A Short of Sorts: Vice of Reason

Super cool background illustrations by L!

Though the story itself is, um, a tad bit dark. And sad. I’m sorry??? I blame the prompts!!! Speaking of, remember that I’m still taking prompts for the next story, and the prompt theme is HALLOWEEN! (You can check out this post for more info, but feel free to prompt here.) Anyhow, here’s all the prompts!:

This round we had 13 prompts from 7 peeps:

Blog:

  • I want a world with a season where EVERYTHING dies every year. Bonus points if it’s a beautiful season. — Moo
  • Scare-bro — Abs

Instagram:

  • My birthday! — @sdeoul
  • pumpkin stew, bitching and moaning ghosts, someone’s scarf is so long they keep stepping on it and tripping, ink-stained fingers 🎃👻✒ aaaand maybe some sort of secret santa gift exchange, but for Halloween instead of Christmas?? sort of meaning that this is a veryyy broad idea, it could also be secret santa Halloween pranking or something — @byrdeblue

Tumblr:

  • Caramel — @jemsauce
  • “The Unlikely Vice of Reason” — @lysaille (Not exactly prompted, but I took inspiration from the typo of mine that they caught.)
  • Decay. And school. — @telari

Twitter:

  • chickens! sEE! GHOSTS! — @alliepennauthor

If you prefer a different medium, this story’s also up on Instagram and Tumblr (and there’s a Tweet for this post)! You can also find out more about the project, past stories, and how to get your own custom stories on this page. And if you’re enjoying the project and want to support it, consider dropping me a Ko-Fi?

See you guys in two weeks for the next story!

Bacon, out.

Bus

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Prompt Call: Autumn

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Prompt call time! Give me your prompts, and I’ll take every last one and work it into a short story. This time, the theme is AUTUMN! Hit me with your cozy, cool, and maybe even a little creepy prompts. Anything goes: ideas, words, pictures, poetry, music, whatever you can throw at me. You don’t have to follow the theme, it’s just a nudge to get your brain juices flowing. Otherwise, the general rules apply:

  • You can prompt at any point in time, on any social media where I lurk (like on these posts on Insta, Twitter, and Tumblr), but if it might get worked into the next story if it’s later.
  • You can give me as many prompts as you like—just pretty please keep it within reason.
  • Keep prompts PG-13, and nothing offensive.
  • By giving me prompts, you’re giving me the honor to do whatever I’d like with them in/with my stories as my content. Prompts themselves remains to whoever owns them.

For more info, stories, and custom stories, check out the project page. And if you want to support this project, consider giving me a coffee on Ko-Fi?

Now, hit me with those prompts! And look forward to the story written with last theme’s prompts going live tomorrow!!!

Bacon, out.

Bus

Prompt Call: Shopping

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Prompt call time! Give me your prompts, and I’ll take every last one and work it into a short story. This time, the theme is SHOPPING! Anything goes: ideas, words, pictures, poetry, music, whatever you can throw at me. Maybe you have some shopping horror stories, or you’ve seen a hilarious product, or anything else! You don’t have to follow the theme, it’s just a nudge to get your brain juices flowing. Otherwise, the general rules apply:

  • You can prompt at any point in time, on any social media where I lurk (like on these posts on Insta, Twitter, and Tumblr), but if it might get worked into the next story if it’s later.
  • You can give me as many prompts as you like—just pretty please keep it within reason.
  • Keep prompts PG-13, and nothing offensive.
  • By giving me prompts, you’re giving me the honor to do whatever I’d like with them in/with my stories as my content. Prompts themselves remains to whoever owns them.

For more info, stories, and custom stories, check out the project page. And if you want to support this project, consider giving me a coffee on Ko-Fi?

Now, hit me with those prompts! And look forward to the story written with last theme’s prompts going live tomorrow!!!

Bacon, out.

A Short of Sorts: Lactose Intolerant

 

As always, the amazing background art was done by Blue!

For all the murderous prompts, this turned out oddly… cute? I was not expecting that. Anyhow, remember that I’m still taking prompts for the next story, and the prompt theme is OCEAN! (You can check out this post for more info, but feel free to prompt here.) There were 18 prompts by 11 prompters, check ’em out!:

Blog:

  • Seeds in raspberries being bugs — Abs

Instagram:

  • Molten lava — @sdeoul
  • Tarp — @sarah_ahiers
  • Sticky fingers | hungry dragons | kitchen gnomes (instead of garden gnomes) | too sweet | shockingly sour | chocolate well | strawbearies (actual strawberry bears) or other berry bears — @bluebyrde

Tumblr:

  • a dessert that’s laced with cyanide and no one can tell because it tastes like almonds. — @Primalarc
  • A macaroon with a filling that really shouldn’t be eaten | The oven breaks down while you’re preparing the recipe. — @eveningrelics
  • a cake with the flour made of bone dust — @everqueen12
  • Dessert sprinkled with glass shards. — @telari

Twitter:

  • sentient avocados — @carlyheath
  • A reluctant dairy-free hero saves their town when people are brainwashed by delicious desserts from a new ice cream shop — @dragonspireUK
  • Write a story where the least likeable character saves the day. — @thewritemagnus

If you prefer a different medium, this story’s also up on Instagram and Tumblr (and there’s a Tweet for this post)! You can also find out more about the project, past stories, and how to get your own custom stories on this page. And if you’re enjoying the project and want to support it, consider dropping me a Ko-Fi?

See you guys in two weeks for the next story!

Bacon, out.

Bus

Prompt Call: Dessert

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Prompt call time! Give me your prompts, and I’ll take every last one and work it into a short story. This time, the theme is DESSERT! (I kept typoing it instead of desert last time, so I was inspired.) Anything goes: ideas, words, pictures, poetry, music, whatever you can throw at me. You don’t have to follow the theme, it’s just a nudge to get your brain juices flowing. Otherwise, the general rules apply:

  • You can prompt at any point in time, on any social media where I lurk (like on these posts on Insta, Twitter, and Tumblr), but if it might get worked into the next story if it’s later.
  • You can give me as many prompts as you like—just pretty please keep it within reason.
  • Keep prompts PG-13, and nothing offensive.
  • By giving me prompts, you’re giving me the honor to do whatever I’d like with them in/with my stories as my content. Prompts themselves remains to whoever owns them.

For more info, stories, and custom stories, check out the project page. And if you want to support this project, consider giving me a coffee on Ko-Fi?

Now, hit me with those prompts! And look forward to the story written with last theme’s prompts going live tomorrow!!!

Bacon, out.

Bus

A Short of Sorts: A Migration

As always, the amazing background art was done by Blue!

This was super fun to write! Though honestly, with the variety of prompts you guys gave, I was stumped for a little while. Hopefully it’s somewhat decent? Anyhow, remember that I’m still taking prompts for the next story, and the prompt theme is DESERT! (You can check out this post for more info, but feel free to prompt here.) And now, here’s all the prompts!:

Blog:

  • Someone literally melting. | Blood popsicles. — Moo

Instagram:

  • Pineapple — @alliepennauthor
  • Lemonade | Cicadas | Flip flops — @catonthekeyboard
  • Beach party | Creepy mascot | Flavored ice cubes — @byrdeblue
  • Fanciful cirrus sylphs — @imaginarialist
  • Tart berries — @sarah_ahiers
  • Flotation device — @sdeoul

Tumblr:

Twitter:

  • The young druggist spent every summer tracking the wolpertinger migration with the prince. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolpertinger — @carlyheath
  • It wasn’t a question of how it had melted, really, or why. Just when it would happen again and whether we could get it inside fast enough this time. — @Roseattacks

If you prefer a different medium, this story’s also up on Instagram and Tumblr (and there’s a Tweet for this post)! You can also find out more about the project, past stories, and how to get your own custom stories on this page. And if you’re enjoying the project and want to support it, consider dropping me a Ko-Fi?

See you guys in two weeks for the next story!

Bacon, out.

Bus

Prompt Call: DESERT

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Prompt call time! Give me your prompts, and I’ll take every last one and work it into a short story. This time, the theme is DESERT! Anything goes: ideas, words, pictures, poetry, music, whatever you can throw at me. You don’t have to follow the theme, it’s just a nudge to get your brain juices flowing. Otherwise, the general rules apply:

  • You can prompt at any point in time, on any social media where I lurk (like on these posts on InstaTwitter, and Tumblr), but if it might get worked into the next story if it’s later.
  • You can give me as many prompts as you like—just pretty please keep it within reason.
  • Keep prompts PG-13, and nothing offensive.
  • By giving me prompts, you’re giving me the honor to do whatever I’d like with them in/with my stories as my content. Prompts themselves remains to whoever owns them.

For more info, stories, and custom stories, check out the project page. And if you want to support this project, consider giving me a coffee on Ko-Fi?

Now, hit me with those prompts! And look forward to the story written with last week’s prompts going live tomorrow!!!

Bacon, out.

Bus

Prompt Call: SUMMER

Prompt call time! Give me your prompts, and I’ll take every last one and work it into a short story. This time, the theme is Summer! Anything goes: ideas, words, pictures, poetry, music, whatever you can throw at me. You don’t have to follow the theme, it’s just a nudge to get your brain juices flowing. Otherwise, the general rules apply:

  • You can prompt at any point in time, here or on any social media where I lurk (like on these posts on Insta, Twitter, and Tumblr), but if it might get worked into the next story if it’s later.
  • You can give me as many prompts as you like—just pretty please keep it within reason.
  • Keep prompts PG-13, and nothing offensive.
  • By giving me prompts, you’re giving me the honor to do whatever I’d like with them in/with my stories as my content. Prompts themselves remains to whoever owns them.

For more info, stories, and custom stories, check out the project page. And if you want to support this project, consider giving me a coffee on Ko-Fi?

Now, hit me with those prompts! And look forward to the story written with last theme’s prompts going live tomorrow!!!

Bacon, out.

Contesting the Contest Hype

I’m gonna start this off totally upfront. I was a mentee in Pitch Wars ’14 and ’15. I’m now a mentor in that same contest, and TeenPit. I was in a buttload of other contests (I forget most, but Googling can bring them up if you want to spend some time stalking around). And, despite all that, I got my agent through traditional querying.

Contests are amazing. I had little by the way of a writing community when I was introduced to the world of Twitter and internet writing contests. I’d never had real deadlines to work under before. The goals I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned are priceless. And that community? I wouldn’t be writing today without it. I wholeheartedly encourage all my writing friends to enter them.

But also, I know a lot of people who have been completely destroyed from them.

They either didn’t get in, or they did get in and they had a bad experience, or they got in but didn’t get an agent, or so many other things. And I get it. No one’s aren’t wrong to feel that way. I’ve been at the bottom of that pit, and it is dark and lonely and awful.

A vast majority of writers I know are rep’d through traditional querying. (And I know a lot of authors from having been involved in so many contests and competitions and forums for over seven years.) Like I said, even I caught my agent’s attention through traditional querying, and before she signed with me I did an revise and resubmit. Which was amazing and made my story immensely better, even after I’d been in Pitch Wars twice. No contest is the end all, be all. There’s so much more to learn, and infinite room to grow no matter if you’ve been in a contest or not.

Please don’t let any contest keep you from writing if it’s what you love. You aren’t a failure if you don’t get into a contest. You’re not a failure if you do get into a contest and don’t requests or representation from it it. You’re not a failure if you got an agent from a contest but still haven’t sold your book.

You wrote a book.

Tell me how many people you know in your personal life who have accomplished writing a novel. There’s probably not a ton. Most people will never understand enough about publishing and editing and revising to get it to the point you do. And the online community you build is the most important part of these contests, but it can be exhausting with mostly good news all the time. Because, yes you’re happy for them, but you feel like you’ll never have your turn.

Please keep writing. Keep querying. Keep listening and learning. Take breaks and don’t worry about them, we all need them from both writing and/or social media. The odds of getting into a large contest are slimmer than getting a request querying an agent, nowadays. The odds of getting rep’d through a contest are then even tinier. It’s not even a guarantee to get rep’d!  I could have entered another Pitch Wars with how long it took for me to sign with my agent.  (Well, I was rep’d for about three months after my first PW, but that’s a long story that did not end well and made everything worse.)

Getting an agent, getting a book deal, getting into contest, it’s all like winning the lottery. For the most part, it’s luck. You can’t know if the judge or mentor you submitted to hates a small trope in your book; you can’t know if the agent was having a bad day; you can’t know if the editor you went on submission to just bought a similar book the day before. But it’s not all luck. The fact that you’ve come so far, that you’re reading this post, that you’re investing so much time in your craft, means you’re increasing your odds.

It’s okay to still pursue your dream even if you didn’t win the lottery this time. The only thing it costs you to try again is time (and, let’s be real, emotional perseverance). Like I said, contests are amazing in how they teach you so much, and that community is what pulled me through some of the worst of my dark times. You should keep entering.

But this is not your end all and be all. Your words are more important than a contest.

You are more important.

I’m sorry this line of work is so rough. But you’re awesome for coming so far.

If you want to share/ramble/word vomit your story, both my ears are open for you in the comments or elsewhere (I get that sometimes talking it out helps). If you want to add on encouragement for anyone who needs it, totally feel free to leave some of those, too.

(I also apologize for the sheer amount of italics in this post. And how messy it is. I have emotions about this.)

Bacon, out.