Friday, February 10, 2017

The Monthly Checker - Morgen Bailey Entry for January 2017

The prompt for Morgen Bailey's January 2017 100-word story competition was to write something based on the title, "The Monthly Checker."

I actually wrote two stories for the January competition.  The first one, "Where To, Ma'am?" was just awful when whittled down to 100 words, so I let it be as long as it needed to be and found that it turned into a pretty interesting story at about 1300 words.  I submitted that version to Flash Fiction Online and am waiting to hear back from them.

I was able to come up with a 100-word story for Morgen with the requisite title and submitted it.  It was "highly commended."  It is probably also the story Bailey mentions that was, "eek-making, in a good way!"  It features a woman with proprioception issues involving her breasts.  And then it turns out that there is a non-neurological reason for her lack of proprioception there.

Now that the contest for January has ended, and I am free to give the story my preferred title, I will call it "Xenomelia."  I can use the slightly longer draft and send it out to possible markets.

Xenomelia is defined as, the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one’s body do not belong to one’s self."  Breasts are not exactly limbs, but it was as close as I could get to an accurate name for the condition.  If you are interested in learning more about this condition or mental state, I highly recommend that you read Dr. Oliver Sacks' book, A Leg to Stand On.  Sacks was a brilliant writer, and I always find his books about neurology fascinating.

Every time I enter one of these Morgen Bailey competitions I learn something new.  The striking thing I observed in the stories that won in January was that not one of them read as if it had been whittled down.  The language in each of them flowed naturally, yet all three told a succinct story in 100 words, an impressive accomplishment by their authors and one that I will strive to achieve for February and for my future writing.

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