My Creative Process

My gifted writing friend Ailsa Abraham tagged me, and asked if I’d join this blog hop. I’m supposed to answer four questions, and then nominate three others to share their creative processes, if they wish. I have no problem with this. So, here goes.

1. What are you working on?

That depends. How do you define working? I actually have a work in progress (WIP), but I’ve been at a dead stop working on it for over a month now, due to life. Life seems to get in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?

My WIPs title is The White Witch. The story of Mystica (a fairy), who becomes known as the White Witch. I wrote the original framework for NaNoWriMo 2011, and am finally working to clean it up. I fully expect to self publish it, when I finish, which will cause me to ask questions of my writing friends, and learn how to put a publishable story together.

According to my Psychiatrist, I’m supposed to have the story completed by NaNoWriMo 2014. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, look out JuNoWriMo 2014, when I’ll be making a big push on the story.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Honest answer. I have no idea. It’s a fantasy, except it’s not a fantasy. It’s actually science fiction, although that isn’t apparent in The White Witch. It has dragons. But they’re not the giant, fire-breathing kind. It has fairies, but they live in a kingdom. It has villages of humans, and of fairies, and of both.

How is it different from others in the same genre? I’m writing it. How’s that for an answer? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be explaining myself in the next two questions.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I write what I write because it feels like I’m doing what I’m meant to do. It has nothing to do with the mythical creations of right and wrong. Nothing to do with fame. Nothing to do with following a dream. None of those normal person reasons. I write what I write because it’s what’s inside of me, and writing is the only way I’ve found to bring what’s inside to the outside, where I can see it. I don’t write to make social commentary, or to create a marketable, and profitable, product. I write, because it’s in my blood. Because it’s part of how I cope with the world I live in, part of how I grow my understanding of this world, part of how I learn. What I learn about people, what I understand about life, becomes visible to me in what I write. That’s why I write what I write.

4. How does your writing process work?

Magic. There’s actually a technical way to describe how I write. In the field of Computer Science there’s a system development method known as bottom up development. Simplified, bottom up development consists of developing tiny parts of the full product. Developers write the parts independently from each other, and lay the foundation for putting the parts together, to build the product

This is how I write. I write flash fiction pieces. I write flash fiction stories. They happen in random time order. As they collect, I string them together into a proper sequence of events, thus building a story from the bottom up. Building a story from pieces, each of which started independent of the others.

I don’t craft a big plot, with an outline, and a timeline. I don’t map out the characters I’ll have in the story before they show up in the parts. I write the parts, and fit them together into a story. I described my NaNoWriMo 2013 effort as making a movie. Write scenes in the order they happened in my head. Then, glue them together into a cohesive whole.

My nominees:


In short, I don’t have any. But, if you’d like to share your creative process, feel free to join in.


#FSF : Home

They say home is where your heart is. But what if you don’t feel anything? If your heart is frozen and lifeless, like stone, where is your home? I opened the door to my car, and stepped out, into my driveway. Knowing I had no home.

Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Home.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#FlashFriday Week 10 : The Tape On The Floor


The Flash! Friday Week 10 Prompt

I stood where the tape said stand. Couldn’t see a damn thing with those lights shining right on me. Knew I going to die, but I didn’t really have a choice. The text messages said I was to be there, alone, unarmed, hands visible, at 0145 hours, or no one would ever see her alive gain.

Hell, I hadn’t even had to think about it. They knew I’d show up, and I knew I’d never walk away from the tape mark on the floor. But she’d be safe, they’d let her go.

I’d taught them well.

She’d asked me to walk away from my profession. Start a new life. With her. I’d told her no one ever walks away. I told her what would happen. They’d find her, take her, use her to draw me in. And then, make sure the group remained safe.

But she asked anyway. I could never say no to her.

They say there’s no honor among thieves. They’re wrong. We have our own brand of honor, and justice. Yeah, they’d shoot me, and then make sure I was dead. That was our oath. To protect the others. No one ever left the group alive.

But I knew, standing on that tape mark, she was someplace else, someplace safe, and wouldn’t have to watch. I just wished I’d had the chance to say good-bye.

This is my response to the #FlashFriday Week 10 prompt. Thanks to Rebekah Postupak for hosting #FlashFriday each week. Now, go read the other entries in this week’s challenge. Have fun.

#MondayMixer : Living In An Outdoor Oubliette

Living in that outdoor oubliette for twelve months was not always fun. It had good moments, like when the sun shined through the grate above my head. I got the hear the wind, the rustling of the tree leaves, the howling of dogs, the meowing of cats, even the songs of several shrikes. When the three vocalized in unison it did get rather discordant, although quite humorous to listen to.

It was not all fun, however. I’d been ankle-deep in water at one point. And in that cave, water took forever to evaporate. Nor shall I forget the day I was looking up at the sun when a big dollop of bird pooh fell from the sky. It was days before it rained enough I could wash my face.

I will never forget that winter, living in my outdoor oubliette and the experience of frost upon its stone.

150 words.

I wrote this little ditty for Jeffery Hollar‘s weekly Monday Mixer flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in this week’s challenge. They are all well crafted.

#FSF : Ringing

If I pay attention, I hear the ringing, no matter where I am, or what I’m doing, and even in my sleep. I know many people who couldn’t live with the constant ringing I hear, the constant high-pitched ringing that never ends, never fades, never lets up; it would drive them crazy. They’re not me, I know, and they lack the ability to decide the ringing is normal, to decide it’s supposed to be there all the time, to decide to ignore it like I do. I can make it so many things, like crickets singing in the night, an invasion of cicadas, the sound of fluorescent lights, aliens that are talking to me, if I could only understand them. The endless ringing is tinnitus, there is no cure, so I have chosen to live with it, to make it part of life, to worry if I don’t hear the unending ringing in my ears, knowing something will have changed if that ringing ever goes away.

Here’s my second attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s weekly flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is ringing.

Please, go read all the other entries to this weeks Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#BCF : Month 2, Prompt 1 – It Was All A Lie


I wrote this for Business Card Fiction, Month 2, Prompt 1. Please go read all the other entries in this round of Business Card Fiction. They are all well written, well crafted little pieces of art. You can links to them all here:

Business Card Fiction, Month 2, Prompt 1, Judged by J. M. Blackman

#SVWFlash : Week 6 watched as 280,000 miles away, a 15 kilometer diameter asteroid collided with our home. Earth. It was beautiful to watch. We knew everyone and everything was gone. Except us, standing on the moon. When our oxygen supplies were exhausted we’d asphyxiate. The human race would be extinct.

I wrote this in response to the prompt for the 6th SVW Flash weekly challenge. All entries are 50 words, exactly. Please go read all the entries. You may be surprised at what some gifted people can do with just 50 words.

#ThursThreads 53 : And She Was All Mine

I stood next to her. Facing her. I let my eyes trace every line. Every curve. I closed my eyes, and slowly inhaled. Her being there was a dream come true. A fantasy brought to life. She was grace, and elegance brought to life. I extended my hand, letting my fingertips lightly touch her, tracing her curves. I wanted to know every curve by heart. I walked around her, my fingers barely contacting her. She was a work of art. My pulse raced as I circled her. My senses drinking her in.
She was heavenly.

She was mine.

The first time I met her was in the woods, the day I’d started looking for someone new. I’d driven all over town. Then all over the countryside. And found nothing. Everything was the same. Until I found that place in the woods. In the last place I’d have ever looked for it. And there she was. Resting next to an oak. Rays of sunlight filtering through the leaves and branches, highlighting her features.

I fell in love in that moment.

I had to have her.

It took three months. Three months to work out the financial details. Three months of negotiating. Three months of planning. I did whatever I had to do to get her. To make her mine. And in the end, there she was. Sitting in my driveway. A black metal work of art, with a hand stitched leather interior.

And she was all mine.

This is my entry into Siobhan Muir’s 53rd #ThursThreads flash fiction challenge. I read the prompt this week (The first time I met her was in the woods.) And I couldn’t resist the thought that just popped into my head. That said, go read all the entries this week. You can find them here:

#ThursThreads Week 50 : You Don’t See Us Whining

I looked at the axe I was carrying, observing the razor-sharp blade at its top. Moses spoke. “You know what to do, don’t you?”

Abraham answered him. “Of course, he knows!”

“Shut up!” I hissed. “You’re making me nervous!” Even I could hear the tension and anger in my voice. “Shut up!” I leaned the axe against the wall of the garage.

Moses smiled that kind, understanding smile of his. “Do you want me to do this?”

I pulled my ski mask over my head, making sure it covered all of my face. “No. I’ll do it.”

Abraham whispered, “Now, remember, Kevin. Stay calm.”

I pulled my work gloves over my hands. “I am calm!” I hissed. “Now, shut up, and let me do this.” I picked up the axe. I quietly opened the door connecting the garage to the house, slowly made my way through the Kitchen and Living Room, then down the hall, past my bedroom, and the bathroom. I opened the door to their bedroom. I stopped. “Lilly is really pretty,” I whispered. “Do I have to do this?”

Moses sighed. “Yes. You have to.”

Abraham whispered again, “You don’t hear us whining about it, do you?”

“Maybe I could just do this to Stephen?”

Abraham shook his head, “No. It has to be both of them.”

Moses continued, “It’s for the best. They think we’re not real.”

I stepped into the bedroom and raised the axe. Moses and Abraham cheered with each strike I made.

I wrote this for the 50th #ThursThreads challenge, hosted, as always, by Siobhan Muir. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge. I have. I liked all of them.

#ThursThreads Week 49 – The Christmas Party

On December 25th, at 0036 hours, the manager of the Best Buy turned on the alarm system and locked the doors. All the employees were spending Christmas Day with their families and friends.

At 0037 hours, the ASUS G75WW lit up. A few seconds later, it belted out, “All clear! Christmas Party time!” Every screen in the store lit up. Laptops, the all-in-ones, smart TVs, smart phones, tablets and music players.

An iPad Mini belted out, “Christmas Tree drawing challenge!” The Android tablets whined, “You have Retina displays!” The Asus Vivo’s answered back, “You don’t hear us whining!” The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 proclaimed, “It’s about creativity, not pixel counts!”, and commenced drawing a tie-died Christmas Tree.

The ultrabooks challenged the G75WW to a speed drawing contest. “We have solid state drives! And Core i7 processors! We’re faster than you!” The G75WW cranked up the volume on the Christmas Music from Pandora. “I got more horsepower than all of you!”. It rendered dazzling images of flowers, forests, waterfalls, and other stuff at staggering speeds.

Through it all, the Chromebook sat on its stand, A sad face on its display. Little pixilated  tears tracking down its Google Blue cheeks. “I wish I could have fun with them,” it thought. “But I’m useless without the Internet.” After a time the Chromebook  thought, “Doesn’t matter. I’m the only one left. Thank God for Sleep Mode,” it thought, as it shut itself down.


This is what I came up with today for the weekly #ThursThreads flash fiction challenge hosted by Siobhan Muir. I hope you will visit the site, and read all the entries. I enjoyed them all.

And yes. I do believe I’ve been watching too many movies rendered by Pixar lately…