Writing Re-Enlightenment

Imprinted (potentially triggery flash fiction with some knives, thumbs, and a marriage, plus it represents 6 years of my life so worth a read on that basis alone)

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on November 22, 2016

My husband’s thumb lies nestled among the mushrooms on the countertop. Not twitching and jumping like the body of a live fish when you cut off the head. Just resting, as the head itself would do. A small amount of blood, a soupçon in cooking terminology, fans out from the point of detachment in an irregular pool.

READ the full story here:

http://flashfictionmagazine.com/blog/2016/11/22/imprinted/

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Loser Cat (A Little Apocalyptic Short Story W/ Religious Extremism, a Shoutout to Margaret Atwood, a Secret Cameo (Shh!!!) by Hillary Clinton, Feminist Nuns–Some With Jokes, Some With Stilettos (The Knife Not the Heel), Laura Ingalls Wilder Love, Spinsters, and a Wee Bit of Educational Twerking

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on June 29, 2016

In the year of Our Lord 2033, I bide here in my cell.

Technically, I’m a nun, not a prisoner, but why quibble because I have a name instead of an inmate number? Mary Elizabeth’s not even my real name. A preacher gave it to me when I took my vows at the virginal age of forty-five.

——

Read the rest of this story in the lovely EXPOUND, an international online journal based out of Nigeria:

http://expoundmagazine.com/loser-cat-caralyn-davis/

Rules of Engagement: A Step-by-Step Guide to My Very Own Home Invasion

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on October 3, 2014

I was making tea in the kitchen at the back of the house when I heard a boom followed by the tinkling sound of broken glass. A car accident on the street, that’s what I thought. I jogged forward a few steps into the dining room, stopping short under my thrift-store chandelier.

A gloved hand was coming through a pane of glass on my front door. The glove was knit with a thick, shiny white yarn and covered with brown leather patches on the fingers and palm. The hand was attached to an arm, nicely muscled and covered in a gray thermal T-shirt. The door was opening before the hand turned the lock. It had shattered in the frame to the left of the handle. …

Read the rest at: 

Is your creativity in tip-top shape?

Posted in writing by Caralyn Davis on August 25, 2009

I’ve been a professional nonfiction writer and editor for about 20 years. So you’d think that I would know how to write pretty much anything. Yet I was one of those people who dreamed about writing fiction instead of actually doing it. Basically I was too scared to try, and reading those ever-present articles about the dedication of true writers didn’t help. You know, the ones that say: “A real writer has to write. It’s in our DNA. We find a way no matter what, or we’d go crazy.”

Meanwhile, I would come close to crying blood as I struggled to find both the time and the creative energy to write a few paragraphs of a short story over a period of months, if not years. So I was pretty sure I would never qualify as a “real” fiction writer.

But then last October, I lost my primary writing contract due to consolidation in the publishing industry, and I decided that my enforced sabbatical was a perfect time to put my vague dreams into more solid form. So I enrolled in a creative writing class at the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.

I’m now about to start my third straight semester, and I’ve already written more fiction than at any other time of my life. I’ll admit, I’m no _____ (fill in the blank with your favorite literary giant). In fact, I haven’t been able to get a short story published yet.

But even if I never manage to make anyone’s best seller list, I’m better off. Learning to access my creativity, to work with language, and to create a good story that can impact a reader has produced an unlooked-for side effect: All of my writing has improved.

Whether I am writing a blog, a corporate presentation, or a scintillating educational article about technology transfer, I can dip into the creative well to craft a stronger story. It’s also now easier for me to be creative in other areas, such as designing mosaics, because I’ve gotten used to letting my mind flow freely and allowing ideas and inspiration to pop into my consciousness.

The Great Smokies Writing Program has classes in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry — any of which can help anyone channel their creativity and learn to use language in new and better ways. The fall semester may be the program’s strongest yet, according to Executive Director Tommy Hays.

If you live in Western North Carolina, take advantage of this great opportunity. If not, scour your area and find a good program. A lot of people have let their creativity atrophy. (I think the mere existence of Twitter brings that lesson home.) So flex your muscles.