Sunday, September 8, 2013

A series of shorts

Last night I was feeling creatively restless, and asked my friends on Twitter and Facebook to give me prompts for drabble writing.  If you don't know what a drabble is, and many people don't, it's defined by Wikepedia as a story of exactly 100 words, not including the title.  I know that in fandom, this is absolutely true with whole communities springing up around the art and challenge of writing drabbles.  In other places, however, I've seen this refer to any short work that's under about 500 words.  It's this second, possibly wrong, definition that I was working with last night.  I got some very interesting prompts out of my friends, and one delightfully hilarious and creatively brilliant conversation on Twitter out of it.

I managed to do 100 words exactly for one prompt (The Kremlin), and totally blew up the other two prompts (dead fish & an ornithologist; "what I found on the way to the laundry room in the basement").  I'm sure I could have worked the other two down to 100, I've done it before, but I kinda like what came out.  The question is, will you?

What I found on the way to the laundry room in the basement: Lovely in My Eyes

The Kremlin: In the Shadow of My Father's Kingdom

Dead Fish and an Ornithologist: Copper Gulls

Copper Gulls

This was written in response to a prompt for a self-imposed challenge.  The prompt: dead fish and an ornithologist. go!

Keturah turned to her colleagues in disgust, tossing the dead fish at their collected feet. "This is why the birds aren’t eating. You’re feeding them dead fish! What kind of researchers are you?"

"If I may say, Dr. Leeds, with all due respect, they weren’t dead when we gave them to the birds."

Keturah’s brassy eyebrows climbed. "Pardon?"

"I know we seem incompetent, not calling you sooner when we realized we had a problem, but we do know enough to feed this group live fish. We know they don’t eat anything else."

Properly chastised, but too proud to show it, Keturah turned from her colleagues and studied the fish strewn around the outdoor aviary. She knew there had to be something going on. It was more like these birds to overeat when given the opportunity, not peck at their food. They hyper-smart things were--


In the Shadow of My Father's Kingdom

This was written in response to a prompt given to for a self-imposed challenge.  The challenge?  "The Kremlin"

The son of a former spy and sometimes assassin, he had always been discreet. After all, he’d witnessed his mother’s "accidental" death at the hands of her husband’s political beliefs when he was five, and had only narrowly escaped the accident himself.

But watching Karina walk away, with her firm but sad "No" still constricting his heart, he wondered if he’d been keeping secrets for too long.

"Karina! Wait!"

Making a scene went against everything his father had ever taught him. Hiding was best done by being ordinary. But ordinary was letting his future walk out the door.

"Let’s talk."

Lovely in My Eyes

This was written in response to a prompt received from a self-proposed challenge. Prompt and challenge are at the end.

There was the basket as always. No matter how many times I did the washing, it never seemed to empty. I guess it’s a good thing. Means we’re all alive and kicking. But, still, I often felt it’d be nice if it’d disappear for a while or pass to someone else to do.

But if it’d passed for someone else to do, I’d’ve not seen her dancing that day.

I’d picked up the basket as always. It was my day for washing, so I was going about it, thoughts turning every which way as they often did. But there were always things on the stairs, enough that I always had to be careful, enough that I always had to pull my rambling thoughts in and focus. So I had been being careful. I’d pulled my thoughts from their wanderings and focused on the wood under my feet.

And because I was focusing, I heard her before I could see her. Lovely music made of pipes and lights, flutes and earth, such as I didn’t hear in this house. Who had left a radio on, I wondered; and what station was it, I wanted to know. I wanted to hear the music again.

But as I ventured further down, I could see colors, too, that didn’t belong in our boring laundry room. Green and gold and brown and black. Color and light and shadow twined and turned in ways I’d never seen them do, like they danced for the music on the radio that I must have.

There was no accounting for that, so I ducked down to look. Had someone brought something down and left it running on one of the machines? It was beautiful and I must know what it was, too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


YES!  Someone will want to read my kdrama-esque steampunk novel featuring an Afro-Japanese couple trying to navigate courtship in the midst of class, race and family & cultural expectations (basically in that order), with the help of the best friends who are Jewish and dark-skinned Indian, respectively, all while trying to stay one step ahead in the world of steampunk fashion. 

I'M NOT WRITING IN VAIN!  Woo.  That's nice to know.  Wanna see?