If you missed yesterday’s post, I finished writing a book this weekend. No, not a sequel to my Parasitic Twin novella, but a collection of short stories. As I warned I might do, the title has already been changed to “Beyond: Tales of the Afterlife.” But there were other milestones reached this past weekend.
I finished my book of 18 short stories after just a bit over a year and a half of writing work. But I didn’t view it as work, because I enjoyed it immensely. I did hit a snag 2 weeks ago when I finished the last story. Then the daunting tasks of compiling the stories into one document, creating a table of contents with links, doing a final edit, and choosing a title stared me in the face. Ugh! I love the creative process and hate the tedious details. But I hunkered down and finished the work this weekend.
The tentative working title (subject to change based on my whims) is “Beyond Life: Tales of the Afterlife.” Here’s a brief tease about what each of the 18 stories is about.
I hope to publish another book this summer. No, not a sequel to My Parasitic Twin Wants to be President. You wish! This will be a collection of short stories on a common theme.
I send my stories to my cousin who also happens to be a professional editor. She seems to take great delight in finding and editing my mistakes, and then typically provides some words of encouragement like “this one should definitely be in your book.” She is my mentor. I am her … mentee? manatee? mental?
I’m down to my next-to-last story, and this one didn’t go as I had hoped. I received no edit. I received no encouragement. I did not pass GO or collect $200. Instead, over the course of several emails, my cousin/editor described the story as:
- Not engaging
- Opposite of uplifting (would that be downlowering?)
Gee, I hope she wasn’t holding back so as not to hurt my feelings. Her guidance and edits have made me a better writer. I absolutely value her opinion. But so far, two other test-readers have liked the story. Hopefully, I will get more feedback from other test-readers this weekend.
Maybe my cousin/editor was too busy with editing projects. Maybe she didn’t even read the 4,000 word story. Maybe she just glanced at this blog to get a general idea about where my writing is today. If that’s the case, I heartily agree with her assessment.
Well, the big Book Release Party for the book that has my short story in it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. I am somewhat relieved that I don’t have to be in a social situation with other nerdy writers. Being with myself all the time is bad enough. The book is being released online initially through the publisher’s website at Crow Woods Publishing, and eventually through Amazon, etc. Here’s a mention of my story from the publisher.
I find it so fitting that there is a misspelling in the description. And just a touch of humor? Maybe it would have been funnier if the publisher hadn’t removed a joke.
Anyway, here’s the pic that inspired my story …
If you are interested in an unabridged version of my story with all jokes intact, contact me.
Details coming about more Flanigan Fiction due for release soon. Consider yourself warned.
I had sort of forgotten about a book of short stories being published with one of my stories in it until I got an email with an invitation to a Book Release Party! I imagined getting fitted for my tuxedo for the event. Leave it a bit loose in the crotch for dancing.
Visions of my red carpet arrival danced in my head.
Yesterday, I announced that a short story of mine had been accepted for publication. As a bonus, I found out that I get to supply a short bio and answer some questions. Of course, I plan to submit a totally ficticious biography describing me as a left-handed, free-thinking Methodist with a proclivity for public outbursts in pig Latin. Okay, so that last part is true. Oway ymay!
Here are the questions I have been asked to answer …
I signed my first writing contract this past weekend. I’m trying not to make too big of a deal out of it until I ink the movie deal. I’m sure that will be coming shortly after publication.
I’ve been writing this wildly uneven blog for 4+ years now to hone my writing skills. I have tried anything and everything that has crossed my suspect mind. Some things have worked. Others, not so much. I mean, really, cartoons about mites and mulch?
But all the practice must have worked because the short story I submitted for consideration was easy to write, and it was accepted for publication in an anthology of short stories. Take a look …
Whenever I tell people I have a gift for writing, they typically ask me if I kept the gift receipt.
I started this blog 4 years ago to become a better writer. I got derailed as the Trump Train careened wildly into the White House, and this blog devolved to a series of angry screeds, questionable memes, and mildly-amusing (at best) cartoons. I continued that cathartic path for the benefit of my mental health, yet somehow I did hone my writing skills. I have a non-fiction book that is 2/3 done, but also badly in need of a rewrite. I will get to that as soon as I finish a book of short story fiction which is about 1/2 done and looking good. And who wouldn’t want a Best of Mite Be Funny coffee table book?
Fine. You can put your hands down. Anyway, my editor/cousin convinced me to submit a short story for publication consideration to someone she knew compiling a book. I had to write about a picture that the publisher had published previously in one of her art books. I chose this beauty.
I received this email from the publisher a couple days ago …
The title of this post could apply to this blog from the very first post, but it is especially applicable now. It used to be that readers could count on a post full of drivel from me almost every single day. You may have noticed (and rejoiced) that my posts have become more sporadic and less Trumpy. As for the latter, I am just sick of that saggy skin sack of lies and monkey feces. Sorry, that’s not fair to monkeys.
Wow, touchy. I said I was sorry. Anyway, I just want Trump impeached and voted out in 2020. I find nothing funny about him any longer.
As for the sporadicity (not a word, but a potential album title) of my posts, that’s another story.
As I continue to write more short stories, I have a cousin who is editing them. She has been a professional editor for decades. I know …
I am, but not just because she is editing for free. She’s always been like a big sister to me.
I guess that’s why I got her a pair of Fancy Bitch socks for Christmas.
She’s got a bit of an edge to her, so she loves them. In turn, she just sent me a book. I think the gift is a not-so-subtle tip to use better grammar when writing. If you are serious about becoming a better writer, GET. THIS. BOOK. Oh, sorry, my caps lock and period keys sometimes get stuck due to peanut butter in the keyboard. Here’s the book …
This post is dedicated to all the aspiring bloggers and writers that may read this. No pics, gifs or ‘continue reading’ links to click.
I have officially finished a piece of writing outside of this blog that brings me great satisfaction. My book? Well, maybe not so much. It is about two-thirds complete, but I don’t like it as much as I had hoped. If I don’t like it, how can I expect the general public to like it? Of course, Trump was elected, so I guess quality product is not that important to the general public after all. Further proof of that is that many people consider The Big Bang Theory to be a funny television show. Spoiler alert … it’s not. Anyway, my book is not abandoned, just shelved for a while as I have delved into short story fiction.
When I started writing this blog 3+ years ago to get some writing practice in an attempt to become a better writer, I could not write fiction. Yes, I had tried it in the past, and the attempts were cringe-inducing. I kept one of those attempts to inspire me to do better. Now I have a fictional short story that I really like … A LOT! Wow, I sound almost Trumpian there in praise of my efforts.
But my point in this post is to encourage YOU to keep writing. Take chances. Take risks. Write something different. Write for yourself. You never know where it may lead you. It is taking me down an unexpected fictional path. Well, the path is not fictional, but the resulting stories are. When our internet was out this past week, that was reason enough for me not to work, and I pounded out a first draft of a new story that I also very much like.
I have seen fellow bloggers try to take new paths before with disastrous (my opinion only) results, abandon the project, and go back to doing what they do best. That’s okay. Not all new projects are successes. Case in point … the My Fave Faves feature on this blog. I publicly abandoned ship on the second post of that feature because I realized that even I didn’t care about it. But I like writing about music, so my new feature called New Music for Old Rockers will likely hang around for a bit. It’s a new path for me that pleases me, at least for now. It’s less about me, and more about the music. I’m not interesting, but the music is. I have seen others bloggers branch out in new and interesting (again, my opinion) ways, finding a new path for their writing. Write On!
I would also encourage you to get an editor. I am fortunate to have a cousin who is also my godmother, but who I consider more as an older sister (sounds like a Tennessee family tree) that is also a professional editor and published author. She was the one who had been encouraging me to write for years now. You can blame her for this blog. While she liked my first fictional story, she red-lined it up pretty good in her editing process. I let it sit for six months, partly due to my 2018 mid-term election activity and partly due to wounded pride. After the election, I picked it back up, finally understanding that my cousin, the professional editor, has more skills and experience than I, the hack blogger, will ever have. She was trying to make my story better, and she did. I accepted the edits and it is no less my story, but with a professional edit. So get a second set of eyes on your creations. It can be a blow to your pride, but well worth the experience.
Where will I go from here with my short-story fiction? I guess if I write enough of them, that could be a book. I’m not sure, but that’s the path I’m headed down now. I will not be publishing them here. I feel comfortable in saying that if you are reading this blog, then I can’t trust you or your judgement. You will have to be content with another Mite Be Funny cartoon tomorrow. I know, I know. I announced a hiatus for Mite Be Funny, and there was much rejoicing. I even attended several ‘Mite Be Funny Ends!’ parties. I started Mite Be Funny with the unrealistic goal of 100 cartoons. Tomorrow will be #102. I can’t stop. It pleases me. That’s my point in this post. Write what pleases you. Write On!
I’m off to Orlando on a business trip which once again underscores the complete lack of glamour in business travel. There is no place I would like to be less than the land of heat, humidity, and screaming kids at the height of summer. The trade show I am attending used to be held in Miami Beach in the summer. It was a lot easier for me to justify heading to the ocean than staying in the Mouse’s house nowhere near the ocean, but right in the midst of tens of thousands of vacationing kids. I truly dread this trip.
As I prepped for this trip, I realized that I had once again surpassed a couple milestones.
I just finished the basics for what I consider my first proper short story. Sure, I’ve written a lot before including over 1000 posts here, but this is a real short story with words and not gifs, punctuation with proper use of apostrophes & parentheses, gerunds & infinitives, fictional characters that are not Donald Trump (we would be so lucky if Trump was a fictional character), a plot and not my usual rambling screed (which is where I sense this blog post is headed), and some meaning and message rather than the usual head-scratching jokey post.
So now what? I could publish it here and watch as one of my blog readers takes it and sells it to Hollywood as a major motion picture screenplay starring Chris Pratt and Scarlett Johannson. You greedy bastards. You would cut me out, wouldn’t you? Just for that, I have decided to do this instead …
Today marks the day that I posted first to this blog 2 years ago. I’d like to think that I started this blog as an apolitical blog with lots of hilarious posts about meteor showers and bath towels. Yes, there were some of those, although hilarious may be a strong adjective to use, but my first 4 posts were actually bipartisan political posts covering Mike Huckabee, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and of course, Donald Trump who was a real joke back then. Some things never change. It wasn’t long before I published one of my all-time favorite Trump posts about illegal immigration. Ah, the good old days when Trump satire still worked.
Before this post devolves into a “best of” post, I want to impart unto/inflict onto my readers all the things I have learned about writing and blogging in these past 2 years.