I belong to an online writing community that I joined after attending Viable Paradise in 2015. The thing is, I had forgotten all about it until the other day when a fellow attendee mentioned he was participating in one of their challenges.

As it turned out, it was the last of five challenges and I’d missed the first four, and it won’t be repeated until next year. I’ll have to try and remember to check next December.

Anyway, I decided to participate in at least one, and this is the prompt I picked:

“Write a story set in the year 2120. Realistically, what do you think could be happening? (Obviously you can’t cover everything, so keep your focus tight.)”

This post covers the fiction I published on this blog from March 2015 through March 2016.

If you’ve not read the previous two posts about this blog and my fiction and you have a strong desire to read all the fiction I write, here’s a quick reminder. The first four years were covered in THIS post. The year five was covered in THIS post.

Following that progression, this post should cover year six of dispersering fiction. And so it does.

If you have no desire to read any of my fiction, stop right here and go on your way as nothing below will interest you. Vade con spaghetti monstrum volantes.

If you thought there was a lot of fiction during the first four years of this blog, you’ll think in the next year — March 2014 through March 2015 — I must have gone fiction nuts.

Maybe, but remember I also wrote opinions (future post to be) and did near-epic writing on many of the posts showcasing my photos.

Sometimes I wrote stuff most people (including regular readers) plain missed.

For instance, for a long while — October 2012 through December 2015 — I posted a printable monthly calendar. The first part of the post covered the process and background story of the photo I used, but usually, there was some writing aimed at being informative, humorous, or both. Most people, even them who read most of what I publish, missed most stuff. By the way, as far as printable photos go, I thought them pretty good.

Anyway, why did most people miss some of the writing?

Yes, he do.

Recently, I had the occasion to interact with relatives I’d not seen in a while. Part of the conversation rolled around to what I do for hobbies. I mentioned my blog, and I provided the information for the blog, for SmugMug, and gave them my email.

I don’t expect them to check things out (photos or writing) because those conversations are just stuff people say, like we’ll keep in touch and let’s do lunch sometimes and let’s meet up later; I’ll give you the best deep massage you ever had.

Disclosure: no one has ever said the last thing to me, and that’s good.

When I mention I dabble in writing, most people express an interest in what I write. Again, I’m near-certain it’s just polite social-convention that won’t lead to anything and be quickly forgotten once a bit of time and distance come into play.

Some — not many — might have noticed a serious derth of new fiction writing on my part.

Whenever I’ve not written for a while I need a kick-start to get my inner writer up off his butt. The way I normally do that is to read as much of my stuff as I can untill the desire to write overwhelms my desire to do other stuff.

That’s what I’ve been doing this past few weeks and it’s working . . . sort of. I read some of what I’ve written and wonder where that clever writer has gone.

For instance (slightly edited from the original to fix a few things):

Occasionally, I write fiction. On that basis, I call myself a “writer” . . . and then quickly qualify the statement by saying I like to write. 

And, write I do. A lot. 

But, in 2017, not much of it was fiction. I’ll get to what little I wrote, but first, let me give you a quick summary of the past few weeks . . . 

To be sure, Grammarly is not all that reliable because whenever you open a document you’re working on, it counts the words already written and previously checked as new words. But, since I’ve not written any fiction in the past few weeks and since I’ve not edited any previously written stuff, the only double-counting comes from a few re-edits of my Christmas/New Year letter and the multiple calendar posts I’ve been doing. I estimate the 48K words is high by about 8-15K words. Call it 18K and that still leaves 30,000 words written in two weeks.  

Well, not in this post, but in the next; the password protected post. Yup; you read that right. Password Protected Post. I’m reserving the right to potentially submit this story.

Yes, it’s short, but there are venues that publish Flash Fiction.

As you can see, I’m still playing around with Deep Dream. If you go to THIS LINK, you can see my gallery and when you click on a photo, it also shows you the original and what it was blended with. BEWARE: you can only “like” photos if you create an account and then generate at least a couple of Dreams. Sorry; their rules, not mine. I’ll keep posting a few of the photos here and in future posts, but there’s a lot of them. 

You can click on the photos here and they will open in a new window, but the sizes vary. That’s because they limit the number of photos that can be done in a given period at a given size. If you’re interested in a photo, click on it and it might be one of the larger ones . . . or not. 

terribleminds is the site of Chuck Wendig, a “novelist, screenwriter, and game designer.”

His current flash challenge (HERE):

“I want you to write the end of a long journey. . . It’ll require you to bring some skills to bear to make it work, to give us all the information we need, and to make it more than a snapshot in time or just a vignette.”

Readers are to pick one and go off to a dark corner and write a 1,500 words flash piece, apparently applying “skill,” whatever that means. 

I own that skill. As for writing something . . .  

I’m tossing around a few ideas — story ideas — related to the eventual integration of robots into our society. When I say robot, most people think of intelligent robots, but I view the matters of intelligence as separate.

Robots, to me, are and will always be mechanical devices no different than washing machines or toasters. They might integrate some “smarts” in the form of sophisticated programs — it’s not easy consistently burning toast at a setting of “4” and utterly fail to toast at a setting of “3” — but machines are never going to be anything more than machines.

It’s a fine distinction but think of our bodies as machines controlled by computing centers with poorly thought-out and buggy software.

If I followed the advice of some people, I would have at least a few posts a day, drive amazing traffic to this blog, become rich and famous, and eventually, die beloved by all. Or, something like that. 

All I have to do is shorten my posts. Alas, that ain’t me, Bob. 

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The frequent complaint I get about this blog is that because of the amount of content I share in each post, and the number of photos I include, and the size of the photos I include, my blog is slow to load. I recently addressed that fact — and it is a fact —in response to a comment on another blog.

I am trying to slow the pace of today’s entertainment. “From breakneck, to glacial!” is my motto. People need to slow down and enjoy life.

I’ve given my suggestion before, by I’ll repeat what I consider the best way to enjoy my stuff:
1) bring up any of my posts.
2) go make a cup of tea (or coffee, as one prefers)
3) call parents or sibling as you sip tea
4) make a run to the drugstore (or equivalent) and buy eye-drops in case you forget to blink.
5) get a few snack ready along with another cup of tea.
6) sit and enjoy the brilliance that is me (allow a minimum of 15 minutes).

Alternatively, get a faster internet hookup.

Yes, I’m glib, and I understand in today’s world many things are clamoring for your attention. I also understand most people do not have the time and patience to sit in front of the computer for a whole minute while photos or other content loads. 

I understand it because I know most people have never experienced sitting in front of a computer connected through a modem and watched a picture of something appear on the CGA screen one line at a time over the span of ten minutes. 

Nothing new on the short stories and the novel submissions. Rejections from the larger outfits come at a glacial place. Right now, all four of the September 2015 stories are out for submission. I play the lotto, and I can tell you I think the odds are better  that I will win the jackpot than actually having one of my fiction masterpieces picked up for publication. But, I took an oath to submit, submit, submit, and so I do, I do, I do.

Yes, that is one of them taunt-the-Universe statements made in the vain hope said Universe will prove me wrong. Think of it like praying but rather than a creepy malevolent deity being called upon to intercede in the workings of the universe, it’s the Universe itself, and its henchman, Chance, that is challenged to prove it deserves a leading role in the play fueled by the delusions of people.

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By the way, no new photos here. Processed differently, yes, but all have appeared in previous posts.

While we have accomplished much in the three weeks since we’ve moved here (“here” — for them who don’t be in the know — is Hawai’i), one thing I’ve yet to do is write. 

I mean, I’m writing now but I’m referring to writing writing, as in writing fiction. What’s happened to me? First, I used the excuse that we just moved here. Then, I said I could not write without my big rig. Then, after everything got here, I used the excuse of not having a desk or chair. 

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Another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig. As some might recall, one of his previous challenges resulted in a short story I’m shopping around (already got one rejection, so I’m stoked). 

This time, the challenge is for a piece of Flash Fiction no more than 100 words in length.

I want you to write a story in five sentences. No more than 100 words.

You can view it, if you’d like, as:
Sentence 1: Beginning / Inciting Incident
Sentence 2: Middle
Sentence 3: Middle peak, act turn or pivot
Sentence 4: Climactic turn or twist
Sentence 5: Resolution

That is not a strict map, but rather, a reminder that a story is a story, not a snapshot: it has a beginning, a middle and an end.

That is something that can be difficult in a flash fiction piece, having all components of a story. 

I don’t know if I succeeded, but . . .