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Interview

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 9 – THE DOOM OF MEDIOCRITY

Clearing out the office, you unpack old report cards from public school. A memory twitches about those days. And now, it is empirically validated. You were nothing special.   At your best, average, and sometimes not that good. Math, often. Spelling, always. You found basic tasks like tying shoes and complicated ones like literacy challenging. […]

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Jason S. Ridler, professional author and historian

FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 8 — MAZE, MAPS, MIRRORS

Hindsight is a brutal taskmaster for a historian. You can’t use it as an analytic tool, even though it is impossible to ignore. Everyone in the past made decisions without knowing their complete consequences. There was no way to tell if their actions would lead to success, failure, or any variety of unexpected outcomes until […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 7 — RING THE BELL

Last year, you published two books. When they arrived, freshly minted from the press, covers pretty and sharp, your friends and family cheered. But you? Your emotions vaporized. All that was remained was an autumnal sadness and a sense of failure. If you’d been alone, it would have been worse. This year, you sold another […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 6 — DRAINED

You no longer sleep well. Your commute is a third-to-half-a-work-day. You put in long hours. You have responsibilities that matter more than anything else in your life. And illness and depression have returned to make everything harder. There are two projects you are planning for the year. You’ve paid each one little attention. What do […]

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Walrus eating exotic foods

FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 5 — RESOLUTE, NOT RESOLUTIONS

You are a sucker for inspirational messages, task lists, and resolutions. And all of these are good things in moderation. But the end of the year is fat with affirmations and goals. Sure, you want to sell more books, write more books, make more money, grow your audience, etc. But instead of buying into the […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 4 – THE BIG EMPTY

There is an emptiness that creeps into you when a major project is completed. Because you define your life by work, accomplishment, and completion. When you’re not working on a novel or a history project or some other creative exploit, when you’re only working the day job, you find yourself questioning your identity. You call […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 3 – CONFIRMATION BIAS AND SELF-DELUSION

You have been working in this field for nineteen years, and you must be cautious of the distance between improvement, competency, and conservatism. You notice this most when you hear the advice that hums like the highway in writer groups and chats. When you find comfort in being told things you hold to be true… […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 2 – THE OBLIGATION

In the Unlikely Event of My Rabid Success You have an obligation, and it is simply this: Let your art be art. Don’t let your art be an excuse. Don’t use it to justify your loneliness. Don’t use it to hide from your responsibilities. Don’t make it more important than people or survival. Don’t let […]

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FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 1

The hard truth is that everything is fleeting and control is often an illusion and we tend to make art to obliterate our own sense of mortality so that perhaps we will in some fashion endure beyond our bones. Some built pyramids on the graves of their workers. Some wrote poetry locked in an asylum. […]

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FXXK WRITING: BIG TIME vs. MAKING IT

We have two more installments before the GASP third anniversary of FXXK WRITING here at Flash Fiction Online! All I can say is that next year I will try a more considered approach. For the past three years I’ve written largely reactionary pieces, though some with deep time and thought behind them. But I wanted […]

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