Monday, August 15, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 24; "Balance"

When this exercise was hosted over at Porky's Expanse!, he always chose the word for the Expanders! challenge based on some relevant happening or theme. This weeks lead-in is going to be short, if not particularly sweet, as the juggling act inherent in life is proving difficult right at the moment. Still, writing here and reading the responses is one of the parts of my life that counts in the "fun" column, and I am loathe to let it slide in favor of more "responsible" pursuits. The word for the week is "balance", something I strive for always but, much like some other people in the news, don't always attain.

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.

Arlequin 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, twisted, missing, sacrifice, spirit, rush, tie, line, free, break, cut, opening, close, and shock, 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. I know what you mean. I'm sure everyone else does too, and that could be why they're not here yet. Then again, I did find the inspiration faster than usual this week. And I'm even linking to it myself: here it is.

    To everyone reading this, give it a go. It's just 15 words. You might enjoy it more than you think, and as I'm sure I've written before, it's a creative slippery slope...

  2. Kellen, The Irish Princess, work, the dog, 'Ard Boys, the Astronomican... balance?! Not a chance!

  3. My little contribution:

    I found it quite difficult to integrate the word "balance" in my epos. Hope you like were I had to take the story to make it fit.

  4. Apologies for my absence! I haven't had chance to check out everyone's offerings yet, I'm sure they're to the usual standard though..

    Here's my three weeks worth in one shot...

    He contemplated how close he'd come to 'buying the farm' for a moment, then shrugged. Ellie seemed good to go, Hammer, well was just Hammer, Rogue was clearly suffering shock. In balance they'd do, they had to... they still had a ways to go yet.