This story came from using my delightful pile of “inspiration cards.” I made them by searching Pinterest for images that snagged my eye–strange, weird, wonderful things–and then printed them out onto name tag stickers, which I put on blank game cards. Whenever I need a little inspiration, I flip through them or draw one out at random and go from there. This particular story was inspired by a painting of a frog in a double breasted suit, very Beatrix Potter yet somehow even more serious. Enjoy!
Twelve Tin Forks – A 300 Word Short Story
This week, I wanted to do something light and fun, and while I wanted to keep it at or under 200 words, per last week, it asked to be a touch longer to get everything in. So apologies on the length, and next week, we’ll aim for 200 again! Hope this gives you a giggle.
The Hollowman’s Request – A 200 Word Story
(Because let’s face it, five sentences was HARD! Also, one thing I want to practice–not in this one, but in future stories–is sentence length/pacing, which is hard if you’re only allowed five…) But I still want to keep them as brief as possible, because otherwise it just gets to be too much to fit into the week. Hence: 200 words!
This idea comes from ages and ages ago, when I thought it’d be neat to write about a cult in which both the male and female priest/priestesses can bear children to replenish a world constantly torn by war and sickness and famine. I combined that with another idea for hollowmen, or assassins who lose their souls bit by bit with each life they take until they have nothing left. So there you go! This is the 200 word result.
Scary Cola – A 5(ish) Sentence Story
A little late today on my 5 Sentence Story, not for lack of interest, but just because I got distracted! Taking care of a 3yo and a 9mo puppy is HARD WORK, and very distracting. But I did throw this one together, which means I finally got to enjoy this strange little idea I’ve had bumping around in my skull for a few years but which I haven’t quite gotten to work as a longer-form story. I’m leaning into the dark/horror fiction lately, aren’t I?
Tulipteeth – A 5(ish) Sentence Story
When did it become Friday already?! Time gets weird when the kiddos are traveling and the house is quiet and you can hear your own thoughts.
Anyway, this story is one I’ve absolutely wanted to write, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, so I thought I’d play with it a bit here. It’s a squiffy five: there are fragments, dialogue is included in one line, etc., so I’m playing a little fast and loose with the rules today, but I still had fun with it. Enjoy!
Best Stories: Volume 5 – Andromeda Spaceways Magazine
So I completely missed the boat on announcing that Best Stories: Volume 5 from Andromeda Spaceways Magazine came out this month! It got a bit delayed with COVID, etc., so I’d actually not really been expecting it to happen, but it DID! And I’m so excited.
This volume includes thirteen stories from 2022 issues of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine and includes my silly, snarky, pissed-as-hell superhero story, “Any Day But Today…”
I love this little story and it makes me laugh every time I read it. Poor K.C. Kinetic. She’s not having a good day. Turns out the worst day to fight your stupid nemesis is right dab-smack in the middle of a visit from Aunt Irma, and when your headaches are seeping via telepathy into every poor shmuck on the street, nobody’s exactly cheering for you, either. But damn it, crime doesn’t stop just because you’ve got cramps, and K.C. is going to do her best…or at least, you know, half-ass it as always.
The Staircase of the Deceased – A 5 Sentence Story
This week’s story was inspired by a dream I had once upon a time, and it was just such an interesting image I wanted to try tackling it a little. So here it is in five(ish) sentences! (I’ve chosen to combine the two dialogue sentences, since one is so short.)
Wordage – A 5 Sentence Short Story
This week, I just wanted to play around with an absurd idea I’ve had for a character that has been in my mind for years. It’s not as much a plot story, and I focused more on playing with word choices (lol), but it was a fun exercise! And I got to reference James Joyce!
Thoughts on Junji Ito’s TOMBS
Junji Ito is one of my absolute favorite writers at the moment. I first encountered his work via the short “The Enigma of Amigara Faults,” which is still one of my favorite short horror stories. I absolutely love the way he builds dread, how tight his short tales are while still delivering a great kick of terror, and the psychological elements he examines. “Amigara” in particular—perhaps because I don’t love tight spaces—really stuck with me, and over the years I’ve sought out more of his work.
I recently picked up Tombs, a collection of his short work. I blew through that in about a day, just enchanted by the variety of fear he’s capable of conjuring up in just a few pages. Of all the excellent stories included, my favorites were “Tombs,” “The Window Next Door,” “Washed Ashore,” and “The Bloody Story of Shirosuna.”
The following contains spoilers, so I’ve included it below the cutoff, because I wanted to dissect“Tombs” (the story) a bit to see if I could figure out its inner workings:
–SPOILERS BELOW–Continue reading “Thoughts on Junji Ito’s TOMBS”
Medical Demons – A 5 Sentence Story
Okay, to be fair, it’s got a couple short fragment sentences, too, but in essence, it’s 5 full sentences! This one was inspired by a conversation with my mother (a mental health counselor) and my hubs (a neurologist–one of the reasons brain stuff features a lot in my fiction: instant expert access!). Hope you enjoy it!