The Best Laid Plans

by | Jul 15, 2023 | Random Thoughts, Writing | 0 comments

If this month had gone according to the plan I laid out for it back in March or April, I would be writing this from a hotel room in Grand Junction, Colorado, on my way to an in-person Fantasy Thriller workshop in Las Vegas.

But to paraphrase a saying I’ve heard from multiple sources… no plan survives contact with Life.

As much as I would enjoy being at the in-person workshop, I don’t begrudge the circumstances that changed my plans. To paraphrase another saying, Life happens.


Instead of getting a refund for the in-person workshop fee, I used part of it for credit to pay for the Study Along online workshop for it. I suspect it won’t have the same feel as being there in Vegas, but I’ll make it there eventually. And I’ll wring every last drop of learning out of the Study Along that I can.

In fact, the Study Along is the indirect cause of this post.

A few minutes before midnight, I realized that I hadn’t written the short story that was the workshop’s Assignment #1, so instead of racking up words on one of my current novel projects, I plunked myself down and wrote a 4,300-word short story over the course of about four and a half hours.

I started re-reading it after I submitted it and discovered two places where my mind had worked faster than my fingers and left out a word. I haven’t re-submitted it yet. I’m not sure I will.

My major concern with the piece is that I didn’t get the ‘Thriller’ part right. The ‘Fantasy’ part is easy for me. It’s almost second nature at this point in my life. I see magic and dragons and wizard towers all over the place as I go about my days. That might not have been the precise flavor of Fantasy the workshop’s instructor wanted, but that’s what Fantasy is to me.

After the workshop is over, I’ll have to decide what to do with it.

The obvious answer is publish it, but I’m also considering submitting for consideration to Hitchcock’s Magazine and Fantasy & Science Fiction, two ‘traditional’ markets that have a good reputation and are still going strong.

What struck me and prompted writing this post to kind of thnk about it and reflect (if that isn’t to artsy-fartsy) is that I felt energized when I finished the short story. I didn’t want to stop writing.

That feeling has since fled, which is good… because I’m over two hours past my bedtime as I write this. I’m yawning about every third or fifth word. But I digress…

I’m pretty sure I can count on two hands–if not one hand–the number of times I’ve had that feeling this year. Matter of fact, I can only remember one other time (recently) that I’ve felt it.

It’s a good feeling, but I’m glad I stopped when I did… because this yawn-fest would arrived as crash, instead of a more understated transition. I’ll have to see if I can spur that feeling in the future.

Before turning to this post, I’d already written over 5,000 words so far, and that is a damn-good feeling. I’ll write more when I wake up later today, which means July 15th might be my first 10k+ day for word count in 2023.

I would not mind having several of those. Not at all.

Alrighty. I’m going to end this before I wake up with QWERTY stamped into my forehead.

I hope the days treat you and yours as well as possible, and stay safe out there (at least safer than me with my broken but healing finger).


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