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short storiesI don’t plan to begin any large-scale writing projects until November (NaNoWriMo, baby!), but in the meantime, I have to keep the writing muscles limber. So I’ve been batting around some short-story ideas, one of which I saw through to completion this week (more on this in a bit).

Here’s my problem, though: I’ve never been a particularly active writer of short fiction. If I may borrow from my tired tennis parallel, I’m more like Pete Sampras (who rarely played doubles) than John McEnroe (who was great at singles and doubles). And when I say I’m like Pete Sampras, I mean I’m what Pete Sampras would be if (a) he didn’t play tennis and (b) he put on about 150 pounds.

What was I talking about again? Oh, yes, short fiction.

Anyway, my struggle is that my ideas tend to be sprawling, and short stories — because, you know, they’re relatively short — tend to be tight. In other words, I find the form challenging, which is fun in its own special way.

I submitted my completed short story to Stone’s Throw, an online literary magazine edited by Russell Rowland. Stone’s Throw is actively seeking submissions of short fiction, poetry, art and reviews, so if you have something to offer, please consider tossing it in.

Now, it’s back to trying to tame the next idea that bubbles up. In the meantime, I would love to hear tips from folks who are more confident in the form. If you have any, drop ’em in the comments section (or consider writing a guest blog post).

On my bookshelf, right in my line of sight, is a compendium, The Best American Short Stories of the Eighties (cover image above). I think I’ve found tonight’s reading material.

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