Pocket Chicken

Pocket Chicken

When your employer accuses you of pocket chicken.

For my weekly writing challenge, I wrote a story with a little bit of humor in it. One thing I’ve often noticed is that funny stories are harder to sell to a publisher, yet it’s often the stories that make me laugh (at their absurdity, their situational irony, their word play) that stay with me after others have faded from my memory.

I do write and publish humorous pieces, like H, a story about a horny high schooler, or Everything in Its Right Place, recently published in Iowa’s Emerging Writers, a story that made my mom say, “Oh Randy, you’re so funny.” She loved it. Thought it was ridiculously hilarious. Even though it wasn’t slapstick or even David Sedaris funny, she saw the humor in the situation, in rage of the rant.

My novel-in-progress has a ton of fun parts in it. While humor is harder to sell, I know that a publisher is more likely to take my book if it makes them laugh. Truthfully, just finishing the book (not finding an agent and landing a publishing deal) is all I’m focused on. The humor is so integral to my novel that I wouldn’t sign a deal with a publisher whose editor wanted to seriously change it. And I doubt an editor who didn’t find it entertaining would pass along a book contract to my future agent .

For you writers out there, let me know in the comments if you write humor? If it you do, is it what you normally write? Do you find it harder to publish humor?

For you readers, do you like humor? Prefer humor? Would you rather read a story like The Old Man’s Rocking Chair is Moving Slower, Boy or something funny, like H?

Chicken Theif

A fox casually stealing a chicken.

 

Keep it wordy, Bookworms.

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Iowa’s Emerging Writers

Iowa's Emerging Writers

My story-in-dialogue, Everything in Its Right Place, has been published in an anthology: Iowa’s Emerging Writers. This is my fifth dialogue to be showcased by a publisher, and the first one available in a print book. You can pick up a copy of Iowa’s Emerging Writers or find your own state’s showcased authors by following this link.

Thanks to anyone who buys a copy, as it helps me out just an a bit.

Take it easy, bookworms.

Iowa's Emerging Writers Anthology

Chip You Away

Chip You Away

The latest story for my writing challenge is Chip You Away, a dialogue of self-talk, self-healing, and self-destruction.

It’s been difficult writing these stories without most of my weekday evenings free. But I’m past the halfway point and intend to keep going despite the lack of time. It’d be easier if I set the novel aside for even a day, but no future fans of mine would be pleased to hear I put off the novel even for this collection, I’m sure.

Another one of my dialogues is getting officially published tomorrow, so expect another post to follow this one. Until then, read on, bookworms.

self-talk

Weaves of Web and Cloth

weaves of web and cloth

Another day, another dialogue. Well another week, another dialogue. This one is a little back and forth between two unnamed characters. It’s a more philosophic bit than some of the plottier pieces I’ve been doing. I’m not sure where I’ll send this little gem, but I’m sure it’ll find a home.

I do have news, but I’m thinking of putting that 411 into essay format. So I’ll leave you two things.

1. My dialogue Everything in Its Right Place is forthcoming in the Iowa’s Emerging Writers anthology. You can order it or buy a book of your own state’s emerging writers by clicking this link.

2. My story Conclave at the Tea Table, has been accepted for upcoming publication in Story Shares. What I find interesting about this one is that it’s a venue for Young Adult (and also younger) writing. I don’t think I really write for young adults, but the story has fantasy elements in it and a young protagonist, so it’s gotta be for kids, right? At least this is why I think most of the places I first sent it to rejected it, and the first YA publisher I sent it to accepted it.

It is one of the first fully flushed out short stories I ever wrote. So maybe Conclave simply has the marks of an immature writer. IDK, but I’m happy it’s found a home at long last.

spider silk cloth

11-foot by 4-foot textile made from golden orb spider’s silk. 

The Carnivore and the Vegan Sit Down to Dinner

The Carnivore and the Vegan Sit Down to Dinner

Despite the second job, I’m continuing to write. This week I wrote one dialogue: The Carnivore and the Vegan Sit Down to Dinner. My weekend goal is to type up from of the dialogues I’ve penned out recently. Type them up, look them over, and print out copies for Mike (my bestie) and my wife. Together these, my first editors, will get them in shape for sending out to potential publishers.

To learn more about the dialogues, visit this page.
Have a good weekend, bookworms.

silverware

 

What’s the Point of What Hayden Saw?

What's the Point of What Hayden Saw?

This week’s story was written last Saturday while at work. There’s a wedding at the conference center attached to the hotel today, so it’s been too busy to write. But I’ve had time to read a couple of chapters of After the Banquet this morning, my first Yukio Mishima novel. So far, I like it.

What’s the Point of What Hayden Saw? is a short story in dialogue about Hayden who can see the future and heavenly visions, but when he dies tragically young, it leaves the bereaved asking, “What’s the point of what Hayden saw?”

Hopefully this new dialogue from my weekly challenge will be published soon. The truth is I’m pretty far behind in typing up my stories. It’s just so much more fun writing than typing. And, also, the second job takes its timely toll. If you haven’t checked it out, head on over to the The Green Light Literary Journal which had the balls to publish Viagra for a Pariah. I’m proud of the editors; those two have a great little gem of a publication.

Let me know your prescient visions and nihilistic reveries in the comments below.

Jesus in the Clouds

The Green Light (new publication)

The Green Light

 

I am happy to announce that another story from my 2018 dialogue writing challenge has found a new home in The Green Light Literary Journal. The story is Viagra for a Pariah. You can read the whole story short story at this link: https://thegreenlightliteraryjournal.wordpress.com/fiction-randaleldongreene/

 

The Ghost of Yesteryear

The Ghost of Yesteryear
I just received yet another acceptance letter for one of my dialogues. This time the story is Viagra for a Pariah, and it’s appearing in the upcoming issue of The Green Light. A Lover’s Dwelling is coming out in the Flash Fiction Addiction anthology in the near future. The third dialogue I wrote, Everything in It’s Right Place, is appearing in the Iowa’s Emerging Writers anthology, which you can pre-order on this website.

I think it’s just amazing that all these small presses are taking on my words, telling their readers that this thing I wrote is worth reading. That means a lot.

The piece I wrote this week is titled The Ghost of Yesteryear. It’s about a young man whose recently deceased father tells him to continue his love of nostalgia. You can find a list of all the dialogues (plus a list of all the published dialogues, and links if available, here).

Thanks for reading, bookworms!

The

 

The Nihilist and the Strangler

The Nihilist and the Strangler

This week’s dialogue for my 2018 writing challenge is The Nihilist and the Strangler. This creative conversation explores the fundamental meaning or lack thereof of life and the ever after.

Morty Nihilist Quote

Nihilism sort of brings up the absurdity of working for money, an abstract and transitory thing, when you’re going to die someday, having worked a good majority of your own finite existence here on earth for $$$ instead of actually living a meaningful life.

Well, I’ve been living, just without free weekends, for almost three years now. I feel like I played the system. I wasn’t free, really; I just found a way to make time and money work for me. But the system is harder to escape for the working class artist like myself than it is for those who run the system at the top. This is especially true when you have crippling student loans like my wife and I do. Other things compounded and caught up to us (things like a new A/C and new tires for the car) and here we are with me picking up a second job just to keep us afloat.

I don’t plan to hold two jobs permanently. At least not two non-writing-related jobs. And like I said in my last post, I’ll be using my precious free time wisely to finish my novel. Like any millennial worth their salt, I value the quality of life. So two dead end jobs aren’t a permanent solution. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to work to get to where I want to be. And work hard I will at the hotel, at the gas station, and at my writing.

Arthur cartoon nihilism

 

About the author:

About the Author

May I have my fiction with a side of meta?  🙂

Today’s post is both to announce the title of this week’s dialogue for my weekly dialogue-only writing challenge and also to make an announcement.

First the dialogue. . . . The dialogue-only story for today is a bit of a meta piece wherein two characters are discussing the author: me.
I hope it’s clear from the artwork exactly where this story is going. Truth be told, this is the only piece I’m worried about getting into the book. It feels to me like it might be an even more problematic piece than Insults Two by Two. It’s not so much the content for About the author: but how I want to use the story in the book, which is something I also feel is terribly obvious.

Well, despite my worries, I’m still putting this one down as my next dialogue. It may be meta, but it’s a fictional story through and through.

kill the writer

Now, a little bit about me, the author.

As some of you may know, I have been writing full time for a about three years now. I work weekends at a hotel. Every Saturday and every Sunday I come into work at 3am and leave at 11pm. That’s sixteen hours a day, back to back. In other words, I’m putting in a thirty-two full time job hours in two days.

This doesn’t cover my bills. I’ve been okay for 2.5 years, but with my wife’s student loans recently coming due, an unexpected increase in monthly repayment for both of our loans, and the loss of rent from two roommates, it’s become tough. So instead of wasting my time building a platform for Patreon, I went and got a job.

I will admit, I did see this coming. I actually started working a sales position with an online company but didn’t make any sales in two months. I liked it since I set my own hours and worked from home. I liked that it was incoming calls. I liked everything, except for the fact that nobody wanted to buy what I was selling, even if it would help their own businesses. Beings I only got paid on commission, that job got kicked to the curb early last month.

After applying all over the place and having to turn down positions that would require weekends (and not pay enough to make up the difference of losing my hotel income) I have landed a job at a travel center. You know, one of those gas stations that serve as a home away from home for truck drivers.

Truck drivers are a huge part of my life. Father, grandfather. Great grandfathers. A huge portion of the hotel’s clientele. So, yeah, this will be my job four days of the week. It won’t necessarily cut into my writing time, which I tend to do in the morning. But it will cut into my family life (my social life is pretty insubstantial). I don’t really like my family time being cut into (don’t like it at all in fact), but I can use that to my advantage.

What advantage? Well, for one, the constraints of a second job will certainly eliminate the illusion of boundless amounts of time. I believe a second job will force me to set a ridged schedule. Right now my writing schedule looks like this: WAKE UP —> EAT—> READ —> WRITE UNLESS IT’S TOO NICE OUTSIDE, THEN JUST KEEP READING OUTSIDE —> LUNCH —> SHOWER —> HANG WITH THE WIFE, etc.

As you can see, my writing schedule has recently been more like a loose suggestion than a rigorous routine. I function better as a routine guy. I used to go to a cafe and write daily. Then I became poor and my routine was gradually broken.

Now that I won’t have the luxury of five full days of unstructured time, I’ll have to treat my writing more like a job. Or a passion. Because, hell, it is my passion. I can blame my love of books, stress, the online sales position, or sunny weather on not putting my writing first, but really when it comes down to it, the reason is me. I know I need structure and scheduling. I am more productive with it than without it. That’s why I went to the coffee shop even though there were far more distractions there than at my house—the coffee shop gave me a routine.

writing routine cartoon

In the end, even though I’ll be losing time doing the things I love for the cash I need, I know that this will actually make my writing output increase quite a bit. I’ll admit that I’m going to miss all the relaxation, romance, and routine I’ve built around evenings with my wife. The truth is, we don’t know if we’ll be able to emotionally handle it once the school year starts since she teaches from 7am to 3pm and I’ll be working 3pm to 11pm. She already loses me all weekend to my job at the hotel. But we do need the money, and this will help me cement a daily writing routine. Yeah, I’m being a glass half-full kind of guy. But I think working six days a week will motivate me to write better and write more so I don’t have to hold a day job. Though I’d rather hold a job and write than not need a job but be pen and paperless. If anything, I think this summer of too much free time has taught me to stick with a schedule—a rigid one, even if it’s totally artificial.


Thanks for reading, bookworms. Leave a like or comment and let me know if you have a writing routine.