April was poetry month, and now May is short story month. That’s a short story a day, every day, for 31 days. I’ve done seven NaNoWriMos and eight NaPoWriMos or equivalents. I don’t want to try to name this month. NaSsWriMo?
I sat at my desk on Monday, May 1, 2017, having written 54 poems and a blog post about it, wondering what to write next. Do I pull out 2012 and commit three or four months to fixing it? Do I continue salvaging parts of 2016 to make a short story collection? Maybe I should pull out 2010 or 2014 and have a second go at those unfinished novels. 2016 called the hardest and I’d all but settled on it. That would mean skimming the 50,000 words looking for nuggets. I have pulled the first three scenes as stories already, but where to next? Always the question.
So I did what any good writer would do: I opened Facebook. Almost immediately I found a post by my friend Andrea about a contest in May to write a short story a day. We talked about this in the past on our Sunday morning write-ins, I’ve participated in 15 other x-a-day events, so I didn’t need to think about the implications very much. I went to the Story-A-Day site, signed up, took the first prompt, and wrote a 1489 word story.
Bang. #1 done. It felt great.
\The story had nothing to do with anything I’ve written before, but it was based on reality. For that reason alone, I will not share it. Especially where fiction is weaved in, and some of that fiction is not nice. Sorry I had to kill you off, X.
May 2’s prompt fit almost perfectly a scene/story for 2016 I had been pondering. I sat and wrote. I took a break at 500 words to think, ponder, and write nasty political tweets — Even though I gave up my U.S. Citizenship, I still fight for Americans living abroad. And I’ve been quite acerbic lately towards the liberal shills out there supporting #FATCA and calling people like me tax cheaters.
I could not fit today’s prompt into any existing project, which is no concern, but I could fit it into a potential 2017 NaNoWriMo story. I’ve been pondering writing Science Fiction instead of my social conscious urban literary stuff. I only invested 313 words in it, but I think it is full of theme, conflict, and potential. The conflict is implied: we’re all becoming the same, and what does that mean for humanity. Could be my backbone theme for my seen-book series *grin* It is a very thin piece, trite, but I actually love it. I will try to write more around this piece and other ideas this month and through the busy summer ahead of me. NaSsWriMo might just make NaNoWriMo very productive.
Prompt: People called him The Doll Maker. Nobody ever wondered aloud why every doll had the same face.
“Did you guys see Doctor Davis’ new robots?”
The lunch table paid no attention to him. Jared set down his tray and pulled in his chair.
“He can choose any face he wants with a few clicks but he picks the same face, the same physical features for every one of them. You guys don’t find that odd?”
“Jarrod,” Emily says. “You had a busy morning? You’re late.” She stuffs a roll of California Gold into her mouth.
“You haven’t heard a word I said.”
“Sorry,” she says as she crunches on the crusty, green roll of processed unknowns the government has certified as optimally nutritious for young scientists. She chases it with a glass of fortified water the color of the noon sky as displayed in the wall monitors. “We were just discussing Doc Davis’ new robots. Did you know he ordered them to all look identical? Why would he do that?”
Jarrod picked the gray New Jersey Jets roll up from his gray plate. “It makes no sense. You’d think he was building an army or something.”
Emily inspects her mint-green plate for crumbs but finds none. “I know. It’s so creepy. We’re not going to be able to tell which is which.”
“They’re all fucking robots,” William chimes in with his usual cheer. “Who cares what they look like? You ask for a Solar Coffee, they get you a Solar Coffee. It’s not like you’d have sex with one of them.”
“Speak for yourself,” Emily says.
“They’re all male,” Jarrod says.
“So?” says William.
“They’re all so…unremarkable,” Emily says and smiles.
“He could have selected at least some variety,” Jarrod says.
“They’re robots,” William says.
“What does he have planned?” they all say simultaneously. They stop but don’t laugh.
William picks up his blue Florida Fish Roll from his light-blue plate and looks at it. “Why are they all the same?”