Monday, May 24, 2010

Friday, I'm Home!

Sometimes, I find it hard to sort fact from fiction. The other day, I was at the grocery store buying a brisket. It was this ten pound package of vacuum sealed blood and guts. I stood in line, shifting it from one hip to the next; waiting. When I got to the counter, I sat it down for the cashier. She ran it across the bar-code reader, tossed it to the other side to be bagged, and said, “I love throwing meat.”

I laughed at the comment, but my “What if” mechanism started firing. I see the meat flying in slow motion, hitting the conveyor belt, ripping, and splattering its contents across the poor bag-boy’s face. He screams. The woman behind me folds over, throwing up, and it splatters my shoes.

I am standing there glassy-eyed as the cashier repeats the amount I owe. I pay and walk out of the grocery store wondering how I can work this into my #FridayFlash.

I didn’t even know what flash fiction was until I stumbled upon Editor Unleashed about a year ago. They were hosting a flash fiction contest, and I entered. As soon as I posted, I wished I hadn't.

I posted the wrong story, with a horrible title. It wasn’t even fiction. It was part of a collection of tales from my childhood; exaggerated truths. It was definitely a lesson learned.

I met some really cool people in the forum at Editor Unleashed: E.D. Johnson, Laura Eno, and Jon Strother. The three of them played this cool game where they posted a piece of fiction, a thousand words or less (flash fiction), on their blogs each Friday. They would then tweet their URLs with the hashtag #FridayFlash; forever linking their stories together and showing the world how cool they were.

I wanted in. I have never considered myself a writer, but I have always written. Flash fiction is a manageable chunk of writing that I can hold myself accountable for. I have started many novels, but I get overwhelmed by the sheer size of the project, and end up tabling them to work on later… or never. I can’t explain to you, with my limited vocabulary, how great it feels to finish something.

All of my life, I have written for an audience of one. Now, people take time out of their busy weekends to read what I have written. I am so honored to receive comments each week with reader thoughts and feelings, or what I could change to make my story better. It feeds my fire, and I want to write more.

I also love to read what others have written. Over the past year I have made the acquaintance of many amazing writers. I am shocked at the variety that is posted each week. I want to read, so they will write more.

Jon Strother asked me, “What does #FridayFlash mean to you?”

My answer in essence is Everything: It’s all of those “What If?” moments; The love of writing; the wonderful sense of accomplishment; the honor of you reading my posts; the emotional rollercoaster of reading your posts; friendship; family; and rubbing elbows with genius.

Thanks, Jon, for making me feel at home here, and Happy Anniversary, #FridayFlash!

This is my submission for the Friday Comes Monday contest on Mad Utopia. Readers, there is a contest for you too, check it out: HERE

Continue to checkout the #FridayFlash hastag on Twitter for great flash Fiction each week. If you're confused about how all of that works, hit me up on IM and I will walk you through it ;-)
MSN: Yahoo: mara_barz or shoot me an email


  1. Tomara, this is so well-written! You managed to work humor in there, (about died laughing at the flying meat), along with your obviously heartfelt feelings about what #fridayflash has meant to you.

    I find it astounding that you've not written flash very long. Your stories seem like you're an old pro.


  2. Love your title to this post! :)

    Enjoyed reading what #fridayflash means to you.

    When I first arrived at this community - also from Editor Unleashed - I was astounded by all the wonderful stories, yours among them!

    Jon, and all of you, have made it a happy home.

  3. The last 2 paragraphs were so eloquent. Well, the whole thing was, but especially the last part which brought everything home. I'm really glad you're part of #fridayflash!

  4. Aww...thanks for the kind comment!
    This is great! I'm with you on the Editor Unleashed thing all the way. :) You are one of the very special people that I've met through #fridayflash.

  5. What a funny story - i love hearing from other writers about their inspiration for stories :-) What a fantastic bunch of folks we have here - terrific post :-)

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. The flying meat was way too funny. :)

  7. I love the breeziness and directness with everything you write. A great lil' slice of life...

  8. Thanks you guys for the awesome comments. You always seem to make me feel like some kind of movie star or circus freak... either way, it's pretty cool ;-)

  9. Loved reading what #fridayflash means to you!
    So very well written, just like your flashes :) So glad to have met you!

    I'm still giggling at what your "what if" mechanism came up with; and am now relaxed to know that I'm not the only one imagining sometimes gruesome alternatives to my shopping experiences :)

  10. Enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, words and wisdom! Looking forward to reading more! DiDi

  11. The single line that struck me in this was: I wanted in. Sometimes, you just know what's going to be right for you.

    Great essay!