Sunday, May 22, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge; part 12, "Missing"

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. The happening that has been dominating my personal experience, at least in the blogosphere, for the past week has been the disappearance of blog posts and comments from Blogger blogs, specifically, my own. (Of course, the loss of some entries to the Random Spaceport Encounters living table over at Lunching on Lamias is a minor tragedy in itself.) I have been reluctant to post anything new, in the fear that changes to my blog might complicate the restoration efforts, but I have reason now to hope that new posts won't interfere with old ones, so I am back, and with me, the Expansion Joints Challenge. I have found that the April A-Z really did get me into the habit of posting more regularly, and it has been surprisingly hard to refrain from doing so while I waited for the return of the posts that vanished. In acknowledgment of both the absent posts and the longing to get back to the blog, the word for the week is "missing".

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, temper, table, and twisted, 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. Yes, last weekend was an unusual time in blog space. It's good to be back though.

    Here's my offering;

    Resembling, as someone once commented, mankind's missing link, there was no doubting his fastidious nature.

    Hosted here.

  2. Yep, it's good to be doing this again!

    @ Jim Hale - That someone was rather impolite, which might explain the temper. And I think we say it everytime, but every week the amazement is greater - the story as a whole is really working, in spite of the limitations we'd expect to see from the form.

    Mine is here, for the second time integrated into the ongoing Heroes series.

  3. 'Missing' is nothing more then a polite way of saying 'imprisonment' in certain circles, Azariah.

    I'll be in the corner waiting for next week's installment... :D


  4. @CK - That's really quite clever... I'm picturing Latin American dictatorships here. Pathos, satire and cynicism in 15 words.

    @Porky - Thanks! It is getting harder though and I'll need a word which rounds out the present paragraph or begins a new one next week...

  5. @ Captain Kellen & Jim Hale - Yes, indeed. And the rhythm is great over the 15 too.

    @ Jim Hale - Subtle..!

  6. @Porky - lol far from it, let the dice fall as they may! It wouldn't be any fun to have any say in what comes out... I may as well just write a story in that circumstance and be done with it.

  7. @Jim and Porky... Thank you for the kind words. I rather enjoy these little adventures into creativity.

    Now, to the corner and leftover cake...


  8. @Jim Hale, Bravo! You always seem to manage to take this in unexpected directions that add new layers to the narrative.

    @Captain Kellen, Outstanding! Chilling, and characteristically pointed. Oh, and happy belated birthday!

    @Porky, The "Geddon It" narratives are enthralling. You are really painting vivid pictures in all of them, and this one (these two?) is (are) no exception.

  9. Sorry to be a pain, but I'm moving my expanders page to
    if you'd like to change the link at your leisure.


  10. @Jim Hale - Not a pain at all! Already done.

  11. I saw a post on C'nor's blog this week that is a response to this, (at least, it seems to be a continuation of his epos, and uses the word "missing"), but he hasn't come by to comment yet, so I'm putting it up here for him.