a story in six parts

I never really thought about it before, but it’s quite interesting (and perhaps a bit strange) that I can write so many blog posts full of random thoughts, and publish them for the world to see, but with all the stories I write, I’m very selective with who I share them with.

I think my justification was that different people like different kinds of stories, and a lot of people I know don’t read fiction at all, so it seemed kind of pointless to openly share a story that might not be well-received.

Yes, I know this is true of blog posts too — any singular reader is not going to be interested in every post I publish — and I have no qualms about people skipping blog posts they’re not interested in, but stories are just … different.

Likely it’s because a lot more effort goes into writing stories — for me, anyway. A blog post I can put together within an hour, typing whatever comes to mind, and then proofread and publish the same day. A story, however, is something that takes several days, weeks or months to develop and polish, depending on how long it is. If a blog post is a quick mid-week dinner, a story is an elaborate multi-layered cake with some impossibly delicate tempered chocolate adornment on top.

But anyway, after much encouragement from fellow writer/creative Colette, I’ve decided to share some of my story-writing on this blog. I don’t want to give away any details of the story I’m going to share, or create any preconceptions about it, but I didn’t want to send it out into the world without some sort of introduction.

The first story I’m sharing is a short story I wrote many years ago (I’m not entirely sure, but I’m guessing I wrote this at least six or seven years ago). It was inspired partly by random people I saw in places I went, and I just made up stories about them. I also had the random idea to name each part of the story (of which there are six) after the first six letters of the Nato Phonetic Alphabet: alfa, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot.

I must admit, however, that, at the time, I didn’t know that I had misspelt “alfa” as “alpha”. Rather than correct this mistake, I am going to keep it as is because, for one, that is how the original was and I don’t want to edit it now after so many years, and secondly, “alfa” looks weird to me, and doesn’t fit the story.

On that note, I’d also like mention that I had no definite plan for the story when I started writing it. I only knew that I wasn’t going to go past “foxtrot” because the next word is “golf”, which doesn’t exactly inspire anything poetic in me.

I don’t want to preface it with much else — I’ll let it speak for itself.

Each instalment will be published at 24-hour intervals, starting Monday January 3rd at 11am (Brisbane time). No particular reason for this — it seemed as good a time as any.

Enjoy

a pause in the chaos

Well, it’s that time of year again, when I’m reminded, by the lack of traffic on the roads, that most other people have time off from work/study. Of course, I’m not complaining. Does it sound like I’m complaining? It’s nice not sitting in traffic, and equally nice to not have to get up earlier to compensate for time spent sitting in traffic.

Anyway, there’s still a very nice long week-end ahead for me.

I had a very brief chat to the cleaning person at work today, and it went something along the lines of “well, someone’s gotta do the work”, and so we will both be back at work in those days between Christmas and New Year’s.

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support small

I have a friend who makes ceramics — mugs, vases, cups, bowls, sculptures, whatever she feels like. Last week-end, she sold some of her creations at a laneway market. She booked a stall, bought an Eftpos machine, and invited everyone to come along. Being very excited for her first market day, I went and bought one of her cute little hexagon mugs (and my partner bought a cube vase — a photo of these can be found on my Instagram (see side panel)).

I think she sold more than she expected, but numbers are just numbers, and I’m more inspired by her efforts and her courage than anything else. To create something with part of one’s heart and soul, and then show it to the world, is a tremendous thing.

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happy days

It’s Sunday night here, but it’s a public holiday tomorrow, so it feels like Saturday. But yesterday also felt like Saturday, so I guess things are pretty good here.

I’ve been busy but not overly productive. I had the day off work on Friday, so I went to visit my friends who were preparing for their holiday to Canada (how I wish I could join them!) I helped them lock their windows, and get rid of rubbish, so they gave me cake and miscellaneous perishable food from their fridge.

A local brewery was doing a special Oktoberfest menu this week-end, so a friend and I went there for lunch on Saturday. We were there last week-end too, but the bar has such a relaxed atmosphere, and the staff are so chill, I’d happily become a regular. One of the owners was working behind the bar, and he actually remembered us from last week. I take that as a good thing. I’m sure they think our patronage is a good thing too.

Today (Sunday) I wanted to catch up with a couple of other friends. I reckon Sunday session friends are pretty high up in the unofficial hierarchy of friends. You know, the kind of friends you want to round out the week-end with, or the ones you can talk to for hours (hence the Sunday sesh should preferably start in the early afternoon, to allow ample time to chinwag until the sun goes down).

I’m not sure why, but I thought I’d be home early on Friday night, and I thought I’d be home for dinner on Saturday night, and likewise for tonight… But cleaning and other things went late on Friday, and we ended up at an arcade bar on Saturday, and I completely was not keeping track of time at all tonight. So the cooking and cleaning and blogging and writing that I had planned this week-end didn’t happen. Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

There is tonight, and there is tomorrow. And just now I got a feeling of deja vu, as if I’ve written this kind of post before, and very possibly I have because I guess this is the kind of thing I do not learn. But if I have a chance to go out and hang out with friends (and try some good beers), then I will take it. Chores can wait — I know I’m not that irresponsible that I’m never going to get around to them — and I will carve out time for writing.

Speaking of writing, I’ve started working on a new story. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make this novel-length, or maybe it’s better to just keep it as a short story, but it’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about an idea for a story, so I’m just going to write and let it develop into whatever it’s meant to be. I guess that’s kind of how life is…

potatoes, cold mornings and bridges

We’re approaching the final stretch of my month of haiku now, and I’m feeling like I could actually continue this beyond July. Imagine how many haiku I could write in all the life ahead of me?

What I’ve started to worry about, however, is that I’m going to repeat certain themes, lines or phrases from one haiku to another. I actually pondered this back on July 11th, and wrote this piece:

How many haiku,
Already written, and still…
Many more waiting

Is it possible to exhaust all possible compositions of these three-line poems? With such finite syllables, surely you could only do so much? Continue reading

poetry in every day

I’ve been feeling like I want to get back into writing again, and I’ve had this itch for a while now. And by “get back into writing” I mean proper creative writing. I know blogging technically counts as writing, and I suppose there’s some element of creativity, since you are creating something, but I think I really want to write stories again.

The problem is I don’t know what to write about. My last serious attempt at writing a decent-length story started getting rather depressing, so I ditched it. (I couldn’t really handle churning through so much emotion, and I wasn’t sure how to pull the whole thing from the depths of misery it was drowning in.) Continue reading