Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Story #1 of Challenge

I Promise I Won’t Do This Every Day…

But for the first story, I figured it was worth mentioning. And more than likely I’ll talk about the challenge once a week or so as it is going on. And post small thumbnails of covers.

So for story #1 I wrote a story I needed to write for the Year of the Cat #11. It is called “Cat Running Wild” and it is a Pahket Jones story, who is a spin-off of my Poker Boy and Ghost of a Chance series. I have done 7 Pahket Jones stories so far. She is a superhero in the world of cats.

Story was started around 10:30 pm on the first. I took some time to do other things and write a blog and I finished it in about three hours of typing time. It came in around 3,600 words. I left the manuscript on the kitchen counter and Kris read it this morning and liked it for the book. Yay!

Then after I finished it I spent about 15 minutes doing a cover for it for after it is in the Year of the Cat #11 book. Here is the cover below. This one needed a photo because the cat is bright orange and this very cat and look that is in the photo. I normally never use photos for fiction, but this one sort of demanded it.

I also did a wrap around cover for it as well in the 15 minutes.

I am going to try to do covers for every story I do every night. Will make it a lot easier later.

Blog was about 1,100 words that night and the story was 3,600 words, so about 4,700 words on the first day. About right.

I have already finished a Bryant Street story for the second day and it came in around 4,700 words and took me 3.5 hours to write. My blog was 600 words, so second day was 5,300 words.

This blog for the third day will be shorter, more than likely around 350 words.

Here is the cover for the first story in the challenge.




  • BDS

    You say you did a wraparound cover for this one – can a 3600 word story really be published as a standalone paperback via Amazon (or wherever)? I’d think it would be too short.

    • dwsmith

      26 pages minimum. Will not have writing on the spine, of course, at that size. So sure. I think the shortest I got in book form is just about 1600 words. You just have to know book layout.

  • Mihnea Manduteanu

    Off topic question but I keep hearing you mention a time travel story you did with Mike Resnick, the one where you can go back in time but only frozen in an instant. I cannot find it anywhere, what’s it called and where is it published?

    • dwsmith

      It’s in an anthology called Microcosms edited by Gregory Benford, I think. Also, I think Mike republished it in “A Little Help from My Friends” which was a collection of his collaboration stories, but not sure. No memory of what the story title was and too lazy to even try to look it up. (grin)

  • Mihnea Manduteanu

    Pff harder to find that then white whale this. The Microcosm collection is out of print and it’s not in “With a little help from my friends”. How can I read it?

    • dwsmith

      Not a clue. I doubt I will ever reprint it since Mike is dead and I do not have an electronic copy of it. Sorry, but thanks for trying.