From the Author
Each week, I compiled the responses, amazed at how perspectives of a single prompt differed. I began experimenting with how I arranged the collection of stories. One would open the conversation, another add to it, and yet another would offer contrast. The compilations became an expression of my own art.
Beyond the artistic expression, we also discussed how practicing flash fiction weekly enhanced our individual work. What intrigued me most was the participation of memoir writers. A memoir is a creative non-fiction, and memoirists also benefited from applying the 99-word constraint to their BOTS (based on a true story).
We began to explore process, too and discuss what we now call "raw literature" at Carrot Ranch. Craft is easier to define, but we wanted to understand how that initial creative burst on the page happened. We wanted to describe the writer's journey. Flash fiction became a tool for its exploration.
The idea of an anthology made sense to a group regularly producing creative work on a weekly basis. However, I wanted to do more than present our initial offerings of flash fiction. Sarah Brentyn, an author from the US, joined me in organizing the chapters and gave the book a solid literary structure.
Norah Colvin, an educator from Australia, took my early ideas about how flash fiction was a writing tool and framed how the community came to be so that it could be emulated by other communities. The fun aspect is that any community, group or class can use flash fiction -- no experience necessary.
Once we had a manuscript, we needed expert guidance to set editorial standards to embrace the global community of American, British, Australian, Canadian, European and Indian authors who all write at Carrot Ranch. Author C. Jai Ferry lent her expertise, setting standards and reviewing line edits. Irene Waters, Jeanne Lombardo, and JulesPage served as a final editing team.
In the end, I finalized all the proofreading, believing in the value of all the contributions as deserving of a highly polished finish. It has been a joy to develop Vol. 1 and already we are planning Vol. 2, which will begin with the same 99-word inspirations and take readers on an unexpected ride.
Myself included, 30 writers began with 99 words and ended with a book that's not your typical anthology. The result engages the reader and encourages the writer, understanding that we all carry the capacity to be either. Literary art is meant to be welcoming, it's wordplay, word-smithing, and word mastery. Give it a go -- write "fun" in 99 words, no more, no less.
Vol. 1 is dedicated to the Rough Writers: First we were strangers, and then we wrote together.