Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Links & The Week in #storyeachnight: March 11, 2012 Edition

First off, a quick update relating to Dissecting the Short Story. As some of you may know from comments I've made on Twitter or other places, things have been incredibly crazy in my life recently. In the span of two weeks my father was injured in an accident which has drastically (and, thankfully, presumably temporarily) restricted his ability to get around and my mother-in-law had a stroke. Between taking on extra tasks to help family members and a lot of driving (750 miles in one 36 hour period) I've been both short on time and energy to do anything writing related. My writing time has been spent almost totally on things that either have a deadline or where I have time-based commitments (such as my Seinfeld/Daily Writing Chain and blog schedule).

How this relates to Dissecting the Short Story is that some of the benchmarks in my original timeline (as discussed in Monday's post about the future of the feature) are likely to slip a bit, though hopefully not by too awfully much.

So, with that out of the way, let's move on to the usual Sunday business of my #storyeachnight recap for the week and links to blog posts, etc. which I read in the last week and found worth sharing. First, the week's nightly short stories:

3/4 - "The Stars Are Falling" by Joe Lansdale from THE YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY AND HORROR 2011. A man returns to his wife, son, & East Texas home after experiencing the horrors of World War I but everything is different.
3/5 - "Accident Report" by Ed McBain from LEARNING TO KILL. Seemed very much a predecessor to the 87th Precinct stories
3/6 - "Something Real" by Rick Wilber from the 4-5/12 ASIMOV'S. A story of alternate timelines, WWII and Moe Berg.
3/7 - "Hurt Me" by M.L.N. Hanover from YEAR'S BEST DARK FANTASY & HORROR 2011. An interesting ghost story, nicely atmospheric, with a resolution I didn't expect.
3/8 - "Chinese Puzzle" by Ed McBain from LEARNING TO KILL. Another pre-87th Precinct procedural, this one 1st person.
3/9 - Ironically when I couldn't sleep I read "Insomnia" by A. G. Carpenter from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. I mostly liked "Insomnia" (the story) though the ending left me a bit underwhelmed. Good voice & main character.
3/10 - "Electrica" by Sean McMullen in the Mar/Apr 2012 F&SF. Wow! If you have this mag, make time to read it! "Electrica" had some steampunk elements & setting (though not tone) put me in mind of the Flashman novels. I thoroughly enjoyed "Electrica." Didn't want to put it down. McMullen apparently is working on a novel in this universe. (* My favorite this week, though many weeks "The Stars Are Falling" or "Hurt Me" could have been my favorite. An especially good batch of stories this week.)

And now, here are this week's links:

"The 7 Worst Mistakes Indie Authors Make and How to Fix Them" (Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn) - Going the independent author route looks to have lots of pros and cons from what I've read. This article gives some insights on things that you'd want to avoid doing so you could be more likely to have a successful experience if you go the indie route.

[Thoughts on Submitting Short Fiction] (Alex Shvartsman, Guest-Posting at - The "Write 1, Sub 1" community on is one of my favorite places to hang out and chat about writing. On the Write 1, Sub 1 blog, Alex writes about his thoughts on an approach for getting short fiction submissions out the door regularly and with a clear plan.

"Making an Em Dash for It: How Do You Actually Use Them?" (The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy) - I have a confession to make. I love em dashes. They seem to end up making an appearance in almost every story that I write. I have no idea why I have such an affinity for this piece of punctuation, but I do. While I try to make sure that I don't overuse them in any story (or section of a story), it was nice to see that I'm using them correctly. If you've wondered how to correctly use this piece of punctuation, Janice will show you how!

Finally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Dissecting the Short Story Returns and #writemotivation Goal Status" - Monday, I wrote about my progress towards this month's goals and -- as previously noted -- discussed my future plans for the Dissecting the Short Story feature.

"When Persistence Turns to Stubbornness" - Thursday, I talked a bit more about my answers to one of the Writer's Campaign 11 questions from February 27th. Specifically, I talked about persistence and stubbornness and how these two sides of the same coin can be, respectively, virtue and vice.

The story I mentioned last Sunday is almost entirely done (with its first draft) but I still have to write the ending and I haven't had the focus for that task over the last few days. I'm hopeful, though, that I'll find the energy to work on it soon and be able to move on to making my own initial revisions and showing it to some fellow writers for their comments.

Best of luck to everyone with their own goals and writing work for the upcoming week!


  1. I agree with you about "Insomnia." I liked most of the story but the end didn't quite have the punch I was expecting from that promise.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Alessa!

  2. I hope you find some calm amidst the craziness. Best wishes for your family's recovery and the return of your writing time.