Pipevine Swallowtail

I saw a beautiful Pipevine Swallowtail today. For more, read here.


Oh yeah, there’s this thing

Green Sweat Bee

It’s been a long time since I posted here, but I’m still doing a little bit of writing every day. A tiny bit of writing. A teeny, tiny bit of writing.
But September 4 is the anniversary of the day I started that streak, so it’s a good a time as any to come back here. Don’t ask me how long, because looking that up might keep me from finishing this post.
As you might guess from this picture of a beautiful little green bee, I’m more interested in bees than writing. I’m more interested in cooking than writing. I’m more interested in politics than writing.
But I can do whatever I like with this blog!

Space Operetta of the Gods

My flash “Space Operetta of the Gods” is in the final issue of Kazka Press 713 Flash Fiction. There is an ending in the story, but I think it’s about beginnings. Here’s hoping the guys at Kazka Press find a new beginning.

Tiberius Faces the Void

One of the first stories I finished has just been published. My drabble, “Tiberius Faces the Void” is the first story in Issue #16 of Used Gravitrons! The moment I saw the name of this online magazine, I just knew it was the perfect place for 100 words about the true cause of the Big Bang. Amazingly enough, the editor agreed. I hope you take a moment to check it out, and add a few more moments for the other truly weird stories inside.

Flash to the rescue

As the current story I’ve chosen to work on turns into a morass, last night I was feeling completely uninspired. The only way I could finish something last night was to start something new. Feeling a bit desperate, I resorted to my collection of prompts and came up with “Write about a hat.” So I did. Much to my surprise, I even finished something. I’m calling story #11 “A Hat, A Hat, I’m Wearing a Hat.” It refers to a rather familiar story, so I’m just going to give it to you right here.

Continue reading

Story #10 is delivered

Just when I had decided not to worry about writing flash stories in order to catch up to the story a week pace, I wrote a flash story. It’s about 400 words that I guess are all right. I’m calling it “Special Delivery”.

Story #9 is done, but that’s it

So maybe I can stop using exclamation points. Story #9 is “Moving Out”, about 700 words about making a big move.

Actually I finished it a week ago. Last week, I was sort of hoping to write a bunch of flash fictions. So I went back to my Boskone notes for inspiration. This year, one of the events I went to was a “writers’ warmup” session on Saturday morning run by Elaine Isaak. We did a few writing exercises, and afterwards she recommended a book of prompts called Take Ten For Writers, by Bonnie Neubauer.

The book offers some excellent advice for keeping the words flowing when you’re drafting. The way the book is structured is appealing: just generate a couple of random numbers, and you have a prompt. The exercises in Take Ten are often fun. But some of the formatting tries too hard to be fun. I can’t read small print on dark colors. Sadly, only one of the exercises led to a story for me.

So this week, I’m not trying to catch up. I just picked a half-drafted story that’s been talking to me, even though it feels too big to write it in a week. One can always hope I turn out to be wrong.

I managed to finish a story during NERAX


Your basic magnet on the fridge

Your basic magnet on the fridge

As it’s about 400 words, that’s about 50 words a day. Which feels like about what I did. Bit by bit, adding up until I decided I was done. I’m calling it “Animal Magnetism”, not the most original title for a story about a lonely monkey.

For this one, I used a set of random words I wrote down trying to remember a dream:


Love magnets


Fishing boat


I still have no idea what the dream was about, but I’m positive that the story has — aside from six words — absolutely nothing to do with the dream. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is I finished a story.

Yes! I finished story #5! And #7!

Pretend Polar Bear on pretend ice in a pretend ocean.

Pretend Polar Bear on pretend ice in a pretend ocean.

And it was only a quarter past midnight last night, as opposed to the early weeks of sleep deprivation when I stayed up until 2 am on a couple of Sundays trying to meet the story a week deadline. The story I began fifth turned out be to about 6700 words, called “65 Million Years To Earth”.  Since I’m waiting for comments from my critique group, I’m not going to say anything more about it.

While I was working on it, not only did I skip ahead to story #6, but I forgot to tell you that I also finished and submitted story #7 to a flash fiction contest called Three Minute Futures.  My Three Minute Futures Story is about 600 words, called “The Dream You Had About Polar Bears.” It’s about a researcher trying to figure out how to make plastic ice floes for the polar bears.

So now we’re on Week 13 of the Story A Week challenge.  That puts me 6 stories behind. As I said before, this is NERAX week. (Have I mentioned over 100 casks of beer and cider lately?) Hopefully, I’ll get at least one flash fiction done this week. Next Monday, I’ll regroup and see what I need to do to catch up.

Burning the candle on three ends

Yes, it is possible to burn a candle at three ends.

Yes, it is possible to burn a candle on three ends.

For the last month, I’ve been burning my candle on three ends. First, there’s the challenge of trying to write a story a week. Second, there’s the spring Real Ale festival that I help organize, NERAX. And the third is spreading the word about native bees, with Friends of Bees. So it’s probably not too surprising that it’s going to take over a month to finish story #5. And it’s probably even less surprising that it’s still not finished. But it’s really close!

Since NERAX starts next week, I plan to finish story #5 by this Sunday. During the week of NERAX, I’ll aim to write one flash story. But after it, maybe I’ll do something crazy like write a flash a day for a week.  Who knows?