Chuck Wendig: Who Had Been There?

This week’s Chuck Wending Flash Fiction Challenge is entitled Song Lyric Story.  Our instructions are to take something from a song that has caught our eye and turn it into a story of 1,000 words or less.  I used 998.  I sort of did one of these last year, using a song title from Jason and the Scorchers as inspiration.  For this story I turned to one of the seminal bands of my college years–who are still going strong today–They Might Be Giants.  The song is “Ana Ng” and I am referencing one particular line from the song, “Why was the bench still warm?  Who had been there?”  I’ve always been entranced by that line and the song itself.  Please to enjoy my story.  Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.


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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Welcome to 2018!  Here at Writing The Egg we usually take the opportunity early in the year to look back on the year before and see how I did at achieving my writing goals, as well as setting some goals for the year to come.

2017 was one of the most fulfilling years I’ve had as a writer.  I didn’t achieve all of my goals, but I wrote more consistently and successfully that I have in a long time.  It’s especially gratifying, given that from 2012-2015 I hardly wrote at all due to laziness and writer’s block.  2016 saw a partial return to form, and 2017 is where I really got most of my mojo back.

2017

I had five goals for my writing in 2017.  I posted last January about some of them.  I achieved three of those goals, which is a pretty good percentage for me.

I wanted to complete all of the Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge prompts for the year and all of the quarterly prompts for The First Line.  I did it!  All told, I published 28 Wendig stories and 4 First Line submissions.  Please explore the archives if you want to read any of them.

I wanted to complete my novel from NaNoWriMo 2016.  I did it!

I wanted to complete NaNoWriMo 2017.  I didn’t make it.  I got about 20,000 words in then lost momentum around Day 10 and wasn’t interested enough in the story to get back into it.  There’s some neat stuff there, but the story itself just wasn’t grabbing me so…into the trunk it goes!  Maybe I’ll go back to it someday.

I wanted go old school and do more epistolary, non-fiction blogging.  Other than a couple of pieces on goals I failed at this one.  This one was just down to sheer laziness.  I never took the time to sit down and plan anything out.

2018

For the most part, my goals for 2018 are the same as they were for 2017.  Write the Wendigs–I just published the first one of those last week and the next will be coming soon.  Submit to all the First Line deadlines–the first one is coming up on February 1.  Complete NaNoWriMo 2018 in November.  Blog more in general–the non-fiction, slice-of-life stuff.

Other than those, I have a BIG goal for 2018.  I want to revise two pieces I have written in the past and get them in shape to submit them, if I decide I want to go that route.  I KNOW!  I haven’t thought about submitting anything big in years.  These two pieces are both good enough that I can submit them if I can get them in shape.  I’ve never been good at revision but I have gotten tips from some pretty good writers so hopefully I’ll make a real stab at it after all these years.

One is a novella that I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011, Red Skies At Night.  It was supposed to be the first part of a novel but I have never been able to figure out how to complete it.  I am going to take the part that is done, then, about 21,000 words, revise it, turn it into a nifty little novella, and see what I want to do with it.

The other piece I want to revise is my 2016 NaNo novel, Everlasting Tunes:  The Ballad of Myron and the Familiars.  Of all the stories I have written in the last ten years this one is my favorite.  It’s around 94,000 words right now, but I know it needs work.  I want to clean it up and find out just how good it can be.  It a fun story–sort of a medieval Spinal Tap.  I love it so much and I want to really do it justice.  If I can, then I suspect my 2018 NaNoWriMo novel will be a draft of another novel set in the same world.  Look for more on these revision efforts (as well as NaNo) later in the year.

The other goal I have for the year is more of a reading/editing goal, not a writing one.  My friend Heather McCoubrey writes and self-publishes romance novels.  I read her works-in-progress and give comments and feedback as a beta reader.  I have her next novel–the first book in a new trilogy–in my inbox now, waiting for comments, and I’m pretty sure there will be more coming later this year.  I want to read those and give her the feedback she needs to make it her next great book.

So that’s it!  I literally just now realized that 2018 is the ten year anniversary of my writing efforts.  I wrote a crummy little book called Mother’s Daughter over the summer of 2008 and my writer’s life has continued in fits and starts from there.  Hopefully 2018 is time for a real breakout and a renaissance for me and my stories.  Watch out for updates and see what happens.  Keep coming back and liking and commenting on my stories and other posts.  It’s nice to know people are stopping by and reading and encouragement is always welcome.  Thank for supporting your local writer.  Let’s all be careful out there.

Chuck Wendig: Undeserved

Greeting, and welcome to 2018!  For more than two weeks now I have been intending to write a 2017 wrap-up/2018 look-ahead piece for the blog.  Ominously, perhaps, I haven’t done it yet.  I’ve been lazy and that worries me.  I have things I want to do this year and if I’m lazy they won’t get done!  I’m going to push ahead with this post for now, though, and get to the retrospective this weekend!

In the meantime, please to enjoy the first Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge of the year.  Also, lazily, I’ve been sitting on this since it went out last Friday.  This one was hard.  The theme is The Danger of Undeserved Power.  I couldn’t think of way to do it that wasn’t either political cliche, commentary on political cliche, or allegory of political cliche.  I’m just so tired of the political.  Finally, I just decided to wing it and came up with something that is more resemblant of religious cliche than political.  We’ll see.  It’s not very long, so it won’t take you long to read it.  Chuck gave us 1,000 words to play with.  I used 277 of them.

Here is “Undeserved.”  Please to enjoy and comment when you finish.  Thanks for stopping by. Continue reading

The First Line: In Spite of Everything

Besides the Chuck Wendig prompts I do each week I also try to complete the prompt from The First Line each quarter.  The First Line is a journal that publishes four times a year and, each quarter, provides a prompt in the form of a sentence that is to be used as the first line in your story.  There are no restrictions on genre or form, but every story in each issue opens with the same first line.

I have been submitting to TFL for several years now and have never succeeded in being published.  This is my submission for the current issue, which was due on November 1.  They didn’t accept it, so I can publish it here for you to read.  The first line for the quarter was a line of dialogue, “I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.”

There were four prompts during the year and I decided to have some fun with them and set them all in the same town.  There are references to each story sprinkled through the last three.  Check them out and see if you can find them, and please to enjoy this one.  Please let me know what you think in the comments.


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Chuck Wendig: Center

It’s been a month since there was a Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge, but one popped up on Friday, so here I am, back again.  The challenge this week is Things Fall Apart, The Center Cannot Hold.  Good old Yeats.  He’s always so optimistic!  Anyway, I wrote an equally optimistic story to go with that prompt.  I hope you like it, even though the atmosphere is a little grim.  It’s 835 words and is called “Center”.  Please to enjoy.

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