Tag: 2013 StoryADayChallenge

Midyear writing goal review

Every three months or so, I like to post how I’m progressing on the goals I set for myself in January.

  1. Publish my novel, The Lone Wolf.  I can cross this off because it’ll be out December 2nd, 2013, from Evolved Publishing. Yay me!
  2. Average a short story acceptance each month, with the majority of them in paying markets.  This has not been going so well. I’ve only had one acceptance so far this year (to a token market), “Us, Together” in Fiction365. Okay, two maybe if you count “The Business Trip” reprinted in Free Flash Fiction‘s anthology, The Flashing Type. However, I haven’t really been sending any shorts out. I wrote a bunch for May’s Story-A-Day, so maybe I can get some of those out soon.
  3. Put out a short story collection.  Yes, did this too! I released Us, Together: A Short Story Collection about a week ago. And I’m currently working through edits on another one, The Futility of Loving a Soldier, which should be out – let’s just say soon.
  4. Get another novel ready to query – either 2012’s NaNoWriMo novel, or the one I’ve been working on for a couple years, A Handful of Wishes. I haven’t had a chance to work on this, but I’ll be getting my butt in gear soon because I promised my editor I’d have A Handful of Wishes to him by April 2014 so it can be published December 2014.
  5. Read 100 books this year. I’m currently at 43. I should be at 49 by now, but considering how busy I’ve been with school and work and writing and my kid, I’m not doing too bad.
  6. Kayak the entire length of the Hennepin Canal.  Still no job, so still no kayak to do this. And no time to do it either. Maybe I can do small pieces as part of some weekend adventures later this summer?

If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?

Weekend Writing Warriors 6/2 #8sunday

How is it June already?

Today’s excerpt is from the first of a five-part story, “Family Traditions,” that’ll be included in The Futility of Loving a Soldier, my short story collection that I wanted to have out last weekend but, well, yeah. Didn’t happen. Editing is taking longer than anticipated; I hope to have it all available within the next couple weeks.

Joop (pronounced Jope) and his brother Georges are immigrant farmhands in America right after WWI. Jope, the more outgoing of the two, has always felt the need to protect his younger brother, and in doing so has normally gotten the girl. Georges has just told him he’s marrying the tavern girl they both have a crush on.

“Georges, that’s wonderful! Why didn’t you say anything to me sooner?”

Georges swallowed hard, looked down at his feet then straight at Joop. “Stay away from her, Joop. You so much as say a word to her before I marry her, and you’re dead to me.”

Joop placed his hand on his heart, staggered backwards, and said, “Brother, you wound me. I would never

“I mean it; stay away from her.”

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

May Story-A-Day roundup

Every month seems to be a new writing challenge of some sort, and for May it’s Story-A-Day. Simply write a story – any length, any prompt – each day for thirty-one days.

I participated last year (both in May and again in September), and I’m able to say I did better this time than I have in the past.

And like the previous two times, the reasons I didn’t make it come down to just a few things:

  • Not enough time to write. I work full-time and am searching for a different job. I’m in grad school, which requires a lot of reading. I have a kid who appreciates my attention. I have a bit of a social life. Ideally I would just write write write, but I have a lot of people and things needing my time.
  • Procrastination. Quite often when I sit down to write, I find myself distracted by the internet: blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter, and whatever rabbit’s hole I go down whenever I watch a video on YouTube. There were several days this month where I went to my favorite writing spot and accomplished quite a bit, just because there’s no internet there (although I can easily find distractions with my phone).
  • A night-owl muse. I’m most creative between 10 pm and 2 am, which kinda sucks. Most nights I’ll get started writing about midnight, but after awhile I’m so tired from the four hours of sleep I got because of staying up late writing the night before, that I have to stop and go to bed.

Nonetheless, I’m relatively proud of this year’s Story-A-Day. It’s not great but it’s not bad, and sometimes that’s good enough.

Weekend Writing Warriors 5/12 #8sunday

Today’s eight are from a story I wrote this week for the May Story a Day challenge, “The Commute.”

Adem has been dreaming about a garden full of roses, and when a street vendor comes by while he’s waiting for the afternoon bus, he buys two on a whim. On the ride he falls in love with the woman sitting next to him, whom he’s decided to call Jennifer, and imagines their lives together.

The bus stopped at Union Station, Adem’s stop, and Jennifer stood too. As they disembarked, Adem realized he would never see her again: no kids, no vacations, no smoothing her hair while sitting on the couch.

Jennifer moved inside the station, leaving him behind on the sidewalk. The scent of roses was gone, just the smells of the city lingering, exhaust and people, an Indian restaurant and Subway. Jennifer had taken the roses’ fragrance with her.

He pushed past the people coming out of the building, looking for her, and finally spotted her heading towards the train terminal. He shouldered through the crowd, ignoring their glares and exclamations, until he reached her and tapped her on the shoulder.

“This is going to sound weird, but these are for you,” he said as he held out the roses towards her.

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

Weekend Writing Warriors 5/5 #8sunday

I’m participating in the May Story a Day challenge (write a story a day), and while looking through some half-written stories to work on this month I found this novella, “The Secretary,” about a girl who develops an unhealthy fascination with her boss.

In this scene, it’s her first day of work at a huge firm. She’s running late, and so of course she gets bumped, drops her purse, and loses its contents all over the place. A handsome stranger helps her pick things up.

“Is this yours?” he repeated, smiling at me. His teeth were white and even. Of course, a gorgeous smile for a gorgeous guy. I looked at his hands and turned beet red, I’m sure. He was holding the book I’d been reading on the subway, a trashy bodice-ripping romance novel. Why couldn’t I have grabbed Hemingway, Joyce, something that made me look smarter?

“Um, yeah, that’s mine,” I said as I took it from him. “It’s, uh, for a friend.”

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

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