Camp Kendall – Short

I recently started using a new social media site called Pillowfort. It’s been pretty great! No, they aren’t paying me to say this, I am just stoked. Why? Well, because the community is pretty great, but also because I started a horror writing group and will be posting weekly writing prompts that I will also be participating in. It is so great having motivation for writing. Not the long form stuff that I have to do by myself, but that quick stuff that lets you flex your writing muscles. That said, here is the short for this weeks prompt which was: “They have no mouths”.


 

We stood in the middle of the clearing, huddled together and clutching our flashlights. My sneakers were soaked from running through the dew coated grass all night. We were out of breath, dirt covered, and exhausted.

“I don’t see them,” Shelley panted, her voice breaking halfway through as she swallowed down a sob.

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First Acceptance!

I’ve gotten my first acceptance and I’m stoked! My short story Back to the Soil will be in the Second Corona Book of Horror Stories by Corona Books UK. It’ll come out October 1st, though pre-orders will open before then.

It feels a little surreal knowing that after wanting this so badly for so long, I’m going to be legit. I’m getting published!

Waiting Sucks. Moving on.

Don’t let the title make you think I’ve given up on the novella. Buuutttt, waiting to hear back from a publisher is making me way more anxious than I expected. The logical part of me says, “Hey, you only sent it in a couple of weeks ago. Chill.” The anxious mess side is checking my email daily as if that will make things move faster.

So, I plan on starting work on the next book. It’s not at all related of Of His Flesh, which was a stand alone story. Will it be dealing with the same sort of themes? Kinda. I love working with characters who have broken psyches.

However, it needs tons of research. As much as I want to just throw myself into writing this thing, I need to learn a lot about… open heart surgery.

I heard once that a writer is a jack of all trades. We write characters with pools of knowledge that are beyond our own and thus, for a little while, need to become as much of an expert as we can on subjects where our own expertise is so limited. All for the readers.

I can’t count the number of times while reading or watching something that some little detail I know quite a lot about is just off. The immersion is ruined. I know that no piece of writing is ever going to be perfect. I’m not going to get every single detail in a story 100% correct.

But I can get as close as possible.

Retrograde

When will mercury be out of retrograde? I feel like every interaction I have with people has been so emotionally charged and confrontational. It’s exhausting.

Is this all stress based and not the mystical workings of a planet?

I have a writing class where the teacher is an elitist jerk whose assignments are poorly worded, making me wonder what it is she wants me to do exactly, and her feedback leaves a lot to be desired so I don’t even know how to improve. She makes assertions about the horror genre and the readership that she has no way to back up with sources, so most of what she says is opinion and conjecture. I’ve never had a professor (politely) fight with me on a discussion board before because she doesn’t “agree with the conclusions I come to”. Learning environment is now hostile. Stressed about grades and failing this class.

I finished my book and the initial edits., then had a beta reader go over it and was left feeling like a failure. Her critique was thorough and good, pointing out all of my problem areas, I felt as though she didn’t like anything about it. Clearly I’m a hack, my brain says. Repeatedly. Stressed about not being successful at the craft I love.

I tried to quit smoking. Stress was too much and quitting was stressing me out even more. Now a failure because I was unable to quit. Stress. Anxiety. Fear of failure in life, writing, school.

No. No, it’s definitely none of those things. Mercury is in retrograde.

Edit, Edit, Edit…

I feel like the editing process is so long and tedious. Sometimes I’m excited to get it done and like reading back over what I’ve written. Other times, rereading my own work is like looking in the mirror and I can see every single flaw in it, flaws that are outside of just grammar or quick changes. It’ll never be good enough, I think.

But, I’ve red-penned the whole thing. I printed out every chapter and went over it page by page. Now all that’s left is to take the edits from the physical copy and put them in the digital one. I feel like this process only made more work for myself, but editing on a screen feels so different and far less effective than editing on paper.

So, this is how it’ll be done. Even if it’s a bit more work and even if it means going over the draft a second time as I enter in changes.