Looking Back, Looking Forward

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 0 comments

20070815_timetravelAnd, once again, it’s a New Year.

Looking Back

Major accomplishments from last year:

Looking Ahead

Major goals for this year:

  • Increase daily average to write at least 500 words each day (again, not including NaNoWriMo)
  • Complete and submit at least one novel for publication
  • Submit at least one blog spot a month for external publication
  • Continue to try to help make other’s dreams come true
  • Read at least 30 books (and maybe more)
  • Win NaNoWriMo

That’s it for now. We’ll see how I did on December 31st, 2014!

“Silent Night”

Friday, December 27, 2013 0 comments

fireplace-with-christmas-stockingsAuthor’s Note: This was a piece I did for the A Merry Little Apex Christmas Flash Fiction Contest. I didn’t win, so I’ll publish it here for you. Happy, um, holidays.


Gerard barreled down the stairs.

I’m first! I’m FIRST!

He reached the landing and skidded to a halt. The tree was dark. Even the lights strung along the mantle were out, resembling a black, tangled vine in the dark.

Gerard’s heart thumped in his chest. He hated the dark. Things lived in the dark, in its shadows.

“Not on Christmas,” he whispered. “Not on Christmas.”

It really was Christmas morning; he was certain of it. Yet, underneath the tree, there was nothing.

“There have to be presents,” he mumbled angrily.

Looking toward the mantle, he saw six stockings hanging there. Gerard approached them. Unlike the others, which remained flat and empty, his clearly bulged with . . . something.

He grinned. “That’s how it should be.”

Gerard grabbed it down, his eager grin changing to a look of confusion when the contents rattled.

He dropped down to sit cross-legged on the floor in a patch of gray-white light and poured out the stocking’s contents. Five small, dark shapes clattered against one another as they tumbled onto the carpet. Each one was about the size of his finger and perhaps twice as wide.

He examined one, turning it slowly beneath his fingers. Its edges felt rough, almost sharp. He stared down at it, recognizing the shard for was it was.

Coal!

He nearly flung it away. In the reflected light, though, from within the black substance, his mother’s face stared back at him.

Gerard began to scream.

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NaNoWriMo 2013 Report: Another Unsolved Mystery . . .

Sunday, December 01, 2013 0 comments

2013-Winner-Square-ButtonFinal word count: 50,129
Average words per day: 1,675

The body count rises. Red herrings are released into the wild. The wrong suspect has been taken into custody. Friends deal with a terrible moral dilemma.

Not a bad month’s writing, if I do say so.

While hardly a record year, word count-wise, any year I finish and hit the 50,000-word goal is a good one. Right? I had planned on blaming the lower word count than planned on assisting with two Virtual Write-In events.

Unfortunately, I can’t. The days of those events were, by a noticeable margin, among the ones with my highest daily word counts. Hmm. Perhaps there’s something there.

So, what’s next?

Well, an ending would be nice.

In what is a very unusual occurrence for me, the climactic scenes did not come to me during the middle weeks. I have a vague notion of what needs to transpire there, which is good, but nothing solid—certainly not enough to yet write anything around. I suspect more development of the plot and characters will solve that problem, though.

This is also one of those stories, I think, where I need someone to read the current draft and let me know whether or not there’s actually something there worth finishing. It was not quite the piece I started out to write (isn’t that always the way?) and a small litter of plot bunnies run freely throughout it.

NaNoWriMo is definitely one of those cases where the journey alone is its own reward. Congratulations to everyone else who participated, whether you “won” or not!