Friday, 7 January 2011

One Stop Poetry Friday "Memes- history in the making" featuring Galen Haynes

History in the Making - Blogging Memes

Close your eyes for a moment and think about blogging. Why did you start blogging? What memes did you embrace? Why did you get involved in memes? Now propel yourself ten years into the future. Blogging memes will be dime a dozen. Who knows, an English teacher may assign her class of 12 year olds an assignment to write micropoetry or flash fiction on a blog site. You and I are seeing and participating in history in the making!

When I thought of who would be a great opener for the history books, I thought of Mr. Know- it -all aka G-Man. Why? G-Man and the 55 Flash Fiction Friday (say that fast five times) are one of the oldest memes out there (how old are you G?)
From what I gather, the first flash fiction memes started in India.

 Here's a bit of history for you: Flash fiction, also called sudden fiction, micro fiction, postcard fiction or short-short fiction, is a class of short story of limited word length. Definitions differ but is generally accepted that flash fiction stories are at most 200 to 1000 words in length. Ernest Hemingway wrote a six-word flash: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” Traditional short stories are 2,000 to 10,000 words in length.[wiki]

 G-Man inherited 55 Flash Fiction Friday, in 2007, from Susie “The Barefoot Mistress” who had begun 55 Flash Fiction in March 2006. Susie had created her format from a group of writers in India called the Sephia Mutany. G who had started blogging in 2006, for a past-time, jumped into action.

I asked G what was the meme like when he took it over?
"When I inherited the meme, there were about 10-15 people participating each week. I started visiting personal blogs and inviting them over to my flash fiction meme. The meme grew quickly. It wasn’t long before I didn’t need to invite people to the site; it was growing on its own."

G-Man’s site is not just about the Flash 55. He has always had a daily theme going. Monday was originally Music Monday, Tuesday TMI Tuesday,Wednesday - Retro Wednesday ; Thursday Portrait a prelude to Friday (with a subliminal 55 in the portrait)  then Voila Flash Fiction Friday.

"Friday Flash Fiction has evolved as most memes that stick around do. Originally there was a format. In 55 words, the writer was to write a story with a central character and a plot. Things have changed to make it easy and enjoyable. Presently there are people who write poetry in 55 words, a recipe in 55, or the classic story in 55 words. "

The meme has grown in numbers as well. It is not unusual for G-Man to have 80 people join in on a Friday. After doing One Stop Poetry for six months, I understand the dedication it takes to visit, read, and comment on each of the posts. As a one man show, G-Man does it with Panache.

 I asked G-Man why he does the blogging meme thing
"I do this for fun. I get a chance to go into someone’s life for a moment, interact with them, have fun and go to the next person". I guess it's the fun that keeps G-Man going because it is a proven fact that most bloggers only last 1.5 years then they go on to other pursuits.

Recently other memes starting popping up like Monday Flash Fiction, Monkey Man’s Flash Fiction in 160 characters, & most recently our own One Shot Wednesday. G-Man has been gracious not only to support other memes but participate in them as well!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a meme?
"I recommend keeping a meme simple, manageable and making it fun."
This was similar advice he gave when we were starting One Stop Poetry. It rings true. With so many demands in our day it is nice to have a place where we can come for a few minutes or an hour and just decompress.  

What do you think the future of memes is?
“As long as there are talented people who like to write and want to have fun there will be blogging memes. I've seen alot of talented people who don't realize how good they are.” 

I have to say personally the Flash Fictions are exercises that have made me a better writer. Anyone can benefit from the challenge and the camaraderie.

So in a few years, when you open a history books of blogging don’t be surprised when you see the 55 Flash Fiction Friday and G-Man in top billing.

55 Flash Fiction Friday is going on right now at G-Man’s site. Have a peek or try your hand at  a story in 55. Today G-Man's 55 is written in the "classical format" enjoy.

Here is my 55 for the week as an example:

Entangled am I

In a web of the world
constructed long after I
had been planted
"Never asked" says I
pushed your way
trying to look away ~I
am caught entangled in your steely
                                                         no love or kindness ~for I
                                                         am mistreated
                                                         you wound your cage around me and I
                                                         am loathe to escape


Alice Audrey said...

I didn't know that. Thanks for the history lesson.

Margaret Bednar said...

Your blog is so much fun! Thank you for introducing me to the g-man's blog.

moondustwriter said...

G-Man's site got me up and running in the memes. It is always enjoyable and friendly people. Please join in the fun.

dustus said...

Had no idea the history behind the flash meme. Try it sometime if you haven't. It's both fun and challenging to create micro fiction. Thank you, G, for continuing a great tradition. Excellent post.

Here's my Flash 55:
Just Like Them

Brian Miller said...

nice. 55s over at G's is easily one of my favorite days blogging...its not as easy as you think to say it in 55...maybe i am just long

Beachanny said...

What a great article! I know the gman of course, because he is so good to stop by and read my offerings for #1SW nearly every week. I've seen references to 55 Flash Fiction, too, but must admit the words short fiction terrify me. I have had the few I've written incinerated by well meaning critics. Clearly when the turn is supposed to be made, I go straight or vice versa. However, I might make a stab at this and see if (on a very small scale) I could do it. Thanks for all the insight. I really enjoyed kinowing this.

hedgewitch said...

I just recently started participating over at G-Man's, and I've never found a more laid back and welcoming bunch than the Flash 55 crowd. And like Brian, writing short is one of the hardest things I ever do, when I can even do it, so it's excellent practice, plus amazing to see what people can do within that limitation. Thanks to G-Man, and to One Stop for giving him a well-deserved pat on the back.

Monkey Man said...

Not only a terrific historical perspective on G-Man and his Flash Fiction 55, but a facinating 55 example.

One question - Even though I have used the term meme, where does it come from and what exactly does it mean? I have seen a number of diverse blogs referred to as memes.

g-man said...

I've absolutely never had such support from a whole blog before you guys came along.
I appreciate all that you have done to get out the word for The Friday Funfest.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am truely honored....G

g-man said...

Monkey Man has a Meme every Sunday!
It's a literary answer to a writing challenge.
That challenge is usually on a small and manageable scale.
It can be a regular feature, or it can be floating and passed on.

erotik film izle said...

Thank you for introducing me to the g-man's blog.

annell said...

Thanks for the post.

clean and crazy said...

that was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend. and what a great 55

Jerry said...

I was kinda wondering when G would get the spotlight. The interrogation was excellent. 55 is one of mine favorite times of the week. I have a very busy life and I srite through the cracks.
Thank you Galen for your dedication.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thank you for the nod at the G-Man. He rocks! I knew he inherited it from Susie but I didn't know the rest of the story. Thank you! And I love the poetry stop.

Jerry said...

might I add that I need an editor for my comments.

izzy said...

Danged Bittersweet! it drives me nuts!
everywhere I want fence- especially electric- it tries to take over and then
I have to be VERY patient to get it off!
Thanks for the history too-Great!

Mama Zen said...

When it comes to bloggers, G-Man is in a class by himself. There's no one like the G-Daddy!

Strummed Words said...

Tangled in love! My 55

Eric Alder said...

Nice, showing the G-Man some props!

(Now I don't feel so bad for missing the 55 this week)

Fireblossom said...

G Man never invites me! In fact, he put up a rabbit-proof fence to keep me out, but I still slip through and do a 55 sometimes. And no matter where I go, half the time he's gotten there first! What's up with that?!?

Actually, G Man is a sweetheart. He bought me coffee, now I'll follow him anywhere. His 55 meme is fun. I hope it lasts for ages.(speaking of...I've been blogging for almost three years. Apparently, I'm past my expiration date!)

TALON said...

Terrific interview! The 55's are great on many levels and really super at helping to pare down a story to the very essentials...super writing exercise and G-Man's participants are really fun and creative people.

Your 55 was so sad, but so well done, Leslie.

Myrna R. said...

Glad you highlighted G-Man. I've only participated a few times, and I fing it fun and challenging. I like reading his blog from time to time too, he's got a great sense of humor, he's a really nice guy.

Loved your 55.

5thsister said...

Your poetry is gripping...the bio on G-Man engaging. Glad I stopped by!

hpicasso said...

Interesting people are inspirational

so glad I stopped by...and now I offer 55

Pete Marshall said...

first of all what a very well written feature...a great interesting read...thanks guys...secondly...i have never entered the flash 55..but i know g-man from his tireless support of OSW...his commenting and support is always appreciated and from his osw entries he is a damn good poem..this weeks was excellent and original...thanks for this guys..heck i might give it a try now....cheers pete

Posisoncupcake said...

I am starting my own poem blog, do you have any advise on how to construct it? I have already put a few poems on there, you might want to read them, its at

Kavita said...

TGIF!!! NICE day to post about G-Man!!! :)) He sooo rocks this blogging world!!
Love y'all for loving him!!! :))

Claudia said...

thanks for the background..i've always wondered about the origin of the 55...great 55 bunch over at g-mans place every week and always a challenge to trim the fat to make the poem fit 55 words exactly..

Hope said...

nice 55!
love the history lesson. perhaps I'll try my hand at this too

happy friday!

Shewriting said...

very cool...g-man Flash 55 and Monkey Man's Sunday 160 were the first memes I ever did when I started blogging last year and then came One Shot. All 3 are my top recommended sites for writing memes. Thanks, guys, for keeping them going.

And to steal a quote from the G-man himself, Have a kickass weekend, everyone!

Felicitas said...

Flash 55 was my first intro to memes and I credit it and Galen with making me a better creative writer. Though I haven't written one in awhile, when I have met the challenge, I am often surprised by what I am able to come up with and G-Man has always been one of my biggest supporters.

Thank you, One Stop, for this lovely tribute and historical lesson.

kkrige said...

The G-Man rocks! Thank you for the history lesson. Nice 55 Leslie!

Tina said...

I love history! This was awesome to learn. I've been doing g-man's Friday 55 for a while and it's great fun. The ONLY suggestion I have is: Please G, please start using Mr. Linky. It takes so much more time to visit everyone when we have to search the comments for links...yes, I'm lazy, I'll admit it. And pressed for time. But I will be your loyal follower regardless ;-)