Frozen Dumplings

The small plastic tray goes in the microwave, only to be shut in with a bang. It sits and waits, frozen in its bag, but just for a moment. The lights turn on in its dark prison and the floor turns. The box heats up; the iciness in the tray’s burden melts away.

Two minutes, the directions said. That isn’t enough. The time was doubled. Four minutes pass. The hot cell goes dark.

Sweaty hands remove the tray and clumsily tear off the plastic bag. Its cargo – the dumplings, 6 of them – soon doused in lukewarm ginger soy sauce. A taste of Asian cuisine, or they’re supposed to be, as best as mild chicken-ginger meatballs in a dry-soggy wrapper can. A reminder of community.

Yet they’re quickly scarfed down, alone.

I’m still alive!

Just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t given up on this blog, but this past year I’ve been occupied with various academic activities. I appreciate you still watching this space in my absence. Eventually I plan to start writing and posting more again as though I haven’t been away for 2 years, but for now, to get those creative juices flowing, I’m probably going to start a blog (either here or on Tumblr) where I can dig deep into my character’s head and find out what makes him tick by answering questions in character.

Black Friday

A/N: Edits made thanks to @slicesofprose. Comments are always appreciated.

He felt a pit of sorrow in his chest and he didn’t know why. It wasn’t the kind of pit one could throw something in and walk away, but that which could also be called a stone, the large seed in an avocado or a peach. It was highly inappropriate for this time, considering he’d been at a pleasant feast the day before on the invitation of a friend from uni. Something something about history and English people 500 years ago who’d been fed and clothed by natives they might’ve treated poorly afterward.

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There are no clouds

A/N: Surprisingly, this took an excruciatingly long time to finish. I started it back in July, but the laziness brought on by summer heat took its toll on me, diminishing my creativity. Despite working on and off on it for months, I didn’t complete it until late September. I really should think of a better title; the ending was supposed to have some trippy line about no clouds, but it turned out differently. Ah, the joys of pantsing one’s plot. Anyway, enjoy! Hopefully it makes some sense. Con-crit is appreciated.


It was around 10 in the morning when Stephen went out of his home to take out the trash. Garbage, he thought, attempting to correct his usage to the Queen’s English, before realizing that it, too, was an American word. Rubbish, he thought, and was then happily done with the matter, though not with his trip to the bins.

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A little help, please?

Hi, everyone. I’ve been trying to get the hang of WordPress and I see that many of the people I follow (writers) tend to tag their posts not only with the general category (“writing, poetry”), but also more specific keywords (“childhood, forest, nature” – not trying to pinpoint anyone here, merely giving examples!). I’d like to do the same, but I’ve got a slight dilemma. And that’s why I’ve come to you.

Although I’d like to continue keeping things minimalist by using my current arrangement, which is a few broad tags and categories that encompass the type of post, not the theme, I feel that something more is needed to quickly identify posts, especially as more stories and eventually reviews or other things are published. For example, tagging stories with the character featured, if any, could be a start, but what about the odd non-fiction post – like, say, this one, or the introductory post way back – that isn’t a review?

Do you have any advice on how I can sort things by theme to attract readers without going overboard on the tags, especially in regards to keywords (ex. “writing, fiction, short story, character, nature, office life, dream, chicken soap” etc)? As much as I would rather not use keywords (to me, things would be kept cleaner if I didn’t have to use tags like “dream, chicken, soap, chicken soap” in addition to the general ones you see now), it seems that in order to draw readers from all over who might be interested, I’d have to do this. How do you classify your more personal posts without getting overwhelmed by the sheer length of your potentially ever-growing tag list?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks!

Conviction

A/N: This came from a prompt given by a friend over on another site. Strangely enough, despite knowing what to write for a whole paragraph, I struggled to come up with something good afterward, so I thought it was best to cut it short and explore more about the character in other pieces.

Stephen is convinced that his life is the only thing he knows of that makes sense. Though he doesn’t know why, it’s not a hard conclusion to come to. It seems there’s so much chaos – in this country he lives in (his residence, not his home), in the world at large – chaos that affects so many lives: communities nearby, communities far away, those he doesn’t even know. With all that’s going on (shootings, health care issues, terrorist attacks, the threat of war and the rise of dictators – not to mention the imminent departure of his homeland from Europe) it’s a wonder society hasn’t yet collapsed.

And yet, despite all the mistakes and life-changing events that he’s experienced, for some reason Stephen has escaped unscathed.

Chicken soap

“Chicken soup?” he repeats, still incredulous at what he just heard. Or at least, what he thinks he heard. Stephen may not be bright, which is ironic considering his field of work (research), and the sharp manner in which he is dressed, but even to him, this is ridiculous. “I’m sorry, I must’ve misheard you. Did you say chicken soup? Because it sounded like ‘chicken soap.'”

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