In an effort to improve my questionable grammar skills and to find another excuse to keep the pen on the pad, I have joined a fiction writing group. It’s a loose gathering but everyone brings their own unique skills – we have two poets, one fictionist, one visual artist and a journalist – and, most importantly, everyone acts like a pro. We start on time, end on time and the comments on the writing is direct but constructive; a great environment for me to keep expanding my fiction writing muscles.
Don’t get it twisted, the focus is still on poetry and all the stories I have generated are just backstories to what is going on in Anywhere Avenue. It’s also an extension of a writing exercise I got once from Patricia Smith.
Find a poem, then write a short story based on the poem, then write a poem based on the short story.
So I hope to gather all these fiction pieces and then write poems based on them. Or I could just try to start submitting them to fiction contests.
Anyhows, here is an excerpt from the story I’ll be presenting tonight. It’s based on both the text and the epigraph of Jeff McDaniel’s The Foxhole Manifesto.
The God of Near Misses (excerpt)
I see the God that exists in the roll of dice against a wall. It doesn’t matter who is throwing the dice, if it’s an old hustler or some new jack, they both have that same look on their face when there hands are shaking harder than creation and they have no idea what they’re going to throw. But you can’t tell that from the look in their eye. Oh, no. They are already plotting what they’re going to do after the dice land. How they’re going to spend the next couple of crumpled bills they’re going to add to their pockets, or how to convince the congregated that they need to stick around for one more go of the dice. Now let me tell you, that there is some real God. Not caring whether you willed into existence a mighty seven or a hard six, but how you are going to make that creation live on after you.