Goal Progress January Week Four

I received my most recent critique from Dean on my Dangerous Goods short story, which was that he read all the way through and enjoyed it, but that it needed the validation portion of the story. I added the validation, gave it a final edit, and submitted it to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. I hope they like it!

Since I know that some of my family and friends might not be familiar with Aldrys Budrys’ famed Seven Point Plot Outline, here is what it consists of:

Every story must have the following seven things:

  1. A character;

  2. In a setting;

  3. With a problem.

  4. The character tries to solve his problem.

  5. The character fails and things get worse but he learns something new (this try-fail cycle can repeat as needed for the story but there must always be one try-fail cycle where the character fails).

  6. Climax: The character tries to solve his problem and he either succeeds or fails in such a way that we know he won’t be trying again.

  7. Validation: Outside validation that lets the reader know that this is over. Rusch calls it the “medal pinning ceremony”.

I think I am mostly packed for my trip to Colorado. I even found my swimsuit, which my mother suggested I pack. Also it looks like the Superstars have some sort of hot tub party. I’m looking forward to the trip.


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January’s Short Story Challenges

My fourth short story this month is an urban fantasy story

Short stories completed in 2019

  • “Made of the Future”  First draft 4,217 words
  • “The Cat Ate My Naked Shorts” First draft 3572 words
  • “Dangerous Goods Done Dirt Cheap” Final Submitted  4695 words
  • “Djinn Fizz” First draft 3702 words

Favorite Short Reads

“Underground” by Karin Tidbeck  from The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. It is a retelling of an old German fairy tale: “Prince Hatt Underground.” The writer re-imagines it and it becomes a story of how we imprison each other and how we can free ourselves.

January Novel Goals

Nothing done this week on the novel

January Health Goals

I’m just trying to get my veggies in this week.


small gratitude clock

Time for Gratitude!

Every week I experience things that make me better and that I’m grateful for. Some are books, podcasts, websites, or videos. Some are simple experiences. I share them here.

Two Podcast Episodes from The Portfolio Life: Writing is Manual Labor and Three Steps to Start a Daily Writing Habit
Rocket Stack Rank (RSR) Straight talk from Jeff Goins about how to get up everyday and write, while feeling the work is a spiritual practice that connects to the deepest self.

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