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Thursday, December 10, 2015

"The Ice Cream Shop"--Short story/Character Interview: Lem Benzaran, Neodymium Series

I cringe as the lock to the ice-cream shop finally gives with a crack and the door swings open, banging against the wall behind it. The mottled counter, the spick and span ice cream machines, and the pop dispensers all cast creepy shadows over the turquoise tile floor, and only the shop's logo floating mid-air over the counter betrays the 1950s ambiance, revealing that I'm in an alternate future world where ice cream is lumpy and beat-downs take place over root-beer floats.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Paradox (999-word short-fiction)

By Jen Finelli

When I stepped off the metal ramp onto the landing pad, the heat didn't “beat down” on me so much as “suffocate my whole body in a sweaty embrace.” Home. For the first time in...three years? Shyte. Felt longer.
In the distance, past the parking lot fence, pinkish-green vines grew up the fort's translucent wall: the jungle was hugging us all. When I sighed, hot, wet air rushed into my throat like a super tongue-y kiss.
My home planet's clingy welcome felt weird. And not just because I'd served time in the cold, dry underground of Beryllia's crystal mines. There's moss on the landing pad. When Jei and I took off from this pad years ago it was squeaky clean. Uptight butt-face wouldn't have it otherwise.
I opened and closed my fist, and chunks of deep green and rooty brown blasted into the air as the moss flew off the pad. I lifted my hand, gently, like an orchestra conductor, and the moss floated through the air to land in a puddle by the fence.
Grow there,” I said. “Not here.”
It obeyed.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Microfiction: Cat in Dat Hat

The cat in the hat got arrested yesterday for invading children's homes and suggesting dangerous and irresponsible activities. Conservatives have labelled him a suspect pedophile; liberals are screaming marine animal rights abuses. 

He was actually just a kid at heart, but there's no political hashtag for news commentators to use for that.

Share this!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Musical Interlude

I have not forgotten you! I'll be finishing the experimental flash-fiction series about the Moon-man next week before sharing a short story about a talking fish or starting on a 3-part murder mystery set in a space opera universe. After that maybe we'll bring back the medicine in fiction series to help out you writerly folks.

In the meantime, here's a thing!

See you next week, with the end of the little Moon-man series. In my "real" writing life I'm working on an animated series about an alien anthropologist, a webcomic series about a superhero who shoots his author, and a novel following my current space-ninjas-who-talk-to-invisible-people. So stay tuned on those as well. Love you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shopping (SF flash fiction, continuation of the Moon-Man series)

Shopping list:
-Human muscle tissue, live
-60 kg Titanium
-7 kg Neodymium
-5L blood, compatible with human tissue type
-Carbon mesh, for seeding tissue to titanium

I crumble the list back into my pocket and grip the pole beside me as the Metro swerves. I must be nervous. Why else would I take out this list again and again when I already have the ingredients memorized...

"You're too good for this," Ken grumbles beside me. "We're engineers, not repo-men."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Flash Fiction Guest Treat! (Some published stuff!)

I've got a special treat for your weekly flash fiction today! A whole BUNCH of flash fiction, from a bunch of people more talented than I! (I'm in there, too, though, in case you've grown fond of me.) Quick, go read them here, http://microfictionmondaymagazine.com/2015/08/03/microfiction-monday-36th-edition/comment-page-1/, before they get away on their short little feet! They are the shortest of stories

I'm still waiting for you to click here! That's why I ended that last sentence without a period...I'm waiting.

Next week we'll return with another flash fiction story about the man who once lived on the moon. It's going to get far, far crazier, fast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Man in the Moon (Flash fiction follow-up to Moon-Man)

Read the prequel to this story here.

"So why are you, here?"

I look up from my calculations to see the fresh-faced newbie leaning over my plastic desk, his eyes shining with the same mechanical glow my computer screen emanates. He's too new, or maybe too dumb, to notice the silence that's fallen over the office. The human gophers poke just their foreheads over the tops of their cubicles, eyes wide, to see what the convict does to the nosy temp fresh outta rich-boy college.

"People talk about you quite a bit," the boy says. "Bob over there says you lived on the moon?" Bob ducks into his cubicle with a squeal. "Tammy says you're a war criminal, but you're too intelligent for them to lock away." Tammy gasps--dira chore, is she softly weeping now?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Moon-Man (Flash fiction serial)

Two minutes ago the bullet pierced my wife's breast, throwing her back against my chest.

Three hours ago UN forces broke through our flimsy perimeter barricades, staining our ivory, dusty yard with their filthy ridged boots.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Ink Android

That's the title of my paid and published short story about a little wire-person created by mice as she struggles to find a "spirit". You can go visit it over here.

It's also a story about stories, and about the value of writing, so if you're a writer I encourage you to check it out!

It is also SUPER-SHORT. Flash fiction. Kinda trippy. Click, up there! Unless you've already seen it from the link on my main site at byjenfinelli.com and such. In which case, read something else! Or go be a productive human being and help someone today. And so on. Anyway, it's up there. It's been out for a while, but I forgot to tell you guys about it. I'm also part of the Dark Literature Guild over at Beorh Weekly now, too, so there's that.

Have fun.

Monday, July 6, 2015

On the 4th of July

Flash Fiction. Horror.

I'm not kidding. Gore. Children. 
I love you, and respect your right to a warning. 
Thankfully, like a gunshot to the gut, it's over fast.

Img src: fisiosuelopelvico.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two-sentence Flash Fic Run-On: How to Eat an Elephant

You know when you sit down to eat an elephant, and so you start out one bite at a time, 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

And God Said to Alfred

 (Lit. Fable Flash Fic)

So, once upon a time, God wanted to hang out with his friends. He cooked and cleaned and set up the most beautiful feast, and party games, and everything. It would make your mouth water just to hear about the foods he made. He sent out invitations ahead of time, and even prepared a limo to bring his friends to come see him! This would be an important party that would change everything--one of those kinds of parties you remember for the rest of your life, the parties where you meet your true love, or form friendships that will last forever, or have SHENANIGANS you never regret. This party would change everything.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Whoa! 25 Stories in less than 1000 words? Come one, come all, and watch the madness!

Can you write 25 stories in under 1000 words? Check out the 25 crazies below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Medical School Multiple Choice (Flash Fiction, G)

2:00 AM
Q-Bank Practice Test #42
Days til USMLE: 56

Once upon a time there were three children with eating disorders.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cost-effective and Encouraging: Review of Bill Taub's "Automatic Pilot" Screenwriting Text

Second year of medical school is taking up my blogging time! But I thought I'd share with you writers and fiction fans a resource I recently discovered. It's called Automatic Pilot, and it's about how to write the first episode of a TV show.

Next to Syd Field's Screenplay textbook, I'd say Bill Taub's Automatic Pilot ranks as one of the best beginning screenwriting resources I've yet encountered.

Well, stranger, what have you encountered? What does that even mean?”

Good question. I'm not an expert screenwriter, but I am an expert “screenwriter-resources” purveyor, if such a pitiful occupation exists. From college classes to online classes to online resources to books to at least three or four different “screenwriting resource companies”--eh, I've actually spent a few hundred bucks studying screenwriting. (Shivers in shame)

A number of those resources tend to repeat the same basics over again, so I really liked that while Automatic Pilot included the most important fundamentals of screenwriting for beginners, it also delved into TV-industry-niche specifics, a wide variety of structure techniques and suggestions, and Taub's own positive writing philosophy. The strong motivational tone of the book makes you feel like you've got people on your side—because when you're writing for yourself you've got you on your side, Taub might say—and as someone who used to write for a living I found that incredibly empowering. In med school you don't get a lot of time to read, so I bought the audiobook to play while I ate or whatever. Taub's encouragement was, for me, the writerly equivalent of blasting rap music on the highway, or rocking out when you're pumping iron: I got pumped up! There's something to be said for that.

For those of you who prefer more concrete definitions of value, we should probably talk about $$$. Automatic Pilot is actually a compilation of all the resources and reading material from a University class Taub taught/teaches on writing good pilot episodes for television. As you may know, it usually costs more than twenty bucks to access a University-level screenwriting class. Even cheap professional classes online bill as much as $90—I got a discount on a decent “Third Act” class for $45 once, but generally comparable screenwriting classes enter the ring weighing in nearer the hundreds mark.

To give you a more detailed cost-analysis, Hal Croasmun from ScreenwritingU charges $90 for a class that involves about thirty pages of reading material and no feedback from the professor. I'm not downing on Croasmun—apparently he's pumping out writers who make deals left and right—but pointing out, to you, that for $20 or less I can get nearly 200 pages from Taub, all new and unique information pertaining specifically to the TV industry. That's pretty good math.

Automatic Pilot is heavy with repetition, though. That's probably less of an issue in the hardcopy (which I also bought to keep as a skim-able resource), and for some folks repetition's essential to enhance learning, so it's not necessarily a drawback. I found it a bit much sometimes, but on the other hand a lot of the repetition was also a lot of the motivational cheerleading I enjoyed. If you're looking for new plotting tricks and tools to amp up your game; if you're unfamiliar with a lot of TV-writing terminology and structural customs; and if you'd like to tap the brains of multiple TV-writing experts before you start writing yourself into a crash-and-burn, a little repetition and two Red Robin meals is a fair price to pay.

I think, anyway.

What do you guys think? Any other screenwriting resources you've run into lately that you like?