Anyway, my wife and children decided that all of us were going to enter something in the county fair (well, the district fair, but that just sounds weird), and since I am worthless at all things arts-crafty, bakey and livestocky it was decided, somehow, that I was going to enter the Senior writing category, since I like to pretend that that’s something I can actually do.
I was a little freaked out because the fiction piece could only be three typed pages. Three pages! for a whole story! Are you freaking kidding me? I mean, I officially went over Hadley-Rille’s word limit for “This Abandoned Sky” and they actually gave me six thousand words to work with. I have a problem writing small like this.
I told my wife that I didn’t have anything ready to go at that length and had some other things, longer pieces, not to mention school work that I wanted to work on. But she told me I’d have a month, since entries aren’t due until a week before the fair, and this idea I’d been playing with crystalized in my head while I was taking a walk and I thought, “What the heck?”
So I went down to sign up and found out that fiction had to be in with the entry form. Tomorrow. Gack! So, that did it, right?
Of course, once these ideas get into my head, they don’t leave. So I sat down before my class and in 45 minutes slammed out about 1300 words. I don’t claim they were good, but they were words, and they followed in a somewhat logical order. And by playing with margins and making the font really, really small, I felt I could get the story done in under three pages.
Cut to this morning, in Starbucks, when I was desperately trying to get it done while it dawned upon me that I was up to three and a half and not even halfway done.
By this time my wife was tired of the obsessing, giving me the “whatever, it was just an idea, you don’t have to, just do what you want (and quit bothering me, was the completely understandable undertone).”
So I wrapped it, put on some weird kind-of ending, and vowed to finish it for real and submit it to a real paying market. Which is the plan.
But I wrote a (sort of) complete story in less than 24 hours and got it done in 3500 words. I neglected my homework, my health, and my sanity, but it is done, and I feel a little proud of myself. At least until I read it again, probably.
So, if you’re at the Tehama district fair check out the Senior Fiction and see how I did. And if you want to make me up a participant ribbon, I wouldn’t turn it down.