Short and Flashy

Time is against me. Ok, it’s against all of us. I blame society … I’ve been trying to catch up on reading/living this year and have revisited or been reading some classic scifi. Which is good. But someone pulled me up on a list of books I posted on Ello the other day and asked, what about something more contemporary? My argument was that some of them were contemporary … when I read them … Anyway, the end result is that I now have a nice list of books to read and authors to discover.

Harry Tuttle, Modern Cave Dweller, Scifi, Flash fiction, Short storiesThat is not to say that I haven’t been reading contemporaries. So, while I’m distracted, here are a few things that really rocked my reading world in the last few weeks. Immersion, by Aliette de Bodard (on Clarkesworld) is possibly the best thing I have read in a long time. Also on Clarkesworld, A.C. Wise’s The Children of Main Street – actually, I’m not going to say anything. It’s a short. Read it in 10 minutes and be immensely satisfied. Somewhere in between Flash and Short story is Lacarant Plainer‘s “space opera flash fiction” serial Mission Impossible. Currently up to episode 10 and cruising along wonderfully. Okay, where was I? So that’s reading, what about writing?

Writing is following much the same path – I am not finding enough time to write. Ok, that’s is a crap excuse for a writer but I have to live with the fact – for the moment – that it is not my full time job. If I was in an overly honest mood, I would also say that my writing is not so good. There! I was honest. Actually, what did you expect? That I’d start writing at level-Vonnegut? I need practice. I need to work on the tools. I need to write.

Yes! So that is why I am focusing my time, what there is of it, on short stories and flash fiction. Reading and writing. This way I am catching up with some contemporary authors, reading more widely, and learning the craft faster than I would piecing together a read through a full length novel. In writing Shorts and Flash I can also set myself more realistic goals and challenges and get more immediate feedback on what I am doing.

I would be surprised if this was an unusual approach, I’m simply admitting to it. I have the ideas, I’m just saving you the pain of reading crap and taking short, flashy, steps towards expressing that and telling you my stories. Soon.