Writing Report Card IV

“Read lots. Write lots.” – Ian Rankin

It’s 2020! More specifically, it’s FEBRUARY 2020! 11 more months left to this year, a scary thought indeed, where did the time go??? Since my last Writing Report Card, there’s not been much to report regarding my writing activities, I’ve been reading lots, but unfortunately, not writing lots. I’m blaming the hectic holiday season in December that bled into a semi-busy January. It’s time for me to get off my butt though and set some writing goals. But first…

  1. 50-word-stories – To my surprise, I had two (2) back-to-back acceptances in October and November. The first line of the story was from a romance novel I was reading at the time which I thought was a compelling line, so I knew I had to use it somehow in a story. The final iteration of the microfiction turned out to be a little funny. Full disclosure, I didn’t submit any stories in December and January. I felt a little guilty initially, but I’m over the guilt now and am working on my February submission.
Upcoming writing plans:
  1. Continue submitting to 50-word-stories monthly. In 2019, I submitted 11 out of 12 months, and got published 5 times which translates to a 45.5% success rate. As submission statistics go, that’s pretty good!
  2. Look for another site to submit stories to monthly, perhaps one that will accept stories less than 1000 words.
  3. Revive blogging on my other non-writing blog – Stories from Sonobe – which has been dormant since 2016, sad to say. New posts will be linked to this blog.

50-Word Story.7

It’s November 11th or Singles Day, as I recently found out, because the date is 11.11 (all ones or singles, get it?) and I haven’t submitted a 50-word story this month yet (I’ve 4 days to go!). I’ve got something in mind, I just have to whittle it down into a proper tale consisting of only 50 words, no pressure!

I was on vacation when I found out that my October submission was accepted to be published, which made me walk on air a little, as I walked the streets of Amsterdam. Of course, before this little nugget of a story was accepted, I had two stories submitted for August and September, that was rejected:

August: This was a tweet-long story that I felt had potential to be more, so I expanded it into a longer story. Perhaps it needs to be an even longer story.

Immigrant

I pinched my specially-designed contact lenses and slid them from my eyes. Without these silicone disks, I’d be singled out, vilified and feared. I contemplated my eyes in the mirror – they’re a solid shining black, no pupils, no white, nothing. 

Just like my other brethren who now call Earth home.  

September: This was a combination of a two tweet-long stories which somehow morphed into a story that had elements of a nursery rhyme into it. I blame my ignored garden.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The air was ripe with the pleasing, dewy petrichor of the post-rain morning when she decided to cultivate her garden. She planted tomatoes, French beans, herbs. Her vegetables flourished, insects hummed. Then, the plants withered, died, rotted.She was confounded. The nursery rhyme lied, pretty maids don’t make good compost.   

October: Surprise, surprise, this was ALSO a tweet-long story but when a tweet was 140 characters only! I went through my old posts here and discovered this story which surprised me because I’d totally forgotten I’d written it. I thought this story was apt for the month of October.

50-Word Story.6

To be honest, I almost didn’t send anything to the 50-Word Stories site in July. I’d been feeling despondent from all the rejections recently that I couldn’t bring myself to come up with an appropriate submission. However, I’d made a promise to myself to submit every month, no matter what, and I did. To my surprise, it was accepted. If you read my previous post about my 50-Word Story submissions, you’ll know this means that my May and June submissions were not. Never fear though, I’m posting the orphan stories (for now) here –

May: I’d just met up with old friends and was thinking about the awful situation of attending a reunion, which became this little piece –

Reunion

“That school reunion of yours…,” Mark murmured. 

“Oh, I skipped it.”

“Someone died there. A Janice Young, she fell from the roof.”

“Janice?”

“Wasn’t she the one who took your mother’s peacock brooch?” 

“I don’t recall.” I smoothed my hair down and straightened the peacock brooch pinned to my blouse.

June: This was actually an excerpt of a WIP that I’ve been working on for ages. When I sent it, I didn’t expect it to be accepted, so I wasn’t surprised by the rejection that followed.

Where Royals Tread

I stood on the exposed terrace of the Aerial Temple, contemplating the crumbling limestone steps ahead. Once, kings ascended these steps to reach a tower of gold. Within minutes, I reached the summit and was assailed by the scent of sandalwood. Hark! The last abode of the legendary Snake Princess.

July: This little story started out as a Twitter Very Short Story or VSS, based on the prompt for that day which was ‘protect’. Also, I’d had a dream the night before about monsters, so needless to say, all my fears coalesced and became this VSS which inflated ever-so-slightly into a 50-Word Story.

50-Word Story.5 #flashfiction

One of my writing goals for this year is to submit a piece of flash fiction monthly to the 50-Word Stories site. My January piece was published on the site. My submissions in February and March were not accepted, but I’ll share them here.

February: I try to write within a specific theme for the pieces I submit to 50-Word Stories mainly because it focuses me. Since, February was the month of love, my submission reflected that –

Sole Mates

“What do you think?” She fidgeted with her new bob cut. He’d never seen her with hair this short before. 

“Hmmm?” Her husband’s fingers continued swiping across his tablet.

“My hair, dear.”

He glanced up, then back at his device. “Oh,” he replied. “I’ve always liked your hair like that.”

March: I was reading many books about the end of the world in March and it came out in my writing when it was time to submit to the site –

If Not Now, Then When?

The asteroid raced towards Earth, determined in its destination, promising extinction. Chaos reigned globally. Humanity’s mood: despair.

Too impoverished for a seat on the numerous ships escaping this doomed planet, I spent my final days doing the one thing I never thought I’d do – I dug my own grave.

April: This month’s submission came from a combination of a writing prompt I found in the July/ August 2015 Writer’s Digest magazine which began with “I ate it – all of it. It was terrible, ” and an article about asteroids in the Australian Science Illustrated (Issue #65). I was poised for another rejection, but was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Tim that it would be published on the site.

Maybe the secret is that the title of both pieces start with the letter ‘R’? 🙂

Daily Prompt: #Carefree

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Carefree

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carefree

She was fearless and carefree. Confidence and worldliness oozed from her pores, drawing all the boys toward her. She’s not like anyone you’ve ever known. She’s the you that you wish you could be. A little push, not quite a shove, as she stood too close to the edge of the roof and now you’re the carefree one.

Daily Prompt: Voyage

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Voyage

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3-as08-14-2383a
Source: http://www.nasa.gov

Her limbs ached slightly but her heart ached more. Wasn’t time supposed to heal all wounds? When she caught him in yet another lie after another lie, she said she never wanted to see him again. She looked down at the blue planet below. She’d slept for five long years in the hibernation pod in the spacecraft. Maybe she over-reacted.