Short Story – Done!

All day I worked on setting up pre-orders, promotions, and a lot more. I think my brain exploded at some point. I kept telling myself – just get through all this stuff and tonight I’ll write.

So tonight I wrote. I wrote a lot. I finished the annihilate the ghost scene and the wrap it all up scene… In all I wrote over 4700 words! It’s done and sent to my beta readers. Hopefully they don’t tell me it’s horrible.

I’ve set it aside for right now. I will do a read through – probably tomorrow night – and then I’ll get down to the nitty gritty of editing. I’d love to leave it for a bit though so we’ll see.

In the end it’s a little over 17,500 words which is right in the middle of the range for the anthology. I can call this one done – at least for a couple days – before I hit the editing phase of it.

Overall, it’s been a very productive day but I’m hitting the bed and crashing for a few hours.

20,000 Words or Less

While on vacation, I spoke with the organizer of some anthologies. I have certain ones I always look at and then try to determine if I have time and energy to come up with something. This organizer posted her 2024 anthology topics and I can’t think that far in advance. So I found her 2023 and 2022 lists. For 2022 she has a Halloween anthology and in my head pops – oh, I could do the next Paranormal Investigators story.

Oh my head gets me in trouble sometimes. I reached out and asked if she still had rooms. She said yes. I said – hold don’t add me yet. My fear was I’d sit down to write and zero would come to me. I didn’t want to let her down. So I started writing – as I’ve said previously.

Tonight I was doing research and getting distracted but I sat down to write. I thought… not sure this is going well but I did a map of locations and more came to me. Then I researched a location which sidetracked me. But eventually I got down to writing. I brought in characters from the first story. I love the scene at the sister’s home.

However, I knew I had to get into another ghost scene and I had NO idea whatsoever of what I wanted to do. I literally have the characters standing backstage and no clue what to do next. I could almost hear Harper (my main female character) sighing about the delays.

Now I’m done for the night – it’s late and I have to work tomorrow. But I’ve managed to write 2111 words tonight and my story is now around 6800 words. I can have 20K so I’m not worried at this point but I still have several ghosts and locations to get to before I land on the finale.

Progress is good but I have a deadline of September 2. It needs to be written, edited and ready for the organizer. My day job gets busy (or in my case busier) at the end of August so I need to stay on top of this one. Lets not forget I have book releasing this month too. Solana comes out on August 20 so I need to prep for that as well. I’m trying not to think about this too much – I just need to write for now.

Short Story part 4

Done! I finished it very late on August 31 but slept – finally. The final word count 16469 – yup over. This is not uncommon for me because I refuse to cut short the story at a word count. It means in the editing phase – I’ll be cutting if it’s chosen.

As of 3 am on Sept 1, I hated the ending. I thought it rushed and who knows what else. I kept telling myself to go to bed and tried a couple of times but I couldn’t sleep. So story finished and next, I’m planning to read through it and smooth it out and add in a few things so it’s less abrupt. The reality is if this doesn’t get selected, I’ll make it a bigger story and publish it on my own.

If it does get selected and has to be spot on that 15K mark, then I’ll be cutting and smoothing as I go. Hopefully when I’m done, I will have a reasonable short story.

So waiting to hear whether this is chosen to determine what path this story will take. If it gets selected – well new territory for me with another anthology. If it’s not chosen, ultimately, it won’t be ready for this year so I have about a year to refine it if I’m on my own. That means about eight months to finish the writing (filling it out more) and editing before it would go up for preorder in either late September or October in 2022.

Short Story Progress

By September 1st, I need to finish a holiday romance short story which is between 3,000 and 15,000 words. I started it two weeks ago. Up until today, I had 717 words written. I’ve got the premise and my two lovebirds but I hadn’t gone much beyond that.

Tonight when I should have been thinking about sleep (hahahaha) I opted to reread it. I got to the end, wrote a little more, and did some formatting. I didn’t think I’d much more than that. These characters have not pushed me at all. But I’ve given myself a setting where I have approximately seven weeks in which my two characters have to go from being a bit adversarial to in love as well as resolving something in her past (not sure what yet though I have ideas brewing) about the holiday season.

I wrote. I figured an hour and I’d see how awful it was. Well after doing age calculations, research on storage units, depression glass, antique glassware, and a few other things, I now have 2947 words written and I think I know the path I’m headed with this story.

My hope is I’ll stay inspired and finish the story in the next couple days so I can at least do an edit on it by the first.

Meanwhile I have a story in an anthology out on Wednesday and a short story which comes out September 4. I’m also prepping my October books’ files and getting started on my November release tasks.

I know I do this to myself. I should spread out my releases further. I guess with two of the remaining ones, I could spread them out a bit but they’re done… The reality is – they’re done so I want them out.

Each one of these releases I’m working on building marketing tools, publishing tools, and a skillset that will hopefully lead to me having higher sales. Will it work? No idea. But I’m trying this way for this round of things to be published. I’ll analyze how well it works as I go.

Maggie Blackbird

Thanks to You
by Maggie Blackbird
Genre: Contemporary Romance Short Story
She’s from the boundary waters of Northwestern Ontario, and he’s from a place his people call Waiekwakitchigami in northern Minnesota. Neither expects to meet, much less spend Thanksgiving together.
Desperate for a Minneapolis getaway to prove she can break out of her by-the-numbers and by-the-book, disciplined life, divorcée Paulina Natawance doesn’t expect to have her truck break down outside the casino in Cloquet where she’s had lunch. Nor does she expect to encounter a handsome man with long, flowing black hair, ebony eyes, and a smile that could melt the ice cream she’s holding.
While finishing up his shift at the Big Bear Casino, widower Tripp Beargrease isn’t looking forward to going home to celebrate Thanksgiving alone…again. But when he encounters a stunning Anishinaabe-kwe with legs to her neck, a tiny waist, and a pink, wet tongue licking an ice cream cone standing helpless at her dead vehicle, he’s more than willing to paddle his canoe to her rescue like a true warrior should.
With the garage closed for the holiday and the hotels booked because of Thanksgiving, Tripp generously offers his dinner table for Paulina to dine at, and his spare bedroom for her to sleep in. And maybe, just maybe this proper woman can repair his broken heart. But her truck is ready the next day, and Paulina has a big decision to make—return to the boring, predictable life she’s created for herself, or throw away her day planner and take a huge gamble on Tripp.

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