Swift Passage

The alien planet hung like a pool of blue. Their only stop on a one-way journey.

Their vessel’s final dregs of energy concealed them in orbit while their shuttle fell into the alien atmosphere.

The violent entry rattled the shuttle, pilot and crew breathed deep lungfuls, fighting to clear their minds, to imagine a paradise so near.

Generations spent drifting through the void had corroded all memories of their world from before.

This or death.

The pilot’s expert hands flew across controls – navigating, maintaining, adjusting – to grant the first of their last a swift passage into their new world.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


April 1 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a swift passage. You can take inspiration from any source. Who is going where and why. What makes it swift? Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Not Cause for Celebration

A metal ship crossed the perfect sector.

Great Mind opened a path beside the ship as a youngling’s human host floated out.

Great Mind pulled the host through and sealed the path. The ship drifted onward, oblivious.


“Ugh-” the host, a human female, stumbled beneath unexpected gravity.

“We’re saved!” came a voice in her head.

She stared at the alien structures, the creatures beyond.

“You are home,” began Great Mind, “we aren’t yet part of your second world. It’s not safe.”

“No-“

“When we supplant an Elder, you’ll be returned. For now, you are home.”

“This is not home.”

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


February 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story where a character is in the right place at the right time. It may be cause for celebration! Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

January 2021

Welcome to 2021!

This year is off to a horrendous start after the events of Jan 6th.

Making a Difference

The Writing Community is huge on Twitter and I’ve been using my platform to retweet BIPOC writers where I can.

I copped an astonishing smack in the face when I checked my twitter profile in Dec 2020. I restarted my profile alongside website updates (Oct 2020), and have been building a following since. One day in December, I noticed that only 1-3% of the 4.5k individuals (between my followers and those I’m following) were BIPOC.

That’s Twitter algorithms for you…

If you want to play your part and help improve the exposure other BIPOC writers get within your own white following, check out the following points.

These Hashtags are in frequent use:

#BlackAuthors #BlackWriters
#BIPOCWriter #BIPOCAuthor
#DiverseWriter #DiverseAuthor
#BlackMenWrite #BlackWomenWrite
#AfricanAmericanFiction #BIPOCFiction

Here are some profiles to follow:

The BIPOC Bookshelf
Black Writers Collective
Fiyah Literary Magazine
Hurston/Wright Foundation for Black Writers
Amistad Books
Black Girls Create
Open Country Mag
20.35 Africa

And Retweet Retweet Retweet BIPOC Authors and Writers where you can.

While there’s so much more I’ve missed across the huge platform, I’ve only been actively at this for a month now.

If you’re keen for something to read, check out this! I’m reading Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden and the world building is something else.

Share your own hashtags, profiles and tips in the comments section below to help support the BIPOC community.


Current Project Update

Developed most of my third alien culture and – after a quick brainstorming session with my better half – I’ve found it easier to get the details on paper.

Reason: this culture is flawed and damaged and full of conflict and agony and desperate hopes for survival.

The first culture was none of those things.

Yet.

Beyond that, I’ve paused world-building (having developed everything I NEED) and am…

writing the first draft!

hand-writing it

Putting pen to paper has always felt natural for me, so, naturally, I should be “shovelling that first draft sand into the story sandbox” via the same means.

I’ve been world-building with pen and paper. Pages and pages of handwritten notes. So when time came to approach the first draft, I felt a knot in my gut where my enthusiasm should be.

I didn’t want to go digital. Hand-writing had become such a part of my daily routine. My self care. The idea of putting words on a screen didn’t feel right.

At least, not yet.

Ideas flow so much easily through ink, for me. And I know there are others who feel the same.

So why hadn’t I ever considered this before?

Alas, no regrets! This is a journey.

We are all learning each time we put words down.

Never stop learning.


Craft Tips

Fictional Languages

Consider this: when creating a fictional language, how do you want your characters to sound? Aggressive? Passive? Thoughtful? Eager?

Letters like T and P create a harsh, hard sound, while M and S add softer tones, slowing down the dialogue.

Throw in some other sounds like hums, clicks or growls and you’ll be on your way to crafting the feel you’re looking for, adding hidden depth and complexity to your cultures.

Check out Holly’s Writing Classes for both her Create a Language and Create a Culture Clinics to advance your skills even further.


Endings

Endings.

The End.

They all lived happily ever after.

They come along with a bang, or sneak up and hit you in the heart.

When written well, all the story pieces tie off neatly, with a huge helping of reader satisfaction.

So they should be easy right? While writing, we should just know how it will end.

Every time.

Wrong.

There’s no right way to create your endings.

Some of us start with the end. Others discover it halfway through (at that dreaded mid-point). And yet others may finish their first draft with the words, The End, without a resolution to all the different paths a story can take.

A revelation from the wonderful writing community hosted by Podcaster Sarah Rhea Werner:

You can end it later.

We can end it in our rewrites, revisions, second, third, fourth, tenth drafts.

We can add foreshadowing, themes, concepts later.

You can end it later.

Just get that first draft DONE.


Flash Fiction

2021 Goal: I’ll be posting a brand new Flash Fiction piece every week this year.

Go experience the very first pieces for 2021 on my Flash Fiction page.

Check out the Carrot Ranch for the weekly challenges I’ll be participating in.

Only 99 words required!

Free to enter, open to all.


Write on!

Best wishes to all writers this year in kicking your own goals and moving forward with intent, determination and joy.

You deserve success!

Remember to: explore, create, repeat.

Then thrive.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Twenty-Fifth

Routine suit-up. Routine airlock cycle. Routine tether anchorage.

Her crew-mate let her step out first. The field of stars took her breath away, as always, even on her twenty-fifth spacewalk.

Everyone left her in silence, letting her enjoy it as they said she should. Someday, it will be her last.

Then she spotted her tether, drifting ahead of her, loose. She turned, quick as the propulsion bursts let her.

No warnings. No comms.

No ship.

Alone in that field of stars, heart pounding, mind racing, she was lost.

Lost.

Then they arrived.

She never dreamed she’d visit another world.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


December 10 2020: Flash Fiction Challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen. The situation can be fortuitous, funny, or disappointing.

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

Raven

> 2237 – 03 – 07

Starship Raven.

Departing Earth orbit.

Onboard systems reduced.

Power rerouted to propulsion system.

Maximum acceleration.

Destination arrival time: 42,327 Earth years.


> 44,564 – 07 – 23

Destination reached.

Asteroid mining drones dispatched.

Planetary entry sequence complete.

Metamorphosis protocol activated.

Generational fleet arrival: 27,424 EY.


> 57,309 – 04 – 14

Sea levels 62%.

Atmospheric composition: 12% oxygen, 81% carbon dioxide.

Surface vegetation 77%.

Habitation modules 4%.

Fleet arrival: 14,679 EY.


> 71,988 – 10 – 17

Ecosystem 100%.

Habitation modules 100%.

Human fleet population 72%.

Starship Raven shutdown.


> 73,651 – 03 – 07

“Raven, help, activate.”

Systems rebooting.

Ecosystem: critical.

Human population 2%.

Repair protocols activated.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Ice

“It’s ready. Transferring now,” says the VR technician.

“Thanks,” I say, studying the new data floating in my vision.

I equip a well-worn headset.

Ripples of code give way to a silent darkness, only a lone light shines from behind onto icy ground. I’m pulled along by a gradual acceleration, subtle but present.

A chunk of ice breaks and passes by amongst shimmering dust.

I watch it disappear.

Behind, I see the ship, my body somewhere inside, on the bridge, watching this drone study this icy world.

“Now we can walk on comets,” I say, taking a step.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Gathering the Harvest

Picturesque Earth lay peaceful, to the untrained eye. 

One final pod slid up its cable to a ship in orbit.

I peered down from the viewing deck.
A streak of fire. Then an explosion. The cable rocked.

Another streak. Closer.

Pod integrity lost. Passengers compromised.

Ship sirens wailed. Incredible engines rumbled to life. The cable detached and drifted loose.

“Human harvest complete, hey?” a man stepped in close, watching the Earth shrink away.

“Failed, more like it,” I said, distancing myself.

“Ah well,” he winked, “I’m happy with the new Mars crop.”

My stomach turned, where’s the training deck?

© 2017-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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