Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wrapping Up a Good Week

A few things happened this week that I feel rate as accomplishments.

At the beginning of the week, I submitting a story to a paying publication for the very first time in my life. Of course, after I clicked on "send" in my email, I quickly realized that I did not address my cover letter to an actual person. I also did not include a short bio of myself, instead saying only that it was my first submission. Oh well, I'm sure the editors will get a good laugh out of my inept attempt.

I feel that now is as good a time as any to start my rejection collection.

I also made a commitment to be more Earth friendly. I live less than three miles from where I work so I thought I would buy a bicycle and start riding it to work instead of putting undue wear and tear on my truck. Did I mention that my truck was a Dodge SRT-10 with a 500 horsepower V-10 racing engine? Well, it is, so I'm sure you can understand I will also be saving a bunch of gas. I'll keep the truck though, because I'm a guy after all, and it's nice to get in the thing once in awhile and stomp on the gas. It's very exciting and just a little scary. I gain a wonderful appreciation of life when the truck is slipping sideways and my tires squeal at 60 MPH. I still fear the power just a little.

I also decided I would start planning for a home garden for next year.

One thing I realized when I started planning for a garden area is how much planning a garden is much like planning (or plotting) a new story idea. One must create a basic structure that allows additional material or items to be added later.

I"ve had many story ideas and projects, and I've oftentimes found a project floundering as I'm writing a draft and I've reached about 20-30K words. This is because a once great idea becomes stagnant if a structure is not built that supports adding on later.

I now have learned to keep my outlining very loose and allow for the addition of other ideas, characters, plot lines, or scenes later. In the end, a loose flexible structure makes for a better, tighter story.