Saturday, April 2, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge: part 6, "Fool"

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. I have a streak of laziness that rears its head here and there, and with the way the rest of my week outside of the internet has gone, I haven't had the time or energy to really scout out any happenings of significance. So, since it is the beginning of April, and there is nothing happening in the blogosphere that I know of that is remotely connected to the month of April, nothing to spark the imagination, no mass blogging project, for example, running during the course of this month that has attracted over a thousand participants, each writing a post a day every weekday (Sundays excepted) for 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, I am at a loss. If there were such a project, the word of the week would have been easy to choose: "letter". As it stands, the best I can do is commemorate the fact that this week saw the annual observance of April Fool's Day, and grudgingly admit that the word of the week is "fool".

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 food, fort, stuff, and elf.

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.

When you've finished writing your entry, 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. Another Sunday arrives...

    'He'd tried to be the unit's fool, but now no humour was left in him'.

    Hosted as always here

    I'm going to be away from home with no internet for a couple of weeks, so see you all when I get back!

  2. @Jim Hale - Bravo! You are doing a fabulous job with these, and someone reading them cold would never notice that all the sentences have the same number of words. You have a great narrative shaping up. Have a safe trip - we'll miss you, and look forward to your return!

  3. Good word choice and reasoning..!

    My effort from last week is also fine for an epos, and every entry from now on will be too, including today's, which I'll be back with a little later as inspiration strikes.

    @ Jim - This is a real exercise in patience. I want to read more, but there is none of course. A great meditation.

  4. I'm not so sure about patience from my point of view lol. I've been very lucky with the words thrown at me so far... if next week's word is 'Aardvark' there'll be trouble! ;-)

  5. [Jennie reluctantly strikes "Aardvark" from her list of candidate words...]

  6. We can handle 'aardvark'! It's week five already - no word is too weird for us.

    Anyway, here's mine, a bizarre fusion of fantasy, historical and contemporary. I warn all readers in advance - it's real corny...

    Become ethereal or perish! Face. Up.


    Howling mad! Think Hannibal. Rome!

    No planes, fool.

    I hear the groans. For anyone not wise to the A-Team, well done; the punchline is a line typical of one of the characters - who has a fear of flying - and the corniness within the corniness is the mention of every member besides him - Face, 'Howling Mad' Murdock and Hannibal. I'll hide away in shame for a while.

  7. Skran hid as the Jarpha clumped past grumbling about chasing down a damn fool human.

  8. Those are quite good, I didn't even groan at Porky's.

    "Jennie reluctantly strikes "Aardvark" from her list of candidate words, she'll show that fool though!"

  9. I added a chapter to my epos, check it out:

    I've read some great little stories, keep it up!

  10. @Porky - I didn't groan. It did trigger A-Team flashbacks, though!

    @Jim - "Aardvark" for 'A' is out..."Bathysphere" for 'B'? "Crepuscular" for 'C'? Let's not fool around!

    @Andy - You've really created a "cliffhanger" for us this week!

  11. My entry for this week's challenge is here.

  12. @Netherwerks - Nice job both on working in the reference and building the epos. I'm really enjoying wandering around Riskail Fiction.

  13. @Jennie: Glad to have you exploring the place. We're working on some major rennovations. Micro-fiction seems like a good thing to add to the mix. We're also testing-out some Blogwalk ideas for there and a couple of other areas...

    Any advice on how best to est up an 'Epos' for Skran? We're unclear if we're doing it right.