Today marks the beginning of a new phase of the Twitterstory: audience participation.

After A Little Soul was released, a friend read the book and decided to have some fun both at my expense and with my cooperation. "Let's see you write a Twitterstory about mayonnaise... in two minutes." Condimental was the result of this challenge. Frustrated and intrigued, she continued to hurl words to me, and I would attempt to write a story with them, with varying degrees of failure and success.

But now I call on you, dear readers, to be active participants in the Twitterstory project: provide a word in the comments below, in an email with the subject "Twitterstory word", through the many social media outlets I utilize (Twitter with the hashtag #TwitterstoryWord; my Facebook page; LinkedIn; Fictionaut); or via carrier pigeon, smoke flares, or Pony Express, and I will write a Twitterstory using that word. You will also receive credit in all the media forums where the story is posted.

A few parameters to avoid confusion:
1. No word is off-limits except indefinite and definite articles (a, an, the).
2. If the same word is provided more than once by different people, that many stories will have to be written.
3. There is no limit for how many words one person can provide.
4. Stories will still be posted once a week.
5. If you have a website or any social media page you want me to link to when the story with your word is posted, please let me know.


The first installation of the audience participation Twitterstory is below. The word was "weeping willow." It was provided by Erica Dorsey, the same person mentioned in the mayonnaise anecdote above.

As always, thank you.

            ***                                    ***                                                ***

(character count: 146; without title: 132

Weeping Willow

She lay down, wishing its branches were hands, pushing her down
                                                                                                                 down
                                                                                                                          down

to the roots. There, she could start over.

 
 
Hello readers,

Over four months have gone by since the appearance of the last Twitterstory. Since that time, A Little Soul has become available for all digital readers (iPad, iPod, iPhone; Kindle; Nook; Kobo) and also a slightly revised print-on-demand version.

The reasons the weekly installments stopped are numerous, but ultimately negligible. And, yes, there is an intention to produce another collection at some unknown date in the future, but there's some famous quote about intentions that I just can't think of right now. The good news is that with this installment the weekly Twitterstory returns, with all new stories that have not appeared on the site or in any version of the book.

As always, thank you.

(character count, with title: 107)

Condimental

"Excuse me, ma'am? You wanted the mayonnaise on the side, right?"
No one ever called her ma'am again.



 
 
Now that the print version of "A Little Soul: 140 Twitterstories" is available, it is time for a "Behind the Music" feature on the inspiration for the stories and titles.

Some readers and friends have noticed that some stories share the name as certain pop songs. To this I must say these readers have great tastes in music. But they are correct: song titles and lyrics heavily influence my writing and did play a part in the making of this book.

With the exception of "A Little Soul", I have listed the songs in the same order as the story it influenced appears in the book. I have also made note of the very few instances where a story appeared in the print version but not the eBook version.

Good listening and, as always, thank you.


"A Little Soul"
(A Little Soul - Pulp)

"This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave"
(This Must Be the Place I Waited Years to Leave - Pet Shop Boys)

"Was It Something I Said?"
(Was It Something I Said - OMD)
"It's a Long, Long Way From Where You Want To Be"
(Pandora's Box - OMD)

"'Singer In the Band Made Me Want to Cry'"
(Country Mile - Camera Obscura)


"Motivational Tactics"
(He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's The Pilot - Grandaddy)

"Unrequited"
(Bowl of Oranges - Bright Eyes)
"Violet"
(Velvet Morning - The Verve)
"Temptation" (print version only)
(Temptation - New Order)


"Know By Heart"
(print version only) (published in different form as "Conclusion" in eBook)
(Know By Heart - The American Analog Set)
 
 
(character count, including title: 118)

This Must Be The Place I Waited Years to Leave


"Why can't you write something nice that will sell, like a love story?"


 
 
This week's twitterstory represents a bonus, as it will not appear in A Little Soul: 140 Twitterstories. It was written the other day, after the book had already been sent for eBook conversion. I hope you enjoy.

(character count: 162; without title: 137)

New User Advisory Label
(Inspired by and dedicated to my good friend Mike Hancock)

To prevent irreparable damage to equipment, do not place contents of cell phone into microwave.
Customer: Who was dumb enough to do that?




 
 
(character count: 122, without title: 108)

A Little Soul


When I was younger, the doctor said not to worry about it, that my soul would get bigger.

I'm still waiting.