My Anthem

Sunday, June 17, 2012

SSS: My occupation on Sundays for near future



I'm working on a novel. A novel is NOT a short story -- but they are similar in that they possess certain essential ingredients (desiderata!) except that a SS by definition is SHORT! While a novel is not -- is this latter part of sentence redundant?

And what is SS you dare aRsEk? Shrt Story-lah!
And SSS? Sunday Short Story-lah2!

So to demonstrate what is a GOoD short story, I reprise the first part of my post of 4(sei-loL!)  years ago, which follows:)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Somethin' Sexy:) Somethin' Non:(

I read a sexy peAce of A Short Story today, and
it brought back some FFFF. The last is not an "F" word, okay; ask Tom Jones if you need the fool story!


A college professor was lecturing his students on writing a good, short story. He stressed that four features must be present.

First, one ingredient is Sex -- for without it, there would be no human race, so there is no academic pursuit.
Second, one must have Religion, for this differentiates Homo Sapiens from animals, as religion governs humankind's way of daily living and leads to his/her civilization process. Otherwise, there is no history.
Third, there must be Mystery, for this challenges the reader to read on to test his imagination and detection power if he could transcend the writer's creative prowess and guess the ending.
Lastly, by definition, a short story must have brevity;otherwise, ..... it's not wise to underestimate your reader's intelligence.

So the class of Nobel laureate-aspirants set to work, and except for the rustle of pens on paper, there was pin-drop silence.

From where he sat on the front table, the professor spied a restless youth watching the courtyard outside through the window, obviously contemplating the old banyan trees, the chirping birds, both the feathered and human kind (with lads in tow, holding hands, and picnic baskets, what else). And the young man's thoughts strayed.

The professor tapped the young-man, deep-in-reflection, on his shoulder, enquiring if he had problem with his assignment.

"No, professor, I have accomplished my mission," the bespectacled lad proudly replied, handing over a page of paper. All eyes of his course mates were now focused on the potential winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

On the piece of paper was written the following:


The Duchess of Kent is pregnant, O' God!

I wonder who did it? 


One blog I visit occasionally is the clarityof where its host attorney-writer Jason Evans occasionally runs SS Contests, and my attempts helped me to hone my SS writing skills:).
From participating in these friendly competitions, I must admit I did hone my SS skills, and the following example made me specially proud as I made it to the FORTIES CLUB!:)

FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2009

"In Vino Veritas (Truth in Wine)" Short Fiction Contest

Now, down to business. Here's how the contest works. Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction (or poetry) piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. After the contest opens, send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 15th (Eastern Time, United States). I'd prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect (please see the format request below), but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email. Each entry will be posted and indexed.

Now for the goodies. The following prizes are up for grabs:

  • 1st Place: $50 Amazon gift certificate and a signed copy of RED-HEADED STEPHCHILD
  • 2nd Place: $30 Amazon gift certificate
  • 3rd Place: $25 Amazon gift certificate
  • 4th Place: $20 Amazon gift certificate
  • 5th Place: $15 Amazon gift certificate
  • Readers' Choice Award 1st Place: $30 Amazon Gift certificate and a signed copy of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD

But this is about more than prizes. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with your fellow writers. Our different perspectives, styles, and skills shine when we all start at the same place. It's a great opportunity to learn from each other.

  1. 250 words maximum.
  2. Titles are optional, but encouraged. Titles do not count toward your word count.
  3. One entry per person.
  4. Any genre or style is welcome. If you choose to submit poetry, you must have narrative movement within the poem if you wish to compete with the prose pieces for the prizes.
  5. The copyright remains with you, the author; however, you grant me worldwide first electronic publishing rights to post your entry on this blog indefinitely.
  6. Judging will be conducted by me, Jason Evans. For an explanation of the judging criteria and scoring system, seeA Note on Judging. You can also read the winning entries from past contests. Judging will also be conducted by Jaye Wells as co-host. (See below.)
  7. Please provide a name for your byline. If you have a website or a blog, I'd be happy to link your site to your byline. If you don't have a website or blog, feel free to include a short bio. A bio does not count towards your word count.
  8. At the close of the contest, I will give the date and time for the announcement of winners.
  9. After the winners are announced, I will post what I liked most about each entry in the comments.
  10. The Readers' Choice Award is awarded by vote of the contest participants. The entry with the highest number of votes wins. The rules for this portion of the contest will be posted after the entry period closes.
  11. Public critiques in comments are encouraged, but must remain respectful. I reserve the right to delete comments and ban participants who do not abide by the collegial spirit of Clarity of Night contests.
  12. For prior contests and their results, see the links on the sidebar.

Desi's entry which qualified for the Forties Club -- meaning the writer scores at least 40 points out of maximum 50 -- follows, based on the beaut PICTURE ABOVE; and you can take my word for it, it's darn'd/damned difficult to get there/dare!

SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009

Entry #84

Wine Sublime, Truth Divine
by YL Chong


Naomi: Father, it's not good. The last time I did it with you, I felt guilty. Now I feel bad coming back ...

Pastor Parissh: Now, now, my child. That's perfectly normal. Eve after succumbing to temptation, she first felt shame. Adam too, but soon they began to enjoy the excitement of discovery. After all, we are all human...

Naomi: But I wronged my boyfriend...

Parissh: Let me fill you in. Garrett sleeps around too. He does it with the boys gives him a different high.

Naomi: Father, you mean Garrett's has been confessing too?

Parissh: Oh yes!

Naomi: Oh, I see! No wonder he says he's not free on Friday nights...playing poker.

Parissh: You don't join him at the pub?

Naomi: No, I hate the taste of beer! But I enjoy our Communion wine. And last week, it was so ecstatic!

Parissh: Oh yes, we finished one whole bottle.

Naomi: The "blesssed" liquid, you said. Christ's sacrifice. Our bonding--'twas so divine!


Garrett: Father, I feel so ashamed. I think I'm paying a price for my wandering ways.

Parissh: I worry for you, my son. It's been twelve months ...

Garrett: Father, My playing has finally caught up with me...

(A pause)

I went for my annual medical last week--you know, Company's policy--and the results just came back...

(Another pause)

I have contracted AIDS. And I've been having such great sex with Naomi! Poor Naomi, she...


Ello said...
Excellent! I love when the ending satisfies me!
Laurel said...
This was interesting to read and I like the poetic justice. Only teensy minor quibble is how often AIDS shows up in fiction as some sort of judgment. I'd love it if someone ended up with tertiary syphyllis due to his wandering ways once in a while.

That is nothing more than a personal hang-up, though, and otherwise I really liked it!

Sorry-hope I didn't cross the line there.
desiderata said...
Ello: Great to know you liked it! Yes, it took 3-4 drafts before I could wean it down with that ending:) Cheers, YL
desiderata said...

Thanks for taking time to elaborate; it's interesting that in fact I did think about STD, paused, and opted for AIDS because with advances in medicine, syphyllis or gonorhoea (I even don't know if this spellig is right, but I'd leave as it is:)is easily treatable, hence the "penalty" won't be "poetic" enough eh! Thanks for useful feedback, YL
JR's Thumbprints said...
I like the structure of your story and how it hinges around the priest. I'm not sure this line worked for me - Naomi: Oh, I see! No wonder he says he's not free on Friday nights...playing poker. The reaction doesn't seem natural. Other than that, I DO LIKE the ending!
wrath999 said...
Wow, very good stuff

Catvibe said...
D'oh! Great ending, and I enjoyed the dialogue.
laughingwolf said...
good to see the 'father' get his due!
desiderata said...
Thanks JR'sT, for good point wrt "Oh, I see! No wonder he says he's not free on Friday nights...playing poker..." I read it aloud; I wanted to include this point, but it seems superfluous and does seem NOT in the right place! Glad the ending hits:) YL
desiderata said...
Dear ALL comers who have shared with comments -- I read all feedback in awe... Taking part in all CoN writes really rewards in the interactivity with fellow Writers.

I am still prowling around to read your stories; will get to leave my footprints soon. -- YL, Desi
desiderata said...
Dear wrath999:
Thanks for encouragement:)

Catvibe: it's good to hear the ending works -- that's the testing part in SS writing. I'm glad you like it too.

laughingwolf: sometimes we know that even the men in that white cloth are also "pretty" human, from both masculine and feminine aye/eye-points eh! ~~ YL
Aniket said...
I loved the fact that you experimented with the structure here. Its a double edged sword, but seems to work wonders here.

Good job.

I loved the end and also totally agree with the point JR covered. Constructive criticism is the best thing one can get from a reader. Especially from ones so immensely talented as the one's around here.
Adisha said...
So thoroughly satisfyin to read something so perfect... As Aniket says, the structure was amazing ... different yet it works for this piece !!
Therese said...
I liked the format here. All dialogue, but there's still atmosphere.
Chris Eldin said...
I like how you structured this--relying on dialogue to tell a story, including building an atmosphere, is very challenging. But you pulled it off!!
desiderata said...
Dear all, and starting wit JR'sT and rolling with Aniket,Adisha,Therese and Chris E, Thanks for similar compliments on the Structure. Actually I had the story idea sometime back, but the 250-word limit imposed on me just telling it via dialogue. I was a little apprehensive at first -- your positive assessment means I did right by my instinct. Cheers, I am enjoying slowly but steadily all your stories too, and I amhumbled by the company:) -- YL, Desi
Hoodie said...
What a tangled web we weave-

Scumbag.(The character, of course!) Way to make it come full circle.
Karen said...
I'm glad to see him get his due -- so I think the ending suits perfectly.

I still find dialogue extremely difficult to write.
desiderata said...

Thanks for transiting hear:)
Hope we don't meet too many of such scumbags in our transient stay on Mother GOoD Earth eh!:), YL
desiderata said...

Hey, I enjoy your poetic and prose-poetry lots, will leave more footprints in future steals of your secrets.

I too had/have problems with dialogue as recently as last year; improved a byte or two via Jason's CoN test drives:) Che3ers, YL
Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...
Loved the style and story structure - intriguing, and full of justice.
Mona said...
O Dear!

This should have been titled " When Confession became Revelation".

This is how it spreads...
pjd said...
My favorite bit is how casual the pastor is with his discussion of their illicit and sinful activities. As in, "Oh, yeah, that par five on the back nine is tough. I usually try to hit left, over the trees, but it always catches me up. Ha, ha, ha!" Just another casual topic of conversation, lacking significance.
desiderata said...

Am glad you enjoyed it. I compliment you too for a great peice.

Mona: YES, confession, revelation, STD -- they spread in strange ways, also wear differing clothes too,or three:):):)

And pjd: appreciate all my fellow writers' sharing -- this 'hole-in-1' anecdote is LOST on a non-golfie like Desi:( but I know your meaning...Che3ers, YL
Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...
Excellent! I loved it.
As the Mind Meanders said...
Mind blowing end... loved it
Angela said...
From beginning to end just a fabulous read and a with great twist to boot, AWESOME! Loved it!
desiderata said...
Ranee: Thanks,glad you loved it.

MindMeanders: ...I like blowin' in the wind too, esp by Port Dickson sesside:) Come visit Malaysia and we can meander around...:)

Angela: I got blown o'er by thy twister too; but your Protagonist should not bully any Indonesian maid when visiting NegaraKu!:(
Che3ers to all:):):), YL
JaneyV said...
Just to add to the comments that I liked the format you used and I'm a big fan of Karma getting the last laugh.

I feel sorry for Naomi though. It seems like she's paying a big price for being a bit thick.
desiderata said...
janeyV: Thanks for appreciation. You know "Karma" eh -- must be among the Wise ones:)

As for Naomi (plusothers caught in matters of the heART), sometimes the Vision is blurred -- as in LoveIsBlind? YL, Desi
jason evans said...
How's that for poetic justice. I'm just sorry the couple has to suffer to. Clever dialogue.

Welcome to The Forties Club!
desiderata said...
Thanks Jason for all your hard work, inspiring much of writers' heart labour fromacross the
se7en Cs. Me inducted into 40s club? You maketh YL 20years younger! Must be a miss'd take somewhere --too much wine? I was born in 1947,knot 74!:) Have a tehtarik on Desi!:)

PS: Tehtarik to all the 157 Other fellow particpants, and Jaye too, should you pass Koala Lumpur way! BTW, It's NORTH of Singapore:)

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