Writing Prompt Wednesday


keys

The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?

I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.

Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?

“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”

She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.

There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?

“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”

He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.

“Go on then, run.”

Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.

“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”

She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.

He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.

I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.

Genres of Literature – Slipstream


slipstream

Slipstream can be defined as a kind of fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries between science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. The term was coined by Bruce Sterling, a cyberpunk author: “… this is a kind of writing which simply makes you feel very strange; the way that living in the twentieth century makes you feel, if you are a person of a certain sensibility.”

Slipstream fiction is “the fiction of strangeness” in which cognitive dissonance is at the heart of the story inducing a sense of ‘otherness’ in the audience, like a glimpse into a distorting mirror and imparts a sense that reality might not be quite as certain as we think. 

Slipstream narratives do not always employ elements of science fiction or fantasy, as they are not crucial to the plot, but provide setting and background. The common unifying factor is a degree of the surreal, the not-entirely-real, or the markedly anti-real.

It is certainly a little known genre to the mainstream reader but does have a loyal following. If you are interested in reading this genre here is a list: http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/Best-Slipstream-Books/525

 

Author Interview Jim Christina


Author-Interview-Button

Jim Christina

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?  

It can, depends on what and where and when I am writing.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Crown Royal, a good Martini or constant interruptions…

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

No

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Too many to mention, but, we all feed into each other. Read each other’s work and give constructive criticism when and where needed.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Excellent question. Whereas I try to make each book readable on it’s own, I do incorporate characters and elements from prior novels in each book unless it is truly a stand alone story.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Editors

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

11th grade, Drama class…we did an impromptu ad-lib skit

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

‘Still Waters’

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Horse

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None anymore

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

Folks reading and enjoying my stories. Getting rich from writing is a pipe-dream, one of which I have never fed into.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Long hours of research if it is warranted for the story. So, I guess that would depend. I have researched for months, and I have researched for only a couple hours.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

12-15

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Yet another good question. I find names popular or prominent in the old west, and then remember that almost everyone on the outlaw trail had a nick-name. Hit and miss, I reckon.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

The death of Bobby Malloy in ‘The Rights of Men’.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Expertise in the field. Know what you write and write what you know.

  1. How long have you been writing?

10 years

  1. What inspires you?  

Just about everything.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

Along with running a small publishing company and preparing for a weekly radio show, it’s my job.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

The building of an artificial leg that works like a normal leg in 1876.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

Vacation

  1. Share a link to your author website.

www.jimchristina.net

www.tuscanybaybooks.com

www.blackdogpublishing.co

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


This week’s prompt is ‘revenge’. Write a poem or short story of getting back at someone. I wrote this story some time ago but still like it. The story began with a picture of a beach veranda, I have no idea why it went in this direction but that’s the joy of writing.

beach

Britney

Warmth was carried through the windows by the salty sea air as I pulled the voile aside to look at the gentle waves break on the golden sand. The cream painted deck was just wide enough for a chair and a small table and as I set down my book and glass of wine I raised my face up toward the sun. I can feel the stress releasing from my neck and shoulders, no more 10 hour days, no more frantic rush to be first in the morning and working later than everyone else. I’d thought my hard work and commitment would ensure a promotion but buxom, blonde bimbo, Britney, waltzed in on Friday sporting a smug Cheshire cat smile and announced her new position; CEO’s personal secretary. I knew she hadn’t got the job for her secretary skills! My rage exploded as my scream vibrated around the open plan office, I knew I had to get out of there. Grabbing my bag I stomped my way to the elevator and slammed my hand on the button. I could faintly hear giggles and whispering behind me but my heart beat was much louder, the roar in my ears blocking out their petty comments.

As I made my way home my rage seethed, I’d get my own back on Britney, she couldn’t have ‘my’ job. At home Smudge twisted around my legs mewing for his dinner, I picked him up for a cuddle and relished in his softness. After feeding Smudge, I sat at my computer looking for ideas to get my own back on Britney. Ah yes as expected Britney had posted her good news on her MSN account and was inviting everyone to ‘Crime’ the newest club in town for a celebration. Now what could I do to ensure Britney didn’t come into work on Monday or Tuesday or the whole week? A plan came to mind, so after making several phone calls, I got dressed up in my most daring outfit and drove to ‘Crime’.

The music was so loud it was almost unbearable but everyone in the club seemed to be having a great time, dancing and shouting to be heard. This really wasn’t my sort of place at all but needs must. As I pushed my way through the crowd I spotted Britney and her pals at a table on the raised platform above the dance floor. I knew in this outfit & wig no one in her group would recognize me so I moved closer to try and hear the conversation. It wasn’t as hard as I expected as they were shouting across the table and Britney was telling her captive audience of her seduction of Greg Lessner. I clinched my fists in anger but knew I would need to stay calm if my plan was going to succeed. My cell beeped at that moment, a message from my ‘surprise’ for Britney. Callum had returned my call and was ready to meet Britney as I had arranged, he looked like the ‘perfect’ man, all muscles and dark brooding looks as well as expensive clothes and a designer watch, all of which Britney would notice, the little social climber. Britney would not be able to resist a dance, a few drinks & an evening of love! I’d paid for the fancy hotel suite and asked the concierge to place champagne in the room, Britney would be beside herself, fancying her luck at catching a rich handsome man, her dream come true.

I pointed out Britney to Callum and as he approached Britney’s table I held my breath but as soon as she saw him she turned on the bimbo act, all fluttering eyelashes and heaving of barely covered chest; disgusting. I watched Callum & Britney ‘fused’ together, gyrating on the dance floor to the rhythmic beat. It didn’t take long for Britney to dump her friends in favor of her new found lover and after a while I saw them exit into the darkness. Following behind at a safe distance I drove behind their taxi and parked across the street as they walked into the fancy hotel lobby. Opening my lap top I linked up with the camera’s I had set up in their suite and waited for them to arrive. Greg Lessner had fallen for Britney’s interest in him and believed her love was real – what an idiot-she had tricked him like a little kid watching a magician. Once he saw ‘his’ Britney with Callum he was sure to sack her and I would make sure I was indispensable as his assistant by the time Britney’s week of passion was over. I hadn’t had enough money for a longer ‘date’ with the male escort but it would be time enough. Now I could relax all Sunday at the beach knowing I had my perfect job waiting for me on Monday.

I would love to read your response – leave it in the comments.

Genres of Literature – Bizarro Fiction


bizarro

Bizarro fiction is a contemporary literary genre, which aims to be both strange and entertaining,  containing hefty doses of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque  along with pop-surrealism and genre-fiction staples, thus creating subversive, weird, and entertaining works. The term was adopted in 2005 by the independent publishing companies Eraserhead Press, Raw Dog Screaming Perss and Afterbirth Books.

The first Bizarro Starter Kit described Bizarro as “literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store” and a genre that “strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.”

In general however, Bizarro has more in common with speculative fiction, such as science-fiction, horror and fantasy than with avant-garde movements (such as Dadaism and surrealism, which readers and critics often associate it with.

It seems to be a small niche genre and one that appeals to a select audience. However, I think it would be a fun exercise to write a story in this genre.

How about you? Have you written this genre? Or read any books in it?