Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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JUNE - 2020 - MICROSTORY CONTEST (COMMENTS ONLY)

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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1056 comments Theme: Military Service
Required elements:

1) Veteran families
2) Honoring the fallen


message 2: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 245 comments Holy shit! Dean's back! Welcome.


message 3: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Jack wrote: "Holy shit! Dean's back! Welcome."
Thanks, Jack. I haven't really gone anywhere, just got pulled away by life and other things. As a former soldier, I felt particularly attached to this theme.


message 4: by Jack (last edited Jun 04, 2020 03:21PM) (new)

Jack McDaniel | 245 comments Dean wrote:
Thanks, Jack. I haven't really gone anywhere, just got pulled away by life and other things. As a former soldier, I felt particularly attached to this..."


That I understand. I've been missing a lot myself. Timely theme for me. I do a lot of volunteer work here in Colorado with veterans and the homeless. A buddy of mine is former Air Force and he gets out to the graves of our fallen soldiers regularly, in particular the kids who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the things we do is clean up the grave site, put in a flag and flowers and say a few words. Usually, I take a photo and Tony delivers it to the family. It's a simple thing, but it means the world to the families involved.

My brother is former Delta Force and Homeland Security. He suffers from PTSD and a few other things now. So, I like to think by doing my part here someone in Virginia might do something for him.

My most recent novel, Purple Hearted Man, is the story of a war vet who suffers from PTSD and a psychotic break.

Glad you wrote a story. I will read it soon.


message 5: by Dean (last edited Jun 05, 2020 06:22AM) (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Thanks, but gonna have to go back and edit the hell out of it. I went WAY over the word limit and I'd like it to at least be eligible. I will post the edited version once Jot deletes the current one.


message 6: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
You can click EDIT to replace the story, but just confirm and I'll delete it. Welcome back...


message 7: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Cool! Thanks, Jot.


message 8: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 317 comments Mine's up. I wanted to post a picture of a nasty looking chihuahua but it's more complicated than I thought. I'd have to put it on a web page and put html here to reference it. Too much trouble for a joke.


message 9: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 186 comments Mine's up. I missed last month, so I'm doing this one earlier.

While I am working from home and should have about 90 minutes more a day to work with, I've been busier than I ever have been.

I was forced to write a hymn version of the Prayer of Saint Francis 33 times when I was in grade school. I also wanted to have a soldier say it as he prepared for battle.


message 10: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments Greg wrote: "Mine's up. I missed last month, so I'm doing this one earlier.

While I am working from home and should have about 90 minutes more a day to work with, I've been busier than I ever have been.

I w..."

Well, no one ever forced me to read Trumbo's book Johnny Got His Gun, Greg, but you've captured a great deal of the same, or similar, essence in your fine story. Could've been any war, any time, and yet very specific, and well into the character. Nice.


message 11: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1010 comments Great stories. Moving stories. Nice work all!!


message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1056 comments Thanks, Justin. 'Hope you have time for one this month.


message 13: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
Mine's up.


message 14: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Kalifer wrote: "Mine's up. I wanted to post a picture of a nasty looking chihuahua but it's more complicated than I thought. I'd have to put it on a web page and put html here to reference it. Too much trouble for..."

Simplest way is to replace your picture with that of the Chihuaua in your Goodreads account. But that may cause other issues. And I'd miss the hat. : )

-C


message 15: by Greg (last edited Jun 12, 2020 05:08AM) (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 186 comments Paula wrote: "Well, no one ever forced me to read Trumbo's book Johnny Got His Gun"

“Johnny Got His Gun” looks like a good story. I was heading in the opposite direction – the artificial body is perfectly functional but his mind is going, he knows it and doesn't want to live through it.

I was excluded from a longitudinal Alzheimer’s study because my ‘cognitive function was outside the target range.’ While conversing with the intake person, they confirmed that Alzheimer’s patients are not typically aware of their own impairment because of how the disease works but said I had enough cognitive reserve and mental self-awareness that if I were afflicted would know what was happening to me long before those around me would. This became the inspiration for the story. Let’s hope it never becomes a reality.

I read Flowers for Algernon when I was in grade school and thought it one of the saddest books I read. Now, it seems like a terrifying ending.


message 16: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 186 comments I revised my story, a sentence in and a few words out, to clarify the concept of the perfect body and failing mind.

Since it was a comment and not a critique, I hope that doesn't break any rules.

(Thanks, Paula)


message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1010 comments Nice story Jot!!


message 18: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Managed to scratch something out.


message 19: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments Another of your very recent stories to soar above the Brilliant range, Marianne. Wonderful.


message 20: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Thanks, Paula. Pain and anxiety have their uses, I suppose.


message 21: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments Marianne wrote: "Thanks, Paula. Pain and anxiety have their uses, I suppose."

I hear ya.


message 22: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Alleson (goodreadscomjjalleson) | 105 comments An intriguing cross-section of perspectives in the stories.

My family in the military present a bizarre kaleidoscope of experiences. But my story references a little of a documentary I watched while home alone as a teenager. I believe it was called "All You Need is Love." Harrowing and horrific.


message 23: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments Must have been quite a documentary, J.J.
And in your story, quite the wise grandmother-professor. Nice work on her part--fine story on your part.


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1056 comments Very interesting, J.J.


message 25: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Alleson (goodreadscomjjalleson) | 105 comments Thanks to you both. :)


message 26: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Justin, I find your story very emotionally evocative and it resonated with a piece of mine. I'm including the link to the pastebin page, is you'd like to read it.

https://pastebin.com/11NEuD55

Dean


message 27: by Justin (last edited Jun 19, 2020 11:25AM) (new)

Justin Sewall | 1010 comments That's a great story Dean, thank you for sharing it with me. I'm glad you enjoyed mine!


message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments Greg, I meant my first comment to you here strictly as praise. That you were referring to mind, not body, failing was clear. I like your slight revision to the tale, though--nice work.
"Flowers for Algernon" frightened me, too, the first time I read it--the part where he sees what is going to happen, what is happening. . .


message 29: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 218 comments I posted a story but I don't expect anyone to vote for it as it's only loosely inspired by the prompts and is overlong by about 300 words (I've already cut about 400 words). But having written it, I figured I'd post it anyway.


message 30: by Jeremy McLain (new)

Jeremy McLain | 30 comments It’s been awhile but I got something up this month. Hope all are well.


message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments I wanted to mention, before mention of the book gets lost here, that Jack's novel Purple-Hearted Man, works as a deeply felt vision of, and tribute to, the experience of those war-wounded who came back shattered from US wars in western Asia/Middle East.


message 32: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1010 comments Paula wrote: "I wanted to mention, before mention of the book gets lost here, that Jack's novel Purple-Hearted Man, works as a deeply felt vision of, and tribute to, the experience of those war-wounded who came ..."

And it's narrated by a really swell guy... LOL! :)


message 33: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 245 comments Paula wrote: "I wanted to mention, before mention of the book gets lost here, that Jack's novel Purple-Hearted Man, works as a deeply felt vision of, and tribute to, the experience of those war-wounded who came ..."

Thanks, Paula.


message 34: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
We have a close one with five votes as of yet to be cast. Good luck to all.


message 35: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments It was a good turn out this month :)


message 36: by J.F. (last edited Jun 24, 2020 01:13PM) (new)

J.F. Williams | 218 comments Someone mentioned "Johnny Got His Gun" and now I'm craving hamburger sandwiches. I should re-read it and study how Trumbo's descriptive writing of the hamburger stand could stay with me since high school.


message 37: by Paula (new)

Paula | 889 comments J.F. wrote: "Someone mentioned "Johnny Got His Gun" and now I'm craving hamburger sandwiches. I should re-read it and study how Trumbo's descriptive writing of the hamburger stand could stay with me since high ..."
lol. I can't remember the hamburger stand at all--must be from waiting to read it in college.


message 38: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
Just waiting on Dean, J.J. and Jeremy McLain.


message 39: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
first round finalists:


Baby Steps

Five, Redux

The Swap

Every Crab Fine Dey Home


message 40: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 218 comments Paula wrote: "J.F. wrote: "Someone mentioned "Johnny Got His Gun" and now I'm craving hamburger sandwiches. I should re-read it and study how Trumbo's descriptive writing of the hamburger stand could stay with m..."
I re-read that section, only 2-3 paragraphs, but beautifully written and now I understand why it stuck with me. Trumbo captured the smell of onions, the taste of sweet mustard, the heat of the stand's flame, all without being showy. But the hero recalls it fondly because he brought them for dinner on Saturdays and it was just him and his parents, and it made him feel grown up. I had a similar experience as a kid and its among my fondest memories so the scene stuck with me and I never realized why until now.


message 41: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1181 comments Mod
we have a winner. will post tomorrow when I get back from camping.


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