Those queries I mentioned yesterday went into the mail, along with a submission of a new short story. Then I went to the bookstore and checked out a handful of literary magazines, sort of doing things backwards, but that's how the day went. I'm comfortable with the submission after seeing the stories that mag chooses to publish. And wonder of wonders, I had cut out 400 words that looked like so much fodder. Amazing what letting a ms rest for a week or two will do for your perspective. Now I wait.
And while I wait I write. In my fiction group we often challenge ourselves to work from a prompt, which might be an idea or a quote one of us stumbles on with an AHA! The current prompt is from a news item, a quote from the Vatican's chief astronomer: "The extraterrestrial is my brother." Now that just sets my writing bells aringing! And sure enough, I see a short-short in my future because of it. I went to a coffee shop yesterday and drafted the first four pages sitting at an outside table in the shade. The tire store next door and the highway behind me were not the ideal setting, but the story was compelling enough to keep my pen moving. Now I have that beginning piece on Toshi, my laptop, and another bit of the story in my journal. With a good beginning I can finish the piece and still let it rest a few days before my group meets again next week. If anyone out there tries this prompt, I'd love to see what you make of it. You can use the comment link to tell me about it. Happy days!