Friday, November 28, 2014

Writer's Process - an example

An editor asked for a paragraph concerning the writing of one of my short stories.  Here's my response; it tells a little of how the story came into being.

I’m a collector of details that people tell me. Here are two stories that served as seeds for To Love Andy. I met a newly-married gentlemen in his 70’s who told me that when his first wife died ‘her sister thought that I’d marry her but I didn’t want that.’  The second story is of a woman dying who said of one of her helpers ‘that woman is after my man.’  (FYI – she was correct.  After her death her husband made the helper his second wife.)  When I added in my long time admiration of those who provide palliative care, and the possibility of life in review for the patient, the story evolved.   To Love Andy provided technical challenges in its triple view points of the younger sister, the dying sister and the dying sister’s dreaming self.  And while I met some of those challenges, I absolutely appreciate the editing skills applied by staff at Persimmon Tree. 
The publication of this story is pending.  Watch for the link.  Update - March 17th.  Persimmon Tree has a new issue of their online magazine and To Love Andy is no longer available to read online.  I certainly do not regret the time my story spent with them, but for you to read it now, you'll have to get in touch with me personally.  Or wait until it is included in a collection form.  Thanks goes out to everyone who read it.  I hope you enjoyed the piece as much as I liked writing it. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Writers Process - New Trick

I'm pretty optimistic here, but my countdown experiment worked and it might work again.  So a little background - I began the process of writing a first draft of 'Open Water' by labelling my document Open Water 10.  The next day I titled my work Open Water 9.  The idea was that I would countdown to a finished first draft.  Voila - today I will be viewing my Open Water 1 and declaring it finished. 

FYI - finished in this case means the first draft.  I will then move to another project and Open Water will be returned to at some unspecified time in the future, likely when I am doing revision work. 

Once I have a name and a sketch of my new story I think I will try this countdown approach again.  It might work twice! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Hunting

Link to 'The Hunting'

And this is a popular posting that I've brought back.  Thanks for reading. 
The market 'Transistion' that took my story “The Hunting” do have another of my submission to consider.  They are a good market and I like to keep something on their desk as much as I can. 

The seed image that ‘The Hunting’ came out of was a casual encounter with two brothers who had returned to their old stomping grounds for another hunting season.  Their relationship was casual and comfortable but I asked myself what if this wasn’t the case. What if the hunting trip was crucially important to the siblings?   
I have an in-house hunter as my resource, and I received a compliment on the authenticity of the details from him as well as the editor.  Here’s the link to The Hunting.  Once you reach the site you will have to look a little further clicking on Get Involved -Transistion  and then choosing Spring 2012 and going to page 33.  Write that down and then click on  It’s a fine story, although dark.  Take the time to read it.

Link to 'Nothing in the Cupboard'

I thought I would republish this popular posting.  As it says at the bottom.  Thanks for reading.

Link to 'Nothing In The Cupboard' 
Of all my published stories this has to be a favorite.  I wrote it pre-chemo brain and it languished for a number of years in a file.  Then I had an opportunity to send it for review by a 'real' writer.  She sent it back with a few corrections and the instructions that I was to start marketing more.  It was a turn-around moment for me. 
When I conceived this story, I wondered what would happen if you told two stories at the same time, one that went from beginning to end and one that went end to beginning.  When I found an intriguing obituary the story came together. This is the result.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Countdown Story

I struggled long and hard on the short story that I recently completed.  I didn't like that.  So I thought that I would try something different.  I am doing a countdown this time.  How?  Well the first document/day's work on 'Open Water' is labelled Open Water 10.  The second is Open Water 9.  I will see what happens by the time I get to Open Water 1.  It's a mind game but one that I hope will keep me focused.  And wouldn't it be neat if I have my completed first draft by Open Water 1? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inclusion in Anthology

Hurrah!  I just received an e-mail.  Scars Publication puts together a collection every year and my story 'To Speak For Janey' will be included in their 2014 anthology.  More details will follow.  Sweet news = happy writer. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 75 Approaches in the 100 Day Challenge

Day 75 is one of those report card days. 
How am I doing? 
What percentage of days have I wrote? 
Where am I at with the projects?  Answers are Good.  About 80%.  And I am finished two short story drafts, and two study workbooks have been completed.  I have started a third short story, and I have begun a potentially year long set of workbooks.  And surprisingly, I have started a second blog.
Now if I can just remember how this worked so I can repeat it after Christmas.