Sunday, May 1, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge: part 10, "Table"

When this exercise was hosted over at Porky's Expanse!, he always chose the word for the Expanders! challenge based on some relevant happening that had occurred during the previous week. Yesterday was the last day of the A-Z blogging challenge, so it was tempting to use something obvious like "conclusion" or "farewell", or "alphabetical"...or even "escape", but those seemed too glib, somehow, and wholly unsatisfactory. Fortunately, the last day of the challenge, Z, WAS yesterday, or you all might have been facing something like "zoetrope" or "zoomorphic". But it is over, and falling back on mining the alphabet for inspiration is out, at least for now. What to choose instead? It may be something in the air recently, or perhaps I am just paying more attention than usual, but there seems to be a spate of really creative random content generators springing up everywhere I look. In recognition of these creative efforts (and more), the word of the week is "table".

If you aren't familiar with the Expansion Joints project, it all began over at Porky's Expanse!.

The rules are just as they are described over at Porky's: as much narrative as you can cram into fifteen words, one of which must be the word of the week.

This can take the form of

1. An epyllion,or litle epic, a stand-alone fifteen-word narrative, or

2. An epos, or 'epic'. Instead of an independent 15-word story, you can choose to develop someone else's story from a previous week, or extend your own story from week to week. Just write the next installment. If it has 15 words, uses the word of the week, and continues the story, you've done it.

There are two important things to think about if you choose epos. First, you should have the permission of the person who wrote the story you will develop. If anyone writes a 15-word epyllion or adds to an epos and is happy for others to develop it later, please say so, with something like 'for use in an epos'. Second, by using specific elements of someone else's story, we technically create a derivative work, so it's best to avoid this.

There are a number of generous contributors who have given express permission to use some of their writing as the basis for epos:

Porky, the founder of the project, offers up all of his contributions.

GDMNW has opened up the three stories here.

Dave G_Nplusplus makes any of his Expanders! stories available for use in an epos.

Jim Hale has an epos running on his Expanders! page, and he has graciously extended permission to play with any or all of the contributions there.

Andy, over at The Creepy Corridor, has also made his epos posts available for expansion.

And, as always, feel free to use any of the stories on this blog that are tagged as "Expansion Joints" in an epos.

Words that have previously made an appearance in an Expanders!/Expansion Joints include: food, fort, stuff, elf, rogue, pass, fool, hammer, note, and temper, in case you are of an historical bent, or wish to write a complete set.

When you've finished writing your entry for this week, either post your 15-word story directly in the comments here, or leave a link in the comments to the blog page where we can find it.


  1. Your explanation of the word choice is always a good read too, like everything else here, and a part of the fun. 'Table' has options and is great for the gamers.

    I needed some more formatting this week, so it's up at mine, here.

  2. Looking around the room Milo the Gnome saw no weapons save for the table. Perfect!


  3. Milo is a positive thinker. Of course, gnomes could be quite different in that reality. Then things could get really interesting...

  4. @Porky - Excellent use of concrete poetry!

    @Captain Kellen - Is it wrong of me to picture Milo, having failed to hurl the furniture, suddenly folding a DM's screen, lightning fast, into deadly origami shuriken?

    My entry for the week is here.

  5. Swinging his feet onto the table, he began to clean his gore-plastered fire axe.

    Hosted here as always.

    @ Jennie - Did you know that there are 3 deaths in the US alone each year due to the misuse of GM's screens? Actually I made that up, but it's possible.

    I've sat on panels with pedants like Mendeleev and I almost winced at your offering lol.

    @ Porky - You need a goatee, a beret, sunglasses and bongo drums for that offering man... I like it.

    @ Capt. Kellen - That works for me, well done!

  6. @Jim Hale - You are doing a wonderful job with this narrative.

    I expect that GM screens will have mandatory warning labels added any day now, with your statistic now out in the wild on the internet.

    And I must add that I'm sorry you've had to put up with pedantry...even periodically.

  7. @Jennie - Pedantry is what put the Great in Britain. We've avoided many conflicts in the past by insisting that any declaration of war use anally correct grammar and punctuation, along with niggling over sub-clauses and sections. Mostly people get fed up in the end and go elsewhere, which explains why we only fought people who couldn't actually write for much of the 19th Century.

  8. I don't want to think too deeply about what your statement implies about the War of 1812...

  9. @ Jennie - You are not wrong at all. I learned from a dankey that it's actually called 'origamick foldability'... but you know how donkeys go! :P

  10. At thier invitation, I have dined at the table of chaos and found them wanting.


  11. @Captain Kellen - You managed to pack a lot into 15 words. This hints at a fascinating backstory, and in addition to making a great stand-alone piece of microfiction, I think it would make a great first line for a much longer work - is an epos in the offing?

  12. @ Jennie - I have some fiction already written. Old, amatuer, brief scenes and the story is unfinished.

    However, I have some time next week while I'm out of town. I'll post them up at my blog and get back to you.

    The latest line is from a character I have in my head named Castellan Kagen Timoteous and his story is yet to be written but coincides with a boy named Kellen who grows into a mighty warrior.

    I'll leave it at that for now in your corner...


  13. Yoo hoo... Jennie...

    I'll post more later,