Monday, April 10, 2017

NYC Midnight & Writing Report (Is it April, already??)


That's what this year feels like, already. A blur of days and nights and weeks and rain...I am not daunted by the rain, or the greyness of Seattle. But the greyness, edging into darker territory, as we watch the world turn to shedooby, shattered...that is taking its toll, no?

But the last thing I want to talk to about is the encroaching evil in our world. It is always there, but the wheel has spun to bring much of it into the light, and I only hope we can treat it effectively, making the light we still have brighter and stronger.

But this is a blog about WRITING.

This year's NYC Midnight Short Story Contest began with my assignment:

Genre: Horror (yay!)
Character: Security guard
Theme: Retirement
Prize: HM

I was pleased with the genre, to say the least. I wrote a story about a retiring guard passing the secrets of the nursing home to his replacement. I received an Honorable Mention, which I was pleased with, even if disappointed that I did not get to on to Round Two. There were three times as many contestants this year (About 3100-3200) as years past.

The three judges from whom I received feedback gave me inarguable remarks. I was happy to hear the opening was very well received, and my dialogue was credible and story driven, which I humbly recognize as one of my truly natural skills. I agree with the judges that my ending was vague and somewhat unresolved...I left it very ambiguous about the nature of the magic at hand. This was somewhat intentional, and somewhat a product of the time and word limit of the contest; I had ideas of changing the story, but didn't want to take too long and miss my deadline (like I did last year!). Instead, I chose to submit a finished story that may have some missing elements but felt strong and contiguous. In the end, the creep factor was barely enough to keep me qualified. I must work harder and not allow the time/word limit keep me from getting my ending to a fully realized point.

My plan is to practice some 2500, 2000, and 1500 word stories in the meantime.

My Memoir Project 1

Slow going on those painful passages of years past. My 1989 recollections are tough, and it takes me several hours to get the bones down, after which I must take weeks to process the grief and get to a point where I can read it without crying. Finally, the editing can occur, although I am not sure how efficient this process is. In any case, that is the process. It is difficult, emotionally wrenching, and time consuming.

My Memoir Project 2

I a now referring to this as a memoir, despite the fact that I am not in it. It is the story of my grandfather and his brother in the 1920s, and I require much more information. I still have not gotten a hold of my cousin Tina, but will redouble my efforts in the coming weeks.