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April 19, 2013

It’s been a busy 6 weeks or so.  I’ve got to catch you up.

First, I don’t have a new fiction piece for this month.  Last month I started writing a new short story, which has now become a monster story.  It is bordering on novella length, something that completely surprised me, so all of my effort has been focused on writing and finishing this story.  The piece that I planned to post I presented to my grad class back in Feb.  I got wonderful feedback and now need to rewrite it before I post.  I only have a few more weeks left of the semester, so the rewrite will happen soon! First order of business is finish the novella (or novelette, not sure yet), then rewrite.

Then, I’ll start on the thousand other stories that are patiently waiting in my head.  Sometimes I wish I was more like Ray Bradbury.  The man wrote an new story almost every week…

I was once asked where I get my ideas.  Lot’s of people always think about writing, but when they go to sit down and write, their minds go blank.  My advice, if this happens to you, is to do one of three things:

1) Use a writing prompt.  If you Google this, you will get plenty of ideas for a story to write.  I heard a good one last week.  It read, “There once was a __________, who ___________.”  There, now you have your first line! Don’t worry about whether it is good or not.  That’s what rewriting is for!  Just get the story down.

2) Write a story like someone else’s story.  This is only an exercise.  If you like Lord of the Rings, try writing something like that.  Don’t try and publish it.  Technically, you are committing plagerism, but if you just keep it for yourself and don’t try and publish it, why not?  It will get your creative mind working.  Then you will be surprised how the ideas will flow.  Soon you will have your own unique story and you will dive right in.

and finally 3) Write somethig from your real life.  We all went to school (or maybe you were home schooled), have family (or not), or go to a day job.  You may think your life is dull, dull, dull.  So what are the strange funny moments that make your life unique.  Maybe you live somewhere odd.  Maybe you know someone interesting.  If nothing interesting is happening, write about that.  In college, I once wrote a page and a half about how I had nothing to say.  LOL!  I kid you not…

Open yourself up and don’t be afraid.  It’s just you and the page.  No one else is there.  If you really hate it, to the recycle bin it goes!  Then start on something new.  One great thing I have learned since being in grad school is to open yourself up to everything.  Read everything and try writing it.  That’s why I’m posting a lot of the books I read.  You can see I read a lot of different people.

Here’s what I have read since my last post:

1)Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
2)A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3)Cover Her Face by PD James
4)”Hell is the Absence of God” by Ted Chaing (short story)
5)”Smooth Operator” by Darnell Cansilla (short story)
6)”Bright Morning” by Jeffrey Ford (short story)
7)”Lull” by Kelly Link (short story)
8)”You Have Never Been Here” by M. Rickert (short story)
9)”Answering the Call” by Brian Freedman (short story)

Some of the short stories were out of this anthology.  I read it a few years ago, when it first came out.  The stories are so good, I find myself revisiting them every now and then.

Currently I am reading Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.  A friend lent it to me, before I decided to buy her other collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove.  After that, I will start on 50 Shades of Grey.  Yes, you read that right.  I want to know what all the fuss is about!

Happy writing, and I will post again soon after the semester ends.

P.S. — I got my book mojo back.  I found Harry Potter #2, first printing, first edition on the shelf at the thrift store last week!