Thursday, January 1, 2009


Joseph Campbell said: "Follow your bliss."

Good advice. It turns out writing makes me happy. So do challenges. Thus, this:

The experiment: to write and post one new very-very short story every day for one year (starting today, January 1st, 2009). My first story can be found below*.

The rules: like many flash-fiction contests and publications, each story has length restrictions. In this case, I will roll two 8-sided dice (one green and one gray) every day and this number will dictate the length of each story (if I roll a green 2 and a gray 5, that day's story will be 25 words long). Ergo, the minimum story length will be 11 words; the maximum, 88. Flash fiction indeed.

Every attempt will be made to adhere to basic short story guidelines: plot, characters, conflict, etc. Obviously, some of these will be understood or left up to the reader (refer to Hemingway's six-word micro-masterpiece: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."). Characters? Check. Plot? Sure, with a little help from the reader. You get the idea. Note that I do not intend to match the absolute beauty of this famous little gem, but rather have as a simple goal to just write the year's worth of tiny stories, good, bad or otherwise.

Finally, because I enjoy many genres of fiction, I'm making it an additional goal to try and mix it up with each post. Hopefully, my imagination will allow for everything from westerns to sci-fi to good old modern realism. Of course, time will tell if I fall victim to the same thing from one post to the next.

*Here, then, is my first offering. As it happens, I rolled 8 and 6 this morning. At first I thought: Excellent! A high number; this will be an easy one. My first draft was 178 words. Ouch. After cutting and slicing and killing numerous darlings, I arrived at my goal. What you will read is a lean and mean shadow of its former self, with hints of what once was. Hopefully the original integrity and intention remain.

Thanks for coming by and thanks for reading.

Jason Sinclair Long

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