The Stories We Tell Podcast Story Winners - March 2019

It's time to announce the next set of stories selected for an upcoming episode of The Stories We Tell podcast! As always, the wonderful Natalie Aked challenged us to develop our writing skill set this month. The following criteria were used for these works of fiction (less than 500): 1. Show the harshness of nature’s summer - this could be the heat, the humidity, the summer storms... whatever you choose, make it nature’s reminder that the summer is not always our friend. 2. We all have a preferred perspective in which to write. Pick a different one for this story - first, second, or third person... yes, the judges won’t be able to track if you do this, but if you stretch and write in a diffe

Don't Buy The Lie

I've hit 200,000 words before April! I've got the highest word-count goal for the year I've ever set for myself. I'm driven. All my life, at every turn, I've been told I "can't." My father told me I wouldn't amount to anything. "Paul, you can't go to college. We can't afford it." - So I joined the military. "Paul, you will never make E-5 (a military rank)." - I not only made it, I surpassed it as an enlisted troop & THEN earned a commission as an officer. (Fun fact: I ended my military career as a much higher rank than the senior NCO who told me that. "Paul, you'll never find a better woman than me." - Oh, 1st wife, how wroooooong you were. GILU, Slinky! "Paul, you won't ever be published. I

Why I’m Walking Away From Audio Drama (Sort Of): A Case Study For Artists In Exhaustion and Disenfra

Hot summer days are miserable. But they’re not as bad as the unbearable cold of a long winter. Those days can be exhausting. And the thing about exhaustion is the insufferable cold, the unrelenting nature of inundation. Where, no matter how hard you try, you can’t warm, cannot recover. I rarely get exhausted. But I am now. And I have audio drama to thank (blame). It’s (Not) So Hard To Say Goodbye Exhaustion. Burnout. Disenfranchisement. Whatever name(s) you use to describe it, like an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night, an estranged family member of friend ringing your doorbell, or the “we need to talk” talk; it’s that feeling you get that taunts you with a promise of pain. In

STOP Writing When You Must Keep Writing

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Write more by stopping when you want to keep going. I quickly answered a question from a member of the Horrible Writing Writers Support Group on Facebook last night because I was out having a beer to celebrate the fact that I sent my next novel off to my editor. I didn't do it justice because it's an answer I feel needs more attention because it can be incredibly helpful to all (but especially to new writers). In terms of keeping momentum going, slogging through those middles or when you just feel like you can't figure out how to pick up where you left off, Hemmingway had a trick I incorporated into my own writing and, I'm telling you, it increased my output 10-f

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