Author Debuts Three Short Stories

My Life in the Three Rs

Who remembers when reading, writing, and arithmetic once made up the public education curriculum? My phonetic Rs are reading, research, and writing. I can’t imagine any serious writer of any merit getting along without them. It’s been that way for me since I committed myself to gainful employment as a writer—first as a newspaper reporter, then as a technical writer, then as a copywriter. And now I’m a pro bono fiction writer. Luckily, I’m retired.

Deathbed Promise

For your reading pleasure, I have posted three short stories. The first one, Deathbed Promise, will appear in a book anthology before the end of this year published by the St. George chapter of the League of Utah Writers. So, where’s the novel you ask? It’s joined the thousands of “proverbial novels in draws” if the authors wrote theirs before computers, or like mine, it rests quietly on my computer hard drive.

Meanwhile, I’ve elected to earn my chops in short fiction. Oh, I’ll continue to write nonfiction, but I’ll spend most of whatever writing I have left in my life writing fiction. In terms of length, a novella falls within short fiction.

A Moment In Time & Santa In OD Green

I said three short stories. A Moment In Time and Santa In OD Green are two and three, respectively. Did I mention I read a lot? Among the books I read are books on history. A 1918 event in history inspired me to write A Moment In Time. Of course, while based on facts, my story is historical fiction.

I wrote Santa In OD Green to submit to a writer’s short prose competition. The prize payouts to winners run $10 up to a whopping $25. Hahaha! Everyone knows fiction writers shouldn’t give up their day jobs. The entry deadline is November 1, 2023. I’ll let you know if I collect any greenbacks.

Deathbed Promise

Reece Adler must fulfill a promise and face the loss of his proxy father, R.J. “Mac” Macauley, an unsung Vietnam War veteran who nurtured Reece to manhood. He struggles with grief until he finds a spiritual message in the promise Mac asks Reece to make.

A Moment In Time

Soldier Reece Adler left his outfit in Germany on a five-day leave to Paris. En route, he visits the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau Wood, where a fierce World War One battle occurred between US Marines and German soldiers. An unexpected stranger shows up and gives Reece an account of what happened on the first day of the battle.

Santa In OD Green

American soldiers stationed in 1968 in the small town of Idar-Oberstein in Germany have their Christmas Eve Party interrupted. They join a search party to find a missing six-year-old boy.

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Aspiring Fiction Writer

Becoming An Aspiring Fiction Writer

I can think of many things that are easier to accomplish than becoming a fiction writer. Leaping a tall building at a single bound comes to mind. What surprises me is how uneasy I feel about posting my writing. After all, I’ve been for decades in writing professions: journalism, technical writing, and copywriting.  Yet, I do. I think it’s because I’m putting my work up for public scrutiny as a budding fiction writer. My nonfiction work speaks for itself.

Regarding my fiction prose, my spouse and a few friends have read my short stories and a manuscript for a short novel I wrote. I know writers like to say it’s their novel in a drawer. Mine’s not in a drawer. Like mine, it’s most likely sitting on a hard drive somewhere.

My nonfiction includes my writing as a journalist, technical writer, and copywriter. Those also sit on a hard drive waiting for me to post them on my oeuvre page.  My unpublished work includes short stories and crime fiction. I never had any aspirations of writing anything but short stories until I discovered a Simon & Schuster contest in 2022. I entered it.

Unquenchable Thirst To Write

So, in 75 days, I expanded one of my short stories to a 51,000-word short novel and submitted it to meet an October 15 deadline. I didn’t get a publishing contract, but the effort left me with a horrible itch I want to scratch—the desire to see my fiction published in print. And I’m happy to report that one of my short stories will appear soon in an anthology published by Heritage Writers Guild. It’s the St. George Chapter of The League of Utah Writers.

Writers Guild. I’m also waiting to hear if a national magazine will publish a short story of mine. Well, there you go—not a bad start. I have a good work ethic, thrive on deadlines, and am committed. Yet, I have no allusions. Threatening a camel through the eye of a needle might be easier than getting your novel published the traditional way. But what the heck, my byline has appeared in print. That excitement has passed. What I want most is to tell a good story. And I’m most excited when I write because I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing. Something Mark Twain said comes to mind:

Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Mark Twain Image
Mark Twain

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