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Susan Gibb:
About "River Rising" and 365 days/365 stories

This story is part of the 365 days/365 stories project, which currently coincides with The 100 Days Project, a creative challenge that gathers story writers, poets, painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, and programmers together for one hundred days of creative effort: a piece a day for 100 days.

Below, some notes on the challenge of daily story writing. You can follow the progress of my daily writing at Talespinning.


Day 134: May 15th

When artist Carianne Garside made the commitment to a piece of art every day for a year through 2011, I decided to match it with a piece of writing, fiction, essay, or poem. I'm always worried about quality when pushing for quantity, but there's always time to go back and do the editing. The other problem is story, but what helped here was the art to inspire, much as word and phrase prompts were the flint in the 52/250 Project that's just finished.

When Carianne found in mid-April that other things pulled for more of her attention and she took a hiatus (I believe she'll be picking back up her routine, but instead for the 100 Days Project through the summer), I wondered if I could continue with no obvious source of ideas, no limited amount of something to focus and draw a story around.

It's been difficult, and yet I've found other ways to come up with narrative. The old fashioned way; looking around, reading, noticing, seeing something that may not be obvious without a creative mind to look for it. The other good thing is the freedom of timeline. It was often tough to wait for a piece when I had time to write but without knowing what the piece would inspire (in 52/250, themes were listed weeks ahead). Being me, I was often out of mental energy when I got the base to build on. I'm a morning person and was better waiting until the next morning to conceive and write.

Better too, to take advantage of a flow, and I often find myself writing several stories at once when the dam's open. That covers me for days when the muse is on vacation in Tahiti with no cell phone or internet connection. With the 100 Days and the 365/365, I didn't have that option of starting a story until I saw what the inspiration piece would be.

So coming back to time, while I feel there are certain stories that are some of my best work ever and some have already been published, I'm not pleased with each and every day's work and would never have left these stories without editing before moving on to the next. But as long as I use downtime to go back and edit, to reread each story or poem and rework those I'm not happy with, that's an acceptable method of working for me right now.


Day 150: May 30th

Today marks the one hundred fiftieth story I've written as part of my commitment to write daily since January 1st of this year. It also coincides with Day 10 of the 100 Day Project for this summer of 2011.

It's quite a learning process, to find a story to write every day, to change narrative voice and writing style, to investigate techniques and language and genres. Some of these pieces have already been picked up and published elsewhere; most will never move beyond the pages of my weblog. There are those I feel really good having written, and those that even with the famous editorial eye, just aren't pleasing even to their own “mother.”

Check out the 100 Days Project –there are so many fine artists and writers and crafters and photographers there that you're sure to find something each day to make the summer special.


Day 188: July 7th

Several changes have occurred in the process. Starting out, I wrote a story as influenced by Carianne Mack Garside's artwork. Her own commitment to produce a piece daily was affected by her baby's growth and curiosity and resulting need for extra attention so I continued on my own. Inspiration came out of thin air. When the 100 Days Project came up at the end of May, I decided to once more hook up with the group, and so it goes. Even with this project, we'll be hitting another halfway mark of 50 days of daily work this weekend.

It's amazing how many ideas and storylines a writer can find, either spurred by the creativity of others or just by life itself. Someone made a comment on one of my stories to the effect that he found it surprising that I could develop some many different characters, a new one each day. I laughed and responded that perhaps it is the writer's version of multiple personality disorder.

Meanwhile, because I have been reading the other participant's work, as well as those of fellow writers on Fictionaut and new literary publications as they come out, I haven't kept up on my novel reading, nor my hypertext and new media learnings (last posting at Hypercompendia was on the Morpheus software!) so these two weblogs have been sort of stagnant for a while except when something interesting (at least to me!) happens and I'll post to the Reality category.

Gardening, framing, reading, and writing; this will be my summer.


back to the story: River Rising


. .BluePrintReview - issue 28 - Challenge