Something a bit different this week: a flash of less than 200 words and a prize draw for the #fridayflash community.
“How many weeks is it?” he asked, flicking through the book like an eager child.
She fingered the leaves of the broad beans. “I don’t know, six or seven?”
“Closer to six or to seven?”
“I don’t know. It’s not like the test gives you an exact number is it?”
“I think it happened at the end of the holiday,” he muttered, oblivious to her tetchiness. “That makes it seven weeks.”
She sighed, wishing she could go back to bed.
“Oh wow!” he exclaimed and jumped to his feet. “‘At seven weeks, the foetus is the size of a small grape or broad bean!'”
He leapt off the steps and hurried across the vegetable patch, holding out the book open at the page. She took it from him as he squeezed the nearest pod and removed a broad bean, placing it in his palm.
“The baby is this tiny!” he grinned and cradled it to his chest.
She smiled. No money, no work, but he was still excited. Maybe she could be too. “I love you,” she said, and pressed his hand and the bean against her stomach. They’d find a way through.
That flash was written in five minutes – at least the first draft was – for a competition run on a blog this week with the prompt of ‘beans’. I can’t find the site for the life of me, sorry. Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve ever written a story in five minutes – or rather a slice of life. After editing I brought it below 200 words, so now it’s the shortest flash I’ve ever written.
It’s given me time to write something other than a story today, and I’m glad because over the last few weeks I’ve only been putting fiction here. That’s fine, and it seems you guys are enjoying it, but I’m missing the feeling of connection.
I’ve been madly busy, catching up work-wise following the bereavement and also working on lots of other projects. One of these was teaching myself how to make videos using Camtasia which was great fun. The other is something that I am so excited about, I’ve decided to do something a little crazy. I’d better tell you what it is first:
Audio book narration
As some of you know, I podcasted the whole of Twenty Years Later, a chapter a week, for several months. I loved doing it, and the people who listened seemed to love listening. So I invested in a professional microphone and found that it was so good, it made me sound like I was recording in a dustbin.
Then my wonderfully clever step-dad made me a recording booth which was delivered this week and wow, it’s made such a difference! I’ve got my first part in an audio drama, and am working on another project which is even more exciting, but something I can’t tell you guys about yet. I also plan to re-record and produce a professional quality audio book of Twenty Years Later, but that’s a few months off yet!
So what’s the crazy thing for the Friday Flash community?
I’ve been involved with the #fridayflash community since October 2009, and I love it. I only wish I had more time to read more stories, but as there are around 70 a week now it’s nigh on impossible with my schedule. I read and comment as much as I can, but between writing 2 flashes a week, writing the sequel to TYL, writing for the Short Story Club, recording, running my own business and having a family to spend time with too, time is tight. This bothers me, as I get so much out of it; people take the time to stop by every week, read and comment and it means a huge amount to me.
So I want to give something back, and at the same time, practise my new craft of audio book narration.
So, at the end of every month, I am going to record a Friday Flash written by someone in the community (for free), publish it here to showcase their writing and of course, send it to the flash author to do with it what they will. I get a chance to practice producing other people’s work, and the winner gets a professionally produced audio version of their story. The only thing I ask is that at the end I get to say that I recorded it and give out my URL in case someone who listens would like me to record something for them.
How does that sound? Here’s how it will work this month – next month I may have a more clever way to do it involving link capture.
• You look at the Friday Flashes you’ve written this month and pick your favourite one
• Leave a comment below, telling me that you’d like it to go into the draw, and include a link to that flash so I know where to find it if it wins, and your Twitter name too
• I’ll pick one at random using the random.org number generator (I’m not going to judge or pick a favourite as I don’t want to get tangled up in that)
• Over the following month I’ll record it and produce an MP3 which will get posted here with a link to the original flash and send you the file.
• Then you can put it on your own site, and if you link back to me to spread the word, that would be great.
Sound good? I hope so. I’ve never done anything like this before so I reserve the right to totally mess it up at least once (but not the recording bit, I know I can do that!) until I find the right way to manage the entries. If you don’t follow the instructions above be warned that I won’t have a chance to chase you for details.
So if you want a chance to have me record one of your stories, you’ve got a week to submit – starting now. Please spread the word!