On Tuesday, I released a story that clocks in around 12,000 words. A novelette, really. I wrote it in about three days, which is about right for every short story I've ever written. They tend to completely override my system until all I can do is write, leaving me wondering where time went and fifty pages of words filling Scrivener. They also leave me wondering why I can't do the same exact thing for novels, but I suppose those are more of a slow burn. One takes time with a novel. At least, I do.
I named the story Saratoga Summers and shipped it off to my editors. Then started working on the sequel novel to Stay the Distance (which has a name now!). Only the short story bug still hadn't been worked out of my system yet.
Before I could stop myself, I gravitated to an old file in my Dropbox. A five-year-old story that, when finished, will reach novella status. It currently sits at 24,000 words, but it lacks an ending because five years ago I wasn't sure what that ending would be. Now? I knew immediately. Five years ago I stalled out on it because I wasn't ready to write the ending it needed (big, brash, probably violent because it's a short story unlike anything I've ever written). All of a sudden I felt ready to write that ending. But could I let it hijack my forward momentum on the newly-named sequel? Especially when this novella-length short story is so incredibly weird?
In short, I think so. Because if I sit down and do it, history says it will take less than three days. The problem is I might just keep writing short stories, because I love them. I'm already envisioning a book of them, all nicely arranged together. Who wouldn't want a big book of horse stories (including that really weird one that I will talk about in the event that I finish it because it's so, so weird)?
I do. I want that book.
So, in the spirit of the upcoming new year, with its resolutions and all of that, I know I want to write more short stories. I also want to write, finish, and publish the sequel to Stay the Distance. 2016 is going to be a big year, so if anyone needs me I'll be over here furiously writing.
Oh...and Saratoga Summers is available on Amazon! Here's the synopsis:
July Carter is the daughter of a racehorse trainer and a jockey, always surrounded by other people’s horses. Beck Delaney is an owner’s son, his name connected to a growing horse farm in need of a trainer. July’s dad fits the bill perfectly. Now summers for July will be spent at beautiful Blackbridge Farm, training Thoroughbreds for the races at Saratoga, a horse racing paradise.
What could possibly go wrong?
Saratoga Summers is a fifty-page short story prequel—and immediate sequel—to Stay the Distance.
You can get your copy (or read it on Kindle Unlimited) here.
Mara Dabrishus is an author and librarian at a small college in Northeast Ohio. Horse racing is her first great love, but for the past several years she's ridden dressage, learning how to spiral in, half halt, and perform the perfect figure eight. Her first novel, Stay the Distance, was released in March 2015. For more information, please visit www.maradabrishus.com