I dashed off a quick dialogue this week and even decided to already submit it. I hope it comes off as ironic as the phrase “live, laugh, love” comes off kitschy (kitschy to the point of being meaningless).
While I am devoted to cultivating a fulfilling life, I find “live, laugh, love” to be the condensed expression of all that is opposite to what I mean by “fulfilling life.”
According to my medium series (where I’m actually keeping count during this writing challenge) this is my 26th dialogue. So this marks the halfway point in my challenge! Thanks for cheering me on, Bookworms!
Yesterday my latest short story in dialogue was featured for my series. Wine Drunk Together Again is a story about old friends meeting up overseas to relive their post-highschool trip to Spain. The story is divided into three parts, each named after the wine grapes used to create the current bottle on their table.
You can read all my available dialogues in my online fiction web series, Dialogues: a Collection of Creative Conversations. If you have any troubles accessing the series, let me know.
This story comes from two places: a childhood that had it’s fair share of insults slung at me and from the feelings of intense anger that have awoken in me since November 2016.
You can see the first place reflected in some of the lesser, totally repeatable insults (e.g., poopy pants). Other, more hurtful insults, may have been directed at friends or myself. Some possibly (and shamefully) may have been said by me (e.g., inbred hick).
You can see that these characters’ insults (if the insults have relation to the election) reflect a perceived entitlement to forgo politeness or political correctness some hateful homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, and racist individuals have displayed in their words and actions since a conman conned our nation.
These insults—from name-calling to blatant attacks on our environment and education—have made me angry. Stressed. Tribal at times.
But this story also has two characters who have something different to say than a comeback. Or maybe they say the most effective comebacks of all. I am too angry at times to feel such a non-confrontational reaction is the right reaction. After all, I’m hurt. Friends are hurt. Good people I won’t ever meet in person are hurt. And I feel dismayed and angry. And I want to do something about it. I want, in fact, to lash out.
Yet, I know that I want to stop feeling this way — angry and without control — every single time another insult comes along from this administration or its base. Instead, I want to learn to to feel a different way. Hurt, yes. I’ll always hurt, and I flee from temptations of apathy and lassitude. I want to learn to be in control, to not feel enraged. I want my reaction to be modeled on something better than the forces that are tearing at the fragile seams of our democracy. I want to find a way toward peace — if not outside myself then inside, where it must start, where it most counts.
When you get a chance to see this story, just note it does use explicit and abusive language.
When it comes out in the future, I suggest you just skip Insults Two by Two if you feel the trigger warning pertains to you.
Are you directionless? The concept of directionlessness is what the latest story I’ve written for my next planned collection explores.
I’ve got a new piece of microfiction published over in Spelk, a publisher of short, sharp flash fiction. Give it and some other Spelk authors a read.
Another week, another dialogue. In this one, tenor Jonathan Knudsen gets a final farewell from his choir chums after his funeral.
This Dialogue will be appearing in Train. See the series for more.
The Creative Cafe published Tarnished Time. I’m so happy to see this one available to read for free. It’s also a part of my dialogue collection. Happy reading!
This week’s dialogue for my weekly fiction web series is Tarnished Time. It’s one of my favorites so far. Go ahead and check it out the series to see links and featured dialogues. A descriptive list of all the stories can be found at this link.
UPDATE: Tarnished Time has also been published separately in The Creative Cafe. You can read it at this link: https://thecreative.cafe/tarnished-time-4b7aae6e0151
From the story: All I do anymore is sit around remembering. . . I remember myself. Other people too. Places. Half-witted time. The kind that dances to the thoughts of other decades of one’s life.