New Year’s resolutions

me writing

Since I will be turning 45 in February, I have decided to keep my New Year’s resolution simple this year.

Publish one short story.

I plan to start looking at the Writer’s Market 2018 to see if there are any potential markets for short Christian fiction or for a few unpublished, Twilight Zone-style stories I’ve completed.

Perhaps “completed” is too optimistic a word. Any writer will tell you no story is ever perfectly written. I’m sure Stephen King sometimes looks at his early stories and wishes he could change this or that about them. He once wrote about the pleasant surprise he got when his short story, Sometimes They Come Back (which I’ve read, it’s in his Night Shift collection of short stories), was published. He was paid $500 for a story he admitted that he didn’t think would sell anywhere.

Perhaps I should try to get an agent.

Among my short stories that are either completed or need a little more tinkering:

Garth, Texas: A fugitive and scam artist’s car breaks down in rural West Texas during a heat wave. He walks to a town to get help–and wishes he’d kept on walking.

No Experience Necessary: A former Army soldier with a dwindling bank account accepts a job that pays well and says “no experience necessary.” You know what they say: “If it’s too good to be true…”

Dear Billy: Sincerely, Billy: If you love to write science fiction or Twilight Zone or Outer Limits-inspired tales, you’re bound to try your hand at time travel. In this, set in 1983, a teenaged boy visits a library and is told there’s a letter for him. It’s written by a man who claims to be him, and it’s dated 1859. The boy learns one decision done differently can change everything.

David’s Decision: What went on during the mental tug of war that led to King David deciding to sleep with the wife of one of his most loyal soldiers?

What If…?: I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened had Adam and Eve not sinned and had resisted the serpent.

Advertisements

The latest on the writing ‘career’ of Richard Zowie

If the headline seems self-loathing, it’s actually more self-deprecating. As I have learned the past few months, there really is a difference between healthy jokes at one’s own expense and having no self-respect.

…I need to get off my lazy rear and keep up on my fiction writing. I circulated a few chapters of one novel to select friends and the feedback so far has been really good. Once I finish the novel, I am a little reluctant about submitting it for publication: I usually prefer to write thrillers and Twilight Zone-style suspense and science fiction, and I worry that this love story might type cast me. Well, perhaps that’s just a chance to be taken…

…Some may wonder about my obsession of pens, and while there’s a lot to be written about it, I can tell you this: for me, creative energy often depends on a specific style of pen in a specific color. Try writing with the same pen all the time, or with black ink only, and creativity is stifled. Strange? Yes, but writers are a different breed…

…I have learned the secret to getting more writing done: close down internet applications and get off of Facebook. I love listening to music, but when it’s from Youtube it slows the process down…

…I’m trying out Twitter and find it mildly fascinating as I tweet and read other tweets. I can see that Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen briefly tried Twitter a few years ago; his famous kid brother Eddie seems to tweet regularly. Am still trying to convince myself it’s not just frivolous time.

Richard Zowie is a writer. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

A short essay of being square regarding pop culture

I’ve never read a single book from the Harry Potter series. Part of it is because I’ve never been comfortable with the whole concept while, frankly, I’ve skimmed over a few books and have been bored. When it comes to fantasy, I like science fiction, The Twilight Zone-style “What if?” and alternate history. It all just seems too contrived to me. Token sidekick. Token bad guy, etc. When my wife and kids talk about Dumbledorf, Hogwarts, Gobbledygook and whatever the head teacher is at Harry’s school, it’s as if they’re speaking Finnish.

Speaking of “Twilight”, I’m also not a fan of the Twilight series. Probably for the same reasons above. Vampires have never really interested me: while I do like Stephen King, I’ve never even finished reading ’Salem’s Lot (a story where vampires invade a Maine town).

Up until a few months ago, I had no idea who Lady Gaga was. I wish I still had no idea who Lady GagGag was.

Whenever I open People, Us or some other weekly magazine that kisses up to celebrities, I am amazed to look through the pages and see celebrities I’ve never even heard of. Sometimes, it’s as if I’ve just woken up from a 10-year coma.

Up until 2006, I never knew rapper Eminem had a close friend named Proof. While many might lament Proof’s untimely death, I wonder how many realize had Proof not been killed in a shootout, he would have been charged with murder.

I watch very few “reality” shows, and that includes America’s Got Talent. I’m trying to understand Sharon Osbourne’s obsession with lip-synching drag queens or why Piers Morgan believes as Simon Cowell does–that you have to be a classless jerk to tell someone they don’t have talent (never mind many are misled onto the show unwittingly for entertainment purposes). And to think that Stephen King declined to post examples of abysmal prose submissions when he held his writing contest, stating he felt it was poor sportsmanship to shoot cripples.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.