RoW80 Update: January 25th!

“Lookie here.” There was a grin lurking deep in the shadows of his helmet. “I caught myself a little snake.”
But snakes were known to bite.

Thanks to a coworker with a bad rash (another consequence of which was my inability to keep from making jokes about herpes), I wound up without my usual Monday off, which was a total bummer and makes for a pretty anticlimatic and uneventful Wednesday RoW update. I’ve been doing a little bit here and there when I can, but time has been the complete opposite of bountiful these past few days. Let us see, however, what the cards will lie:

Serpent in a Cage: The rewrite is coming along steadily, but that’s mostly because the Prologue will stay the same, so I’ve just been transcribing and tweaking that a little bit, about a page a day since I started, which lands us currently on page 6. Things won’t start changing until the first chapter, so I’ve got a day or so to go until things start to get really interesting.

Bowlful of Bunnies: I’m not going to lie; typing up Lightheart might have been a bad move. The first two parts of it are awesome, but the second two are so terrible that I half wonder how I ever let this thing see the light of day back in college. I’d love to work with the first part, but it’s going to take a lot more work than the time I allotted for this project, so I might just boot it and save it for another time. I’m worried about having enough material for a short story collection, to be honest, and I mostly blame the blow to my ego that was the second two parts of Lightheart. I’ve got a few more stories to type up and we’ll see if I feel better about them, but I’m thinking of possibly readjusting my goal and trying the new chick lit idea I had to fit the bill for my Test Run on e-publishing. We’ll see where we are on Saturday. I’m not about to let one bad story derail the whole project so swiftly.

But I think I might open the floor a little for suggestions here, considering I’ll have to produce enough new material for half of the collection: What do you like to read in a collection< of short stories? Do you like a lot of variety, or do you tend to prefer stories that are all similar in some way? Do you like funny stories, serious stories, bizarre stories best? What are some of your favorite short stories or short story authors that I might turn to for inspiration? Do you like shorter ones? Longer ones? A good mix of both? I’d be interested to hear what everyone thinks so I can get some ideas.

The 100 Books Project: I know I’ve been promising a review since Sunday’s check-in, but finishing up the first book is taking a little longer than anticipated, since I have to read everything, and what I thought was just a short preview of the author’s other books at the end of the novel is turning out to be, like, four or five chapters each, and it’s not getting me to the end end as quickly as I’d have liked. At this rate, I’ll have finished my 700+ book for the Tea and Books Challenge first! Only 150 pages away! Whoo hoo! I cannot end this month without any books read, even if I’m within about 100 pages of finishing three different books, so I think I’ll be good.

Black Dome Society: I wrote….three sentences of it since the last check-in! That’s three sentences more than I had anticipated, so I’ll take it as a win. The problem with working with other people on a project is that you have to have the other person there to work with you on it, otherwise, it just seems pointless. So who knows what the fate of this piece will be.

Blogging: I’ve been keeping up with a comment-a-day, a post-a-day (if you don’t include Saturday), and I have almost twice as many views this month as I did any month last year. Man, I hope I can keep that up, but it’s all about getting yourself out there and making connections, and I look forward to doing a lot more of that in February. Thanks so much for everyone who has been contributing to make my numbers look so good and make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

So how’s it going for everyone else? It feels like I’m doing a lot of tweaking this round, which is part of the beauty of RoW80, but I think part of that is due to the fact that my goals were pretty loose to begin with. Next round, I should consider something more specific, but, until then, I’ll keep plugging away at these ones and trying (though mostly failing) at visiting my fellow RoWers here!

Happy Writing!


  1. I love Alice Munro.. her collection of short stories ~~ “Runaway” … loved it but most especially the one called “Too much Happiness”~~ loved the whole book….

    John Updike has a great collection too… called “My Father’s tears” also one I have and have re read over and over…..”Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link

    One I have read, but not a big fan of, though I enjoyed it and I know you would love is “Fragile things” but Neil Gaiman (not sure if that’s the right spelling) but when I read them I thought this is a “Laura collection!”

    Also Kim Chinquee a personal friend of mine… her collection of flash fiction I love “Oh Baby”

    just my opinion.. but without reading and writing.. I would be so lost…. so very lost… thanks for your contribution …. you know I love you!

    • I just read “Fragile Things” recently; some of the stories were pretty good, but I think I much prefer his novels. I have a copy of “Oh Baby,” too, even though I missed Kim as a professor. I love the title of the Kelly Link one….I might have to check that one out next!

      And I love you too!

    • A “RoWer” is a participant in the fabulous A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a free-form writing challenge where you set your own goals, within an 80 period. There’s a great community of support and inspiration (and most of the people I blog with I’ve met through RoW80), and we do check-ins every Sunday and Wednesday to see how everyone’s doing. I can easily say that hopping aboard was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my writing. Go, RoW80! Whooo!

  2. Cheers! Sounds like you’re doing well. I hear ya about the old stories. I know some of the stories I was so proud of in college and high school make me cringe now. But maybe what I’m writing now will make me cringe in another decade or two. LOL. We always keep learning. At least we can keep updates some of those oldies.

    • I always wonder if the stuff I write now will make me want to hide in ten years’ time, too! But it’s definitely encouraging to know that we’re always improving, isn’t it? And there’s always a chance to taking something less impressive now and brushing it up a little.

  3. I think a mixture would be good in a short story collection, I don’t tend to read many and if I do I like it if they aren’t all on the same topic or genre, but maybe others think differently? 3 sentences is more than I’ve managed on my WIP this week, so I would be chuffed to do that – maybe I will for Sunday’s check-in! lol Keep at it, you’re doing great and as you say tweaking is not an issue with ROW! πŸ˜€

  4. I love short story collections and I don’t really care what’s in them, as long as they are interesting. My three favorite short story collections are: Over the Hedge by Robin McKinley, A Knot in the Grain by Robin McKinley, and Unexpected Magic by Diana Wynne Jones.

    I recommend McKinley for ideas on short stories, because she does them so well! She seems to have a knack for writing exactly the correct amount of detail and the right length.

    Also, if you don’t have enough for a short story collection, don’t despair, just write more! πŸ™‚

    • I’ve always wanted to read more McKinley….this just provides a really good excuse to!

      And the only problem with writing more is just finding the time and the right inspiration to do so!

  5. Interesting ideas here. I’m thinking about doing an A to Z short story collection for the A-Z Blogging Challenge in April, but seriously hadn’t put my mind about what type of stories might intrigue me enough to write them, or for other’s to possibly read them. Length, detail – I really need to think a little bit more.
    Thanks to all the RoWers on here for some good suggestions to follow up on.

    • And thank you for the awesome suggestion, too! I love the idea of an A-Z short story collection. 26 seems like a perfect amount for such a book. I’m totally going to have to steal that idea.

  6. I enjoy bizarre short stories. Charles Beaumont and Ray Bradbury come to mind. I don’t really pay attention to length, although recently I read a collection that had poetry, short pieces, and longer short stories that were awesome.

    Good luck on your projects. It’s hard to shelve WIPs, but I’ve done plenty of that myself. And I do revisit those pieces.

    • Thanks, Medeia! Yeah, that’s the one thing about shelved projects. You can always return to them and, usually, when you do, you wind up making them much better than you would have if you’d have done it when you originally planned.

  7. It seems like you’re getting your momentum back. Superwoman is recovering! LOL

    I like short stories of all types, but there’s one thing that’s very important to me that a lot of short stories lack. Closure. I don’t know how many times I’ve been reading a short story when suddenly it just…ends. And I’m like “huh?”. I always feel so cheated when that happens. It’s almost like the author stopped in the middle of a thought. I’ve never understood why authors do that.

    • Ahahaha, Superwoman! I wish! But I totally agree on the closure thing, and I think that’s why I’ve always doubted myself as a short story writing. I’m a novelist….even my novels are part of a series, too, that spans generations and genres. How the heck can I contain a whole story in just a few thousand words?

      Then again, that’s part of the challenge and why I love them so much. Ironically, the two short stories of my own that I like the best are actually flash fiction, only three short paragraphs each! But I feel they have closure and I think they’re just brilliant. I’d love to have a chance to write even just a few more things as tight as those two.

  8. I have had to revamp goals more than once as things got squishy in my life and plans took unexpected turns. As for the short story collection, I tend to like stories connected in some way. However, they can be a very loose connection. They don’t have to be the same genre.

    Best wishes for a great week! You’re making some real progress.

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