The First Line: Annie

It’s been a while since I posted.   There haven’t been any Chuck Wendig prompts since June and it sounds like there aren’t going to be any more, at least not for a while.  As a result, my blogging has been sparse since mid-Summer.

I sent in a story for August’s The First Line deadline.  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 yet to be published.  I usually post my story when (ok, ok, if) it is not accepted.  They didn’t accept this one, so I am now publishing it here for you to read.  I actually meant to publish it in September and just never got to it.  It’s just over 1,000 words long.  The first line for the quarter was The window was open just enough to let in the cool night air.  The day I wrote this, our next door neighbors lost their sweet dog of 12 years, and I suppose that was on my mind that night when I sat down to write.

I missed the November submission (my first one to miss since November 2016), for a number of reasons.  I want to write about that, too, in sort of a “writing year in review” piece.  Look for that sometime before the end of the year.  In the meantime please to enjoy “Annie”. Continue reading

The First Line: Change

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.  I am at least zero for thirteen.  There may be more attempts that I have repressed forgotten about.  This was my submission for the current issue, which was due on May 1.  They didn’t accept it, so I can publish it here for you to read.  It’s a little over 2,300 words, making it the longest short story I’ve written in quite a while.  The first line for the quarter was “I wanted you to be the first to know,” Rowan tentatively confided in me.

The next submission will be due August 1.  I’ll give it another try and report back with the results.  In the meantime please to enjoy “Change”.

Continue reading

The First Line: Quitting Time

There is no Chuck Wendig challenge this week, so I am going to post my latest First Line submission instead. 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 February 1. They didn’t accept it, so I can publish it here for you to read. The first line for the quarter was, “Leo massaged the back of his neck, thankful the meeting was finally over.” Please to enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments. 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.


Continue reading

The First Line: Anniversary

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.  If you’re curious about learning more about what they do, the editor was featured on Scott Simon’s NPR show a few weeks ago.

I have been making sporadic submissions 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 August 1.  They didn’t accept it, so I can publish it here for you to read.  The first line for the quarter was, “Frank Rooney had been the manager of the Shop & Save for thirty-eight years, and he wasn’t retiring anytime soon.”  Please to enjoy!

Click to read!