Tag Archives: flash fiction

Guest Post: Jeffree Howell

25 May

It’s that time again where I extend my hand out to a fellow writer and offer them control over the blog. Today, I leave the reigns in the very capable hands of my good friend Jeffree Howell. I’ve known Jeff for quite a while now; in fact, he and I went to high school together. I always knew he was a creative individual, but it wasn’t until we reaquainted ourselves that I began to understand the depth of his thoughts. He generally prefers a soft, yet brief style- allowing little deviation from the truth he dissects. His diction is congruent with a direct, straight-to-the-point format that is usually indicative of a naive voice. His advanced thoughts and concepts dispel that notion and illuminate the true nature of his words. They are elegant in their elementary simplicity and express a deeper meaning that is usually reserved until the final sentiments. He does not currently have a blog or other means to contact him- other than to search for him on Facebook. Without any further adieu, I present the work of Jeffree Howell

Gone Fishing

There she sits, still as an obelisk in Egypt. Calm as the dirt of Montana. Waiting for that
one nibble at her hook. The fish aren’t biting today. Something seems to have scared them off.
Perhaps it’s me. I’m not a usual sight in this park. I generally avoid nature if I can. Today is
different. Today, she asked me to come. To show me the wonders of fishing. To show me that
even though we are doing nothing, we are always doing something. For us, it is simply fishing.
Sitting here with our poles up watching the lure bob up and down. Yet, even though we’re
fishing, we really aren’t. We are really enjoying the other’s company. Reminds me of when we
met. I had been fishing in my own way. Using lines at pulling on any nibble I could find. She
hadn’t taken the bait. I had had to catch her in a net before she paid any attention to me. Since
then, she hasn’t left my side. This trip was her idea though and I went along with it. So, here I
sit, fishing like I used to and beginning to realize. I was fishing all those years looking for
something that wasn’t there. What I was always looking for was a girl who would teach me more
about myself than about feminine hygiene products. What I had been searching for wasn’t a fish.
And neither was she.

If you or someone you know would like to get some publicity by being a guest author, e-mail me with inquiries at peterlicari13@gmail.com

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Weekly Update 3: 5/22/2012

23 May

I was spot on in my prediction last week when I insisted that the now proceeding seven days were bound to be eventful. The best part, though, is that everything that happened this last week was incredible. Everything seemed to just fall into place, as if these last  few days were part of a beautiful cosmic puzzle. I had levels of unprecedented success- I didn’t even receive a single rejection slip! It’s very rare when life seems to coincide perfectly to your aspirations; I guess it was one of those weeks that made me excited for present prospects and for future opportunities. Of course, if I want to continue to improve my luck, I need to continually work hard  to improve my skill set. One must never rest on the accomplishments of the past if he wants to be remembered. It’s a curiosity actually: the more one pushes into the future, the more they solidify their eternal legacy.

Short Stories:

Here again, Eden is taking precedent. I swear, this story is like a stubborn college -grad refusing to move out of the basement. It still hasn’t been accepted by the Yahoo Contributor Network, but it stands a really good chance at being so. The only obstacle is time- and since it is an adversary incapable of acquiring casualties, it’s probably best to just be patient. As per the usual, I’ll post up to the minute updates on twitter.

I think I’m going to call “Jumper” “The Descent.” I think it fits both the theme, subject matter, and epic twist at the end. (Enjoy the link. I saw the post and couldn’t stop laughing about it).

I’m working on another piece now that “The Descent” is done. It’s called “A Postcard From Heaven” and it’s another science fiction piece. It’s sort of dystopian, but the wording flows rather well and I’m hoping that the ending leaves an impact… Believe it or not, I actually got the inspiration behind a 9gag post. I love sites like that- it’s amalgamated creativity all packed into your computer screen.

Flash Fiction:

As I mentioned last week, one of my flash fiction pieces “I asked. He answered.” has been published. For more information follow the previous link or click here to read the story itself.

Poetry:

Finally! Poetry is getting some action! I have accepted an assignment to write a Father’s day piece. What I like is that other than the general theme, I get to choose the content matter. Which is excellent because I really love the artistic freedom given in such a construct. I must confess won’t be entirely original though; I intend to re-write a poem I completed about a six months ago titled “The House My Father Built.” Other than the title and some titular repetition, I intend to completely rework the piece. I’m really excited to pay homage to fathers with this piece- especially my own. I don’t know where I would be without the love and support of my Dad. It’s an honor to be able to articulate that to a wide audience.

Other Media:

A few friends and I decided to create a parody of the famous “Epic Rap Battles of History” series titled “Epic Math Battles of History.” We used it as an opportunity to showcase our inner nerds and put integral calculus against differential calculus. Now, the video itself is actually quite terrible (I won’t even put a link to it out of respect to your brain cells), but I will post the lyrics on notyourcommonlunacy.tumblr.com for your amusement. A friend of mine DjZeroWolf heard the song and asked if I could put some lyrics to a couple of his mixes. I’m seriously considering it too if I have some free time. Why not add song-writer to the repertoire?

Articles:

The article on Yahoo has been accepted- and I even received a few dollars out of it!

The Cracked article hasn’t been submitted yet; honestly I ran out of hours last week. I’m excited to post it and hopefully inspire readers through humor.

Other:

My novel has finally finished its editing and now I move forward towards self-publication. At this point, the only thing remaining is to create a cover and then publish it. I’m debating as to whether or not I should do it myself. Most likely, I’ll end up giving it to my friend Iresha who’s a close friend and a fantastic artist. One has to remember their friends if they want to go far in life. Not only are they invaluable connections, but they’re the people who’ll sit down and trudge through your manuscripts and be your biggest fans. Keep them close.

Hey, this list is never too full. If you have an article you need written, or are in search of a flexible freelance writer, e-mail me at peterlicari13@gmail.com.

Post: I asked. He answered.

19 May

Great news! I had another flash fiction piece published!

Granted, I don’t get any financial compensation but the pride I receive in being published makes it worth it. An old sage once said “if you love something, you’ll do it for free.” And while I’d love to be able to make money writing (hence why you can email me to request my freelancing services), I have no qualms about gaining readership by writing for free initially.

However, if there’s one thing I do hold qualms over it’s the destruction of literature by relentlessly pursuing hidden meanings. Granted, as a writer, I will tell you unabashedly that every piece I write and submit for publication has symbolism. That being said, it doesn’t need to be beat to death by an analytical mob. Sometimes water means rebirth, sometimes it means cleansing. Other times, it means the characters are bloody thirsty. One of the most execrable sins against literature is to distort the intentions of the author by over-analyzing his words. Taking words and applying them to one’s personal meaning is one thing; that’s what it means to be art. Insisting that one’s personal view is somehow the sole intrinsic truth within the piece is egregious. So, in order to solve this and make sure that my meanings are clear to prevent future convolution, I am recording my thought processes and intentions. Not to limit the scope of the reader, but to allow them to understand the piece under a different paradigm and perhaps gain a deeper appreciation of it.

The name of the piece is “I asked. He answered.” And like numerous other flash fictions pieces, the title is imperative. The idea is to set the premise that you, the reader, is the primary actor within the play. When you are the actor, when you are the individual asking the question and receiving the answer, there is a psychological predisposition to feel a connection to the piece itself.

Right off the bat, there is entirely a different speaker presented. Why? Why would I go through all the trouble of initiating you as a character and then put another individual within the spotlight? It seems counter-intuitive. That’s fine. It’s how I want it to seem. But I want for you to feel deeply connected, as if you should be in the spotlight. You should have center stage. Damn it, you deserve center stage! Who the hell does this character think he is? He’s not real, he’s a figment of my imagination- you’re an inhabitant of reality. You’re above this creation. At least you feel that way. I want you to carry this primed sensation of superiority.

But what he tells you is confusing. He explains to you that he is indifferent to being imprisoned even if you would want him to feel stronger emotions. This configurations of sentiments is meant to be primordially empowering. This entity which you wanted beneath you has been revealed to be just that. His insistence that you want more though indicates that you are in control. He may be in the spotlight, but you control the light. His indifference does put you off, but the dualistically open-ended and resolute nature to his first assertion entices you to know more.

His last sentence is what gets you. It’s a sucker punch in twelve words. You realize that he isn’t giving the staunch callousness of assumed superiority. He’s demure in subservience. The spotlight is his prison and you are his captor. You realize here that you asked him a question as a tyrannical overseer. And that he answered as a stronger man than most could ever be.

This isn’t meant to make you feel inferior or guilty. The piece is meant to shock the system with the rapid change between two extremes. On the one hand, you feel primal power and jealousy. On the other, within a few syllables, you feel incredible guilt. This almost immediate transition of extremes is indeed reflected in the title. “I asked. He answered.” Notice how the second sentence is the complete opposite of the first? This is the hint at what the piece aimed for. As I said before, the title is extremely important.

Even the wording primes for this awkward transition. Notice the sharp assonance in the first sentence and yet how it simultaneously refuses to flow. As if it could possibly be what you want, yet it sub-textually refuses to do so. Everything about this piece was designed to simulate the sudden departure of power and the immediate transition between two extremes.

Where you choose to go from here with this play on extremes is entirely your licence as a reader. I hope you enjoy it.

Weekly Update 2

16 May

These last seven days have been utterly loaded with new opportunities. I created numerous pieces and dove into a few opportunities at getting my work out there more (remember to help by sharing Caustic Cookies with your friends!). The end result is that, by this time next week, I’ll either have a lot of good news or rejection slips. Regardless, it’s full steam ahead. Trying times and enticing excitement await just beyond the daybreak.

Short Stories:

First and foremost, “Eden” got rejected. Hold your tears of sadness and wailing disappointment; there’s good news! I decided to join the Yahoo Contributor Network. Why? Because it provides a way to show you, the viewers, my work and get a little bit of money just by you going to the page itself. Everyone wins! So the Contributor Network will act as a back-up for certain works if there doesn’t appear to be an appropriate niche for it. And it very well could act as the primary launching platform for a few pieces to come. Eden will be uploaded in later today. I’ll post on Twitter when the content is uploaded.

I am still working on “Jumper.” Unfortunately, the name is not resolving itself well. I know that there’s a name for it (it’s itching at the back of my mind like cat’s claws on screen doors), it just hasn’t come yet. However, if it ever does, Armchair Shotgun is the current place I imagine it ending up.

Flash Fiction:

I wrote a 24 word story for Espresso Stories just last night and I’m hoping it’ll be accepted. I love flash fiction; it challenges authors to create in an extremely limited format. The 25 word or less format of Espresso keeps me on my toes. If this is accepted, it will be the third work that has been featured on the site.

I also completed a first person piece that runs under a couple-hundred words. I consider it to be an experimental piece focused around the connotative ability of not only words, but of the syllables which compose them. The theme of the work is melancholy and I will release it on the Contributor network on Friday.

Poetry:

I still currently don’t have any poetry works in progress.

Other Media:

The photography project on duality is done, fin, completed- finished! It will be posted in my other blog (notyourcommonlunacy.tumblr.com) soon.

Articles:

I have just submitted an article based around my athletic pursuits to Yahoo. Hopefully, it will be accepted and published soon. Fingers crossed, right?

The Cracked article is making some serious headway. I’ve finished almost all of the research and I’m looking to submit it and all of its sarcastic glory by sunday at the latest.

Other:

In a bit of fun, I decided to submit a definition of “Date” to the Urban Dictionary. It came about while talking to one of my girlfriend’s friends about  setting her up with one of mine. In a bout of nervousness, she told me she had been so busy with her job and familial responsibilities that she didn’t “remember what a date [was].” So I gave her the definition as both a joke and an inspirational reminder. Afterwards, she insisted that I submit it and share it with the world. Who says you having a little fun with writing isn’t constructive?

 

Hey, this list is never too full. If you have an article you need written, or are in search of a flexible freelance writer, e-mail me at peterlicari13@gmail.com.