I wrote five and one half stories over the last five weeks. Heavy drafting always results in half-formed story ideas on my phone typed out in the middle of the night, and sometimes I really like how they look separated from their stories. So I’m going to share! Here are, without context, some of my favorites.
“Dripping Moon, wobbly soft boiled moon, void moon, sucking light from the stars. Super blood wolf moon with a triple axel, every night a new performance piece…”
“Do fifth dimensional spider women like ice cream?”
“The night sky stuck to his fingers, beautifully dark. He used his handkerchief to wipe it away.”
“Eyeball sale pyramid scheme.”
“I put smiles on faces faster than hot chocolate on a snow day.”
Most of their stories have a long polish before they can be sent to magazines. I hope they’re not too weird to find homes… But if the weird is too great, I can always make trash magic out of a super blood wolf moon and publish it on youtube.
I had two stories published in the past month-ish. Both very short, and both from last year’s stint of writing five stories in five weeks.
We Have Always Lived in the Barbie Dream Castle is podcasted at Toasted Cake (and I love the narration dearly- Tina Connolly did a great comedic read for this one.)
Quilting With The Rejects at Flash Fiction Online (which is a little bit of a love song to my favorite coffee shop in town, as well as to the textile arts.)
It’s difficult pinning your person to a verb. I am a writer who has not done enough writing this year. Or the year before. I haven’t published enough, haven’t built a following, haven’t engaged enough with potential readers. I haven’t built my brand.
I wrote seven slim stories to completion this year, and started the first paragraphs on dozens. I followed those false starts out to different paths and found every one of them well trod and trite and boring. I don’t want to be bored by what I write. Stories are meant to thrill.
It has been a difficult year. It seems it’s been that way for many.
I don’t know how to make the next year better. I want to write more. I want to publish more. I know that the megan from this year would be impressive to the one from ten years ago, but perspective is hard in the middle of the forest.
Next week, I will finish a story. Maybe I’ll write the end and work backwards from there. The week after, I’ll do another. I’ll be okay if it sucks. Maybe I’ll try to make it suck. I think I work better when I don’t care about the outcome. I want to fall back in love with writing. It will be difficult, but the work is important. Not to the world at large, no. I think the earth will keep turning if I don’t manage to find an end to a well read fairytale princess building a Studebaker Avanti. But it’s important to me. I hang my hat on fairytales. I’d be lost without them.
I have a stamped leather notebook with pages of handmade paper and I named it The Book of Good Practice. I numbered all its pages, one to one hundred, at the bottom center. I wasn’t very careful with my script, because I don’t have a steady hand to begin with, and when I think too hard about how I hold my hand, I forget the way numbers and letters are supposed to work. The numbers on the page are a little messy, which is great for me because if I were to leave that notebook perfect I’d have never used it. Nothing worse than a thing too perfect to serve its function.
Each page begins a new story. So far there have been no ends to any of them. Beginning a story is easy, finding a trajectory to a satisfactory end requires a lot more from me. If it were a book of great practice, it would be filled with finished stories. But the computer is for greats. It ends things… or it abandons them while I flounder with all the things I could be doing.
(I stayed up until three last night dying yarn for the first time ever because I couldn’t find the exact yellow I wanted. Insomnia is a curse.)
Greatness is often beyond me. I’m a little afraid of it. I’m unable to wrestle something down in manageable chunks and make it small enough to fit an ending.
And that wears on me. I’m a writer, right? I make stories happen. I find ways to make the big things fun, to share dreams, to touch brains. Sometimes. Most times I’m spinning my wheels, starting a hundred things and praying something will find enough purchase to set me toward and end.
But at least it is good practice.
Hello it is awards season in the publishing world! Or at least in the corner of it I frequent. Or maybe it’s just the Nebulas that are open. I don’t get out much. But I’m getting better! I remembered to make one of these!!
I have works that are eligible for rewards this year!
Where You Get Your Ideas was published in Cast of Wonders in March, 2018. It involves a fantasy prop shop apprentice, and a mild disdain for joining a wider narrative.
The Late Mr. Folsom’s Luminosity Shop was published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine show in November, 2018, and it features mermaids, magi-scientific biology, and paper work.
Some stories don’t fit well in print. Or maybe, some stories look so different in my head from anything I can fit into letters, that I don’t want to see them in print.
Some stories I want to see made out of paper, or rushed breathlessly from an attic space, with a hundred jump cuts and a little erraticism. I wrote one recently that needed that kind of space, and I recorded it from behind a mask.
That’s why I have Trash Magic Stories.
I don’t have many things on there. And I don’t think that’s the point. Trash Magic is a place where I can put something that requires top-shelf weirdness. The kind that is so earnest, that I can’t look at the camera straight on.
But it’s easier with a few extra eyes.
Latest story involves a contest between Athena and a very clever spider. Watch it Here, and read the text in the blog post just below this one.