Friday, April 26, 2013

My Week in Review: April 19 - 26, 2013

Sunny Skies?
After all of the rain we've been getting here in Chicago, I'm ready for it to be sunny. Fortunately, we've had sun now, for the past couple of days. I'm afraid to look up the forecast just in case there's more rain on the way. I know, who cares what the weather is where I am? Well, it rained so freakin' hard last week, that my neighborhood was flooded. Bad. Like, people displaced from their homes bad. We were fortunate not to be affected, but here's a picture of a branch of the Chicago River that's just a block or so away from my house. I'm standing on the trail, which goes off to the right of the tree. As you can see, it's completely submerged. I took this picture last weekend, when the rains had mostly stopped. I'll bet the river was worse during the actual storms.

I'm stuck on a short story I've been working on for, well, in its current incarnation, the past two weeks, though it seems longer. I wrote the original version about a month ago, for speakeasy #102, in which the first line, "It was impossible," was provided by Suzanne of Apoplectic Apostrophes. The word limit was 500 words, but as regular readers know, I've been trying to write longer pieces, so mine went over. Now, the first line is completely different, and I have finished part one of what I think will be a two-part piece. And I'm at around 2400 words! Woo hoo! I'm sure it will get pared down after revisions, but so far I'm happy with what I have.

Also, we're going to start workshopping our stories in my fiction class in two weeks and two people are supposed to bring in hard copies for everyone on Wednesday. The instructor asked for volunteers, and since I feel stuck and could use some feedback, I raised my hand. We're still waiting for a second volunteer. I'm nervous, big surprise. I'm familiar with the workshop setting because that's how my poetry classes were conducted in grad school. But this is different because I'm still so new to writing fiction.

How was your week?

Linking up with the folks at yeah write this weekend for the moonshine grid #106. Hope to see you there!


  1. Good luck on your short story. I have trouble writing short. I am working on one for the Sword and Laser anthology.

  2. Wow, that's some serious flooding! They were giving flood warnings here in Michigan, but we were fortunate to not have too much of a problem with it. Tons of rain lately here, too, but at least our lawns are nice and green now!
    Good luck on your workshop! That is definitely nerve wracking, but a great excercise.

  3. Holy crap, here's to no more rain for a while, that looks pretty bad!

    Looks like you're slowly working your way up to longer and longer pieces. I should really start following in your footsteps soon.

  4. Wow, all that flooding. I love Chicago...lots of good memories there . I was initially having problems with my writing in too brief a style. I have been able to change it with some practice but I find my researching nature tends to come back and I have to really make an effort to improve my descriptions and stop eliminating things people may want to know. That helped me the most...I sent it to an editor and we met and he said to start asking myself If I didnt know the story what would I want to know about it that wasnt included in my original version. It worked pretty well. Good Luck!

  5. I do! Unfortunately, I won't be at BlogHer, but if there are yeahwriters who'll be there, I'd love to get together!

    I actually love whittling things down! It makes me feel like Michelangelo carving a sculpture from a slab of marble. It's writing that slab that's so hard for me, and I agree, fiction writing can be intimidating, but like with most things, it just takes practice. A writer friend told me that if you don't allow yourself to write the "failed" stories, you might be afraid to take more risks that turns into something awesome. Plus, I know you're a good storyteller, so that really works in your favor.

  6. Thanks! I have trouble writing long. lol Good luck with the piece you're working on!

  7. You probably got the rains we had! I'm glad the floods weren't a problem. There are some main roads out in the suburbs that are so flooded, people can't even travel on them. And then on the news they said some crazy thing (they thought it was crazy, too) about how, because of the floods, gas prices are going up. What the what?


  8. I consider myself a native Chicagoan despite being born in the Philippines. I mean, I've lived in the US since I was 3! I grew up on the North Side, so by default, I'm a Cubs fan. Though honestly, I'm not a fan of the fans because I have to pre-plan any routes I might take on game days because of traffic and the drunkenness. There are so many bars right by Wrigley Field, so it's to be expected, I guess, but it can get a little scary. To be completely honest, I'm more of a football and hockey fan than I am of baseball. ;-)

  9. Yeah, and the flooding is so much worse in other parts of the Chicagoland area. It's sunny today, but again, I'm afraid to check the forecast!

    I love participating in the various online writing challenges, though I haven't lately because I'm trying not to limit myself to the word counts they, understandably, impose. It's really taken my writing to lots of places!

  10. Thanks, Zoe! That's an excellent way of looking at it. I've been looking at things from the opposite view -- what don't the readers need to know, and then cut that out. Yes, that's a fresh perspective. Also, I think I may need to set the story aside for a bit and work on other things.

  11. I love sunny days!! Always puts me in a great mood!! Too much rain just makes me grumpy.

    Great job on the writing!!!


  12. The nicer warmer and drier weather has been good for me too.
    Good luck on your workshop event.

  13. I'm totally enjoying the dry, warm weather! Thanks, Bill. :-)

  14. Good for you for volunteering!! That is so awesome! Hope it warms up-you could always come to LA :)

  15. Haha! We'll see how I feel about volunteering after next Wednesday ;-)


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