Write EVERY Day?

Do you need to write every single day if you’re going to be a writer?

Let me ask a related question: Must you go to work every single day to consider yourself employed?

I really hope not! Personally, I value my “days off.” While I rarely get a day to do nothing, those days where I’m not at my usual job are golden. They give me opportunities to spend more time with family. They allow me to catch up on housework. Groceries are nice to have, you know?

At the same time, just because I take a day off, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a job. I still work, and that’s the normal way of things!

Still, if I take too many days off, I may well soon find myself unemployed! Continue reading “Write EVERY Day?”

Being Remembered

She told my wife it reminded her of me.

So, I’ve been feeling down. It’s the whole pandemic thing. It’s kept me locked up with my children, whom I love, but need a little time away from. It’s kept me locked away from the people I serve in my ministry. This week, my church council (wisely, I think) decided to keep the doors of the church closed for almost another month.

And then my wife went to a meeting. There was some business she had to do with a few other women. Good. Get her away from the kids for a little bit.

She came back bearing this bottle of wine: Continue reading “Being Remembered”

Creativity and Covid-19

Covid-19 sounds like a great sci-fi concept, doesn’t it? Or just a writing prompt.

So, I’m not talking about the disease itself. I’m not talking about quarantine (though you know that if life returns to some semblance of normalcy, there’ll be lots of romcoms about this year). I’m just talking about the word itself. Imagine some concepts:

  • Nineteen shadows hold all the power of the underworld, from the underwater gambling rings of Saturn’s moons to the slaughterhouses on Mars. Whispers say they control their lieutenants through a special drug, Coris-Videlaion. Now, though, they’ve gone too far, and Garamon Wayne has sworn to get revenge on the Covid-19.
  • When we sent out the sleeper ships, we knew the chances were slim. There probably was no one out there to revive them and hear our pleas for help. But then nineteen of the ships returned, the sleepers unawakened and unaltered. Or were they? What will the Covid-19 do when they are awakened?
  • Prince Corys Vasahn Idrami, the Nineteenth of that name, has already won. His wicked father is deposed. He has cleaned up the kingdom. What more need be done? But that’s when he discovers the man he thought was his father was no father at all. No, there’s a reason Prince Corys is the Nineteenth of that name. You see, he’s just a clone, just one more in a long chain. He is only Covid-19. And what happens when his genetic matrix destabilizes?

Why am I doing this? Continue reading “Creativity and Covid-19”

Back to the Drawing Board

Sometimes the words sing. Sometimes they fly out of my fingers and into the word processor. Worlds are created from nothing. Characters dance. Stories, not just simple plots, but stories weave together.

And sometimes I am a lump.

This last week I submitted a story for consideration in an anthology. I had struggled over that story. I had a basic idea for a premise, but hadn’t gotten much farther than that. I wrote something short and threw it out. The characters were going a certain direction but were piddling about in a way I didn’t like. I had to get the story moving. Better to start over and trash what work I’d already done.

(Well, really not – I don’t throw out anything. Every revision of every story I work on is saved so I can always go back if I feel the need to.)

Second attempt. Threw that one out, too. I saw that though the premise was still strong, this particular telling was not. The call for submission wanted more concentration on the philosophical implications of a science fiction setting, not something that focused on the characters. Back to the drawing board.

Third time I finally got something that matched the call for submission. Doesn’t mean the story will be bought; there’s a lot of things that might cause it to be rejected. And honestly, this kind of story isn’t my strong suit. But hey, it’s good to challenge yourself, right?

Why am I sharing this?

At this point, when I’m able to write, I write a fair amount. I’m selling stories often enough that I feel like I know what I’m doing. When there’s a call for submission, I can usually determine fairly quickly whether or not I can develop a story for it (or have a story in my inventory I can send in).

But not all the time.

Sometimes the stories fight back. Sometimes what I write just ain’t good enough. And sometimes I’m simply not content and want to do something better.

My creative muscles are generally in good shape. I can construct stories and characters fairly quickly. But even then, I need to rewrite and rewrite – and not a simple little fix, but a complete overhaul.

So if you’re writing and something isn’t working… it’s ok. Go back. Rework. Change. Flip the story upside down. Start over a paragraph or a section or a chapter. Or the whole thing even.

Head back to the drawing board. Create something better.

It’s ok.

It’s not a discipline problem.

They say that if you’re stuck home, you should have lots of free time. They say that if you’re not producing something and you always said you would, the problem isn’t the amount of time. It’s the discipline. They say that now is the time to be creative.

I wonder if any of them have depression.

Since this whole pandemic things started, my free time has shifted. I do have a little bit more once I dig through all the various obligations both family and ministry give to me. So if my problem is simply not having enough time to write, well, I should be able to produce some more!

And I have produced some more. Two more short stories have gone out!

But this week… I’ve done very little in the realm of writing. According to what they say, the problem is all me.

They’re right, but not necessarily in the way they think. Continue reading “It’s not a discipline problem.”

Nabu Carnevale

So, I posted a bunch of announcements this week. I’ve got four stories coming out in four different anthologies, all releasing June 1st from Tell-Tale Press.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

No, it’s not a fire alarm. It’s just me. I might be a tad excited.

Tell-Tale Press had previously published one of my tales, “Stories Lie.” Through that, the publisher and I began talking. I found out that she was planning a set of four anthologies, each a different genre, but all with the same theme: Nabu Carnevale. Literally, a festival of stories. Each story had to involve a story of some kind. The four genres were fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery/crime. Continue reading “Nabu Carnevale”