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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


How About a...Quickie?

I bet you thought you should grab your beloved and run to the nearest bedroom for a sweet interlude. LOL.

Maybe later.

I write short stories. Funny, sweet ones. A quick read which I call a "quickie."

Several years ago, a friend asked me to critique short stories she wanted to submit to Woman's World magazine. (It's the paper one you see at the grocery store checkout stand and includes a fiction piece.) I happily said yes.

After a while, osmosis set in, and I began penning my own. My friend said to submit to some magazines. Over the past years, I've sold many.

Where do ideas come from? "Man Theory" was the funniest. A young man said to me, "I have a theory." My head went Boing!!! I scribbled those four words down, listened to the theory, and afterwards, began writing away. For "Ouch," a goose really did bite me in a yoga class. The rest is made up. For "Tommy and the Teacher," a similar incident happened to someone I know.

What's the trick to short? I begin by writing the story I want. Just putting everything and the kitchen sink down. Still, for 800 words, I *think* small. I concentrate on one incident. There's a black moment. Descriptive words are used sparingly. Verbs are active. More dialogue. I revise and edit with an eye on the word count until it's (near) perfection.

And that's what I did for the three quickies in Man Theory and Other Stories.

Here's a fun excerpt from "Man Theory":

"I have a theory about love.”
Ethan's statement knocked me from the proverbial mountain top. Eyeing him, I clapped my hand across my mouth to stifle a giggle.
From Day One at our new jobs at Prime Designs, Ethan and I had forged a friendship. I was the artsy-heartsy, emotional gal. Him--the technical, by-the-book pal. We ate an occasional dinner, watched a movie, whatever. Traded small gifts like coffee, a magazine, music. However, Ethan had never made an overture toward me.
Translated: Nothing intimate.
I'd said to myself, "Rats."
For work, we'd traveled to Colorado Springs to attend a workshop on web design innovations. After check-in, I'd joined him at the bridge crossing the lake to decide about lunch before the meetings commenced.
My six-one geek wearing rimless glasses, leaned against the railing, and stared into the sparkling blue waters of the high mountain lake, and the feathered fowl paddling by.
Have his feelings changed? I asked in disbelief, "R-really? A theory...about love?"
How about you? Do you read romantic short stories?
About the Author:Like some of her characters, Vicki has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm. The list is…endless.

Born in Dallas, a graduate of Texas Tech, she is married to Handsome, has two big boys, an attention-demanding cat, and two adorable poo-pies.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA, and the DARA, Elements, and RWA-WF chapters. In 2004 she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. Recently, she was awarded the 2010 Robin Teer Memorial Service Award.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"



Cynthia D'Alba said...

I ADORE quickies...of both varieties! LOL

Seriously, I do like to read shorts. With my day being as nuts as it usually is, I don't have time for read a tome. I'm sure I've missed some great books (like the Outlander series) but I just don't have the time (or frankly the patience) to devote to a 2 or 3 week book.

Great topic. Good luck with your book!

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Cyndi, and girlfriend, you are up early! And so glad for the variety in your life. LOLOL

Romantic shorts are so much fun. And there's no sagging middle. (Is that another pun?)

Thanks for posting.

Sylvia said...

I enjoy shorts and yours Vickie are always fun. You entertain me and they are always a good read. Now I have to go to the day job, which lately has not been fun.

Liese said...

Enjoyed these stories! A must quickie read!

Dawn said...

I love romantic short stories..They are great to have on my lunch break or when sitting waiting at an appointment...

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Sylvia: thank you for posting and I hope it is a bright spot in the work day.

Hi, Liese: who know more than she's saying since she's read the stories. LOL

Hi, Dawn: Absolutely! Short stories fit that spot perfectly. I hope you can read mine and let me know what you think. Thank you for stopping by.

Karen Cote said...

Short stories are so difficult to write and not everyone can hold my interest. It is a unique gift and one, my dear friend, you possess in the most fun, sexy, and romantic way. Your different experiences qualify you for the task but it's your talent that provokes your stories to jump off the page.

Kylie Frost said...

I like short stories,I find them a nice diversion to the "normal" day. You have a great voice and choice your words well. WTG on WW sales - that's tough market.

Liz Lipperman said...

I read these short stories the other night and absolutely loved them. Vicki is the queen of quickies!!


Patricia said...

Really enjoyed the interview and yes, I thought you were going to tell us something "sexual". I have started Man Theory and really like it. I've never written a short story though I love reading them. I believe it takes a singular talent to condense and make everything succinct in so few words!

Cara Marsi said...

Vicki, I love your stories. I can't wait to read "Man Theory." Love how you drew us in with your "quickie" tease. Good luck to you, my friend.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Cara: Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou, my friend. I thought quickie very appropriate. :)

Vicki Batman said...

Thank you Long and Short Reviews for hosting me today. And thank you to all the nice people who visited and learned about "quickies." LOL

Happy day!

Vicki Batman said...

And catch me at author interview tomorrow.

Sheila Seabrook said...

I love your sense of humour, Vicki. You always know how to grab my attention. :) I'm looking forward to reading Man Theory and the other short stories!