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Clockwork, Curses, & Coal… Oh, my.

One of my goals for March is to finish and submit a story to Rhonda Parrish’s latest open call for submissions: an anthology of “punked-up fairytales” called Clockwork, Curses, and Coal: Steampunk and Gaslamp Fairytales.

Of course, first that means I have to, uh, come up with an idea for the story.

But I’m optimistic! Deadlines are good for me. Submissions are free. And I’ve really admired Parrish’s work (she edits a lot of cool anthologies!).

So I started googling “best fairytales” and other weird search terms, hoping the kernel of an idea would eventually pop into something interesting.

I bounced around a bit until finding this list of “10 Classic Victorian Fairy Tales Everyone Should Read,” which mostly just made me want to go read Victorian fairy tales and/or re-read Vanity Fair (yes, I am the obnoxious English major who actually loved Vanity Fair and read it more than once, on purpose, for fun).

So, now I’m off to go read “The King of the Golden River” and “The Selfish Giant” and “The Golden Key” and maaaaybe “The Rose and The Ring,” although it’s listed as a novel and I love you, Thackery, but it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be able to read your fairy-tale novel and then also re-imagine it in steampunk before the end of the month.

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NYC Midnight!

This year I entered my first writing competition! I chose to jump into the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition 2020. I was super excited about it, partly because I thrive on external deadlines, but partly because it’s something I’ve never tried before. Read on for more about the competition and a link to my entry for Round 1!

Continue reading NYC Midnight!
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“The Engagement” (NYC Midnight Round 1, 2020)

This year, I participated in NYC Midnight’s Short Story Competition for the first time. Each writer is assigned a genre, character, and subject that should appear in the story; then, they have 8 days to write a short story that’s under 2500 words. Everybody gets feedback; the top five writers in each heat move on to the next round, which is shorter and has a shorter word limit.

Hopefully I’ll be participating in subsequent rounds as well – but for the first round in January, I was assigned to write a comedy featuring customer service and a wedding planner, and if you’d like to read it, here it is. ūüôā

The Engagement

Madi plays along with a fake engagement to help out a friend, but isn’t expecting the real connection she finds.

Continue reading “The Engagement” (NYC Midnight Round 1, 2020)
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NaNoNaNoNaNoNaNo NaNoNaNoNaNoNaNo… BAT-MAAAAN

 

Wait, no. Not Batman. NaNoWriMo!

This month for NaNoWriMo, I’m shooting for One Writerly Thing every day.

Yesterday, I beta-read a short story for my Indyscribes pal¬†Stephanie Cain, which was great fun (as always). It’s part of her Circle City Magic¬†universe.

Today, I did some poking around and thinking about a call for submissions from Rhonda Parrish for an upcoming anthology called “Grimm, Grit, & Gasoline.”¬† ¬†From the description:¬† Continue reading NaNoNaNoNaNoNaNo NaNoNaNoNaNoNaNo… BAT-MAAAAN

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You Again

I’ve been in one of those emotional fugue states where very little gets done that isn’t absolutely necessary – so I’ve definitely blown it re: this year’s resolution to blog weekly. Hmm. Perhaps, since it’s the solstice, I’ll have a mid-year reboot?

Or perhaps not.

I’ve been re-reading old favorite books, playing with a toddler, and watching my husband play the video game I got him for Valentine’s Day, so for once I’ve been busy with¬†good things… but very busy, nonetheless.

I’ve also been doing some research for my WIPs and absolutely ignoring the fact that I should be prepping for the fall (I’m teaching English 10, which I haven’t taught in 10 years, so… basically a new class). It’s been great!

I keep telling myself that fallow periods are important for creativity, but it’s still a bummer. At least I’ve got a writing group to yell at me (in a good-natured way) when I fail to produce. Outside accountability is very important to me!

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Writing Dates

thanks, memegenerator.com!One of the things I constantly struggle with is finding time for writing. I work full time, have a toddler, and occasionally pretend to have a social life, family life, or marriage. When the heck am I going to fit in writing?

I jot stuff down from time to time, of course, but usually my best ideas come when–I’m way too busy to do anything about them.

And I’m not at a point where I can turn it on like a faucet and just squeeze in half an hour of writing every day. (Someday, maybe?)

So one thing that I’ve been trying to make time for is writing dates: times when I set aside time with some accountability partners to Get Shit Done.

Sometimes this is more effective–when I’m primed for it–and sometimes less (like tonight, when I’m tired after a three-day weekend where I was solo parenting while C worked). It can be really hard to hit that sweet spot. I think making it more regular might help, though, so my writing buddies and I have agreed on two more dinner-and-writing dates in the next three weeks–meaning that, hopefully, I’ll have 10 more pages to turn in to my writing group by our next meeting! Right?

 

….right????

 

D:

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New Year, New Me? (Nah)

archer-wiki_characters_archer-vice_skinny-pam_01Well, after my flurry of November activity/NaNoWriMo, I sure did taper off on blogging, didn’t I?

And since today’s New Year’s Day, it’s a perfect time to resolve to blog more in 2017!

Among other resolutions, of course. But don’t worry, no “new me” stuff — as Pam says, I really like me. Continue reading New Year, New Me? (Nah)

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When You’re a Spy…

burnnoticecompleteseriesSo, thinking about teams again: one character I really like is the goofy-but-loyal sidekick who comes through big. Sam Axe from Burn Notice¬†is one of my favorites. And image-searching for pics for this post gave me such a yearning to re-watch the series that I’ve got the pilot playing in the background now. I love every single one of the main characters; it’s interesting to think that I almost quit after the pilot (only stuck with it based on a friend’s recommendation).

The¬†Burn Notice team fits Crusie’s requirements for a team (eventually):¬† Continue reading When You’re a Spy…

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break the chain

fleetwood-mac
Do these guys count as a story team? Leader, Lancer, Smart Guy, Big Guy, Chick…?

Well, last night I was so exhausted that I finally broke my streak and failed to post.

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But today is a different day! So here I am, ready to dust myself off and start again…

…except that I actually spent the whole evening grading, so now it’s time for bed. OH WELL HERE I GO ANYWAY!

As usual, the end of the month is turning tricky. But at least I got to watch some Leverage while grading! That, of course, was inspired by thinking some more about the “team” posts on Crusie’s blog and my own favorite teams.

I want to make sure that my YA cli-fi WIP involves the development of an interesting team, so I’m hoping that a combination of reading Crusie’s analysis, analyzing some teams on my own, and thinking about my WIP (possibly even just subconsciously, since who has any free time in Nov/Dec??) will help me work past some of the blocks I keep running into.

Crusie sets up these qualifications: Continue reading break the chain

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