For my efforts, I got a nice note from the organizers, who closed with, “Shame you didn’t know until so late, but you are perfectly placed for next year, now!”
And for a moment, I sat there and asked myself, Placed for next year…?
You see, the truth of the matter is, when I heard the term “flash fiction,” I sort of assumed that the descriptive discussed more than just the brief length of the piece.
I saw the term in context of Peter Denton’s contribution to the day (a good read, BTW), and maybe it was the hour, the mishigas I was in the midst of, whatever it was, I assumed that part of the flash fiction experience involved not just the size of the story, but the speed of competition.
So here I was being asked to do a piece that didn’t allow me my usual process, which meant thinking about something, taking it apart over a few different angles, dealing with the thousands of Necessary Distractions swirling about me, getting to a place physically and emotionally after dealing with all of that (sometimes through ill grace, which I’m trying to cut down on), maybe have a few drinks before I run through a draft, take a break to socialize and play a video game, re-do the draft and apply a little more polish, repeating as necessary, starting over if after a few times it feels way too wrong. And if you think reading that run on sentence was rough, try living it…
No, I just bolted when I thought there was this need for a piece with a small window before me to get it out there, and I just cut through and set it loose quickly. And I did it in an expedient seventeen minutes.
So yeah, I’m kind of an idiot as far as understanding what flash fiction is all about.
But still, seventeen minutes from finding an open market to publication, now that’s got to count for something, ain’t it…?