And So It Begins

The writing.

Well, the writing began quite some time ago, decades really if you count that space epic written in pencil on lined notebook paper when I was ten.

But the official writing for the grand Anthology Workshop in Vegas starts now! This week marks the first anthology prompt, and it’s due next. I’ll be half-crazed, carpal-tunneled, and nearly blind by the time this thing’s done.

Six paying editors. Six shorts.

Then read all six shorts written by the 49 or so other authors.

Then Vegas in February to see how our stories stack up to the editors’ opinions and tastes.

Great fun. Completely terrifying.

Way more work and time than was required of me in any of my college classes—some college classes put together.

Way out of my comfort zone—The city thing. The crowd thing. The “meet new people even though I’m a social dork” thing.

And way, way out of my league. The ladies and gentlemen at this workshop have established careers. I’m just getting started. They have millions of words under their belts (or quills or pens or keyboards). I’m pushing 200k. Measly compared to the collective writing genius of this group. Some, no doubt, will likely be award-winning storytellers.

I’m super excited to learn from this group, read their work, and hopefully come back with a boatload of craft techniques and business ideas and maybe a new contact or three.

I’ve been doing a short story a week since April. Up to 32 tales now, so I’ve got a good rhythm down.

But, because these six upcoming ones are, well, going to be read for sure, they feel more important. And because this trip is a major bucket-list thing for me, these tales feel heavier.

They’re not. That’s just fear talking.

And feelings lie.

Assigning importance to ideas or events. Putting pressure where there should be just fun.

It’ll be okay. (Sometimes I lie to myself—a lie disguised as assurance and tied with a big ol’ bow for effect.)

I’ve had lots of practice. 32 shorts this year so far. 30 in a previous one. Several sales. No big deal, I say (as Little Miss Muse does jump-and-squeals, spreading purple glitter in her wake).

I’ve got some ideas, but what good are those when you’ve no idea the prompts coming down the line?

I have an idea for a heart-felt western. The prompt will be sci-fi dystopian in Kentucky.

I have an idea for a sci-fi horror tale. The prompt will be Hallmark-Christmas-ish—with llamas.

I have an idea for a creepy mystery. The prompt will be feel-good fantasy set on Jupiter.

Me and my bright ideas won’t win the plan-ahead game. No planning ahead on this one. (The triple-A control freak in me is curling into the fetal position. Little Miss is doing a jig…)

I’ll just wait and watch, I tell myself. Sketch out some loose thoughts. Leave the rest of the board blank for the prompts. And pray Miss Muse doesn’t decide to go on holiday with her amethyst-bejeweled cell phone on silent.

I feel so sorry for my hubs. He’s super supportive of my writing, but for the next few weeks, things may be a little tense around here. Read: Dirtier-than-normal house, less-than-normal food prep (he may benefit from that one), and three attention-deprived cats.

If any of you see him between now and mid-January, please check on him. He likely won’t be okay.

It’s bound to be lots of handwringing, gut-wrenching fun.

Sprinkled in purple glitter.

Thank you for hanging out for a bit. Check back on Mondays for a new blog or revisit older post on my Archive page. Don't forget to come back on the first Friday of every month for a free fictional short, and be sure to visit my Amazon page.