Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Just missed it again, but there's hope

I suppose I should be humble, very humble, about my latest honorable mention, but I wanted at least to get in the running. I did notice that most of the stories in the semi-finals for the Red Room's Scandalously Short Story Contest are literary stories and mine isn't. Two days is not enough time to write and polish a good literary story, good enough to win a prize, especially when I have a full time job and a part time job writing book reviews that takes up so much of my time. Doesn't leave a lot for writing, editing and polishing a literary story, especially when I'm polishing two novels at the same time. I went with a story I wrote for another contest, Legacy, one that I will spin out some day and throw in some length, depth and words so it will be a full length short story. Legacy is based on an idea for another story and may even end up as a sequel to a novel I've written. I do love dark fantasies, especially when they involve Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one of my favorite Robert Louis Stevenson stories.

Stevenson wrote a lot of dark tales, horror really, in the dark vein of Edgar Allen Poe, and I do love horror. I don't get enough of it any more now that horror is considered to be less interesting than paranormals and thrillers and zombies. Speaking of zombies, I actually have a story mapped out that includes a whole lot of zombies -- in a good cause -- and war. After all, where else would you want zombies but in the battle zone. Lots of material to work with. Believe me, the South will rise again . . . and again. And I'm not a big fan of zombies. There's not much to work with.

At any rate, I began this post to mention the mention of one of my stories and find myself actually eager to continue writing. I hope you don't mind.

Although I've been busy with work, very busy, and keeping up my various obligations with promoting my books and reading review books, I haven't felt much like writing. The muse has been inconsistent and I've been a little less eager to write than I usually am. I work best when I have a deadline and some specific goal ahead. Otherwise, I flounder and waffle and do the avoidance dance. I have come up with an idea that might help boost my energy and get me excited about writing (editing and polishing really takes it out of me) and I wonder if there is any interest here, or suggestions to refine the idea, so I come to you. I've only told one other person, and my paper journal, so I thought I'd toss out the idea and see what comes back.

As some of you may have noticed, I've had a lot of stories published in anthologies, quite a few in Chicken Soup and Cup of Comfort. After years of rejections (no news is no news), I finally began selling all the stories I submitted. I had found the key to getting published and I think it's time to share the key. Many people have interesting stories to tell and just need a little help, or a lot of help, to make their stories publishable. To that end, I thought I'd put together a seminar to help writers get their nonfiction stories published, how to make them evocative, how to polish and hone the main theme (you usually only get 1200 words or less) and make the stories read for submission and publication. There is a method to the madness and I enjoy sharing what I've learned. Here's your chance to stop the madness (me putting together a seminar or workshop) before it gets rolling. Tell me what you think.

In the meantime, I'd also like to suggest taking a chance and writing your 1st or 101st nonfiction story and win an autographed copy of the latest anthology containing two of my stories: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters. There is still time until October 19th for the Make Me Laugh contest. I look forward to your entries.

That is all. Disperse.

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