Thursday, August 9, 2007

~Rah, Rah, Har, Har! by Cynthia~

My mother was a cheerleader. She wanted me to be one because I was shy. Now I'm bending over as I support two people on my back. If I make the wrong move, the girls on top of me fall. It's too much responsibility. Actually, right now, the thought of them tumbling down doesn't seem so bad.

How does this help me?

Now I have to laugh with girls I don't care about, and giggle at the idiotic jokes the jocks make.

Help me. Get me out of here.

Mom, this isn't fair.

***Management Notice: Thank You Cynthia! You are the first winner of Raincoat Flashers. Thanks for playing. Let's talk bio and title next week?***

What is sudden fiction, anyway?

My collegiate mentor, postmodernist author Robert Kelly, taught a course at Bard College called Sudden Fiction. Ten years later, he may still teach it. The goal of the course was to produce fictions so short they were Sudden!

Sudden fiction is known by many names, including flash fiction, short-short fiction, and so on. However, defining this style (or defining these styles) is difficult. While there are really no hard-and-fast rules, here are the guidelines.

Sudden fiction is often:

-Short, usually under a page
-Boiled down to a sensuous reduction, like the metamorphosis from sap to maple syrup
-Unconventionally styled, a close cousin to poetry

From a philosophical standpoint, some authors see these gems as simply microscopic short stories, with a traditional plot and character development. Others get experimental. Regardless of its definition, sudden fiction makes a play to capture the imagination in a modern moment. It imposes an incredible constraint on authors to get to the point quickly, while using all our wiles to express something powerful in a short amount of physical space.

If you are interested, join me at Raincoat Flashers, whether you are an experienced author or (like me) just a weekend warrior. Not only is sudden fiction fun to write, it's fun to read!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What is a raincoat flasher?

A raincoat flasher is a participant in this blog contest. Our inspiration for the title is an experience we had as a child. We dressed up in our raincoat and little yellow rubber boots, and nothing else, and went to flash the neighbors. We must have seen it on t.v. Anyhow, this kind of little vignette can be easily worked into a sudden fiction.

Every few days we'll post a picture for inspiration. Then we'll accept sudden fiction entries. Post the entry as a comment to the picture. The winning entry is posted in this blog, along with a short bio of the author. If nobody enters a contest within a week, we'll post my own sudden fiction to accompany the picture.Then the world is free to comment on our work.

  • Frequent entrants can earn the right to become regular contributors.
  • Send us evocative pictures as you wish (no porn).
  • Details to follow in the next few days!