I recently read The Creative Life by Julia Cameron, which is mostly not important to this post, except that her roommate tried a project of writing 90 songs in 90 days. And that got me thinking. I don’t write songs and I don’t have 90 days for a project, because I need to get back to revisions on Book 2 of the Phantom trilogy–but I could respond to seven flash fiction prompts in seven days and see what happened.
Today I’m on Day 6. I haven’t written yet today, but so far I’ve written five short stories in five days. None of them ended up being flash fiction (1000 words or less), mostly clocking in around 2,000, but aiming for flash fiction has still taken some pressure off, and helped me rein in my tendency to elaborate and convolute. When I need to finish the story today, I have to figure out the ending almost as soon as I begin.
And I’ve been having a lot of fun with this. I’ve written a few stories quite different from my usual style, explored some interesting ideas, and created some things I like. In only five days! I thought I’d share what I’ve been creating over the next several weeks.
Today, my first story of the project. This is the closest one so far to my Beyond the Tales writing style, with a lot of humor and magic in it. The prompt was “Smoke hung so thick in the library’s rafters that she could read words in it,” which I used for my opening line. This bit is slightly farther in…
Here it was, mythology. And there was the gap between volumes where Mythological Figures: Small and Mighty belonged.
They were just in time, as a sepulchral voice moaned through the shelves. “Who dared to summon the Mighty Marendor of Mariton? I shall curse the wretched soul for your disrespect. I shall inflict the tortures of a hundred paper cuts, of a thousand stubbed toes, upon you and all your descendents for three generations!”
Though the voice echoed, it was clearly coming from the top of the nearest bookcase. There sat a tiny figure no more than six inches high, reddish-purple and dressed all in feathers. Maroon, Arabella suddenly realized. The Mighty Marendor of Mariton was maroon, and apparently both small and mighty.
“I shall curse you with lost footwear and always delayed public transportation!” Mighty Marendor intoned, waving his tiny arms.
“I think not,” Arabella said, and slotted the book neatly back into place on the shelf. Mighty Marendor disappeared with a startled squeak and a pop.