Chronos – An Anthology of Time Drabbles

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Drabble-length-fiction editor extraordinaire, Eric Fomley, put out a call for drabbles with a time travel theme. Having found a home for two drabbles in Drabbledark, a previous anthology edited by Fomley, I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring.

My story, “Food as Faith” imagines a person using a time machine for an unorthodox purpose, to catch a restaurant that closed before he had a chance to eat there.

Here it is, and if you like it maybe check it out, there are 97 drabbles like it:

Food as Faith

They should not have given me access to the time machine.

In 2017, a member of an isolated religious order opened a pop up restaurant in New York City. It lasted for one night, and one night only. To a person, everyone described it as transcendent, life-changing, divine. I missed it.

While everyone argued over how to use it — prevent a war? Kill a dictator? Visit lost wonders of the world? Seek out the origins of world religions? — I made my move.

With a watering mouth and growling stomach, I skipped backward in time on my own personal gastronomic pilgrimage.

Reddit AMA with Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis and Vida Cruz

This past weekend was Worldcon 76, and Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis was in attendance. Not sure how it happened, but he got tapped to do a brief AMA about Writers of the Future. By the magic of the internet and in a very last minute sort of way, Vida Cruz and I (both winners from Vol. 34 along with Jeremy) joined him on the AMA.

If you’re at all interested, check it out.

We each discuss our writing style, process, influences, short stories vs novels and novellas, the post-WotF experience, and even touch on some of the recent discussion surrounding the contest that has cropped up of late.

Drabbledark

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I have two 100 word long stories (drabbles), “Dark Goddess” and “The Thirst For War”  in Drabbledark: An Anthology of Dark Drabbles.  Drabbles are stories of exactly 100 words, and there are 101 in the anthology.

The first of my stories, “Dark Goddess” imagines the pull of… something… that might cause a person to turn their back on friends, family, and loved ones, regardless of the cost.

The second, “The Thirst For War” imagines the God of Death reacting to the Treaty of Versailles.

Drabbles are quick (obviously) and ideally thought provoking, relying on evoking the reader to fill in the implications raised.

Martian: The Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles

There’s a new market for (very) short science fiction stories. Martian: The Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles is a niche site that will be publishing short spec fic stories of exactly 100 words each. It’s running a fundraising campaign now, maybe check it out? Maybe support it? Maybe spread the word?

After the break I’m going to spend a few words being industry wonky, so feel free to skip it, but if you want a teeny peek behind the curtain…Read More »

24 Hour Story

Second maybe to the “Reveal” the 24 Hour Story must be the most famous (or infamous) part of the workshop week. The name more or less says it all, right? Write a story in 24 hours, that’s the task. And, though it wasn’t immediately evident, the lesson as well.

Tim Powers, the mad wizard that led us on this journey, handed out Items of No Material Significance. One person received an empty .45 cal. casing, another a length of flexible metal tubing, someone else a hunk of wood. I received a single $1.00 bill. The experience was already paying for itself.

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The object only needed to spark some kind of inspiration. I didn’t have to tell a bank heist story, or the tale of a king’s coin engraver, but something about the dollar needed to get the thought process going.

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Tim then led us off to the Will and Ariel Durant Library where we were to grab books, do research, color in inspiration and verisimilitude into whatever idea we were working with. I read about Ancient Etruscan art and the Bronze Age Collapse, because I’m cool like that.

Lastly, and perhaps as infamous as the 24 Hour Story itself, we had to talk to a stranger. It’s awful and there’s not really any sugarcoating it. We’re on Hollywood Blvd. (the part with all the tourists). People are there in groups–with their friends and family. People are not particularly interested in talking to strangers. Add in the fact that here is about where the surreal nature of what’s going on and the fact that photographers have been nipping at your heels since you landed in LA may catch up with you (it did for me). I wandered until I found someone who was alone, separated from the herd, talked for a minute, and got it over with. Just like ripping off a band-aid.

Now, if that paragraph sounds harsh, it kind of was intended to be. But that doesn’t mean that the lesson of the exercise was lost on me. People can be an incredible source of stories and inspiration. Listening to what they say might spark a creative fire, and there’s value to that lesson. In practice, in the moment, I was just glad it was over.

So now, armed with our item, our research, and whatever we gleaned from the interview, we met back together where our mad wizard sent us forth at 5:00 p.m. to write one complete story and have it submitted by 5:00 p.m. the next day. We couldn’t submit an opening and an outline, we couldn’t write write write then… uh… the end. It had to be a complete story (quality not being a requirement above completeness).

So we dispersed, we wrote, and a little less than 24 hours later I had… something. It had a beginning a middle and an end. The prose was rough, the concept rough (but one I may revisit and try to polish in the future), but it was done, and it was submitted, and that was that.

So the big question, of course, is WHY DO THIS?

Well, the lesson really goes hand in hand with the point of the conference. The conference isn’t to teach how to write. The conference starts from the perspective that everyone there can write, knows how to write, and has demonstrated an ability to do so well. What everyone has *not* done, is demonstrate the ability to do so for a living, as a professional.

The point of the exercise is not to write a story in 24 hours, but rather to force everyone to prove to themselves that they can.