Writing contests, short stories, and the occasional random musing….

My internet is slowly receding into nothingness. As I peer over my glasses, I watch to see how much remains on my download, while simultaneously looking at one of my short stories, I am working on. Retirement is a pain in my keister. My town is having a writing contest, and first prize is 100 bucks. The top three will be published. Two categories are open for submissions, short stories and poetry. My competitive juices have started flowing.

I am looking forward to competing in the contest. The money isn’t what I’m after, rather I am interested in being published. With several writers’ conferences coming up in the summer, I would like to say I have been somewhat successful at writing. Freeman’s Front Porch Musings has been successful, I am closing in on post #800. In some ways it seems like I started my blog yesterday, on the other hand, I feel like I have written 800 posts.

My goal is to enter one submission into the short story category and a poem into the poetry contest. If I am going to write and compete, I might as well do both. Through the past 2-3 years, I have been told I should pick one topic for my blog to sharpen my focus. It is nigh impossible for me to pick a topic and stay on topic, year in and year out. So, I just ramble on about a topic and then my attention drifts off somewhere else.

Short stories compel me stay on topic. My creative process is kind of like cooking here in the South. I’ll be minding my own business when an idea starts to form. I’ll think about it a minute and add something to it. After a while, I will stir it a bit and let it stew. Then I will sample it. If it needs something else, I’ll add to it, if not I just let it sit. Eventually, I come full circle and I put it down on paper. And that is why I can’t be tied down to one topic. It all depends on where my inspiration comes from.

Sometimes, my inspiration comes from trees, or my dog. Other times, it comes from a video I have watched, or something I heard on the news. Even my time in Iraq serves to inspire me. On other days, I dread writing. However, I can’t stop writing. The poem, Monster, really took it out of me. I had to take some time away to find my way back to the light. To my surprise, I have been complimented for writing it. Suggestions have been given to me, to submit it to the DAV, VFW, American Legion, and other veteran sites. Sometimes, our darkness is someone else’s survival manual.

As C.S. Lewis famously said, “Not every man who wanders is lost.”

02 March 2020

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