I apologize for the unplanned absence. I got hit by a very bad cold a couple of weeks ago so I took that weekend off to recover. Then last weekend I was at a big event (more on that shortly). This weekend finds me preparing for a trip I’ve been planning for some time, so I’ll warn you in advance that there will be no updates for the next two weekends either while I’m away and then recovering from jetlag.

Now back to the big event from last weekend. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember that last year I participated in a 24 hour one-shot anthology event which saw one of my short stories published. This is something my writing group runs every year, where we vote on a theme and then meet up in person and online to write a story based on that theme. We’re allowed to come up with an idea beforehand and even outline it, but no actual story writing or editing is supposed to happen except in the specified 24-hour period.

The theme this year was “Heretic” and I have to say, I really struggled with it. The day before the event I had only the vaguest notion of an idea with a single, very short scene. I had no beginning, no end, no character names or backstories. It felt very much like having nothing.

Given how little writing or editing I’ve been doing lately, this was not particularly encouraging. I had a lot of fun at the event last year and was really looking forward to it, but I was definitely concerned that this time I might not have a story to submit at the end.

Once again, my inherent tendency to fly by the seat of my pants in writing came through for me. One of these days I’m going to learn to trust in it, I swear. It took me almost 8 hours, but I finished a decent story of 5000 words. Longer than I’d expected or intended, but that’s kind of par for the course with me. It felt good to write something new and to remind myself that I am still capable of coming up with (and complete) new ideas.

So in the next month or two I’ll have another story in another anthology. I won’t deny, last year after the Legacy anthology came out, I was hoping that by this point I’d have managed to get something published in a magazine or journal. It hasn’t happened yet but I’m reminding myself that the important thing is that I did start submitting things and I’m still writing a year later.

I’m looking forward to seeing my story in print in the upcoming Heretic anthology and to reading the stories of my peers. I’ll let you know when it’s happening, and hopefully I’ll see you back in here in a few weeks.

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