On my Short Stories

I’m a big fan of a well-told short story.  I think that it’s the limited word count that impresses me the most.  When you can tell a good story in under 2-10,000 words, that’s just magic.  It’s even more impressive when you see someone write a story in even less.  I still get chills from the six-word stories: “For sale, baby shoes.  Never worn”  from Ernest Hemingway is just amazing.  My stories tend toward much longer word counts by comparison.  The Toothfairy clocks in at about 2800-ish words.  Art and Artisans (the whole thing) clocks in at nearly 6000.

This is where the blog becomes challenging.  I would love to put the entirety of Art and Artisans on, in one shot.  But the issue is: it’s a wall of text.  Most blog readers would rather not see a wall of text.  This – to answer the question I received on the matter – is why I’ve broken the story into three parts.

Is there a magic upper/lower limit for a word count on a blog post or page?  A point where the reader is just overwhelmed?  Perhaps.  Well until I hear differently I’ll try to keep my posts to sub-2000 words.



Let me tell you, despite what you may have heard, insomnia sucks.  I know that from the outside it looks all sorts of glamorous.  “Staying up all night must mean you get a lot done”  Nope.  Not even close.  You know how when you lay down your brain decides that it hates you and reminds you of that time in second-grade when you laughed so hard that milk shot out of your nose and sprayed the front of your pants and everyone thought you had had an “accident”?  Right as you’re trying to drift off to the land of Nod, you get this quick moment to feel really embarrassed….again.  That feeling, the one where you have way too much time to listen to your brain remind you of past mistakes and failures, it’s always on when you have insomnia.

Don’t get me wrong, I do quite a bit of writing due to my sleep deprivation.  I have tons of new story ideas and have been just cranking on book 2 (The Broken Pack).  The new series (still no working title) is shaping up nicely as well.  Thanks, insomnia!

Well back to my cup of tea (caffeine-free chai tea) and the beckoning page.

Ever, always, endlessly, I return to the page.

The War-Weary Saga – Book 2

So I have been working on book two of my story.  The title is The Broken Pack.  It’s a good title.  I like good titles.  I like a title that makes me want to understand why a particular name ended up tied to a story.  Through the Looking-Glass (by Lewis Carroll) is a good example; just an excellent title.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane (by Neil Gaiman) is another great title.  Both are books I love.

At this point, I’m about done with all of the “core” work for book 2.  I need to go back over it and pare it down from it’s current 68,000-word count to a more reasonable novella-short novel length of ~52,000 words.  Much of what will be cut will end up in the trash can, but some will slide into book 3.  At this point, I would say that I’m about 75% finished with book 2.  Here’s hoping that I learned a little something writing the first book so that the final 25% doesn’t take an additional two years of revising and editing to knock out.

Coffee. Oh how I love thee.

I have had very few addictions in my life.  I have been addicted to cigarettes and I have been addicted to coffee.  Yes, I know that they are nicotine and caffeine (respectively), but these are the forms in which most people are familiar.  I smoked for years.  But I did manage to quit, cold-turkey about 9 years ago.  I am quite proud of that accomplishment.  But coffee….that’s a different addiction.  I’m a bit of a snob about coffee, but when I really want it, I’m not picky.

I’m not a real big soda drinker, so my principle manner for caffeine consumption is coffee – and to a lesser extent: tea.  I drink coffee nearly every day.  I like to drink tea when I’m writing.  You wouldn’t believe the copious amounts of tea I consumed while writing Grenheim’s Thorn.  Seeing that mug on my desk was one of my signals to the missus that I was writing.  The other signal being a well-worn straw hat.  Don’t laugh, my office used to face a window and the sun would get in my eyes.

I have been drinking coffee for years. I love the stuff. Give me a medium roast, early in the morning, and I’m ready to work. Hell, I’m sipping coffee as I write this. Where would I be without coffee? Where would anyone be without it?  I can tell you that if I wasn’t able to drink coffee that I get a big….testy.  Some might say that I become a tad, annoyed.  I’m certain that there are some people who would say that I, sans-coffee, can be outright unpleasant.

So now here, I sit, coffee adjacent, wondering if I should post up a short story?  Does anyone have an opinion on the matter?