Monthly Archives: May 2012

#fridayshorts

One of the things I love about Friday is #fridayshorts. It’s a short-short story competition thing from the NZ Book Council.

We began the #fridayshorts hashtag in July 2010, with the advent of our twitter account and nothing better to do on a Friday. The rules are simple – take the six words, put them in a 140-character tweet, and hope to win the kudos at the end of it. No prizes, but loads of satisfaction for wordsmiths.

I was late in picking up on this. It’s become a must-do-(if-I-like-the-words) for my Friday lunchtime.

Here are some of my own #fridayshorts that I particularly like.

Unknown date*
catastrophe, rockstar,
palm, 1.45am, flap, bison

1.45am. Palms on the rockstar’s bison tattoo, I gently push him off the ledge. His shirt flaps as he falls. catastrophe averted. #fridayshorts

9 March 2012
bride, carrot, camp, pie, diabolical, chill

The camp was chilly. ???Sweetie-pie??? murmured the bride only to be met by a diabolical snore. She eyed the carrot speculatively. #fridayshorts

27 April 2012
monocle, rain, drawer, porridge, elegant, care

There’s porridge in the drawer. A monocle on the floor. Rain comes in the window. An elegant setting for a careful murder. #fridayshorts

4 May 2012
cookie, crowd, natural, ram, hypocrite, revive.

???Cookie activated, RAM unaffected.??? ???OK, revive the hypocrite.Remember-look natural. Exit the building, blend with the crowd.” #fridayshorts**

11 May 2012
jam, card, disciple, terrier, chilled, moist

Chilled, a terrier barking & a moist napkin jammed in my mouth, I thought ???This is not what the card said.??? <Disciple offered> #fridayshorts ***

I think there are definite themes that emerge.
1. I like to go for the unexpected.
2. I like something with a bit of drama.

I like to set up a situation that has drama inherent in it. There’s Murder! There’s Sex! There’s Subterfuge! It’s a shortcut to interesting. The stories are short enough that they allow the reader’s brain to fill in the story around the words. How far will the rockstar fall? Why is the groom asleep? What is on the napkin to make it moist?

I also have this tendency in Improv. Washing the dishes? Let’s talk about the murder you committed. There are dogs running through a forrest? Well obviously they are running from a dragon. It’s not so appropriate in this case. I know there’s drama in everyday happenings. I just can’t seem to let it develop naturally. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve noticed that I panic and say the craziest thing possible. Identify, Rectify. Right? #LearningProcess #NeedMorePractice

* My first winning #fridayshorts which was very excitingso it’s pretty poor that I can’t even remember the date.
** I wrote this on the day of the asset sales protest hikoi in Wellington, and during the week that John Banks was outed as receiving donations from Kim Dotcom.
***This is a spelling joke. Just in case you didn’t get it. Sadly, NZ Book Council didn’t get it either (as in, ‘did not see it’) so it wasn’t part of the judging process.

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