Short Stories

My Year in Writing

Posted on December 29, 2014. Filed under: Short Stories, storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , , |

When thinking about this past year in writing, I find that I can’t decide if I am a glass is half full or half empty kind of a person. Generally, in life, I tend to look at all angles. So, was it a good year? Yes. Could it have been better? Most definitely. Could it have been worse? Certainly.

For the sake of limiting my word count – so many words to write, but I need to save them for my novel – I am going to focus on the positive.

My storytelling troupe, Better Said Than Done, put on 11 storytelling shows in Northern Virginia. We were once again voted the “Best Performing Arts Company in NoVa” by Virginia Living Magazine. The attendance at the May show was somewhat disappointing, but every other show this year was packed, and all the storytellers were great. I personally told 9 stories, 8 of them at Better Said Than Done events – all true, personal, and new. It has been fantastic to watch the audience for storytelling in Virginia grow and grow and I look forward to our 2015 shows – just not so much to coming up with 9 more new stories.

The year of novel writing started out with me taking a fantastic workshop called “Publishing Your Manuscript.” I learned a lot about writing a query letter, finding an agent, and getting my manuscript publish ready. There’s another class in January, 2015. I cannot recommend it enough if you are working on a novel, a memoir, or any other book you’d like to one day see published. Here’s info on it:
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R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Posted on June 6, 2012. Filed under: Short Stories, writing | Tags: , |

Some of my friends are literary snobs. They refuse to read Westerns, mystery novels, and, of course, speculative fiction. I am a bit of a snob myself. I refuse to read (except when tricked) crap.

Ray Bradbury elevated the genre of science fiction to literature and should have made it impossible (snobs and all) for anyone to dismiss that entire genre again after novels like Farenheit 451 or my favorite short story ever, “Kaleidoscope.”

“Kaleidoscope,” originally published in the short story collection The Illustrated Man, tells the tale of several men whose deaths are imminent. Their space ship has just been torn apart by an asteroid and they are all drifting alone in space to various planets and asteroid belts.  The main character, Hollis, has a chip on his shoulder. He hasn’t lead the happiest of lives and blames everyone else for it.

Normally, that wouldn’t sound like a story that will show you the meaning of life, but Bradbury made the characters so real, and their revelations in the midst of their final living moments so relatable, that it teaches the reader so much about a life worth living. That is, if you aren’t too much of a snob to read it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury. Your genius will be missed.

 

 

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Rejection opens doors

Posted on June 2, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, writing | Tags: , , |

So, I keep forgetting to check my special “writing” email address.  I figure now that I am submitting to a ton of places (and yes, most of them make you fill out all sorts of info and/or subscribe before submitting), I didn’t want to use my normal email address.  So I got a fresh one and promptly fogot to check it.

I remember every week or so.  And I know, you are thinking, but what about all those offers that are pouring in while you are forgetting to check your email?  Well, that’s what I think, at least, every time I do remember.  Alas, I generally just find, like I did today, that I have a couple more rejections to post to my duotrope tracker.

The way I look at it though, is every time a piece I’ve submitted gets rejected, that piece of writing is mine again.  It’s like, when it is out there, in the hands of an editor, it’s been optioned, like a screenplay.  I can’t do anything else with it while that editor is thinking it over.  So, that rejection letter is like a green light for me.  That story is free at last!  It can move on to bigger, and I am quite certain, better places.

So, yeah, that’s the slant I am going with this week.

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The New Novel

Posted on April 20, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, writing |

Well, rejection letters continue to pour in.  I have received 2 back from submissions I sent in since this little journey began.  One of them – from Halfway Down the Stairs – actually offered a critique.  That is always appreciated.  The other one took 2 months to get back to me and then sent a form letter (is it called a form letter when it’s an email?) saying “unfortunately we can’t accept your submission at this time.”  They didn’t even bother with my name or the name of my submission, so i had to look up what I had submitted.  The good news is, it was one of my stronger pieces that I am glad is back “on the market,” so to speak.

In other news, I had started a novel a while ago and then abandoned it after receiving very sage advice from my writing group – namely that i was focusing on the wrong character.  But I am ready to dive in again.  Chapter one, here I come.  One paragraph down, so far.  Almost there!  🙂

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SWAN Day DC Success Story

Posted on March 30, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, storytelling | Tags: , , |

I had a great time participating in SWAN Day, and met some really fantastic female artists.

At noon, I was honored to be a part of a panel discussion on women in the arts, led by Catherine Aselford.  By the end of the hour long discussion, we managed to solve problems of typecasting, stereotyping, pay scale differences, and misperceptions.  All fixed!

At 2P, I lead a storytelling, live reading performance at a great space at Hickok Cole!  Included below is a short clip from my performance there of my story, Ball Breaker.

As I have performed this story with better audio and lighting before, this is just a short clip.  You can view the full story at: Ball Breaker

I also performed a reading of my short story, “Class Act,” but, as that hasn’t been published yet, I will wait to share that video.

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SWAN Day in the Washington Post

Posted on March 24, 2010. Filed under: Press, Short Stories, storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

Even though I wasn’t personally mentioned in the various performances to check out, 🙂  I am still pretty excited that SWAN Day was listed as something fun to do this weekend in the Washington Post.

Read the full article here!

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SWAN Day in DC

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , , |

I will be Dishing with the Girls,  MC’ing the Hickok  Cole event, and  performing a story and reading a piece of short fiction at Hickok Cole.  I am excited to be part of such a great day for women artists!

DC SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day in Georgetown

Washington Women join their International Sisters to offer FREE performances, readings and film screenings

On Saturday, March 27, 2010, The Georgetown Theatre Company and Women in Film & Video will host the 3rd Annual DC SWAN Day, an all-day event featuring FREE Performances, Readings and Film Screenings in Georgetown.

DC SWAN Day begins at 12:00noon with an open discussion between a panel of women artists and the community, Dishing with the Girls, at Barnes & Noble (corner of M & Thomas Jefferson Streets, NW). Also at Barnes & Noble, performances and readings by local poets and actors, including BodyLogue, Deepti Gupta’s story of growing up in India, surrounded by negative messages about dark skin, weight
and being a woman, begin at 1:00pm.

1:00-6:00pm at Grace Church: (1041 Wisconsin Ave., NW): Staged Reading Marathon — full-length, one-act and 15-minute plays by women playwrights from all over the USA — and abroad features readings of The Owl Girl by award-winning playwright and poet Monica Raymond, Immortal Beloved by Rebecca Nesvet and several short new plays by leading female playwrights,

1:00pm CDIA Boston in The Foundry: (1055 Thomas Jefferson St., NW) Women in Film & Video will present a screening of the WIFTI Shorts Showcase featuring films from women-directors across the globe.

2:00pm Hickok Cole: (1023 31st Street, NW) Storytelling, Poetry and Monologues by DC Artists.

2:00pm MOCA Gallery in Canal Square: (1054 31st St, NW — or enter Canal Square from M St.) readings and performances, including sketch comedy by New York’s Curvy By Nature.

7:00pm MOCA Gallery in Canal Square: Belle Parricide — first reading of a new, collaborative theatre piece, followed by a discussion led by Psychodramatist Kimberley Rattley of Playback Theatre

For more information about SWAN Day events happening around the world, please visit www.SwanDay.org.   For information on DC’s SWAN Day event in Georgetown, please contact Catherine Aselford at 703-915-1061, or visit  http://www.georgetowntheatre.org/swanday2010.html.

The Staged Reading Marathon is funded in part by the International Centre for Women Playwrights

DC SWAN Day is funded in part by Giant Foods, Inc.

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Submission Updates. etc.

Posted on March 5, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, writing | Tags: , , , |

Submitted two more fiction stories.  Will see how that goes.  I am really loving Duotrope and how easy they make finding places to submit.  I have to say that I am still not motivated enough to actually mail a submission, so just sticking to online submissions for now.

I did just write another commentary and will be going in to the WAMU studio to record again next week.  And I signed up to perform at some arts festival in March.  I had never heard of it and it may very well be a disaster waiting to happen, but disasters have great potential for fiction.

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Short Story Submission

Posted on February 15, 2010. Filed under: Short Stories, writing | Tags: |

Well, my plan for attack for now is to submit stories to be published.  Radical, I know.  But seriously, other than a few contests over the last couple of years, I haven’t submitted anything for probably 7 years.  The good news is, I have a stack of already finished stories, so mostly I just need to do the work of submitting.

About two weeks ago I submitted a new story, The Curse, to an online publication called Halfway Down the Stairs.  They rejected me.  So my current record is 100% rejection.  🙂  I think I still have the strength, somehow, to continue on.  I am submitting my story, Naked Spite, to two magazines today.  Will see how that goes before decided whether or not to end it all.

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