Monday, December 26, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge, part 37: Present

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. I endeavor to maintain the tradition. I'm not going to try to fill in for the whole time that I've been away in one post, so I'll just lay out immediate events, such as the recent winter solstice, the first since the 1600's to have a lunar eclipse and a meteor shower, and Christmas and other holiday celebrations. After far too long an absence, I am finally here, now, (or, alternatively now, and/or now, or even now), regretting that I can give you all only that most humble of gifts, my words, which are unlikely to win any literary awards. With that perspective in mind, the word of the week is "present".

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, fall, vent, skip, back, stand, plague beat, and pin, 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'll be back as soon as I have one, and I still need to do something with the three that are outstanding. Your words really should be winning awards too.

  2. @Porky - Thank you! (blush) That really mean a lot coming from you.

    I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  3. Here we go then...

    "On your feet, scum! An officer's present."

    "No, sir, you're past. We voted you out."

    On then to this week's.