Monthly Archives: October 2013

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My story: Technical Witch Craft

My story today is about witches.My story today is an oldie, but a goodie.

Technical Witch Craft first appeared in print in 2000, but I cleaned it up and expanded it a bit here as a fun story for Halloween. Writers and witches have the same problem: We are never done tinkering with our words —whether it is a spell or a short piece of fiction.

Anyway, the story tells the lives of witches who do very normal things, like eat lunch in restaurants. (Hey, a witch has gotta eat, right?) But, they do let their supernatural sides shine as well.

It was a dark night when we gathered that first time and giggled our way through mispronouncing the Latin words and trying to keep our ritual books open to the correct page. I had thought of that moment all week – of having true sisters.

What is your favorite thing to dress up as for Halloween? Let me know in the comments.

That’s my story. Tell me one of yours.

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About the Story: The Book Critic Dumps His Girlfriend

This story started as a list of all the bad habits a writer can fall into: bad names, static characters, too many details on parts of the story that don’t matter, too much action, stereotypes, etc. After getting a terse rejection email from a publication, I thought about merging the list with the idea of rejection. Whether you are getting rejected from a person or a publication, it stings either way, but you have to move on, right?

My story: The Book Critic Dumps His Girlfriend

My story involves a horrible break-up.My story today involves a pretty bad break-up.

Most people can’t help but bring their work home with them, and the narrator in The Book Critic Dumps His Girlfriend is no different.

As he parts ways with his girlfriend, the book critic can’t help but give her some advice on how to be a better character and a better writer overall.

She had hooked him with her backstory: She was adopted as a teenager with the ambition to travel the world to write a novel about discovering hope in poverty-stricken villages. She balanced work and a full social calendar with her volunteering at the local animal shelter on weekends. But after investing months in their relationship, he was faced with her shame – that her character was destined to be static.

It takes some close listening to find out what went wrong in their relationship, but the book critic eventually gets around to making his point.

Tell me about your worst break-up in the comments.

That’s my story. Tell me one of yours.

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Audio commentary: Just (A Morality Tale)

All audio commentary is actually written. Haha.The audio commentary for the story Just includes a brief trip to the past. When I was in college, I took a class on medieval literature and we studied morality plays. At the end of the semester, I re-worked a script of Mankind and we performed it live. (Oh good, Dr. Koster still has a link to the script here.) Working on Mankind was a very different experience for me as a writer — the demons in the play get the audience to participate in a dirty song with them and the audience helps shape the outcome of the play. In today’s performances, such audience participation is frowned upon. But working with that concept – of the audience determining the outcome — made me want to try that in my own writing.

I was also a huge fan of those choose your own adventure books when I was younger, (seriously, who wasn’t?) even though most of the choices I made caused the death of the protagonist. Oh well.

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My story: Just (a morality tale)

My story is about morals - sort of.My story today is about morals…sort of.

In Just, which is a morality tale for the 21st century, the listener gets to choose the fate of the main couple.

But be forewarned before you listen: Just is full of betrayal — for everyone involved. (Also, there is a bit of office talk.)

Each of them will toil away in an office, where they feel productive and small at the same time, where they trade office gossip and find structure to the unwieldy hours of the day. The type of jobs they do does not matter. They are just jobs.

Listen to the story and leave your choice in the comments? Did you get the “right” answer?

That’s my story. Tell me one of yours.

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