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December 2018
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February 2019

The Lost Boys

I submitted this story to a short story contest, run by NYCMidnight. The submission deadline was last Saturday, at midnight, but I had to wait for their official "got it okay" before I posted online. There are three rounds, with authors  assigned to sub-groups/heats in each one, sharing a genre/subject/character with your fellow authors. We had 2500 words in eight days, then some will progress to 2000 words in three days in April, then it's 1500 words in 24 hours in May. We get feedback at each stage, and there are lots of prizes at the end. 

For this round I got Ghost Story, Donation, Child Psychologist. It was fun, but a challenge to ensure I kept my focus on those three elements. My story is below. Feedback welcome.

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ROW80-1 -27/01 -Journeys and Destinations

I wrote a post on this topic for last week's Flash Fiction Friday prompt. I had journeyed to Toronto Wednesday night, and the normally 4 1/2 hour trip took almost 7 1/2 hours. There was a lot of snow, so we left late, then we had to wait for other trains to pass. Or for switches to thaw out. But most of the passengers I was with, an eclectic crowd, decided to focus on the journey, not the destination. It helped that we were in Business Class, with a nice lounge, free onboard drinks and food, and a  remarkably pleasant attendant - considering she had started at 7 am. 

I think life is a series of journeys too, each with a destination. And there are delays along the way, or changes in the track being followed. We can choose to be impatient for each journey to be over, to just get to the destination. Or we can choose to experience the journey, to learn from each little jog in the track, whether with delight or dismay. That's my choice. Similarly, my writing is a journey, with a destination, a polished  final version. Unfortunately, I've started to focus too much on that destination, trying to perfect each phrase and sentence as I go. I'll try to break that habit.

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ROW80-1 -20/01 -Yikes, a big challenge

2500 words in 8 days. Last Friday, at midnight, I got my prompt for the first round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. Genre ghost story, subject a donation, character a child psychologist. I was just getting used to my own 1000 word/week challenge, then I took this on. Why not? It's winter, and Ottawa has been hit with lots of snow and a cold winter blast. A good time to stay in, make some soups and stews, and write.

Note - I really did try to complete this Sunday, but that damn Netflix interfered! 

 

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Just Animal Crackers

This time, the challenge for Flash Fiction Friday was a location and a thing. Randomly chosen from two lists. I ended up with 'a quiet suburb', and 'animal crackers'. My word count was 997,  just under the 1000 limit.

Just Animal Crackers

Patrick clutched his chest and waited for the pain to subside.

“Calm thoughts,” he said. “Breath in . . . and out.” Nothing serious, in his opinion, probably heartburn. Still, these twinges, plus flat feet and a wonky hip, had persuaded him to retire after a career as a security guard. At least he could sleep in, to noon if he wanted. Easily done here, in his home on a quiet suburban street. Too quiet. The parents drove to the city for work, and the kids were all in school or day care. His wife had died a decade ago, and he had no hobbies, so he’d spent several years of his retirement being both alone and lonely.

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