Monday, 30 April 2012

A Prelude to "Baggage"

Baggage is a happy accident that became my first foray into flash-fiction (250 words or less), and is due to be published in the Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group magazine, Voices, at the end of May...which is another first - the first time my work will be published in Manitoba. I've been recognized and/or published in every other part of the country - not to mention overseas, in Britain (which I will continue to inform anyone at the drop of a pin) - but good ol' Manitoba (as usual) was slow to catch onto the news of what a gifted fellow it provides a home to. As with Burton Cummings, I look forward to receiving a model of a Red River Cart with much anticipation. I mean, who wouldn't?

Actually 'work' might be too grandiose a word with regard to Baggage. I was just goofing around at the computer when I decided to see that, if I wrote nothing but pure dialogue, how far could I go without any narrative whatsoever - not even any 'he said' or 'she replied', or anything of the sort. So I set my mind in neutral, and wrote down the first thing that popped up, and then replied, and continued on in a progression of what I felt was logic. When I was finished a page and a half later, I could see that I had a complete story, with a beginning and an end, and an admittedly very little bit in between. Okay, maybe it wasn't the sort of thing I would usually write, but there it was, literally in black and white. From start to finish might have taken ten minutes - add maybe another half hour for editing.

Still, I'm a creature of habit, conservative by nature, and this, if anything, was an anomaly. I was more bemused than anything when I set it aside and returned to what I was supposed to have been working on all along, if I hadn't given in to my natural tendency to procrastinate. When the LWWG's competition came out about a day later in the Guild's newsletter, stating that it had a venue for something so short, I included it on a whim with what I considered to be my serious entry - which just goes to show, never underestimate the power of a whim.

A word of caution for the faint of heart: there is language, so you might want a proxy to translate.

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