Thursday, December 29, 2016

Discontent Be Gone

I got a little fussy about my pen the other day, something that normally doesn’t matter.  Then I found flaws with the notepad that I was using.  The discontent spread.  I wanted a new place for my computer, the lighting urked me; then I became irritated with the messy papers that I had explored thoughts for my next short story.  The harder I chased after an easy mind, the further I landing in fretting soup. 

I was ready for a change of pace, I finally realized.  The pen was exchanged for another.  I chose another size of paper.  I transferred my messy notes into a computer document.  I stopped pushing long enough to remember that writing brings me pleasure and then I wrote free and easy.  My only goal was to enjoy writing.  No surprise then that my basic joy came alive once more.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Farewell to 'The Wind and the Sun'

Once upon a time, I wrote a story titled ‘The Wind and the Sun’.  The actual year I wrote it, I don’t know, but I started marketing it in 2012.  It had an early success; a market said yes, they would like to publish it.  Then they said they were having financing problems and then they said they were closing. 

This seemed to embodied success, so I continued to submit the story to other markets.  So many markets that I filled a page in my marketing records, but never mind, there would be someone that wanted this story.  It had happened already, it was only circumstance that stopped publication.  After a while I took the story and did a rewrite, my writing skills were sharper now, and it was a good story after all. 

I submitted it to more markets, until it seemed I had no markets left.  This is never actually true, because I found a market out of Ontario that received The Wind and the Sun by Liz Betz this spring.  The story of my story progressed and eventually I got a rejection email from that market.  That was it, then, I thought, until I saw a submission call for an anthology about neighbors.  That seemed to fit, and with renewed optimism I submitted my little story again.  For the 36th time, a hopeful writer (me) sent the story away. 

They said no and I’m done.  Done enough to blog about being done.  Done enough to have included this story of the story in an email to my writer friend Linda.  Done enough to title a folder the Done File and put The Wind and the Sun inside. 

I feel a little sad; I am proud of the story.  The Wind and the Sun had a bit of my mother within its main character and it had an atmosphere of small towns that seemed true.  Sorry it isn’t going to have a real audience, unless those 36 rejecting editors count.  Maybe they do.  The End.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Audit at Summersetreview - New Story   The Audit is in the latest issue of Summerset Review.  This story is a personal favorite of mine and I am very pleased that Summerset Review chose it for publication.  At some point I will share the story behind the story, but in the meantime, enjoy reading this child of my mind. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chiffon Cake At Halfway Down The Stairs - New Story

This is my latest publication.  Chiffon Cake is a story that touches on the effects of difficult mothers and incorporates a rather unusual trick of the mind.  I hope that you enjoy this story.  Chiffon Cake

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Writer Activities

Fully immersed in my writing is such a pleasure for me, but I can’t write all day.  My brain and my body have to rest from the activity.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about writing though.  Many times those thoughts are about my current project, but even that has to be given a rest.  At the end of the day I have to turn to some relaxing activities.  I’ve often thought that the evening television shows are poor and I am bored with them.  Since learning is never boring for me, so I have a little supply of ‘minute’ projects.  One example; I am reading my way through a book called ‘Word Power.’  It’s more or less a dictionary and I amuse myself with word games such as picking 3-4 words from a page to put into a sentence coherently.  I can do this and catch most of the shows at the same time.  My latest ‘minute’ project is to actually watch the TV shows and analyze them for plot, characterization techniques, number of story lines being followed, and even what I imagine the writer’s intent was.  TV with a twist.  Since I’m not judging the show’s entertainment value as a passive audience, I’m enjoying this end of the day activity more. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Pulling Teeth Method of Story Telling

I’ve finished the first draft of a story that took a lot of effort.  I had to pull out all the tricks, it seemed, to get this story onto the page.  I pre-wrote.  I wrote several versions.  I put it aside once thinking that it was beyond me.  It was dark, it was desperate.  I couldn’t bear it at times, nor could I set it aside.  I suffered along with my imaginary world, I feared for my equilibrium.  I brought the third or fourth beginning of this story to my writer group.  I went through my days with the plot puzzles riding on my shoulders.  I had to encourage myself often.  I tended to the emotional impact that I feared this story would have on my friend, the most important audience this story will have.  She gave me her blessings.  The publishing world gave me a couple of thumbs up in the form of other stories being accepted.  I persevered, but it felt a lot like pulling teeth.  Could I do this?  Eventually, I gave myself a deadline to be done and that was the final push.  Once I was finished I gave myself a rewarding break. 

The story is put aside now for a while so I can return with fresh eyes.  So I am catching up with my blog writing but also considering a new short story to work on.  I hope that the next one is less like pulling teeth, but I have learnt a little more about story telling dentistry. 

My story was like this Bald Eagle, I could tell it was there but a lot of twigs were in the way.