Sunday, April 17, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge: part 8, "Note"

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. There is so much great stuff out there right now (and, really, always) that it is hard to narrow down the choices to just one word. I confess to briefly considering "dichotomy" after David Brin's article about the differences between Fantasy and SF generated such good commentary from many of you, but then I remembered how much I like you, and decided against it. Overall, I would say that the theme of the week from my perspective is that because there is so much going on, so much being created all the time, it is imperative to pay attention, to step out of routine, to take a moment to awaken to the wonderful things all around you that you may not have sought out or truly appreciated before. Porky appears to agree with me here. In that spirit, the word of the week is "note".

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, and hammer, 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. She strikes the key. The note rings out! Sound of creation, dark world born...


    Or maybe:

    Strange words on the elephant's howdah..?

    "Tell me what this is!"

    "Note on your nelly."

  2. @Porky -
    Wonderful! I particularly like your use of "C#". Your works are always an inspiration, though whether you will want to accept credit (blame?)for what follows is highly uncertain...

    An important safety tip: Take note! If you don't C#, you might B♭.

  3. I'm glad you pitched in - you really know the score. Anyway, the key is to know when to stop, and I wouldn't want to lower the tone. Besides, this probably hertz.

  4. Your words struck a chord - I think I finally grasp the scale of what we're working on. If I had the staff to leverage my time, signature works would appear here more often.

  5. My "official" entry for the week is here.

  6. I'm quavering a little now. You've succeeded in staving me off.

  7. I guess it's only natural, as I did resort to rather strong measures...but I certainly didn't intend to bar you from continuing!

  8. You beat me. Baton-ly till next time.

  9. I don't know about that - this seems to be your forte'. But if you are going to take a rest, I'll try to compose myself in the interval. I wonder if anyone will believe that this wasn't orchestrated?

  10. I wonder too. A maestro at work.

  11. In the interest of community harmony, I usually make a concerted effort to try to conduct myself with a little more decorum, and refrain from punning in public. But for the past few weeks, I haven't been able to resist...maybe I can claim a fugue state?

  12. I'd let silence speak volumes, but already I'm encores to fail that. Aisle take a step back though, since my imagination has stalled. I need to think outside the box audio-nus on us to usher in ever newer plays will mean discord never end.

  13. Everything you are saying resonates with me.

    Some people find minor inspiration in a fifth, but for the record, I'd have to say that I've never found that to amplify my creativity - it doesn't even jazz me up, just leaves me blue. But I'd never needle you over it if it worked for you. I don't like to fiddle with any way a speaker can use to find his voice.

  14. You're really drumming your lead in, even stringing me along. It's almost dis-concert-ing how cymbal you make it look. If there were awards for this you woodwind-ozens.

  15. I've been fortunate yet again I see with the last two week's words. Nice puns btw ;)

    My attempt to catch up, is as always here

  16. @Jim Hale - Great to see you back! I'm impressed. You are crafting a cohesive and intriguing narrative. Very sound development so far.

    @Porky - Thanks for the kind words. I don't like to blow my own horn, though. I don't think that punning is an inborn talent - it's all a matter of practice. At my house, an accidental remark can lead to a chorus of puns from all directions. The sheer volume with which I have to cope lands me in a mental space where I'm just tuned in to this, and where the default tenor of my responses is somewhat punny, so I just play it by ear.

  17. @ Jim Hale - I'm with Jennie (echoing her comment; we're a choir you might say). It's far more cohesive than would seem possible and every step makes the whole more attractive.

    @ Jennie - Seems we're singing from the same songsheet. We've been through a mass of possibilities alto-gether, but it's not quite time to change the record. I CD potential still.