Flash Fiction Friday: New Year, New Theme, New Fiction

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

I hope your New Year has arrived like an old friend: timely, welcome, and bearing gifts. I hope you are well. Really well in mind, body, and spirit. Too many of us ignore the spirit until we are forced to reckon with it. As the new year is a good time to check in with oneself about any number of things (those extra rolls at Christmas dinner, the total amount due on your credit card, whether or not you should be living next to people who mask in their own backyard, whatever) it’s also a great time to touch base with your conscience.

Who have you been this year?

Whose lives have you been a real blessing in?

Are you spending your days in a way that makes you a more loving, generous, thoughtful person tomorrow?

Take some time and journal on these. Where do you want to go from here? What do you want more of? Less of?

And then go treat yourself to watching this delightful video. I do a couple times a year. Trust me, it’s worth it.

CGP Grey is the bee’s knees and you should subscribe to his channel and immediately start treating yourself to the goodness on his channel.

“Words are tuning forks for the brain.” I get a kick out of this statement every time I watch. And as a writer, using those forks to resonate with your reader’s brains is the essence of your job.

For me, 2022 is the Year of Move. Having my movement and endurance curtailed by surgery last year has left me eager to get back into the swing of my physical routine, but the year of move is more than that too. It is switching to a standing desk when it makes sense to do so, and adding small bursts of activity throughout my day so that I’m not sitting so much. But it isn’t limited to the physical. I want to spend my time moving towards the goals I do have. I want to be asking myself, when I say “yes,” to something or make a decision, is this moving me toward the place I want to be?

Is writing haiku moving me to the end of my current work in progress? Is sitting in my very comfy chair listening to a podcast or youtube video moving me toward improve my watercolor technique? Will this new sweater move me closer to the financial future I want?

These questions are important. And most of the time the answer will be no, and a slightly disappointed Anika will navigate away from the storefront she was perusing. That doesn’t mean that the answer will always be no, to everything. Sometimes a break with a few haiku next to my roses is what my writer self needs to be happy and healthy and able to MOVE on the work in progress the next day. But most of the time, it’s just distraction and procrastination. And let’s be honest, if you are about 10 years old or above, you know the difference. You know when something is filling your well and when you are just cooling your heels.

I’d love to hear about everyone’s themes and or goals if you’ve set them (S.M.A.R.T. goals have a lot of value too) in the comments.

But that is not why you are here. You are here because it is Friday and that means flash fiction!

I want to write about other things more in 2022, so you may see a little less fiction here this year. But if it is Friday, and there isn’t anything pressing on my mind, I will be here, flinging a few words into the void without edits or overthinking.

This week’s prompts are: Broken resolution, visual artist

Photo by Samuel Sweet on Pexels.com
I got a new phone and it still isn’t talking to my computer yet. But we drove through Sedona last week and this is pretty close to what we saw.

Tatsuo leaned on the bar, picking at one of the infinite layers of chipping paint. His glass stood empty and glittering in the low light, like it had a secret. But it was just a glass.

He’d never liked New Year’s. Lunar or Roman. It didn’t matter what part of the world he was in, it was always too loud, too crowded, too thick with desperation.

If you lived your life right then the new year was just another new day. And every new day was waiting for you to do something real and wonderful. All most people got for their New Year’s antics were hangovers and vague hopes they never quite actualized.

Tatsuo usually stayed in. He usually gave his cat, Futoi, an extra anchovy fillet and ate long noodles like his parents always had. And then he’d make tea and read until he grew tired. He’d go about his nightly routine and do his best to ignore the shouting and the fireworks that always came at midnight.

But not this year.

This year he was determined to try something new. He would meet someone. A new friend or partner, it didn’t really matter. Someone who could shake up his quiet, steady ways. If only for a little while.

But he didn’t know where to start. Everyone was so tacky. Covered in glitter and booze.

He didn’t like it.

Maybe he should just try to meet someone online, like everyone else did these days.

But Tatsuo knew how that would turn out. He would meet someone just like him and stay unobtrusively out of his inner life.

The empty glass skidded across the bar and smashed on the floor.

The woman whose high-heeled feet had been spared by inches didn’t even jump. She just looked up through false eyelashes and layers of mascara.

“A little too early for fireworks isn’t it?” she asked, a smile playing at her lips.

Tatsuo bowed a quick apology, and fled.

When he got back home he pulled out a canvas, one of the big ones. He swept color up onto a brush and swiped intimations of a shoulder and a dress and a smile.

When he was done she looked out of the canvas at him over her shoulder, another broken resolution that would sell well at the gallery.

Futoi rubbed up against his leg, and yowled. He wanted his anchovy.


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