Hello my friends—assuming I have any friends left. This is my first post of 2020, and I’m still not certain I have anything to say. I’m going to assess what I’ve accomplished so far this year. I’m afraid more thought than action.
I sold another story to Woman’s World. Wait… was that this year or last? It came out this year. I’ve lost all track of time. It was such a fun little story. I titled it Daughters and Dogs but they changed it to The Promise of Puppy Love and they changed the ending. (My ending worked better.) Since we were in the middle of Coronavirus, I could only find a few copies of it in one particular grocery store. I didn’t want to run all over town exposing myself to COVID just to purchase extras. That issue went quietly into the abyss, and since the story came out, I haven’t submitted any more WW romances. I just haven’t been able to write much except …
April was Camp NaNoWrMo and I wrote a nonfiction book. Yep, that surprised me too! I’ve been wanting to pull together a “writer memoir” for a long time, sort of walking beginning writers along my publishing path and sharing info that I think is important whether the rest of the world does or not. You know, we all have our experiences and our opinions, and I really have a bunch. I even talk about mean writers/mean critiquers in my book. Believe me, if you aren’t prepared for a mean writer, it can shut you down–especially if it’s someone you admired. I still have to do a lot of rearranging and major revisions; we all know how I am when it comes to rewriting. I seldom get to it so there’s one more manuscript stuck in my “unpublished” drawer. Funny how motivating a contract is–makes all the difference when it comes to revision.
And here’s another conundrum: I’ve been working on a short story (off and on) for two or three years. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It came to me with a complete beginning, middle and ending as I was driving through East Texas. I wrote and rewrote to the best of my ability, then sent it to a Beta Reader for her thoughts. (A woman I did not know so she had no reason to flatter me.) The comments she made really helped flesh out the plot as well as the characters. I entered it in the very first Bill Crider Prize for Short Fiction contest this past year. Back in September I received a notice stating:
“Your story was among those in the second round of judging. Unfortunately, it was not among the finalists.”
So there you go—not a winner, not a finalist, but I made it to the second round of judging. Okay, I’ll take it! I put my manuscript aside for a while so that when I finally went back to it I might determine WHY the story didn’t make it to the finals. And remarkably, I spotted a couple of places where I did NOT do my research. Really stupid mistakes on my part.
Now, I’ve rewritten again. This time my story is geared toward the Great American Fiction Contest sponsored by The Saturday Evening Post. I’ve been waiting, and waiting for just the right story to enter, and I was certain More Than a Legend was the one … until a couple of weeks ago when the Texas Ranger statue in Texas was removed.
More Than a Legend is about a Texas Ranger who passes away and after his death his “so called” best friend learns of an “indiscretion.” The moment the Texas Ranger statue in Dallas toppled to the ground, I knew I shouldn’t submit my story. I can’t contribute to the insanity of demeaning another law enforcement officer. More Than A Legend may never find a home. Obviously, not this year. It just feels wrong. And it may be awhile before I feel like writing about any bad cops.
But if you’d like to enter this great contest sponsored by The Saturday Evening Post, here’s the link. Deadline is July 1st so hurry!
Now, tell me what you’ve accomplished during the past six months. I hope you’ve been writing like crazy!