Letter from a Dead Friend: #STaD 2017, Day One

It’s the first day of a brand-new May, which means Story A Day is ON!

There’s a reason I plan much of my annual creativity around this challenge. Every year, creator, coach, and host Julie Duffy offers up a series of prompts that expand my writing horizons and make me a better writer.

Even better, this challenge lends itself to exploration, so I often use it to “get to know” a project, or expand one…

And this year, I’m doing both.

  • For my main project, I’ll be exploring the characters and world for my eighth Kifo Island  novel draft. I’m delving into backstory, what-if’s character sketches – wherever the daily prompts take me. The resulting stories will be flash fiction – around 333 words each (because I love that number).

My secondary project will be a series of 100 word fan fiction drabbles. It won’t come as a surprise for regular readers that I’ll be playing with Star Trek: Enterprise  (my favorite Trek, because Trip and T’Pol!) My theme will be my Cowled  arc – clicking the title will take you to the original story.

And, for the record, here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them, I don’t profit from them, but they insist on telling me their stories, so I’m sharing them with you.

How this works:

I will share each day’s prompt, my planning, and my favorite bits of both stories.

There will also be a link for each project that will transport you to the complete story. Don’t worry if you miss one or more; I’ll be setting up a page for each project for easy reference at any point in time (hopefully, I’ll get to that in the next day or so; there was a lot of prep to do today).

So, without any further ado: The Dead Friend:

Prompt from Gregory Frost:

You attend the funeral of an old friend.

Afterwards, in the mail you receive a postcard. It’s from the friend, and it reads “I’m not dead. Meet me Tuesday night at 8 at ____________.” And signed by him/her.

Reasons Someone “Might Not Be Dead” When We Thought They Were:

  • It could be a dream

  • An insurance scam

  • A case of mistaken identity

  • A pure coincidence

  • Mail delivered to the wrong address

  • Witness protection program

  • Abduction

  • Alien impostor

  • April Fools’ prank

  • Revenge for a wrong

  • Emotional manipulation

  • Attempt to uncover a crime

  • It’s a TRAP!

  • It’s a rendez-vous!

Premise for Main Story: “False Memory” (click the title to read the complete 340 word story): 

  • The main character dreams of receiving the postcard from her infant niece, who died ten years before.

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Ophelia Martin dreams of attending the funeral of her dead infant niece Lavender. It’s been ten years to the day since the baby died, and Ophelia’s half-sister, Marilyn, had overdosed. But when she reads the postcard, she can feel the truth it holds….somehow, somewhere, Lavender is alive…and wants to meet her.

Favorite bit:

It didn’t matter that she knew it was just a dream – a dream she’d had at least three times every week for the last ten years. The truth is, it was more than that – it was the false memory of how things ought to have been, if little Lavender had had to die.


Premise for Side Story: “Your Starfleet Career” (click the title to read the complete 100 word story:  

  • Trip Tucker receives a video postcard after attending what might have been the last rites of his career in Starfleet – but why (and how) is his career sending him mail?!

Fleshing Out the Premise:

  • Trip was having a hard enough time with Elizabeth’s effervescence in the face of the death – no, make that the murder – of his Starfleet career, and the reverse serendipity of those five men willing to lie about him. Jon treating him like he was either a deviant or prematurely senile wasn’t helping, either. But when he got the ochre-inked, stenciled -letter envelope, things look like they’re headed for a warp core breach.

Prompt words (these come from fans of my previous Loveuary drabbles):

  • stencil

  • ochre

  • senile

  • murder

  • death

  • effervescence

  • serendipity

Favorite Bit:

He’d gone from incredible serendipity to a warp-core breach with that court-martial. He was innocent – but he couldn’t prove it.

OK – that’s it until tomorrow! If you want to play along and write your own stories – just click here, or the icon above. And come back tomorrow, when I’ll have more snippets of planning and story to share!

Take a chance! Type something in this box, and see what happens! =D

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