The following tales have been marked as dead:
"Hollis Jones Transformed" (250 words)
"Field Trip" (900 words)
"Dumpster Diving" (950 words)
"Monster Needs a New Pair of Shoes" (1100 words)
"Red Light" (2100 words)
"Replacement Parts" (2200)
"Flesh and Blood" (3800 words)
Around 11300 words. Rest in peace. Your ideas were ill-conceived, ill-executed, or just not that interesting in the first place.
Then I have stories in need of revision:
"Come Out and Play"
"Heroes Live Forever"
"The Qualifying Run"
(all with teen aged boys as protagonists)
"The Things in the Wall"
(in desperate need of a more interesting title)
...and a few more loose bits and pieces.
Speaking of protagonists, I have have enough stories published or sold with teenage/preteen boys as main characters to fill a collection. What would my therapist say about that? (If I had a therapist...)
I'm not really sad to let those stories go to the graveyard. Once upon a time, I would have tried "one more time", but they need to go, now. I've grown as a writer since most of them were written, and they just don't reflect my current voice.
Which led me to the following thought/question/quandary: what are my personal favorites? As long as I'm dreaming, maybe I could put together a top ten...these are the stories I'm proud to have written. So here goes, in no particular order (with a reason why I picked it):
"Catalog Sales" (Necrotic Tissue, October 2008)
- I worked hard on this one to make it "just right"
- it was my qualifying sale for the HWA as an affiliate (I know some folks are lukewarm on the HWA, but Momma always taught me to join professional organizations and old habits die hard)
"The Ox-Cart Man" (Northern Haunts, 2009)
- this story haunts me when I read it, not spooky but sad
- because they do...because they do
"Dancing Lessons" (Triangulation: Dark Glass, TBR)
- another story that took soooo much work to make right
"Fed by Other Than the Sun" (out in submission land)
- creepy as hell, and the last scene actually scares me
"Tommy of the Flood" (out in submission land)
- another haunting story and Mom actually liked this one
"Homecoming" (Reflection's Edge, March 2008)
- I have some very personal connections with this piece
"Little Fingers" (Arkham Tales, TBR)
- one of those ideas that only comes around once in a while
- plus, the title nails it..."waiting for those little fingers to pull him under" (shivers)
"Spider and I" (The Devil's Food, TBR)
- another highly personal tale
- I worked this one over and over until it found a home, even rewriting for that
...and, for number ten, the next story I write. Sorry, but I have to believe it's going to be good or else I won't write it.
I've procrastinated enough. What are your favorite stories penned by you...published or unpublished. Can you pick? Do you love them all the same?