An ironic mishap led to the final draft and submission of Norm Titterington’s flash fiction, One Night Only. As he tells it, “A lost flash drive (fittingly enough) meant that all I had left of this piece [I began years ago for a writing contest] was my handwritten first draft, which was somehow missing a page—the original ending.” When Norm read the anthology’s call for submission, he wrote a new ending to revive his story, certain it was the right piece to submit.
Inspiration for the original story stemmed from him picking up his guitar after years of not playing. He struggled badly with finger placement, his fingers felt stiff and non-cooperative, as if arthritic. The image of an elderly bluesman, trying desperately to reclaim his former glory, popped in his head, and his new ending practically wrote itself. He hopes the story will encourage his readers to overcome “obstacles with perseverance, confidence and positive energy.”
Positive energy runs throughout Norm’s life. He describes himself as “a pretty simple, ordinary guy,” but when asked about his greatest achievement, his response is anything but simple or ordinary. He’s a husband, a father, a valued full-time (and more) employee, a dedicated coach and organizer for a number of youth sports, and a community volunteer.
Over the last seven years, Norm’s been working on a novel, tentatively titled, "Call Me River," about a mysterious woman who turns a man's life completely inside out. Working on the project “comes in fits and starts.” Unfortunately for his readers, and as is often the case for many writers, the rest of his life takes precedent over his writing. Still, he acknowledges that despite years of sporadic rejections of his writing and these major challenges, he’s continued to pursue the craft that he loves.
More recently, he’s been working on a flash piece that’s morphed into a longer work of fiction. The story, Scars, Lies and Underwear, is about two women sharing their first video chat "date," but their conversation deepens beyond a simple chat. He has no idea where his story will end, but “it's a fun journey so far.”
Norm’s final comments about himself are actually about an organization in which he’s heavily involved. He asks everyone to consider supporting their local Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a wonderful organization that had (and continues to have) a huge impact on his soon-to-be college bound son. He’s a firm believer that the organization gives young children a better path forward than what they might encounter on their own.
And maybe his commitment to this organization ties in with his final remarks. He feels strongly that love and kindness are “missing from our world today,” and encourages us all to “share a smile or a friendly word.”
To read more of Norm’s story, check out the anthology: bit.ly/READFLASH
Stay in touch with Norm and his writing on his blog: A Writer In Progress.
Anchala Studios, LLC is a micro press based in Chapel Hill, NC which selects projects appealing to broad audiences and which enrich the community. The Collection: Flash Fiction for Flash Memory is its first publication.