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Short Stories: January 09, 2019 Issue [#9323]

 This week: Santa! I know him!
  Edited by: Leger~
                             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

Santa! I know him!

The holidays are over and winter is settling in (in the USA). It's been dreary and raining for like....forever here on the east coast. And while I'd much prefer to hibernate like a bear, I'm trying to be more productive while the weather keeps me indoors. So...what to do?

I hope to keep working on some offline novels but here at WDC, I want to get some short stories down on paper. If you have similar goals, what inspiration do you have? While gathering with my friends after the holiday frenzy, the first thing we do is share the funny/sad/crazy anecdotes of the season. With family, friends, kids, and grandkids all in the picture, there's usually a good story or two to tell.

Our annual fun includes a friend who plays Santa on Christmas Eve. He rides around on top of the fire truck, down every street in our town and waves to all the kids while the firefighters hand out candy canes. But you know...Santa has to pee at some point. So our friend stops the truck at our house, comes in and visits, has photos with the kids/grandkids/neighbor kids in the house and then takes a quick bathroom break. And well, since it's the Legerhousehold, he sneaks into the fenced-in backyard to have a quick smoke and a shot of booze. He'd never want the kids seeing Santa smoking. It's chaotic and always includes one kid who cries but it's all great fun and a great story to tell.

Of course, names will be changed to protect the innocent. Or the guilty. Either way, if you don't want to write an exact account of what happened in your stories, jot down a few ideas to use for your characters or scenes.

This month's question: Do you use personal experiences and anecdotes in your writing? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

The Winning Color  (ASR)
A defeated Queen attempts to bring a victory to her troops
#2179314 by Emily

Excerpt: It was never quiet here, but as the Queen observed her troops, the orange glow from the streetlamp overhead glinting off their inky black surface, she supposed this was as close as it would get.

She had lived her whole life here on her stone battlefield next to the 5th street subway listening to the hustle and bustle of the city street during the day, and the babble of drunks and wannabe players as they leave the bars at closing time. Now, like all the evenings before, she sat stationary – poised against the threat across the checkered field, knowing there was slim hope she would prevail.

 Echoes in the Dark  (ASR)
Hide and seek isn't fun when you get lost...
#2179310 by Ray Scrivener

Excerpt: "Why would anyone want to live here?" Felix asked, helping Aurora unpack her belongings.

They were sitting in a stuffy room, surrounded by cardboard boxes marked with her name and contents. Yellowed wallpaper hung like dead skin, while cobwebs clung to the corners.

Aurora shrugged. "Mom says it has good bones for a fixer upper."

Happily Ever After  (13+)
One last dance... Weird Tales contest runner up
#2168819 by trailerpark bodhisattva

Excerpt: "You must be sure this is what you really want, child." he told her in his rich Cajun accent. "He will use another's body as a vessel, his soul will return but will not look like your beloved. You will know him when he comes to claim you. The Iwa will expect both of your souls in return." Doc was a brilliant medicine man, she trusted him above all others.

Three Wrens on the Rail  (E)
Three wrens influenced by a hummingbird learn from their parents we have the same needs.
#2162341 by bkies

Excerpt: One hot summer morning, three wrens frantically searched for breakfast. Hopping along at a dizzying pace, they scoured the ground for beetles, caterpillars — even spiders — but with no luck. From the sidewalk's edge to the yellow grass to the soft black dirt beneath the hedges, their hunger-driven pace drove another need: thirst!

 The Elven Party  (13+)
A human stumbles into an elf party
#2178648 by Shaye Lorraine

Excerpt: A giggle emanated from behind her, and she spun on her black Louboutin heels.

“Who’s there?” She called out. “I’ve had the sort of night where I’m not in the mood for games.”

No one answered.

 Monolith  (E)
As he woke up in a different room, he saw the Monolith calling him beyond his feet.
#2178834 by Isolated Pawn

Excerpt: “Have you heard the story of Lux Axton; who disappeared from this very house?” Noah Miller asked.

“Is this one of your ‘true’ stories?” I asked.

“I don’t know what you mean. All my stories are true.”

The Writer's Cramp  (13+)
Write the best story OR poem in 24 hours or less and win the 10K GP daily prize!
#333655 by Sophy

Give this contest a try!

God's Telephone  (13+)
2012 Quill winner ~ it will make you cry
#1875288 by Nixie

Excerpt: "Max's got somethin', Mrs. D."

What now? "Another alligator?"

Max called from behind Shea's back, "Nope, no alligator, Mom. ’Sides, it's puny, can't bite anyone."

I massaged the back of my neck, calming a spasm. "Capturing alligators is a felony, for heaven's sake."

"Sorry, Mom." His tone brightened. "He likes his cage."

The Camera  (13+)
A camera seems to take ominous pictures of the future.
#1139776 by Kotaro

Excerpt: “You are John Adams. When you hear the bell ring, you will begin to do as I have told you. I will start the countdown. When I get to one, you will wake and feel refreshed and relaxed. Five, four, three, two, one.”

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Ask & Answer

This month's question: Do you use personal experiences and anecdotes in your writing? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Last month's question: Has music inspired something in your writing?

vada : Definitely. I'm a sucker for sad country songs, and want to give them a happy ending. I've gotten several ideas for new stories through them. Thanks for a great newsletter, Leger. Vada

DuhhFactor : I don't think that any particular song has inspired anything specific in my writing, However, listening to 30 seconds to mars, some of their newer stuff, inspires me to write period. Songs like, "Live like A dream" "Walk on water" and even "Do or Die". especially that last one, I decided to do it, not die without doing it.

Jenstrying : I love listening to music like that. It's also fun to see what works for me and what the dogs approve of. Writing seems to do well for me with music with no words so I make up my own. Music like gypsy guitar, classical and jazz (although I do enjoy jazz with words as well) seem to draw more out of me.
Good newsletter! Thanks!

Paul : I’ve written a dozen short stories inspired by the words in songs, but it’s difficult getting permission to use them. I’ve written many more where the music used me to write its story.

I heard Mrs Robinson (always loved Simon and Garfunkel) as background in something I was watching and wound up writing a Halloween story about helping the daughter of the apartment manager of where I lived in Rye,New Hampshire carve a pumpkin for a contest at school which she won. I was working on the computers on the Polaris/Poseidon submarines in Portsmouth and named it Pumpkins and Missles.

It didn’t win the contest, but it was one of several picked up to be professionally recorded for an audio book coming out next year. I feel like I won because my drive has not been to write the next great American novel, but to write something readers liked well enough to recommend it to others.

Now it’s time to write the next best seller.

Don’t be embarrassed by singing in the elevator, take a bow. It’s the joy of life coming out. When my wife and I were dating we went to some club with lots of booze and loud music and a mirror ball. When the room went dark and the stars from the ball started revolving its own galaxy we kissed. After a minute or so I noticed the place was still, everyone in the club, over a hundred, was standing watching us and when I looked up they all applauded, whistled, yelled thank you’s and other stuff. What do you do then? My to be wife was glowing cherry red and trying to disappear, I stood up and gave a formal bow to them and drug her up and kissed her again. The bar picked up our tab and offered us a job. The drink orders doubled or more, but she would never go back to that club. God, that was 1970 in Venice Beach, California. We were together 45 years. Paul 🐸

W.D.Wilcox : I am always inspired by music. More than half my life was dedicated to nothing but music. I lived in Hollywood, sold songs to publishing companies, and was the leader in several gigging bands. That's how I survived in the Big City. I gave it all up finally to raise a family, but I still needed an outlet for my creative juices. So, to make a long story short, I started writing, and yeah, I love to use song lyrics in my stories. It makes my characters more like real people, more like . . . me.

Leigh Haggard : Great idea for a story! Music is my life and has always been one of my biggest inspirations. Even when I make a playlist, it sets a mood and tells a story usually pertaining to how I'm feeling or what I'm going through.
I love this idea and will think up a story to write. Thank you for this newsletter. Good vibrations, Leigh

S. E. Mabson : Answer to your question: Yes, I write spoken word poetry that I do in churches. They are often inspired after hearing a song that touches my soul just right.

dragonwoman : Wrote a story called Beach Baby using the lyrics from the song by the Beach Boys.

Thanks to everyone for your replies, it's rewarding to know you're reading and responding!

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