Facebook Flash Drama

For the past decade and a half (Good gawd, it’s been that long!), I’ve been working on an open-ended fiction project that I like to refer to as Facebook Flash Fiction. I gave the characters in my stories social media pages and write through their posts. Originally, I was only writing through the four core characters in my books (Margo, Brian, Christy, and Kathy), 30+ years after the stories in the books, as adults, but as time passed, I worked other characters into the storyline, namely Christy’s grown daughter Maura and Maura’s family (wife Tanya and kids Eva and Mikey), and, most recently, Christy’s college-aged daughter Maggie, along with other spouses, inlaws, friends, and coworkers.

While I call these works “flash fiction,” that term probably doesn’t fit. “Flash Fiction” implies to me a compressed short story; these character posts are less stories than they are rough drafts for some currently-indeterminate larger work, which means that, eventually, I need to compile, cull, and assemble these short pieces into a larger work of some kind.

But not now.

I realized recently that a lot of these character posts are actually “flash drama:” little scenes comprised largely (and sometimes only) of dialogue between two or more characters. I guess it reflects my love of dialogue. It certainly doesn’t reflect the way most people post on social media. Oh, well.

Below is a gallery of screenshots of some of the “dialogue” Flash Fiction pieces I’ve written just over the past year or so.

And click these links for…
more Facebook Flash Fiction pieces;
excerpts from my books;
other stories featuring these characters;
a chronological timeline of my fiction; and
just posts about my writing and my books in general.

Inspiration all around…

One of the writing mysteries that non-writers wonder about is “where do writers get their ideas?”

I can’t speak for EVERY writer, but usually the fiction I write is grounded in something that actually happened. I seldom write about it verbatim, but usually something I’ve experienced is the kernel for a story: I live through something, and then I think “How would (my character or characters) react to this?”

This afternoon is a perfect example. I was at the thrift shop and there was only one register of four open, and I was second person in a line that was maybe five people long. When a second register opened, I turned to my left to see that a pair of women had hopped the line to the front. I said “The line is behind me.” One of the women said “They said they’d help us next” and I said “well, there’s a long line of people who have been waiting longer than you have.”

And the other woman said “WHY DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT YOU?”

I felt stupified, didn’t know what to say to that, but at that point yet another register opened, and I was next in line, so I stepped up as they muttered to themselves.

As soon as I left the thrift shop, first I thought of all the things I would have LIKED to have said to those two women… but then the next thing I thought was “How would this have played out with one of my characters… say… Maura?” My 39 year old mom of two living in Stowe. I started parsing it through: “OK… the thrift shops near Stowe aren’t big enough to have multiple registers, so WHERE would it play out? Kinney Drug has the ‘one line waiting for the next available cashier’ system… so… she would be at Kinney Drug… now… how would her having the kids with her (an 11 year old girl and a six year old boy) have affected her reaction? How would it have played out with not just her, but the kids there, watching this woman jump into the front of the line out of nowhere and giving HER (Maura) crap for pointing it out?”

So that’s where the “Facebook Flash Fiction” piece in the two screenshots below came from.

The first screenshot is pretty much “as it happened,” right up to WHY DON’T YOU WORRY ABOUT YOU? and the second is where I took the story in imagination given the characters.

What I’ll DO with it is another question entirely (that’s always the question with these “Facebook Flash Fiction” pieces). It’ll probably end up as a vignette in a longer work, or, if nothing else, in an issue of METANOIA (where I feature a handful of new “flash fiction” pieces every issue).

Anyway… this is just an example of where THIS writer gets ideas… ūüėČ



Where to get my books….

All seven books - bestIf you want to support my writing in the way I like best– by buying and reading my work– here’s where you start.

What you’re supporting I’m a writer with (as I type this it’s too early in the morning to count) at least a dozen different fiction and nonfiction titles that are available in both print and e-book editions, so if you want to read my work, it’s AVAILABLE!!!¬†You can start by reading excerpts of both my published works and works in progress here

…and here’s where you can buy it!!!¬†(All links open in a new browser window.)

Ko-fi – I’ve had a “tip jar” on Ko-fi.com for a while, which enables readers/ radio show listeners/ viewers on my Youtube channel/ others to “buy me a cup of coffee” via donations in three dollar increments. Ko-fi has recently added the capability to sell both physical and digital products, and I’ve started to list my work in my shop there. These are PDF e-books, mainly; I opted for that format because whatever the limitations might be compared to other ebook formats, a PDF will look the same on any device. It’s also printable. Keep checking back, as I plan to add more titles going forward, as well as signed copies of physical editions.

Amazon – If you have a Kindle reader, all of my titles are available for Kindle reader on Amazon, the home of Kindle. You can get the print editions, too…

Brick and Mortar bookshops – ….although why not order the print editions from your local bookseller (like Whistlestop Books in my hometown, Carlisle, PA) or request them from your local library (like Bosler Memorial Library in my hometown, Carlisle PA)? All titles are available for order from Ingram and other book distributors.

What should you read first? – Where to start reading is up to you. As I explain in this blog post, my fiction follows a core group of characters¬† from their childhood years in the 1960s up through the present day, and it’s always nice to read a unified set of works in “timeline order.” So here’s the timeline.¬†

Facebook – Of course, I post liberally on my Facebook page, on my characters’ Facebook pages, and on a Neville Goddard page– Neville From My Notebook— and group–Neville Goddard Lecture Discussion Group— that I admin.

Buy me a cuppo coffee – If you read my work or see my videos on YouTube, there will always be a link to my Kofi page, which enables you to “buy me a cup of coffee” via Paypal. Three bucks, as many times as you want, just to pitch in for the time and energy and expense I put out in creating otherwise “free” work (like the Neville Facebook posts, the character Facebook posts, my Youtube videos, etc).

Other venues – I’m in the process of investigating other social media and online artist/writerly venues like Patreon, MeWe, etc, and I’ll certainly update here on my blog as I delve in and create. But for now…

…if you want to support me in the way I like best– by buying and reading my work– this post gives you the GPS.

Thank you! –Max

Anyone wanna buy a shit mug?

OK, word people. Realizing that it COULD be just me, but… you tell me.
One of the things about having multiple fictional characters on Facebook is that I get to see a LOT of peoples’ posts that I wouldn’t see otherwise, and in my character Maura‘s news feed today, there was a reposted ad with a picture of this mug, and as a writer, someone who works with words and takes them seriously, the word choice on the mug¬†made me think, and since I was logged into “her” account, I wrote it in her words, as the married mom of two kids (one six and one two).
Maura - shit mug
Again, though: you tell me. Is it just ME (and her) or is there something really telling and weird and wrong about the word usage discussed in this post?

Facebook Friday

One of my current writing projects has been ongoing since 2008: I created Facebook pages for the core characters in my fiction. My two novels (Meeting Dennis Wilson and You Don’t Think She Is) are both set in the 1970s. The characters’ Facebook pages, as with several other stories and projects I’ve written, bring this core group of characters into the present day and middle age.

Note that these pages are “live” on Facebook, and people can interact with them. While some of the people on the characters’ friends lists are readers, many of them are people who, I’m pretty certain, are not aware that they are interacting with fictional characters (this in spite of a disclaimer on each characters’ page that they are, in fact, fictional characters).

When you see pixelated names or profile photos, these are REAL people whose names and faces I’ve obscured.

Each Friday, I will present a few screenshots from the previous week’s Facebook character activity. I hope you enjoy FACEBOOK FRIDAY!

Since this week’s FACEBOOK FRIDAY is the first ever, I am using this week’s posts as an introduction.

From my novels, Margo, Christy, Brian, Marty and Kathy are on Facebook. Joining them is Christy’s grown daughter Maura, Brian’s grown “little sister” Rita, a former student of Brian’s named Rae, and (most recently) Maura’s five-year-old daughter Eva.

Margo is now married to Brian…

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…while Christy is married to Marty, with an 11-year-old daughter, Marguerite Katherine (Maggie Kay).

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Kathy is single and works as a nurse for a holistic healthcare clinic…

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…Brian is a music professor at a central PA college…

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…and Christy’s daughter Maura lives in Stowe, Vermont, where she is married to a woman attorney named Tanya Henderson, and has two kids: Eva and Mikey.

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Oh. Did I mention that Margo has a son whom she raised as a single mom (Tony), and that Brian and Margo have a daughter, Rebecca Christine Pressley, aka Becca, who’s 15 years old (16 in May 2016, so learner’s permit time is coming soon).

Becca is musical like her dad, and plays drums in a punk band called Cherry Spill…

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Margo recently left a long-time job in the counseling office of a central Pennsylvania high school to work as a counselor in a private psychology practice…

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Kathy’s fiance Richie sells advertising on restaurant placemats. This job enables him to work two out of seven days of the week, and also to write off meals in diners…

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In some fundamental ways, parenthood¬†has changed neither Brian nor Margo…

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This past week, Maura and her family added another child: a shelter cat named Spot.

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I should also mention that Kathy and Richie live right across the mountain from Margo and Brian…

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Check this blog every Friday for Facebook Friday! And…

Want to join in ? Become a member of the Facebook group WELCOME TO QUAKER VALLEY, PA. 

Facebook cover QV PA group 01Interact with the characters and become part of the story!

What could be more exciting? A lot of things.

But come join in anyway!

Click here for more information.