Monday, February 2, 2015

Create52: #5 -- Hands and Fear

2015 has rolled into February, and --- wonder of wonder -- my Create52 goal is still going strong.

Today, I'm sharing more writing, including some exciting publication news.

But first, if you're a new visitor to my blog, let me say "welcome!" and explain what I'm doing here. This is another entry in my 2105 blogging initiative -- to create something new and offer it here on my blog each and every Monday of 2015.  You can get a little more background about my Create52 goal HERE, in my first Create52 post of 2015, if you'd like.

Hands of Fear

I've completed another piece of writing -- this is a piece of flash, under 1000 words, called "My Father's Hands". It's kind of dark, but I also think it has the potential of being a pretty good story.  Right now, I'm sharing it with my critique group, but after a round of review and edits, I'll send it out for consideration of publication.  I'll probably start with the site, Every Day Fiction.

Here's a brief sample of "My Father's Hands":


The sounds of splashing faded as my focus narrowed. The musty smell of the lake and the gurgle of beer spilling out from a can as it rolled across the pier slipped from my consciousness. Only my vision remained, centered on a frozen image of my father's hands, as if my mind was capturing it on film. Around his hands, waves of water paused mid-crest and droplets hung motionless in the hot summer air.
Time and tide both waited.
Dad's right hand stretched upward, fingers spread wide, almost as if he were waving. His left hand was closing, either forming a clenched fist or trying to grasp at something other than empty air. I'd had plenty of experience with both his clenched fist and his callous grasp, but it was still difficult to predict which one was coming.
His hands were rough and scarred -- a testament to a life of brutal harshness. The pinky of his right hand bent sideways at an odd angle, a remnant of it getting crushed under a pallet of sheet metal. Dad often joked about it, laughing about having a liquid lunch in the parking lot and then coming back into work a little too drunk. He was proud of the fact that he'd finished his shift without his supervisor finding out about the accident.
Seeing his stern hands bursting up through the surface of the lake touched some scars in me, too.


I'd share more, but it's only 1000 words and -- like I said -- I'm sending it out for consideration of publication.  But I promise to keep you updated should anything come of it...

Publication News!

But speaking of updates about publication and Every Day Fiction:  My flash-fiction piece, "Idle Musings" has been accepted for publication! And it's published today!!!

This is my first publication acceptance anywhere outside of the micro-fiction I've had published at, and I'm pretty excited.

This story is a very writer-centric humor piece, so I don't know how well it will appeal to non-writers.  But I was very pleased and thankful for the wonderful feedback and assistance given by the slush-readers and editors at EDF.  In fact, the story was originally submitted under a different name and one of the editors helped come up with a much catchier (and much less confusing) title for the piece. If you're a writer and have a fear of submission, take matters into your own hands and try out EDF -- even if you get rejected, you'll get great feedback from a very supportive staff.

I invite you to read "Idle Musings" over at Every Day Fiction -- I'd love to know what you think!

Publication News -- Part 2!

And speaking of publication and Fifty Word Stories:  I had a publication success over there this past week, too!

My 50-word science-fiction micro-story, "I'm Alive" was accepted and posted on January 29th.  Site owner Tim Sevenhuysen e-mailed me with the acceptance late last week and then posted the story the very next day.

You can check out the story HERE. I'm always interested in whatever feedback you'd like to give.

Taking Fear Into Your Own Hands

Speaking of fears and taking things in your own hands, let me also offer you a short piece I wrote in response to the last 10-word prompt at the Creative Copy Challenge website.  I used a similar format to my last 10 x 10 piece, with 10 lines of 10 words each.

But here, the prompt words are also used in order, but always as the first word.  In addition, I added them as the tenth word in every line, but in reverse order (the prompt words are in bold). It made for a restrictive format where it was hard to get the lines to flow together well, but I came up with a piece about conquering your fears.

See what you think:


Edgy people can rarely put their fears permanently into storage.

Height, spider, or night — can their phobias be forgotten? Seldom.

Cobbled together remedies enable them to get through the darkness:

Goat milk, served warm, can help things be less disturbing.

Flower scents at home soothe fears of, “out there, somewhere…”

Somewhere inside is power to turn fear into a flower.

Disturbing panic can be devoured, like garbage by a goat.

Darkness loses its fight against courage, however it is cobbled.

Seldom is life better than when fear’s reduced in height;

Storage in the mind gets re-stocked with things less edgy.


Should We Fear the Kargrandes?

Finally -- Have you heard about the Kargrandes?  What are they?!?!

Are they something we can offer our hand to in peace, or are they something we should fear???

Find out more HERE and keep an eye out for them on April 7th!


  1. Thanks for mentioning the Kargrandes!
    Why is the hand coming out of the water? Is he drowning? Did he drown? Good way to hook readers, Chris.
    And congratulations on the publication news!

    1. Thank you, Alex! And also for your kind words over at EDF!

      And I'm glad to help spread the word on the Kargrandes!

  2. Chris, I love your creative spirit. Go, man, go! Great things are happening...

    1. Thank you so much, Cherdo! I really appreciate that!

  3. A hand out of water! So dramatic. And I wondered where this story was going.

    1. Thank you Lee! I take no credit for the photo, but I hope you'll like the finished story. Hopefully it will find a publishing home at some point...

  4. The "Father's Hands" piece has a lot of potential. I can see it expanding into a larger story or even a novel. There's a good chill factor there.

    Gosh, you are really on a creative roll these days. You're on fire!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thank you very much, Lee! (Wow -- that's two Lee's in a row!)

      And I appreciate your support -- I'm hoping to keep it going all year. AND throw in A-to-Z, too!

  5. You've been busy my friend.

    You're right about the piece you posted here. It's got wonderful potential. I already like it a lot. With some tweaking it will be wonderful. I'm still not sure how I feel about revision. Love it? Hate it?

    I really liked your piece over at Every Day Fiction, though I didn't comment. I can't bear the Disqus commenting system.

    Those 50 word stories are something. Even though I'm not big on the sci-fi, I thought that was pretty darn good.

    Lastly, I rather like the word prompt stories. You did a really nice job with this one. Those sorts of challenges force us to stretch as writers. Good job!

    1. Thank you very much, Robin!

      I really appreciate you taking the time to check them out. Your support means a lot to me!

  6. Great news on your pieces being accepted. Hard to tell if the hand is rising or sinking. A foreboding presence either way. And thanks for stopping by today.

    1. Thank you, Stephen!

      And glad to have stopped by -- I really liked your blog! Tis is one of the best things about DL's Blitz -- getting exposed to cool, new blogs like yours.

  7. Another Home Run! I really like 'My Father's Hands'. There is so much potential there, I can see it possibly going in several different directions. Again, I'm hooked.

    Your 10 x 10 is fun and innovative, as usual. How do you do that?

    Only disappointment here is NO MUSIC. Did I say how much I love your musical selections? Well, I just did.

    1. HI FAE! Thank you very much! I'm very pleased you liked this.

      And I'm pretty certain the next Create52 post will feature some music. ;)

  8. Congratulations, Fries! *clap on the back*

    I'm curious about the original title of 'Idle Musings.'

    The picture paired with 'Hands of Fear' made me wonder for a sec if Dad is drowning, son is debating whether or not to help and in that instant, there's a flash series of memories?

    1. Thank you, Suze!

      Original title? I scrambled around for something to do with thanking the writing muse, and came up with "Domo Arigato, Miss Errr.... Erato?" But a bad pun using a Muse's name and based on a forgotten 70's Styx song that I didn't particularly care for anyway was kind of a stretch. Most people didn't catch it and wondered where the Japanese element came in. Which it didn't.

      And I can only admire your perceptive nature regarding "My Father's Hands"... ;)

  9. Your on a roll, bud! Quite a writing resume you're putting together there. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Loved the "My Father's Hands" sample! I felt like I was there, and can't wait to see more. I am sure it will find publication posthaste! I wish I had more time to delve into creative writing. Or even blogging. One of these days, one of these days....

    1. Thank you, Kim! I'm grateful for your support!

      Yeah -- the "no time" thing. I absolutely understand that. I never have enough to do all the things I'd like to do. So sticking with my Create52 plan is actually a big accomplishment for me. :)

  11. Congratulations on your story successes! I tried sending flash fiction to Every Day Fiction a few times in the past and was denied for each one. Haha!


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.