Bob Gillen

I write short fiction

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Mannequin Monday – A Girl, My Lord, in a Flatbed Ford

Mannequin Monday – A Girl, My Lord, in a Flatbed Ford

My Lord, our mannequin drives a flatbed Ford this week. Ride along as words dress her story.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder… live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds.” Words from Ray Bradbury. Today’s Mannequin Monday is a mashup of song lyrics, a real-life memory, and Ray Bradbury quotes.

And then I present “Hollywood and Highland,” a short story I wrote using all these pieces.

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Mannequin Monday – What Lasts?

Mannequin Monday – What Lasts?

“How does your work affect the world?” Writer and marketing coach Dan Blank asks us to consider on this Mannequin Monday: “What will people remember of your writing?”

And I suggest that one lyric of songwriter Leonard Cohen offers a perspective on a writer’s impact.

Finally, I share an excerpt from an article I wrote for educators on the enduring work of journalists in combat and civil unrest zones .

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Mannequin Monday – Let His Characters Speak

Mannequin Monday – Let His Characters Speak

Two mannequins behind a store window
Credit: Sempere Mannequins

A defining characteristic of Ernest Hemingway’s writing style: “His decision to let his characters speak.” So says writer Justin Rice on Hemingway’s use of dialogue.

This week I also look at Elmore Leonard. He writes dialogue rich in action and light on description.

And I offer another sample of my own writing, my own attempt at writing decent dialogue.

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Mannequin Monday – Come See Where I Live

Mannequin Monday – Come See Where I Live

Robert Frost once said about writing: “a poem is never a put-up job—it begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” Mannequin Monday this week looks at the brokenness at the heart of any impactful poem or story.

I include a sample from my upcoming book Surfrider, the second in the Film Crew series.

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Mannequin Monday – It’s Just as Well

Mannequin Monday – It’s Just as Well

“Show us a world we’ve never seen before.” A sense of place in writing. Not simply setting. A place. A world. Almost a character in itself. This Mannequin Monday finds us working on creating worlds with our words. I visit one of Louise Penny’s novels, The Long Way Home, for descriptors of a unique world.

I include a piece of my own writing. “The Rain is a Thief.” A short story of tragedy – and release – set in a black night of rain.

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Mannequin Monday – I’ve never felt any magic before

Mannequin Monday – I’ve never felt any magic before

image of mannequin hand with broken index finger

A tiny yellow flower in a sidewalk crack brings hope to a boy and an old man. The story “City of Silence” comes from Teen Ink to open another week of Mannequin Monday. In the ashes of a devastated city, “one day there will be life and love and laughter again.”

A joy-filled story of hope rising out of the ashes. Today we dress the blank form with a flower, with hope.

And – Cabe Wray walks away from his lucrative sales job to follow his obsessive search for his long-lost twin sister. I offer chapter one of my novel Apart for your reading enjoyment.

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