Tag Archives: storytelling

Art Experiments: Natural Pigments Plus…


Art experiment in progress. My apologies for ignoring this blog, but I’ve been learning as well as teaching myself new things. I’ve been side-tracked from blog writing. It has been an interesting time of working out and documenting what works with natural pigments and what to avoid when I make art.

This test work of a Trobriand (PNG) grass skirt has been painted and (poured on) with tea, coffee, turmeric, David Smith watercolours, watercolour ground on watercolour canvas. I’ve not used watercolour canvas before; it is quite soft and drinks less water than paper. I hope you like it.

We started our Creative Writing Workshop three weeks ago and this week tutor Isabel D’ Avila Winter gave us a fun exercise. Basically it teaches the technique of how to write a story by making connections. Class members chose and exchanged two words, a noun and an abstract noun and in ten minutes we free wrote whatever story that came into our heads in connection with those two words. Try it with your friends or a pal sometimes. You just don’t know what you can come up with. I had the words “happiness” and “feather” – which has probably led me to painting a grass skirt. For those of you that understand Papua New Guinea culture, you’ll know what I’m talking about – singsing. You can find more on singsing and related subjects in my previous posts and once I clean up the copy from the two-noun exercise, I’ll post it here.

Storytelling and Leadership


“Being a storyteller is intrinsically tied to leadership,” says Canadian poet of honour d’bi.young anitafrika. When we tell stories, we invite people to ask questions, and that’s how work evolves.

Courtesy Banff Centre

A Storyteller


A Storyteller – Stories, Poetry & Art

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JK.Leahy Illustration, Jan 2016

A storyteller illustrates a story about a girl, her mother and a turtle.

As the graphite glistens like a medieval etching on stone, the crisp white paper grows pictures. The art dances and the images come together and get close in a circle.

The storyteller adds smiles on their faces; the story is going to have a happy ending.

But, as the three characters get closer during the shading, the storyteller accidentally gives the mother a tear. Another tear is added deliberately for balance. Then the storyteller gives the girl a tear, somewhat reluctantly. The storyteller’s eyes fill with tears.  She works faster as tears stream down her face. She begins to shade around the three characters. She cannot separate them. The storyteller is pulled into the circle, to the three characters. There is no separation. It is the law of nature. It is the law of memory and love. It is the law of characters that we love.

Amile’s Twins – Short Story


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Picture by Barbara W. Beacham

Mondays Finish the Story

Amile’s Twins – a short story by JK.Leahy

She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge. Amile rubbed the twins in her red Yves St Laurent  coat. She ‘borrowed’ the coat from her one-month-old employer. With minimum wage, Amile was desperate for money. She heard about a game at Vipers, a dingy bar downtown. The stakes were nice and high. Gambling left her habits after Lucas was born, but times were hard.

That night, as the game intensified, all players dropped out except for Snarky Joe and her.  Snarky was rumoured to kill at a drop of a hat.

Grandma Magda’s lucky twin coins made Amile fearless. As the dealer began, Amile winked at Snarky and raised all in. Snarky’s hungry eyes lavished her full honey glossed lips, high cheekbones and large brown eyes. His eyes couldn’t go beyond the poker table; instead, he held Amile’s gaze.

Revealing her win, Amile reached for the chips. Snarky pulled out a .22 calibre.

“I win,” he said.


Click on short stories on triblamysticstories blog, to read more 150 word short stories created for Mondays Finish the Story flash fiction.

The Cold Lazarus – Short Story


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Picture by Barbara W. Beacham

This is my contribution to Mondays Finish the Story. This flash fiction challenge requires up to 150 words excluding the first sentence provided by Barbara Beacham. Barbara also provides the image. This image inspired several stories, but I decided to go with this one. I hope you enjoy the story.

“The Cold Lazarus” – JK.Leahy short story

“Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.” Jezebel climbed carefully over the fragile, sunburnt coral.

As her tender arches gripped for support, she reached out to push the hanging vines apart. Crushed coral dust and tiny pale branches fell off her feet and into the deep blue ocean a few metres below her. A boat approached. Beyond the gentle hum of the breeze, there was a splash in the creek at the opening. Jezebel hesitated before high strident, piercing screeches shocked her as a swarm of black scrawny bats flew at her, ruffling her wispy golden hair. She gasped for air. Suddenly, it dawned on her. The note on her window that led her here; was that really a note from James, her sweetheart? Or was it from Lazarus, James’ evil twin? Ice flooded her veins as she saw his towering, hefty silhouette come into view at the castle entrance. Where was James?

 

Released at last: “You’re Not Alone” an athology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care


Fantastic Christoph! Great post.

writerchristophfischer

11705837_967531943267360_280957472_oThe wait is over:

“You’re Not Alone” an anthology in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care has been released. A paperback version is also available! Get your copy now!

Twenty-seven writers from around the world, including myself have entered an assortment of short stories for your pleasure, show your support by liking the new page on Facebook and expressing an interest in buying the book.

You’ll find the book on your Amazon  via these links:
http://smarturl.it/YoureNotAloneAnth
http://bookshow.me/B00Y5RCOOE

You’ll find the Facebook page here: 

https://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015

And here is the fund, in loving memory of Pamela Mary Winton

https://macmillan.tributefunds.com/pamela-mary-winton

100% of the royalties earned or accrued in the purchase of this book, in all formats, will go to the Pamela Winton tribute fund, which is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

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An anthology, themed on relationships, of more than 20 authors 

from around the world –  from urban fantasy to stories that bring tears to the…

View original post 673 more words

How Long Should A Good Short Story Be?


Geoffedited

Are Australian short story writers an endangered species?

I found this review by Geoffrey Dean, an accomplished Tasmanian (Australian) writer quite interesting especially while editing some of my short stories for competitions recently.

I enjoy writing short stories, ranging from “Mondays Finish the Story” (Barbara W. Beacham) flash fiction challenge of 100-150 words to stories I have written in 1500 to 3000 words in our Creative Writing Workshop with Isabel D’Avila Winter. In short story competitions, the limit to the number of words you are required to write can really change a story, as I have found recently while reducing one of my 1500 word short stories to 1000 words for a competition. I have felt in the past week that I probably could have spent less time and written a better story, if I wrote a completely new story. On the other hand, I found it much easier to increase the number of words of another short story from 800 words to the required number, 1000 words. The additional 00 words may have slowed the phase of the story, but it is work-in-progress.

Submitting to literary magazines also calls for a fit. You have to write to specific requirements with type and paragraphing or head-lining, but the main challenge is the number of words to fit a page or a column.  So how can you fit into the system? Can you be less descriptive or reduce the number of characters without taking from your plot or could you do without long passages of back-stories without killing the story?

In the following review, “Are Australian short story writers an endangered species?”, see how author Geoff Dean writes about his process of creating a short story and his discussions on the steps that took him to the end where the answer about short stories and their lengths are quite clear.  As Dean writes, one must always aim to write a good short story first and foremost before trying to fit the story “into the system”, i.e., the magazine page size or competition requirements…in other words, to hell with the system, I am going to write my story my way and eventually find a place for it.

“Are Australian short story writers an endangered species?”

Geoffrey Dean has published 80 short stories. The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre (TWC) in conjunction with Island Magazine and the Geoff and Elizabeth Dean Foundation have just launched the Geoffrey Dean Short Story Competition which is now open to Australian writers.

Born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1928, Geoffrey Dean (Geoff) had his first short story published in the mid-1950s. Scores of his stories have appeared in eight collections of his work (Mysteries, myths, and miracles; Under the Mountain; The Literary Lunch; Strangers Country and other stories; Cold Dean Monday and other Australian stories; Summerbird and other stories; Over the Fence; and the Hadlee Stories), as well as magazines, anthologies and collections in Australia, the UK, USA, Norway and China. He won many literary prizes and awards, including the State of Victoria Short Story Award and the Arafura Literary award. His story, The Town that Died was made into a TV drama and broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1986. Geoff died in August, 2011.

Geoff

RRP AUD22.95, or via this site for AUD$20.
Inquiries to: anne dot hugo @ gmail dot com
Roaring Forties Press,
PO Box 368 North Hobart, Tasmania 7002 Australia

The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre

 

Salman Rushdie reads Donald Barthelme


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Picture: Google images – Executive Protection Business

I was introduced to this new way of story-telling in our creative writing workshop this week and I loved it. It is new to me, but some of you may already know about Donald Barthelme’s “Concerning the Bodyguard” and how this work told that story.

As a former journalist I was used to asking the questions, collecting all the answers and then writing the story from the answers. I found it fascinating that you can tell almost a whole story by only asking questions. I found this technique much nicer in listening to the podcast, rather than trying to read the questions. The one below, introduced to me by Isabel D’Avila Winter in our creative writing workshop, Salman Rushdie reads Donald Barthelme’s “Concerning the Bodyguard“.

Storytelling 

Salman Rushdie also discusses Concerning the Bodyguard with The New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman. “Concerning the Bodyguard” was published in the October 16, 1978, issue of The New Yorker, and was collected in “Forty Stories.” Salman Rushdie’s most recent book is “Luka and the Fire of Life.”

Listen to the podcast

A Dam Explosion – Short Story


Monday – Finish The Story

Inspired by Millie Thom and others who take part in this exercise, I decided to try the flash fiction challenge. The challenge asks for a story in 100 -150 words from a picture and a first line prompted by host, Barbara W. Beachman.

Team Work
Image copyright: Barbara Beachman.

“When the team heard the dam explode, the team knew they had limited time to make it to safety.

They were collecting specimens along the riverbank when local villagers warned; environment activists were blowing up the dam. The five ran and jumped into their yellow Kathmandu raft and anxiously strapped on life jackets. Gushing water headed downhill towards them. The raft was spat by the force of dam water metres into the air and slammed down into racing current.

“Noooooo!” screamed Wendy; she had been thrown off the raft.

Wendy! Wendy! The remaining scientists yelled against loud sounds of the rushing water. Nothing. The four held on tightly as the tiny, floating yellow raft bounced roughly down the wide powerful current. Kilometres later, the water poured into Mellow River.

Soon, darkness came and the current delivered them ashore a deserted bank. They lost everything and still, no sign of Wendy. (150 words)

Read more stories here