Writing 

Stories

I write short stories. Some. Most are short. Really short. Let’s call them ‘short shorts’ for short. One is a ‘long story’ which I excerpted below.

Here is one for the winter (start of 2022)

Like a Christmas Tree

Audio reading by me.

 

In this collection, More (than) Zen Stories: New sprouts from old tales I take five old Zen stories and continue them with a sequel that, I believe, brings new inspirations and insights.

  • The Hermit of Moon Village
  • Not Enough Cups
  • There is Seed and There is Seed
  • Twenty Years and Nothing
  • The Invitation

Storm Coming: Short and Stormy Stories

  • Storm Coming
  • Memorial Day
  • Driftwood
  • Song and Dance
  • A Little Stitching
  • Silverado
  • Fair Game
  • Waxing Gibbous
  • Peeling Paint
  • Recycling
  • Mr. Kim’s Apartment
  • Audio Diary, July 5, 2031
  • Margery’s Pot
  • The Harvest
  • Inquiry on the Green Experiment
  • Last Night

Centerfold: a long story

In 2020, that first COVIDian year when a tiny beast targeted the human community, I focused on writing a novela or long short story of some thirty thousand words (75 pages). It is Centerfold. I have not yet published it. But I think the opening two pieces of it are fun, so I put that here for your enjoyment.

Story Prompt Generator

Three dozen semi-randomized ‘facts’ about setting and character.

See the tool on Google.

It is a spreadsheet I invented. It is licensed for sharing with Creative Commons.

Here is an example of an opening I wrote based on a prompt from my spreadsheet tool.

     Under the brush to her left, that being the place she had put down her head and her worries once the gibbous moon had sunk behind Mount Flammable, so named for its periodic forest rages that make it glow day and night for about a week—under that dense bit of brush, itself turning into a red flame this late in the season, under that, there came a sound.
     Of course, sounds. All night, all day, sounds. It was the slick and stop, prickle and stop of this sound that made her—let’s know her as Irvin—shoot out of her dream and lie still as a snake. A snake being the most probable source of the sound. Slick and stop.
     It came up to her sleeping bag, tapped her forehead, looked in her eye, tongue flickering. And back down to her neck, then inside, under the tender upper arm where it joins the chest, and went still. Irvin did not appreciate the coolness right at that moment. Or right at that place. Yet. Yet, to be told, this was kindness, and she smiled to receive it.
     The sun was yet to show through the high canopy, and she had nothing to do this day. And so she went back to her dream. Back to her mother’s secret bank vault in Kyev and the day she took out her fortune and disappeared into the forest.

Tips:
Go into the tool and select the ‘Intro’ sheet from the tabs along the bottom. There you get an introduction and the current, ephemeral story prompt. There are well over a trillion-trillion combinations it can make. So if you see one, copy it right away as it will never come again. To see a new one, go out and come back in. 
ABOUT the tabs. Once you select a tab, the screen fills with that sheet and sometimes makes the tabs disappear from below. If that happens and you want to get out of it to select another tab, just tap the green checkmark at the upper left.
Poems

I write poems. They are short, too, even shorter than my ‘short short’ stories. As you would think. As for ‘writing’ poems. I don’t know…Mostly I seem to midwife them, midwife not the words for the most part, but the essential drop, the idea, that some muse-like phenomenon has sort of dropped on the top of my head when I am not looking at the sky. I am looking at the world, yes indeed. But the the poem comes into that from the side or something. Say, isn’t it amazing how rarely a bird drops its digestive refuse on our heads? Those little beings must be watching us.

For now, see my art site, TKPhelps, for a few of these.

Poems

Memoirs

For now, see my art site, TKPhelps, for a few of these.

Stories

Ideas
I write a lot of philosophical ideas, trying to better understand what I see at the psychological and universal level. I will see how much of this I put here. It will be in my ‘Ideas’ page, not here. And of course, naturalmeditation.org