How the story starts

For publication. Horror stories. Two sentences.

Someone on the Book of Face linked me to this one: 20 Terrifying Two-Sentence Horror Stories

As an occasional flash fiction writer, I found the concept intriguing, even though I’m not usually a fan or horror.  Most of them are a bit trite, but a couple give that frisson that heralds both a good story and good horror.  On reflection, I think these are the ones that read like the opening of a story … showing, not telling.

It could well be argued that most of my flash fiction is largely openings to stories … or at most hint at the shape of a story without actually wrapping it up.  The few that don’t (say “If This Were A Fairy Tale“) are, arguably, some of the better ones.

Or it could be argued that the open-endedness works really well for horror flash fiction (say “The Volunteer“).

As I was thinking about which of the two-sentence horror stories worked best, I found myself wondering about the possibility of writing science fiction stories in two sentences.  Would it even be possible to write a good one, without stumbling on the world-building (or universe-building) that comes with so much science fiction?

The idea is in the back of my mind lately, because I’ve been following The Ferrett’s current project of evaluating the opening chapters of 20 books to see how they integrate world-building.  These are all books he’s read before, and so the evaluation is in the context of knowing everything that comes after that opening chapter.  You can see the initial post at: How Can I Make These Opening Chapters Better? An Experiment and he’s posted the first three in the series so far.

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A brief update on RedBubble

Hiatus still not over, but …

… I found some photos I’d gotten prepared for RedBubble  before the hiatus began and posted them.

You can see them here:


a light purple flower

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In which I steal time from sleep

The only way anything gets done these days

I posted on Twitter the other day:

That moment where you realize your beautifully framed, perfectly in-focus flower photo has a half-bug-eaten leaf in frame and thus useless.

Tonight, I stole some time from sleep to see if there was another photo in that shoot in which said leaf was less obvious. I found one … or did I ‘shop it out? You be the judge:

rose-of-sharon-fullClick through for full-size.


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The long hiatus is not yet over

There is no time, let me sum up …

It is a bit frustrating to have built up to a regular posting habit and then to have fallen off the face of the planet again for several months.

I’m still rather off the face of the planet, but visiting just enough to want to explain my absence:

an infant's hand rests on exposed skin

a hand, so tiny, reaching out

As a fairly private person, I’m unlikely to post much about this in the future, but … this is what is consuming my present.

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Seed Pods

I heard you liked closeups, so I’m posting a closeup of a closeup …

Here’s something a bit different – just a little teasing sample of a photograph.

This is another of the ones from the Albuquerque trip.  I’m not entirely sure what plant this set of desiccated seed pods comes from; it’s very much like the ones on the Rose of Sharon here in my front yard, though.

This is a clipped out portion of the original.  You can see the full thing at RedBubble or CafePress.

Closeup of a golden-hued seed pod

Closeup of the seed pod closeup

Why yes, this is a soft launch of my photography on CafePress, thanks for noticing.


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Signs of Spring

This time for sure!

It definitely does seem to be coming around to springtime here.  It’s been warm enough to have the windows open several days in the last week or two, and the forsythia’s had a mad explosion of yellow blooms which are not pictured because the giant bumblebees have been all over it all the time.

This is a convenient time of year to have finally figured out how the manual focus on my camera works.  Yes, on the camera I’ve had for about 5 years now.  The autofocus is good enough that I’ve mostly gotten away with it for this long, but it only has so much it can do.

In any case, it’s a good time of year to be outside and practicing my focusing skills.  This has brought me right back to some of what fascinated me with macro photography in the first place – the ability to see details and textures through the magnified lens of the camera that my eyes just can’t.

Green grass with white violets, very close up

These lovelies were in my yard (until they got mowed down a day or two later).

Not posted anywhere but here, though there’s a somewhat larger version if you click on it.

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