Week 4! I did take it easier this week, writing a flash story. I also worked on some revisions as well for some upcoming deadlines. Plus, I read a novel-length manuscript for a friend and provided some feedback. Have my fingers crossed for her.
The Madness in King’s End, flash fiction, ~967 words
Cash or Check, to another postcard fiction type site.
Cash or Check, in what may be the world’s fastest rejection (or at least my fastest) ~ 8 hours
Long Distance Charges May Apply, 12 days
These were both nice rejections and if I have something appropriate in the future, I’ll definitely submit to both markets again. Besides, I don’t mind fast turnarounds. It beats staring at your submission tracker and thinking, wow, that’s been out for 397 days. Is it too soon to query?
Week 3! This week I finished a long short story. Word count says it’s a novelette, but I think it wants to be a novella when it grows up.
This coming week I would really like to work on some shorter stories.
Aliens & Invisibility ~ 11,800 words. Aliens & Invisibility is not its title, just a reminder (to me) about its content. Although I feel compelled to say that the aliens in the story aren’t invisible. You can see them. Or could, if they weren’t a fictional construct. You know what I mean.
Long Distance Charges May Apply, another super short story (80 words) that I sent to a postcard fiction site.
The Burden of So Many Roses, normally I don’t send stories out so soon after writing them, but this was in response to a prompt call for submissions with a deadline, so out it went.
Cash or Check (that 44-word story) was a finalist but did not make the winners’ list. Which, if you recall, I was totally fine with since part of the prize was reading on stage.
I haven’t booked for a while and today’s topic caught my attention:
It’s the depth of winter here where I live right now … what books do you like to read when it’s snowy and white? What books do you read to evoke a real feeling of winter (good or bad)?
I’m not sure I have a particular type of book I read during the winter. For the past couple of years, I’ve been a reading fool during the winter months since I was reading for the Rita contest–but I didn’t sign up this year. Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all this time I have now that I’m not charging through eight/nine novels in six weeks.
Cover via Amazon
As for a real feeling of winter, the first book that comes to mind is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Want to forget how cold you are? This is the book you reach for. And it comes with one of my all-time favorite lines:
How can you expect a man who’s warm to understand a man who’s cold?
Week 2! This week I worked on a longer short story and I think I have about 5,000 words. It’s on my Mobile Pro, which doesn’t have a word count function, so I’m guesstimating by its file size. (And yes, I’ve written so many scenes/stories on my Mobile Pro, I can do this. Certainly a skill I can apply to other areas of my life.)
I completed an untitled (for now) flash fiction, which I managed to write without a single line of dialogue. However, it does have neck tattoos. So, you know, there’s that. It’s Desperate Housewives meets Breaking Bad. In 600 words. Without dialogue. Yeah. This one’s going to sell.
Untitled flash fiction, ~600 words
Untitled longer short story, not complete ~ 5,000 words
That longer short story? Another dream-inspired one. I crawled out of bed and scribbled down the notion, even though I had some note cards and a pen on the nightstand.
Two Hammers, a persona poem I wrote during a poetry class last year. I found a lit journal that focuses on historical topics, so I sent it there.
Also in this week’s writing news: I did some revising and wrote several pages on a story that only wants to be written by hand.
Be sure to check the Write 1 Sub 1 Satummary page each week. It includes links to all the published stories from the Write 1 Sub 1 participants for the week. Not only is it some good reading, but if you’re a writer, it’s a great way to get a feel for the market as well.
Well, did I do it? I think so! Here’s my tally for the week.
Fire and Ice, a novelette, ~8,500 words
The Burden of So Many Roses, flash, ~1,260 words
Here’s the crazy thing: I totally dreamed the start of the novelette. And in dream-like fashion, I was both writing the story and in the story. This never happens to me. I never dream stories. But since the universe offered up this gift, I decided to go for it and the whole thing tumbled out of me in a matter of three days, no planning, no outlining, nothing but words. It. Was. Glorious.
The flash I hope to cut down a bit, to about 1,000 words. I suspect a good 200 or more are throat-clearing anyway and this won’t be too tough.
Cash or Check, a 44-word story (hey, it counts) to a local flash fiction (100 words or less) contest. I am actually hoping not to win or place, since the prize includes getting up on stage and reading your work. The introvert’s nightmare. This will be my happiest rejection ever.
And, thanks to that novelette, I’ve had this Pat Benatar classic running through my head all week. Now, it can run through yours. You can thank me later.
Inspired by many things, like writing The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty and reading Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, I am trying something completely different this year.
This year, I am taking on the challenge, inspired by Ray Bradbury, to Write 1/Submit 1. My firm commitment is writing one story each month and submitting one story each month (not necessarily the same story). My stretch goal is to do this weekly. Yes. Weekly.
I know. Just a little bit crazy. But I’m thinking I need to do something just a little bit crazy with my writing this year. I’m under no contracts; I have no (writing) obligation. So why not?
I know my (writing) self well enough to realize I’ll probably end up tallying my weekly progress at the end of each month. My process is such that I may write two stories in one week, then spend a week or two woolgathering. (I’m a world-class woolgathering. If woolgathering were an actual profession, I could pull in six figures.) Then, I’ll write some more. Ultimately, my aim is to write 52 stories this year and to submit 52 times as well.
Fortunately, since I turned my attention back to short work in the middle of last year, I have an inventory of stories that are either already on submission or can go out fairly soon. In fact, I submitted a story today! I just met my monthly goal. So: Ha!
You can read about the challenge here if you’re interested in trying it yourself. If you do, let me know. We can keep each other on track.
And whatever your goals for the year are, I wish you success and happiness in working toward them.