This glittery Santa ornament still lives in its box. I thought about taking it out for the picture, but then he reminded me of The Prospector from Toy Story 2, so I left him in his box.
#vss very short story
Tears pushed at the corners of the collector’s eyes as he lifted Formalwear Santa to his place of honor on the center of the clear latex boxes that lined the wall. One specifically crafted staging area for each of the Waterforce ornaments.
He stepped back and admired his work, his life’s work, now completed. Overwhelmed with conflicting emotions, he let the tears flow down his cheeks, no longer able to fight them back. He dropped to his knees.
At first he thought his legs had given under the weight of his accomplishment, but then the ornaments began to jump and dance along the wall. Dust fell from the ceiling in larger and larger pieces. The floor shifted beneath his knees. The wall cracked and splintered behind his display. A roar like a freight train filled his head and the last thing he saw was Formalwear Santa shattering in his box as the room collapsed.
Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem
Prompt: Write a poem about an action or event you were directly involved in that makes you proud. Consider writing this poem in quatrains, rhymed or unrhymed, but as many four-lined stanzas as you’d like.
The Royal Bear
As we moved my belongings to my new abode
We passed a club on the side of the road called the Royal Bear
Now that’s a great dive, I thought to myself
If I find a band here, I want a show there.
So far from the city, it was hard to find gigs
I tried to fit with heavy metal, but who was I trying to kid
I gave up for a while and poured my all into work
But I missed the music and decided to renew my search
An announcement on Craigslist made my heart skip a beat
A group needed a bassist and practiced right down the street
I had promised myself college was the end of playing covers
But location was key and I had no luck with the others.
I had a huge list of songs to learn in a hurry,
A gig in two weeks at a motorcycle rally
Learning not only bass lines but an alternative world
Of chapters and rides, rodeos and leathers.
We played The Royal Bear on a semi-regular basis
I recall one show of which I’m particularly proud
My whole family came and had drinks together
My mother didn’t even complain it was loud.
Then came the moment when my life was complete
My mother and father got up from their seats
Joining their kids on the dance floor, they danced
As I played Fight For Your Right To Party!
Today, I’ll expand the Story Grid spreadsheet. According to The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyle, the next step is to evaluate each scene for Value Shift, Polarity Shift and Turning Point.
Value Shift – Human experiences that can shift in quality from positive to negative or negative to positive. (e.g. happy/sad, love/hate, innocence/experience). Every scene must turn a story value.
Polarity Shift – Is the visual representation of the value change in the scene: +/- or -/+. There may be some scenes that move from good to great or bed to worse, +/++ or -/–.
Turning Point – The precise moment/beat in the scene when the value shifts. Turning points either occur through action or revelation. It is important to track your turning points to make sure there is variation.
graphic by Anjela Curtis
Look at a very small object, look at its center.
I like this idea. For today’s story, I’ll practice starting in a universal perspective and then quickly diving in to tighter and tighter view until I get to the center of a small object. Oh, I think I have an idea! Following today’s theme, I’ll use this technique at a party.
Don’t Forget To Read!
Don’t forget to read Christmas gift books: I don’t always have the time, but I like to try to read the books I give as gifts, so I can discuss them with the people I give them to. I especially like to read the books I give to my nieces and nephews to make sure they’re appropriate.
For the next few days, I’ll be evaluating–
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
The Best of Talebones edited by Patrick Swenson
–as possible Christmas gifts.
Happy Reading and Writing!