Deadlines: A Thanksgiving Tale
For writers like me who find ways to procrastinate that would make even teenage boys envious, deadlines are not just a good thing—they’re a great thing. Deadlines keep me on task and ensure that whatever needs to be done will be done in the necessary amount of time. That is, um, unless it isn’t. Such was the case this past weekend when I missed a deadline altogether.
Literary agent Janet Reid hosted a flash fiction contest on her blog. She invited readers to post, in the comment section, a 100 word story that had to include these five words: lot, alert, caring, heroic and flammable. The contest entries had to be posted between 9 a.m. on the 23rd and 9 a.m. on the 24th.
Now, y’all know how I love flash fiction. This little challenge drew me in like a honey ant to baklava. I read about it on Friday the 22nd (tweeted it, too, actually) and took the time to write a story then and there because I knew I’d procrastinate and miss the deadline if I didn’t do it right away. Problem is, I missed the deadline anyway.
See, I wrote the story on Friday, jotted a note-to-self in my planner, and then didn’t look at said planner again until Sunday at 11 a.m., two hours after the contest closed. I missed the entire 24-hour window because I played hooky from my computer on Saturday. To say I was frustrated and annoyed with myself doesn’t begin to describe my emotions when I fired up Charlotte (my laptop) on Sunday, glanced at my planner and saw the contest reminder written right there in red ink.
Drat! (Yeah, okay, I didn’t say drat. I definitely said something else.)
Since my flash piece became irrelevant for its original purpose, I thought I’d offer it up here as a little Thanksgiving present, something to entertain my blogger friends and say thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting. Your time is precious, and I so appreciate that you spend some of it kicking around here.
I tried something I’ve never done before, which was to write an entire story using dialogue only. Here it is, at a total of 98 words (including the title):
“Brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.”
“You have the flambé pan, darlin’?”
“Would I need that crap if I didn’t?”
“Just checkin’. Here’s the lot of it. What’s next?”
“Here. Sweet like you.”
“Just slice the damn bananas.”
“Alert the media! You accomplished something.”
“I’m tryin’ to be nice.”
“And I’m not caring.”
“Forgivin’ you ain’t easy.”
“Slicing bananas hardly qualifies as heroic effort.”
“Here’s the rum.”
“Not this brand. Don’t you ever listen? Wait. This smells like—”
“I’ll pour it.”
“Stop! No! It’s—”
“Flammable? I know . . . darlin’.”
Ta-da! There you have it, Buttercup. My little contest entry that was destined not to be. If you’d like to read the entries that did make it into the contest on time, visit Janet Reid’s blog HERE.
On another topic, the winners of the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls giveaway are Claudia Mundell and Kathy Matthews. Their names were chosen at random through the help of Random.org. Please shoot me an email, ladies, to be sure I have your current address. Congratulations on your win!
Thanks for dropping by Writing in the Buff. I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!
See you next week for more of the naked truth!