This was going to be just a plain, old post sharing yet another piece of flash fiction, but social media’s kind of on my mind since my husband has recently taken an interest in Klout and was astonished to realize that mine was sitting at a steady 41 (his is now higher than mine…). I just shrugged and said “Um, ok,” because I don’t think of myself as a crazy social media networker. I share things I find interest in with people I have found to also be interested in the same subject. Apparently this means I have klout. Um, ok. 😉
Since joining Google+ and, more recently, participating on Twitter, I have been learning a lot about writing and online interactions and how they can co-exist. (Apparently learning is my theme for the year…)
On Google+, not only do I now have a great support circle (get it, G+ers? Circle? *grins*). If I have a question, I post it to my writer peoples and get answers or suggestions or advice. If I have been writing and hit a block, I share it with them and get the range of sympathy from someone who actually understands (when characters do what they want regardless of what I’m trying to get them to do) to more suggestions on how to move past it. I see articles about the industry, self-publishing, traditional publishing, critique websites. I’ve been introduced to GoodReads.com, Bookcountry.com and so many other sites I’ve bookmarked. Not to mention that Google+ has hangouts where I can sit in a video chatroom with other writers and write or talk about writing, or sometimes just shoot-the-shit with. Sometimes, I’ll join a hangout without any intention of writing, but all of that good energy just pushes me to start slapping words down.
Twitter, while also extra fun, has a different feel to it, probably as a result of the 140 character limit. But the people I interact with on Twitter are also a crazy, fun bunch and so super supportive about all things. Plus through Twitter, I’ve been introduced to this wonder called Flash Fiction. Flash fiction is usually super short stories that are designed to fit within certain parameters that the flash fiction host has designed. I’ve already shared a couple of my stories here, but I probably wouldn’t have them at all if not for social media. Some people write different stories, genres, characters, etc. for their flash fiction entries, but for me, I’ve been using it (primarily) for fleshing out the characters in the main story I’m working on. Writing little snippets of 100-500 words, or sticking to only 5 sentences, really makes you boil down the story to its essentials. Each one has been an awesome experience and given me incredible insight to my own story/characters/world.
All of these people I interact with on these two social media platforms are crazy, adventurous, helpful, caring, inspiring, fun, supportive, genius, sharing, writing buddies, and above all CREATIVE. I have seen, not only posts on writing, but also posts with paintings, recipes, and general craftiness. I am glad to have this wonderful technology available so we can all share ideas and gather inspiration. Makes forays into the unknown (like me with writing!) so much more palatable.
And so, without further ado, I present the story that started this post. This was a flash fiction challenge that had a 13-hour period in which to participate. No planning… Had to find time during breaks at work… and it was a blast.
In the downpour, I almost passed the Camp Knox motel. It didn’t look encouraging, but I didn’t have much choice. I couldn’t go back; they’d kill me. The office manager looked up from her tabloid when she saw me dripping all over the floor.
“Please tell me you have a room available.”
She stood up and waddled to the back wall. “Only one. It’s seventy-eight dollars,” she said.
“Seventy dollars for one night in this hole in the wall? Dammit.” I thought about sleeping in the car, but I desperately needed a shower. “Fine. I don’t have much choice, do I?”
The old woman just glared at me. “Sounds serious. It’s still seventy-eight for the room,” she repeated, emphasizing the ‘eight’.
I pulled out what I had and put it on the counter.
She counted out my seventy-four dollars and change. “Seventy-eight.” Her glare rivaled mine for intensity.
I wanted a room. She had a room. So I stomped back out into the rain and dug through the car until I found enough change.
“Seventy-eight.” I slammed down the dripping wet change and swiped the key from the old biddy’s hand. “Thank God for warm showers,” I muttered.