Re: Happy Accident

One of the writers I like but haven’t read nearly enough of is an Israeli writer named Etgar Karet. There was a very good reading of one of his stories at end of the latest episode of This American Life, called “Happy Accident“.

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I skipped ahead to Story #6!

While I’m still working on story #5, I thought I might write something quick. So I checked Twitter for #writingprompts and found this:

@Kelsye: In SIX WORDS or fewer, can you write an inspiring story?

So I did.

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Half a story done is twice as better than none

Four grain pot boule

Half a loaf is better than none

Well, story #5 is only half done. At this rate, I’m averaging more like a story in two weeks. Not as exciting as a story a week, but if this is a sustainable pace, I’m happy with that. It’s still infinity times faster than I was finishing stories last year.

Like the saying says, Half a loaf is better than none. And having comforted myself with that thought, I better go finish the current story.

Story #4 is done

A pond in Burlington that I like to visit during Readercon

A pond I like to visit during Readercon

I only stayed up until 12:30 last night finishing story #4. So I suppose that’s progress. But I’m still a week behind. And I still want to write two flash stories in a week to get caught up. Anyway, this one is called “For We So Love The Worlds”, 700 words about a soul working up the courage to be born. It takes place in the same universe as story #3, and there is a connection between them, but it’s not exactly a sequel.

There’s a pool in the story which doesn’t look anything like the pond in this photo, but it’s a pool of imagination, so I don’t have a picture. I like to visit the real pond during Readercon, which is a great con for writers, so I think this is an appropriate enough image to represent story #4 in the story a week challenge. Or something.

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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