Saturday, February 21, 2015

Alberta Views Short Story Contest

Some time ago, I promised myself that I would enter Alberta Views Short Story Contest each year.  Which I have done.  The entry fee gives you a year subscription to the magazine so it's a win-win deal.  On Thursday, at the close of a writing project, I decided it was time to pick out my entry for 2015.  It had to be a story under 3000 words and one that isn't at any markets currently. 
I thought I would be choosing a story from the first draft files.  I would have to revise and polish until I was satisfied, but the hardest part (the first draft) would be done.  But I've chosen a story I wrote some 15 years ago from the days when I wasn't aggressively marketing.  I still have to revise and polish until I am satisfied.  I've learnt a bit about writing since this story was new and I think it will be interesting to see how it turns out. 
Tip - if you are entering a contest do it as soon as you can.  The judges have fresh eyes for the first stories submitted. 
Good luck to me! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Under the Gibbous Moon

What happens next is the question I sometimes ask myself while writing fiction.  Discovering the answer can be surprising.  That’s one of the joys of writing. 

Now what happened next after my post of enthusiasm deficit is not fiction but still quite surprising. 


I was in a slump but I did what I could to take stock with my ‘model the master story tellers’ project and distill a new technique to go forward.  It was coming together but I still felt like I needed more time to read and think.  Then a random, small item about the moon surfaced in my reading.   It named eight phases of the lunar orbit and coupled those with eight directives, not unlike horoscope capsule advice in nature.  With nothing better to think about I found that the moon was at the time in the Gibbous phase and to my surprise, I was 100% following the directives listed. 


GIBBOUS – analysis to determine what is needed in order to advance, attention to technique.   


And the full moon which follows the Gibbous phase has been assigned this directive. 


FULL - receptivity, the need to be flexible and fulfill the structural patterns laid down in the previous phase, the form giving way to content.


Sometimes my vague sense of direction is given words and wings but did the Gibbous moon have anything to do with it?  Hmmm.         


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Coming Soon - The Full Moon

No.  I'm not spouting juvenile poetry.  I do have an essay about the Gibbous moon that speaks to my last two posts.  It's not quite finished or I'd post it now.  Suffice it to say that the caring is always a good idea and the enthusiasm deficit is now a surplus.  (I hated to leave my readers wondering about my mood!  You weren't worried, were you?) 
By the way - at the bottom of this post is a line that says - No Comments.  Click on that spot and you can leave a comment!  Love to hear from you. 
we've got snow again!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Suffering an Enthusiasm Deficit

The title says it all, doesn't it? 
Sometimes it happens.  The good idea requires work and I'm feeling lazy.  So what am I to do?  Well, I took a few moments to see what I realistically expected out of myself.  There are factors to this little slow-down.  It's winter.  I have less quality writing time.  I seem to be a little less than 100% healthy. So okay.  Those are factors. 
Then I listed some potential solutions to these doldrums. 
I have accomplished quite a lot lately, so I gave myself some praise for that.  I also wondered if I was bored with my approach to writing.  Well, variety has always been the answer to boredom, so I generated a few new ideas to help me reach my writing goals. And I made some phone calls and sent a couple of emails to people I have neglected.  I took a nap.  I wrote this.  And then I felt a bit more enthusiasm. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

A New Level of Care - Writer's Process

 I undertook a little experiment three months ago.  I began to write my short stories with a   Countdown Method.   Day one’s work was titled with (10) as part of the file name.  Moving to day two, the story then became titled with (9) and so forth.  This has proved to keep me moving along.  Decisions had to be made as well as progress because by the time I get to (1), I wanted to have completed the first draft of the story.  It has worked for four stories, which is a significant success. 
Today I have launched a new experiment.  Each day I intend to write a statement that expresses my heart’s involvement with the story.  A sentence or paragraph titled -Why I Care.  Sometimes I can be detached from my writing.  I want that to change.  I want to be less ‘look at me, I’m writing’ and more ‘this is the birth and I am the midwife.’   
Reports will be made.  
Looking to the heart of things