Archive for October 27th, 2012

Flashathon 2012 Hour Six

It’s 2pm on the east coast, 11am on the west, and…various other times elsewhere in the world. We’re going to change up the prompt for this hour. One of my favorite prompts last year wasn’t a word or a phrase, it was a flower. So how about an animal.

The Tardigrade

Also known as the Water Bear or the Moss Piglet, this little creature is the hardiest of the hardy. From Wikipedia:

Tardigrades are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of close to absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin (−273 °C (−459 °F)), temperatures as high as 151 °C (304 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water. Since 2007, tardigrades have also returned alive from studies in which they have been exposed to the vacuum of space for a few days in low Earth orbit. Tardigrades are the first known animal to survive in space.

There you go. Use that as you will for inspiration.

Tardigrade picture by Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill, released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Five

Some brief Roman history for this one. After successfully defeating Marcus Antonius, the new emperor Augustine had Antonius scrubbed from the records, even going so far as to dictate that the family could no longer name their sons Marcus. His goal, to make sure there never was, nor would again, be a Mark Anthony. After the fall of the Flavian dynasty, the Senate of Rome made a similar attempt to completely remove its last emperor, Domitian, from history.

Mark Anthony is the subject of a Shakespearean drama. Domitian, while not a household name, is well known and even the subject of several biographies. Clearly attempts to remove them from history didn’t work. But if they did…how would we know they had? And how do we know that someone else, perhaps even far more recent, wasn’t successfully scrubbed from the history books. And that leads to this hour’s prompt.

Why was someone removed from history?

Or, if not why, perhaps how. Or to what affect. And no claiming that your story was removed from history for revealing the truth. Because that’s totally my idea.


Flashathon 2012 Hour Four

It’s noon here in the DC area, this is when we started Flashathon last year. This year, we’re already rolling into hour four. Greetings for all who are just joining in, and hang in there for those who have been going since hour one. Don’t forget to get some lunch if you’re on the east coast, or some breakfast on the west, or some brunch if you’re in the midwest.

For this hour’s prompt, we’re taking a visit to one of my favorite websites, io9. If you’re a fan of science fiction or fantasy and don’t visit there regularly, you’re missing out. They also offer weekly writing prompt images. I’ve taken six headlines from recent io9 articles, and I present them now with no further context. Pick your favorite, and that’s what your story is about this hour.

  1. How do you explain the hummingbird’s bizarre tongue?
  2. How Will Humans Get to Alpha Centauri?
  3. The story of wine corks is a lot more complicated than you thought
  4. How much does a shadow weigh?
  5. An ancient mode of transportation that could work on other planets
  6. Why slime molds can solve mazes better than robots

No, I’m not going to link the articles, because then you’ll read them instead of writing. Go look them up later. For now, pick one, and have at it.


Flashathon 2012 Hour Three

Good morning west coast, you’re up early. East coast, get to thinking about what you’re going to do about lunch. We’re solidly into Flashathon, even though we’re an hour shy of when the event started last year. And that’s kinda cool. Now, I’m writing these posts ahead of time so I can participate with a little less stress, but I hope we’re getting some good participation even though it’s still early. This hour the inspiration comes right out of the week’s news. You’ve got three choices:

  1. Write a story about a penguin.
  2. Write a story about a man arriving at a random house.
  3. Merge these two ides.

So there we go. The big six will soon be the big five, and we’re into hour three of Flashathon. Go!


Flashathon 2012 Hour Two

So a little behind the scenes here at Flashathon HQ. This might be the second hour of the event, but it’s actually the last prompt that I’m setting up. I was talking to my wife about what to use, and she suggested an image. Trying to find something good, she further suggested I look for weird patent images. I did, and this is what I came up with. Click it for a larger version.

Yeah, I edited the title of the patent out. It’s not up to me to tell you what it is, you need to tell me.


Flashathon 2012 Hour One

Welcome to the opening hour of Flashathon 2012! It’s early here on the east coast, it’s still dark on the west coast, but nothing can stop Flashathon from rolling forward. Starting now and for the next eighteen hours, you’ll see your prompts come up here on the blog. Keep checking back, keep an eye on my Twitter account for when the new hours will start.

Alright, that’s enough prologue. You’re here for your prompt. As with last year, I’m going to take the first prompt myself. And, as with last year, I’m going to make it fitting to the start of the event:

As we started…

Is that your first three words, is that your theme, are you going to completely ignore it? Your choice! But it’s time to get started into Flashathon.


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