Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 30: "Vent"

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. Here in the US, protesters in New York and in cities around the country continued to give voice to their social and economic grievances, with many complaining that mainstream media coverage of the protests has been perfunctory, dismissive or absent, in contrast to coverage afforded other, less significant news. Indisputably earthshaking news increased around the world this week, with a number of volcanic sites blowing off a great deal more than more than steam. Closer to home, I have now tried several times, unsuccessfully, to publish this week's Expansion Joints, with no luck, and no Blogger explanation for the errors, and it annoys me enough that I am including it here. I appreciate your patience in listening to me rant. Hopefully, Blogger will allow me to publish to the blog shortly. And, perhaps best of all for me, it looks like I'm finally going to get the air conditioning fixed at the house. The word that draws them together? Vent.

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, blow, file, die, and fall, 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. Besides nearly missing this under a flurry of blog posts at the same time, I found I couldn't post comments for some reason, hence the late entry.

    Tempers sometimes flared under the pressure, venting was expected and accepted, the alternative less so.

  2. @ Arlequín - But you have to cut it fine to beat me for lateness. Great fit this week too - it's frustrating to get the thing in so many pieces, but more compelling for it. One day we'll read it complete and saturated with all that extra meaning.

    Mine is here anyway. Will I ever escape the obvious pun?