Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another 'New Leaf' with just a touch of INSECURITY



I had really hoped to give you a true short story today as part of my ‘New Leaf’ posts, but alas, poor me, time is once more my enemy. But, I do have another 100 Word Story. I wrote it to this month’s photo prompt. You can find more information at their site. 100 Word Story 

 
Supermarket Chalk Lines
Supermarket chalk lines. The ghost of lunch, when you couldn’t choke down the last bite, an apple core left for the birds, a carton of milk spilled by an exuberant child.
My mind wanders to those starving children in some distant nation long forgotten by all but my mother. “Children are starving around the world, clean your plate,” she said, when I wouldn’t eat.
I learned. I’m careful. I produce no supermarket chalk lines. No waste, no loss, consume it all. Remember the children. Two of them sit across from me now in the weight loss clinic.

There you go. 100 words, no more, no less.
I haven’t submitted this one yet and I’m not sure I will. I’ll share it, and you guys can tell me what you think.



I’m neck deep in edits and rewrites. I’ve let my work sit for a long time and it’s tedious going through critiques and merging everything together. Who am I kidding, I find editing my own work tedious no matter what the timing.
I’ve gone over this enough times that I’m starting to hate my characters, think the plot is weak and full of holes, and wonder why I ever thought I could write in the first place. I have no idea what genre I’m writing and wondering if I’m trying to cover too much time (a span of about a decade), which ages my characters to a place where they cross from YA to whatever it would be a decade later.

I keep asking myself; is it supposed to be this hard? Do all good writers go through dozens of rewrites before they feel that they’ve gotten it right? Am I nuts? For whatever reason, I can’t seem to give it up, so I just keep plugging along.


I do want to add that since I’ve been working on these 100 Word Stories (Flash Fiction), I’ve learning to cut mercilessly at my longer work. Now of course, I worry; am I making it too lean? Once I  finished with this go round (hopefully before 3/18) I'm looking for a few good folks who want to read/critique the whole mess. Leave me a comment and let me know if your interested.

Anybody else experience these same type of questions or is it just me?

Before I close, I want to direct anybody who hasn’t already been by Tossing It Out to stop on over and take a listen. Wow! Mr. Bird just took BATTLE OF THE BANDS and IWSG to a whole new level. Congratulations Arlee!

BTW, my BATTLE OF THE BANDS is stilling running (until March 7th). If you haven't already, please click back one post and cast a vote.

26 comments:

  1. You are not nuts. Sometimes it takes all those rewrites.
    Your flash fiction was scary because it rings so true.

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    1. Awwwe, thanks.

      Unfortunately, that is all too true. I personally think it's a bad thing to force children to 'clean their plates'. I'm all for encouraging them to taste something new but a few bites should be good. Also, why on earth should anybody eat anything if they are NOT hungry.

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  2. I'll disagree with Alex. We're all nuts. The important thing to remember is that it's not necessarily a bad thing. My dad used to always say, "You don't have to be nuts to live here, but it helps." No wonder I turned out this way. :)

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    1. apparently more people agree with you than Alex on that 'nuts' thing. So...I'm real glad to hear it's not a bad thing.

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  3. "Supermarket Chalk Lines," what a haunting bit! Still, well said.

    I'm not in IWSG, but second guessing yourself can drive you nuts. Lots of deep breathing might help, but don't hyperventilate or you'll pass out. Then again, a nap is nice! Sending good thoughts today, (smile).

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    1. Thanks Dixie, I can use all the 'good thoughts' I can get.

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  4. I really liked your FF. I imagine everyone trying to create an epic of such sweep has such thoughts as they lurk amongst the timbers of its construction. I can't imagine how Leon Uris was able to build the novel Trinity- and live to do more!

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    1. I've been working backwards in my replies, but it seems as though this piece of FF is a hit. I guess I should submit it for publication and see what happens.

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  5. I got this way with my first novel. Thats when I knew it was time to send it to beta/critique partners. Then a once (or twice) through to determine which changes needed to be made, and off the query/submission. I'm a little swamped at the moment but if you don't mind waiting a couple months for feedback I could read for you. I'm not a great fan of YA, but if they age, its probably less of an issue.

    Loved the short story. especially the ending, lol.

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    1. That's exactly where I'm at. this edit/rewrite and then it's off for critique.

      I'll email you about the story. I think you've already read some of it and didn't care for the premise. We'll talk.

      Thanks on the FF.

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  6. Yes...it is supposed to be like that. Exactly like that! :)

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    1. Not the best news I've had all day, but at least I'm not alone.

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  7. I liked the twist ending to your 100 Word Story.

    As for the longer writing, I have just 3 words for you:
    memoir, Memoir, MEMOIR.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks. I wasn't going so much for a 'twist' as something to complete the story. That's what they claim to be looking for; a story that is relatively complete in 100 words.

      yeah, Yeah, YEAH!

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  8. Nice 100 words indeed that took seed.

    Oh it can be a huge pain in the arse, hate editing and redoing, but it has to be done. Not fun.

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    1. Thanks a bunch.

      Editing and rewriting is definitely 'out to lunch.

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  9. Your 100 Worder was delicious! Lol. Sorry, I couldn't help it.

    I'm about to embark on a big project too, and it's crunch time! Exciting yet I loathe it.

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    1. That was appropriately funny.

      I hear ya.

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  10. I thought the FF was excellent.

    I couldn't help but notice how many writers are asking "Am I nuts for doing this?" today. I've been doing the same. I wonder if it's a seasonal thing.

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    1. Thanks!

      Could be seasonal, could be that we REALLY are NUTS!

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  11. I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself. Writing is hard. There's a lot that goes into it, but if you think you're getting to a point where you hate your characters and you're only seeing the plot holes and not the possibilities, it may be time to take a break. Put it to the side, focus on something else. Come back to it with fresh eyes and you'll surprise yourself.

    Glad you liked the Cherokee proverb. ;)

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    1. You may be right. I'll have3 to think on that.

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  12. Thank you for the acknowledgement.

    Several things in this post got me to thinking (as though I didn't need enough to make me think).

    I really liked that 100 word story. So much to which I could relate. The twist in the last line was a stroke of genius.

    As far as your other travail with your rewrite, I've never gotten that far. I hate the thought of rewriting. The cursory editing I don't mind and it's essential, but rewriting I've held back on. Good luck with yours. I guess it's only as difficult as you make it.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  13. You are most welcome. I think most of the people who regularly come by here, have probably already seen your post, but it was so terrific, I wanted everyone to have the opportunity.

    Genius? Really? Not so sure abut that, but they are looking for a story in only 100 that is considered complete. That makes it necessary to actually 'take' it somewhere. I thought that was a fitting ending.

    I've never believed in raising kids to 'clean their plate'. I wasn't raised like that, although I was forced to finish my milk (I still don't like milk - never did). So many people need to relearn how to ear - 'Eat to live vs. Live to eat. I personally believe that DOES come from being forced to 'clean your plate'. One of those rather sad platitudes.

    I view rewrites as just one ugly part of the editing process. I hate em. Unfortunately, for me these characters won't leave me alone, so I guess they deserve to have their story told. Next, the real trick will be to see if ANYBODY else is interested in reading it. In the end that all depends on how well I tell it, right?

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  14. I guess when we call what we do as writers "work" it's supposed to be hard. Some people love the rewrites & edits. Me? I love the first draft. It's so much fun to find out how my story turns out. :)

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more about the first draft. I love the excitement of finding my way through the minds and emotions of my characters. Edits & rewrites - a necessary evil for sure, but not exactly fun.

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