29 November 2023

Mind the Gap

Pottery shard, Ramat Rachel, Israel.

Today I find myself in a situation I have not experienced since, at least, July 5, 2021. Specifically, I don't have a short story to be working on.

I know the date, because I just finished a novella, and I started it on July 6, two years ago.  You may be surprised that it takes me two years to write a novella.  Well, here's the thing.  When I get an idea for a new story I generally drop everything and start to work on it.  My reasoning is that I'm a very slow writer and I want to strike while the iron is hot, to use a cliche.  Write the story as close to the moment of inspiration as possible.

So, I have probably written a dozen stories since starting this novella. But I have nothing on hand to write next.

This is not a panicky moment.  I know exactly  what I will be doing tomorrow, writing-wise.

For one thing, I will edit some of the seven stories I have finished a draft of but don't have ready to submit.  My stories average  ten drafts.  I work on one most days after doing my first-draft writing for the day.  And when I finish a first draft completely I usually take a week off from writing new stuff, and just edit.  

Secondly, it is not quite accurate to say I have no idea what to write next.  You see, the novella I have been working on is the fourth in my series about Delgardo, a beat poet.  Hitchcock's has published two and purchased the third.

The first story in the series was set in October 1958 and each story moves ahead by one month.  A real event occurred in February 1959 which fits perfectly into the lives of my characters, so my next job is to research that event and figure out how to turn  it into a plot.

So don't worry about me.  I'll fill the hours somehow.  How about you?

ADDENDUM: Two days after I wrote the above an editor asked me to write a story for an anthology.  I immediately had an idea for a sequel to a different tale.  So Delgardo will have to wait. I'm off to the races... 


  1. Huzzah! Something always comes, doesn't it?

  2. So we can now send you ragged stories begging for help?


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