Day 90 – Unexpected

Whoa! Today marks is our 3 month anniversary and not one day missed! Time is racing and so are the words. My question is, do unexpected short stories count? At the start of this project, my short story idea was specific and clear, but it hasn’t gone well. Mostly because I came to realize the story I wish to write is not a short story. It’s a novel. It’s too complicated to fit into so few words or I’m not skilled enough to do so. Not sure which. Regardless, a different story came at a gallop this morning. It was refreshing after the toil the other story has been. This new one has problems. It’s in 2nd person. Yes, the whole thing. For now anyway. The structure is twisty and confused. But the topic, the end of friendships between...

Day 89 – Progess Reports

Current Project: Short Story Status: In Progress/Behind Schedule Time Spent: Writing: 13.5 hrs. Blogging: 6.5 hrs. Networking: 5 hrs. Reading:  9 hrs. I’m behind. The story is moving ahead now that I’ve quit compulsively rewriting so although the movement is forward it is not at a fast enough pace to catch up.  I’m not sure what else to say about it other than that. Le sigh. Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. – F. Scott Fitzgerald Prompt:  Write about your first public...

Day 88 – Demons

Writing is facing yourself, your memories, your mortality and being brave enough to put it on paper. It takes bravery because many times you come to realize your existence is rather trite. Cringe worthy even. Worse is when you realize that all writers exist this same way, but they acquired the skill to convey trite realities in an interesting way. I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m struggling. Struggling to convince myself that this project is worthwhile, that I do have something to say, that I have a right to say it, and that I won’t look back at these 365 days as a public failure if I do not get any where close to publication. After the signing at Book People on Thursday, I chatted with Claire Messud for a few minutes and she was so...

Day 87 – Obvious Mistakes

While working on my short story, I haven’t been reading short stories. Nor did I refresh myself on the craft of short story writing. While working on the picture book, I read picture books, classics, contemporary, Caldecott winners, everything. So why didn’t I do the same while working on the short story? Because I’ve written short stories before and didn’t think I had to. Not a smart move. This is probably why I’ve felt a little bit panicked and confused  and why my story isn’t developing. I used to know my way around a short story and now not so much. The remedy is simple. Read. I picked up the latest volume of American Short Fiction, a journal based out of Austin, and a copy of Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins, a collection...

Day 86 – The Woman Upstairs

Claire Messud was at Book People tonight. She read two of my favorite passages from the beginning of The Woman Upstairs. It’s just come out in paperback. For me, it was the book of the year in 2013. I have two copies now because it’s passed around so much. It’s a book you want all your friends to read just so you can talk about it again and again. If you have not read it, put it at the top of your to read list. You won’t be disappointed. It’s ranty, witty, and beautifully crafted. It’s strange though, critics fussed that Nora, the narrator, was unlikeable and a couple people in the audience tonight echoed that view, but my friends and I found her embarrassingly relatable. Nora is the future we fear, but we loved her anyway. The...