Brief respite…and then…

images-1Took yesterday off…sort of.  I mean, I did some writing (poetry and journaling) but I didn’t so much as glance at the trio of stories I’ve been editing like a demon for most of the past month.

Speaking of which, I’d better explain what I’m up to:

This year Esquire magazine is promoting a fiction contest where authors are invited to write stories based on three titles they (the editors) provide.  You can visit their website for further details.  I discovered the contest in May, printed up the info for later reference.  Found the stuff again in late June, thought writing a story based on someone else’s title might be an interesting writing exercise.  Wrote down the first title, “Twenty-Ten”, and went for it.   Not necessarily thinking of submitting the finished work to the contest, just seeking to limber up my wrists before the real work of the summer began.

Well, I wrote one story and it turned out pretty darn good so the next day, suitably encouraged,  I wrote a second and almost immediately a concept occurred to me for the third.  So in the space of a few days I had three handwritten drafts.  Tapped them into the iMac, opened one up, did a bit of fiddling…and now, three weeks later, here I am.

But I have a problem and I’ll bet you spotted it right away, didn’t you?  You’re only supposed to submit one story and I’ve got three I’m quite taken with.  I read all of them to my family the other night, hoping they’d immediately point out a winner but the verdict was mixed.  They loved the stories, the characters, but each seemed to favor a different tale. Even I had changed my mind as to which one I preferred by the time I’d finished reading the last of them.  Good grief.  Well…I’ve got until the 31st (what is that, Friday?) to choose one story and edit it into tip-top shape.  Because I will indeed be submitting something, despite my oft-repeated reluctance to enter writing competitions.  For one thing, there’s no entry fee (mandatory).  For another, Esquire, like the BBC, is a flagship, one of those names you’d dearly love, as a writer, to have on your resume.  And one last consideration:  I’ve written three bloody good tales, any of which is worthy for consideration.

images-2My break’s over.  Yesterday was fun:  I sat around reading Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark (not one of his great ones, unfortunately), straightened up in the office, cleaned my area of the basement (we’ve been painting and installing a new ceiling light/fan in our kitchen so everything is a mess), listened to some alternative radio on the ‘net, trying to ease up and relax…but it’s time to get back at it.  Grind, grind grind.  Funny how hard you have to work on a story to make it read and flow naturally.

This tales have already taken up more of my summer than I’d intended–this started out as a simple writing exercise, remember?  I still want to dive into edits of my next novel and here we are, approaching the end of July.  Yike!

Time to finish up these tales and get back on track.  It’s been an intriguing interlude but that novel beckons, miles to go before I sleep and all that.

That’s it for the update.

Hope you’re all having a fun summer.  We’re finally getting some hot, sunny days, real Saskatchewan scorchers.

And, last but not least, it’s our 19th anniversary tomorrow.

Thanks, Sherron, for everything.

Forever and ever, doll…

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2 comments

  1. Cliff Burns

    Thanks, Mike. Sherron is my first reader, my ideal reader, the best editor I could possibly ask for. Nineteen years of marital bliss on top of that–what can I say?

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