June is here! Wait, what? So soon? 2017 is flying by but there are good things happening. Here’s what’s new…
I’ve written two flash fiction pieces recently and have them submitted to three different contests. These stories are more contemporary / mainstream fiction than anything I’ve been writing. They are stories that resonated with me.
All Hallows’ Harvest was written for fun, but it’s a piece about death. The fun part was breaking the stereotype, not the dying part. It pokes at our expectations and the desire for just a little more time.
If no one but me ever publishes this story, there is still one awesome thing that came out of it – I found a great freelance editor. I didn’t plan on this story, I didn’t plan to write flash fiction, and I didn’t plan on it being any good. When it was done, I liked it. A lot. I thought, maybe I should enter it into a contest, but then I’d need an editor. I asked around one of the awesome writer-focused Facebook groups and was connected to someone who was willing to read it and critique it. I sent it off and waited.
Was it a perfect story? of course not! Did I learn a whole lot? Yes. This was the magic. This is where I got to see things from a perspective I hadn’t yet. With that critique the story became so much better, and I became just a bit more confident as a writer. All Hallows’ Harvest has a final word count of about 980 words and is entered into two contests currently.
So of course when I finished the next story I sent it on for critique. That story is called Take Care, and it’s loosely based on a criticism I overheard. The speaker was making judgements of a stranger without knowing or caring about any of the details that made up that persons life. Take Care looks at what could have been truth and reminds me that we can never assume we know other people’s struggles. The editing process also made this story so much better than version one. It felt more real, more substantial. Take Care finished at around 1,100 words and is also entered into two contests.
And a quick update on the Vargen novelette, Wild Portal Child, (formerly called “Too far?”). At almost 15,000 words this story has been accepted for publication in the GenCon anthology, Missing Pieces Vol. 8. I’ve just sent it off for a final critique and proofread. I’m looking forward to making this story shine, especially since it’s the first look you, dear readers, will have into the Vargen worlds.
The earliest I’ll hear about any of the contests is the end of June. I’ll keep you updated as I find out where things go.
On deck for stories are a couple of ideas. I’d love to hear which you think I should write first.
One story I’m working on can be loosely called a space opera. It features a captain with an overly sensitive nose, who lost her ship and is working to build a new one. She gets caught up in several shady deals trying to buy a rare, top of the line air purifier for the new ship. Hijinks and bar fights ensue with both crew and customers as she tries to grease all the right palms. This one should be fun to finish and fun to read.Another story I’m working on explores the prejudices of a society towards a girl caught in the middle of a police sting while sentenced to community service. This story looks closely at the ideas of race, the lack of support for our elderly, and the supposition of guilt by association. There are hard truths and a lot of unfairness at the center of this story, and I don’t know yet how it’s going to end.
I have more than twenty other stories ideas in my notebook. There’s random flash fiction, lots of Vargen short stories, and a few full novels that have been percolating for years. I’ve finally collected things and organized them so I can choose what to write next.
Wishing you happiness in all that you do.