One of the first computer games I played on my remarkably powerful Apple II+ was Zork. For those of you too young to remember it, Zork was one of the first text adventures and if you went into a dark place without your lantern you ran the risk of being eaten by a grue. The nice thing about this game, other than the random bits of humor, was that you could tell it how often you wanted to see the room descriptions. If you wanted all of the information every time, you set it to “Maximum Verbosity.” Apparently, I spend my entire writing life set to Maximum Verbosity and can’t seem to find the menu to change it.
In ninth grade I had the most amazing Honors English teacher named Mike Entrekin. Lest I get sidetracked, I will save him for another blog post. We read Plato’s “Parable of the Cave” and were given a week to either draw a picture or write a short story to show our understanding of the essay. On the due date I stumbled into class, bleary-eyed and almost snoring on my feet. I placed the 23-page (typed, double-spaced, 10-point font) “short story” on his desk and said, “I’m sorry the end is so abrupt, but my parents wouldn’t let me stay up past two o’clock.” I had worked on that story every free moment for that entire week and still had a couple more sections I wanted to add when my parents threatened to unplug my computer.
I love words. Finding the right combination to get my point across and paint a vivid mental picture makes my soul soar. Unfortunately, I love them so much I want to share as many as I can with everyone who gets close enough to snag. That’s one reason I’m trying some of these flash fiction contests. Otherwise, everything I write will be the size of The Stand with about half the content. So, if you happen to see the command to switch from Maximum Verbosity to at least Verbose if not Terse, please show it to me. 🙂