This Week

Well, it was a disappointment that we couldn’t pull off the Writers Forum this last weekend. You can read the letter from our President, Paul Moses.

We had a great meeting with the Rome Area Writers. Flash fiction readings went extremely well. Jason Lowrey brought the house down with his piece, The Toupee. Next month we are going to have another reading fiction/nonfiction flash. Make it less than 1,000 words and bring it on. We would love to see you there.

This Wednesday there will be a book signing at the Last Stop Gift Shop for the Lavender Mountain Anthology 4-6PM. I should be there for a bit. Come buy an anthology and get it signed by the authors. You could even chat with us a bit. You can see writers in the wild. Exciting!

Have a spectacular week.


Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! (In two more days.) It is a day of giving lovingly and without expectation. Yeah, right. At least that’s what the greeting cards say.

I have a weekly meeting with some writer buddies on Saturday mornings. I have talked about these guys before. We sit down, talk about nothing particular, and everything important. You know things like: ‘Why fart jokes are funny,’ ‘Ear hair-The evil that lurks,’ ‘What makes cars so awesome.’ We eventually talk about writing or reading as well. I mean otherwise we couldn’t call it a writer-buddy meeting, could we?

I just finished a book by Neil Gaiman, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” It was passed down to me by one of my writer buddies, Ray. He has published a few books on his own. I recently read his book, “Carniville.” It is a murder-mystery and a nice read. Gaiman’s book, which is the first of his that I have read, is pretty good. I mean really it is good. It certainly kept my attention with the fantastic writing. Although, I think that the ending is a bit of a flounder. But I think that I understand why it needed to be that way. YMMV. I am looking forward to reading “American Gods.” That is–when I get the chance. I have a few others in the pipeline to knock out first. A whole stack of others.

Just as a little aside. I would like to encourage anyone who is thinking about writing to take a stab at a short form art. Micro, flash, short story fiction is a great exercise. It is also a great loss that we don’t support it as much as we should. Writing compressed stories, like flash, can aid you in getting to the point of a story, yet still pull on the emotions of the reader. Sparse exposition, concise dialog, and direct, to-the-point descriptions make for better writing anyway. I have read quite a few novels that could have used a little more Xacto knife action.

I challenge any of you to write a short fiction story this month. It is the shortest month. Why not dedicate it to the shortest form of fiction writing?

I am a member of the Rome Area Writers and we are doing just that this month. Write a story with less than 1,000 words by March 9th. If you are in town and want to participate we would be glad to have you. Our meetings are open to the public. You can listen to others read their writing and you can read yours if you like.

The March/April edition of Writer’s Digest is focusing on the art of short fiction along with how to market it.  Maybe you could use this month to write something and get paid.

Come on. Take a shot. Write something. Come back here and tell us about it.

Psst. Don’t forget the flowers and chocolate for the women in your life. It is after all, Valentine’s day.


The stuffies and Seth’s Curio

I am struggling with the protective, plastic sleeve wrapped around the Glucocorticoid spray. My wife says this will help me with the stuffies. It was just over a month ago, that I was getting over walking pneumonia. It started out just like this – head filled to the point of explosion. I resisted taking anything for it early on. You know, mind over matter. Only, the matter won that time. It took a round of antibiotics to get it all cleared up. I have the decongestant and the steroid here ready to go, in hopes that it will prevent this junk from settling into my chest again.

I have also struggled with the first few weeks of the Bradbury Challenge. Probably not unexpected. I don’t have a problem with coming up with new story ideas. Lately, I have a problem finishing them. The ideas come at me, each one with its characters screaming to be alive. They are born in a small fictional shop I created in the town of Rome, GA. Seth’s Curio is a happen’n place for weird curiosity items. I can see the store front. It isn’t at all creepy, quaint in fact. Manning the place is a round little man that likes to nap behind the counter. The front of the store is filled with knock-off items that were probably created in some giant press in Malaysia or some other cheap labor country. The back of the store is where the good stuff waits for buyers: One of a kind, Japanese puzzle boxes, carvings of the three wise apes, a gilded horn of the greater Kudu, ceremonial masks, and plenty of other nifty items. Each of these items plays a part in the whole of the story for Seth’s Curio. I hope that it will be a collection of short stories that will blend the weird with the mystic. I just need to wrap those babies up.

I hope that this cold wears off quickly. It is hard to keep the momentum up and fight it off. I would love to hear about your struggles completing a collection of writing. Leave a comment below and chime in.

Bradbury Challenge

I have awesome friends. That is just something that I would like to put out there. This weekend I met with a couple of my writer buddies and had a nice conversation, not just about writing. We chat about all sorts of things. This is something that I would like to continue. Recently, I have been ramping up my writing time, setting goals, and missing goals. In my previous job, I came to feel comfortable with deadlines. I didn’t always meet them. The difference between missing them then and missing them now is that I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable for missed deadlines. Well, that all changes in September.

We are getting together and committing to a slightly modified version of the Ray Bradbury challenge. If you don’t know about the challenge, it is one of two that Mr. Bradbury suggested for writers. One is to write a short story, poem, or essay every night for 1,000 nights. This might be possible for a writer of Bradbury or King prolificacy. Not something that I could pull off. Way too many things in life that will absolutely prevent me from reaching that lofty goal. The other challenge is to write a short story every week for 52 weeks. We are taking the second and modifying it to the following:

Write a short story, poem, flash fiction, or chapter in your current work in progress every week with a minimum of 250 words.

We start in September. I am really looking forward to the deadlines and the accountability.

Let’s do this.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bradbury.

By photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0,