Tag Archives: ficlets

we should be raising cain.

Reading the ficlets blog today I found this quote:

Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the comtemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Emphasis from the blog writer, not the original author.   Contemplate this, see where you should be raising Cain, and think about what this really means to you.  Maybe even do as the ficlets blog says and “If there’s something you want to do that you’re not doing, something that’s nagging at the base of your skull that you can’t find the time for, print this out and tape it to your fridge, or to your bathroom mirror (emphasis mine). “


Ficlet Repost #2

Here is another one.  This one was a challenge as well, and the challenge was to tell a humorous holiday story using only dialogue.  I wanted to play around with accents, and this is what I came up with.  Let me know what you think.


 Christmas Ink {Kermitgorf Challenge}

“So, he just like, got it for me, y’know?”

“Really? He just got it for you?”

“Yeah, y’know. I’d been telling him I wanted one for a bit, droppin hints and stuff y’know.”

“Like – just … got it for you?”

“Yeah. How many times I hafta tell ya y’know. He dinnit say anyfing, just got it for me.”

“Wow. I wish my chappie was like that. I bin droppin hints for weeks about that wee locket at Hampsteads – he jus’ always tells me we aint got much free loot.”

“Yeah. Pretty nice right? I dinnit even have to drop many hints. Just nicked ‘is wallet and went and got it.”

“Nicked ‘is wallet? I thought you jus’ said he got it for you?”

“Yeah, that what I said? I guess he did right? Maybe he dinnit know he was, but he did it. And ‘sides, he’ll like it right?”

“Sure he’ll like it. I mean, what kind of chappie wouldn’t want ‘is tramp wearin somfing like that?”

“They spelled Chris’mas right dinnit they?”

“Yep. Good tattooers those chaps. But I thought ‘is name was Curt, not Burt?”


This story (like all ficlets) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. What does this mean?

Ficlet Repost #1

For those of you who don’t want to click my RSS to view my ficlets I’m liking so much, I thought I’d repost a few of them here. This one was I think the first I wrote for a challenge – a story that had requirements that needed to be met. In this case it had to contain certain words, which I bolded.  Let me know what you think.


Killer Clown (Stovohobo’s Challenge)

By Jeff Closs / SupRspi

As always I came upon the scene in medias res. The train had derailed and tumbled down an embankment, crushing a house.

And it’s occupant, or I wouldn’t be here.

I flashed my ID to the cop at the taped off perimeter.

“So, wierd as it looks?” I asked.

“You aren’t going to believe it sir. They say they need a TOD on the clown, think he’s been dead since before the accident.”


“Yessir. Clown. You better just go on inside.”

As I entered I knew why they were curious. The accident was only a couple hours old, and already the stench of death permeated the place, clinging to the flowered wallpaper like tar.

I entered what was the living room. The train’s cowcatcher had scooped up a sofa and an old gramophone, it’s horn bent and mangled.

The victim was indeed a clown, with a hooped costume barely concealing his avoirdupois and adorned with a fancifully large daisy boutonniere.

“Well” I said to the officer in charge, “obviously it was murder.”

“So, you see zee gunshot wound, yes?”


This story (like all ficlets) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. What does this mean?

1024 Characters

Ficlets continues to entertain me.  I’ve got about 8 written, and most of them seem to be getting good reviews.  It’s challenging to write a contained piece of fiction in only 1024 characters – but when you finish a story and see that little “ficlet nirvana” instead of a count of how many characters over or under you are – it’s cool.

I’ve only managed it on two of them – the others are all under a bit.

Challenges are cool.  If you see stories of mine on the RSS feed on the right that have {suchandsuch challenge} in them, it means that I am writing within someone else’s proscribed rules.  Usually it includes using certain words (which I usually bold) but it can be anything.  These are the most interesting because they force you to write outside your comfort zone.

I’m off back to ficlets now – look for my stories, and feel free to comment and write your own.   In case you don’t want to wander over and read my stories there, I’m going to post a couple of them here over the next few days – ones I especially like for whatever reason.

::Currently Listening to: The Cure – Lullaby::


A while ago I was turned on to ficlets by John Scalzi, an author and blogger I admire.

I just recently went there again to read a story posted by Wil Wheaton. (yeah, that Star Trek guy I like, who is an hawesome author) Wil’s story was basically amazing – the kind of thing I wish I could come up with. It was also inspirational, because I resurrected my ficlets username and wrote a few ficlets.

I wrote a disasterbation piece about someone in my line of work being taken hostage by an angry gun toting customer. I wrote a very vague piece about the world ending, and someone counting down the minutes. This one has inspired a few people to write sequels and prequels – one of the neatest aspects of ficlets.

Actually, I’ll let Wil sum it up, as he already did so well here.

“What does “collaborative short fiction” mean in this case? Simple: You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters [Jeff’s note: If you get 1024 characters exactly it marks your ficlet as “ficlet nirvana”]) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you’ve written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a “sequel” to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a “prequel,” explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels — and of course, other people can write sequels and prequels to those. What you end up with is a story with multiple authors and multiple branchings — lots of possibilities and surprises.”

I am amazed at how a story I wrote can inspire 6 other people to write short stories based on it, and how I can surf between the prequels and sequels, and end up reading alternative “dimensions” on my story. It’s hard to describe, but say someone writes two prequels to my story. Someone else comes along and writes one sequel, and someone writes a sequel to that. In the hierarchy it is in the same point as my story, but is different.

Just for fun I tossed the RSS feed of my stories into the sidebar – you can go click on them and read them. If you sign up you can post comments on them, continue them, prequel them, or just write your own.

If you do sign up, send me your username so I can add you to my watchlist.