Thursday, August 12, 2010

Embracing the tweet

Well, as usual, I contradict myself. I thought Twitter was stupid. Remember this? I should have known better than to blame the tool when people misuse it. No, Twitter is awesome. Not as a forum for extended narrative--as a mojo-restoring tonic. It turns out you can get a fair amount of short story into 140 characters, if you try real hard.

A woman leaves her purse at a restaurant. She returns for it, and finds a note inside that reads "I hate you." The handwriting is her own.

Deep in a bunker in the mountains of Colorado, a general accesses defense secrets that could destroy the world. The password is "ravioli."

Woman pines for famous actor over many years. Wins contest to have dinner with him. During meal he says, "You remind me of my yard man."

Talking dogs, walking upright, explore Cincinnati.

OK, these aren't going to win any awards, but surely any one of them could make a person's bus ride infinitessimally better? And can one ask any more than that of the form?

Share your 140-character stories, if you will. And a link to your lit tweets.

18 comments:

Sean-Patrick Burke said...

The fallout fell like solid northern lights, and as I watched it I thought of sledding as a child, when snow only came in the winter months.

jrlennon said...

nice!

rmellis said...

Yes, I like.

If a novel is a meal, and a short story is a snack, then these are individual pieces of Chex mix.

Or, if the novel is a Round the World Journey, the short story is trip to your mom's, and these are bike rides to the store for butter.

Sean-Patrick Burke said...

The entomologist had studied wonderful creatures around the world, but it was in a most unexpected place he discovered the Venus Butterfly.

Okay, back to work... :-)

bigscarygiraffe said...

On my huffy bike to get butter--singing American Pie. Blue birds merry-tweet spring. Canadian hits & runs. I think he was from Ontario.

Sung said...

A woman listens to her iPod. A man takes her picture. He doesn't know her, but later, when he sees the photograph, he almost feels he does.

I love these micro-stories, but I still think Twitter is stupid! :)

- Sung

Zachary Cole said...

Flash fiction doesn't really cover these little gems, does it? Maybe 'spittle fiction'?

Mr London Street said...

Her Christmas presents sit unopened on the bench in the hall, the most vivid reminder of how everything went so wrong last summer.

Kevin said...

I found our photo, of us tangled in bed. I wondered where you are now, if you’re in love, and how we ended up on hot-amateurs-fucking.com.

(Getting this in under 140 characters was much harder than expected.)

jrlennon said...

ha ha yeah!

Andrew Gelman has sent me this link, btw:

http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2010/08/sloppily-writte.html

violentbore said...

Do you miss me when you're with someone else? Where are you, my miracle? Studying hard? I think I'm the attractive man in a white shirt.

Great idea! This is a mishmash of posts, lifted verbatim, from the 'missed connections' section of Craig's List in Chicago.

Pale Ramón said...

The Petersons set serpents upon the house to drive the mice away, but a week later only Brutus, the large Siamese, had disappeared.

jrlennon said...

These are just great...

Blinde Schildpad said...

After having survived a lifetime of cruelty, illness and loss, the fluid swerve of those headlights actually seemed kind of of festive.

bigscarygiraffe said...

^ Blinde for the win

jrlennon said...

and a delightful avatar, too

violentbore said...

I'm hooked. I've decided to compose 140 of these little suckers in 140 hours. Check it out!

http://violentbore-thisaintnodisco.blogspot.com/2010/08/what.html

Russell said...

It's fun to try to get your Twitter messages to equal exactly 140 characters (that is, zero characters remaining). If you fail there's . .

. . . always the option of continuing with another tweet, n'est-ce pas? (And yes; these two tweets together equaled 280 characters.) Glitch.

http://twitter.com/r_d_h