Friday, June 3, 2011

The Great Wikipedia Blogfest

Rachel Bateman had an unusual idea for a blogfest. Here’s how it’s gonna work:
1. Go to
2. In the left-hand sidebar, there is a random article button. Click it.
3. Read the article…or skim it if it’s super long.
4. Write a scene or piece of flash fiction involving whatever the article is about.
5. On June 3rd, post your scene to your blog, making sure you link to the Wikipedia article.
Then see what everyone else wrote.

This was a fun but difficult challenge. My search came up with "Shimoda," which could mean:
Historical fiction is my genre, but I felt uncomfortable writing about a time period I know so little about. The work is full of scientific innacuracies as well as historical. Oh, well. Here's an event that lead to the Treaty of Shimoda.

The Tsunami of Peace

Putiatin rested in the captain’s cabin as he lay as far back in his chair as he could. It was hardly relaxing. With the whole of Japan chasing him down to kill him, it was hard to think of anything else.

It irritated me to know we wouldn’t still be here if the Shogun hadn’t refused to negotiate. Japan had decided to resist all foreign influence, from America as well as Russia. As if that were possible. Tokugawa needed to accept that the world was changing. Explorers were learning the world inch by inch like a new lover’s body, and soon, there wouldn’t be anything the Russians hadn’t touched. No one was exempt from the power of the Western world.

The Americans had proven that. Already their treaties were written and signed. Meanwhile, a manhunt was in a race to destroy Puiatin and his ship. Well, he had no intention of giving up and letting the American pigs take what should belong to Russia.
He decided to check on his crew and stood from his chair.
The floor shook. Its motion was so violent that it thrashed the ship and threw Putiatin against the walls. He lay flat against it as his desk, his bed, and all his belongings smashed against each other. He braced himself against the jarring motion that made his bones grind against each other, and even though it only lasted a few short moments, he prayed that this pain wouldn’t last forever.
When the world was still, he fell to his knees and coughed his breath back into his lungs. He laid his head against the wood floor and tried to process what had happened.
“Captain!” shouted a voice from outside. It sounded urgent the first time, but when he repeated his name it was desperate, and the third time, the word “captain” was a squeal of panic.
Putiatin tried to walk on his shaking legs and had to brace himself against the doorway. “What is it?” he demanded.
No one in the crew answered. They stared over the starboard side of the ship. Putiatin stumbled over to see what they were looking at and discovered a 20-foot high mass of water rising to the sky.
He wanted to run, but there was no where to go. A wave of helplessness hit him seconds before the brutal force of water smashed against his ship and his body.
The first thing he felt was the impact. It crushed him, though his body was still intact. The next thing he felt was the salt. It burned his insides as it ruthlessly gushed into his lungs.
It felt like a lifetime of pain passed before he was at the surface, clutching a piece of wood and gasping for air. He was no longer afraid of the earthquake, the tsunami, or drowning; the first fear to jump inside him was the knowledge that he and his crew were stranded in Japan.
Putiatin wondered what kind of deaths they would face. If he had known this would be the first step in obtaining the treaty he had worked so hard for, he would have felt differently.
Don't forget to sign up for the Favorite Book Challenge Blogfest!


  1. Love what you did with it. I was a little disapointed that it ended. You might have the lead-in to a great story!

  2. Fun! I'm so sad I missed this blogfest. What a fun idea!

  3. This sounds fun. I will see what develops. Good read.

  4. Hi! I'm over from Rachel's blog for the blogfest. I think you did an amazing job with the sensory details, and like Tanya said, I got so sucked into it, I was a bit sad it ended (though I thought that was a fitting end). :)

  5. I'm glad you all liked it! Like I said, I was nervous about this fest, but I'm glad I did it.

  6. I love it! Way to go taking a tough topic and just owning it like that. End even if it's not totally accurate, you can just pretend it's an alternate history. ;) Historical fiction writers awe me - good job!

  7. Looking forward to your game picks for Monday's blogfest!


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