Flashnano 2022: Day 22

Day 22: Write a late-night story

All 2022 prompts here:

Not already on the FlashNano list? JOIN US

We’ve been writing 30 Stories: 30 Days during the month of November since 2012! 


P.S. All Winter Workshops Now Open

Write a Flash Novel Jan 23-Feb 3

Pop Lit and Flash Fusion Feb 6-10

and TWO new FlashNano live revision sessions:

FlashNano Revision Rendezvous
Dec 9 (9-12 MST)
Dec 13 (1-4 MST)

MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION

Winter Workshops Now Open!

NEW FlashNano Revision Rendezvous

Friday, December 9 (9-12 am MST on Zoom *good for U.S and Europe)

Tuesday, December 13 (1-4 pm MST on Zoom *good for U.S. and Australia)

Tuition: $99

REGISTRATION OPEN

Revision is the most important part of the writing process. As serious writers, you know the muse is fickle. It’s through the editing process that we begin to refine and sculpt our messages. We also know that there comes a point when we can no longer look at our stories with fresh perspectives. You need both honest feedback and encouragement.  After all, we write for an audience.

In these LIVE Zoom sessions we will gather in the spirit of revision, brainstorming and sharing. We will examine our stories and get a sense of how they are landing with readers. Is your storysaying what you want it to say? These sessions will be limited to 10 participants. Bring your Flashnano (or other) first drafts and expect to leave with clarity, vision and enthusiasm for the second draft.

Full payment of $99 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly. The cancellation policy requires a 2-week notice – you will receive a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee. You will not receive a refund without the required 2-week notice. Please email me if you need to request an alternate payment plan.


Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel (and Launch Your Big Idea)

January 23-Feb 3

(10 days, online asynchronous)

Tuition: $250

REGISTRATION OPEN

Do you have a Big Story Idea brewing, but you don’t know where to begin? Is it a flash novel? Novella? Collection? A regular novel or memoir or a million other things? Sometimes not knowing can stop us from getting started. Sometimes the scope of it feels overwhelming. Is 2023 the year you finally write or finish your book?

Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel is my signature course designed to help you launch your Big Flash Novel Idea. For 10 days we will envision, draft, collage and create the momentum for that large-scale idea you’ve been wanting to tackle. We’ll begin breaking it apart and making friends with the scope of it, and in that process of discovery you will find momentum, insight, excitement, and sometimes a total pivot–that’s okay! For 10 days we’ll get out of our own way–10 days and a flurry of words and ideas and encouragement and camaraderie–and when it’s over you will have the bones (at least) of a longer project and a much better idea of where to go next.

Whether your book is fiction or creative nonfiction, if you are drawing on the skills of flash forms–from collections to novellas in flash to flash novels–then this class will help you launch your idea into the world. Many, many flash novels and other books have been conceived, executed, and written from the seeds of this class. Maybe yours?

NOTE: This class is the recommended jumping off point for the 12-Week Flash Novel Mastermind beginning Feb 13.

Full payment of $250 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly. The cancellation policy requires a 2-week notice – you will receive a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee. You will not receive a refund without the required 2-week notice. Please email me if you need to request an alternate payment plan.


Beautiful Flash Fiction: Pop Lit and Flash Fiction Fusion

February 6-10

Tuition: $175

(5 days, online asynchronous)

REGISTRATION OPEN

The world is a constant and incredible source of inspiration–IF we are paying attention. We will engage with unexplored or under explored avenues of potential inspiration including pop culture, music, trends, politics, fashion and more to discover unusual angles and back doors into new ideas. In this 5-day generative class we will actively blur the distinctions between low brow and high brow art, and elevate the mundane to the miraculous.

We will examine the fundamentals of flash fiction, try a variety of approaches to the compressed narrative, and you will generate your own original flash pieces. As always, come with an open mind and expect to play.

*This course is open to writers with all levels of experience in the form, whether you are brand new to flash fiction, a writer coming from other genres, or a veteran flasher looking for a dose of inspiration and some writing camaraderie.

Full payment of $175 is required upon registration. This holds your spot, as workshops fill quickly. The cancellation policy requires a 2-week notice – you will receive a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee. You will not receive a refund without the required 2-week notice. Please email me if you need to request an alternate payment plan.


The Flash Novel Mastermind:

a 12-week incubator to get your manuscript across the finish line

February 13-May 5

Whether your book is fiction or creative non-fiction, if you are a dedicated writer, drawing on the skills of flash fiction, this is the container of inspiration, motivation, community and support you have been wanting to bring your ideas to fruition.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Do you ever:

  • Feel alone in the book-writing process, way out at sea and not sure what you’re doing anymore?
  • Feel unsure about what kind of support you and your manuscript need?
  • Feel directionless, like you are fighting or forcing your idea?
  • Feel impatient, like you just need to get to the end of a first draft so you can figure out what you’re trying to say?
  • Wish you had a cheering squad to keep you motivated and inspired?
  • Wish you had a creative personal trainer, someone to hold you accountable and celebrate your progress? 

NOW imagine going on the journey with others, in community, with expert guidance and lessons crafted especially for you and your creative process.

If this sounds like what you’ve been wishing for, then you are invited to join me on a 12-week journey through the first draft of your book with a small cohort of colleagues in a creative incubator of support, motivation, and inspiration.

This Mastermind is not an intensive–it instead honors the day-to-day of writing with the accountability that comes from being in a community that can witness and celebrate your growth. The Mastermind will be limited to a small group of serious writers in a dedicated, private online space.

Over the 12 weeks I will guide you through the inevitable ups and downs of the creative process, of harnessing your big idea and finally landing it on the page.

FIND OUT MORE

2023 Writing Retreats in France, Colorado, and Iceland!

If you’re a flash fiction writer who’s longing for a new creative spark, an adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then join us in 2023!

Registration starts in October!

Chalais, FRANCE: June 26-July 3

Grand Lake, COLORADO: August 15-20

Laugarvatn, ICELAND: October 25-29

Get on early access WAITING LIST here 

Do you dream of uninterrupted days to write in beautiful locations? Do you long to meet, be mentored by, and network with other writers? Are you enamored with flash fiction and want to learn more or refine your work?

We give professional and aspiring writers, struggling to create amidst the everyday demands of life, the gift of time, community, instruction, and the opportunity to reconnect with your own imagination and sense of possibility so you can confidently bring the work inside you to fruition.

From past participants:

“The retreat was life-shaking. It was a dream to learn from writers whose stories I’ve read for years. The combination of Kathy’s generative workshops with Nancy’s editing/revising workshops is a great approach.  Peace Retreat is beautiful, and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. I came away with better writing AND eating habits.” ~Bill Merklee

“Location, location, location? Not only. This experience pulled my writing in new directions and left me with a sense that a retreat can be both demanding of one’s mind and easy on one’s spirit. Kathy and Nancy were inspiring instructors who brought together a talented and generous group of flash fiction-loving writers. Together, they offered guidance that I can continue to draw on each time I take to the page.” ~Charmaine Wilkerson

“A Flash Fiction Retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman is the perfect way to refresh one’s writing practice. Inspiring locations, like-minded short-fiction writers, and their hallmark positive feedback style make for a true retreat: Pressure-free, productive, and restorative.” ~Anne Weisgerber

“My week of “writing wild” at Peace Retreat in Costa Rica ” with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an amazing way to start of 2019. Everything a writer needs to gain confidence and fire up her word machine was provided: time to write, community, useful exercises, mentoring, helpful critiques, encouragement, time for rest and contemplation, time for fun and games, time to reflect and dig deep. Stunning experience.” ~Gay Degani

The writers retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman was an inspiring, magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are wonderful instructors, writers and mentors with great insight into the craft, as well as the writing life. I also loved meeting people from all over the world who are passionate about writing. I left the retreat feeling re-energized and refocused about my writing. In short, I loved every minute.” ~ K.B. Jensen

If you want to learn about yourself as a writer and a person, if you want to open yourself to your creative potential, and your inner truth as a writer, take a retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman, they will guide you, encourage you, and inspire you. The rest is up to you, put aside your usual way of thinking, open yourself up to what you want to avoid, and.prepare to be amazed.” ~ Annie Bien

The French writing retreat with Kathy Fish and Nancy Stohlman – my first ever writing retreat – lived up to all my expectations, and they were pretty high. It felt like a fairy godmother had shown up, asked us what we wanted and needed most for a week of writing, thinking, creating, sharing, learning and laughing, waved her wand and made it all come true: exceptional teachers in an exceptional location in the company of other inspirational writers. With a pool and fabulous food thrown in. I feel I am leaving with my writing well filled up to the brim with riches for me to keep drawing from. Thank you Kathy and Nancy!” ~Philippa Bowe

Read “Everything is a Story”: Reflections and photos from the 2022 Spanish Flash Fiction Retreat

Help! I’m not writing: what do I do?

QUESTION:
Help! I’m totally blocked and haven’t written a word in too long, except in my daily journal which is more morning pages right now. How do I begin again?
~Sheila

Sheila!
Thanks so much for this right-to-the-heart question. I know you speak for many writers out there. You are SO not alone.

And I’m not just saying, “High five sister, you’re not alone!” I’m saying I totally and deeply empathize, and you are in the normal albeit sucky part of the creative process. As heartbreak is to love, the fallow season is the natural yang to the high of creation. The only way to avoid it is to never create. 

So high five for being in the arena at all. Most people would rather pretend they aren’t creative than go on that insecurity roller coaster.

But yes, the “not creating” part of the process raises all our fears and leaves us shaky and off balance. That’s real. And I don’t have a magic answer, but I do have a couple of reframes and some suggestions that might make navigating this time a little easier.

First some sleuthing: Why are you in this fallow period? It didn’t happen without a reason. Sometimes if we can figure out why something is happening, it helps us have compassion and put things back into context. For me, this phase often coincides with the end of a large creative project or push. Maybe you just finished a project or you’re coming off a very prolific period? Maybe it wasn’t a creative project but one that still drew on your creative energy—the culmination of a large work or school project or event, a large purchase or remodel, or maybe even a life cycle shift—death, birth, divorce, retirement, relocation.

So if can be helpful to discover (this can happen in your journal!) a clear precursor to this non-writing period—if only to give yourself some grace and get out of the shame/blame cycle. Too often we beat ourselves up for not writing when there is actually a good reason.

BUT understanding why you are there doesn’t solve it, I get that. And here my advice is not magical either, but there is unfortunately no other way:

Eventually we have to take a baby step back into relationship with our writing. A BABY step—smaller than we think is even worth it. I often suggest journaling AS a first baby step, and you’re already doing that. Daily, even! How many stuck writers aren’t even journaling? Show of hands? My point. Journaling is a fantastic first step because we begin showing up for the regular practice of looping words into sentences and spending time inside the maze of our minds. 

Keeping baby steps as small and non-intimidating as possible is super important, so I suggest stepping up what you are already doing in your journal. You could write a letter to your writing and/or ask your writing some pointed questions. Or, to kickstart inspiration and get outer-focused again, you could spend an entire day noticing and recording the many beautiful, strange, unique things in your world. Or you could make a list of all the stories you intend to write someday–I love a good list and I find this process will very often pop a hot idea.

Outside of the journal, when I’m blocked or sluggish I like to reread favorite books. You know, THE favorite books that made you want to be a writer in the first place.

And then step away from the page and go see some art, visit a garden, listen to some music, and trust that your new ideas are coming, especially now that you have let them know you are ready.

Bottom line—don’t panic! There is nothing I trust more than the turning wheel of the creative process—fallow periods are always followed by fertile ones, summer follows spring—if you stick with it. So keep showing up and ask:

What is one tiny baby step I could take towards my writing today?
(Then take another one tomorrow.)

Wishing you overflowing creativity!
xoxox
Nancy

Do you have a question about flash fiction, travel, writing, the creative process, craft, the writing life…or anything else?

P.S. I’ve had SO much fun sharing my travels, writing inspiration, creative discoveries, retreat photos, food poisoning and more! I love sharing the adventures with you xo

First Stop: Spain–CHECK! (photo from Spanish Retreat Salon Night! Full retreat wrap-up with photo gallery coming soon!)
Next Stop: Bristol, England and the 4th Flash Fiction Festival!
August: Final 2022 Flash Fiction Retreat in Grand Lake, Colorado!

Continue the adventures on:

Instagram and Facebook and Facebook Retreats Page 


Save the Date: Upcoming Workshops and Retreats


Flash Flood: Write a Flash Novel
August 22-September 2

Going Short: Beautiful Flash Fiction Part II (NEW)
(can be taken independently of Part I)
September 5-9

(Details here. Registration for both opens August 1) 


The Flash Novel Mastermind: a 12-week incubator to get your manuscript across the finish line
September 13-December 2
(Pre-requisite: Flash Flood. Registration and all details Sept 1)

AND
If you’re ready for some radical inspiration, a creative adventure to energize your spirit, and camaraderie with your creative community, then get on the waiting list for 2023 Retreat Early Access and announcements this fall!