Tag Archive: flash fiction


Forging My Own Path

First off, I want to apologize for my lack of updates and for not keeping to my posting schedule. I’m sure you all know how life has a way of getting in the way of things. Part of my funk is that I’ve been having trouble coming up with things to post about, and the other is that I’ve just been lazy. Thankfully, I can be quite hard on myself and won’t allow myself to stray too far from my path for too long.

Now, on to this week’s post.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I see myself in five years, ten years, twenty years. I’d like to think that I’ll be a successfully published author who also writes comic book scripts on the side and maybe help with screenplays and the occasional video game script. I have no idea how or when all of that will come to pass, but there’s one word in that sentence that really sticks out in my mind.

Successfully

What is a successful writer? One who is on the NYT bestseller list, goes on book tours, has several novels published and is well-known in the writing community? Or is a successful writer one who takes comfort and pride in the choices and progress that they’ve made no matter how meager they might be?

It’s easy to get our definition of success tangled up with the general idea of success. And that’s especially true when we’re constantly bombarded with images and headlines about authors who make millions of dollars and can churn out multiple novels in a year. We think of that as a success even though we don’t know what those authors had to give up or what they had to do to get where they are. I’m not saying that every successful person has had to give up a part of themselves to get where they are, but I am saying that we have to look past the dollars and glossy book covers to see what truly makes an author a success.

Even more importantly, we have to discover our very own, very personal definition of success. And that’s something that I’m slowly but surely doing every day. As my dad always says, “all we can do is take it one day at a time.” Taking it one day at a time is hard for me since I meticulously plan things out and analyze past events. I’m either too focused on the future or scrutinizing the past that I forget to simply be in the present moment. And that’s probably another reason that I haven’t been keeping to a writing schedule.

I want to be a writer. I want to be a happy writer. I want to be a successful writer. But more importantly than all of those things are that I want to be me. Not John Grisham, Stephen King, Alexandre Dumas, Charlie Huston or Jim Butcher. Just O’Brian Gunn. All of them are great examples of what can be accomplished with words and ideas, but none of them can tell my story just as I can’t tell theirs.

So what’s my definition of success?

Being the best me that I can possibly be. I hope you’ll do the same.

What’s your definition of success and how do you plan on making that definition manifest?

Take care out there.

P.S. You can now check out some of my superhero themed flash fiction at Super Flash Fiction! “In-xperienced” and “Lies My Heroes Told Me”

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“As The Smoke Clears”

As promised, flash fiction! What do you think? Too much going on?

 

The scream wrinkles and warps the air.

Bluejay clamps his teeth down over the cry. The bloody tear in his glove gapes open as he slowly relaxes his numbed grip. His arm hangs loose and his vision pixilates with pain.

Lahavas eyes him. “I could’ve reset your shoulder for you.”

“Y-y-y…” Bluejay presses his lips. “You don’t know how and we don’t have time.” He stands in a hunch, taking in sips of air. “Where are they?”

The trussed up man splayed out between them lazily rolls his half-closed eyes left…right. “Who?”

Lahavas pops him in the mouth with her boot. “I lost my patience somewhere in this three-hour super slug-fest, Ocelot. Where are the pages you downloaded?”

Ocelot studies the sunset suffused through the stack of thinning black smoke, dragging his heel through the dirt and wriggling his shoulders.

“He’s not gonna tell us.” Lahavas steps away, fists on hips. “Where’s MM?”

Her partner’s expression collapses from suppressed pain to thinly veiled sorrow. He studies the rubble before turning to the blown-out building on their right.

Lahavas flicks her gaze right. Eyes widen. “No.” Barely perceptible head shake. “I thought she–” Back to Bluejay. “She was on-mind with us the whole time. I to–”

“She couldn’t link us up and keep up the broadcasted illusion back in the city. She made a choice.” He blinks smoke from his eyes, clearing tears.

“When were you gonna tell me?”

Chin jerk at Ocelot.

Ocelot chuckles. “That’s the third teammate you’ve lost this year.” Lips split over pearly teeth. “Did you buy them in bulk?” His laugh is wild, savage.

Bluejay’s sudden punch abbreviates the moment of mirth. “Tell us. Where. The pages. Are.”

The psychotic swallows a glob of his own blood. “Three pages for three dead super-hood rats. Fair enough. I printed two pages out.” A flash of bloody teeth. “The first one is under Compendium’s body in her grave. The second I mailed to Ten’s father, who’s still waiting for his son to come home. The third is…”

Weary heroes edge glances at the demolished building.

“The third I tattooed…on my ass.”

Lahavas wrinkles her nose. Bluejay curls his lip.

Ocelot starts to laugh again…

…then lulls unconscious when Bluejay belts him in the temple using his good arm. He whirls around, cape swaying. “Drag him back to the Marvel. I’m going to recover MM’s body.”

“Blue, you can’t even lift the debris from…”

“Suit amps up my strength. Want me to use that strength on MM, or on punching his head to a gory smear?” He stomps off over debris. “Make me stay with him and I’ll kill ‘im, then you’ll have to kill me.”

Lahavas drops her hand, looking at Ocelot’s unconscious form, eyeing his head and imaging what it would look like as a…“gory smear.”

She snatches him up by his tattered hood and drags him over twisted, blasted and burnt debris back to the jet.

 

I think now is a good time to update you on what’s going on with my writing…that and I don’t have an insightful idea for a blog. Hopefully I’ll get a few ideas in the coming days.

I just found out today that two of my flash fiction submissions were accepted by Super Flash Fiction. While I had submitted three, only two were accepted due to the fact that one was hard to follow. Their decision was perfectly understandable and one that was shared by my writers group. I wanted to show the direct aftermath of a superhero slug fest since that’s something I feel we rarely get to see in comic book. They always cut to a few days or a few hours after and gloss over the smoking rubble, sustained injuries and the immediate psychological effects the battle may have had on the characters. I think I’ll post it up here so you guys can read over it. Feel free to comment!

I’m supremely excited about “Dark on the Rock” being accepted to JukePop Serials. I’ve always loved the serial format of a TV show, and it’s one that I’ve blended into my writing style, so I’m eager to see how this new project turns out. With this and my superhero flash fiction, I may be getting calls or e-mails from Marvel, DC, BOOM! or another comic book company…or maybe even Joss Whedon himself to co-write The Avengers sequel!

I’m almost done with my query letter and I’ve got a list of agents to ship it off to. This is something that I’ve been dragging my feet on for a while. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the publishing business and I’m not sure if I still want to pursue traditional publishing. On the other hand, I’m not sure if I have a strong enough platform and enough insider knowledge to make a go at self-publishing. There’s just a deluge of self-published work out there, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to really stand out from the good authors and the not-so-good authors. But I think that if I express these concerns with an agent I’ll be fine. At the very least I can be content with the knowledge that  someone, or several someones, feel that I’m qualified enough to represent. Not that I need anyone’s approval, but still, publishing is a business and a business that requires a certain skill.

Still working on wrapping up my second novel. I’ve got a bit of the next to last chapter to finish up and a rough idea of how I want the final chapter/episode to be. Unbelievable to think that I’ve written one novel let alone that I’m about to finish another…and have mostly written the third seeing as I originally started with that one a few years ago. Ah, life.

So, as you can see, I’ve got a lot going on. I’ve come a long way, and know that I’m not ready to lay down in contentment yet, I don’t think I ever will be. I believe there’s always another step to take, another mile to go. It’s strange to think that I’m actually becoming a published writer with a query letter and almost two complete novels under my belt. We spend our lives dreaming, and when those dreams start to become reality it’s like they weren’t really dreams at all, just a skill we didn’t know we possessed. Can’t wait to see what else is in store for me…and for you, too.

Take care out there.