Just Breathe

Sorry I have no inspirational insight for this week. Or funny tidbits to help you all on your literary journeys.

This week has been too long and yet a whirlwind that I’m still trying to catch up to. Right now I’m just trying to remind myself to breathe. Breathe, because it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. Breathe, because it’s okay to feel anxious. Breathe, because it’s okay to breakdown a little. Your emotions are not a burden, they are not for anyone to judge.

Just breathe…because you can only go up from here.

Because not all who wander are lost. Sometimes that is where the best inspiration can come from.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to simply breathe. You are not alone. Take this post as a gentle reminder that you are fine wherever you are at, and everything will fall in place soon.

Writerly Inspirations: July Nineteenth

This week on the blog we have another collaborative piece–this time written by our fiction and poetry editors. It’s not an exquisite corpse, per se, but was written in a similar style.

To concoct this poem, Amber and Addey texted lines back and forth. It’s a fun way to get some inspiration if you’re feeling a little bit stuck–you never know where a poem or story is going to go when using this method, and usually it’s not where you would expect!

Try collaborating with a writer friend and see how your separate inspirations combine into one creative work, and check out Amber and Addey’s poem below!

Night Rider

by Amber Porter and Addey Vaters

A glimmer, a splash of steel in the night.

Stars twinkle in shimmering red metallic pigment,

copper stringlets woven between fingers.

Frustration escaped her lips in a loud sigh.

Ignorance is bliss they say,

but his ignoring her was far from blissful.

Clouds moved across the sky, shrouding the moon—

the stars now ignoring her, too.

Fate seemed determined to make her feel less than.

No—enough.  It was her turn to do the ignoring.

Turning her back on the moon,

she yanked the car door open.  Plucking keys

from their hiding place, she revved the car and sped away—

leaving him to his Apple illuminated face.

A Writing Prompt

This week I have a writing prompt for you. It’s nothing too outlandish and should, hopefully, be a fun challenge.

Write a short story—or flash fiction piece—that has seamlessly integrated the first ten titles of your current song playlist or watch list.

Remember that you shouldn’t be afraid of wherever your writing takes you!

I hope you all have a good week, and I wouldn’t mind seeing some results of this prompt in our spring journal submissions!

Writerly Inspirations: May Seventeenth

This week our executive and fiction editors took a fun writing prompt and wrote up an exquisite corpse to share on the blog. If you’ve never heard of an exquisite corpse before, you’re probably scrunching up your nose and thinking about how morbid it sounds right about now, but we promise you — it’s not.

An exquisite corpse is an old writing activity/parlour game that was supposedly started by the surrealists in the early twentieth century, but was probably used even before then. It’s a method of creating a story where one person starts off with a sentence (or word, or whatever fits into the parameters the participants set) and then the next person in line builds off of that initial tidbit to slowly create a story.

All of us editors were first introduced to the exquisite corpse in college where we divided into groups, and sometimes even utilized the whole class, to create what often turned out to be absurd (or sometimes pretty fantastic) stories and poems. Now we all like to do it for fun, and it certainly does get the creative juices flowing!

It’s nice to carry forward a traditional exercise that has inspired writers for over a century — and it’s fun to imagine fanciful lords and ladies sitting in parlours creating what could have been the inspirations for countless classic stories and literary tropes. Give this exercise a try if you are looking for some writerly inspiration!

The Desert Runs Red Tonight

By Amber Porter and Kenna Jackson

Ice cubes clinked in amber colored liquid, condensation pooled around the small glass.

It went down smooth considering I just buried a guy in a shallow grave in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Other than the two dried spots of blood on my hiking boots, there was little evidence left on my sin.

Will the devil drink with me tonight or could his wife of an angel forgive me for what I had done.

Not that I cared for forgiveness, that asshole had it coming.

But I didn’t give it to him. I only washed away the crime, buried the evidence along with him, letting nature take back what she gave, and breathed a sigh of relief.

I heard someone sit beside me at the bar, the scent of lavender wafting over me. The smell of my sister’s shampoo was unmistakable—least it was better than the stink of blood she had been covered with.

It was her husband we laid in the ground. I poured her a drink, and selectively plucked a chunk of ice from the bucket. It clicked in the glass and she busted out laughing.

I looked at the old scars and new bruises across her exposed skin, but her laugh proved too infectious and soon I joined in. After all, it’s not every day you get away with murder.

Writerly Inspirations: April Twentieth

I haven’t had much time this week to concentrate on writing. However, I’ve found—at least for myself—that the writing spirit doesn’t care if you’ve got the time or not. It likes to strike when it pleases. There I was, minding my own business, watching the most recent episode of NCIS when it decided to lunge at me.

One of the characters watches a funeral come to an end a few steps away. Memories of a previously deceased wife and a broken engagement no doubt filled his mind. His voice, full ofremorse, says “I was trying to do the right thing for her, but she still ended up here…”

All I could think was “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” with the addition of “so you may as well do.” And just like that a new character popped into my head. Within minutes I had his whole backstory planned out. His mannerisms, his quirks. Likes and dislikes. I even had a scene with him saying the above. I don’t know where I’ll put him. I don’t even know if he’ll be used beyond writing practice.

But that’s a concern for another day. For now, I’m just marveling at the persistence of the writing spirit and awed by what it finds inspirational.

An Update on Home: Fiction

This subject turned out to be far more broad than I originally believed it would be. The submissions I received varied a great deal and, admittedly, some did not match the theme at all. Amidst the sea of stories, I found myself drawn to those whose concept of “home” differed from the norm. They weren’t tales of happy families in pretty homes. They were stories of dysfunctional people sharing a space. Of futures where money means nothing or minds and phones are linked. Of dragons and monsters.

An abstract concept of “home”, that is what readers can expect in the Fiction section of borrowed solace’s third issue.


The 411: Fiction

*As we prepare to open submissions for issue two (!), our first unthemed journal, we want to give you the inside scoop on what each of our editors are looking for in their respective genres.  Stay tuned for a guest post from each editor!*

What am I looking for in fiction? There’s no theme this go around so I’m not looking for anything too specific.

You know what that means?

That means I want anything and everything. I want to feel. To laugh. I want pieces that grip into me and refuse to let go until I‘ve reached the very last word on the very last page. I want to be afraid. To be sad. I want to be stunned to the verge of speechlessness.

I want it all.

Submit what moves you, submit those pieces you’re passionate about, be it genre, literary, or flash…heck I’ll take a thousand two sentence stories—that was a joke, please don’t send in a thousand (I would like to survive to the next journal edition.) Let’s say up to fifty per person…yeah, that seems more reasonable—submit it all.