FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE – FIRST ENTRY

We’ve got our first entry to the Noteworthy Literature flash fiction challenge. It’s a funny little story sent in from Yasmine Ara. I hope you all enjoy. Feel free to comment, like and share. Oh, and submit your own Flash Fiction stories and we’ll post them right here on Noteworthy Literature. Enjoy!

Rocket Scientist – by Yasmine Ara

There’s a poor fella who fell in love with a dark horse. Well, actually I’m a rocket scientist, but that’s not important to the story. This poor guy thought it would be a piece of cake to win me over. He must have been dreaming. I noticed him out of the corner of my eye when I would buy a cup of tea at the local shop, but I never gave him the time of day. So he approached my little sister first. That was his first mistake. She’s a total couch potato and thinks all boys are a pain in the neck. She’s overprotective of me, and if she keeps it up I’ll miss the boat every time. She comforts me by saying, “When the right time comes, Mr. Right will definitely come along.” She would always end with, “Take it or leave it.” As if I had a choice. What if he didn’t come along? “Nevermind,” she would say. “He will come along, but I won’t let it happen just like that.” That’s usually when I remind her that she’s the younger sister, and that guy was kind of cute.

When that poor romantic fellow approached her, thank God my little sister didn’t spill the beans because she thought he seemed like that two-timing sort of man, who lies with a straight face. She knows I hate that with all my heart. Yet, I’m not getting any younger so he was still a safe bet though.

Then, he tried to make friends with my elder sister. She always had a thing for tall men even though her husband is quite short. In her imagination, she probably envisions her husband is tall and dashing, but she’s the only one who sees him that way. He’s only five foot and a couple of inches tall and that’s in his best pair of shoes. Mind you, they are head-over-heels in love with each other. One day I hope to have the same.

She’s a critical sort of girl and this poor fellow didn’t get very far with impressing her either. So, his second plan didn’t do the trick, even though he is taller than her husband. Yet, he didn’t give up right there and then. His next advance was to befriend my brother. I didn’t understand that move because my brother is drop-dead gorgeous, at least most girls think so, and this new stranger was nowhere near his league. I didn’t see what he possibly had to gain by comparison. My brother was a handsome fellow, but quite stingy with the ladies. He claimed that girls weren’t all sugar and spice and fresh air all the time. Besides, my brother hated when girls treated him like someone larger than life. That’s what he said, but I never believed him though. His weakness was feeling guilty at the prospect of rejecting anyone’s genuine offer. I guess that’s why he accepted this total stranger’s offer for brunch at a five star hotel. He even went so far as to invite two of my brother’s friends. They were both men about town and didn’t feel any qualms about the brunch being on the poor fellow’s dime.

Well, I had to admit that he was rising in favour with me. After all, that was a nice gesture, but my sisters were still on the fence. On the very day of the brunch, my brother and his friends ordered the most expensive foods on the menu. They never had foie gras or caviar, but felt like this was a once in a blue moon occasion. They didn’t like duck liver and fish eggs that much, but it was a remarkable acknowledgment though. Ironically, the poor fellow’s credit card didn’t go through and my greedy brother was stuck with the bill. His credit was always in the black, for God’s sake.

Needless to say, this would-be suitor was upset. Alright, poor fellow, please don’t try to take it out on anyone else. It was you who spent all your precious time for nothing, and don’t try to comfort yourself by saying, “I don’t know what got into me.” That’s a poor excuse. I could have taken you for granted and led you on forever, but I know you’re not a rich guy. They say money makes the world go round, but I’m not that type of girl. The truth is I could never have a soft spot in my heart for you, so thank you kindly, and oh yeah, don’t hold your breath. I’m a dark horse. Well, actually, I’m a rocket scientist, but that’s not important to the story.

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FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE

FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE

Flash Fiction is one of my favorite literary genres. It’s perfect for our super-fast, hyper-relevant, uber-social world.

Do you think you can write some Flash Fiction of your own? Here’s a new challenge: write a piece of flash fiction and I’ll publish it right here on NOTEWORTHY LITERATURE…and not a back page either…right here in the front. You only get about a 1,000 words to make an impression on someone. Can you make someone laugh, cry, or scream! Go on, give it a shot and you could see your work on this page. Send your stories to SOLARITRIBE@Gmail.com. Don’t just copy and paste to this post.

Good luck!

Flash Fiction

IN A FLASH – A Challenge to Read Flash Fiction

I recently got into a bit of a row with a fellow blogger over Flash Fiction, the literary genre that is usually between 500 and 1000 words. Is a thousand words really too long or is our attention span getting much shorter? Can we squeeze a good story into the space of a tweet, or do we want a chunky tome to set us back a good week or two?

There’s got to be a middle ground.

I remember 10 years ago when a friend told me that a 5,000 word story was too long. Then, 5 years ago that same friend said my award-winning 2,500 word story – A Fight for Life was too long.

I get it: we’re all hopped up on energy drinks and scrolling through social media so fast that we couldn’t bare to sit still for 15 minutes and just read. Crazy, right?!

So, here’s a challenge: I’m giving away FREE short stories to celebrate the release of my Flash Fiction collection, appropriately titled IN A FLASH. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the stories themselves and the genre of Flash Fiction, as well. To get your FREE stories, just visit my publisher’s website – CLICK HERE.

You can also buy the book if you like; it costs less than a latte.

IN A FLASH: A Collection of Very Short Stories

A Book of Short Stories
A Book of Short Stories

Literary Quote of the Week

“Let me give you some counsel, bastard,” Lannister said. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” – Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin)

Why I’m Done With Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, the HBO hit series, is awesome. Don’t get me wrong. It’s based on the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series by George R. R. Martin. I read the first four novels before the TV series even started and I really appreciate Martin’s style. Yet, Martin has a problem: ending the madness.

First, let’s applaud Martin’s ability to engage readers and audiences. His approach is absolutely unique. He makes you fall in love with heroic characters and then systematically destroys their lives. Then, Martin allows his villains to evolve to the point that the reader (audience) begins to feel genuine empathy for them. Jaime Lannister for example, started as the primary villain but evolves over the course of the series to become a (dare I say) human being. This is an outright rebellion against literary conventions, and the source of George R. R. Martin’s creative genius.

Now, let’s get to the problem. Where does it all end? I told myself that I wouldn’t read or watch past the 3rd installment of the story because all the likable characters were dead. Recently, HBO audiences experienced the death of Jon Snow, the last true hero of the series. Yet, does the story end? No, the books go on and the TV series will go on. Admittedly, it’s hard to end a series, but everything must conclude at some point. Martin has dug himself into a hole by dragging his story through yet another book and yet another season of the show. An ending is important for readers (audiences). The end gives us a moment to breathe and absorb the message of the story. Without an ending, the reader is trapped in the madness. To the fans of George R. R. Martin, I’ll quote Tyrion Lannister – “Your loyalty to your captors is touching.”

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Author Quote of the Week

I am introducing a new addition to Noteworthy Literature called “Author Quote of the Week“. You can already find insightful quotes from books (Literary Quote of the Week), but sometimes I run across a thought-provoking quote from one of my favorite authors. This week is all about identity. I hope you enjoy:

“I am a Dominican, hyphen, American. As a fiction writer, I find that the most exciting things happen in the realm of that hyphen – the place where two worlds collide or blend together.” – Julia Alvarez

Revisiting The House on Mango Street

It’s been more than 10 years since I first read – The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Yet in light of Donald Trump’s recent inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants, I thought I’d revisit Cisneros’ punchy little novel about finding a sense of belonging. The House on Mango Street is written in an episodic style in which the author uses punchy little vignettes to illuminate the main character, a young girl named Esperanza.

Donald Trump recently issued statements saying that Mexican immigrants are mostly drug dealers and rapists. He’s gotten a mixed bag of feedback from his comments, but I think he is neglecting to recognize everyday people like Esperanza. Yes, she is a fictional character, but born out of the mind of a very real person – Sandra Cisneros. The House on Mango Street opens a window into the mind of a female Mexican immigrant growing up in America. She deals with issues that any young girl would face: an evolving sexuality, feelings of abandonment, and a desire to be free. Yet, when I talk to other readers, people seldom remember that this book is also about social responsibility. Esperanza, the child, wanted to leave Mango Street and everyone else behind. As she grows older, Esperanza identifies more with her community and wants to help sustain it. She strives to engage specifically with other women in the neighborhood to give them a sense of empowerment and support.

That doesn’t sound like Donald Trump’s vision of Mexican immigrants at all. Maybe he should revisit The House on Mango Street.

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