This week: Fear, Self-Sabotage, and YouEdited by: Shannon
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Welcome to the Short Stories Newsletter. I am Shannon and I'm your editor this week.
Keep reading for your chance to claim an exclusive trinket!
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." ~ Jack Canfield
1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
Fear is subjective. I have a fear of heights and can't bring myself to lean over the second-floor railing in the mall while others could easily sit on it without a second thought.
Whether fear is real or imagined, it evokes a visceral reaction in us, what science calls the "fight or flight" response. We start to sweat, our hearts pound, our adrenal glands release adrenaline (epinephrine) making us more alert and preparing our bodies to react quickly.
Fear comes in many forms: fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of spiders (arachnophobia), fear of open or crowded spaces (agoraphobia), fear of clowns (coulrophobia), fear of hospitals (nosocomephobia), and fear of failure (atychiphobia), just to name a few.
Who doesn't have fear of failure? We are our own worst enemies; we self-sabotage all the time, often without realizing it. I'm in the process of going back to school and some of the thoughts going through my mind are I'm too old to go back to school. I graduated from college eighteen years ago, I can't do this. Am I smart enough to get a master's degree? I'm going to fail. I'm going to make a fool of myself.
Like us, our characters have anxieties and fears. They too are afraid of failure. They too are afraid of heights and clowns and spiders and crowded spaces. Even the most courageous protagonist has weaknesses, and it's those weaknesses that make him human. It is his weakness that makes him a sympathetic character--someone the reader can relate to.
Do you have a protagonist with a secret fear or phobia? Share your thoughts and/or stories relating to this week's topic and I will include them in next month's newsletter.
Thank you for reading.
"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also." ~ Marcus Aurelius
P.S. Every registered author who shares their ideas and/or creative endeavors relating to or inspired by this week's topic will receive an exclusive trinket. I will retire this month's limited-edition trinket at 11:59 p.m. WDC time on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, when my next short stories newsletter goes live.
I hope you enjoy this week's featured selections. I occasionally feature static items by members who are no longer with us; some have passed away while others simply aren't active members. Their absence doesn't render their work any less relevant, and if it fits the week's topic I will include it.
Thank you, and have a great week!
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The following is in response to "The Man Who Wasn't There" :
Mastiff writes: Imagine a group of well-read freshmen, their admission requirements were insane, all in a room. The first thing the professor says when he walks in the room is the first verse of Antigonish, ironically not on their reading list. Imagine the responses! These are young people with intelligence that was untapped.
So many of your examples had real people, often out of time, but flesh and blood. Here was what I remember:
- The majority said he should see a mental health professional, but they were in a big city, so it's rational.
- Some said something divine. Maybe some big guy wants to know something.
- He's full of it. He didn't see a thing and is using it to his advantage.
I won't tell you the split, but the divine came in well behind. But, you can be religious and understand physics both.
BIG BAD WOLF is Hopping writes: Sometimes the trick about time travel is one, knowing when and where the traveler is from, and two, knowing when and where the traveler ends up at.
Sum1 writes: I have a long story I'm working on, but it's not finished. In a way, you could say that my main character teleports through time. I only have a little bit of it posted on WDC, "Time And Time Again" , but should add more to it. It does need some exposure. I have the whole story in my mind, just need to get off my 'you know what' and write, lol.
MilesToGo writes: Hi Shannon, really enjoyed your newsletter! Very intriguing. I love that Antigonish. They used that in that movie with John Cusack(I can't remember the name of it now), and it was fantastic.
dragonwoman writes: I have written many stories about a magician named Marvelous Melnish, who while playing his dream gig at Carnegie Hall uses a new trick which makes him disappear. Unfortunately, he cannot reappear and in his search to do so, he time travels. He never knows when he will disappear again. The latest, called "I started a joke" is in the folder called Flashing On in my port.
Angus writes: Hi, Shannon!
Great Newsletter! Those Woolpit, England kids and the Lori Kennedy (Ruff) mystery were particularly interesting!
As for time travel, it wasn't until just a couple of years ago that I finally watched the original 1960 H.G. Wells story, The Time Machine on TV. I knew it was a classic, and after seeing it I found out why!
I really need to catch with some of these classics!
Editing is BLUE writes: I love your stories! They had me thinking and wondering what stories I could make from these incidents. Thank you for posting them. My new crime novel Silent River by CM Weaver is on Amazon. Ripped from newspaper articles, police reports and interviews with the Detective, you'll know I love true crime.
eyestar~ writes: Wow! I liked these fascinating strange stories...sound perfect for sci fi story themes. The poem is a fitting intro and it is one I have read before. Fun! I have not written of time travel..though have had deja vu experiences where I felt back in time. It was wierd to feel on two dimensions at same time. Maybe we have abilities we don't think we have. Thanks for another unique article. Always something to marvel at.
Jeff writes: I've written a handful of stories about time travel. I really enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out a narrative that has a lot of logical challenges and tell it in a compelling way. There are so many possibilities with time travel!
Lilli ☕ writes: Interesting newsletter filled with lots of food for thought!
pumpkin writes: I always enjoy your newsletters. One of the better ones.
Peacerose writes: I watched Voyagers and the other one you referenced. I am intrigued by time travel and thoroughly enjoyed the movie Somewhere In Time. I read the book several times. I have nothing here that I have written. I lost it when one of my computers crashed. I lost a lot of stories that way.
YES! I saw Somewhere In Time for the first time when I was a kid and have watched it MANY times since. I even have it on DVD. The book upon which the film was based (Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson) is worth the read a well.
Princess Megan Rose writes: People disappearing, vanishing, green faced people, spooky stories of people. I was drawn to the man in Victorian clothes and I would like to meet people from the past and time travel. I enjoyed reading this and got the chills. Informative and some good research.
SherritheWriter writes: I love your newsletter on "The Man Who Wasn't There." I've written a lot on travel through parallel universes and alternate dimensions in my sci-fi novels, but haven't considered the "man who wasn't there" phenomenon for short stories. A great idea and intriguing concept! I love the stories you share in the newsletter as well. They're captivating.
sindbad writes: Hi
This is indeed a creative and learning stuff you have written here. As a reader I am indeed lucky to come across such informative and simple stuff, rarely available nowadays..sindbad
Lisa Noe~Kittylove writes: I recall those shows and I thought that they were just awesome, so fascinating. I wonder if it is in fact possible to travel through time, I guess in our day we won't know, but in the future time will tell. this was a very good newsletter I truly enjoyed reading it, and I love the poem.
Jeannie writes: "I'm intrigued by time travel, but not so sure I would want to do it. I loved the show Quantum Leap, it was fun wondering how Sam will appear this time? Yes, strange things are happening today that can't be explained, some of these instances are shown on YouTube.
LinnAnn nano9 winner writes: As for time travel, I love the stories. At the moment I have a young man/boy and his dragon trapped in 1850. They will need help from the Shaman to get back to the present time.
Brian In De-Revolution writes: I just feel time travel cannot cause a person to materialize somewhere else. But, maybe it explains why we think we see ghosts. It's fascinating to think, though.
eyestar~ writes: Wow! This was intriguing! I loved the show Quantum Leap and have read about those green children. I didn't realize there were so many mysterious "people" and the unexplained certainly gives food for writing. The idea of time travel is cool and who knows...there are likely more magic than most of know. Thanks for sharing your discoveries.
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