Short Stories……

When I do presentations, I’m often asked the question as to whether I prefer writing fiction or non-fiction. That’s a tough call because each has elements I enjoy. Short stories are another category and I think virtually every writer comes through short stories first. (Yes, there no doubt are some who have penned a book instead.) If you haven’t been in the short story archive on my website, I would encourage you to do so. Now, you will notice that a great many of my stories do take place in bars and they fall generally into the “Chick Lit” genre. In actuality, when I began writing them, that genre had not been defined as such. Most are designed to bring forth smiles and giggles if not outright laughs. A few will bring misty eyes or tears and the word “poignant” has to come to mind.

I go for long stretches without being inspired to write a story – especially when I’m involved with book projects. (I almost always have at least two projects working.) Interestingly, I will frequently begin a short story when I’m traveling. Part of that is because as I move through airports and hear snippets of conversations, that tends to set the brain to working – who are these people?, why are they on their way?, etc. The other part is if I’m visiting with friends or relatives, events in their lives may spark an idea. One advantage of short stories is variable length. I don’t recall when, but at some point, “flash fiction” came about. That’s 1,000 words or less. My initial thoughts were, “How am I going to create and do any sort of character development with any sort of plot in 1,000 words or less?” Then it occurred to me I could key off song lyrics as an example. After all if you can manage Haiku with only seventeen syllables, and sonnets with only fourteen lines, why not fiction in 1,000 words? I don’t do flash fiction as a rule, but it does work once you accept the idea. So, take some time, pop onto the website, wander through my archive, and forgive the editorial mistakes. I’m not as careful as I should be and I’ve made a promise to myself to be more attentive in the future.

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