The Funeral (New Story/Writing Exercise)

It’s been a while since I wrote fiction, but luckily Chuck Wendig over at is great at kicking your ass for that.

I thought his weekly flash fiction challenge would be a good running start at getting back into the writing habit. This week’s challenge is to use all ten of the following words: funeral, captivate, deceit, brimstone, canyon, balloon, clay, disfigured, willow, and atomic. It’s a challenge I’m happy to say I failed – I couldn’t figure out a way to work ‘atomic’ in here, and rather than try to shoehorn it in, I just left it out. Editing is all about cutting out the unnecessary words, right?

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. It was fun. Lyrics from ‘The Funeral‘ by Band of Horses, from their 2006 album Everything All the Time. It just happened to be on my playlist at the right time to catch me as I started writing this.

‘The Funeral’

“The Funeral” was playing on the car stereo, and John was singing the lyrics low under his breath, if only to fill the awkward silence.

I’m coming up only, to hold you under.

“Is that for me?” asked Willow. She reached under the car seat for the bottle of Bartle & James.

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‘Cycles’ – New (old) story

I’m going to start posting some of my older, previously-published (or not) stories – a kind of library of my writing.

The first story I’m posting is called ‘Cycles.’ I wrote it around 2006 and it was published in the The Puritan Magazine No. 3, Summer 2007.

Fun fact: the original draft of this story was almost 3,000 words. The published version is considerably shorter. It was a great exercise in editing.

You can read ‘Cycles’ here.