Day 25 – Fleet Sparrow Did It Anyway

The Prompt

“I weighed this against the odds that I was doing something incredibly stupid, and I went ahead anyway.”

The Author

Fleet Sparrow writes queer fan fiction, queer flash fiction, and queer novels.  Generally, things are pretty odd in Fleet’s world.

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The Five Most Romantic Things You Can Do for the Writer in Your Life

This guest post, from Michele Reisinger, combines the wisdom of many of the StoryADay Superstars. Make sure to leave this open in a browser for the people in your life to ‘accidentally’ read! 😉

My husband would deny it, but he is a romantic at heart.

We’re all struggling with the effects of pandemic pandemonium,  but recently he’s given me some pretty awesome gifts that have not only helped me cope with our “new normal,” but also develop a writing practice that will last far beyond this shared crisis.

Even better, while their value to me is priceless, their cost was almost zero. As writer Chari Schoen points out, “Sometimes it is just the little things” that mean the most.

So, what are the most romantic things you can do for the writer in your life?

My amazing cohorts in StoryADay’s Superstars shared their stories and wish lists.

Continue reading “The Five Most Romantic Things You Can Do for the Writer in Your Life”

Day 24 – Michele Reisinger Loves Cemetaries

The Prompt

Opening Line: “She met her true love in the middle of a field of tombstones.” 

Michele says: I love cemeteries. They have so many stories, so many characters. I find them comforting.

So it does not have to be a scary story, although it can be. It could be the story of people who are interred there.

Their pre life doesn’t have to have a connection to the cemetery. That could just be the starting point.

It could be people who meet there because they are mourning the loss of someone.

Could be your traditional zombie story, horror story mystery story as well.

But I’m just drawn to the idea of cemeteries as places for stories.

The Author

Michele E. Reisinger studied English and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University and received an MA in English Literature from the University of Delaware. She lives near Philadelphia with her family and teaches senior and AP English at a New Jersey high school. Her short fiction has appeared online at Light and Dark MagazinePrometheus Dreaming34th Parallel, and is forthcoming in The Mighty Line. “Ask and Ye Shall Receive” was a merit winner for Passion and featured in TulipTree Publishing’s 2019 anthology Stories That Need to be Told. You can find out more at her website: https://mereisinger.com/

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 23 – Monique Cuillerier Mixes & Matches

The Prompt

Write outside your comfort zone with a random genre, weather type, and errand. (see below)

When you are stuck for new ideas, working from specific suggestions can open up new possibilities. They can also take you out of your normal way of working and help you explore different approaches. You never know what sort of story will result.

Roll a die for each category. (Don’t have a physical die? Google can do that for you.)

Then, write a story in your genre, with the particular type of weather and errand.

(Bonus: choose a favourite childhood character as your main character.)

Genre

  1. mystery
  2. romance
  3. fantasy
  4. political satire
  5. science fiction
  6. thriller

Weather

  1. snowstorm
  2. light rain
  3. heat wave
  4. extreme cold
  5. strong wind
  6. sunny and warm

Errand

  1. buy groceries
  2. return library books
  3. make a bank deposit
  4. pick up a child from an extracurricular activity
  5. deliver a birthday present
  6. renew a piece of government identification

The Author

Monique Cuillerier

Monique Cuillerier lives in Ottawa, where she writes fiction, long and short, when she is not procrastinating on Twitter at @MoniqueAC or sporadically posting at notwhereilive.ca. You can read one of Monique’s stories in the anthology Bikes, Not Rockets

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

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Day 22 – Grant Faulkner is Playful

Welcome to Week 4 of StoryADay! Can you believe you’ve made it this far?

I can tell you from past experience that if you have made it this far, you’re going all the way!

You’ve already spent Week 1 on the “Write” part of the WRITER Code, and Week 2 on “Refine”, concentrating on what was working and what you could let go of in yoru writing and your writing practice.

Last week was all about “Improve”, as you tackled different parts of the story writing craft.

This week’s theme is: “Triumph!”.

This week I want you to make a conscious effort to put a tiny celebration in place whenever you do something that furthers your journey as an author.

  • Got to your desk? Punch the air and say “yeah!”.
  • Finished your story? Give yourself a gold star (literally! Put one in your journal!).
  • Read the prompt and spent the day noodling on story ideas? Take one hand and pat yourself on the back with it.
  • Didn’t get your story written and decided to let it go, but come back tomorrow? Do a little dance, celebrating your ability to overcome disappointments.

There is some serious behavioral science research behind these silly tactics.

When you celebrate, you feel good, and when you feel good, you want to do more of the thing that makes you feel good.

That’s why some of the things we’ll never be, at StoryADay, are somber, judgmental or unrealistic about the challenges of living this writing life!

The Prompt

Be playful.

Playfulness can open up an expanse in confinement.

So… write a story in 26 sentences, with each sentence beginning with a sequential letter of the alphabet, starting with “A.”

The Author

Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He has published two books on writing, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo, and Brave the Page, a teen writing guide. He’s also published a collection of 100-word stories, Fissures, and Nothing Short of 100: Selected Tales from 100 Word Story. He’s also the co-host of the podcast Write-minded. His next collection of short stories, All the Comfort Sin Can Provide is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in July 2021.

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Grant Faulkner,

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Day 21 – Dr. Lanae St. John Wants To Know About Your First Time

The Prompt

Write About Your First Time – this could be your character’s ‘first time’, a kiss or something more.

(If you don’t want to write about a romantic relationship you can still talk about the excitement, build-up, and connection aspects of going through any experience together for the first time.)

Listen to my podcast conversation with Dr. Lanae St. John

The Author

Dr. Lanae St. John, DHS, CSC, ACS, is a board-certified sexologist, relationship coach and parent to two daughters. She is the author of the book Read Me: A Parental Primer for ‘The Talk’. You find out more about Lanae at her website, themamasutra.net

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

LANAE ST. JOHN, READ ME: A PARENTAL PRIMER FOR ‘THE TALK’

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Day 20 – Premee Mohamed Has A Question

The Prompt

Premee Mohammed dug into her a short story stash of ideas to share one with us.

‘Superheroes, community service/non-jail punishment for crime, a secret society. 

In a world where superpowers are real, a convicted criminal is spared a prison term… If he agrees to do community service, enforced by an unknown league of incognito superheroes. But how can he skip town while he’s always under their surveillance?”

After our recent podcast episode we discussed this prompt. She suggested that a short story is “an answered question”. This is an insight that REALLY helped me, as I thought about how to start, and end, short stories.

This is raw from the from the index card and I asked Premee to tell us how she would take something like this, a note, and start to think about turning it into a story.

The initial phrase that I sent is a setting or a premise, rather than a plot; it’s the setup. 

I would probably start by trying to figure out who might be involved—a reasonable number of people for a short story—and how they could conflict with each other, or how their needs could conflict with each other. 

I’d make sure I set up some decision points to answer. The question should be set up at the start, you know, because like a short story is really an answered question, right?

I find it useful to have that question at the start instead of having it develop sort of midway through, because then the whole story can be guided by that.

Premee Mohamed

The Author

Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction writer based in Canada. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues and her debut novel, ‘Beneath the Rising,’ came out from Solaris Books in March 2020. She can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus.

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

PREMEE MOHAMED, BENEATH THE RISING

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182 – Shaping Dreams

Does it matter if you write? Hell, yes. Let’ s talk about that….

JOURNAL QUESTIONS

1a, How are you when you are writing? (how’s your focus, your mood, your relationships?)

1b, Who does that impact?

2, Whose writing affected you most deeply in your life?

3, Who could your writing be a gift for?

Not ready for a 30 Day Challenge? Try the 3 Day Challenge: https://storyaday.org/3dc/

 

 

Ready to write today, not “some day”?

Day 19 – Seanan McGuire Asks “What If?”

The Prompt

When the square-cube law is rescinded, internal combustion becomes impossible.  How is travel impacted?  How are daily lives changed?

(e. g. What if cars and other engines couldn’t exist? – JD)

THE AUTHOR

Seanan McGuire (http://seananmcguire.com/) was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010. Her short fiction widely published and available on her Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/seananmcguire

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Seanan McGuire, That Ain’t Witchcraft

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Day 18 – Simon Rich Knows More Than Your Character

THE PROMPT

A character who knows less than the reader tries their best to deal with a problem they don’t fully understand.

THE AUTHOR

Simon Rich is  is an American humorist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has published two novels and three collections of humor pieces, several of which appeared in The New Yorker

His message to the StoryADay community: “God speed everyone. Let’s keep writing if we can.”

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This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

SIMON RICH, Hits & Misses: Stories

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