Thursday 26 Jan 2023: 12 stories in 12 months

Image by Akhil Kokani from Pixabay

Most of Tuesday was taken up with the date work and getting all of that up to date. It didn’t finish at tea time, though. I had another webinar to go to, this one on short stories, and then I spent the rest of the evening consolidating all of my short story ideas, outlines and first drafts.

Like Catch the Rainbow, and like lots of my projects actually, my short stories were all over the place, in several different books, some of which only had a few pages written on. So I chose the book with the fewest blank pages and started to transfer the easy stuff – the one-liners, the titles, the short paragraphs – into this book. I worked until really, really late because my hiatus hernia was having a flare up and I know I wouldn’t have slept if I’d tried.

The short story workshop was really quite good and of much more use to me than the one the night before. The trouble is, this workshop kicked off the 12 short stories in 12 months for me and while others have had the prompt and the word-count since about 4 January, I was given it on Tuesday night. It’s this that prompted me to go through the short story work, in the vain hope I might find something I was inspired to write really quickly. Otherwise, I was writing into the dark.

The submission window opened at 8am yesterday and closed at 8am today, Johannesburg time. Mm.

There was more trouble in store too, however, for the short story ideas weren’t the only things dotted around my various notebooks. There were ideas for articles too and while I *have* given up the freelancing pretty much, there were some *good* ideas in there that I thought could really do with being written up. I decided to mentally earmark them for publication on Medium in the hope I felt inspired enough to write something up.

Wednesday was mostly about sharing yesterday’s blog post on writing prompts and date work. Some of it is as easy as sharing the link, but others (Medium, Substack, Ko-fi) all require reformatting and reposting. But it was as I was posting it to Medium that I also remembered Vocal, so I topped and tailed it and fired it off there too, expecting for it to wallow in someone’s in tray for a few days.

Well, it was accepted for publication within minutes and now I have 3 pinned stories on my profile page, and I’m going to look at slanting some of the story ideas I spotted there too. PLUS… a few ideas I picked up doing the date work this week might work as well.

I’ve been reading a lot about legal book deposits in the UK, and I’m supposed to send them a copy of every book I publish within a month of publication. As I’ve not done it within a month, I was worried I might get a hefty fine or something, but I had a nice chat with two people there who told me what to do. The paperbacks can go in the post, but I have to send the ebooks via a portal, and before I could do that, I had to register and then be approved after they asked me a few pertinent questions.

Completing the registration took a few goes as the form didn’t like Opera and I had to do it via Edge instead. They came back to me within less than an hour and I was all set. I didn’t have time to send them much yesterday, but it’s something else I now have to fit in, as there’s quite a backlog to send them. All I have to do is keep it below fifty in a year in order to continue using the portal.

The poet came home from another two-day work trip with another infection, this time in his ear. He managed to get a doctor’s appointment for on the way home, and they said he had a ‘rather nasty infection’ that probably came from the throat infection he did nothing about. He was in a lot of pain and she gave him antibiotics to take orally as well as antibiotic ear drops. When he came home he added some co-codomol and some heavy duty Nurofen to the mix, as well as an Actimel to protect his stomach, and he crashed in bed with a hot water bottle against the side of his head.

I kept going off to check on my stats everywhere and had to pull myself away from the sparkly websites and get on with work. There was that 1,200-word short story to write and submit for a start, on top of everything else I still had to do. I finished the story before tea, but it came to 1,460 words, so I came back to it later, after reading it to the poet (reading it out loud, really – usually it’s the dog who gets it), I trimmed it down to exactly 1,200 words and sent it off.

I would have liked to leave it to cool for a few days, but (a) I didn’t really have the time to do that, and (b) the course leader told us not to send in our best work that’s ready to go off to a competition or a market, but send in our bravest work… well, it wasn’t really very brave either, but it was the best I could do in the time.

And anyway, I wrote a new story and sent it off. One down, eleven to go.

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4 thoughts on “Thursday 26 Jan 2023: 12 stories in 12 months

  1. wow. I think you lost me somewhere, in there with your short stories!
    The legal side of the books is interesting. I’d got a vague notion about this. I imagine many writers don’t know, especially those who don’t write for a living.
    I have a short story ready to go, pleased with it…quite excited!

    1. I’m fine thanks, just a lingering cough from the Christmas crash period really. He’s not very well, though, bless him. We’re not used to ear infections, either of us. Sore throats, colds, chest infections, yes, but not ear infections, and I think it’s knocked him for six a bit.

      The next story will be a more leisurely affair…

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