So I’ve written about the wonderment that is Friday Phrases before. You can find it on here under the title ‘There Ain’t no Party Like an FP Party’.
I won’t do too much re-explaining about what Friday Phrases is, as I did it there, and you can also find out by visiting the Friday Phrases website here.
Other than to say, if you are a writer, heck even if you’re not a writer, and your Fridays aren’t fabulous enough already, then get thyself down to Twitter on Fridays and follow the hashtag #FP.
There you will be sure to discover a whole host of 140 character micro-fiction poetry, prose and phrases which will, quite literally, have you gaping in awe.
But wait…not only do you get to read the fantastic words crafted by an ever increasing number of players… (oh yes, did I forget to mention? FP is a game! You know, those things you used to do when you were a kid but have forgotten about since acquiring a job, a mortgage and kids of your own?)… you get to take part yourself! YOU get to write and post and share your stuff among the most friendly online community you’re ever likely to meet. And honestly, it really is the most fun you can have as you wind down for the weekend.
Anyone can play, because at FP there are no winners or losers, just participants. All you have to do is write something original, a tiny short story or poem or whatever (check out the friendly guidelines on the website link at the top of this post) tag it with #FP and share the love by re-tweeting or commenting on your favourites. Easy
Now you may well be wondering why I’m writing another post about Friday Phrases if I’ve already done one. That’s a tad repetitive isn’t it Joanne?
Well no. It’s not. You see, since I started taking part in FP around November time, I have watched it evolve and grow exponentially. So I wanted to share how FP has developed, from a seed of an idea germinated by the lovely Amy Good (@amicgood) last September, (with a few eager writers on board) to a game which is now played by hundreds with it’s own website. What’s more, it has now evolved to be a somewhat symbiotic, organic movement where we have optional themes to help us get our creative juices flowing.
This post is the story of how this happened and it illustrates perfectly what I, and others, love about the FP community so much.
When Friday Phrases is in full flow, when everyone is busy gaping in awe and wonder at each other’s talent or starring and re-tweeting their favourite pieces, (even spilling them over onto Facebook these days) sometimes something even more wonderful happens. Conversations strike up. You know, socialising, the very point of social media. There have been many instances where a writer’s FP has ignited a spark of an idea in an artist and an impromptu piece of artwork has made an appearance a couple of hours later.
I’ll highlight a case in point. A conversation took place one week about how it would be great if we could collate all the FP tweets in one place (as often with the pace of Twitter, you could easily miss something). Enter the whirlwind that is Willow Becker @willlowbecker. (I mean that in the nicest possible way because the woman just gets things done!) Before anyone could say Dead Man Walking, FP had it’s very own website, where the live FP feed is streamed. For a time it also featured guest bloggers and was a place for FP inspired short stories to show up and be showcased, though due to excessive workload, the site has been scaled back slightly for the moment.
Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes Symbiosis.
Another time, a whole thread of FPs might happen which starts from just one, and then another person links on and so on and so forth. I’ll share such an example later on in the post.
But then, for me the most exciting thing to happen on Friday Phrases has been the introduction of a weekly (optional) theme. (The optional part is very important because the last thing Friday Phrases wants, or indeed needs, is a stifling of creativity. Its aim is the complete opposite.)
The optional theme evolution is exciting for me on two levels.
1) I needed it. I wrote in my previous FP post about how I was worried I’d eventually run out of ideas (if I didn’t write it, I certainly thought it!) and so a weekly optional theme sometimes gives me the catalyst I need.
2) It was kind of accidentally my idea and I was chuffed to pieces that someone with a bit more get up and go, got up and got it rolling after a completely innocuous and fairly throw away comment I made during said conversation one Friday in March.
It started with a conversation about James Bond between myself (@fredamoya), Marj @whithernow and Roger @jabe842. There were tweets flying back and forth and challenges thrown in every direction. I believe we ended up with a bit of a Bond hastag FP thing happening bewteen ourselves and I said something along the lines of: “wouldn’t it be cool if we did have a theme each week?”
Enter Willow (previously mentioned)! A quick recce around the FP community on thoughts culminated in a big thumbs up to themes as long as they were optional. The next week, low and behold, we had a theme! Hazaar! Though, as I didn’t do a theme based one that week, I can’t remember what is was! Oh the irony! Now if that conversation hadn’t happened I suspect FP may have gone towards introducing themes anyway, as I know when the FPs were collated each week, there seemed to be a theme emerge anyway. You see the nature of FP is that it is symbiotic. Writers, although have original thoughts of their own, do feed off the writings of others and FP is no different. I know for sure just one word in someone else’s FP, or an image conjured, can get me going off at a tangent into my own world. I’ve also lost count of the times I’ve posted an FP, even prior to themes, and some one has tweeted me saying “Damn, I’ve just had a really similar idea and now I can’t/won’t post it.”
You may well be wondering what some of these themes have been. So, for the final part of the post I will give you a run down, along with any FPs I came up with myself based on the themes. Mine are by no means the best, but I’m allowed to post mine as I’m not infringing anyone’s artistic rights! If you wish to explore other greatness then either visit the site, follow the FP hastag on Fridays or any of the aforementioned Tweeps, who quite frankly can out-FP me any day of the year. Also all the themes so far may not be here as I don’t follow the optional theme every week. Sometimes, just sometimes, I have ideas without prompts. like I used to, in my early days of FP.
So, without further ado, here are a selection of my humble offering to illustrate the point.
Fri 11th April: Theme: Daydreams
He was the man of my dreams; gallant, handsome, funny and smart. We daydreamed big together before he vanished, leaving only nightmares.
“You really MUST stop daydreaming Tom!” The teacher clicked his fingers. “But sir, I’m a daydream believer.” Seconds later, sir lay dead.
Fri 18th April: Theme: Buyer’s Remorse.
“The mists are clearing…I see a…coffin…, an engraving – ‘BURY MORE SEERS’. “Damn! I knew I should have spent more on that crystal ball.”
Fri 25th April:Theme: Delicious Morsels.
She knew the way to his heart was thru his stomach. Dozing in the aftermath of a heavy lunch, he didn’t feel the knife slice into his flesh.
I swallowed every word you spoke
Each delicious morsel
How was I to know they’d lodge
And make me choke,
When I found we weren’t immortal?
Friday 2nd May: Theme: Home Again.
Twelve years apart
Time’s relentless march
Returned to the start
Erased bitter betrayal
This next one came about from a group of people. It actually started with a six word phrase from me on the Thursday night, which went like this:
Your eyes tell a thousand tales.
I woke up later to find an entire thread from these wonderful people (@SiofraWrites, @buchan_david , @jfxmlc and @MarkTconard) where they’d all tweeted six words and each line had a word rhyming with tales. With their permission, I linked them together and tweeted them in an FP series, part of which is here, and the bonus was it linked to the FP theme! It really was great interactions at its best. I added in the fourth line but the rest belong to the others.
Bilbo Baggins hiked a thousand vales
And wandered through a thousand dales
His tracks crossed a thousand trails
He slayed a thousand dragon’s tails
In celebration, drank a thousand ales
Home again to a thousand hails.
Fri 9th May. Theme: Secret Pact
He held her in his arms, his dream come true; unaware of the secret pact she’d made with herself to love him if no one else would love her.
Fri 16th May: theme: Dirty hands.
He washed; he scrubbed. The same OCD ritual on repeat, day in , day out. being caught stealing came as a relief. No more dirty hands.
Fri 30th May: Theme: The Aftermath.
She drowned in the aftermath of his love, unable to breathe, unable to feel, clinging on to that which had long sunk beneath the waves.
You left carnage in your wake, the broken hearts of so many littered the paths where you’d trodden. Yet you walked on unharmed in the aftermath.
Fri 13th June: Theme: At First Blush
At first, cotton candy blush crept over her cheeks as he leaned his body into hers. Crushing lips transformed cotton candy to cherry.
Like the burning sun, the gaze from his blazing blue eyes made her hot, sticky, uncomfortable and melted her right through to her core.
Fri 20th June: Theme: Grave Digging.
“Welcome to the club. Diggin’ for diamonds is tough son; your heart’s gotta be in it.” I took the spade knowing I was headed to my grave.
Detective Stone fell grave. Digging into every crevice of the dead man’s life was wrong. Yet he knew he must destroy every link between them.
Now this week’s theme (27th June) is “Through the Glass.” Once again I return to the point about symbiosis, community and the Twitter conversations which can lead to these things.
I have written a few FPs about my window cleaner, who, for want of a better phrase, is a little bit of a stalker. Last Friday he was up to his usual shenanigans which I won’t go into here, and I tweeted something about it to the FP community. After a few funny tweets back and forth with @whithernow and @RamblingBandit with encouragement from @calliearmstrong, it seems @RamblingBandit’s suggestion to eviscerate him in fiction was taken up for this week’s theme. Although a much more subtle slant was given to the title, in order to appeal to all, from Amy, who is the genius behind FP, if I’ve not already said.
I think it’s a great theme with room for much scope, (not just weird window cleaners!) even if that’s where it originated.
So I throw down the gauntlet to you, dear reader. Why not pop over to Twitter on Friday and, if you’re not already taking part, have a stab at it? (Pun completely intended for those regular FPers!)
Or why not leave a comment in the box below? Perhaps an FP of your own for one of the past themes above? I bet you can do better than me. Go on…give it a go. I dare you!