How crazy would it be to set a goal to write 15 of my 101-word stories—every day for a month?
OK, the truth is that I am not going to write 15 of my stories every day for a month, but what I have set out to do is, at least mathematically speaking, the equivalent of that. For years I’ve heard about an annual event called NaNoWriMo. (Insert your own Robin Williams joke here). It actually stands for National Novel Writing Month, where writers from around the world attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. This thing started back in 1999 in the San Francisco Bay Area and now it’s an international event that I have voluntarily jumped into with both feet and a few extra body parts for good measure.
It’s not a competition and there are no prizes other than the satisfaction of, for those who achieve it, knowing what you did. Since I’m already working on my first novel (inspired by an unproduced screenplay I wrote a few years back about an undercover sting operation I worked on), I knew I needed a lot of motivation or I’d never finish it, hence NaNoWriMo. My goal: Write 1,500 words a day for the entire month of November. If I meet my goal, I’ll have 45,000 words. When I add this to the 7,000 or so I already wrote, I may have the first draft of a new novel.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, for me, it’s an exciting next step in my writing career and by the time I’m done with this first book, I’ll have a pretty good idea if I can do this or not. What’s it mean to you? Quite possibly you’ll be seeing less original 101-word stories every week. I still want to keep writing them and I’d love to keep sending out a story a week, but I’ll be honest—I think there’s a good chance that you may be seeing “Best of” stories (some of my favorites and ones that others have seemed to enjoy as well). I imagine they’ll come from both of my books, as well as unpublished ones that either never made the cut or were written after publication. Besides trying to continue the tradition of bringing you a story every week, I’ll probably throw in brief updates on the novel. I’m not sure that sharing any part of the draft would make sense, but I’ll try to at least keep you in the loop during this month’s NaNoWriMo progress, and I’ll also still post about upcoming appearances and events.
And now on to this week’s 101-word tale. It may seem timely as we enter the political season. Prompt supplied by Susan Meyer.
What It Takes To Change a Man
The senior senator was, like Mt. Rushmore, a permanent fixture whom his constituents had counted on for decades. They always knew where he stood, and, for the most part, they stood right with him. He was a proud, evangelical Christian. In his dream world, this meant no gay teachers, no laws prohibiting discrimination against gays and of course, only heterosexual marriages should be legal. His voting record always reflected his views.
Then his son came home from college and broke the unimaginable news: the proud senator’s namesake came out to his parents. He was a closeted Democrat.
His father disowned him.
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As always, thanks for listening!