Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shaking the Summer Heat

My office is upstairs in our garage which means when it is 88 degrees outside, it's about 100 inside. I've had a busy summer, distracting and since July, not much writing getting done, letting things like being kicked off the Internet for a few days and the hot weather deter me.

BUT! I woke up this morning motivated and ready to ignore all the little procrastination hurdles that have kept me from getting down to it, and just get down to it. I feel kind of normal again. Yay! So I'm going to set up some goals here just to help me stay focused.

Writing! Goals!

1. The Novel

No. I haven't finished another draft and I haven't even looked at it. However, something I heard in Steve Almond's class at Tin House finally resonated with me. I've tried to complicate this project beyond my abilities and therefore have added years to the project. The good part of this is that my skills have certainly improved so when I do get this sucker done, it will be better than it would have. The bad part is I wouldn't let go of my idea that if I worked hard enough, I could bend some rules and make something really original work. And that's a great idea. It is, but not if the idea gets in the way of the story itself.

I have a good good story. I love my story. But I think I've been too in love with my story and need to get out of my own way--as they say. So thanks Steve, for your "think twice before you
wrinkle time" suggestion. This thinking this through business has led me to feel confident that I can get this project done this fall...and done with a minimum of angst. Much grass to you.

2. Short Stories

God, I love writing short stories, especially flash. And I will always write them, but what I'm thinking now is that I've gotten lazy. I love flash because I have so much going on in my head...ideas are never a problem...and the shorter format allows me to use the ideas that won't hold up to a longer format. However, some of the WILL and SHOULD and I often feel resistant to doing this... or as I said, I get lazy.

One of my goals is to work on recognizing whether a story needs to be flash or longer--me, myself, before offering it up. Maybe come up with questions to put each "start" to a test of whether it should be worked long or short?? Not sure what I'll do, expect I plan to pay more attention so that pieces that fail as flash will eventually get the depth they need.

3. Online Presence

Facebook, Flash Fiction Chronicles, Zoe, Fictionaut, Every Day Fiction, all these things have helped me become a better writer and I will not give them up. What I need to do though is make certain that I don't spend more time than I have just floating around. I am pretty good at not letting these take up too much of my time and I feel they are important--doing my part to support the online writing community and to also keep me abreast for my own writing as to what is happening out there in the ether--but I perhaps need to figure out a more efficient way of working and perhaps ask for help more often.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Fiction and Non-Fiction Up

My story, "Socks," is up at Metazen this month and I also have a piece on craft up at Flash Fiction Chronicles called Using Essay Techniques in Fiction.

I'm back from much traveling about and anxious to get into the groove of writing everyday. After a wonderful experience at Tin House, I have several stories and my novel that I want to complete and have some new approaches to try.
Steve Almond
was a terrific help to all of us who were part of his class in July. I urge those who need an emersion experience to consider attending the Tin House Writing Workshop next year. Three lectures a day, workshop time, and readings every nice can rev up anyone's motor--and commitment. Now go out and read Steve's book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us.

Monday, August 09, 2010

EVERY DAY FICTION Reads for August

Every Day Fiction features a new flash story 365 days a year.

August’s Table of Contents

Aug 1/Carol Ann Fears/Existential Snare
Aug 2/Brother Greg/Art Moron
Aug 3/Kit Lamont/Seeds
Aug 4/Milo James Fowler/Captain Quasar and the “If Only” Elixir of Opsanus Tau Prime
Aug 5/Trish Bowcock/Confinement
Aug 6/Joshua Tate/The Easy Target
Aug 7/Oonah V Joslin/Moving Times
Aug 8/A. S. Andrews/Wherein Fear of Karma Dawns Too Late
Aug 9/Cat Rambo/The Investigation
Aug 10/Pam L. Wallace/When Pigs Fly
Aug 11/Jason Stout/Her Cousin
Aug 12/Ben Langdon/Forget, To Live
Aug 13/Victorya/Pepito and the Ferret
Aug 14/James Kidd/Holes In The Walls
Aug 15/Peter C. Loftus/Sword and Fish
Aug 16/Janel Gradowski/Burning Love
Aug 17/Shane Oshetski/Doll Parts
Aug 18/Maureen Wilkinson/When Violets Bloom
Aug 19/Peter Tupper/The Problem of Pain
Aug 20/AJ Smith/Old Jim
Aug 21/Kate Larkindale/In The Bedroom
Aug 22/Bernard S. Jansen/People Need to Know
Aug 23/Tim Galati/A Sunrise Enlightens
Aug 24/Douglas Campbell/The Shock Of Cold Water
Aug 25/Suzanne Warr/The Immortal Horse
Aug 26/Lynsey Miller/Tuesday Afternoon
Aug 27/Robert J. Santa/The Invisible Sword of Patterson Mitchell
Aug 28/Nicholas Ozment/The Old Man Down the Road
Aug 29/Stephen V. Ramey/Beauty and the Butler
Aug 30/Ed Buchanan/The Weatherman
Aug 31/Erin Ryan/Going through the Motions