Flash Friday - Thoughts about X

Trickery with X 


National Poetry Month

X-rays and xacto knives
No, let's not go there.

No, I don't watch that either.

Nope, none of that. 

Nah, my son looks like both of us.
Although my three sisters and I all have different hair color.
No one believed we had the same mother and father.

Lots of odd rocks in our collection.

I did love Piers Anthony's imagery world 
When I was a teen.

Xavier Cugat,
He was married to the cuchi cuchi babe.
Charo for those too young to remember.

Beware the big bold x of the railroad crossing.
Don't try to beat the train.

Xeroxes to Xylographs
modern to the past. 

Time for me to make my exit,
since I find that I'm quite perplexed. 

Sunday Salon: Dinty Moore's Field Guide to Writing Flash Non Fiction

I've been derailed by nonfiction. Would never have believed it.  Me, who only reads fiction and likes to escape into a book has embraced nonfiction.  I knew absolutely nothing about flash fiction or flash non fiction before I started taking courses at WVU.  First I read Dinty Moore's Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction which led me to the Field Guide for Writing Flash Non Fiction

I’m intrigued by Moore’s history of flash non fiction.  It’s renewed my interest for reading Montaigne’s Essays which has been languishing in my stacks. It occasionally yells ‘read me, read me’ and I say, ‘okay in a few.’   I’m fascinated by all the rabbit trails, authors and essays and magazines to read and absorb. 

“Bernard Cooper offers perhaps the first attempt to define the brief essay form...To paraphrase Cooper, then, the brief essay form is discrete, sharply focused, and must be held up, studied like a small tableau, to review the secrets of human nature contained therein.”

I’ll have to remember that: a tableau, a picture, a moment frozen in time.  What does it say? How does it say it?  How do you paint a word picture of an grand idea in as few words a possible while still retaining the emotion of the moment?

According to Moore, likening the reader to a smoke jumper, you start at the flash point, in the heat of the moment.  Kind of scary actually.  No build up, no lead in, just jump right in.  Will take a bit of practice, but that’s why we’re here.

Moore brings up the point “This tendency toward briefer prose in the digital domain stems partially from the eyestrain caused by staring too long into a conventional computer monitor and also from the perceived unwillingness of computer surfers to scroll too far or too often.”

Do we have shorter attention spans caused by internet surfing?  Probably.  It’s odd that when I read anything on the computer, I skim versus I absorb more when using my ipad. I have no idea what the difference is, except maybe I can curl up with my Ipad which makes it more like a book, versus having to sit upright and tense at my computer.  The computer is a tool to me, so yes, I skim to find the most information in the shortest amount of time and move on to something else.  Media has changed the way we view things.  Which I guess is a good thing for those who write flash fiction or flash nonfiction.

Which leads back to the field guide and what I hope to learn from the essays.  Moore says “literary writing is an art form, and no one definition can ever successfully pin down artistic production or product.”  Alrighty then!  I'm not going to worry about defining flash non fiction.   I’ll work on learning as much as I can, experimenting and see where it takes me.  Just keep it short, simple and exciting from the get go. And real, of course.   But how do you define real? 

Flash Friday - Night Road

Friday Flash 

Night Road 

Decided to revisit Oulipos today and share my experiment utilizing Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken which turned out to be a big failure. I tried the N + 7 route which is replace the major nouns with another noun which is the 7th one below it, in the dictionary.  However the first line ending up being 

Two robbers diverged in a women. 

After I stopped laughing and got over my hot flash, tried a few variations but it just wasn’t working.  Then I got the bright idea to take book titles and transform them into a story, but got as far as a weird poem.  Which is below for your viewing  pleasure. 

On the Night Road 

Death Comes
Brightly Burning
Across the Endless River
On the Night Road.

Dark Shadows 
In the Woods
Scream for Me,
On the Night Road.

Dark Harbor.

The Door Within
All Through The Night
A World I Never Made.

A Lethal Harvest
Watcher in the Woods
Shoot Him if He Runs.

Forgotten Garden
Born in Fire
Thunder of Heaven

Shadow of Doubt
Rivers Edge
Never Go Back

Brilliance of the Moon
A Walk in the Woods
The Brink of Dawn
On the Night Road

Infinite Days
The Silent Gift
Everything Beautiful Began Again.
On the Night Road. 

Flash Friday - Universe

Josephine Wall's Fairy Bubbles


Under the vast dark sky
Unity binds the heavens
Unusual pockets of stars
Unlocking the black
Underneath it all

Understanding bursts our imagination
Unlimited in potential
Unabashed beauty
Unique minds

Flash Friday - F is for Form

April is the 20th anniversary of National Poetry month and I'm not much of a poet but like to play with Oulipo's.   So for your entertainment and mine, here's an oulipo made up of book titles containing the letter F from my shelves, in the form of four line stanzas.  Enjoy! 

The People From the Sky
Worst Fears Realized
A Pirate looks at Fifty
Final Approach. 

Boy From Reactor Four
Writing From the Inside Out 
Fear the Dark.

Fairy Godmother
Her Fearful Symmetry
Isle of Fire
The Forgotten Garden,

Fancy Pants
Breach of Faith
Foucault's Pendulum
Things Fall Apart.

Now it's your turn!