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The Librarian – FFDO Blog Hop May 29, 2013

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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ffdo-bloghopI have been a part of the #fridayflash community  for four wonderful years, and I couldn’t let FFDO’s anniversary go by without posting my own little addition to the blog hop 🙂   So here it is, my first true #fridayflash in ages. Okay, so it’s not exactly a cheerful piece but it’s got a party in it, right?  🙂

It had been four years since the colonists settled on the planet they called Eden. Four years of living out their dream of a utopia where a peaceful agrarian society could benefit from careful, harmonious use of science with nature.

Gabe still recalled the excitement as they planned their annual Founders day celebration. Celia had the feast all planned out. The children ran around like maniacs, trailing flowers from the long streamers of bunting they placed on everything that didn’t move, and a few things that did but weren’t fast enough to get away.  Brody hardly left his workshop for a week as he manufactured fireworks for the finale to the evening.

Gabe spent that week as he always did, alone, turning chiorri leaves into paper to add to his collection of hand-bound books. He preferred his library to the company of his fellow colonists, but he never missed one of Brody’s light shows. They reminded him of summers on Earth.

Now, Gabe looked out over the slave market the aliens set up, right in the middle of the square where the party should have been held. Buyers from a dozen worlds gathered to purchase groups of ‘industrious, skilled bipeds.’  We learned every lesson from human history but one. If someone has something of worth, another will try to take it. Gabe shifted his hands in their seltheenium binders, turning the ring on his finger over and over. The Mendassi slavers had allowed the colonists to keep their ‘quaint decorations’ to drive up their price. Even in space, the exotic still had its appeal.

Gabe pushed to the front of his group, not caring that the crowd would not understand him. “You’ve taken my freedom!  You stole my dreams, but worst of all you destroyed my books. And for that, I will make you pay.”

A famous man once said that there were no limits to what an educated mind could accomplish when properly motivated.  While his beloved library burned, along with anything else the Mendassi considered unsalable, Gabe had slipped around the edges of the compound to place tiny emitters cobbled together from materials in Brody’s shop.

Gabe looked down to the small, innocuous activator hidden under the stone set in his ring. There will still be fireworks tonight. He twisted the ring one more time, and red lights began to blink all around the square.

 

Brain Freeze May 12, 2013

Posted by techtigger in writing.
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Writer’s block is a bitch.

Not sure when it started creeping in, but for some time now I’ve been fighting it, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by the lack of stories. The odd part is I’ve been writing. I just haven’t been keeping any of it. If writing was merely a game of numbers I’d have a full series of novels all set to go, but I’ve never worried too much about how many words I’ve written. I need to have the RIGHT words, and being something of a perfectionist I refuse to pour out crap just for the sake of saying I wrote X number of words, or X many stories. Quality over quantity.

But what to do when you hit a wall? I have had the good fortune to win a 3 month mentorship with the Evil League of Evil Writers, and got the best advice I’ve ever had. Stop writing.  I know, sounds crazy, everyone says the only way to get better is to write. But sometimes, you need to just put the pen down and give yourself some breathing space.

Actually, i think their exact words were that I had a one week license for fuckwittery. 🙂

Note, there was a time limit.  The danger of taking time off is that if you don’t set a limit on it, the little fears creep in, the excuses, the games on facebook… and suddenly you haven’t written a word for a month.  (yes, i’ve fallen into that trap too, in the past.)  So, I gave myself one week off, spent it with family and friends, slept in late and generally screwed around. Fuckwittery.

The pages that had me stymied were still there when I came back, but i didn’t dive right into writing. I sat down and tried to explain the problem to my Evil mentor. And lo-and-behold, as I tried to write out what the problem was, I saw the answer.  Yesterday, I sat down for 4 straight hours, got a chapter done and the bones of two more worked out. That was the best writing session I’ve had this year, and suddenly writing was fun again.

I also noticed that the TV was off, the wifi turned off, and I had a quiet morning alone.  I’m beginning to understand why some writers rent a hotel room and disappear for a week or two when they are working on their novel. Too many distractions. I might just have to use up some vacation time this summer, and find a place with a bottomless supply of tea and cookies 🙂

So, I still have to finish the next installment of Gathering Shadows (the breakthrough was for a novel I’ve been working on).   I’ll be sitting down this week to try to put into words where I’ve run into a block with GS. With any luck, the muse will fire off another flashbulb over my head, and I’ll see my way through the tangle.  When I do, you will be the first to know. 🙂

-angie

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