Ya know, it's getting mighty hard to come up with a short title for a blog post. Pretty soon my titles will wind up like, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (On The Bedpost Overnight)".
Pretty sad, eh?
Anyways, since I didn't really give anything of a writing update beyond showing you a video last week, I thought I would give you an update of what I've been able to accomplish (or not accomplish) this month.
First off, we will tackle the interior part of the short story sandwich, which is mainly the short story.
Short story entitled The Backpack: As I'd mentioned a few weeks ago, I got the seed of a story idea from one of the vignettes that I created during my morning walks. I took the idea and managed to crank out a ten page/5,315 word story. There's not much of a plot to it, and the genre could be considered either paranormal; supernatural; fantasy; or a combination of all three (I'm kind of in the midst of a multi-year stretch of where my writing touches on either of those three themes, in spite of what I've gotten published, which was new age and quirky).
The story is basically this: A guy retrieves a backpack that he was entrusted to care for and is trying to give it back to the person who gave it to him. It contains elements of ultra violence (four people are killed right off the bat); unmitigated violence as dictated by the paranormal/supernatural/fantasy element (two more perish); and PG-13ish sex (yah, I know, hard to believe). That is the entire story in a nutshell.
However, because this blog is about me and my adventures in writing, I have a request to make of my friends who are either writers or dabble in writing: would any of you be interested in critiquing my short story for me? I really want to tighten this up and make it flow smoother, and a few more pairs of eyes would be helpful for me. Especially since this is the first original short story I've written in about year and a half, and I want to make it as good as possible. If you have the time and feel up to it, let me know in the comments.
The bottom slice of bread, otherwise known as Line 21: Not much to report on that particular front. The publisher in question has a turnaround policy of sixty days and does not like simultaneous submissions, and since I had e-mailed it in early July, I should expect an answer by early September. Until then, about the only real time I spend on it is to either tweak the synopsis or the query letter. By "tweaking" I mean tightening up the grammar, the sentence structure, etc. etc. etc.
I've also had to spend some time coming up with a pen name. While I didn't mind putting my full name to my first self-pubbed book nor to either of my short stories, it probably would make sense to attach one to this. While I am proud of my writing, there's still something of a residual aftertaste in everyone's collective mouth when it comes to reconciling G the writer with either G the blogger or G the person. Thus, I'm looking for a new pen name, as somehow, calling myself Georgie B, while good for the time that I spent in the chat rooms, doesn't sound adult enough for a writer (surprised? you shouldn't be).
The top slice of bread, otherwise known as A Lascivious Limbo: I know that I said that I was going to fluctuate between doing the short story and this novel, but things changed over this past weekend. I didn't count on the story really writing itself nor consuming a good chunk of my time (the story itself took me exactly twelve days to write), but it did.
So now that I got that short story out of the way, I believe I can return to this novel with a better outlook and a better idea on how to go about executing what I need to do. To refresh everyone's memory, including mine, I said that I still had to write a wake, a funeral and a suicide, and I also had to tidy up all the loose ends. Well, I did manage to get something of an outline written in the story for the suicide (not tasteless, I assure you. suicide is one of a select group of topics that I try not to go overboard with) before I temporarily shelved the novel, so I got that out of the way.
That about sums up my major writing projects to date. And of course, you know I'm not gonna let you escape without a writing related question, so here it is.
For those of you who write both short stories and novels, or any other combination of the written word, what do you find less aggravating to write? Let me know what your opinion is, and I'll let you know what mine is for next Wednesday.