This week: Chance EncountersEdited by: Shannon
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Welcome to the Short Stories Newsletter. I am Shannon and I'm your editor this week.
Writers never know where their next inspiration will come from: a particularly good line of dialogue from a film, a beautiful piece of instrumental music, a snippet from an overheard conversation, an old yellowed photograph, a broken, discarded toy.
I recently stumbled upon an interesting website called Missed Connections where people from all over the world try to find someone they had a chance encounter with. Most of the searchers don't even know the name of the person they're looking for, but they're searching for him or her nonetheless.
I became fascinated with these personal glimpses into people's lives, reading page after page as people from all walks of life opened their hearts and placed their hopes and dreams at the feet of complete strangers. I read things like, "Erica, it's me, Kardo," and "Somewhere in America... I don't know where" and "We spoke of chromosomes, interrogative sentences, the sleeping God and your ambition." I wondered how many of the sought-after people even know that someone is looking for them. How many actually respond? Are there any happy endings?
Apparently my muse isn't alone. Artist and writer Sophie Blackall has written a book titled Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found which was inspired by the Missed Connections website. I haven't read it (yet), but it's in my queue. Blackall was so haunted by these stories that she painted a Missed Connections mural for the New York City Transit System, and her work appears in trains all over the city.
Do you need something to spark your creativity? Is there someone your character wishes he could see again? Check out the site! You can search all missed connections personals, or you can narrow your search by city, zip code, or state. It may not inspire your muse, but you'll never know unless you try. And who knows ... maybe someone is looking for you.
Thank you for reading.
I hope you enjoy this week's featured selections. Please remember to do the authors the courtesy of reviewing the ones you read. Thank you, and have a great week!
And although I usually don't do this, I thought I'd throw in one of my own stories for good measure.
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The following is in response to "Short Stories Newsletter (February 29, 2012)" :
ember_rain says, "Writing sprints are what got me through November. :) It has proven the best way to keep me writing. Set a time, write for that time, take a break, then repeat. It's nice to see others that may or may not do Nanowrimo appreciating what that tool can do for you. Great Newsletter! You are awesome. Did you know that already? No... Well you are. Keep up the good work, being awesome. We all appreciate it greatly. :)" This made me laugh out loud! Thank you for your very generous words of support and encouragement. I appreciate your kindness.
Dr. Dnomyar says, "This nl was great i just wish i had the time do those marathons." I'm glad you enjoyed the newsletter! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
Nicki <3's Mara!! says, "Writing Down the Bones is one of my favorite books on the craft. I haven't done a writing marathon in a long time--think I'll change that today! Thanks for the great NL " Yeah, mine too. I've read it, listened to the collector's edition audiobook, re-read and listened again, and each time I learn something new. And I'm glad you liked the NL.
Lauriemariepea says."Hi, Shannon. I love Natalie Goldberg's books! I enjoyed her books about Buddhism and her novels, too. It's interesting seeing the results from the practice she espouses (and clearly follows, herself.) Her writing feels immediate and authentic. Good for you, that you keep up a regular writing practice. I can't seem to be able to do it for any length of time--some distraction always gets in the way. Can only keep trying, right? Thanks for the newsletter--as always, a pleasure." You're very welcome. Thank YOU for reading! Yes, I love Goldberg's work, too. I'm currently reading Thunder and Lightning (published in 2001 as a sequel to Bones and Wild Mind) AND Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir, published in 2007. I highlight, write notes in the margins, and bookmark my favorite pages. It seems no matter how many times I read them, I always come away with something fresh and new.
Bronx Kuttner says, "Excellent advice! This looks to be a great group. I particularly agree with the trust your first words as I often wish I had stuck with my first words." Me too! I also loves how Goldberg says writers must be ruthless samurai--unafraid to cut what's not essential to the story. I keep these words in mind when I edit. It's not easy, but necessary.
The following is in response to "Short Stories Newsletter (December 27, 2011)" :
Scottey says, "Dear Shannon, thank you for the wonderful story about your grandson, Skyler. He is awesome. God loves him, his mom loves him, you love him, and I love him. He is special, but loved as much as any other child. I live with a Romanian orphan whom I have had to spend countless hours tutoring just to get her up to US standards. However, she is going to graduate this year with a BS in business and marketing. She has been worth all the time and trouble. In my eyes she is a success already for overcoming her handicap. I am certain that with the love and support you and Skyler's mom have for him, he will be a bright, happy, successful person. When you are down and discouraged, just ask God for help and understanding. God made him and loves him just the same. Keep positive and encouraging and he will succeed. Best wishes. I will certainly pray for you and Skyler." Aw, thank you so much for your beautiful comments! And thank you for sharing your story with us. It's inspiring gives me hope. Thank you.
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