Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

How To Write Thirty Stories In Thirty Days While Moving

Guess I Need A Cover For This Book…

Every story, every book, every challenge starts somewhere. Welcome to the start of this crazy idea of writing thirty short stories in the month of April, 2018, while in the process of packing a house and moving from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas.

You will hear, over the course of this, lots of details about this almost five thousand square foot house overlooking the ocean and on the fourteen hundred square foot condo overlooking downtown Las Vegas.

And no worries, WMG Publishing and all the stores are staying right here and so are the workshops, at least for the moment.

So as I go through this short story challenge, I will also do thirty blogs in the thirty days, which will work between stories in the final book. (Yes, you can read all these blogs with all the stories later in the year in one large volume, if this works.)

In these blogs I will detail out my day, both my work on workshops and what I did to move and how the short story came about. (I will also do covers for each story as I go except for Poker Boy stories. Allyson does those for me.)

So here we go, the first day of April, and I assure you none of this is a fool’s joke, although many people think this challenge is a fool’s errand.

The Day

This morning I rolled out around 11 a.m. and called Kris (she’s in Vegas at the moment.) Then after doing email, I dug into our wine cellar (where we had stored art as well as wine) and brought a bunch of art upstairs to sort.

I also packed up a couple big bags of things to go to Goodwill (the only charity like it in this small town, so no comments please) and then packed up a large box of digest magazines to take out to the bookstore to list on eBay. Add to that three bags of garbage as I finish cleaning up cat stuff (all cats have moved to Vegas last week) and around 1 p.m. I headed for our south stores after dropping bags at Goodwill.

At 1:45 I picked up another writer who needed a ride to lunch and it was a fun lunch, even though numbers of people are out of town at the moment. Around four I was back in my office at WMG working on workshop stuff. Finished that around 7 p.m.

Home for dinner and some television.  Then I did more email and business until I took a nap at 9:30 p.m. Almost exactly at 10:00 p.m. I sat down at my writing computer for the first time in weeks and fired it up.

The Story

I crammed together two half titles. “A Small Pile…” and “…of His Soul” and started writing because that sure sounded to me like a pile of chips, so it needed to be a Poker Boy story. I think it’s been a year since I wrote a Poker Boy story. Seemed he wanted to get out again to play.

By 10:50 I had 1,200 words. Just flying along.

And remember, I write one draft clean, cycling as I go.

I took a short break and from 11 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. I did another 1,000 words.

Another short break, then I finished the story at 12:15 a.m. at 2,700 words.

When I finished I realized the title I had started with didn’t fit, so I changed the title to Playing Scared.

Then I came to this internet computer to write this blog which will end up around 700 words long not counting the workshop stuff below (that won’t be in the book.)

So a good first day. Started back up and got a bunch of stuff done around the house. Now for about an hour I will pack some boxes, then watch some television before heading to bed for the night.


Day One… Playing Scared… 2,700 words…. Total April words… 2,700 words.


Femme Fatale Bundle

Also, I want to remind everyone of the fantastic bundle I am lucky enough to be in with a bunch of great writers.

It’s called the Femme Fatale bundle on Storybundle.

It’s a mystery/thriller bundle with Femme Fatales in every book, in one form or another. Trust me, Kris’s novel The Perfect Man will mess with your mind. And you can never go wrong with Lawrence Block, O’Neil De Noux, or Libby Fischer Hellmann.

And you might even like my novel and Mary Jo Assassin.


INSIDER’S GUIDE Workshops Now Available…

— Insider’s Guide to Selling Short Fiction in 2018/2019 (Starts April 8th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Successful Space Opera (Starts April 8th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Serial Fiction (2,000 word parts of a novel) (Starts May 6th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Detective Fiction. (Starts May 6th)

$300 each, limited to ten writers plus lifetime subscribers. One time workshops. They will not be regular. Sorry. These will fill so don’t wait for the last minute on these. And yes, you can use your credits.




Sign up directly through Teachable or if you have a credit, write me. Everyone who wrote me and signed up through me, I have sent out the letter with the code to get into each workshop. If you are using a credit for an April workshop and did not get a letter from me, write me.

Otherwise, you can sign up on Teachable.

And clearly the Time of Great Forgetting is kicking in. Many of these workshops have no one signed up yet.

Class #37… Apr 3rd … Think Like a Publisher
Class #38… Apr 3rd … Endings
Class #39… Apr 3rd … Point of View
Class #40… Apr 3rd … Writing Mysteries
Class #41… Apr 3rd … Speed
Class #42… Apr 3rd … Teams in Fiction
Class #43… Apr 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #44… Apr 4th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #45… Apr 4th … Character Development
Class #46… Apr 4th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #47… Apr 4th … Advanced Depth
Class #48… Apr 4th … Novel Structure