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Story Notes – Double Stuffed Oreo

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My story ‘Double Stuffed Oreo’ was published on Friday on ExFic.  It’s a great site with some amazing surreal stories and poems and I was thrilled to be included.

To read the story just head on over to ExFic and have a gander!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert:  There are spoilers in the story notes below.  So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at ExFic before reading the notes.

About ‘Double Stuffed Oreo’

When I first started writing in earnest I decided to write a story a day based on prompts by Sarah Selecky.  It was a great way to get the ball rolling and come up with quick ideas that sometimes turned into something more.  So Double Stuffed Oreo is one of my first stories and it was based on a prompt that suggested a format similar to a story published in the New Yorker awhile back called Here We Aren’t, So Quickly.   

Double Stuffed Oreo was entirely stream of consciousness and it started with the iconic cookie because Ben and I had just been eating them.  I chose to start and end on the cookie because I wanted the story to feel as though an entire wild relationship had transpired between bites, a whole life in a moment.

What I love about the story is that each line holds a brand new story.  I loved it so much in fact that I started to build other stories out of each of the individual lines.  So now I have stories to match the following lines:

I sank my teeth into a stone and it cracked.
You blew the stars out like candles, but it wasn’t your birthday.
You didn’t know how to ease my pain, so you cast a circle made of earth.
I learned to speak dove and cooed over a lunch of bird seed and pink cupcakes.
I put a tag on an empty bottle and sold it as enlightenment.

I have plans to write a poem, story, micro-fiction or list for each of the lines in this story and eventually make them into a book.  It’s a bit ambitious, but I think I can eventually pull it off.  

I love writing surreal and magic realism and I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I loved writing it! 

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Getting Published!

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A few years back (okay maybe more like ten) I was published in a magazine.  I sent in my story with my SASE and I didn’t hold my breath.  I was young and intrepid and probably high with absolutely no aspirations of being an actual writer.  I had written a bunch of stories about my world travels and so I wanted to see one in print.  When they told me I would be published I didn’t rejoice, but I was happy.  I didn’t jump up and down or hug anyone because it was just a nice thing to have happen, but it wasn’t the be all and end all.

I didn’t know what I was onto then with my very first publication.

Fast-forward to today.  Years later I have finally given up all the false starts I have had career-wise and decided that I want to actually (for reals) be a writer.  Now I have spreadsheets full of magazines and files full of stories to send out in the hopes I will be chosen.  I have a book I am about to send to potential agents and (after about six months of submitting my short stories to magazines in earnest) I got the news on Thursday that I would be published for not one but two of my pieces.  One short story to an online publication and a poem to an anthology.
When I was told I was going to be published this time I did jump up and down.  I did hug my husband and run around a little with excitement.  This time (with queries going out for my first novel on Monday) getting published means something big.  It means someone read my arrangement of words on a page and decided they liked the cut of its jib.  It’s a pretty cool feeling.  It’s also cool to know that at some point soon some random strangers will also be reading my words and deciding if they like them.

I like the idea of publication for so many reasons, but the best is that people who might not otherwise get to read my words will be able to do so.  People who don’t know me will get a chance to peer into my brain and being as I love knowing what’s going on in other people’s brains (if I could read minds I would be pretty excited about it), I think that’s amazing.

When things are more official I will definitely announce when and where you can read my published works, in the meantime I will continue on my journey to get more words out there for the world to see!

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Write as you love

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Today’s blog post was supposed to be about rules.  Am I for them or against them?  So, to illustrate the only relevant point I have regarding rules, I am going to write about something completely different: writing what you love.

I am an emerging writer, an aspiring to be published writer.  I have faith I’ll get there one day, but in the meantime I’m learning to write what I love.  This is by far the most important thing anyone can possibly learn to do.  Why?  Because writing what you love is like falling in love, it’s dizzying, dazzling and beautiful.  It makes you excited about putting fingers to keyboard, pen to paper.

Now, by writing what you love, I don’t just mean mystery novels or epic poetry, it goes well beyond genre or format.  Writing what you love is about the base elements of the art, the magic of the craft.  It’s about the words and the concepts and the soul (if there is such a thing).

So what do I love?  I’ve been working on the answer to this question and I think I’ve narrowed it down.  I love abstraction, absurdism, lists, feelings, rituals, elemental magic and the suggestion of something deeper.  I love quantum writing, ideas that feel as though they could have a million meanings but only take shape when you read them, in the exact form you choose to perceive them.  I love rhymes and interjections of poetry, I love metaphor and good, quirky similes.

I find the best way to access the writing I love is to allow my mind to wander.  I like to reach out into my memories and the fringes of what I know to gather ideas and bring them back.  In order to do that though I have to be brave and let go of my fears and preconceptions.  Stilted writing comes when I’m thinking too much, worrying too much about this word or that sentence.

So how to write what you love?  Write as you love, with wild abandon, an open heart and a slightly reckless spirit.  Read books and pick out the words you love and remember them.  Study turns of phrase you admire and allow yourself to be free.  Listen to songs and watch TV and movies and pay attention to the words.  Some of my favorite writers are musicians.

Rules be damned, sometimes it’s just time to write what you love and worry about the details later!

What do you love to write?

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This is a post for www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge.  One blog post a day for all of June!  Check it out at the website or on twitter: @sofluid or #wpad!