1. Because I can.
2. Because I want to.
3. Because, at my age, it might be considered strange to have imaginary friends.
4. Because, through writing, I have come to know myself better.
5. Because I feel I have something to say.
6. Because I love to tell stories and share some of my deepest thoughts.
7. Because it is a form of expression that I can take my time to formulate.
8. Because I want to be heard and understood.
9. Because I want something left to show that once I existed.
10. Because I want others to experience how I feel when an author moves me.
I’ve listed, in no particular order, ten out of the many reasons I write. You’ll notice that I haven’t said ‘because I have to make a living’; that’s because, currently, if I were to depend on the income from my writing to live on I wouldn’t be (living). And I haven’t listed ‘because I have no choice: writers write’; I feel that’s a given. They are just two more of the plethora of reasons you may have for writing
Articles and posts, short stories and flash fiction; why do we bother? For some they may be the only literary channel they have time for, for others they are tools by which to hone and sharpen skills. For me personally, they serve as outlets whereby I might tempt those readers who do not know my work into looking a little further, checking out my website and sampling my wares.
Making the time, widening my focus, albeit temporarily, to encompass all of the above (for this purpose I might as well include social networking in the mix) takes me away from my main objective (completing and publishing my next book). On the other hand, if I had more time ‒ for instance if I didn’t need to supplement my income in pursuits other than literary ‒ enabling more involvement in all of the above, including social networking, I would perhaps be generating more income from my literary work.
On occasion, when a couple of things come together, just for fun I enter the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction competition.
Firstly I have to have an hour or two spare. Yeah, yeah I know it’s only 250 words or less but I’m a slow writer: it takes me a while to get the story ‒ which generally comes alive in my mind fully formed ‒ from my head onto the page in a fully coherent 250 words or less.
Secondly, the Flash Fiction prompting photo and intro tag have to immediately inspire a story. Yeah, yeah (again) I know I’m supposed to be a fiction writer and that’s what writers do isn’t it: with their weird, expansive imaginations, they make up stuff. I guess I must be a lazy writer because unless inspiration grabs me I figure it isn’t worth the effort. I’m afraid I’d make a lousy journalist.
Everyone knows the IU Flash Fiction is just a bit of fun; I mean a lot of the entries are really good, as I believe mine are ‒ this is my post so I’m allowed to blow my own horn – but we all know that. .
To assure your immortalisation in the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology what you really need to do, besides write a great story, is to get as many people as possible to actually check out your Flash Fiction entry and then give you their VOTE!
My point is that it is just for a bit of fun, an exercise; although I must admit that I did think it might be nice to have one of those stories reach the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology, particularly as I am one of the IU contributing authors. So, I thought what I might do is email the link to all my friends (both of them… just joking!) and ask them to check out the Flash Fiction stories, pick out whichever one they thought was the best, and vote for me (like I said this is my post).
Of course the timing has to be right: I have to send out the (mass) emails with the link, on the day of the voting, in plenty of time for them to vote. Since deciding that I wanted to appear in the IUFF Anthology, not only have I not managed to do the mail-out, I’ve missed the voting altogether, twice.
Anyway, I thought I might as well post it here. So, without further ado, the flash fiction that never even reached the starting line: ‘Snowman’.
Tom was looking forward to his slippers, a crackling fire, and Irish coffee Marilyn always had ready for him on these bitter, cold nights; he could almost smell the whiskey, spiced coffee. He’d be home soon… his wife would fuss, Marilyn always did, taking off his boots, rubbing his cold feet before slipping them into sheepskin slippers, while he sipped the warming ambrosia.
Spying a Mustang, marooned in a snow drift, he groaned... “Goddamit! Why do folks come out in this weather anyway? It’s got to be thirty below!” Pulling abreast, the passenger appeared to be snuggling up to the driver for warmth. Grudgingly lowering his window, admitting the freezing wind, he called out, “Hey there… d’you guys need help?”
It was almost impossible to see any detail, but there was no movement. That’s when he remembered his sergeant’s parting words, “It looks like ‘Snowman’ weather, stay frosty,” and the butterflies commenced. Tom Dewit had un-holstered his service Beretta only twice in his fifteen years as a State Trooper.
Beretta in hand, Tom peered into the Mustang’s dark interior, and was suddenly struggling to retain the contents of his stomach. Tearing his eyes from the mess that was once the driver’s face ̶ Snowman’s calling card… the dreaded serial killer was back ̶ looking around uneasily, gripping the gun with both hands, unable to see the passenger’s face, he trudged around to the other side and as he peered in… BLAM!... Snowman blew off his face…