Recently I've taken a break from filling the inboxes of slush readers in order to write for a couple of blogs I frequent. And you know what? It's been some of the most writerly fun I've had in ages. With that in mind, I'm issuing an open invitation to all of you, dear readers of ISLF.
For the past two years, I've posted a 100-word ghost story on Christmas Eve, an attempt to carry on in the tradition of M.R. James and Charles Dickens. Storytelling, though, is so much more fun in a group, and that's why I'd like you to join me. Some folks would call this a contest or challenge. But the only prizes here will be the joy of reading and being read, and preparing for Christmas is challenging enough on its own, isn't it? Instead, simply consider this a time of shared storytelling.
What do you need to do to participate? Well ...
1.) Email me at ISawLightningFall [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know you're interested.
2.) Write a spooky piece of flash fiction exactly 100-words long. Good examples of the genre are Neil Gaiman's "Nicholas Was …," Andrew Klavan's "The Advent Reunion" or anything by M.R. James.
3.) Post it to your blog on Christmas Eve and email me the direct link.
That's all there is to it! If you don't have a blog and still would like to join in, don't worry. We won't leave you out in the cold. Let me know, and we'll post your story here.
Advent is the time to celebrate the light of the world, but Christmas morning is a ways off. Come gather with us by the hearth. The snow is falling, the scent of wood smoke lingers in the air and wind whips around the eaves. Take a little time to consider the gloom just outside the fire's throw -- and the darkness within our own hearts.
(Picture: CC 2006 by Michel Filion)