Monday, January 23, 2017

Submission: "The Monthly Checker"

This evening I submitted "The Monthly Checker" to Morgen Bailey's 100-word flash-fiction competition.  The story prompt for January 2017 was the title.  This story is about weirdness involving a woman with proprioception issues.  If it doesn't place in the contest I will expand upon it and submit it under a different title to a market that accepts flash fiction.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Submission of 2017

My first short story submission for 2017 was to Flash Fiction Online today.  The story is called, "Where to, Ma'am?" I originally wrote it for Morgen Bailey's January 100-word competition, but the story was terribly disjointed with so much meat taken out.  So I put the meat back in, and now it's in the ether.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Idea Generation

Where do I get my ideas from?  Apparently writers get asked this question often.  No one has asked me yet, so I'm going to just be brazen and come right out with it:  I read--a lot.

I have found that I get a lot of ideas and help with difficult plot problems simply by researching stories.  The more you read and learn about a time period or a culture, the more ideas you get.  For instance, a line from a poem gave me the idea for my short story, "Strands of Grass."  Reading about the Greek custom of eating mezedes (snacks eaten while drinking ouzo), gave me the idea and setting for a short story called, "Stavros."

I have gotten ideas by reading short stories I have already written, because I see things that the characters in such a story might do in the future.  I find that I like to write series of short stories featuring the same characters--not necessarily in a seamless story arc.  A lot of these are stand-alone stories.  I sometimes don't want to stop writing about certain characters just because their first story ended.

Some stories come to me when I ask myself a question.  For instance, I was in awe of the truly impressive amount of gold that Smaug had collected in the movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  It was every fan's ultimate wild fantasy of how much gold a dragon could collect.  The dragon could have swum in it, he had so much gold.  And then I asked myself, "What would be a logical reason for dragons to hoard gold?"  So I came up with a reason.  My reason also came to me because of an awesomely simple and brilliant therapeutic item made for children who have autism, but the main impetus for the idea was the question.

Reading about medicine gives me ideas for stories.  I had the greatest fun reading about the actual health problems of giants, and my giant, Kiernan's, health problems in "The Witch of Braighe" figured prominently in the story I wrote about him.  He and his friend, a witch named Triona, are other characters whom I want to write more about.

Do I ever feel like I've run out of ideas, that I can't possibly come up with new ones?  Yes.  But then some idea surprises me, and I realize that, no, thank goodness, the well hasn't run dry and never will, as long as I continue to have an inquisitive mind.

So where do you get your ideas from?

Now Out: ARC Proofs of 'Dragons and Witches'

Today in my email I found the advance reader proofs of Dragons and Witches, along with an image of the front and back covers!  This is the initial proof, unedited, which is sent to book reviewers so that they can write reviews before a book's publication date.  In about a month, I and the anthology's other contributors will receive our final proofs, which will incorporate whatever edits we specify from this current draft.  The anticipated publication date for Dragons and Witches is June 2017.

This book was titled Witches and Dragons up until now.  I am rather fond of dragons, however, so I don't mind the change.  :)

While reading the proof I came up with an idea for a further story featuring my two main characters, Merka and Emarys.  I look forward to writing it.  This new story will allow me to develop Emarys' and Merka's world more.  They are going to travel to the kingdom of Navethia to return a stolen item.

I'm trying to be good and am waiting to read everyone else's stories when the book is actually published.  Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.  It's a long time until June!