GFP Ep. 38 – Reevaluation


The Garage Fiction Podcast: Episode 38 – Reevaluation
Listen to the podcast in the player above, download the full episode here or subscribe to our podcast via iTunes here.


What the heck is “Garage Fiction”?

Since January 2015, three writers (Nicholas Brack, Dogwood Daniels & Jinn Zhong) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week based on a “creative prompt”. We post our work on Fridays at each of our respective websites and dissect them together on Mondays via podcast.

We also end up chatting about the craft of writing, the creative process, storytelling and other related tangents.

• You can always email us your thoughts, comments and feedback at garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com
• Like this podcast? We’d love for you to rate us on iTunes
• We’d also appreciate it if you “like” us on Facebook
• You can follow these three stooges on Twitter as well: @nicholasbrack, @DogwoodDaniels & @jinn_zhong
• Our awesome theme song was written by Stephanie and Jonathan Hughes. Check out their latest album at sextmessage.bandcamp.com
• If you’d like to advertise with us or sponsor us, please email garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST:
              

GFP Ep. 37 – The Library, Take 2, Scar, Part 4, The Deep Sea


The Garage Fiction Podcast: Episode 37 – Listen to the podcast in the player above, download the full episode here or subscribe to our podcast via iTunes here.


What the heck is “Garage Fiction”?

Since January 2015, three writers (Nicholas Brack, Dogwood Daniels & Jinn Zhong) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week based on a “creative prompt”. We post our work on Fridays at each of our respective websites and dissect them together on Mondays via podcast.

We also end up chatting about the craft of writing, the creative process, storytelling and other related tangents.


This week’s Garage Fiction prompt was provided by Jinn Zhong…
A panel from New Avengers Issue #21 released in August 2006
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilled by Howard Chaykin
This issue was a part of the 2006 Civil War crossover


Here’s what it inspired this week:
• Nicholas wrote The Library, Take 2
• Dogwood wrote Scar, Part 4
• Jinn wrote The Deep Sea

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:
Brandon Sanderson’ Course
The Greatest Thing in The World by Flannery O’ Connor
The Geranium by Norman Mailer
Defiance directed by Edward Zwick, starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber

• You can always email us your thoughts, comments and feedback at garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com
• Like this podcast? We’d love for you to rate us on iTunes
• We’d also appreciate it if you “like” us on Facebook
• You can follow these three stooges on Twitter as well:
@nicholasbrack, @DogwoodDaniels & @jinn_zhong
• Our awesome theme song was written by Stephanie and Jonathan Hughes.
Check out their latest album at sextmessage.bandcamp.com
• If you’d like to advertise with us or sponsor us, please email garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST:
            

The Library – Take 2 (Garage Fiction #37)

As I came around the stacks on the first floor, I couldn’t miss the blonde ponytail pulled tight behind her head. 

Bathed in the morning sun radiating through the library window, her face had an angelic glow.

So did her ample chest

Now I’m not saying that’s the first place my eyes went.  But with the sun and all, it just kind of came together in one instantaneous look.

A look that shoves a gorgeous picture into the back of your brain where you have to decide quickly where you’re going to file it.

Angelic face file? Ample chest file?  My heart raced as the image confusion kicked in.

Either way, my trip to the library was already infinitely more interesting.

As I approached, I did my best to stay focused on her face.  She seemed like a sweet girl. The dateable kind.  Hot but not one to flaunt it.  Not like Jodie back in high school.

She was crazy smart, but the way she threw her body around she wasn’t someone you took home to meet the family.

But this one, beautiful and unpretentious.  From what I’d seen in class, she was nice to just about everybody. 

As I closed the gap to her table I decided to skip the chest and keep an eye on her face.  That or her copy of Catcher in the Rye.

It was on our reading list and I was already dreading it.  Angling toward the opposite corner of the six-person table, I asked, “Hows the book?”

She looked up with an approving smile and I sat.

“Pretty good I guess.  I’m not that far along, but I should have it done in the next day or so.”

“What? Who reads that fast.”

“What can I say, I like books.”

“Oh.  I was never much for reading.  Too much T.V. as a kid I guess.”

“Probably just haven’t found the right books.”

“Maybe. Doesn’t really matter what I like since we have a massive reading list.”

Quipping warmly, “It’s only six books.”

‘That’s more than I’ve read my whole life.”

“Really?” She looked at me as if I’d lost something.  With a gentle mix of sympathy and verve she dove right in. “You must really hate books.”

I paused and did the math in my head. She likes books. I like blonde hair.  She likes books, I like breasts. I fumbled for the image in the back of my brain as I didn’t want to stare.

I thought if I had any hope for a second conversation or third, I’d better be honest from the start.

“Yeah I do. I hate ‘em.

As I said it she didn’t break eye contact. It was as if she was searching for something. My discomfort grew as she leaned back.

“I don’t believe you.”  The conviction in her voice stung.  “You hate something but it’s not books. I’m sure of it.”

What do you know? I thought. Part of me wanted to get up and leave.  Goody two shoes bookworm thinks she has it all figured out, I thought.  But as she put the book down and continued to look at me, I felt I had to stay.   

And it wasn’t just the blond hair and breasts.

I felt like she knew something about me, even though we’d just met.  And That’s when it hit like a flood.  I just started talking without thinking about it

“In first grade, I could read 7th grade books and I quickly became the novelty act for my parent’s parties. ‘Look how smart he is’ they’d say.  I didn’t mind it at first, but after a while I felt like a carnival sideshow.”

“Maybe they were just proud of you.”

“Maybe at first.  But after I told my mom I didn’t want to do it.  She said ok until the martini’s kicked in at the next party and things would get ugly.”

“I get it.”

“Oh?”

Without hesitation she jumped in with both feet.  “My dad died when I was seven, and my mom went off the deep end.  They were high-school sweethearts and once he was gone she just kind of snapped.  More wine than martinis but I get it.  My brother and I did our best to stayed off her radar.  He was older and could drive.  Me, I was stuck at home with mom and books became my friends.  A way to leave that house anytime I wanted.”

“Sorry to hear about your father.”

“It was a long time ago and I hate to say it, but I really don’t remember him all that much.”

Sad. Her dad dies and her mom goes off the deep end.  Sadder still, my mom was off the deep end and I wish my dad was dead.  Either way, neither one of us got to know our dads.

Catching her eyes, I sat motionless.  We’d only been talking for a few minutes and I’d already said things I’d never told anyone.  It was as if she knew my thoughts needed to get out.  They needed oxygen.  Just enough oxygen to combust and burn off the resentment.

Again she looked through me, “What are you thinking?”

“I’m not quite sure. I’ve only been sitting here for a few minutes and all I want to do is keep talking.”

She crossed her arms on the table and leaned in with a gentle smile.

“Works for me.”

“I just find it odd how your dad dies and then your mom goes off the deep end.  And here my mom was already off the deep end, and it wouldn’t matter to me if my dad was dead.”

Her blue eyes and warm face told me to keep going.

I pulled my copy of Catcher in the Rye out of my bag and put it on the table next to hers.

Looking down at it I started.

“On the last day of school, right before summer break, he put me on restrictions for getting a “B” in English.  He was a man of perfection and anything less than straight “A” wasn’t tolerated

And as part of the punishment, he took me to the library and told me I wouldn’t be off restrictions until I picked two books and completed a full book report on each one

He only gave me about fifteen minutes to find two books, and after looking a while I just grab two that had the best covers.  Something about kudzu taking over a town, and I can’t remember the other one.  All I know is when I got home they were both horrible. Long story short.   He refused to let me exchange them. And I refused to do the book reports.

So I spent nearly the whole summer in my room.  No T.V. nothing.  He wasn’t giving in and neither was I.  Eventually my mom intervened. He settled for a one page summary of each book, which I took from the dust cover, and I got off restrictions three weeks before the next school year started.”

She winced.  “That’s nearly two months on restrictions.”

“Yup. And that was just one of my run ins with Mr. Perfection. A small taste of why I wouldn’t care if he was dead.”

Sitting up with a hint of triumph she said, “I knew it.”

“Knew what.”

“I told you you didn’t hate books.”

ot plenty of time. Let’s have the long one.”


This week’s Garage Fiction prompt was provided by Jinn…
“ ‘Murica! “

2014-11-05 22.05.43


These weekly scenes & stories are part of an ongoing project codenamed “Garage Fiction”.  Since January 2015, three writers (Jinn Zhong, Dogwood Daniels and Me) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week. We post on Sundays and dissect on Tuesdays via podcast.

To read Jinn Zhong’s Garage Fiction-of-the-week, Click Here: TBA
To read Dogwood Daniel’s GF-of-the-week, Click Here: Scar 4

GFP Ep. 36 – The Library, The Sage, Desperate Pact


The Garage Fiction Podcast: Episode 36 – Listen to the podcast in the player above, download the full episode here or subscribe to our podcast via iTunes here.


What the heck is “Garage Fiction”?

Since January 2015, three writers (Nicholas Brack, Dogwood Daniels & Jinn Zhong) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week based on a “creative prompt”. We post our work on Fridays at each of our respective websites and dissect them together on Mondays via podcast.

We also end up chatting about the craft of writing, the creative process, storytelling and other related tangents.


This week’s Garage Fiction prompt was provided by Nicholas Brack…
“Girl With A Book” – Photographed by Nicholas Brack.


Here’s what it inspired this week:
• Nicholas wrote The Library
• Dogwood wrote The Sage
• Jinn wrote Desperate Pact

LINKS MENTIONED ON THIS EPISODE:
Brandon Sanderson’ Course
Michael Chabon
J.D. Salinger
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Moment with Brian Koppelman Podcast by Slate Magazine
Marvel’s Daredveil a Netflix Original
Jinn’s piece on “Middling Fiction”
Mad Men
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis

• You can always email us your thoughts, comments and feedback at garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com
• Like this podcast? We’d love for you to rate us on iTunes
• We’d also appreciate it if you “like” us on Facebook
• You can follow these three stooges on Twitter as well:
@nicholasbrack, @DogwoodDaniels & @jinn_zhong
• Our awesome theme song was written by Stephanie and Jonathan Hughes. Check out their latest album at sextmessage.bandcamp.com
• If you’d like to advertise with us or sponsor us, please email garagefictionfeedback(AT)gmail(DOT)com

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST:
            

The Library (Garage Fiction #36)

For as long as I can remember I hated reading.

Maybe it was because T.V. was easier.  You didn’t have to think.

You could sit and watch happy people be happy, and maybe you’d be happy for a little while. That’s what most little kids want.  To be happy.

Happier than sitting down to eat a whole tomato just because he told you to.  Still don’t like those things.

Happier than getting hit on your elbows with a fork for not putting them on the dinner table.

Those unhappy things that little kids try to forget as fast as they can.

That’s why T.V. was better than books.

When you need a quick escape hatch, who has time for a book.

That’s why I hated to read. It was too slow.  Well at least, that’s why I thought I hated reading.

I didn’t find out the real reason until I met her.  In of all places, the library.

She was sitting at the window facing me as I came around the stacks on the first floor.

Her blonde ponytail was pulled tight behind her head, as the sun shone through the window from the courtyard near the student union.

The soft orange rays gave a glow to her angelic face. Not to mention the fact that I had a crystal clear picture of her firm chest.  I’m not saying that’s the first thing I went for with my eyes.  But with the sun and all, it was hard to miss.

It all just kind of came together in one instantaneous look.

A look that shoves a gorgeous picture into the back of your brain where you have to decide quickly where you’re going to file it.

Angelic face file? Ample chest file?  My heart raced as the confusion kicked in.  I wanted to stay focused on her face because she seemed like a real sweet girl.

Beautiful, unpretentious, and nice to just about everybody in our English class. 

I’d spotted her a few times but we’d never really met

As I approached the table I decided I would skip the chest and keep an eye on her face.  That and her copy of Catcher in the Rye.

It was on our reading list and I was already dreading it.

I moved toward the corner of the six-person table and asked, “Hows the book?” She looked up with an approving smile as I sat. “Pretty good I guess.  I’m not that far along, but I should have it done in the next day or so.”

“What? Who reads that fast.”

What can I say, I like books.”

“Oh. Was never much for reading.  Too much T.V. as a kid I guess.”

“Probably just haven’t found the right books.”

“Maybe so. Doesn’t really matter what I like since we have a massive reading list from class.”

Laughing. “It’s only six books.”

‘That’s more than I’ve read in my whole life.”

“Really?” She looked at me as if I’d lost something.  With a gentle mix of sympathy and verve she dove right in.

“You must really hate books.”

I paused and did the math in my head. She likes books. I like blonde hair.  She likes books, I like breasts. I tried to file the image back in my brain.

If this conversation had a glimmer of hope for heading in the right direction I had to be honest.

“Yeah I do. I hate ‘em”

“I don’t believe you.”  The conviction in her voice stung.  “You hate something but it’s not books. I’m sure of it.”

What do you know? I thought. Part of me wanted to get up and leave, but as she put the book down and leaned in toward me, I felt I had to stay.   

And it wasn’t just about her blond hair and breasts.

She knew something about me, yet we’d never met.  And That’s when it hit me like a flood.

All the reasons I hated reading came from one seminal summer after sixth grade. Just like eating the tomato or getting hit with a fork, I’d learned that books were nothing more than punishment.

Right as school let out for summer break, he’d put me restrictions. Must’ve been grades, I can’t remember.  I’d been put on restrictions so many times the why didn’t matter anymore

But this time I wasn’t just tortured by being in my room while everyone else in the neighborhood was outside playing, there was additional punishment this time.

As part of the punishment I was taken to the library where I picked out two books.  Being a T.V. kid I I picked them out because the covers looked cool—visuals over content I guess.

And thats where things fell apart.  When I got home, I opened the books and by the end of the first chapters I was in hell. Both of them were boring and stupid. But that didn’t matter.  I couldn’t take them back.  And the only way to get off restrictions was to finish the books and write the reports.

As I read and wrote, my hatred began—but just as she’d said. It wasn’t a hatred for books, it was a hatred of him.

I pulled out my copy of Catcher in the Rye and set it on the table in front of us.  And when I looked up at her, I could tell she knew she was right.

“So do you want the short version or the long version.”

“I’ve got plenty of time. Let’s have the long one.”


This week’s Garage Fiction prompt was provided by me…
“Girl With A Book” – Photographed by me with the note: “Happened to see this on a car in front of me and thought alright cool!”

skitch


These weekly scenes & stories are part of an ongoing project codenamed “Garage Fiction”.  Since January 2015, three writers (Jinn Zhong, Dogwood Daniels and Me) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week. We post on Sundays and dissect on Tuesdays via podcast.

To read Jinn Zhong’s Garage Fiction-of-the-week, Click Here: Desperate Pact
To read Dogwood Daniel’s GF-of-the-week, Click Here: The Sage