Short Stories

Daisy and Mike computer 2006

I am on a roll! I have a couple new short stories out. Two in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and another in Voices from the Plains.

I slogged through NaNoWriMo last month and did better than I have in the past. Didn’t quite reach 50,000 words but came closer than I ever have in the past. I’ve always felt more like a short story writer than a novelist, but I’ve started a novel that my critique group says I should finish.

I like short stories because I find them easy to write. Plus, there’s a fairly strong market  for “shorts” now. Some publishers say, “the shorter the better.” I’ve dabbled in Flash Fiction, but I prefer writing the longer short stories. (Oxymoron?)  

My most recent story was published in Voices from the Plains, an anthology by the Nebraska Writers’ Guild. My story is called “The Gifts” and it’s about two lonely college students who spend Christmas together.

Chicken Soup for the Soul published a couple of my stories this year. One is in “Lessons from the Cat” and is about our ‘Holstein cat’ Daisy. She was quite a character.  Chicken Soup also published my story “Heavenly Connections” in the Amazing Mom book last summer. It’s about how I became a nurse even though I never thought I wanted to be a nurse.

I enjoy writing short stories because I have so many ideas for stories and I can finish one fairly quickly and move on to the next. I think I have WADS (Writers’ Attention Deficit Syndrome) I just made that up. I’m a former pediatric nurse. 

I have stories in nursing anthologies and magazines as well.

There are many opportunities for short stories. Don’t be afraid to try.

I receive an email called “Freedom with Writing.” I’m not sure how I got started with it, but they send a bi-monthly  list of publishers (magazines, anthologies, businesses, etc.) who are looking for authors to write articles or short stories related to specific themes. This month there are requests for stories about snow sports, mining, culture, news, art, and living abroad. They also tell how much publishers will pay if they accept your story.

So, sit down and start writing those short stories and see if you can add to your resume and, with luck, your bank account.


Did you NaNo?

I tried to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I made it further than I did last year, but still not the full 50,000 words! It was good practice in disciple, though. I’d figured out the number of words I’d need to write each day to meet the goal but life got in the way, as it often does. I’ll just have to try again.

One of my problems is I want it to be right the first time and that rarely happens. It’s ironic because I sometimes feel like I’m a better editor than a writer, especially when someone asks me to beta read or critique their work.

I’m really good at seeing how things work in other people’s writing but not in my own. A friend told me I just need to get it down on paper. “Throw up on the page,” she says. But the editor in me kicks in and I have a hard time doing that. I sometimes feel like the adage “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” (Or in my case, “Those who can, write. Those who can’t, edit!”)