Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Java Code"

This week's story probably would have benefited from another draft or two. If nothing else, I would have changed four to thirty-two (years, that is), and spent fewer words describing the technology and more on Harry's state of mind. Well, live and learn.

Read "Java Code" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "A Technicality"

This is what comes of watching too much Star Trek and Law & Order.

But for the record, I never cared for either L&O:SVU or any of the CSIs. Although I did enjoy JAG briefly. And I love a good BLT. Mmm... BLT...

Read "A Technicality" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Male Woman"

Yeah... Given the occurrence of certain key words in this week's story, I'm expecting an increase in comment spam over on the 512 blog. But hey, that's why I have moderation turned on. Suck it, Russian spambots!

Read "The Male Woman" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "New Sensation"

I blame DASH2 playtesting, and Bob Schaffer in particular, for this week's random title. Now I can't get that damn INXS song out of my head.

Read "New Sensation" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Ghost Patrol"

This week's short is an excerpt from a story I'm revising for my Clarion workshop application. (I need two stories to apply; the other one will be an expanded version of "Martian Standard Time.") And yes, I did steal the title from an unrelated 2008 puzzle hunt event. Wish me luck!

Read "Ghost Patrol" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Fight or Flight"

Story's up. I'm going to bed.

Read "Fight or Flight" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Technobabble"

I was having a hell of a time writing this week's story. I'd started at least three different pieces since last week, but couldn't get traction on any of them.

Then it was after ten o'clock Thursday night, and I had to get something done. So I did.

Deadlines: 1, creativity: 0.

Read "Technobabble" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Practice"

I don't remember why, but while driving around earlier this week I wondered aloud to D what the world might be like if people were fans of things besides TV shows and movies--if, for example, there was a fandom for medical doctors. And that's where this little vignette came from.

Read "Practice" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Telling Tales Out of School"

I blame Robot Chicken for a lot of things, not the least of which is a tendency to say "What a twist!"--in a high-pitched voice, pronouncing the last word as tweest...

You know what? It'll be faster if you just watch the video:



I know, it still doesn't make any sense. That is the insidious nature of this program.

Read "Telling Tales Out of School" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Kid Who Noticed Things"

This week's "story" (it's really just an opening) is a perfect example of deadlines driving creativity: if I hadn't needed to write something by Friday, I might never have dug these pieces out of the trunk and tried to make something out of them. Now I've got several different story ideas branching out from this scene. One of them will collapse into an actual, finished piece in a couple of weeks, ready for critique and eventual submission.

Read "The Kid Who Noticed Things" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Within Sight"

Apparently one of the newer characters on Heroes can "see" certain sounds as colors. (I gave up on the show last year, so I'm a little behind.) Of course, she can also convert those sounds into concussive energy blasts. Of course. I will refrain from calling her "Deaf Dazzler:"



The medical term for this is sound-color synesthesia, and the condition has also been featured on House.

It's pretty freaky to think about what it would be like to live in a world where everything you heard was instead redirected to your sight. I'm sure that, in reality, it wouldn't be as clean as visible-spectrum colors mapping linearly from audio frequencies, but I'm a lazy writer.

Read "Within Sight" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Switch"

This week's story has nothing to do with either Blake Edwards or Steve Jobs. Just so you know up front.

Read "Switch" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction: "Little Drummer Girl"

Inspired in part by Striking 12, as you might have guessed. Happy New Year!

Read "Little Drummer Girl" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Gift of the Maggie"

A day late and a dollar short, as they say.

Read "The Gift of the Maggie" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Guards"

All I have to say is, Orson Scott Card has a lot to answer for. (And I don't just mean the homophobia.)

Read "Guards" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Stories We Tell Ourselves"

It's been a tough week. I guess I should thank Neil Gaiman for his advice: Make Good Art. Or, at the very least, try.

Read "The Stories We Tell Ourselves" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "On Orbit"

Let's get this out of the way right now:
Read "On Orbit" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Sidrav Corsol's Backstory"

Yes, I know this is a day late, but it's not like you couldn't have found this week's story otherwise. I really only post these pointers for the sake of completeness.

Read "Sidrav Corsol's Backstory" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Rieta Linbitter's Backstory"

Apologies if you stayed up late last night waiting for this week's story. Blame Ignite Portland 7.

Read "Rieta Linbitter's Backstory" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Harold & Kumar Get Left 4 Dead Once Upon A Time In Mexico"

Rights holders: Please don't sue me. Here--I'll even link to all your products! Fair use! Fair use!

Read "Harold & Kumar Get Left 4 Dead Once Upon A Time In Mexico" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Part of the Solution"

You know the old saying:

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

<mcmahon>HEYO!</mcmahon>

Read "Part of the Solution" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "IM IN UR HAUS"

This week's story incorporates part of a writing exercise from Monday's NaNoWriMo kick-off gathering. My prompt was: "Tears, snow shoveling."

Read "IM IN UR HAUS" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Monday, October 26, 2009

My Strange Love Live Interview

Last Friday night, despite host Cami Kaos' excellent guidance, I still managed to be all over the place topic-wise, and what the hell did I do to darken up my voice like that? Anyway, here I am, warts and all:



Thanks to Cami Kaos and Dr. Normal for having me on the show!

CKL

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Why You Watch"

A few weeks ago, I said to myself: "On second thought, maybe Dollhouse doesn't suck so much after all."

And then I watched "Instinct" and "Belle Chose," and I said, "I was right. It doesn't suck so much. It sucks even worse."

YMMV.

Read "Why You Watch" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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This Is It

I'm a guest on the Strange Love Live tech podcast tonight. Watch the streaming video starting at 10PM Pacific! (More details in my previous "Friday Night Live" post.)

CKL

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Broken Morning"

Please, no Brokeback Mountain jokes. That's so four years ago.

Read "Broken Morning" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Wren and the Hen and the Men in the Pen"

You may be wondering why I don't post to this blog more often, except for these promotional links to my flash fiction. The reason is because I am a lazy bastard.

Here's a quick breakdown of my various online presences:

Twitter is where most of my spewage ends up these days.

LiveJournal is where my Twitter spewage gets archived nightly, and also where I track my writing projects--which I'm going to start again in November, coincident with NaNoWriMo.

512 Words or Fewer is where I post a new short story every Friday. As you know.

CKL's HotSheet (this blog) is where DeeAnn, the cats, and I remark on things we find interesting or amusing. I tend to treat this more like a newspaper column than a journal, but I need to keep a regular schedule here.

Anyway. Here's this week's 512 story:

Read "The Wren and the Hen and the Men in the Pen" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday Night Live

Mark your calendars: On Friday, October 23rd, at 10PM Pacific, I will be a guest on Strange Love Live, a weekly online show featuring "the movers and shakers of the social web." I'm not sure I qualify for that lofty mantle, but who am I to refuse the invitation?



I first met SLL host Cami Kaos and producer Dr Normal at BarCampPortland III, the last such event to take place at the now-defunct CubeSpace. In the manner of such unconferences, they asked for any interested parties to sign up for brief interviews on that week's show, which they broadcast live from CubeSpace. I was one of the first interviewees, and I guess I didn't completely bomb. I've also seen both of them at other events since then, including CloudCampPDX and the local roller derby.

Anyhow, I will be talking about 512 Words or Fewer, writing in general, the Portland DASH and other puzzle hunts, PDX Browncoats, and whatever other random topics come up during the hour. Tune in, won't you?

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Friday Flash Fiction: "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"

Just in case you've never read any DC Comics and have no idea what I'm talking about, here are a few hints to orient yourself for this week's story:

Lois' last name is "Lane."

Clark's last name is "Kent."

"Zee" often wears a top hat and fishnet stockings.

And all of the events depicted occur outside any established continuity.

Read "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" at 512 Words or Fewer

CKL

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Wake-Up Call"

Have I really been doing this for a full year already? Wow. Time flies.

Read "Wake-Up Call" at 512 Words or Fewer

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Xenotypography"

Just last year, this might have been considered a fantasy story, as it features a Commander-in-Chief who knows about carbon dating and understands the scientific method. Now it's just science fiction! (Rimshot.)

Read "Xenotypography" at 512 Words or Fewer

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "World Trader"

This week's story went up late because I've been sick for the past few days. But it's out now.

Read "World Trader" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Newbody Does It Better"

If you like unattributed dialogue, you'll love this week's story. (Okay, I cheated by always indenting one character's lines. And you should listen to the podcast for a real trip--I had some fun with stereo effects.)

Read "Newbody Does It Better" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Armor"

My wife thought this week's story was very Connie Willis-y, which is high praise indeed. You can judge for yourself:

Read "Armor" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The World Crime League"

I know what you're thinking. They may look silly in those tin-can helmets, but you don't want to underestimate these guys. Especially not Bruce. SRSLY

Read "The World Crime League" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Don't Fence Me In"

I am not generally a fan of the Western genre, but I did love Firefly and Deadwood. And I'm starting to recognize the structure and the tropes in other works.

Outland, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Also: I recently started reading Scalped, based on a recommendation from Kurt Busiek. I liked it fine to start, but then I hit issue 10, and now I'm hooked.

Read "Don't Fence Me In" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Mutiny"

Back when Star Trek: The Next Generation was on the air, I got a little annoyed with them in the third season when they had a whole run of episodes with titles of the form "The [X]:" "The Enemy," "The Price," "The Defector," "The Hunted." The episodes themselves were still pretty good, but I felt it was lazy and uncreative of them to not choose more interesting and evocative titles.

Then, of course, in the fourth season, they started dropping the definite article altogether: "Family," "Brothers," "Legacy," "Reunion." I suspect a large part of my annoyance was because I was still in trufan mode, and longer titles made it easier for me to keep an entire episode guide in my head. It's easy to remember that "Galaxy's Child" is the one about the power-eating space creature, but "Ethics?" That could be anything. SRSLY.

Of course, now that I'm putting out a new story every week, myself, I see how unimportant the title seems as part of the overall process. All is forgiven, TNG!

Read "Mutiny" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "At the End of the Day"

Not my best story, but here it is. I haven't missed a week yet and I'm not going to start now.

Read "At the End of the Day" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Fly Like an Eagle"

I considered titling this week's story simply "The Time Machine," but I wanted something a little more interesting. (Side note: I highly recommend The Time Ships, Stephen Baxter's authorized sequel to the H.G. Wells classic.)

So why, of all the titles I could have chosen, did I go with this one? Here's a hint:



Read "Fly Like an Eagle" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Universal Language"

Of all my 512s so far, I believe this one to be the most Scalzi-esque; it would not be unfair to make comparisons between "Universal Language" and his "How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story." I wouldn't say I was directly inspired by that piece, but I definitely had its comedic-yet-sentimental tone in mind when working on this week's story. Like they say, steal from the best.

Read "Universal Language" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Zombies vs. Aliens"

You want high concept? I'll give you high concept.

Read "Zombies vs. Aliens" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Art Attack 2"

My mother once said to me: "Art is more important than food." I'm pretty sure she was joking.

Read "Art Attack 2" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Defeated"

This week: Magic!

Read "Defeated" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Kangaroo's First Day with the Eye"

This week's story features characters from Waypoint Kangaroo, the novel I'm currently revising. I still need to do a lot of restructuring and expand a few subplots, but I really enjoy writing these people.

Read "Kangaroo's First Day with the Eye" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction Twofer

I missed my regularly scheduled shameless self-promotion last week because of our travels in Europe, so I'm doubling up today:

The further adventures of Jake and Andy, futurismic detectives!
Read "The Color of Questions" at 512 Words or Fewer.

How does an overgrown script kiddie deal with the technological singularity?
Read "Ghost Machine" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Vampire Robot"

I know what you're thinking: Why would anyone build a vampire robot?

Read "Vampire Robot" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Creation Blues"

This is not my best work, but bad is better than unfinished. Yeah. I'm going to keep telling myself that.

Read "Creation Blues" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "I Can See for Miles"

This week's story is not about remote viewing. Not really. It's what we writers call a "plot device." My first draft was almost exactly 1,024 words, and I considered simply splitting it into a two-parter, but there wasn't a natural break, and I didn't want to venture into serial territory just yet.

Read "I Can See for Miles" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Reunion"

Happy Mother's Day? I guess?

Read "Reunion" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "First of May"

That is today's date, isn't it?

Read "First of May" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Customer Surface"

What if there was a store like Fry's Electronics, only it sold magical implements instead of technological ones? Would cash-poor aspiring wizards still take advantage of the "Fry's rental plan" (very lenient 30-day return policy)? Would dealing with their low-paid, poorly trained employees still be a pain in the ass? You've got questions. I've got a short story to answer some of them.

Read "Customer Surface" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Sam Spayed"

It's about as bad as you think it is.

Read "Sam Spayed" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Bad Boy of the Spelling Bee"

This week's story has its origins in an actual, personal experience of mine, which you can discover in the notes, if you're so inclined.

Read "Bad Boy of the Spelling Bee" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Incredible Machine"

In this case, I'm using the first sense of 'incredible,' i.e.: "So implausible as to elicit disbelief." I hope, however, that you are willing to suspend disbelief for the five paltry minutes it will take to enjoy this week's tall tale.

Read "The Incredible Machine" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "True Story"

On Monday, I finished writing, recording, and scheduling a completely different short story for this week's 512 Words. I was pretty happy with it. But you're not going to see it today. Why?

Because, on Wednesday, I came across this BBC News article, which reminded me of another story I'd written seven years ago. When I dug up the manuscript and saw that it was only 650 words long, I knew what I had to do.

And yes, "True Story" is the original title. I considered changing it to avoid any confusion, but it's just too perfect.

Read "True Story" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Arcana"

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?
And miss it each night and day?
I know I'm not wrong; the feeling's getting stronger
The longer I stay away.
Miss them moss-covered vines, the tall sugar pines
Where mockingbirds used to sing.
And I'd like to see the lazy Mississippi hurrying into spring.

-- Lyrics by Eddie DeLange

Read "Arcana" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Martian Standard Time"

"Sean O'Reilly was the first human on Mars. He got to enjoy it for about three seconds..."

Read "Martian Standard Time" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Getaway"

Not much to say about this one. The idea is not new, but then, most ideas aren't. It's all in the execution.

Read "Getaway" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The More Things Change"

Time travel is always tricky, as everyone on Lost now knows. But if it's possible, we're going to figure it out by using science and technology like Daniel Faraday, not with mystical bullshit like, well, every other uncurious motherfucker on the show.

And nobody ever talks about the bureaucracy that would surely grow like weeds around something as potentially volatile as time machines (depending, of course, on whether you believe in the many-worlds interpretation or the immutable alchemist's gate). Well, nobody except Connie Willis. I love Connie Willis.

Read "The More Things Change" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "What You Should Know About Water Rites"

Fun fact: The title of this week's story is the same length as 1.4% of the story itself. Also, the first draft was about three times longer and included a lot of rambling about politics and homelessness. So much for social relevance. I know, I know, just get to the damn magic already. Fine.

Read "What You Should Know About Water Rites" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Art Attack"

D read this week's story and remarked that it has the same type of ending as "Antique"--i.e., one character making a flip remark.

I'm also quite aware that it's yet another alien-artifact mystery (like "The Forty" and "Finale") and, though it does have a self-contained conflict and resolution, feels like the teaser to a longer piece (like "Bachelor of Science" and "Ghosts of Earth").*

Am I getting into a rut? You tell me.

Read "Art Attack" at 512 Words or Fewer

~CKL

* For the record, I am working on longer versions of all three of those stories.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Better"

I've been sick today (in bed until 2pm, on the couch until 6pm, now back in bed), so today's shameless self-promotion is a bit late. The good news is, my friend Jeff already blogged about today's story. So you can just go read his post instead.

~CKL

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Sleepmonger"

Read "Sleepmonger" at 512 Words or Fewer

You can also listen to me do funny voices, or get the backstory infodump.

I'm still mulling the comedy pilot I wrote last summer, working title: "Apartment of Champions." I would never call it "Friends meet Heroes," unless maybe I was actually trying to sell it to someone. But the script still needs a lot of work.

~CKL

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Spoiler Warnings"

Read "Spoiler Warnings" at 512 Words or Fewer

I was really into comic books in middle school and high school. Once a week, my mother would drive me out to Galaxy Comics on 190th Street, and I'd spend most of my $20 allowance on DC books--Green Lantern, Justice League (the inimitable Giffen/DeMatteis run), Star Trek (I still have fond memories of the Barr/Sutton/Villagran Mirror Universe arc), and more.

I remember following all four Superman titles, which DC had scheduled so there would be a new issue out every week and plenty of crossover storylines. I was never into Batman, but I picked up Wonder Woman for a while after I saw George Perez's art in Crisis on Infinite Earths. My parents probably have lots of bagged-and-boarded back issues in their garage somewhere.

When I went away to college, I drifted away from the comics scene. Too many other things going on, I didn't know where the local shops were, and I didn't have an easy way to get there. I found that I didn't really miss it that much.

It wasn't until 2004, when we ran the Justice Unlimited Game, that I got back into comics. Doing research for a superhero-themed puzzle hunt was a great excuse for me to catch up with changes in the DC Universe (the new Green Lantern is who?) and pick up some TPB collections of Ultimate X-Men. I also found out that the Mountain View public library stocks tons of comics--go check out the shelves by the Teen Zone, or upstairs for the "mature" titles (read: indie titles).

I'll never be as enthusiastic as my teenaged self was about comics, but at least now I can pop over to Wikipedia or any number of other web sites to find out what the hell is going on with the latest Interminable Crisis or Marvel Zombie Monkeys. My tastes have also matured somewhat--I really dug Y: The Last Man, I loved Queen and Country, and D and I both enjoy Fables.

But I still have a soft spot for superheroes.

~CKL

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "The Coronation Will Not Be Televised"

This week's 512 Words: "The Coronation Will Not Be Televised"

You can also listen to the podcast and read the liner notes.

I'm sure various news outlets will make a big deal out of Monday being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Tuesday being the inauguration of America's first black President. That's fine. But we should also not forget that Ricardo Montalban passed away earlier this week. Is it too much to ask for a full week of mourning? My friend Gene doesn't think so:



~CKL

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Bachelor of Science"

Not my best story:

"Bachelor of Science" at 512 Words or Fewer

D didn't like the ending, and Loren liked the original opening better. I wrote those three paragraphs last year sometime, and sat on them because I didn't know where to take the story next. Giving myself a deadline this week forced me to just pick something and go with it, but as usual, my idea was too big for 512 words. I might try expanding it later, or using it for a spec Heroes script. I mean, it can't be any worse than the shit they've been shoveling this year.*

If you have six minutes to spare, listen to the podcast too. My recording's a little fuzzy due to computer troubles, but I really like the intro/outro music I found. Hooray for Creative Commons!

~CKL

* Baby, you got to be cruel to be kind.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Flash Fiction: "Finale"

Happy New Year!

I realize that I've been neglecting my shameless self-promotion, so you can look forward to a HotSheet post every Friday that links to that week's 512 Words or Fewer story.

This week, it's the ironically named "Finale," which continues the what-do-we-do-with-this-alien-artifact theme from last week ("The Forty"). If your eyes are still bloodshot from celebrating and not up to reading a whole five hundred words, you can listen to me read "Finale" while you sober up for a few minutes. Completists can also check out the liner notes for "Finale."

~CKL

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Now We are on iTunes

I just realized that I hadn't actually announced my latest project here. Last week, I launched a new blog, 512 Words or Fewer, where I'll publish a flash fiction story every Friday and post audio of myself reading that story.

The podcast of those readings is also available via iTunes:



Subscribe now, and tell your friends! I've committed to a story every week for at least one year, so by next October there should be roughly 26,000 words and 3+ hours of this stuff.

~CKL

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"Love Lucy"

My fourth 365 tomorrows story has been published:
Love Lucy

I'm always fascinated by the forum discussions, wherein I learn just how different my work looks to other people.

This story was inspired by LUCYinLA's video blog on YouTube, the creepy-but-train-wreck-fascinating RealDoll, and the painstakingly specific content ratings used in slash fiction. I didn't intend to present any particular moral or political view. I just wanted to explore the aftermath of a decision. As my wife likes to say: Actions have consequences.

I found writing the story very difficult, for two main reasons: first, because I had a lot to say, and trimming it down to 500 words meant that I had to abbreviate or remove a lot of detail. Second, the subject matter is very intimate, and imagining the main character's anxiety and anguish took a lot out of me, emotionally. (Perhaps not as much as the hijacking scene in Waypoint Kangaroo, but in some ways, just as badly.)

~CKL

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Monday, December 04, 2006

"Ghosts of Earth"

My third story published at 365 tomorrows! Read it now, then discuss amongst yourselves.

I wrote this just before Halloween, and it has nothing to do with that similarly titled John Carpenter movie. I am thinking about expanding it into a longer story, possibly even re-using the premise for next year's NaNoWriMo, but I really have no idea where I'd go with it-- how do you write dialogue when all your characters are incorporeal minds who can interact directly at the speed of thought? That's crazy!

Speaking of Halloween, D and I finally saw Monster House over the weekend, and it was very good-- much better than I had expected from the trailers, which made it seem like yet another empty-headed, FX-heavy animated romp. Next time I'll pay more attention to the "Produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg" credit. Those two aren't perfect storytellers (see What Lies Beneath and the E.T. 20th anniversary edition), but they've got good instincts and hit more than they miss. Also, the motion-capture animation actually looked decent here-- much better than the unrelentingly creepy Polar Express-- which gives me hope for next year's Beowulf.

~CKL

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Birthdays"

Read my new short story at 365 tomorrows:

"Birthdays"

I know a lot of people who have birthdays in October: Jeff (currently overseas), Suzie (Loren's wife), my wife D, and myself, just to name a few. Today, the 29th, is my mother-in-law's birthday. And our friend Cary says his sister and his grandmother have the same birthday as D. Spooky!

~CKL

P.S. Yes, I know it's very difficult to OD on ibuprofen. All I can say is, them astronauts is mighty clever.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Antique"

Read my short story at 365 tomorrows, the daily flash fiction site:

"Antique"

It's less than 500 words, so it won't take you long. Then, if you have anything to say, feel free to share it on the forums.

This is my first officially submitted-and-published work of fiction, and it feels pretty damn good to see that title: "ANTIQUE by Curtis C. Chen." I could definitely get used to this.

~CKL

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