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Forums Monthly Writing Challenges 30 Flash Fiction Stories in 30 Days Challenge Jenn's Challenge Thread: 30 Flash Fiction Stories in 30 Days

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jennifer Mattern 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #28955

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I’m a bit late to the game this month because of the Labor Day holiday and getting caught up in some emergency administrative issues today. But I figure if I managed to get through the last two challenges, I might as well keep pushing myself. And this month I’m going to tackle flash fiction. :)

    This is a bit different than the 30 blog post challenge in a couple of ways.

    • I don’t have a solid plan. I didn’t plan out story ideas in advance like I mapped out blog post ideas.
    • You won’t actually get to see them as I write them. :(  These are rough drafts of stories of no more than 1000 words (I’ll probably write a mix of stories around that length, some closer to 500 words, and some micro fiction in the mix). I’ll want some time to clean them up before I publish them. And I need to design the site where I’ll release them — QuickMystery.com (a domain I’ve had for years, and this is my chance to finally do something with it).

    One way it’ll be similar is that I won’t be pushing myself to write every day. I’ve already missed two. Oops!

    It will more likely involve binge-writing during one or two days per week.

    I’m expecting this to be much more difficult for me than the blogging challenge. Why? I have to blog for my business anyway. So that challenge was like killing two birds with one stone. This work is in addition to all the blogging I have to do (likely to fall in the 20-30 post range as it is). Um. Yay?

    Right now I’m just trying to think happy thoughts and think of this challenge as an investment in the new site. :)

    If I don’t hate the rough drafts completely, maybe I’ll share one or two near the end of the month in the critique section. :)

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    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28992

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I’m going to have to put this challenge off until October. I’ve lost more than a week already, and there’s no end in sight for the distractions. I’ve been dealing with a variety of server concerns related to attempted attacks, and over the last two weeks one of my cats had to go in for two unexpected surgeries. After the first, a test came back showing she has cancer (why they wanted to do the second surgery). And now we’re waiting to hear if her cancer spread. She’s been very up and down after the second surgery, so I’m on a pretty limited work schedule, instead spending as much time with her as possible and taking care of her while she can’t do much herself. So there’s no way I’m going to be able to squeeze this in on top of my must-do work.

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28993
    Emily F
    Emily F
    Participant

    Sorry to hear about your cat Jenn :( I have experience with feline mammary cancer, so if you wanted to chat feel free to get in touch (hugs) x

    #28996

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    Thanks. We’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that no news is really going to be good. We’re hoping to find out today if it already spread, but there are no guarantees the vet will know for sure yet. Other than sleeping a lot (which we’d expect after two surgeries, and which is pretty normal for this cat anyway — a lazy little thing), she’s been doing better since yesterday. Using her box again. Eating more, and especially devouring treats. Yelling at the dog. Playing with her toys. Snuggling with us in bed. She’s still depressed with the e-collar on (and shoots me the evil eye as soon as I put it on her). But the moment it comes off (for feedings and occasional neck scratches) she has all the energy and spunk in the world. If we hadn’t just gotten the bad news, we probably wouldn’t even think anything was wrong. She has her good moments and bad ones — and is looking much better today than yesterday. Overall, she’s being quite the little trooper. :)

    This is pretty much what she does all day on my office chair. She saves her energy for when her daddy gets home.

    babyeyes

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #28997
    Emily F
    Emily F
    Participant

    Aww, bless her! If it’s any consolation, when our cat Looby was first diagnosed the vet gave her between 6 weeks and 6 months . . . . after two surgeries she carried on for nearly 3 years after that. Every moment together is a blessing :)

    #28999

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    That’s amazing. Everything we’d read said you’d be lucky to make it to a year, and that was with constant treatment. My brother’s dog got lymphoma and did well on chemo, surviving a year before he took his downturn. And we considered that an excellent result. Three years is just astonishing. I’m so glad you had that extra time with your little one. :)

    Well, in Baby’s case it sounds like we can rest easy — for now at least. We got the test results back. The vet says she’s definitely fighting something, but it’s probably just from the surgery recovery. He’s not worried about it. And the other test shows that the lymphoma did not spread before she was diagnosed. He was hoping the eye was the primary site because that’s what we had removed (an old injury that blinded her in that eye when she was a stray kitten was suddenly causing her problems).

    It looks like that was the case. We have to have her re-tested in a few months to make sure the cells didn’t spread to nearby tissue during the first surgery (she was diagnosed from a biopsy after that one). But that’s why he recommended the second surgery — to clear out extra surrounding tissue as a precaution. So while it can come back, this is the absolute best news we could have gotten. So we’re thrilled and finally have a reason to keep our hopes up. Just one more week of a grumpy kitty and she’ll get her e-collar off and probably go back to old self. :)

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #29000
    Emily F
    Emily F
    Participant

    That’s great news, got all fingers and toes and paws crossed here for you all :) She was like our little miracle, the vets couldn’t believe it.

    Those collars are the WORST! When Looby had one after surgery she would just sit facing the wall with the opening of the collar up against it, she looked so sad, poor little thing. The problem was, every time we took it off she’d start licking her wound, and she wouldn’t listen when I told her we’d keep it off only if she stopped trying to take her stitches out ;)

    #29005

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    We hate making her wear it. We looked into alternatives. But the problem is that most of those are designed to stop them from licking wounds lower on the body. In her cast we had to shield her entire head so her paws couldn’t reach the eye area where she had her surgery. So we were pretty much out of options. She really hated the one the vet gave us (it had weird plastic tabs that were digging into her neck and shoulders). Luckily I had that we’d used for her in the past, and it had more padding and none of those silly tabs. She still tries to take it off occasionally and still looks miserable, but it’s better than the other one. And it’s definitely better than having her rip out stitches and have a gaping hole in her head. So I’m cool with her hating me for a few weeks if that’s what it takes to keep her safe. I figure she’ll just love me that much more when it comes off. :)

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #29135

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I still feel so unprepared for this flash fiction challenge. But tomorrow is the start of a new month, so I’m going to give it a go. :)

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

    #29152

    Jennifer Mattern
    Keymaster

    I’m making another change to my plans for this month. It’s not ideal, but it’s the only way I’m going to work in the projects I need to finish this year.

    Rather than focusing only on traditional flash fiction, I’m going to work some picture book manuscripts in as well. I’m behind on my goal for drafting those, and given that they’re around the same word count as my flash fiction goal, it makes sense for me to work on them side-by-side. I’ll still aim to hit 30 stories of up to 1000 words each (including some much shorter micro-fiction). Some of them will simply be stories for children rather than all adult mysteries and horror.

    Jennifer Mattern - Owner 3 Beat Media

    Professional Blogger, Freelance Business Writer, Author

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