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Short Stories: December 18, 2012 Issue [#5421]

Short Stories

 This week: Happy New Year!
  Edited by: ~*~Leger~*~
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The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com short story author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the short story author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.

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Happy New Year!

I'm getting a head start! *Bigsmile* Actually, this is my last short stories newsletter until 2013 so I thought I'd sent my annual "Resolutions" newsletter before the end of the year so you have a little time to think about it. Yeah, I'm sneaky like that. I made a few resolutions last January and I think most of them went down the tubes before Valentine's Day. If I can make it to the end of February this year, I'll be happy. One was to post a photograph every day of the year. 360° of FAIL. I don't take pictures every day and like a dunce...didn't just POST one every day. I have thousands and thousands of photos. So...I'll try again this year. I also made a writing resolution that perhaps you can adopt and maintain better than I did. I resolved to write every day. If I count writing checks for bills and chatting, I probably achieved 50% success. It seems once you get lazy about it, it becomes even harder to jump in the ring again.

So here are a few suggestions...try them. Well maybe not ALL of them, but try one or two. You'll have a productive January, at least.

*Idea* Start a Book item and instead of blogging about inane things - try posting a sketch every day. It doesn't have to be a complete scene or story, just post something that's on your mind. It could be a character, a setting...even a poem or funny quote one of your characters likes to say.

*Idea* Go out and actually buy that notebook everyone says you should tote around. I have one in my purse, and I admit it looks pretty darn ratty from riding around with all my other junk. It has a few sketches, some phone numbers (note to self, put the name on them!) and grocery lists in it. Oh, stick a pencil or pen with it. Those tiny pencils from the miniature golf place work wonders!

*Idea* Visit our prompt page! http://www.writing.com/main/writing_prompts   Pick up some ideas or add one!

*Idea* I have a desktop size calendar hanging on my wall for appointments, etc. It used to hold the schedules for all my kids so I could get them to the right activity at the right time. Now they're adults and I find it useful to remind me to do stuff here at WDC. Get a calendar, put some goals on it! Oh...those beeswax stickum hooks hold that big thing up just fine. The kids, they're on their own. Hah.

*Idea* I see you staring at your smart phone. Yeah, use it! If you have a phone with internet browsing or an app for taking notes, take advantage of those options when you think of something to write. Log in to WDC and write it down. You might be young and your brain all nice and pink and squishy...but once you start having responsibilities, it turns into swiss cheese and your great idea at the time will be long gone before you get home. (This does NOT mean text and drive! It means hold people up when the light turns green because you're not done typing.) What I really mean is when you're waiting in the dentist office, write ideas instead of reading old children's magazines. This aces going over to your social media site and stalking some chick you graduated with 10 years ago.

*Idea* If all else fails, call your kid at home and tell them to write the idea down on the fridge notepad! Just shout a few words at them and hang up. This gets you a nice padded place in the old folks home much sooner.

*Idea* Share your ideas. I think a lot of writers have a tendency to be very insular with their ideas. And while your friends might suggest some crazy stuff, it doesn't hurt to share a budding idea with them and brainstorm. You might not use any of it, but it helps widen your scope of thought about your story. If you don't want to share with close family, your friends here at WDC can help too. Some of the most famous authors will bounce ideas around with other people. This helps us from moving to Crazytown on a permanent basis. It's a nice place to visit...

*Idea* READ! Hanging out with someone else's characters can be fun. Fun not only to read the story but to step back as an author and examine how the other writer developed and personalized their character.

Well there you have it, a few ideas for you to chomp on. Think about an achievable goal and try it. I'll be checking in with you in February. *Wink* Write on!

This month's question: What goals would you like to achieve in 2013?

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This item number is not valid.
#1885769 by Not Available.

Excerpt: "Please come out with me tonight," she'd pleaded. "I'm so fed up with stopping in all the while, waiting for Terry to phone me." How do you tell your best friend that the 'love of her life' is a selfish, cheating, whatsit?

 A Rough Start  (18+)
The new year is turning out to be quite interesting...
#1740028 by RS KrisAnn-Thanks Blainecindy!

Excerpt: Ever since the first of the year, my nights have been interesting, to say the least. Not to say they have been filled with long, sensual lovemaking or wild parties twenty-one year olds would be ashamed to miss. No. It’s nothing like that. My nights are a bit darker.

 Resolutions Kept  (E)
Sam finds something in his closet. (Flash Fiction)
#1510511 by Hyperiongate

Excerpt: The list was short. “I resolve to clean out the closet in the back bedroom.”

 Drowning in Winter Cold  (E)
From the beginning, Dad taught me to appreciate the value of an animals life.
#1908079 by mr. Wordsmith

Excerpt: While growing up as a child, my father used the outdoors as a chalkboard for learning lessons on life and death. And nature in its most intimate moments of expression, became treasured possessions of “my life experience chest.” Dad used these teaching opportunities as sacred escapes, when I needed help to negotiate the typical authority conflict, a son can experience in his relationship with mom.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1905134 by Not Available.

Excerpt: She’s not that big but she has more twist and turns then a mountain road. You remember how high she jumped and apparently she’s mean as a junkyard dog. She likes to bite the unsuspecting handlers. She’s a fantastic ride though and you could score in the high 80’s if you stay the eight seconds. That would put you in the prize zone.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1903702 by Not Available.

Excerpt: “George Clancy,” said the judge before me, “do you plead guilty or not guilty?”

“Guilty,” I said trying to put on a brave face. If I had not pleaded guilty the case I had wouldn’t have helped much. It wasn’t my fault. Well, the way things were then it might bloody well have been my own fault. It had all started a few weeks before when my home was broken in by a small squad of men whom I fended off with my standard issue S-500 laser rifle, a laser rifle that can turn into a laser sword in its most blunt reference. A few days later several police officials came to my house and arrested me on charges of piracy and took my gun as evidence. In those days anyone who was known to be against the Galactic Slavery Pact and owned any sort of weapon was accused of piracy.

Unlikely Christmas Miracle  (E)
A woman receives a very unexpected miracle at Christmas time.
#1908430 by Iva Lilly Durham

Excerpt: "Elderly people cry quietly." This was his explanation for keeping her all night for tests. She assumed he meant that small symptoms were more likely to be serious in older people.

The Cleaner  (13+)
12/19 SS News Feature/Co-Winner! You're a maid or cleaning person. By the way,you're male.
#1901728 by A* Wandering *Faith

Excerpt: As I swept the fast food containers into the bin I couldn’t help but think that with all the money the Mafia had, they could afford to eat a little healthier. I lifted the dead man’s head to reach the quarter pounder sandwiched between what was left of his skull and the mahogany table. The irony of there being red tinged fries with no ketchup bottle in sight wasn’t lost on me. Such is the humor of a Cleaner. “If you can’t laugh at death then you’ve got no business in The Business.” Chuck’s favorite line. I shook my head, no time to ride down my old mentor’s memory lane; I had a Job to do, a big one at that.

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This month's question: What goals would you like to achieve in 2013?

Last month's question: What is your most frustrating problem with secondary characters?

Tina's TEN YR Anniv answered: I know this might be a little late, but I have trouble keep them from trying to become a major character or just becoming a ghost that passes in and out of the story. I am working on this in my new novel.

BIG BAD WOLF Is Howling!!!!!!! replied: Sometimes they have a strong personality- Take the movie, "The Man who shot Liberty Valence" with John Wayne. The Eastener was to be the main character, but John Wayne's character seems to overwhelm him at times.

A* Wandering *Faith responded: This secondary character had me wondering about Harry Potter, several times I've had friends say that Ron and sometimes Hermione overshadowed Harry, even though he went through the most I had to agree with them to some extent, what do you think?

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