Happy Little Accidents
So…going to Vegas in seven months!
Not because it’s Vegas. Vegas as a stopping point to pick up a rental car and drive to the big dam and down to the Canyon seems like a good fit. Vegas the town seems loud and large and with a few too many humans. And for this introvert, that in and of itself will be a comfort zone thing.
I’m going there because it’s where the training and the networking will take place for a short story anthology workshop. Details on that to come later.
But, to shake loose some of the short-story-form cobwebs since writing Switch and learning the new techy stuff of software and platforms, I decided to write some short fiction pieces to writing prompts. Because that’s what the Anthology Workshop will require: writing fiction pieces that hopefully fit an editor/curator’s idea for inclusion in a unified book. Like Future Visions: This anthology is all futuristic Sci-Fi shorts. The only difference is, I didn’t write my story for FV to a prompt. It was already written. I submitted it because the theme fit, not because I was told to write a certain thing.
Writing to prompts is a whole ‘nother critter. And these are simply prompts with a wide word count range 2K-10K, no genre limitations, no character limitations. Just write it.
Some of the prompts have been awfully vague: May Day. Mission Critical. Pink Hat.
But, from those prompts came stories I would’ve never explored.
May Day I turned into Mae Dae, a story about a young girl about to age out of the foster system and her views on the world in the midst of bullying. A one-and-done type of story.
The other two became happy little accidents.
Like a Bob Ross thing: Oh, you meant for that story to go that realistic direction? That’s okay. Throw an alien in it and no one will ever know how far it drifted from the original plan. Conrad and Coral, other-worldly beings on a mission, are born.
Or hey, now that you want the story to be sci-fi or magical, let’s set the thing in a real-life scenario and make it a cozy little mystery. Zane, the ex-Denver homicide detective turned zoo security guard, materializes.
And Conrad and Zane will become short serials. I have three such short story series now. Three! Happy little oopsies. I’ll release the singles, then compile them into a full-length book when I have enough material to warrant that:
The Recruitment Saga: Future fantasy dystopia. For when I need to let out the darker magical and mystical urges.
Detective Zane: Broken-hearted guy helping broken-hearted critters. For when I feel like throwing someone in jail. Real jail.
Conrad and Coral: Intergalactic crime-solving aliens stationed on Earth. For when I want to have just plain fun and anything goes. Because, well, aliens in sub-par bioidentical suits!
And the sequel to Switch is moving along just fine. Sketched the loose outline (loose enough for Little Miss Muse to wriggle around and still have fun, but for my left brain not to go into cardiac arrest over plot holes—no throwing aliens into this one!) And the first ten chapters are in rough draft form! Yay!
I’m off to write to another prompt. I want this one to be dark and creepy, so Little Miss Muse will most probably turn her nose up at my left-brained plans and create a sweet little love story with a happily ever after.
Who knows? Maybe she’s got another happy little accident up her sleeve.