Blog for Friday the 13th

It’s a good thing I didn’t start the day realizing that it is a Friday the 13th. Considering that this is the year of Halloween and, as our older son has said, the year whose title will go down in at least the English language lexicon, as a curse word, having a Friday the 13th might be doomed to destroy us all.  BTW, the curse is: “If you don’t behave, I’ll 2020 you!”

However, so far today, nothing bad has happened really, so maybe there is reason to cheer.

Because of COVID-19, my supply of children’s books has dwindled, though I am trying patiently to wait for five or six more to show up soon. Patience is the operative word here. Something I’ve always been in short supply of. (Go ahead, write that sentence better.)

Of course, the year has not been good for marketing my book, Earthquakes, which came out in January 2020. Still I have had some interest in it and maybe next year will be better. And I still feel the urge to write—you might even call it a need. The stories keep popping up in my head.

What to do? I know! I’ll write more stories and talk about them.

Back in August or September Michelle Garren Flye, the owner of the small bookstore, Next Chapter Books and Art, in New Bern, NC, sent out a request for submissions to the second issue of her Next Chapter Literary Magazine. The theme, “Convergence,” was suggested by a local poet, Sam Love.

New Bern is on the convergence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers and is a charming town many times featured in a number of well-known books. (Think Nicholas Sparks’ stories and the later books in the Outlander series.) Here’s link to the town’s website.

Ah ha! Thought I. I can write a story to fit that theme. So, I wrote “Hearts Convergence” about a 17-year-old boy who gets caught in a sudden squall as he’s kayaking down the Neuse River. Just as he gets to the confluence with the Trent coming in from his right, a kayaker T-Bones into the side of his boat and capsizes. The boy rescues the other person who turns out to be the girl he wants to date. This story will be in January edition of Next Chapter Literary Magazine. My story, “But I’m not Sick!” about being in a quarantine situation was in the inaugural edition back in July.

Then, while researching writing outlets to mention in the newsletter I write for the Carteret Writers, I came across a nature magazine that might be a market for a short story I wrote several years ago. Yep, now I’ve rewritten “Trust” to hopefully fit their needs. (Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.) I’ll let you know. That magazine is in case you want to see if one of your stories is right. I also have another story that might fit there magazine.

I am also working on a Chapter Book, tentatively titled “Space Junk,” and have been stuck on how to advance the story line. The main character is a bright and ambitious seven-year-old named Keandra Maria Ortiz who is visited by a kid from space. She’s in her workshop hammering on metal to make the skin of a rocket when Shellorba appears. Well my way to go on with this book is to sketch what the characters look like. Now the story is beginning to coalesce in my aging brain.

Maybe 2020 won’t jinx me and maybe 2021 will be better for all of us. Certain signs indicate that might be the case.

Stay healthy and hang in there, we will all get through this.  

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