For the past few days, I’ve put down the book from my 50 Book Challenge to take up a different kind of challenge – writing a short story. I was spurred on by a deadline from Writer’s Digest magazine of January 15. Every year they have the same contest. I’ve even written for it in the past (with no success) but shelved the idea for the past few years. In fact, this year, I let one, then two, opportunities to submit a piece pass me by. But when a third extension was announced, the best thing ever happened. A story idea popped into my head. A complete story. A story I knew I could write well. A good story.
So once New Year’s Eve past and a round of sickness left my house, I sat down and put that story to paper. Even with the beginning, middle and end all in my head, it was a lot of work to get down what I saw in there. I needed silence. I need coffee. I need to block Facebook and Twitter and the whole World Wide Web. I need to read it back out loud over and over again.
And tonight, I did it. I wrote the final word. You want to know how it felt? Do you remember that classic cinematic gem Romancing the Stone staring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas? The movie begins with a voice over by Turner, who plays a romance novelist named Joan Wilder, reading the final sentences of her latest book. As she types the last words, the camera cuts to her face, covered in tears, and she says “God, that’s good.”
You see her face? That was me but with more fist pumping. Yeah, that’s good!
But, now I’ve got to tell you, after all the work I put in to write just 1,500 words, I’m ready to kick back with a good book. And that’s what I’m going to do tomorrow because on Wednesday I’ll be editing and fine-tuning so that I can send this story, my story, for consideration.
Wish me luck!