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March 11, 2011 / Bika

Fiction Friday: Break

I’m reeeeeally absent-minded, to the point I need a helper monkey to keep me focused. Since they don’t hand out helper monkeys to just anyone (plus I like my house to be relatively free of things like animal hair and poop smears), I use things like feed readers so I don’t forget to keep up with the sites and blogs I like. One of the upsides to having prompt access to everyone’s assorted updates is that I can see what works (at least for me, as a reader) and what doesn’t.

When I see unread items pop up for certain sites, I balk. Sometimes it’s because I subscribed once upon a time due to a post that was relevant to my interests, but turned out to be very different from the usual content. In those cases, whether I eventually unfollow depends on whether I like the site/author enough to support them with a blog hit now and again. Blogger karma is good… up to a point.

Now, if I catch myself wincing when I see updates stacking up next to That One Blog’s name in the feed, I know it’s time to make a decision. What bothers me about the updates? Why does the simple act of clicking feel like a chore?

Ultimately, I unfollow content that 1) is just plain unappealing or irrelevant to me or 2) is excessive without actually saying anything. As a writer there’s very little you can do about personal preferences, but you do have power over your content and the frequency with which you post. It’s okay to take a few days off if you have nothing to say.

Now, this isn’t a complaint, just an observation. I’m a big girl. I know when to drop a site, and I’m not going to get butthurt if people do the same for me, either. I write (mostly) goofy fiction based on RP, with the occasional recipe, doodle or gaming post thrown in for good measure. It’s not for everybody and I’m okay with that. Getting to the point of this post: even though I’m wary of the dangers of posting too often when you don’t have a lot to say, I’m pretty sure this blog can support more frequent posts without having to resort to the inane.

Basically, I have no excuse not to post more.

For that reason, I’m starting up Fiction Fridays here at Bika Central. Fiction is the bulk of what I post here, so if you’re following my blog, there’s a fair chance you like reading it. (If I made a Venn diagram of “People who only like to read this blog for the articles” and “People who like ME as a person and want to see what I’m doing”, the middle section would probably just say “Mom.” Not really, but it’s at least partly true.)

When I signed up for NaNoWriMo last year, I went seat-of-the-pants all the way. The end result was that even though I reached the goal of 50k words in a month, I had more questions about my plot than answers. Since then I’ve come up with a ton of exciting (to me, at least!) ideas and started implementing them. I also have a working title, which will undoubtedly change: Break. Let’s go ahead and use it for now, for the sake of convenience.

Now that I’ve blinded and/or bored you with a massive wall of text, let’s get down to what Fiction Friday is about: Stories. Here’s a short excerpt from Break. I know you don’t know these characters from Adam, but bear with me:

Dying light filtered through the Academy’s faculty room windows, framing the angular silhouette of the CHR’s department head. If her posture didn’t give her away, the glinting metal spike holding her black and silver hair in a knot at the nape of her neck would. Dominic Hay paused in the doorway for a moment before entering. She didn’t turn to greet him at first.

“Ms. Blanchet. What can I do for you this evening?” he said to her back. “It’s late. If this is about next season’s funding, I assure you–”

“Where are my children, Dominic?” The administrator was used to seeing Ms. Blanchet wearing one of two expressions: intent, or angry. While the latter was present, comforting in its familiarity, the upset written across her pointed features was alarming and fired off a rally of red flags in his mind.

“What do you mean, Georgia? You know Caleb is in the field. Knowing your daughter she’s likely on the grounds somewhere, if not at home. Have you checked the library?”

Her jaw tightened and her fingers, callused with work and beginning to take on the transparency of age, clenched around a handkerchief that had no doubt seen better days. “And Rauf?”

Dominic’s face closed. “He is on a sabbatical of his own choosing. I am not privy to his whereabouts.”

“Don’t lie to me.”

The last orange light of sunset faded as they stood facing each other at opposite ends of the room, leaving them in the dark. The main offices were locked at night and there was no sound but the tick of the great clock in the hall. Dominic Hay considered his career, the remaining number of years he was likely to live, and most importantly, his reputation, then said quietly, “Come with me.”

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2 Comments

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  1. Mom / Mar 11 2011 4:26 pm

    3 things:

    I like having my own category.

    If a sign of a good writer is that you get irritated because they hook you with something wildly fabulous and then leave you hanging, you are the best writer of all time.

    I will be monumentally butt-hurt if you unlike my blog

    Love ya!

    • Bika / Mar 11 2011 4:54 pm

      Bwahaha.

      I could never unfollow your blog, and you know it. Nom nom home-cookin’.

      You can be butthurt about other stuff if you want, though.

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