Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 2 of this Writing in Public challenge.
Day 2 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.
The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.
Rolled out around 2 p.m. and did a little e-mail and worked with Kris on some stuff before heading out around 3:30 p.m. to get up to WMG Publishing office. From there I went walking with two other professional writers to get in some exercise.
Snail mail, grabbed some lunch, and back to WMG Publishing to work on workshops at 5 p.m. Around 6 p.m. I got some polish, wood cleaner, and so on and set to work on the vintage poker table I bought, getting it and the chairs with it all looking sharp. Plus making sure it had no smoke smell left from the previous owners.
Kris got there around 7 p.m. from her run and we headed home. I got in a short nap with the new cat, Sir Duke, then after dinner and dishes I got in here to do e-mail around 9 p.m.
By 10 p.m. I was at my writing desk looking for a title from my lists of half titles. That was the first time all day I had thought about the writing.
A half-title from the 1940s Ellery Queen Magazine caught my attention. “Human Interest.” Then from a 1950s group of Astounding, I saw another half-title that also caught my interest. “The Bad Patch.
So I slammed the two half-titles together and got the title “The Bad Patch of Human Interest.”
I started typing with a character whose name I pulled from a phone book, first name from one part of the book, last from another, then realized after about 400 words that the character and setting would be in my Seeder’s Universe, in the post-apocolyptic parts.
So I went back and changed the title to “A Bad Patch of Humanity.”
I got about 800 words done, took a break, did another 1,000 words, then went to watch television for an hour or so. By the time I got back into the writing office, it was 1:30 a.m.
I did another 1,000 words by 2:30 a.m., took a short break for some dried fruit and more iced tea, then came back and finished the last 1,250 words by just before 4 a.m.
Total word count is 4,050 words.
Update on yesterday’s story: Kris loved it, said I should send it to Ellery Queen. I said no, I wanted it to remain in this challenge and in this book I am putting together. So a good start to the collection. I do not expect them all to go that well. (grin)
I also did a quick cover this afternoon for yesterday’s story. It is below beside the story count and word count. I will try to do covers for all of them because in the collection I want to have covers for each story. I will do them all but the Poker Boy covers (if I write any), since Allyson at WMG is rebranding all of the Poker Boy stories.
TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Fun
I have had some wonderful comments in the first day or so, mostly privately, but a few on the blog, about this challenge. One writer wrote and asked how I could even think of doing this. Wouldn’t the story quality suffer?
I suppose that’s a valid question if you believe that stories are “important” and the only way they can be good is for you to struggle over them and make them an “important” thing.
But I like writing. To me, actually sitting down and writing is great fun, great escape, and I go to the computer to entertain myself. I do the best job I can do with every story. The best job my skill level today will allow me to do.
But do I make short stories or novels important? Nope. If I did, they wouldn’t be fun to write.
Making your writing important is something English teachers have trained into millions of poor, unsuspecting kids. I was one of them, so much so that by the time I reached high school, I HATED WRITING. To those teachers, everything I did had to be important, had to be a struggle. I am not one to struggle over something that silly.
So it took me a lot of years to get past that “My Writing is Important” trap that will grind any writer down to a nub like a pencil stuck in a sharpener until it hits the eraser. (For you young kids, go look up pencil.)
So I am doing the best I can on all these stories. I am writing along at my normal typing speed. I am making up stories as I go, without planning (called Writing into the Dark) because doing anything else would bore me to tears.
So I hope when I am done with this, you pick up this book and enjoy the stories. You won’t like them all, but I hope on many of them I entertain you.
After all, I am an entertainer. And I have fun entertaining myself, and I hope readers.
STORIES FROM JULY
(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words
Story #3… July 3…
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 2
— Daily Fiction: 4,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 7,750 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 00 words
— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 1,600 words
— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 23 e-mails. Approx. 800 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers
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