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The Bradbury Effect

In my last post, I wrote how much I wished I could be as productive as Ray Bradbury.  For some reason, I just didn’t think that I could work like that, churning out a story every week. This past May proved me wrong.

I decided I would try and so far I have finished a piece every week.  I start on Monday and by Sunday, I try and finish something, whether it is a short story, flash fiction, blog post, or the end of a longer piece.  The sense of accomplishment feels very good.  I feel productive.  It spurs me on to get to the next story.  I still have a ton to rewrite and a million other writing ideas to get down into cohesive stories, but for now I am happy to be stacking up the work.  After all, the more you write the better you get.  Not all of these stories are going to be good, but some of them have the potential to be good.  I’m a believer of this idea now.

Good thing too, because I signed up for a summer session at JHU.  Spring classes ended around the first week of May and
now, four short weeks later, I am gearing up for another workshop class.  That means, more writing and critiquing
are in my future.  Last semester was a good group of writers.  I learned a lot about myself (my confusing pronoun usage, my tendency for groups of three, needing deeper character development, etc.).  I’m sure this next class will help me along too.

In other news, I got into a car accident last week.  The insult was that it happened five minutes from my house! Thank God no one was hurt.  The accident was very minor and the only thing damaged were the cars.  For the past few days, while my car is being repaired I’ve been driving a rental.  A 2013 Altima.  It has a push start, something I have never driven.  It’s not my style of car, but I’m marveling at all the bells and whistles.  There is even a feature on the dash that tells you what song you are listening to on the radio.  Modern technology!  I’m used to my older car where you have to work for everything. LOL!

I also came across another gem of a book.  A signed copy of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.  The best part?  I bought it from the thrift store when they had a 50% Memorial Day sale.  I love the spring/summer season.  People give away the best stuff now.  Along with the Franzen book, I got a copy of If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace.  I’ll get to them soon, but right now I’m reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  Interesting so far.  It’s one of those Big books many people read, and since I never read it, I thought I should join the club.

And yes, I did get around to reading 50 Shades of Grey.

All I will say about that book, is that I didn’t like it, don’t understand the people who do, and will go back to reading Harold Robbins the next time I feel the urge to read something trashy.  Now that man could tell a story and write some great sex scenes!

I did like Karen Russell, though.  Her stories were inventive, sometimes fun, sometimes heartbreaking, original, and ambitious.  I have Swamplandia! on my “to be read shelf” too.

There are so many great stories to be read.  So many yet to be written (hopefully one or two by yours truly).  I haven’t forgotten my New Year’s resolution.  You know the one where I wanted to be published.  So along with writing, I’ve got to start submitting again.

I just have to start one story at a time.

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