Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Finished and Sent Off a Short Story

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While I remain more under the weather than not — and boy, am I tired of having to write those words — I was able to complete a short story and send it off to an anthology over the weekend.  (For those of you also on Facebook who’ve seen my recent status updates, this is the same story I discussed on Friday evening.)

Mind you, this is the first short story I’ve written in at least four months.  And as such, I’m pleased with it.

Of course, as with just about all of my shorter efforts, my story has a plot that would probably better befit a novel.  And I’ve already had one offer from a friend to help me turn it into just that down the line, so I guess there must be some promise in it.

Let us hope the anthology editor thinks so as well, whether she is able to buy it or not.  (I take all the reassurance I can get.)

As far as everything else . . . you might be wondering why I checked both “remembrance” and “persistence” with regards to this post as far as categories go.  It’s simple: the reason I came up with this particular short story has a great deal to do with my (deceased) good friend Jeff Wilson.  In this newest of my short stories, I showed an unlikely friendship between a human and an alien and how many things were left unspoken between the pair that seemed to be in complete accord.

Then something happens where the alien is no longer able to speak for himself.  (I know aliens don’t have to be male or female, but in this case this particular alien is male.  So let’s go with it, shall we?)

The human friend does her best to figure out what’s going on even though her alien friend is no longer available to discuss all the options with her.  And she solves a mystery — or perhaps comes up with a new one — while vowing all the while to never, ever forget her friend.

As I said, this story was prompted because of how much I miss my friend Jeff.  It’s not a story that I would’ve come up with otherwise, though I have had a few stories since my late husband Michael’s death that, to one extent or another, were greatly impacted by his passing.  (Most of them, to be honest.  Save this one.)

I’d like to think that my friend would be honored by the fact that I’ve written this story, even though it’s far from perfect.  (I know I shouldn’t say that, as the story hasn’t even been read by the anthology’s editor as of yet.  But I tend to think none of my stories are perfect — not even ELFY, though that one comes the closest by miles to what I’d dreamed it should be — which perhaps means I’m being overly perfectionistic again.)  I also think he’d be pleased that I’d written a science fiction story — when he had to know I’m more conversant with fantasy — because it means I’m better able to let the story tell me where it wants to go, rather than go where I think it should.

(This last may make no sense to non-writers.  But it is still the truth.)

I would like to think that our loved ones — friends, husbands, makes no nevermind — will live on as long as we remember them.

All I know is, I will never forget Jeff Wilson.  Not ever.

I just hope he knew that.

And I hope, someday, in some faraway place, that I’ll be able to ask him what he thinks of this story.  Because when I wrote it, I thought a great deal about him.

And smiled.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

February 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

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