I spent some of the week sick in a low key way: low fever, some sniffles, many aches and pains. I still managed to finish a short story and I’m pretty proud of that. Writing these shorts in 5 days is so much harder than I expected. The problem for me is that I write along fine for a bit and then have no idea what should happen next. I’ve found that if I nap or shower I can sometimes shake ideas loose.
My new business cards for conferences have arrived and I’m pleased that they look simple and elegant. I also found a great non-leather business card holder made from cork that I love.
One of the members of one of my online writing study groups lost his brother to a weather-related accident this week and I grieve for him. Also this week, a pregnant woman in Memphis married to a citizen of this country went for her green card review and was arrested and sent to a detention facility in Louisiana (far from her husband) and denied critical medication. Each of these events deserves their own time and space. Each calls for us to stop whatever we are doing and honor this moment with our sympathy or action.
This is one of the parts of our new world that strikes me as strange. I live in a world flowing with people these days, even though I leave my house less than ever. Their pain and their triumphs are part of my daily experience in ways that wouldn’t have been possible a few decades ago. I wonder how those who grew up with the press of social media and internet friends have compartmentalized the flood of other people’s sadnesses and pleasures. There are days when I find it overwhelming.
January’s Short Story Challenges
I finished my third story of the month. Five days felt so tight this time. I fell back on one of the ideas I’ve been tossing around in my head since before I left FedEx.
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” First draft 4067 words
Favorite Short Reads
“Mara’s Shadow” by Darci Stone from Writers of the Future #34. An impressive science fiction story that focuses on the nature of parasites and bugs. I read it a year ago and it is still one of my very favorites.
January Novel Goals
I completed the beta read of the novel. It was so beautiful! I can’t wait to see it out in the world, but that won’t be until 2020. I wish I wrote with such elegance. It inspires me to try harder.
January Health Goals
Healthy eating, shmealthy eating, I’m doing good if I remember to leave my desk these days.
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.
Rocket Stack Rank
Rocket Stack Rank (RSR) is a reviewing service for short science fiction and fantasy. It’s a great way to find good short reads. They rank the stories and include the reading time estimate. They also have an interesting system for reviews:
“We divide our reviews into three parts: the rating, the “blurb”, and the “mini-review.” The rating tells you whether we think the story is worth reading or not. The blurb is a very short general description that doesn’t spoil the story. The mini-review is displayed upside down until you click on it, and you shouldn’t look until after reading the story. It explains how we arrived at the rating we did and serves as a jumping-off point for further discussion.”