Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 27: "File"

Many apologies for the delay in getting this up.

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, the US Government brought lawsuits against several major banks for knowingly selling it bad loans bundled as securities. And, in an interesting twist on the usual "social conservative" bent of the Republican party here, a rogue Republican Florida state representative introduced a bill repealing the state's laws criminalizing 'open adultery' and 'lewd and lascivious cohabitation' of unmarried opposite-sex couples (something most of the rest of the country decriminalized years ago.) On a more personal level, I have been swamped under a mountain of work relating to maintaining patient records and submitting insurance claims. All the work stress is a bit ironic considering that here in the US this is Labor Day weekend, a national holiday started by trade unions in honor of their ordinary members. It seems that the single organizing concept binding them together is "file", and that is the word of the week.

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, balance, field, and blow, 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. Bit of a tough one for me, I struggled to fit it in to the ongoing paragraph.

    'Life in Indian File, you looked for what was in the scenery, not at it.'

  2. @Arlequin, I'm so sorry this caused you to struggle! You worked it in well, though. I thought it would be easier than the alternatives that presented themselves. Goes to show what I know about what will be easy and what will be hard.

    Chalk it up to experience, and file it for future reference. The circular file works...

  3. Good choice of word and great first entry given how challenging it is. Mine is here; I went with the tool.

  4. Milo grabbed a file from Jennie's circular basket. Oh!? That's where Jimmy Hoffa is burried!