Who Says You Can’t Go Back?

These past few months I’ve gone back to submitting some of my short stories for publication. Maybe to some it seems like a step back, but I’m content with the  short stories I write. I really am. Becoming distracted by novel writing these past five years or so, I allowed several finished and unfinished stories to fall to the wayside. I wish now I hadn’t. Last winter I submitted a short piece to Understory Magazine and it was published in their Winter Issue. The story was titled “The Old Queen Rains.” For those of you who might not have already read it I’ve added the link. HERE. I can’t deny it’s a wonderful feeling to have someone say they want to publish something I’ve written. These acceptances are so few and far between when writing novels. I’m a SLOOOW writer. But slow and steady as they say…..

I just received word on the weekend that another short story I’d submitted to TRANSITION , a magazine published by the Saskatchewan Mental Health Society , has been accepted. I’ve had work published there in the past. If you click into the “Publications” tab,  at the top of the page, and scroll down you’ll find some of these issues online. The link won’t take you directly to my story but, rather, the issue of the magazine. You’ll need to scroll through the magazine to find mine. I know, it’s a lot of work!

It seemed a shame to know that I had competed stories just sitting there in files on my computer. A story that sits idle will never find a home. I’m happy to know this particular story will be published. It deals with the issue of euthanasia, a very controversial topic. I like controversy in writing, it’s so, I don’t know, controversial. I enjoy writing stories that make people stop and think or perhaps show them a different viewpoint. Having an open mind, considering something you’ve never stopped to consider, is never a bad thing in my opinion.

So, yeah, I’m going back to submitting short stories. It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to work on novels, because I will. I’m keeping an open mind. The writing will find me one way or another. I don’t pick the story I want to write, but rather, the story picks me.

So here’s to going back, to keeping an open mind, not setting a straight path, but following a path that sometimes meanders a little bit. Sometimes the best things happen when we least expect them, and often when we don’t have anything particular in mind.

 

 

I’m Still Writing

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.~~ Albert Schweitzr

Good old Albert had a point, don’t you think? Loving what we do should bring the smile to any old grouch’s face, unless they’re simply being contrary. I’m not going to say that never happens.

In my world, nothing makes me happier than sitting at the computer and hearing the clicking of the keyboard. Okay, maybe not so much clicking since my typing skills are atrocious, but even the hunt and peck method  can sound musical when thoughts are flowing and you’ve got a great idea by the tail.

Back when I was writing short stories there always seemed a time when I had work forthcoming, but I haven’t written a short story in a very long while. I’ve simply been too busy working on longer pieces. I don’t seem to write nearly as fast as some of the writers I’ve come to know, but as they say, “slow and steady wins the race.” Truthfully, I can’t say I’ve missed writing short fiction. I think it’s a matter of moving forward, and graduating into writing longer, more complex pieces. I’m not going to declare my short story days are over because one thing I know I’m not good at and that is predicting the future.

Anyway, the point behind this post is to mention a short story I wrote a number of years ago that appeared in the Nashwaak Review this time around. My copy arrived before Christmas, and although I took the time to read it (I always read my work after it is published) I didn’t take time to mention it to anyone except in passing to my daughter. The truth is, each story that we have published is just as important as the others considering how we toil over our words, pouring our hearts and souls into our work. The story I wrote is title Balloon Man it is told by a five year old boy whose mother has abandoned the family. His mother’s story, published by Transition a few years back, is available to read online and takes us quite far into the future. Transition published an earlier story told by the same character with the title, Mad Money, unfortunately that one can not be found online so far as I know. If you’re interested, you can check out the “publications” tab on my blog and click on: There’s This Thing About Leaving. It will take you to the issue in question. I can’t remember what page my story is on now, but scrolling down is always a good way to find something.

But enough about me, what’s new with you and your writing? Doesn’t have to be writing related, just anything you’re just dying to tell, and while you’re at it enjoy your weekend.

Story Update

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off but I did. The short story—– it is finished!

I’ve decided I work best under pressure for some reason. When my time is squeezed between a whole bunch of different things that seems to be when I’m more mindful of how precious time really is.  Felt good to set a goal, one that I wasn’t altogether sure I’d be able to meet, and actually get it done.

The short story is a piece I had taken out of another story a few years back titled, “There’s This Thing About Leaving,” published in the fall 2008 edition of Transition (a story within a story).

I decided to break the original story up because the editor suggested it at the time (It did make the story fairly long for publication in the magazine) and because I knew it had the potential to be a whole other story all of its own. At the time, I was sad to see that bit cut but I also understood that it made perfect sense to take it out. By adding to the original cut part I’m more than happy with the final results.

I still haven’t figured out a title for it. A few readings of the story, without trying to pick at it, and I’ll come up with something appropriate and hopefully a bit memorable. I realize that titles are important but at this point a title seems like the least of my worries. Did I mention I completed my short story?

Oh right, I guess I did.

Happy writing to you all.

What goals did you meet this week? If you’d like to share please do.

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