Monday, July 27, 2009

I placed three more flash fiction pieces with FLASHSHOT – no scheduled dates for publication yet, but look for these titles in September/October: ARTIST'S MODEL; IF YOU FEED THEM,THEY'LL STAY and WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?
I worked a bit on the novel this month, but it's slow going as I am stuck on one of those pivotal plot points and can't make up my mind. Sometimes you come to that literary fork in the road and can't decide which way to go. Yes, I know: I should write BOTH – but really, who has that kind of time? Oh, yeah, that's right - I do. Sigh.

Okay, maybe I'll write it both ways and see what happens.

The problem with that approach is that sometimes both ideas work out and you have to choose between 100 pages of something that works and 100 pages of something else that works. Worst case is the Time Wasting Effort in which you produce 100 pages of something that doesn't work and another 100 pages of crap. That's just plain depressing.

So it's back to 100 word flashes that either work right off or get deleted.
Here's a sample of one of my recent flash pieces – this was published in FLASHSHOT on July 6th 2009:

Daily Genre Flash Fiction
By Kate Thornton

"Sorry, no casino," the man at the desk said.

Michele blinked. What kind of local tribe had no casino?

"Stay for lunch, we have the Breadbasket Buffet, Buffalo Grill, and Corn
Doll Café."

She chose the café and ordered soda, pizza and chocolate cake.

Her waitress smiled. The resort was the old Chief's idea, just something

to keep everyone busy.

From the top floor, the view was reservation land planted thick with corn.

A train of tanker cars stretched from the processing plant.

There was no need to build a casino, not with the ultimate revenge -
high-fructose corn syrup.

copyright 2009 Kate Thornton
That's a sample – quick and to the point, under 100 words and with a grin at the end if possible.

Pros of Flash Fiction:
It's quick and easy to read
It gives the writer immediate satisfaction

It takes as much time to write short as it does to write long
It is a bitch staying under 100 words and still painting the whole beginning-middle-end picture
Characters must be drawn fully in only a few words

But I love the puzzle of it, the challenge. Sometimes I'll write a 500 word piece, then edit it down to 75 or 100 words just for practice. There's nothing as satisfying as a concise sentence with exactly the right words. It's hard to do.

Practice it – take a "what if" idea ("Hey, what if that guy over there trying to operate his new Blackberry is really more than 800 years old?") turn it on a plot point ("The very old guy with the Blackberry discovers that his ancient fingers can text, if he goes slowly. But his messages can only be deciphered by other 800 year olds on the planet.") and write it out so it makes sense. Then trim it to 100 words.

See? Not easy…

Writing is difficult and takes a lot of time, but it's a breeze next to painting.

This month I will pick up 2 pieces from Bunny Gunner's SUMMERTIME show and 2 pieces from the da Center for the Arts WATER show. I will drop off 2 pieces for Ashley Ashley's GONE FISHIN' show. I am working on a larger piece for the HEAVY METAL show and a large piece for no show in particular.

I am still experimenting with my painting style, although I seldom stray from my compulsion shape, that ubiquitous circular thing I am forced to put in every painting.

But it has been so hot lately that I have had trouble with my paints – I work in oils and use a quick drying glaze medium to thin them for transparency. It means stuff dries too fast in the heat. If I thin with oil, then I lose the texture I need and the stuff never dries. I keep plugging away at it, though.

And I had an idea about the 2 pictures from the SUMMERTIME show. I did 4 pictures for the show, but only sent 2. I think I want to have all 4 framed on a black background – sorta like my "LEARNING THE NUMBERS 1-10" (shown in photo below between OBIE & AMY) only not vertically, but in quadrants. It won't be cheap, but I think it will look great. The pictures are about heat.


We had a few friends over for drinks last week – it was fun. Here 's a pic of OBIE LOAGUE and his friend AMY. OBIE owns the Sugar Rush Café & Gallery and AMY bought one of my "NAM'S RED DOOR" series paintings.

Here's JER in the Eames chair and that's BRUCE EMERTON 's friend FREDDIE waving. That's BRUCE EMERTON and LINDA GARNER in the background.

I love having company – next time maybe a full-fledged party – or maybe just several evenings of different guests.


The Summer Orchids in full bloom. Okay, the whole patio – pretty in the daytime, a magical place at night.

Drinks at DBA 256 on Fourth Saturday – with Jer, Linda Garner, John Clifford of Pomona Heritage and of course Tibbi, proprietor extraordinnaire.

We dragged one of the large rubber tree plants into the house too – indoor/outdoor living!

Be careful out there!

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