Writing into the Dark of May

We saw the first copperhead of the season, which means it is summer here in Memphis. He slithered away, which we regard as a good omen for the year. Last year, the first copperhead of the season stood his ground, forcing Steve to wait fifteen minutes before he could resume his run. May doesn’t just mean snakes here in Memphis, it also means flowers, which are blooming in profusion and spreading their myriad perfumes on the air. It is a good time to walk.

We have an empty house again since our houseguest left. It feels quiet and a bit lonely, but this is probably good for writing. I set up the office for work again and it is making me a more productive writer again. I plan to work on a number of strategies this month and next to improve my daily word counts.

Despite distractions and difficulties last month, I finished two short stories for X Marks the Spot: An Anthology of Treasure and Theft and sent them out. Those stories are:

  • Crocodile Favors (4,946 words): This story is a historical set in 23 AD when Rueben and Drakon are both 17 years old and first encounter pirates.
  • Secret Memoir From the Pirate Portal (4,984 words): This is a rollicking dimension hopping jaunt with two unreliable characters who see dimension hopping as a great way to do a smash and grab across multiple dimensions.

I’m thrilled with how both of them turned out. I learned about Drakon’s first glimpse of his wife and the sweet joy of it. I understand why he cannot bear to return to his house now that she is gone. I also understand more about Rueben and I’m struck by his earnestness. Such good characters! I am excited to do more work on the book so that I can spend more time with both of them.

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The Great Challenge!

May 10 is the date that I will send in my first short story to the Great Challenge. Sending it in starts the requirement to send in a story a week thereafter. So now I am hurriedly creating inspiration for myself for the year. I’m creating covers with possible story ideas. I’m making little snippet paragraphs that begin stories. I’m setting up a list of the series characters I have available to write within. And I’m pulling out anthology’s that are calling for submissions so that I can use their themes to generate both story ideas and inspiration to finish. I’m excited to be doing this and I’m so grateful to my husband for supporting me in this and to Max who has promised to do it with me.

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” Final submitted 3702 words
  • “Crocodile Favors” Final submitted  4,946 words
  • “Secret Memoir From the Pirate Portal” Final submitted 4984 words

Writing and Learning

I’m finishing up WMG’s Endings course and will be starting the Writing Into the Dark course. Despite the fact that I find literary analysis easier than writing, I still find the analysis courses not as much fun as the writing courses, so I’m looking forward to starting the Writing Into the Dark course.

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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.

Business Musings: Good Goals by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kris Rusch talks about establishing good goals and how to block time to make life easier. As is the case with most of her Business Musings, the content is excellent!

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