Susan's Archives From April 2020
This is a fun little story I worked on for the NYC Midnight Short Story contest several years ago. I ended up completely changing the story after this draft and submitting that version, but there was a cookyness I have always appreciated in this one. My prompt was : Genre: Suspense, Subject: Going into hiding, Character: A line cook. Enjoy!
The roof of the Grand Palace of Bhutolia came to a point so sharp it seemed like it could stab the sky. Traditional stories state that the Gods themselves poured gold over its surface. The palace was so vast, servants would often lose their way. A leopard, new to the royal complex, roamed the complex freely. When he was five feet away from the cockatoo his collar released a surge of electricity. He moved closer and this time the shock caused him to lose consciousness at the foot of the grand entrance. There were 1,000 rooms in the palace, and only five of them were filled with youtuber prisoners.
Prince Ram Dorji always wore his traditional dress from Bhutolia, bright colors that flattered his clear pale skin. He came out of his morning locust pose with his toned abs constricting as he brought his legs down from over his head and he looked up at the ceiling with a smile.
As a writer's partner I sometime feel that there is not much I can do to improve Susan's writing. I am an IT man. I like downhill mountain biking as well as other mountain biking activities. I like cars and motorcycles… So in some ways I am the stereotype of the male figure. In some ways only, because as the "man" of the house I am suppose to provide for my family and yet Susan provides for both of us right now. How? Well, she has the energy to go to work 5 days a week to teach English, pretty much 41 weeks of the year.
For me, it's all about energy and how much energy I can put or want to put at doing something. So going to work the way Susan - and most people - do is way too much energy taking out of me for the reward (mostly the paycheck). I am not underskilled but I do think in France IT workers could be paid way more than they do but for political reasons (not economical reasons) it does not. So I could fight it, or accept it, or not work at all. For now I choose not to work at all.
Many people ask: Is it worth it to pay for a writing contest? The odds of you losing that contest are extremely high, so that is a factor. However, I think it is worth it if you get feedback from judges, so you are basically paying for a professional critique. In January 2020 I participated in the NYC Midnight's Short Story Challenge. The entry fee was $48 if you signed up early before Dec. 12th and $58 if you signed up afterward. They pin writers from all around the world against each other to write a 2,500 word story in 8 days. They assign a genre, character, and subject to each group of writers. Three judges for each group of about 40 writers choose the top 5 stories to progress to the next round. Every writer that participates gets feedback on what the judges liked and what they think the writer should work on. The participants received the results and the judges feedback at the end of March 2020 just in time for the next round of the contest to begin.
I have been participating in Nanowrimos and Camp Nanowrimos since 2012 so I always forget that some people haven't heard of it before. I usually hear people respond with interest about going on a writing retreat in the woods in a cabin somewhere and I do want to do that one day as well. However, Camp Nanowrimo is a virtual writing accountability event with writers from all over the world participating. The official Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and this one takes place in November where writers set goals to write 50,000 words in a month. Camp Nanowrimo differs in that it is in April and July and has more open goals set by the participants.