Thursday, March 27, 2014

#NoBystanders -- Would you? Will you?

I found this brilliant video on Upworthy. Maybe you've already seen it. Maybe it's old news. But it's worth sharing, and saving on the blog.

So. Are you a bystander? I know I am--but I won't be anymore. You?

Monday, March 24, 2014

#MyWritingProcess -- You've Been Tagged!

The wonderful Shane Simmons has tagged me in the #MyWritingProcess hop... Which involves, as you might have so perceptively guessed, talking about this thing I do: write.

What am I working on?
The 2014: A Year In Stories project, of course. And I'm behind. I delivered the August installment a couple of weeks ago--the same installment that was due at the end of January. I'm still working on the September story, which was due at the end of February. October will be due exactly a week from today, and I haven't even started (obviously, since I haven't finished September--you see how this becomes a domino thing?).

I love this project. More on that during April, but for now let me just say it's an honor to be included.

I also have a novel in its thirty-something-th draft that needs--well, complete rewriting, I think. Should've done that last year, the rewriting, but instead--because I'm lazy--I thought I could just add and tweak and take out. I did; I cut it from 110K+ to 55K, then added another 50K (a different 50K).

Yeah. It's a mess. Which is why it needs complete rewriting. I mean from scratch. The weird thing is I'm kind of looking forward to that.

Writers. Strange, strange people.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Mighty #A2ZReveal!

What's April going to be all about here on Quiet Laughter?

I agonized over that. I had my Curaçao theme from last year all prepped and ready to go; I even had posts written already, photos collected. But...

This is 2014. It's a year like no other.

There's a project out there, one that's been called (by Mike Joyce, editor-in-chief of Literary Orphans) "the most ambitious, intense, and MASSIVE project going on in the digital writing community this year," and it's happening--literally happening, as we cyber-talk--right this very minute.

Thirty-one writers. Thirty-one mini-novels. A chapter a month. A story a day, every day. The whole year.

365 stories, a volume every month, all collected and edited by the Great & Powerful Oz Matt Potter (well, he is Aussie).

True, I speak of

From the 2014 page of Pure Slush's website:
"What we’re publishing is a series of stories from each writer that arcs across the whole year, involving the same character or set of characters. Twelve days in the life of that person or people. So every month, as the books are released, readers can dip into these characters’ lives. Like a serial."

You've never met characters like these. A man that flies. A woman that wants her husband murdered. A pedophile stalking little boys. A transvestite priest. A recovering alcoholic on the verge of a cross-country journey of perdition. A baseball player trying to reconnect to a family that barely knows him. A group of kids on a joyride that goes bad. A big-shot tax lawyer in the Caribbean. A prostitute--excuse me, call girl--and her clients, in uncomfortable detail. A selfish friend. Several, actually. Heros, and antiheros (join that discussion on H day, April 9th). Endings and beginnings. Nagging wives. Couples that wax nostalgic about bachelor days. Bachelors who hate bachelorhood (to the extreme of joining a dating reality show).

And so much more.

Who are they is the easy question: they're unique, and they're remarkable. How they got that way... well. That's a harder one.

Maybe at the end of April, after talking with their creators, after exploring and comparing their stories and their origins... Maybe then we'll have an answer. Or not. Either way, if you're into fiction, you're in for a treat. This is fiction at its vanguard, mold-cracking best.

(Like Matt Potter says:) See you at the end!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday (late, as usual)

Not really a raft, no, but--come on. Use your imagination.
There was only water, and then, a small raft.

It began as a speck in the persimmon fanfare of sunset, barely distinguishable from the dips of waves. She watches without watching, without realizing she's watching, until the speck no longer fades. Becomes more than play of shadow in a world too golden to be real. More than a figment of starvation, dehydration. She blinks. It's still there.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Carnaval in Curaçao

Carnaval in Curaçao has two parades: the Grand March on Sunday
afternoon, and the Farewell March on Tuesday, Mardi Gras,
which starts around 8 pm.
Carnaval in Curaçao is a serious thing.

If you've been to the big Mardi Gras celebrations--Rio, Veracruz, New Orleans--the Curaçao version will be, sadly, disappointing. But to locals, Carnaval (no, not Carnival) is the event of the year. More important than Christmas, or even the newly minted Dia di Korsow (Curaçao Day) that celebrates Curaçao becoming a country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands (instead of part of the defunct Netherlands Antilles).

The only holiday that might give Carnaval a run for its money is New Year's. And that would be a close run.

Which is why Carnaval Monday shouldn't surprise me.

Uh-huh. Today is a holiday here.
Everything is closed, just like New Year's Day. No, no parade today--the time off is to recover from yesterday's, and to be fresh for tomorrow's. Which ends at midnight, with the burning of Rei (King) Momo.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's March 1st! Which can mean only one thing...

2014 March Vol. 3
A Pure Slush Project
My March story in the 2014 A Year In Stories project is happening. What is Luis Villalobos up to today? On January 1st it was his "walk of shame (well, drive of shame)" (from fellow project writer Stephen V. Ramey's review of The Miracle of Small Things) the morning after sleeping with his boss. February 1 threw the reader into the obscure (and not so clean) world of international finance (read Stephen's review of The Chablis & Sushi Miracle).

And March 1? Back to forbidden-sex grief? More hidden-financial-assets trouble (and lingo)?


You can keep guessing, or you can take a hop over to the Amazon preview and read the story.

If you like it, think about this: the other stories in the series are each better than the next. And the other writers... I'm in overwhelmingly outstanding company.

After reading you might want to drop in on Stephen's review--yes, it's already up!--and vote on what you think is going to happen next month.

If you like short stories, please consider buying the book (available in print & .epub via, too) -- you're in for a year-long treat.

Either way, do take that hop over to Amazon to read the preview and my story. Would love to hear what you think, either here or in Stephen's blog.

Happy March 1st!
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