Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Considering Publishing a Book of Short Stories

For the last two days I have given myself a little break from writing my new book. Sometimes I like to take breaks so that I don't write myself out of an idea. Plus, I came across a short story that I wrote about a year ago that I thought had potential to be much better. The idea was there, but it needed a new ending. I worked on it and I like the new direction it's taking even more than the one it had before.

I would like to put out a book of short stories, but I'm not sure there would be enough interest in it. Anyone care to share any thoughts?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sample of short fiction: I See it All

I See it All 
By: Carrie Watson

Gary was a poor clueless bastard. But at least he was a happy clueless bastard. Well, he used to be anyway. He got up every morning at 6:00am and got into the shower. This is too early to get up. I like to sleep for at least eighteen hours per day. I lied in my bed in the corner of the bedroom while he spent twenty minutes in the bathroom. Then he came into the bedroom and dressed quietly while his wife Liz slept.
After that I usually followed him into the kitchen. He never heard me behind him because the sounds of my soft pads pressing lightly over the beige carpet were silent to him. Most things are silent to him. He brewed coffee while he ate the same cereal. Why he ruins a perfectly good bowl of milk with that stuff that looks like tree bark is beyond me. And he never shares his milk. That’s annoying. He put his coffee in a travel mug and left the house at exactly 6:45 every day and returned at 5:30. Luckily, putting my plate of food down was part of his rigid routine. Otherwise, I would probably starve living in this house.
            Gary went to work without ever missing a day. He supported his loving family. He had a beautiful wife named Liz, a teenage daughter named Jamie, and a son named Sean. My name is Fuzzy, or Fuzz for short. Why do parents let the kids name their pets? We all lived in a big house. Gary liked his ordinary life, so maybe it was better that he had no idea what actually went on in the house between 6:46am and 5:29pm. He didn’t see the things I saw.
            I was thankful for Gary’s routine because my day only went downhill from there. Usually, Liz wakes up in an empty bed anytime between 6:50 and 7:25 depending on how many times she rolls over to hit the snooze button. Every morning beep beep beep beep… shut the damn thing off the first time! Then she kicks away the covers and starts barking at Jamie and Sean to get up and get ready for school.
            Today, Liz had only pretended to sleep until Gary left the house. Then she jumped out of bed and quickly got into the shower. Beep beep beep beep! Why do we need the beeping if you’re awake? Turn it off! Liz came into the room and quickly dressed. Then she tried to hurry the kids off to school.
            Sean was still young enough that every day at school was a new adventure, so he happily got up and brushed his teeth, ate a bowl of sugar that just barely passed for cereal and skipped off to the bus stop. He is also young enough that he doesn’t understand that cats don’t like to be carried around, have their tails be pulled, and don’t like to go in people cars, let alone be rolled around in big stupid toy cars. He is such a pain in my ass, but at least HE gives me the milk from HIS cereal.
Jamie was in high school. She usually needs extra barking before she growls and grumbles down the hall to the bathroom, except one day a week. On Tuesdays, Jamie gets up an hour before school, so she has extra time in the bathroom to do her hair, makeup, and whatever else. I always sit outside of the door, so who knows what else goes on. Ok, so maybe I don’t see everything, but who wants to? She didn’t get up early this morning though, which was odd because it was Tuesday.
            Even though Liz was a stay at home mom, she would go out every Tuesday afternoon. I wasn’t sure why. But I’m sure I don’t care. So on Tuesdays Sean went to his friend’s house and Jamie returned home from school with a skinny boy with brown hair. He was scrawny, kind of like the dead bird I found that one time I got out into the yard. His face was thin with sharp features which made him slightly resemble a rat.
            I could tell Jamie liked him though, since instead of her stopping to bend down and pet my head, she and Rat boy almost trampled me as they came through the front door. They weren’t halfway through the foyer when Jamie started trying to devour his face. Sometimes they wouldn’t make it out of the living room and other times they would go into her room and shut the door. Either way, there was always a five minute earthquake after that would make pictures fall off of the shelves in the living room. Teenagers. Rodent breath didn’t come over today. My life would be so much easier if these people could stick to a routine like Gary does.
Liz spends quiet mornings in front of the TV while she drinks her coffee. It’s a nice quiet time. The group of women on the TV yammer on, but it doen’t bother me because this was the only time that I can curl up with Liz on the couch and she pets me. It is my favorite time of day. Then later in the morning, her friend Carolyn comes over most days.
            I didn’t know where she came from or why she was here so much, but she didn’t bother me, so she was all right. Sometimes she and Liz would sit at the kitchen table and talk. Other times they would go and watch TV in the den. They had a mutual fondness for watching shows about bugs. That is the only thing that could explain the buzzing noise that comes from that room. I don’t know why I’m never allowed in. I like bugs. I chase every fly that comes into this house because no matter how many times I run into the wall, eventually I’m going to get one.
            At the end of the day when the sun would begin to set, Sean would be setting the table for dinner (although it seemed that every night he would ask which went on the left, the forks or knives – He asks so many times that even I know the forks go on the left. Idiot.), Jamie would be complaining about whatever Liz was cooking, and Gary would walk through the front door at exactly 5:30. At 5:45 they would all sit around the kitchen table talking about any mundane thing, but never about anything that they actually did. As long as they talked about anything else, they were all happy.
           That was how a normal day went in our house. Today hadn’t been a normal day though. It was Tuesday, so Sean went to his friends. That was the only aspect that stuck to the routine. If they could all stick to the routine every day, it would make my life so much easier. Rodent breath didn’t come over today, but that was a good thing because Liz left about an hour after Gary did and got home before Jamie. Carolyn didn’t come over. Liz still went to the den when she got home though. She carried a stack of papers in there.

Want to know how it ends? Leave a comment if you do and also about what you think so far - thanks! 

Submissions to The Writer's Digest Annual Contest

Unfortunately neither of the stories I submitted were chosen for the Writer's Digest Annual Fiction competition. However, the good news is that now I can feature samples of both stories here on my blog. I won't be posting the stories in their entirety, but please leave comments and let me know if they peak your interest, since I'm considering publishing a book of short stories. Honesty, and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!

Man O' War

I'm reading up on Man O' War's racing history. He was one of, if not the greatest racehorse of all time. For those of you who don't follow horse racing, he was grandsire (grandfather) to Seabiscuit.
My next book will be completely fictional and won't include any factual bloodlines, but I'm still trying to get a genuine feel for what the racing world was like early in the 20th century. It's not difficult to read up on, since it's my favorite time period and an incredible sport!