Q (Nicolle Elizabeth): What is Flag Day Challenge?

The Flag Day Challenge is an attempt to keep the holiday challenge ideal alive without interfering with too many summer vacations and writing projects. It falls nicely as a meaningless holiday between Memorial Day (when everyone springs for a three-day weekend) and Fourth of July (like Memorial Day this year, but with fireworks.) The challenge itself sprang from the April Fool’s Day Challenge, which came from the Valentine’s Day Challenge.

Even though nationality isn’t supposed to matter on the Internet, I’d like to think that the Flag Day Challenge is also a celebration of the idea of freedom. The only real restrictions I placed on it were that stories or poems have to use the words “flag” and “patriot.”

For those who haven’t finished their pieces yet or joined the Flag Day Challenge group, you have until 11:59 p.m. local time Monday to do so.

Please provide us with some historical background for what Flag Day is.

In the United States, Flag Day is a celebration of the stars and stripes. June 14, 1777 is when the Congress officially declared Old Glory as the flag of the United States. Other countries celebrate their own Flag Days, but thanks to Woodrow Wilson and the United States Congress during the Truman administration, Flag Day in the United States is celebrated on Monday.

What would Flag Day’s suggestion be for a United Nations flag logo be?

Anything would be better than the current flag and emblem of the United Nations – the god awful light blue background with white globe and laurel wreath would do. If the United Nations wanted to impress someone, they’d have something cool on their flag. Like a bald eagle killing a rattle snake.

How many authors have participated in the flag day challenge and how is it going?

So far, there are 15 members of the group, and 12 stories or poems posted. I will say that some of my favorite stories have been “The Grand Unfurl” by Nathaniel Tower, “D.X.” by Kelli Trapnell, “Pleiku Jacket” by Jane Hammons and “Pacific Light” by David Ackley. There have been a wide variety of excellent short stories generated from this challenge. I am hoping that on Flag Day itself more will join in and give me some excellent reading.

What is your favorite part about the Fictionaut group concept as a whole?

I love Fictionaut groups because it takes a collection of stories, poems and even nonfiction types of writing and groups it together – sometimes by subject and others by publication – for readers to enjoy. Because things are grouped together, it allows for casual readers to find something they might like and look for in a work.

Actually there are 5 questions. Any thing that you’d like to tell us here about yourself, your work, etc., please.

Three things, actually.

One: There’s plenty of time to write something for the Flag Day Challenge. There are already reviews of stories up on my website, and I hope to add a lot more. There’s another challenge coming up in August. Keep an eye out on the Forums and for a new group shortly. New rules for this one will make it interesting.

Two: I’m currently working on a first draft of a serialized novella I’m calling “The Devil Does You In” that I’m posting in parts every Tuesday on my site. Some of the stuff is new, other stuff I’ve already posted here (Boxcar Blues, Cliche, for instance) and am editing and reusing. I consider it a fun summer project, if anything else.

Three: Did I mention that Flag Day is Monday? Yes? Good.

Wait, one more thing: At the end of the summer, I plan on releasing a free e-book of short stories called “The Book of Daniel.” A lot of it will be stuff already posted on Fictionaut, some of it will be new.

Nicolle Elizabeth checks in with Fictionaut Groups every Friday.

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