School’s out – here’s some more fiction from writing workshop

If you happen to look here before you check out the napkin, I’d like to advise you not to bother reading it seeking any great meaning. It was a drunk doodle composed at a bar about 18 years ago, I’ve just always liked the way it looked and enjoy the seemingly spontaneous mandala shape. Also I enjoy the drawing on the back I’d forgotten about until I took the napkin off the wall to scan. Yes I have a napkin on my wall. Art comes in many forms. In keeping with the napkin art/writing I’ve decided to include a poem from 96′ entitled:

Napkin Quips: or how I got drunk and thought I was a genius.  *BTW NSFW or kids*
It certainly does what it says on the tin, it is a compilation of the most cogent shorts composed on napkins in bars that seem holy in the amber moment but usually reveal themselves to be horrors the next day. For years I’ve kept small notebooks but these are before that time. It’s a fun piece. I still have many of the napkins, I think that would make a really interesting art show, of which I would be the only patron.

And also . . .The semester is over which means my awesome writing class is as well. I feel a little rudderless tonight as I put away my Spring course work. The class will happen again in the Fall but in the meantime I need to keep up with my good writing habits.

To try to keep the flow tonight I’m putting up the writing I did for the class from the three assignments Jim Sallis gave us. As you will see they are difficult and many people worked hard to stay close to the parameters of the exercises, while I explored the excited voice I’ve been playing with and had fun with all three, though strayed from the assigned task some.

Here’s a short description of the assignments from Jim’s syllabus, with a link to the longer explanation, basically supposed to write the first two pages of a story from the prompts, though in both cases I wrote complete short stories:

Link to long explanation of first assignments from Jim’s syllabus


What I produced: The Thirteenth Clown


My story from this headline

Here are the directions for the second assignment, though again I kind of leap off from this starting point:

Write an ordinary scene – two people talking, a domestic breakfast before the partners head off to work, shooting the breeze during a chance meeting at the park or grocery store – something with no tension or drama or apparent significance, and imbue it with as great a sense of dread, foreboding or suspense as you can. About a page. I want to sense the crocodile floating beneath the water.

What I’m looking for here is subtlety. Indirection. Imagination. Make no direct reference to anything beyond the perfectly ordinary surface. Use the surround, what is noticed, oddnesses, atmosphere, word choice.

Obviously this is extremely difficult. But it’s the sort of tool you really do want in your toolbox. This assignment is due March 21st.

My story: Good Morning and We are Back! (I really like this one.)


Okay Hopefully more stuff soon, like normal silly internet blog content like maybe some funny pictures or some shit.



~ by 15wattLasVegas on May 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “School’s out – here’s some more fiction from writing workshop”

  1. Ha! I want to see more napkins!

    And you wouldn’t be the only patron at that art show. I think there would be at least 2.5 other people, including myself and my friend Juanita!

  2. The figure on the napkin brings to mind tribal artwork. Something found among Mayan ruins. Digitally version also looks cool.

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