The Man who walked backwardsFor thirty years, Praveen had only walked backwards.The Man who walked backwards by BeccaJS
Through the city, he spent every day pacing the streets making scribbles in his notepads. He didn’t pay attention to the confused expressions of passers-by anymore.
He didn’t care for the comments, the questions or even the accusations of madness. He heard all their theories to why and even their concerns to his ability to walk forwards.
He continued to walk on, backwards.
Sometimes people would join in and walk backwards alongside him. It wouldn’t take long before they’d give up, realising the art meant crossing roads and dodging lampposts. He’d glance at them pointing their smartphones at his face as they filmed him with fascination, sometimes breaking a smile to let them know he understood.
Sometimes he would answer their questions. He walked away watching their confused expressions as they tried to understand his answers.
He did explain to a journalist once. He told her he’d taken this vow thir
OverworkedWe set aside a time, one hour for a meeting;Overworked by BeccaJS
our search for a room hindered by our search
for the solution.
Can we set aside a day
for creation and have a canvas we can all paint on
at the same time in the same room
and order ice cream or chip-shop chips
whilst we make our master design?
Then do you think we can turn our idea
into a real life innovation?
Or do we continue to scavenge old buildings
for neglected conference rooms once
booked by occupants no longer present. Do
we panic about the problem and confirm
we are in shit before we've truly understood
the colour, depth, and complexity of the shit?
Do you think we could stick to our plans and
do what we say we will do when we do it? We
go home on time and drink gin-and-tonic in
a local beer garden, enjoying the warm sun instead
of an overheated, over-exhausted office.
Machine WindWind tip-tapping againstMachine Wind by BeccaJS
desperate to attract attention,
off desolate rooftops
where there's no blue skies
but the lingering pollution of
The wind infers longing, where they once worked,
sweeping each corner in search of their presence
or past existence, a distance too far
of just what happened and why now absent.
Still tipping and raising the alarm,
there must be someone there-
a twisted gust takes one more lap of hope.
no more than hope.
Walking with a ToddlerSlow he may be, plodding gentle hisWalking with a Toddler by BeccaJS
tiny legs. Each stick is a new
exploration three steps to
“come on” you shout as he trots over
gravel laughing delighted at the crunch-crunch
beneath his feet
and back again.
A dog bounds by, so much energy that
it sparks fear in the little trekker as
he clings to your leg, begging to be lifted.
Arms wrapped around his world,
he points at the sky, tells you its blue.
The Execution of Judy MonroeIn glamour, in glitter-infested HollywoodThe Execution of Judy Monroe by BeccaJS
the movie star Judy Monroe’s almond eyes; coaled melodramatic,
tilt towards the camera.
The executioner motions forward;
a tall man, no guardian angel.
She watches his movement; spiteful, hated as he proudly glides
to prep for the grand finale.
A prayer to God with no love, each lens focused on her.
Black and white replaced by orange overalls.
She was found,
She was judged,
And Judy Monroe will be judged
Until opulence is extinguished and her dimpled cheeks sallow
and her pretty head drops.
When the tall man grazes her last touch,
leather grasps her wrists tight.
the poison plunges and she falls before them all:
behold her final bow.
release and exhale.
If You Could Write A Letter To Yourself... Letters-To-MyselfIf You Could Write A Letter To Yourself... by Kaz-D
Writing is a tool that so many of us have but rarely use. And in the Deviantart community Literature is often overlooked and forgotten because, after all, we can often understand visuals quicker and easier than deciphering verse or prose.
Although my focus this year and last year has been primarily on Abstract and Surreal Photography I very much have a hand in the Literature community which I frequently like to wave about and magic up new ideas with. Recently we launched the second Letters To Myself contest -> http://news.deviantart.com/article/134823/ This time the brief was much broader and instead of focusing on a younger self we have allowed all participants to write to any age, past present or future, that they wish. You can find all rules and regs at that link.
So if you're not one for new years resolutions, and you're not one for writing to d
eclipse.my eyes well-up constellations for you,
they shine bright. though my tears aren't precious anymore,
far too common for the tormenting night.
whoever told you about those squinting stars?
they strain to see those in this world;
gifted yet challenged by the sun and the moon.
and if all of earth's paradoxes were to stand up like soldiers,
we would be out of place.
try not to cry about such trivial matters
and live life as if we will not die.
and if such aspects are set in stone,
why does our molten flow so smoothly as
we seep out venus' volcano of infidelity and trust?
and they tell us that lust leads to consequences.
our brightness attracts those moths who perish in our heat.
we give a warm welcome to everything that we
untitledThat guy thinks he's heartless;
I watch him as he buys coffee
and gives it to everybody he passes
on the street who looks sad, and
his lips curl into a smile because
he made a joke that gave someone a laugh.
He holds his mother's hand on top
of hospital sheets, pressing the button
to pump morphine into her system
before he signals a nurse. Tears cascade
down his face when he watches
his mother take her last breath.
And his lips curl into a sneer as he walks
past a cloud of lung choking smoke,
thinking of the fume filled air
his mother suffocated herself in.
He thinks he's heartless, but
his heart is bigger than anyone's.
July marks the start of Flash Fiction Month- a creative challenge to complete 31 pieces of flash fiction, 1 for every day in July. It is a great way to stretch your writing fingers and maybe write pieces you would never have written before. It is about getting in regular writing and creating some potentially awesome first drafts for pieces that are worth developing.
Flash fiction is all about brevity in word count whilst still telling a fully rounded story. Although there isn’t a restriction of word count, it’s best to look between 25 and 1000 words. For FFM, keep in mind restriction and challenge yourself with amounts varying at different word counts.
If you have decided already to participate in this challenge, there is work to be done before July begins! Like any good writer, sometimes a bit of planning can go a long way!
The best help you can get is by helping yourself! However here are some tips for preparation:
Plan ahead on your approach to FFM. Are you planning on going out random, or is there a theme/structure to your writing choices? What about allocating yourself time to write in your day? If you work full time like me, could you use a lunch break or a commute to write? Some people like to use spreadsheets and calendars to prepare themselves- it’s entirely up to you but a good plan could save you on the days you are struggling to write something.
Start collecting ideas early; whether you get a Pinterest board of prompts or start a collection of interesting art on here you feel has story potential. Get a notebook that’s dedicated to FFM and start making notes in it- whether this is just single words or fuller ideas. Take notebook everywhere, even on a first date! Your notebook could be the very place you start actually writing your stories in.
Dig into the past of dA- are there contests or workshops you never entered that actually have really good prompts to kick start you? Maybe there are some current ones you could enter at the same time as this challenge? It doesn’t matter how many years old the prompt it, it can still be valuable to use! Why not look at past years’ Flash-Fic-Month directory or prompts?
Read useful articles like these goldmines:
I am sure you can find others- if so let me know and I will add it to this list!
Read good dA articles like these:
What is Flash Fiction?It was recently asked of me to describe to an audience of writers what flash fiction was. When I read my first piece of flash, I couldn't begin to answer that question, and now after writing almost nothing but flash for the past two years it's still hard for me to define. I find that while I've developed a set of skills to create flash, I can only really define it by the process by which I create it. I start with a complete and fully formed short story, and then ruthlessly carve away most of it. I consider the editing rule I was given when I started down this path; 'Cut all of what you don't need and half of what you do.' What remains is the essence of that whole story, with all it's structure and key elements intact, but devoid of anything that doesn't absolutely have to be there. That which remains, is flash. Looking for something more substantial in the way of a definition, I asked the person who'd given me that editing advice, Kathy Kachelries aka
Tips For Writing Flash Fictionby Stephen R. Smith with excerpts by Kathy Kachelries
In order to improve as a writer, you need feedback. It's difficult to write something the size of a novel, and equally difficult to carve out the time required to read one and provide any sort of meaningful critique on it. This severely handicaps the feedback loop so important for the aspiring writer.
Flash Fiction on the other hand allows you to exercise all of your story writing and editing skills while creating works that can be read in a few minutes. This makes it ideal for examining ideas, developing writing skills and getting the feedback needed to help elevate you in your craft. Note that while Flash Fiction stories can be read in a few minutes, you shouldn't expect to write them that quickly.
Kathy Kachelries, founder of 365tomorrows, had this to say about Flash Fiction:
"The most concise and widely-cited example of flash fiction is the story Ernest Hemingway penned, allegedly to settle a bar bet: For sale: baby shoes.
Again, if I have missed some good ones, let me know and I will add!
Just add SRSmith to your watchlist and look in awe of his gallery. He has been rocking flash fiction since the dawn of time!
There is also a dedicated group Flash-Fic-Month , which we hope will be raring to go soon, so do follow it for more details!
August is for critique, September to rewrite
We are habitual writers who often want to redraft before we have completed the story. In flash fiction month, the challenge is to knock your stories out one day per story. There is nothing stopping you playing with your piece throughout the day (though if you started writing at 11pm you might be struggling!), but after that LEAVE IT ALONE. There is plenty of time to go back, we’re not in a rush. Make the most of the following months:
August: Summer holidays! Firstly, I wouldn’t recommend trying to get critique on all 31 pieces, select your strongest and work on those first. Why not spend some time acquiring and giving critique on FFM pieces? Set up a circle of writers to all co-critique 2-3 stories each and share the love. You can learn a lot from critiquing others’ work that you can apply to your own. Make sure you keep your eye out for groups that have critique events, such as CRLiterature 's critique chat nights (usually Sundays) or the literature forums monthly critique threads. There is plenty of opportunity!
September: Once you feel you have enough critique and your own thoughts on your pieces, make the most of September to really tidy those flash pieces up. Maybe you can reduce that word count even further, but still convey the same story? Still not happy after revising? Get on the critique circle again! Lather, rinse, repeat (and then prepare for NaNoWriMo in November )
Remember, there is no rush. I picked up an FFM piece I wrote last year in February to rewrite, and I am glad I did because I managed to breathe a whole new life into it. We don’t need to rush for perfection and there is plenty of time to scrub your work up.
So the main question is, are you in for this challenge? We will try keep a list of participants on this journal- maybe you can watch a few of them or use them to start that writing circle up? Don’t forget there are several lit chats including #crliterature and #writeroom.
Have you done FFM before and have any good advice or comments? Is this the first time you have heard of this challenge? Not sure whether to sign up and need some convincing? Post your thoughts below!