Persistence – A poem for everyone and a note for writers

Persistence - a poem by Tina Konstant - your Daily Dose of Fiction

Having fully accepted the last book is trashed, I wrote this with persistence in mind. The gentle keep-on-going that allows you to let go and move on without any guarantee that what you embark on next will turn out any different. Here you go…

 

Persistence

Tell me you’re done and
I won’t believe
You are too big to hide
In the shadows
Of the Baobab Tree at dawn
Where the black arrow flies
Looking for love.
Your dreams are loud
They sing where the wild things grow.
Even when you shut
Your ears and your heart
The black arrow hunts regardless.
So do not run.
Stand firm on the wide-open plains.
Catch the arrow with both hands.
It knows where to go.

 

NOTE TO WRITERS: The Daily Dose of Fiction is proving to have some interesting side effects. Over the last 14 years of “trying” to write my novel, I’ve gone through every possible mental contortion. If you’ve worked on yours for more than a few years, you’ll know what I mean. Your mind plagues you. It’s like oil on your kitchen floor – you can’t see it, but you know it’s there.

So, writing something to publish every day has generated some small shifts that might help if you’re a little stuck…

  • When you commit to publishing something every day, you really do sit down to write – with intent and focus. You don’t fret about it or squeeze 250 words into the last part of your day. You will, I promise, focus on it first.
  • To be in the state required to create something you like enough to publish, your day will take on a different shape – so you might find that you don’t succumb to sugar and afternoon movies so much. You’ll write and edit instead.
  • You’ll start to notice the world around you a little more. You’ll find yourself looking for stories and random conversations, contact and life.

Bottom line… writing something to publish every day is a great way to get your head out your butt.

That’s it. Try a Daily Dose of Fiction yourself. It might shake the rust from some of your joints.

Enjoy your magnificent day.

Tina

 

The Stalker – A little Flash Fiction

Welcome to your Daily Dose of Fiction. Today it’s 365 words of flash fiction. Happy Saturday, folks… Bit of a note for writers at the bottom. Enjoy.

 

 

“What happens now?”

I know the guy standing next to me better than he thinks. We’ve never met. Not face-to-face. We’ve bumped into each other a few times. Or rather, I’ve bumped into him. I can be subtle when I want to be. Until now, we haven’t spoken. Strictly speaking, he still hasn’t.

No, I’m not a stalker. This guy might disagree, but since he doesn’t know how long I’ve been watching him, he probably won’t.

So here we are. At the edge of a cliff at midnight. Wind screaming at our backs. Black skies above us. Infinite sea beneath our feet. “Any ideas?”

The guy shakes his head.

“Are you crying?”

The man wipes his face but the tears have already dried leaving salt stains on his cheeks.

“We can’t stand here forever.” It’s a stupid thing to say, but he’s not moving. I’m just stating a fact. He must know we can’t stand here forever.

His hands clench into tight, hard fists like he’s holding onto the only thing he’s ever loved.

“Why are you here, anyway?” I ask. Another stupid thing to say. I’m full of it today. Of course I know why he’s here.

The guy shakes his head again. He’s normally so talkative. Just a few moments ago, shouting and ranting all the way, he blew up a school and killed 22 kids.

I rest my hand on his shoulder. “I actually do know what’s going to happen next.”

For the first time, he turns to me.

I smile.

The terror etched on his face makes him look more like a child than the young, battle-hardened man he thinks he is. I see it a lot. Fear strips people of the stories they tell themselves. When someone has been seen for what they really are, they understand there’s no reason to lie or hide. They become honest. It’s a beautiful moment.

The man stares at me. I don’t blame him. The hooves and the tail and the horns are a bit much. But I like the theatre.

“Anyway,” I tap his shoulder. The man flinches. “Like I said, I actually do know what happens next. I’m just curious to know if you do.”

 

(NOTE TO WRITERS: I’m really enjoying Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Writing approach. Her instructions are to set a time limit, start writing and don’t stop. I committed to writing for 60 minutes after breakfast this morning. Crazy words came out and an odd story about one of my dogs. Then this little idea surfaced and developed into The Stalker. I like the notion of the devil stalking souls. Goldberg suggests that when you write whatever comes out of your head without hesitating, you eventually get out of your way and write what you really want to write. It’s a daily practice.)

Happiness – a Haiku

Baking bread makes the world slow down. There’s something about how dough breathes. Here’s a Haiku to explain what I mean:

Baking bread at dawn
Soft dough rises with morning
Happiness wakes up

 

 

Author’s Note:
Having trashed the last novel (this was the 8th or 9th attempt – I’ve lost count), I’m still digging my way out of the mental chaos that comes along with dumping 18 months of work. I like to bake when I’m feeling mixed up. It calms things down… makes me present. Anyway… here’s the recipe for the world’s easiest bread – it never fails.

  • 125g of strong brown flour
  • 300g of strong white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 7g of yeast
  • 350ml of water

Put it all in a bowl and mix and fold until you have a gloriously sticky mass (I don’t recommend using your hands)

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it over and leave it overnight. Then, in the morning:

  • Set the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade.
  • Get a smallish oven proof pot with a lid (I use a cast iron one – works beautifully), oil the pot lightly and put it in the oven so it heats up

Then…

  • Sprinkle flour onto your kitchen counter and tip the risen dough onto it. Very gently… like you’re handing marshmallows, turn the dough over until all sides are coated in flour – don’t knead it or shove it or push it or prod it. Coax it.
  • When the oven has reached 220 Degrees C, put the dough into the pot with the lid on.
  • Let it bake for 30 minutes.
  • Then take the lid off and let it bake for a further 15 minutes.

And that’s it! It’s done. And it’ll be perfect.

You can, if you like, add sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or anything you like.

Enjoy.
T

Your story (previously “private moment”) – a Haiku

There’s something beautiful about this short form of fiction… This is Haiku number 3. Replacing “Private Moment”.

Why do you exist?
To find your note and sing it
One and Only You

Author’s Note:
Originally I had something different posted here. I hated it. But, when I started “Daily Dose of Fiction”, I committed to posting short bits of fiction and not taking it down, rather, living with the feeling of what I posted and learn from it.

Well, I lived with “Private Moment” for 24 hours and couldn’t sleep so had to take it down. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my voice. I wasn’t what I wanted to say. So I got to thinking about honesty, integrity and purpose.

When we’re on the right track we feel it. It’s not a cognitive thing – it’s emotional. When we feel calm and at peace, happy and mellow, we’re tapping into our joy which means we’re living honestly, with integrity and on purpose. But if we have that edge… that queasy, uneasy stickiness… that slightly off… out of sync feeling… You know what I mean… Then we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing and we should take note.

If we paid more attention to how we felt, we’d make better decisions. I think.

Have a wonderful day, folks.
Tina