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Welcome to the strange world of Quiet Pine Trees...
"This is the one true star-map," he whispered. "Time fluctuates wildly beyond our solar system. Everything we know about distance is wrong."
Quiet Pine Trees is jet fuel for your imagination and a wrecking ball against writer's block. This collection features more than 500 tiny, strange stories from my years-long campaign to turn the humble tweet into a self-contained work of literary art. The limited format forces each story to combine powerful imagery with haunting themes in just a few words, creating snapshots of bigger, stranger worlds to inspire the creativity of the reader. The stories cover a wide range of genres, from science fiction about advanced time travel techniques, to otherworldly fantasy about desperate trees and artillery pianos, to cosmic horror about why dolls can close their eyes.
In 2015, inspired by other writers striving to create real literature within the confines of Twitter's 140 characters, I began sharing my microfiction with the world. I was drawn to this unusual and unforgiving format because it forced me to become a better writer, pruning and condensing my thoughts into just a couple of sentences, like a jeweller cutting a diamond.
As more people began to enjoy my work, I began to see the effect it had on their own creativity. My readers would reply with their own continuations of my tweets, short stories based on what I'd written, illustrations of stories they had found inspirational, even films with my words as their scripts. I was moved to see the sort of effect my writing could have on others.
I've always loved programs such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, where the bizarre and brilliant minds of their creators were set loose. Those creators changed the way stories are told for decades to come, inspiring great writers and filmmakers even generations after they first hit the air. That's the kind of legacy I hope to leave behind -- and not just because putting my weird thoughts into the brains of others is a form of mind control. Some fresh and unconventional storytelling ideas are needed in this dreary age when the entertainment industry is running out of old franchises to reboot. Perhaps, I can help inspire some of those ideas.
Quiet Pine Trees Vol 1 has hundreds of stories and concepts divided into genres, so you can find the kind of inspiration you need or the sort of reading to fit your mood.
Images are for illustrative purposes
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T. R. Darling
T. R. Darling is a broadcast journalist living in Michigan. After earning a bachelor's degree in journalism, he spent several years as a reporter and news anchor at a radio station before becoming a television news producer. The name Quiet Pine Trees was inspired by childhood trips to a pine forest in the northern part of the state. Exploring those woods alone is enough to fill a child's head with stories to last for years.
These people are helping to fund Quiet Pine Trees.