Midweek ROW80 Check-In

For about a year now, I’ve had this idea to write a short-story collection based around the Wiccan holidays—Samhain/Halloween, Beltane/May Day, Ostara/spring equinox, etc. I find short stories tricky to write—you have such a small space to develop your characters and allow readers to forge a connection to your characters and the story. I like the challenge. Last week I finished a second draft of one of my WIPS, so now I’m turning my focus to writing short stories.

Any tips on writing short stories?

This week’s midweek ROW80 check-in:

Writing: Last week I finished the second draft of A Prince in Patience Point. Woot! So far this week I’ve written 1,550 words in a short story. I’m still deciding on a title, but the working title is “Wisps of Moonlight.”

Reading: I’ve read several books on simple living in the last week. Last week I read two simple living books. I also read Yin Feng Shui by Tess Whitehurst. If you’ve read a lot on feng shui before, most of this book will serve as a reminder. If you’re new to feng shui, the book is a very good starting point since it’s not overwhelming. This week I’m reading If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Get Rid of This Clutter? by Sallie Felton. It deals with emotional and mental clutter as well as physical, which is a fresh take, and there are a lot of exercises to help you take stock of your clutter, but it’s not my favorite decluttering/simplifying book so far. I’m also reading Corsets and Clockwork, a collection of 13 steampunk romances. So far my favorite is “Wild Magic” by Ann Aguirre.

Decluttering: I’m continuing my practice of getting rid of five things a day. I’m starting to realize that while it’s difficult to part with my books, it’s those things that were gifts that are hardest to part with. Even if I’m not using something, there’s still this sense of guilt wrapped around those objects. But I’m determined to stick with the decluttering process. I simply want to own less stuff.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? Have you read any good books lately? How are your writing projects coming along? Have you ever gone through a period where you focused on decluttering? What things were hardest to part with?

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at www.denisedyoungbooks.com.

9 thoughts on “Midweek ROW80 Check-In

  1. I know the pain of having to choose which mementos you may keep and which ones you don’t need anymore. If it still hurts to divest yourself of a memento of someone, then it’s not time to get rid of it yet, unless you absolutely must. In the 9 years since my husband died, I’ve been able to let go of almost everything I kept to remind me of him. It simply became time to get rid of the things, one at a time. If you’re trying to winnow your mementos of others, but you just can’t bear it yet, that’s still an important step in the decluttering process! There’s plenty of other clutter in your home; go attack that stuff first. 🙂 You may find that clearing out the rest of the clutter will inspire you to part with personal mementos afterward.

    I wish you the best with all of your goals! 🙂

    1. That’s a really great way of looking at it, Tammy. Some things it’s difficult to know whether I should part with them. Should I keep the miniature bust of Mozart my brother picked up in Vienna? Will I look at it as an old woman and fondly recall him giving it to me? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll figure that out as I continue to declutter. I like your perspective. Thanks!

  2. Your idea for the short stories sounds awesome! I’m a Pagan and I write non-fiction about it, but haven’t really written specifically Pagan fiction (yet). Keep up the good work on progress toward your goals. Blessings for a wonderful rest of the week!

    1. I haven’t attempted any Pagan nonfiction yet, but maybe one day. I do want to, I’m just not sure how I would approach it yet. I would say my fiction is inspired by my faith, but with plenty of creative license. Many of my characters might worship the goddess, but their magic is far more supernatural than the earthy magic I’m used to. (They can conjure fireballs, for instance.)

      Thanks! You too!

  3. Great idea for a short story collection! I’ve found that short stories are all about the telling details: What small detail can be included that tells the most about a character. Definitely a challenge.

    1. Thanks, Katherine. Yes, we don’t want the story to get bogged down in details and backstory, but there needs to be enough to help the reader connect. It’s a balancing act. I’m enjoying the challenge, though!

  4. Ooo, I like the idea, Denise. There is much to play with with the pagan holidays. As a pagan haven’t really thought about writing stories about the sabbats, but I don’t always focus my writing on my faith, except in poetry. I do write about the goddess, the earth and it’s mysteries. I do love to see and read stories and poems that feature my chosen path as it gives me warms fuzzies. 🙂 I would definitely read them.

    As for the decluttering, I find that if its clothing, I can weed out old, donatable , or junk clothes are easy to part with. Objects are different, but one thing that have help is if I can find the object a new home with a friend’s kid (or a friend), donating it o an organization, or something along those lines then it helps me to part with it. Other time I just say, heck with it and start tossing things, which can be therapeutic too, but certainly not for everyone.

    The goals, well, I feel like the editing of The Real Road Trip is coming along, albeit slow, but as I wrote sometime in the last couple of weeks. All the days seems to blur together sometimes. It’s like a giant game of Tetris. I wrote it sort of out of order and as I am editing the bits, clearing up the scene, I have to put them is better order. If that makes any sense?

    Currently enjoying Dead Before Dark by Wendy Corsi Staub. It’s a murder msytery suspense story, and different than what I read normal, as I like my Agatha Christie or Sue Grafton’s (haven’t read her in a while). Still it is engaging. The characters are a bit varied and that helps, tricky to follow sometimes.

    Sorry this is a long comment…I got into the questions. 🙂 Have a great week, Denise.

    1. Well, the pagan holidays are really a starting point. My interpretations of magic, etc. are highly imaginative–not really what real magic/witchcraft is like, but the elements of earth-based spirituality and the divine feminine are usually there somehow. I’ve just had this idea for such a long time. I wanted to run with it and see where it led.

      Yes, clothing is fairly easy for me to part with. Books are harder and hardest of all are things that were gifts. But I know I can’t keep everything. We had so much stuff to move when we moved this summer, and I’d certainly like to own less. I’ll never be a minimalist, but a major reduction in stuff would be nice!

      I haven’t read Sue Grafton’s books yet, but I know so many people who like them. I will have to check them out. I think my mother-in-law has most of Grafton’s books. Maybe I could borrow a couple. And, of course, I really enjoy Agatha Christie’s work! I haven’t been able to write a mystery yet, but I love reading them.

      No need to apologize for long comments. I like them!

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