The cult section of the literary world

Dilation Exercise 12

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If the artwork inspires a story, please say something about it in a comment. Need a further explanation? Go to Imagination Workout—What is This?

He hadn’t opened the file drawer to look at his baby in a long time, let alone submitted it, but there were times like this when something compelled him to do so.

Reading a paragraph off its tiny forehead and immediately finding a flaw, he felt so inadequate, he slammed the drawer shut and walked away.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “In Lieu of Rejection (hybrid)” copyright © 2011 Alan M. Clark.
The image is a digital marriage of the drawing, “Study for ‘In Lieu of Rejection,’” and the painting, “In Lieu of Rejection.” Inspired by the painting, Edward Lee and John Pelan wrote the story, “Stillborn,” for Imagination Fully Dilated: The Literated Works of Alan M. Clark, edited by Elizabeth Engstrom and Alan M. Clark, published by Cemetery Dance Publications.

6 responses

  1. It is said that writing is like giving birth to some new life. Those who have struggled with fiction, confronting either a blank peice of paper in an eldritch typewriter, or a glowing cursor on an otherwise blank screen, knows how painful the process can be. Especially those of us who write imaginative fiction. Things from our subconcious are put down on paper, taking a formative life if it’s own and the keys are tapped, like some kind of sex involving strokes of the digits to sensative places. Sometimes, we abort our children, slamming them into battered steel sarcophagi, where they moulder and mummify. But, now and then, even without our being aware of it, the life pulse of those abortive attempts remains beating… a fire burned to a low, smouldering ember. When we finally re-open that metal obliette, we are often astounded at what has gestated… With luck, it won’t hold a grudge against us for the abandonment.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

    • alanmclark

      Joe–That is precisely what inspired me to do the painting! That and I had a few writer friends who would get discouraged by a rejection and abandon the work in question. To get work published, one has to get through a gauntlet of rejection, not the least of which is one’s own personal criticism.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

  2. I LOVE that painting Alan.

    August 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    • alanmclark

      Thank, Troy

      August 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm

  3. Anonymous

    Thank, Troy

    August 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

  4. Putting ones heart and soul into ones work takes on a whole new meaning when a desperate and broke writer is willing to do anything to write the perfect story.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s