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Short Stories: December 12, 2018 Issue [#9279]

 This week: Name that Tune!
  Edited by: Legerdemain
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

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.

This week's Short Story Editor

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Letter from the editor

Name That Tune!

This time of year I find myself digging through old CDs, surfing YouTube and clicking all the station locations in my car to avoid the repetitious holiday music everyone thinks I need to hear. For a month. Over and over. Ack! The good news is I get to listen to some old favorites, find some new ones and get out of the musical rut for a while.

Whether the song is old or new, soft or hard, sung or screamed, I often find myself dwelling on lyrics and winding a story idea around them. Sometimes a song creates an image in my mind and I'm inspired to weave a story that includes that image. Other times, songs remind me of something in the past, a person or place and I start from there. My favorite are songs that tell a story, some of the best come from singer/songwriters because they feel so personal. Surprising? Probably not. Many musicians generate lyrics from something emotional or personal, so why wouldn't they evoke the same feelings in a listener? Just like a reader would create an image of a character in their mind that might not be exactly what you as a writer imagined, interpreting music can be the same.

Try listening to some new music. Not a big country music fan? Not all country music is about pickup trucks, guitars and yellow dogs. Perhaps Christian or gospel music could inspire a new character. Remember disco's polyester suits and wide labels? A good way to dress a retro character. Once, a friend and I started singing along with the canned music in an elevator, only to emerge in the lobby and find out the elevator is on camera for security. *Blush*

Certainly listening to indigenous music could help you imagine a setting in a remote location. Even if you don't understand the language, the emotion in the music could be inspiring. You might catch yourself dancing to the beat and getting a little exercise in the process! So give music a try, play it while you're writing, or in the car, and let it inspire new characters and settings. Write on!

This month's question: Has music inspired something in your writing?
Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

 Gift  (E)
The sound of engines has faded to nothing. I am half a trillion miles from Earth.
#2177039 by Q-D

Excerpt: I step out, hoping briefly that my colleagues have woken too. They haven’t. Anna will sleep for another year, Sora another decade. The solitude is unnerving, though I can see their calm faces sleeping behind glass windows. The circular room, dark except for the faint light spilling from my chamber, is still, motionless, like a paused film.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2176676 by Not Available.

Excerpt: Most people think that Hell is where you burn for eternity. That's just a fantasy.

I would rather let my skin fry than endure a frozen Hell.

But that’s where I was; deep in the ninth circle, mulling over an empty bottle in my lap. The icy wind shrieked past, piercing frayed clothes like a frozen knife. Liquor helped with the chill, but I was fresh out.

Jackie's Birthday  (E)
A story of friendship between two girls
#2147201 by J.L. O'Dell

Excerpt: They were born on the same day, of the same year. They met in grade school and became the best of friends. They were besties. In second grade they swore a solemn oath, that they would be friends forever. “You broke the oath, Taylor. I know you didn’t mean to.”

 Zelphia's Dragon  (E)
Zelphia will go to any length to get what she wants - revenge.
#1735376 by Charity Marie > 🇺🇦

Excerpt: “Really Zelphia, I think this is a bad idea. Why would you want to create one of those dragon beasts anyway? They are terrifying monsters, responsible for destroying villages and snatching up humans for dinner. Their extinction was a blessing.”

Love on the Moon  (13+)
The arrival of the aliens, the Lydeans, has changed Nino and Noémi's life.
#2176941 by PastorJuan

Excerpt: “Well, Nino, this will definitely look good to humans throughout the planet. They will see it as an act of self-control, a magnanimous gesture on the part of the Lydeans.”

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2173455 by Not Available.

Excerpt: It happened last October while I was in my garage putting the finishing touches on a homemade guillotine. My handiwork was going to be central to a nocturnal spectacle I was planning for Halloween. At precisely eight O’clock on that most ghoulish of nights, I was going to delight the ghosts and goblins in the neighborhood by chopping the pumpkin-head off of a straw scarecrow.

Going Once... Going Twice...  (18+)
Delving into the world of breeder dog auctions.
#2174356 by Mastiff

Excerpt: Dog breeding in Missouri is out of control. You might find this story more frightening than funny, but while I was scared out of my mind, what I managed to do was priceless. So forget my knickers, which may or may not have been soiled, and enjoy.

Red Rose  (ASR)
A red rose at Christmas (Winner, Cramp)
#2176407 by Thankful Sonali Going CRAZY!

Excerpt: We gazed at it for a few minutes, and then called the rest of the family. Everyone needed to be around when we lit the diyas. We had decided to use traditional Indian oil lamps for light, instead of electric bulbs. It was a bit of a balancing act, but our cousin Shyamal was more than up to the task. Twenty little earthen diyas were strategically placed on the tree, balanced, their wicks embedded to avoid any chance of fire.

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Ask & Answer

This month's question: Has music inspired something in your writing?
Send in your answer below! Editors love to know you're reading and responding!

Last month's question: Do you follow a formula for your short stories?

Osirantinous responds: Fun newsletter, Leger. I don't use a formula in my short stories intentionally since my main two focus points are the prompt and the word count. But, thinking of a couple of my stories, I do generally have highly flavoured characters, intense POV or themes, but very bland settings. Often, a setting is the last thing on my list of ingredients because 1. the characters come first and 2. I suck at description.

Peacerose sends: Thank you for your comparison of writing to cooking. It hit home with me. Hopefully it will improve my writing.

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