As of this moment, I have written fifteen short stories in fifteen days for this year’s Flash Dash Challenge. If you’re not already a subscriber, please check out my Patreon to sign up (starting at $1 per month), or if you need some convincing, take a peek at the free samples on this site.
Today marks the halfway point between the beginning of this month’s adventures in writing and its end. Only fifteen flash fiction stories to write! Thus far, I have written science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, myth, and even a little horror. A couple of the stories read more like poetry. Even more fun, I still have two parts remaining to write in the “Vikingr” mini-series (Viking in spaaaaace!) and only have the vaguest idea how they’ll play out.
I’ve discovered through these first fifteen days a lot about the different modes in which I write. Sometimes I have a whole vision of what needs to occur, who the characters are, and how everything will play out (though some details might not come until I’m in the midst of writing). Sometimes I am a bystander, transcribing what I see, hear, and even feel in the moment, but I have little connection to what’s going on and who the story is about. Then there are those stories that seem to be channeled from some other place, where it all rushes out, and I don’t have the slightest clue where it came from. But the most surprising discovery for me is that when I write something myth-based, I almost always feel gutted by the next day. As if I had to slit myself open, reach deep down into my own entrails, and bring them back to be laid out for all to see.
When discussing this with my partner’s weekend barista, he nodded his head with great emphasis. He understood. He blows glass as his primary career, and as an artist grokked the gutting of some types of art. He said, “Yes, of course you feel exhausted. You’re tapping into something ancient and deep. Something in the collective unconscious, and it requires digging to bring it to the surface.”
*The above photo features the Seven Year Pen I bought for my partner a couple of years ago. I am not affiliated with Seltzer Goods and I haven’t been paid to advertise them, but I sure do like their products (and when a new pen failed a few years back after only a month — bad batch — they replaced the cartridge and sent stickers and bunny pictures to comfort me).