A metaphor is an implied comparison between two things that are unlike each other but have something in common. When used with restraint, metaphor is an economical way of conveying depth and complexity without ‘telling’ your reader what to think.

Think about how an eggshell conveys fragility, an icicle conveys chill, or a shredder conveys destruction.

between good harbor and long beach jan 2015 3 ebszabo

Select a moment in your life, and use this image to convey how it felt, without specifically referencing the comparison – avoid the words ‘it was like’ or ‘it felt like’ – which can feel cumbersome or contrived.



first light and bad love

The Sun coming up is an illusion so convincing that, though we know it is the Earth’s motion that causes the Sun to appear on the horizon, we persist in calling it ‘sunrise’.

This is because we on earth are in a rotating reference frame. Something that I don’t fully understand.

But I think it might be kind of like falling in love with the wrong person.

Jan 21 sunrise Gloucester promenade ebszabo

I say this because before the 16th century, this illusion of the sun rising led to the belief that the sun revolved around the earth, that’s geocentrism.

Then Copernicus formulated the notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun – that was the heliocentric model.

Fast forward to the 1920’s, by which time astronomers had observed that the sun was not the center of the universe after all, and was, it turns out, part of a galaxy that is only one of billions.

It’s possible that bad love can be attributed to an illusion, created by a rotating reference frame.

Writing prompt: Write a love story powered by illusion, showing its evolution from geocentrism to heliocentrism and finally, achieving its place in a galaxy that is only one in billions.

hottest year #clifi

The New York Times reports that 2014 was the hottest year on record surpassing 2010 “planetary warming…poses profound long-term risks to civilization and to the natural world.”

light-and-power-building-house-with-car-in-front-of-it photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s ten years from now. Deliver the news, as it will be if no remedies are put in place, to Bettles Light and Power Company. Then, via this blue truck, take the news to the next close neighbor. And the next.