Tag Archives: micro fiction

Macabre Assessment

There is never a good time to assess a cluster of posts. The first one had longer to get discovered than the last one. This seems like as good a time as any to tally up some results that won’t teach me a damned thing.

Every year, I’m baffled by the results, and this year is no different. My favorite is never your favorite, and that’s okay. I’m not going to change my novel writing schedule based upon the assessment of 1000 word blog posts.

Your favorite story was the one called Flipping. It involved a property flipper who had a ghostly encounter inside his newest acquisition. I have to admit there was a strong character in this one, and I think that carried the banner to victory.

Your least favorite one was All the Time in the World. This one involved a time traveler who screwed his own timeline up beyond repair.

Dishonorable mention to Companionship, that involved a ghostly dog waiting for his owner in a rest home. It only had one more view than the time travel story did.

The rest fell somewhere in the middle. My favorite was Our Secret lives about two werewolves who hate each other in their human lives, but are mates when the full moon shows up.

You also liked the Halloween Pack about the app that created a monster. It had a certain Goosebumps quality to it that I thought was fun too.

What does it all mean? Nothing actually. Maybe it involved the day I posted, and the results would be completely different if I’d changed the order.

I’m leaning toward doing it again next year. It all depends upon life and what it throws at me. I write them for my own entertainment as much as anything, but I hope you enjoyed them too.

I’m not going to scrap any works in progress, or storyboards, and rush right into another haunted house story based upon these results. They’re just for us to have fun. Maybe to start a discussion.

There are a couple of points to make here. If you missed one, or just want to revisit them, they are under the “Short Stories & Vignettes” category in my sidebar. You might find some other interesting things there too.

Lastly, I want to touch upon the point that I have books available. If short stories and micro-fiction is your thing, I have either two or three collections depending upon how you score them. I say this, because The Enhanced League stories serve to tell a bigger tale overall. The Experimental Notebooks involve more true collections.

All of the short fiction is .99¢ on Amazon.

Lisa wants to know if there are any tricks to removing “Sharpie” marker from your skin.

Lisa Burton

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Starting my weekend

I started off with a pretty short list, and dove right into it this morning. I didn’t finish everything, but I’m okay with that.

I have my Lisa Burton interview all scheduled for next week. For anyone that reads this, Lisa is getting a little think on candidates to interview. Now would be a good time to jump in if you’re thinking of doing some kind of Fall/Halloween push for your books.

I also wrote my last micro-fiction for the October event I call Macabre Macaroni. Then I went ahead and scheduled them all. They will post every Tuesday in October. These have traditionally been pretty fun, and I hope you enjoy this year’s selections.

Personally, I never know which ones are going to click with people. I have my favorites, but I’m always surprised. This year, I opened the first story with an almost Rod Serling kind of introduction. I also ended the last one with something similar. I doubt anyone will put the bookends together, because it’s going to take a month between these stories.

The only thing that’s left is to turn Lanternfish into a book. This means to add a title page, copyright data, and some end of book material. There is no rush here, I don’t even have all my Lisa Burton artwork yet.

So I did something relatively stupid. I started writing a new story. I haven’t even published Lanternfish yet, but I’m 2800 words into a new tale now.

This is supposed to be a relaxing journey into self improvement, but I’m on the verge of turning writing into a job.

Honestly, I enjoy drafting new material, so it looks like I didn’t make it to November, which was the mark on my calendar.

This one is kind of odd, because I don’t have a complete outline. I have a bunch of vignettes that I need to pull together into a plot somehow. This can work with a character driven story. It remains to be seen if I can pull it off.

It looks like I’m off to the races now. I have Saturday as a fairly productive day too. Sundays are more problematic, but it’s looking like a productive weekend.

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Go… somebody Rah Rah Rah

I got the last interview checked off my list. This makes the weekend a success. I didn’t really hit it very hard today. I have a three day weekend coming up, and will make a more substantial list for that.

I tried to watch some sports this weekend, but didn’t see all of anything. It wasn’t a good weekend at the Boyack house for sports. The following teams all lost:

  • Boise State
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Twice)
  • I know some of you follow sports, but this was kind of a bummer weekend for it. If you’re into it, I hope you fared better than I did.
  • I never started my last micro-fiction piece, but I know what I want out of it. The ending line is solid, but there are a million ways to start it. Maybe I’ll gain some clarity during the commutes this week. Sometimes the Muse hitches a ride downtown with me.
  • A short weekend deserves a short post, so I’ll wrap this one right here.
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    Gotta wear pants

    This is my short weekend in the rotation. I only have Saturday and Sunday off. Nobody feels sorry for me, I’m pretty sure.

    My goals for the weekend are two Lisa Burton interviews. I have one that’s finished, and just need to assemble and schedule it. Then I have one I need to work up the shtick for and send it to the author.

    This actually eats up some time, but is well worth it.

    I’d like to get that last micro piece written for my October thing. I have high hopes, but we’ll see how it goes.

    That doesn’t seem like a big list, but I have to go out in the world on Saturday. Means I have to dress like an adult and do things. It takes a long time to do things in Boise. Everything is far from everything else.

    I need another haircut. I’m so jealous of you bald guys sometimes.

    It’s also time to get my truck serviced. This usually takes a couple of hours, but I can take my iPad to the work center and get some things done.

    Today is Old What’s Her Face’s birthday, so we’re going out tomorrow night. All this doesn’t give me many hours for projects. That’s the big reason why I don’t have many goals.

    I call my parents on Sundays, and I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of spare time.

    If Sunday gives me some time, I need to get a post written for Story Empire. Beyond that, I’d like to start scheduling my micro pieces for Halloween. These aren’t goals, and I’m considering them as the bonus round. If I can manage the items up above the weekend will be a success. Anything else is gravy.

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    Fallout from the Muse

    I slept in a bit today. When I woke up my head was filled with ideas. After playing ball with the bulldogs, I hacked out a story about two people who hate each other. Think liberal vs conservative level hatred. Everything about them is diametrically opposed. There is a paranormal element to it, because I intend it to be one of the Macabre Macaroni stories for my blog in October.

    It was much longer as I conceived it, and looked like it might have to be one of those “Tune in next week for the dramatic conclusion” stories. The challenge is to bring them in at blog length, so I started paring it down.

    It’s a bit long at 1200 words, but I like it. When October rolls around, I hope you will too.

    My mind is full of other things like vignettes of one kind or another. My stories always begin with a character, but they soon move on to the vignette stage. This isn’t a story by any stretch, but it’s nice to have a head full of things to mull over.

    These don’t necessarily fit the October blog theme, and some of them deserve a longer format after I figure them all out.

    I also started reading a craft book. I have a novel set up on my phone, and can dedicate lunch breaks to it starting tomorrow.

    My weekend labors are at an end, but I’m content. It never really ends, but I moved some projects ahead. I have four days next weekend too.

    I’ll have to start actual editing then. I’ve ignored Lanternfish for the proper amount of time, and need to dig in.

    I still need one more blog length piece, but the visit from the Muse was invigorating. I’m sure something will come to me before the last week of October.

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    A small update

    I sat at my desk and did some blog chores. I scheduled a post for a guest, assembled and scheduled another interview, and responded to an additional inquiry.

    I got up and carried my iPad to the paranormal office, turned the skeleton key, and went down three steps onto the cold stone floor. The gargoyle in the corner looked like an old friend. I placed my hat on its head, crossed the pentagram inlayed into the floor, and rolled open the top on Patty Hall’s old desk.

    There are already a couple of micro fiction pieces on my disk, so I reviewed those. They aren’t great, but they have the bones of something better. One of them has a bit of a science fiction thing going for it, but that’s okay for Halloween.

    Still, they could be better. They could always be better. I needed at least a couple more ideas to pull off Macabre Macaroni this year.

    Lisa came in wearing her full pirate regalia. “There you are, matey. I thought you were in your office.”

    “This is my office too, technically.”

    “True. I just got a text from Lorelei. She’s going to be stopping by.”

    “If there were ever a time for the Muse to show up, it’s this weekend. Why are you still wearing your pirate gear?”

    “We both know it’s just a matter of time before you decide to start editing. Doubt the raven has been hyperactive lately. He knows it’s coming too.”

    “Sometimes I wish Lorelei had given me a different animal. One that means cash and lots of it. Some kind of golden goose or something. Don’t they have those on Olympus?”

    Lorelei swung around the doorframe. She wore a blue summer dress, and her brunette hair spread clear to her shoulders. “Are we feeling a little overworked today?”

    “Yeah, in some ways. I have lots to do, and I don’t seem to be getting everything accomplished.”

    “Is that a new perm?” Lisa asked.

    “Yes. You like it?”

    I leaned back in my chair so they could get all the girl talk out of their systems. I may have emitted a small sigh.

    “Okay, look. I know you have tons of ideas,” Lorelei said. “I’m no slacker in that department. What seems to be the problem?” She moved to the couch and patted the seat beside her.

    I sat beside her, but stayed rigid. She leaned into my side. The sandalwood she always wore was intoxicating.

    “I don’t have a bunch of great ideas at micro length. I have at least three that will work at novel length, and two that might make good novellas, but need about three that will work for Macabre Macaroni. Then I need to–”

    She placed a perfectly manicured finger to my lips. “You’re just out of practice. Take stock for a minute. You’ve done your blog chores. You have a couple of micros, and maybe the raven can help you with them. Something will come to you. It always does.”

    “I’m supposed to be reading, editing, and spending some quality time with BookBub too. When am I supposed to do all that?”

    “You have four days. Pace yourself and it will all get finished.” She leaned in and kissed my cheek. “It doesn’t matter what you work on. You’re working and things are forging ahead. Now, I’m going to catch up with Lisa and leave you to it.”

    I went back to the desk and stared at a blank page for a few seconds, but not before watching her walk away. Then I wrote out a story about a cell phone app that seemed to fit the coming season. To be honest, I like it better than the two I already have. A Muse is a wonderful thing. She doesn’t have to say a word, and the ideas just show up.

    I checked my calendar, and I need two more by the middle of October. There really is time for everything. Sometimes I get angry with myself when I think I should have gotten more accomplished.

    I’ll earmark some specific time for BookBub after I call my parents tomorrow. That will be my priority. If there is time remaining, I’ll go back over the micros I have and see if I can make them better. Then I may actually open one of those books I’ve been promising to read. Monday will be for whatever’s left. Maybe I can get the next interview settled.

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    Kinda late tonight

    I’ve been dabbling all night. I scratched out a shtick for Lisa Burton Radio and sent it out. Someone wanted the last July date, and there’s plenty of time to put it together. Still have some August openings if you want one.

    On the way home I was accosted by a character. I dwelled on her story, and hacked out a micro piece just now. It needs some work, and kind of wants to be longer than one blog post.

    I’m going to make it behave and stash it in my Macabre Macaroni folder. If I get enough of these things, I can do my October thing again this year.

    I probably shouldn’t be worrying about anything other than my novel, but getting a draft out at this length doesn’t take too long. I’ve gotten the character out of my head and can start on the novel without her fictional baggage.

    I have a few ideas for the next section of Lanternfish, and will probably just start writing and see where it leads me. I’ve produced some good bits this way, and just fleshing out the scenes can get me on the right track.

    Old What’s Her Face went to Nevada today. It’s their annual Art in the Park event, and she wanted to go. This gives me one day to work on whatever I want.

    Things are looking kind of peachy in my back yard tonight. I may have to taste test this year’s crop to see if they’re ready.

    I survived the partial work week, and am looking forward to my one personal day to do whatever I want.

    Hope all of you find time for yourselves this weekend too.

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