Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Another Saturday, Another Story

Actually Another Two Stories, But Only One Counts…

I had a normal day of 8,000 steps plus a ton of physical labor work. Lots of moving boxes and bending and such, so I wasn’t upset at not getting the 10,000 steps.

Tonight, around 11:30 p.m. I made it to my writing computer. I grabbed one half title “… the Other Side.”

Then I spotted a second half title “The Man Who…” and for some reason I stuck the word “tasted” between the two half titles to get “The Man Who Tasted the Other Side.”

That had to be Bryant Street and off I went typing.

I got six hundred words done in about forty minutes before taking a break. As a curiosity when I came back five minutes later, I opened up some old storage files where I had brought stories forward from way, way back. They are tough to open. I saw one file that was pretty large and managed to get it open to find a story titled “Objects in the Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Really Are.”

Now I have a firm memory of writing that story and then not being able to find it. I have no idea if I published it or not, but Kris remembers reading it way back thirty years ago.

So for the next hour, some before watching some television and some after, I looked through all my file cabinets in case I had changed the title. Nothing. I searched on Google and Amazon. Nothing. I searched through the hundreds of short stories in Smith’s Monthly so far. Nope.  I looked through books on my brag shelf. Nope.

So I guess it was just a story I sort of spaced and then lost and now found. It will be in Smith’s Monthly coming up.

So anyhow, but 3 a.m. I got back to  working on the story at hand, did another 1,000 words, took a quick break, then went back at 4 a.m. finished the story at 2,100 words by 4:30 a.m.

So far, here is the November Short Story Challenge. (10th through 30th.. I will have covers in a few days as well.)

1… Under the Skin of Death… 4,400 words…. Total words so far… 4,400 words.
2… Half a Clue… 3,700 words… Total words so far… 8,100 words
3… That Human Fear… 1,700 words… Total words so far… 9,800
4… The Remarkable Way She Died… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 11,900
5… Under Glass… 2,700… Total words so far… 14,600
6… Remembering the Last Laughter… 1,700 words… Total words so far… 16,300
7… A One-Shoe Victory… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 18,400
8… The Man Who Tasted the Other Side… 2,100 words… Total words so far… 20,500

So total writing time today… 2.5 hours.
Total work time…7 hours.



There are now two ways to sign up for the Regular Monthly workshops. Either write me directly and have me sign you up on the list or simply click sign up on Teachable.

Those of you with credits from either the Kickstarter or the certificate special we just offered, you must write me to sign up.

Those who would just like to sign up directly can do so on Teachable at any point. December workshops are there. November workshops will be closing down on Tuesday for any signups coming in late. But until then, if you don’t mind jumping in late, you can get into any of the November workshops just fine.

Nice to have some options on that.

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  • Philip Smith

    One of the things I love about this challenge is that you’re setting an example for those of us who have day jobs. You spend you’re whole day attending all kinds of other business yet STILL make it to the keyboard and produce finished work. It shows there are no excuses if you truly want to write.

    Next year, when I complete the Story-A-Week Challenge, I’m going to push myself to do one of these story-a-day months. Interestingly, I’m reading the book The Operator by the Navy SEAL who killed Bin Laden and he discusses the mentality he used to make it through SEAL training. He emphasized practice over “talent” and the mindset that you have to keep going and not quit. All simple concepts but very few adopt them.

    Keep it up, Dean!

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Philip.

      And always remember that talent is just a measure of your skill at that moment in time. Therefore, if you get more skillful, you get more talented. So yes, practice is everything, but practice for fiction writers is a dirty word.

  • JM

    Finding your own work and being surprised by it is fun.

    I’m just a hobby writer but sometimes I’ll come across a story I wrote years ago and not only do I not remember it, I’ll think “Wow, that was good … who *was* I back then?” (Someone without a critical voice getting in the way, probably.)