a political statement in 100 words or less, but Speedway Randy gives it a shot in Figures
  • Rowena provides a surprise ending in “Ma-Ma!”
  • Childhood, by Dale, recalls a day when children could play with less direct supervision
  • Alicia Jamtaas used an approach very similar to my own in Taking Advantage
  • Cheaters may never win, but Marlicia Fernandez shows they can have fun in Consolation Prize

Those were just some of the entries for this week. Rochelle’s next photo this coming Friday should inspire similar creative efforts.

Old School Animation

Always satisfying to discover a blog that’s other than text-centric. Nicholas Friesen is a cartoonist and animator who uses actual pencils, ink, and paper. He creates the videos for indie singer/songwriter Olivia Sea, including a pleasant tribute to “High Fidelity” and other John Cusack films, and also provides the visuals for one of Andy Cole’s “Calls From My Cat” skits. Computers do such fantastic work with animation that it makes manual efforts such as Friesen’s all the more noteworthy.

Un-promptu

Wasn’t inspired by this week’s photo prompt on Friday Fictioneers — it happens — and I’ve obviously been away from The Daily Post for too long, as I discovered just now they no longer offer daily prompts. Don’t have the energy tonight to evaluate the hundreds of other prompt sites available, so I’m going with an impromptu admission of failure — call it my un-promptu.

HJD Poetry

I have an odd fascination for dark poetry, especially written by women (I would tell this to my therapist, but some truths lose their significance once diagnosed), and today I came across an interesting essay/lyrical meandering from HJD. I especially enjoyed the insight on “things they only speak of in hell or lower elementary school.”

Letting Go

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re probably familiar with the fiction I’ve occassionally posted. You may also have noticed that, aside from entries for Friday Fictioneers and similar contests, I haven’t posted any new stories for a while.

I’m finally getting around to explaining why.

Some of the stories I’ve drafted here have some potential, I believe. All of them are rough, but if I may use a familiar metaphor that has lost none of its power from overuse, each contains the seed of a story which, with a properly nurturing revision strategy, could bloom into an arresting flower. I’ve chosen six, and a seventh that I drafted this past year entirely outside this blog. My goal for this year is to revise all seven, and by year’s end begin submitting them to literary journals, genre magazines, fiction contests, online collections — any place that will get my name out there, or at least send a rejection to add to my collection. Party at my place when I reach 100!

This ambition comes at a bit of price, however. Every writer I’ve heard speak, every editor I’ve spoken with, every submission guideline I’ve read, have been consistent in one message: no story will be published if it exists in a previous version available anywhere, including a rough draft on a blog. Those half-dozen stories I feel have promise? They’re no longer available on The Diligent Dilettante. And going forward, I’ll only be posting flash fiction, and stories I have no intention of publishing elsewhere.

While this action obviously needed to happen, I didn’t enjoy letting go of these stories. I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you, and have learned from your comments. Taking the stories down sounds similar to preparing a good dinner for my friends, and taking the food away before they can finish. Sure, I’m investing far too much significance to taking these stories down — but I’m gonna channel my inner Lesley Gore, and proclaim, it’s my blog space, and I’ll moan if I want to.

But here’s the good news: you’re going to see these stories again, as soon as I have the URL that points to its online publication location.