Winter seeds for the birds

Sunflower seed head still has some left for the birds.

Sunflower seed head still has some left for the birds.

Last fall, I cut down all the volunteer sunflowers that had grown in my community garden plot, and brought them home. I propped them at the top of the backyard, hoping the birds would appreciate them. This morning, I finally saw that they do! A few chickadees were picking on the sunflower heads. It’s nice to see a natural food source work out.

By the way, you may have noticed that I’ve been tweaking a few things around the edges on this blog. I’ve returned to the original name, “Writing Every Day”.  Since I’ve taken up the challenge to write a story a week, I will blog about my writing. This will continue to be the place where I write about whatever else interests me, such as reading, cooking, and gardening. With one big exception: bees!

I’ve launched a new blog about bees, “Native Bee Ranching.” This is where I discuss why bees are important, how they live, and what you can do for them. So if you’ve enjoyed my previous writings about bees, especially the native bees, I hope you’ll check it out.

I dreamed that Sauron had a spaceship in his desk

Harvest Moon

A hazy Moon shines over a story that mostly takes place at night

Well, I made good progress most days last week. The best day was one where I actually started writing in the morning. Even so I still stayed up until 5 a.m. last night to finish story #3.  This A Story A Week challenge is giving me serious sleep deprivation. Now I need to write two flash stories to catch up this week. And I really need to write in the mornings more.

This is the first story that’s more in my usual vein of fantasy. It’s 4200 words about a wizard who refuses to accept that her teacher died defeating their greatest enemy. Current title: “Do Not Go Gentle.”

I used as inspiration a dream I had some time ago. Very little in the dream made it into the story. Just for laughs, here it is.

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Should I finish story #3 or start story #4?

I didn’t finish story #3 last night either. If I keep up the pace of the last few days, it’s going to take me a couple more days to finish it. Which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to write a fourth story by Sunday night.

I have decided that finishing what I start is more important than having a full week to write story #4. Story #4 will have to be a flash piece of some sort.

What about you? Have you ever tried to write a story a week? What did you do when you started to fall behind?

Half a chance of finishing is only half a story so far

Obvious symbol of a seed putting out first leaves representing stories taking shape.

Obvious symbol of a seed putting out first leaves representing stories taking shape.

Story number three did not cooperate with the plan. I thought I had half a chance of finishing it last night, but the middle was still too sketchy, so I’ve only got half a story. On the plus side, I think this one is a real story, a moody fantasy about gods and dark magic. I just need to keep pushing through and finish it.

How I failed to write two bad stories in a row

After I picked a bit of flash to finish, I kept thinking I’d clean it up by Saturday night.  Then I made the mistake of thinking there needed to be more to the concept, but the more I tried to extend it, the less I liked it.  It got so bad, I started to wonder if Ray Bradbury was wrong when he said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

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I finished something!

After thrashing all week with the story I have been fighting with all last year, I finally set out to write something new last night. Wouldn’t want to flub my resolution in the very first week now, would I? It still took me a while to settle in and face up to the prospect of having no idea what I was about to write.  Finally I chose a prompt: “Write about something sticky.” Slowly I established the old rhythm: stare into space, write another burst, stare into space. By the time I decided how it was going to end, the story started to look pretty stupid. Uh oh. Should I give it up?

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My New Year’s Resolution for 2014

Since my biggest weakness is finishing things, I’m making it my goal to complete the first draft of a new short story a week, for at least a month. I will post how I’m doing each Sunday. Hopefully, this means I’ll be creating a flurry of weird flash fiction. I can’t guarantee that no space squid will be harmed.

Do you have a writing-related NYR?

Like a sleeping red giant, a tomato glows

Here it is: my first tomato of the year!

Bright red tomato

Good old Better Bush tomato!

 

Our current little bit of wildlife

Cats very interested in the outdoors

Cats very interested in the outdoors

What could the cats be looking at?

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Strawberries: 3, Slugs: 0

A cluster of strawberries

A cluster of slug-free strawberries

It’s June, and that means strawberries. Big, bright strawberries. Handfuls of them day by day.

I even remembered to put out beer traps for the slugs. Oddly enough I haven’t caught any yet. Nor have I found the characteristic circular bites taken of sweet, sweet berries. I wonder if the recent heat dried them up?