My weekly column has been well-received so far. I'm getting great feedback from the community. Partly, I think, because it's about community. So I spend some of my 'free' time knocking on doors, introducing myself to business owners and others responsible for keeping Birch Tree MO in existence.
Aside from the weekly column, I've been able to add some feature stories to the paper. I've reported on local entertainment and crime news. I guess you could say my focus has been more on Non-Fiction than on Fiction in recent weeks. It's been an interesting change of pace.
But over the past couple of weeks I've found my love for fiction again. I entered four categories in the Ozark Creative Writers competition. One of the most challenging entries, and the most fun I've had in a long time, was to write a 500 word piece of sale-able fiction, without using the letter E. Have you ever tried to write a sentence without the word THE - let alone an entire flash fiction piece? I put Thesaurus.com through it's paces over the course of two days and came away with a story I'm happy with. We'll see how it does in competition.
I also entered the first chapter and a 5 pg synopsis of the Western Romance I've been playing with. I entered it in another category last year, sponsored by Western Author - Dusty Richards. I thought the chapter was good. But when it didn't place at all, I went to Dusty and asked if he'd do a critique on it for me. The one thing he found most lacking was INTERNALIZATION. I wasn't in my character's head enough. Okay. I can do that. But my biggest question was, Why in all these years of critique sessions has no one else ever pointed that out? I know I don't write a lot of it because it's the part I will skip over in a book. I love dialogue and it is my strength.
So with Dusty's critique in hand, I fine-tuned the first chapter yet again and submitted it in a different category. I'm anxious to see if it fairs any better. We'll know on October 8th when the awards are handed out.
I also had the pleasure of speaking to the Springfield Writers Guild on Saturday. I've known the current president for over fifteen years and this is the first time we've had the opportunity to work together. I was asked to give my Pitch workshop. With conferences still popping up through the end of October, I think some of them will have the opportunity to put the tips into practice. I wish them luck and would love to hear how they do.
I've been lining up more guest authors beginning in September and hope to fill the calendar out to keep the guests coming in this door through the end of the year.
As to my writing...
I'm writing every day on something. I'll try to be better at keeping you posted.
What are you writing today?