26 Mar

#badfiction

Quoth the raven, “Mmphhmm!”

Quoth the raven, “Mmphhmm!”

Gentle readers and fellow scribblers, on Monday, March 31st, I will begin a game with a cabal of other creatives on Twitter. At 6 p.m. PDT, I will tweet the most overblown opening line I can concoct in 140 characters. Another author will add the next line, perhaps mentioning heaving bosoms or a mysterious and alluring stranger. And, lo, we shall unleash a storm of fiction unto the Twitterverse. Purple prose will majestically sweep forth to darken the scene. Furious flashes of fractured alliteration will fly. Together, we shall bring forth a monster of a story, and we shall call it… #badfiction!

Feel free to follow me, @chendersonbauer, and join my little game. The water will be filled with sharks, dragons, and possibly even unicorn sailors. Rumors of marshmallow-covered zombierotica have surfaced from the deep. What could possibly go wrong?

17 Mar

Finding Treasure

Stories say there’s a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow, if you can only find it–and if the silly things would hold still. Every child who ever chased a bright band of colors as it retreated across the sky is familiar with this difficulty.

Other, less frequently repeated stories say that fairy gold turns to leaves and twigs in the morning.

Taken together, these tales don’t exactly teach us to go hunting for riches in the wild. But in my years of wandering through the woods, I’ve learned a different lesson: treasures are hidden everywhere. There is a trick, though. If you’re barreling after the end of a rainbow, you may never see them. They often aren’t where you expect them to be, and sometimes you don’t notice them until after the fact.

Last August, Adam and I hiked up to Flapjack Lakes in the Olympic Mountains. Read More

13 Mar

Short Stories on the Spot

Dee has much nicer handwriting than I do.

–UPDATE–

If you would like to donate to the Hanway-Wong family or if you would like more information about the fundraiser I participated in on Sunday, please check out the Facebook page or the GoFundMe page.

Last Sunday I participated in a fundraiser for a woman who just lost her husband to cancer and is now supporting their two children, both under the age of three, by herself. The main event was a silent auction, full of amazing services and goods donated by friends and businesses in Seattle. There were two full bars and plentiful delicious food. And there was also me, tucked away in a corner of the room, writing compliments for people in exchange for donations. Read More

10 Mar

To-Do Lists and an Announcement

My mother used to haul around a fat, cloth-covered binder called a “Day Minder.” It was scribbled over with notes, paper-clipped with lists on scraps of paper, and ridged with ugly tabs. Teenaged me would roll her eyes every time Mom pulled this brute out of her over-stuffed bag to write down a new appointment or remind the family of some forgotten chore. Sure, she was managing the schedule and tasks of five people, but did it have to look so cluttered? Did she really need that many lists?

Then Mom got her first Blackberry. Overnight, the size of her purse shrank in half. The reign of the ratty Day Minder was over. Other than occasionally teasing her about it, my siblings and I quickly forgot about the old beast. Read More

03 Mar

Monsters, Part II: One of My Own Monsters

This is the second of a two-part post. In Part I, I analyzed a brave and powerful story by Lauren Fleshman and discussed how to find the monster–the thing that prevents a hero from accomplishing her goal–in a story. In Part II, I’m hunting one of my own inner monsters.

It’s not difficult to find things I’ve been avoiding in my life. As you may have guessed from this blog, I like taking pictures. But I haven’t posted any pictures of myself for the last year. Why? I’ve had a hole in my mouth.

It’s difficult to even type this, which means I’m off to a good start. Read More