Hello, and welcome to my writing process, which is part of the Writing Process Blog Tour. Please excuse the mess. This place is still under construction. I’m just getting started here, but I wanted you to meet some writers who really know what they’re doing.
How did I get here? I come from Twitter. The short form appealed to me, like poetry. The ephemeral nature also appealed to me, the lines alive and changing. Imagine the possibilities.
But this really started with the connections on Twitter. The first was James Knight @badbadpoet. He uses Twitter as an art form, and understands the beauty of connections and collaborations there. I found David Shakes @TheShakes72 on @99Fiction. and a story “Turn Left at the Moon. ” If you haven’t read it, or heard him read please do so. It’ s beautiful. He’s welcomed me to the Angry Hourglass. That’s where I first read the brilliant flash work of Karl A. Russell–who picked me for this blog tour.
Karl is quite a formidable talent, and very generous and supportive of others. You can read his post here .
So thank you, Karl. I had to start a writing blog to do this post! Thank you for getting me to do it.
What am I Working on?
I have another blog where I write about nature, weather and other things. You can read the very first post I wrote there. Essays and research are involved. (No, it doesn’t have alot of readers! It’s part of a network of blogs, affiliated with the Chicago Tribune online. Those are all the subscribers to the website.)) I was writing the fiction and poetry there (stored as drafts) for the word counts. I can’t post this on the weather blog and in this new blog, too.
Right now, I ‘m working on setting up this place to keep all the stories and other writings.
I’m still very new at this. Would you believe my first story was for the Angry Hourglass-No 20. May 18? Yes, it really hasn’t been that long! I try to do something there regularly, now. This summer, I have also been writing for Luminous Creatures Summer of Super-Short Stories, hosted by Beth Dietchman and Emily June Street. It has been a very inspiring place. I have recently attempted some things for Flash! Friday. That place is really welcoming, and there are so many great writers! I hope to join them again soon. The title of this blog comes from one of those stories, and it’s the very first post, here. (To me, it’s the best thing I’ve done there.) Flash Points on Monday is great–You really see how the writing works and why.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My style has been described by others as lush and descriptive. Sometimes haunting, and poetic.
I’m really just beginning. There are some who are really, really good at what they do. In addition to the excellent writers mentioned above, and the ones I’ll talk about later, I must mention everyone at the Angry Hourglass—you know who you are. Thanks to @LadyHazmat, it’s a very welcoming place, and good company. I think we learn from each other, there.
Why do I write what I write?
I am a very bad typist, and I have a short attention span. Twitter is easy to use. Dashing off a line or two is really fun. For the stories, a range of 350-500 words seems to be just about right for me, right now. This post is way longer than what I usually do!
I do love s-f and speculative fiction. I also have bookshelves full of yellowing paperbacks, Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delaney, J.G. Ballard, Ursula LeGuin. Some of my favorite movies are The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original), Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China and Men in Black. I think some of the best lines come from rock lyrics and movies. I like comic books and thrift stores, scavenging in alleys. I also like Hiroshige, Shakespeare, surrealism, Emily Dickinson and Joseph Cornell. Godzilla was my first movie boyfriend. Flying cars or dragons? Why not both?
I suppose I write what I write because it can be about anything–this is not the future we imagined before. And I believe that this kind of writing is the future. We are writing it, together.
How does my writing process work?
I learn something from each piece I do. Usually here is a picture to start. Some places use a word or phrase. Sometimes this will suggest something right away–an idea, a line, another image. Other times I have to think about it, be open to possibilities. Lines come out of nowhere. Ideas come to me when I’m taking out the garbage or walking to the grocery store.
And I am learning to trust the process. More confident. I don’t have to jump at the first thing I think of.
I don’t know where the story will take me, but I go with it. I try to describe what’s happening. It’s free association, and it’s kind of an assemblage. Pieces come together, and sometimes there are surprises! It seems like magic to me. I can’t explain it. I try not to question it.
I still have spiral notebooks to take on the train. Nothing fancy. I’ll take notes on scrap paper.
I do the composing on my MacBook (which has made all this possible). And thank you, WordPress! Thank you, delete key! I don’t think I do multiple drafts, I’m editing and changing things as I go along. If it doesn’t seem right, I’ll try another way. The word counts are helpful and give a kind of structure.
There’s revising, cutting, pasting, polishing. Sometimes, a word can change the direction or meaning of the whole thing. Then, it’s time to stop messing with it.
I want the story to feel alive. Then, I let it go.
I try not to read the other stories before I send mine out, but it’s tempting. “Come and write for me! ” There’s encouragement in the cameraderie and word play. We are not doing this alone.
Now, let me introduce you to three writers whose work I really admire, and who are encouraging to others as well. It’s much easier to talk about them, and what they do.
First is the otherworldly Avalina Kreska, who has already posted her writing process on her blog, here. She couldn’t wait to read mine. Did you think this would be linear and predictable? You must read her 75 word pieces on Paragraph Planet–for example, this one from August 10– “Death Needn’t be Dull.” What I admire, too, is her presence on Flash! Friday Fiction. Not only will she write something surprising, she will offer insightful comments on the other stories, as well. I love her take on things. She is truly unique.
Meet Mark A. King @Making Fiction. What can I say? He is remarkable. Mark is so generous and humble. He thought I had made a mistake when I asked him to join in. I am so glad he said yes. How can I describe his writing? Worlds within words? Read his latest story at Angry Hourglass. Read his winning story at Luminous Creatures, and you’ll see what I mean. You can read his bio there, as well. He is also writing for Flash!Friday. You can read his blog, here.
How can I describe Jackie Donnellen? True grace. She is a Master of Flash and more. Jacki can do it all–tiny micropoems, very short stuff, 5 pieces on Paragraph Planet, prose poems on Visual Verse and she has generously shared links to those places on Twitter, too. So exciting to me that our words went together with Paper Swans to the Edinburgh Festival. You can read her flash fiction on Flash! Friday, Luminous Creatures and Hourglass. As I write this, Jacki does not have a writer blog set up, but she may do a guest post, here.