Tag Archives: short story

#WriteMonday – A Very Productive Weekend!

Despite spending a lot of time watching Pitch Meetings on Youtube (they’re by Ryan George for Screen Rant – sooo funny!) this was a fairly productive weekend.  I managed to actually work a little bit on the story I’m writing for the Make Your Way anthology.  I’ve had such a hard time sitting down with it lately so I was very happy to go from 326 words to 687 on Friday night.  Unfortunately I hit a bit of a snag in the story, so I need to sit down and actually figure out how to get past that before continuing.

On Saturday, I realized that I still needed to finish editing today’s Sustainably North post.  So I did that and scheduled it for earlier today.  The post ended up being called “Why I’ll Never Be Plastic Free” and goes through a lot of the plastic I generate just from having Type 1 diabetes.  I had a really hard time writing the ending, so this took a lot longer than I thought it would.

Then yesterday, I wrote and scheduled the next two Sustainably North posts.  Next week’s is going to be about this month’s article in bUneke Magazine, which is about homemade gifts. From there I decided to write some posts about the wreath and banana bread that I have pictured with that article.  So the end of the month talks about the paper flowers.  I haven’t written them yet, but I’m also going to write some posts for the first few weeks of December about making the actual paper wreath and making banana bread (I think I’ll share my grandmother’s recipe for that one, too!)

So with Sustainably North taken care of for a little bit, I’m hoping I can turn my attention back to my gamebook short story and hopefully get a lot more done on it!

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#WriteMonday – Mostly Worldbuilding

So this weekend I managed to actually work a bit on the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology.  I had a really hard time sitting down with it for some reason, but last night I finally started thinking through the characters a little bit.  I guess the problem was that I knew I needed to do some worldbuilding in order to properly think through my characters.  But once I started I ended up on a roll!

One oversight that I made with City of the Dead was that I failed to come up with naming conventions for the world.  I’ve got rough naming conventions for pretty much all the other worlds I’ve come up with because I want to make sure characters from different settings don’t have too similar-sounding names.  So last night I sat down and thought through that; from there I moved on to thinking about the individual characters a little more.  Thinking through everything also made me realize that lands and titles in City of the Dead move through matrilinear lines.  This is a little thing, but it is pretty obvious because City of the Dead is ruled primarily by the Queen (she has a King, but he is in charge of security and military matters while she is the one who does the actual ruling).

I came up with my character motivations as well.  I think I’ve figured out how they think (and why things unfold the way they do).  Last night I was thinking they were an aristocratic family, but after sleeping on it I’m thinking they are not.  While I liked the idea of them being aristocrats (especially because it explains where the family’s father is), I’d then have to figure out either why they don’t have servants or why the servants saw and heard nothing.  Plus having servants in the picture may pose a problem for keeping the character count down (which I want to do because this is going to be a short story).  If they aren’t an aristocratic family, and so don’t have servants, all of these problems become nonexistent.

Most of the work I did was yesterday, but I did find names for the characters today.  I’m planning on doing some more work on things tomorrow afternoon, too.  After that I’ll probably have to turn my attention back to Sustainably North and getting a blog post ready for next week.  Thinking of Sustainably North, today I talked about drinking straws, if you’re interested in reading it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a good and productive week.  🙂

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  So sorry that I missed posting anything on Monday.  I had a really busy long weekend: I worked on Saturday, went picture taking and out for lunch with my dad (pictures still forthcoming on Flickr), went to see the Transformers cartoon movie from the 80’s with a friend, then had dinner. How was your weekend?  Were you celebrating Thanksgiving too (or are your celebrations happening in November?)

I know I said I was going to work on the Make Your Way story I started a few weeks ago, but that didn’t happen either.  What did happen was more work on Sustainably North. I finished reading Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, which I’ll be reviewing on there soon.  And I finished working on my four part blog series about Thunder Bay’s Transit (here’s a link to the final part if you’re interested). This week I wrote up a post about bUneke Magazine for Sustainably North but I’m not quite sure when to post it; I’m considering starting to post on every second Friday as well as every Monday, but I’m not quite sure if that’s a good idea or not (what do you think? I’m not sure if I can keep up with two posts on there every week right now or not). So while I consider that, I wrote up an article about plastic drinking straws that is scheduled for Oct 15.

So now that I’ve got a handle on Sustainably North for the immediate future, I will be working on the Make Your Way story over the next few days.  I hope you have a good weekend. 🙂

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#WriteMonday – First Column in bUneke Magazine!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was approached to write a magazine column about sustainable living in bUneke Magazine.  Well the first one appeared today in their October 2018 issue!  The theme for the month was “variety is the spice of life,” so I wrote about growing fresh herbs.  You can read it here. 🙂

Last week I spent all my writing time on Sustainably North.  I’ve been writing a multi-part series on transit in Thunder Bay (and my ideas to fix our system).  I had a really hard time writing the third part; it got super wordy, mainly from the extra notes I was writing to supplement the main post.  In the end I decided to acknowledge that this post was getting wordy and end it; I’m hoping to finish the series up next week with one last part (and hopefully no added notes!)

So now I need to write the (hopefully) final part of the transit series, as well as some more articles for bUneke (I think I have rough drafts written for both November and December, so hopefully those will just need some editing and pictures).  Then I need to turn back to the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology, which I haven’t touched in a couple of weeks (although my white board is currently living on my kitchen table, so it’s constantly on my mind!)

Oh also, no word from Monstrous Outlines yet about the story I submitted.

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#WriteMonday – Short Story Submitted!

I did it!  I actually got that short story edited and submitted!

I had a really hard time sitting down to deal with it.  I kept putting off the editing.  Finally on Tuesday I sat down and started writing whatever was on my mind (it was a free write, much like I did years ago in a writing class).  By the time I was at the end of the page, I actually felt inspired and read over the story.  It was in okay shape and didn’t need too many edits.  So I worked on those when I could and finally finished on Friday.  I ended up calling it “A Friend from the Deep;” it’s set on Imezza and deals with a kraken (which is why its working title was the ever original “kraken story.”) I submitting “A Friend from the Deep” to Martian Migraine Press’s Monstrous Outlines: an Anthology of Camouflaged Horror Friday night.  I kind of doubt it will get accepted since that anthology specializes in horror and weird fiction and this piece is probably closer to fantasy (I could have sworn it said it accepted fantasy somewhere but I can’t find whatever I read now). Oh well, the worst that happens is they say no, right? I guess we’ll see what happens.

I need to make sure I remember to free write next time I have a hard time sitting down to work on a project like this!

On Friday I also followed up with my last submission (oh my gosh, that was a year ago!) I *think* the story has been published but I haven’t heard anything from the publisher.  I’ll give more details once I hear back from them. 🙂

So with all that happening on Friday, I had the rest of the weekend for whatever.  I took the rest of Friday night to look over (and clean up) my favourites list on Duotrope.  In doing that I found a few markets that sound pretty interesting; I decided to try writing something for the Make Your Way anthology. Make Your Way is looking for pieces that the audience will have to interact with in some way; I’ve written for projects like Holdfast in the past, so I’m hopeful that I can pull this off.  So I spent a bit of time later on Friday night coming up with a really simple RPG system for use with my story, with the rest of the weekend spent plotting things off and on.

I also spent a little bit of time trying to research tools to help me make this.  I’m a fan of Articy Draft but do not currently have my own copy (I was able to use it for a project I worked on in the past; the license was provided by the company I was working with).  Twine shows some promise, but it’s the type of thing I’ll use if I ever decide to publish this story on the web rather than in a book.  So I ended up defaulting to using my physical white board to plan this out.  Well, until I discovered The GameBook Authoring Tool, which I downloaded and tried out.  I think it’s exactly what I need to link everything together as I go.  So between my white board, my trusty notebook, and The GameBook Authoring Tool, I think I’m good to go for this project!

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What’s Happening…

*sigh* Every time I think I’m doing a good job keeping up on this blog, something seems to happen and I disappear again.

This time it’s Sasha.  She’s not doing very well.  She’s been living at my parents’ place for almost seventeen years (she just turned 17 last week! But we got her once she was a few months old so she hasn’t lived there quite that long).

Sasha and Me

Sasha and Me

Many years ago, my mom and I had a talk about where Sasha would live once I moved out.  We agreed that she would stay with them; she was probably around 10 already and had lived her whole life in their house.  So when I moved out I was able to adopt Merlin while Sasha stayed in her home.

We’ve long been joking that Sasha will live to be like 30.  She loves her people, but hates almost anyone who comes to visit the house (she actually will go to the door when visitors are leaving to make sure they go!)  She’s also pretty set in her ways and has no problems letting you know when you’re annoying her.  So of course she’d be the perfect candidate to make it to some ridiculous age.

Unfortunately that isn’t looking very likely now.  She stopped eating about a week ago.  My parents brought her to the vet (which is never a fun experience – apparently when the vet took Sasha into the back room to take some of her blood, you could hear her out front!)  We know that something is wrong with her liver but we’re not sure what; because of her age, everyone agreed not to put her through any invasive tests.  So now my parents have been doing their best to feed her and keep her comfortable.  Realistically though, it doesn’t look like she has long left.

So of course a lot of things are kind of on hold.  I’ve been going to their place as often as I can to visit with Sasha (while being sure not to neglect Merlin).

In terms of writing, I haven’t been doing a whole lot lately.  Unrelated to Sasha, I decided not to submit that story I was working on back in June; I’d asked over Facebook whether or not they would accept a shorter submissions.  I was willing to try making my story a bit longer, but they never replied to me, so I felt it wasn’t worth submitting to them.  I’ve got another market in mind to try submitting the story to though, so I will continue to work on it.  And thankfully the submission date is several months away so I’ve got some time in light of what’s happening.

On a positive note, I have been keeping up with Sustainably North.  My plan for the month completely fell apart because I’ve been reading a bunch of nonfiction books that I really wanted to talk about on there.  I considered starting to post twice a week, but right now I’m still just doing one.  Earlier in the month I was a bit ahead and felt like I had a lot I wanted to talk about, so two posts would be possible.  But I’m back to being just a week ahead right now (I just wrote the post for next week this afternoon); I’m going to keep it at one post a week for at least another month and then decide from there.

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Read 25 Books + Editing Pass Complete!

So earlier in the week, I got sick.  It sucked, because while I was feeling completely like crap, I didn’t feel like working on that short story I’ve got on the go (even though I had just a few paragraphs left to go on that editing pass!)

But what I did end up doing was reading.  Quite a bit, actually.  As of today, I finished one book and read two more, including Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, which I read in about 24 hours (thanks in large part to starting it while waiting to see a doctor yesterday).  The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs actually ended up being book 25 in my reading challenge!  So yes, as of earlier today, I accomplished one of my goals for the year – I read 25 books!  At least some good came of being sick. 🙂

In all seriousness though, I am feeling a bit better today.  I’m now on antibiotics, which I think is the main reason for that.  I’ve eaten a bit more today without feeling super nauseous (thanks to being nauseous, I barely ate anything over the last two days).  I’ve spent the evening making soup (it seriously has ended up an entire evening affair – I started at about 6pm, and it finally finished at almost midnight! Oh well, at least I now have soup). And over the last few hours of soup making, I sat down to finish this editing pass on my short story. 🙂

So with my story shaping up, I went to go and check the Duotrope listing I’m planning on submitting it to.  The listing closes in about a week and a half, so I’ve still got plenty of time to work on it.  Unfortunately, I just realized the listing wants short stories of 3500- 5000 words in length.  And their website says they are looking for horror (the Duotrope listing says horror, sci fi, and fantasy).  This story is currently quite a bit shorter than 3500 words (it’s now 2440, which is over 1000 words longer than the first draft, so it’s moving in the right direction), and is not at all a horror.  I just sent them a message over Facebook asking about the genre and whether they are open to accepting shorter submissions (someone else asked about the shorter submissions on their website, but they didn’t answer).  And of course after I asked my questions I found that they say they are open to all forms of speculative fiction.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this story to 3500 words or not.  But that’s a problem for another day.  For tonight I’m just happy to be done this editing pass! And whether it gets submitted anywhere or not, at the very least it will hopefully be one of the two polished short stories I wanted to write this year. 🙂

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