As a challenge to myself, I decided this week, since I don’t really have much else going on while I wait for things, I would finish a short story every day. I have struggled off and on with writer’s block for most of a decade, and so simply being able to create new worlds and finish the stories in one day is a great exercise for me.
I am pleased to announce that each weekday this week I’ve written and finished a new short story, and I’m poised to finish off the week tomorrow with one I’ve wanted to write for some time. The stories include Coffee Grounds, about a witch using coffee in her spells, Crackers, about how a cook unexpectedly manages to endanger the United States with cheese crackers, Tentacles, about a strange house cleaning entity gifted by a fairy from a frozen TV dinner, and Flowers for Jasmin, about a miracle generated by a dying teenager’s last wishes. I have also, the weekend prior, written Improv, about a beginner’s improvisation performance that opens up a black hole.
These stories are fairly short, about 1000-5000 words, and so I think I’ll focus on creating an anthology for Smashwords (although I do plan on researching publishers of short stories to see if any of them can be sold individually). I am also looking into the feasibility of making recordings of myself reading these short stories aloud, and collecting the assemblage of them into a podcast series. These are weird, interesting and often funny fantasy and science fiction stories that I think would find an audience, although I currently a large platform. The exercise of reading them aloud and having the recordings edited might be a good one for me, especially if I can figure out a way to power what recording gear I own in my bedroom closet (currently the quietest place in my home).
I’m currently editing these stories, revising as needed, and I plan on releasing short excerpts of each on this website when I am finished with this process.
My earlier short story, the longest one I’ve written of the recent series of them (titled Hamlet’s Play) is on its third draft and I plan on releasing an excerpt of that one as well.
I had previously envisioned a fairly fun, darkly humorous series involving annoying or criminal people being dragged into Hell earlier this year, and I even repurposed an old website for the project (although I feel it doesn’t really require it). I had wanted to reread Doctor Faustus but since my visions of both Hell and the demons inhabiting that realm are probably going to be different than Goethe’s, I think that I can just start writing my stories. I need to do a little planning for these since I would like to have recurring characters whose homes and interactions need to be created first, but I have started on that and the process is going nicely. I’m titling this series Mephistopheles’ Diary and I plan on focusing on it after I’m done with my current story writing exercise.
I still have my notes for October 6th (I really must think of a better name), and since that requires some actual screenplay formatting- these will be scripts for television- I still have some research to do. Because I am aware that breaking into television and/or film is not really that easy, I’m writing these mostly as an exercise, though I think that I might be able to turn the series into a radio play fairly affordably someday.
I also haven’t forgotten my novellas Perigee and Anagama, both of which are in my editing pile. It occurs to me that reading these aloud in installments might make for an interesting podcast series as well, provided that I can take into account the varying lengths of my chapters. My voice acting abilities may or may not be up for the task. This would be much more difficult than reading very short stories aloud, and I think for this I’d need to pay for professional audio editing help, and probably professional recording help, so it’s something I will consider only if I have affordable options, and recordings of my reading other works do well enough.
And finally, I have my short science fiction novel Inifinity, which at 65,000 or so words is too short for a first novel submission (I can rant at length about why I think these arbitrary word counts on manuscripts are stupid). I have set it aside to rest and I will dig it out and “fluff” it up to an acceptable word count, and then attempt to find a publisher. Now that I have a green card I feel like I can look for a US agent or publisher and I won’t be breaking any laws.
If you know me and are interested in reading drafts of any of my works and providing feedback, please contact me and I’ll be happy to send you something.