Sunday, August 21, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 25: "Field"

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 week saw the release of the first ever footage of a Coronal Mass Ejection traveling from the Sun all the way to the Earth, and the images give us a great deal of new information about, among other things, the solar magnetic influences active during these "solar storms", the details of which have been largely hidden from us until now, although many in the far north or far south have been privileged enough to witness the spectacular auroras that result from the terrestrial atmospheric interactions with such events. In a decidedly less cosmic arena, the US Democratic party faithful quaked in fear at the week's news, when it became clear that not every Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential race is a religious fanatic with an IQ below room temperature. The more rational elements in the Republican party quaked in fear when they saw his polling numbers in relation to the rest of the candidates. Here in the blogosphere, we had this lovely image lending us inspiration for poetry and stories, and Porky's latest post on agriculture spaces in gaming, all of which led inexorably to the word of the week: field.

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.

C'nor, at Lunching on Lamias, gives consent to use any of his entries, which are partly located on his blog, but mostly strewn throughout the comment threads here.

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, shock, and balance, 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've made up for my tardiness by being first this week! Well here's my offering...

    Like many units in the field, they travelled fairly light, food, water and ammunition only.

  2. @Arlequin - Wow, that was quick!

    For those who haven't been following, the rest of the story is here.

  3. Outstanding in the 'field"! Cows, goats, gomes, grass, scienctists or soldiers it makes no difference!

  4. @ Arlequín - That was quick, and it's good to have you back on the case, working on the story. I like that solid style.

    @ Captain Kellen - I'm taking that as satire. Or is that even the supposedly great minds are cattle to the powerful denizens of the outer dark..?

    Mine is here, and hooked up by me again this week. With that and the punctuality, something must be up.

  5. ArmChairGeneral wrote his in a comment under mine.

    @ Jennie - I didn't mention it earlier, but you really chose skilfully this week, even by the usual standard, to find that one word among all those events.