Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Generosity and Kindness of Authors

So I know the theme for this month is "Short," but it's already March tomorrow! March's theme is "Acts of writerly kindness," and I am currently in awe of how generous and kind writers are. I decided to start an auction to try to raise funds for author Paul Mosier's family. His daughter Harmony has a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, and their insurance isn't paying for her current treatment. Inspired by other auctions I've seen in the kidlit world, I decided to start one for Paul's daughter, not knowing what to expect as far as donations are concerned.

Well, I have been overwhelmed by donations from authors. It seems everyone wants to help out when they see a fellow author in need. I am completely humbled and grateful to be a part of this amazing writing community. The generosity and kindness of writers is a huge part of what has made my own publishing journey such a wonderful and memorable experience.

If you'd like to bid on an item for our auction, you may find the information on my website. Thank you so much for all the love and support!

Sunday, February 25, 2018


I've been thinking about brevity and writing a lot...I've had some really great recent Twitter conversations regarding the topic, but really, the seeds were planted in '15, the first year I indie (self) pubbed anything. It was also the year I released "Come December," which remains my bestselling independently-released work to date.

It is also a short story.

To be fair, it's an adult work, and it was released at just the right time (on Thanksgiving weekend, right when everyone was hungry for holiday reads), etc. But I still think there's something to short, concise works.

Those playing devil's advocate might point to frantic modern lifestyles as a reason why we have no patience for long, sprawling novels. But is that really true? Or have novels gotten increasingly longer? When was the last time you heard of an author releasing a wildly popular novella? (POBBY AND DINGAN is the last I can personally remember, and that was--gulp--18 years ago.) And yet, I can point to several classics that are short: OF MICE AND MEN and ANIMAL FARM, for example, hover around 30K. THE GREAT GATSBY and FARENHEIT 451 are both around 50K. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA is around 27K. (By comparison, my MG novel THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, released in '14, also clocks in around 47K. A work for children is now the equivalent in length of so many adult classics.)

What's happening? Have writers lost their ability to kill all their darlings?

I'm not sure I have an answer yet. Or if there's really an answer to be had. Instead, what I can do is work on sharpening my own scissors. I've consistently been working with shorter pieces--last year's ALL ROADS and CHRISTMAS AT RUBY'S (also adult works) hovered at around 150 and 100 pages respectively. I've been working on making my MG work shorter as well.

In fact, I've got an MG superhero story about to release that focuses on concise storytelling (under 10K). It also uses a character I invented when I was eight--a hero whose superpower is kindness. (Something we need today more than ever.) I even incorporated my original drawing of Super Susan into the cover:

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPER SUSAN will release as soon as I approve the proof. To be notified of its availability, please sign up for my MG Reads Newsletter: 

Thanks in advance for your interest!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Bottomless Bubbling Cauldron of Imagination by Dia Calhoun

Every writer/artist knows the pleasure of the Creative Rush. I love the exuberance that comes in the “ah-ha” moment when your imagination sparks an insight or revelation that enhances the work. These moments always feel “just right.” And intoxicating (and addictive).

I’d never heard a psychological explanation of this Creative Rush that truly resonated with me. Then I read a chapter in Jungian psychologist, Erich Neumann’s book The Origin and History of Consciousness.

Neumann discusses “libido” (think general psychic energy here rather than the limited Freudian notion of libido as primarily sexual) in relation to the creative process. The italics below are mine.

“Whereas in an illness the activation of the unconscious content by an afflux of libido manifests itself in the form of disturbances, symptoms, and so forth, and in the creative individual this content spontaneously combines with consciousness and expresses itself in creativity, the act of conscious realization consists in the ego deliberately leading the mind and the free libido at its disposal towards the focus of fascination. The libido activating the unconscious system as its emotional component, and the libido of the recognizing and realizing ego system, flow together in the act of recognition into a single stream. This confluence is perceived by the ego as pleasurable, and this is so in any genuine realization, in any new recognition or discovery, and again whenever a complex is broken down or an unconscious content assimilated. It is immaterial whether the fascinating content is consciously realized as an image, a dream, fantasy, and idea, a “hunch,” or a projection. The assimilation of unconscious contents, in whatever form, leads not only to an enrichment of the conscious material but also to an enrichment of libido, which makes itself felt subjectively, as excitement, the vivacity, and a joy that sometimes borders on intoxication; and, objectively, as a heightening interest, a broadened and intensified capacity for work, mental alertness, etc.

In the process of realizing and assimilating an unconscious content, the ego makes a “descent,” from the conscious standpoint, into the depths, in or order to raise up the “treasure.” 

(p343 The Origin and History of Consciousness)

 Neumann goes on to explain why the “Creative Rush,” brings up ever more ideas, linking, linking, ever linking.

“…Simultaneously with the alteration and enrichment of consciousness, the splitting up of the content leads very frequently, if not always, to an activation of the unconscious as well. We may explain the mechanism as follows: a certain proportion of the liberated libido cannot be absorbed by consciousness and flows off into the unconscious, where it “libidinizes” associated groups of complexes or archetypal contents. These contents are then brought up by association and are produced as random ideas etc. –in so far as they appear at all—or else a new unconscious constellation is effected. The combination of this new constellation with the original activity of realization is what constitutes the continuity of all creative work, essential elements of which are always prepared in advance by the unconscious, and are then elaborated and enriched before being produced.
“The continuity of these processes is manifest not only in creativity but in all dream series, visions, and fantasies where we always find an inner consistency, web of associations deposited around one or more nuclei, is though around a center.
(p344 The Origin and History of Consciousness)

This brilliantly explains why many writers declare that a large part of their job is just showing up. Half my work happens if I just show up and keep writing day by day. Creative work begets more creative work in the  Bottomless Bubbling Cauldron of Imagination. Imagination fuels more imagination.

This is why all the sages advise the artist to simply begin, and say that the most powerful act is simply beginning. Your conscious mind may not know where you are going, but your unconscious mind does. So the next time you are stuck, my creative friends, be comforted, you are in good hands. (And keep showing up to work.) Because your conscious mind is mere steam, arising from the bigger, grander, vaster part of yourself below—the Bottomless Bubbling Cauldron of Imagination.

P.S. For artists, I highly recommend Erich Neumann's Art and the Creative Unconscious. It is more targeted to the creative process than The Origin and History of Consciousness.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Short Books

So I'll start this post with a confession - I'm a slow reader.  Growing up, this always bothered me.  I remember in elementary school when my classmates were able to finish books so much more quickly than I could.  It made me feel as if I was not a good reader.  Now that I'm all grown up, I have embraced this "slowness" in myself.  I tell school groups that being a slow reader doesn't mean I'm not a good reader, just means I'm slower.  I may not read as many books as my peers, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the ones I read to the fullest.

I think because I'm a slow reader, I've often been drawn to short books.  So for this month's post, I'd like to highlight three of my favorites.

The first is The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.  It's an oldie but goodie, and its theme of class bullying lends itself to a lot of self reflection and dialogue regarding this topic.  It's such a simple story, but Estes draws readers in and leaves them feeling the emotion of, not only the character who is bullied, but also those who have been the bullies and those who have been bystanders.  Amazing that a book published in 1944 is still so relevant today.

What I Believe by Norma Fox Mazer is another short book I love.  Writing in free verse poetry, Mazer is able to tell an entire story with so few words, and I am in awe.  The plot is compelling and the emotions of the characters are so authentic and believable.  Every single word packs a punch.

The last short book that is a favorite of mine is The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo.  The figurative language and symbolism in this book makes a wonderful story incredibly powerful.  DiCamillo draws readers into the characters' lives making it an emotional read which stays with readers long after they've finished the book.

So take heart all you slow readers out there, great stories can come in very short books!  And even all you fast readers, take a break from your big, long novels, and pick up one of these amazing short books for a quick read you'll most certainly enjoy!

Happy Reading,
Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Monday, February 19, 2018

Keeping it short

It used to be my writing was short, concise, to the point. With as much impact as possible, in as little space as possible. Such is the job of a newspaper reporter.

Most of my life, I’d dreamed about writing a novel. I looked at library shelves and bookstores with longing to see my own name on the spine of a paperback. My initial attempts at writing a novel, however, proved difficult. Plotting, characterization, dialogue, world-building, all take a different approach than, say, the 800-word, 3-column local county board budget meeting. So my first tries were frustratingly short.

I had to change my frame of mind.

It wasn’t until I was able to reacquaint myself with the prose of writing and creation that I found myself able to unravel an entire middle grade novel. Once I had the first few down, the reverse occurred. I couldn’t write short. A good friend of mine constantly wows me with her short stories. She’s written them most of her life and has some noteworthy publication accolades to her name. The Sun. Strange Horizons. Daily Science Fiction. I also wanted to write short stories – mostly as a breather in between novels. A place for my ideas that didn’t have entire plot behind them to flourish. Somewhere I could put the characters in my head who had a voice that would not be silenced.

The trick, for me, I’ve discovered is always knowing when to turn the car around. Otherwise, I’d end up barreling towards Novel-ville versus putting on the brakes at Short Story Land. So before I start short stories, I ask myself: What is the main character’s motivation? What stands in their way? What is the climax? When does all seem lost? How does it end? If I stick to these mile markers, I've found I can finally keep it short.

My short stories can be found here (Page 151) and here (Page 110) in Black Fox Literary.

Happy reading!

AM Bostwick

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Shortest of Short: Haiku! by Claudia Mills

I love writing middle-grade books for kids. And I love writing poetry. So if I can have kids in my books writing poetry, it's double the bliss for me. As we are celebrating "all things short" here on this blog in this short month, I'm giving a shout-out to the shortest poems of all: haiku.

In my recent middle-grade novel, The Trouble with Friends, the third book in my Nora Notebooks series, the kids in Nora’s class are writing haiku for a poetry unit. In one chapter I gave myself the treat of writing a haiku for each kid that expressed his or her character.

Emma dotes on her cat, Precious Cupcake, so I gave Emma a cat-loving haiku:

My cat is the best.
White, soft, fluffy, blue eyes. tail.
She is the cutest!

Critter-loving Amy is disappointed that her mom won't let her get a pet snake. So she wrote:

When I'm a mom some-
day, my kids can have ten snakes
and I'll say "Hooray!"

Class dancer Tamara shared her love of dance in her  haiku "Hip Hop":

When I start to dance
My feet have their own ideas.
My body follows.

Ant-loving Nora writes her haiku about ants, of course:

The ant is smaller
Than the cracker crumb. But she
Carries it so far.

And poetry-hating Mason wrote this one:

How I Feel about Poetry 

No no no no no
No no no no no no no
No no no no no.

In addition to my own self-indulgent pleasure in writing poems for my child characters, I've also found having some little "round up" exercise like this a satisfyingly simple way to show character. If each kid has to come up with, say, a word problem for math class, or a persuasive essay topic for language arts, or choose a character to impersonate in an Oregon Trail reenactment, how can each character's choice be mobilized to reveal his or her character? 

Now I'm off to meet the challenge I've given myself of writing a poem a day for each of the 28 days in February!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Child of Mine

Beau, Grandbaby

In lieu of recent events, you’ll forgive me if, instead of writing about short stories, I offer this short poem instead.

A Child of Mine


I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for Me?

For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.

-- Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) 
This poem was first Published in a newspaper circa 1930, and reprinted in "Living The Years" 1949 publ. Chicago, Reilly & Lee Co. For the full poem, see here

Guest was a popular poet in the first half of the 20th century, often called the People’s Poet. He wrote over 11,000 poems, syndicated in over 300 newspapers and 20 book collections.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

As Simple As Possible (But No Simpler), by Chris Tebbetts

As someone who writes a lot of middle grade material that is meant to be fast-reading and narratively compact, this month’s blog theme has gotten me thinking about what goes into the economy that I try to bring to my writing.

One of my guiding principles echoes the famous Einstein quote, that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” For me, that means keeping my prose as clean and focused as I can, while also making sure that I don’t overdo it with the economy. I don’t want to be stingy with my storytelling. Rather, I want my stories to be dense and flavorful, and I want everything I include to be there for a reason. To that end, here are three things I watch out for:

1) REDUNDANCIES. This can be deceptively tricky. Some repetitions and unnecessary passages are obvious when I read through a draft, but others can take a while to uncover. Consider this line and see if you can spot the redundancy:

“Burton was asleep on the bed, his closed eyes twitching lightly and his arms wrapped around a pillow."

Do I need to mention the closed eyes of a sleeping character? I would say probably not. And then, how about a line like this:

“What happened next changed everything.”

That might be a perfectly good setup, depending on the context. On the other hand, am I just telling my readers something that I’m about to show them, anyway?

Those are just two smallish examples, but I find that the more deeply I read in the revision phase, the more redundancy I tend to find.

2) TOO MUCH OFF-CAMERA TIME. For the style I write in (and, I would say, for middle grade in general), it’s important to keep the story moving along, and to keep things happening on-camera, so to speak.

Off-camera moments, as I think of them, include anything outside the events of the scene itself: description, internal monologue, narration, flashback, reflection. These are all important ingredients, but I try to keep my proportions weighted heavily toward the on-camera side of things. My own rule of thumb is that I only allow myself one or two off-camera passages per scene or chapter. That doesn’t include descriptive phrases or momentary asides, but it does include any multi-sentence diversion from what’s happening in the here and now of the story.

3) STARTING A SCENE OR STORY AT THE RIGHT MOMENT (AKA, AS LATE AS POSSIBLE). One of the most common mistakes I see in student manuscripts is over-long beginnings. It’s not uncommon for me to point out to another writer that their drafted story doesn’t actually begin until page three, or chapter two, or whatnot. This is often the result of the author working through her own discovery process, which can mean putting down a lot of ultimately expendable exposition as she drafts through. When I write, I try to bear in mind the slippery difference between what I need to know in order to tell the story, and what my readers need to know in order to enjoy it.

It’s the same thing with scenes. Do you ever notice on t.v. how often characters skip the “hello…how are you” and “goodbye…see you later” parts of their conversations? When you notice, it can seem unrealistic, but overall, the story moves more gracefully along when the storyteller lets go of those ultimately static moments. Take a look at a few scenes you’ve written and ask yourself: where does this scene really begin? And, while you’re at it, where does it really end?

As a caveat, let me add that none of this is about hard and fast rules. Context, style, and the individual needs of a given story all need to be taken into account. But I do find that deeply combing my manuscript for expendable material can really pay off. Bit by bit, it may not seem like much, but in the aggregate, it can add up to a significantly smoother, more engaging reading experience for your audience—and a better book for you.

I’m sure there are more examples I could offer, but…well, you know… I have to keep this brief.

Happy reading, and happy writing!

Short and Sweet Sentences, by Michele Weber Hurwitz

Happy Valentine's Day! In honor of this sweet holiday, I thought I'd talk about one of my favorite writing topics -- the power of short sentences. I LOVE short sentences and use them in my writing often. Sentences that have just a few words can pack a powerful, emotional punch. I'm a fan of one-word sentences too, especially when they follow a longer sentence. That creates a nice rhythm and variation in the text. Here are some heart-stopping examples.

In the middle of because of mr. terupt by Rob Buyea, there are several short, powerful sentences. It's at the point when Mr. Terupt has been hit with the snowball and the kids are reacting and sharing their feelings. The sentences are simple, heartfelt, and real, such as Peter saying, "I didn't know Mr. T was going to be right there. I didn't want to hurt anyone." And Anna: "Please let my teacher be okay." I love the way they're structured in the book too, with each narrator's sentence on one page. That format makes the sentences even more dramatic.

Flora & Ulysses is another one of my favorites because of Kate DiCamillo's ability to convey emotion with humor, surprise, and short sentence "zingers" that can make you laugh, cry, or both.

Here's an example:

"Have you lost your mind?" said Mrs. Tickham.
Flora ignored her.
She breathed into the squirrel's mouth. She pushed down on his small chest.
She started to count."

I adore the lyrical rhythm of these few sentences, and the alternating longer/shorter word length.

DiCamillo also periodically uses one word sentences, one right after the other, such as: "Capacious. Random. Heart. Universe. Flora felt dizzy."

I have to mention The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate since it is perhaps my favorite middle grade book. Just the opening sentences alone -- "I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks." -- grab onto my heart and don't let go for the entire story.

 This amazing book is filled with so many short, emotional sentences that make you stop reading, sit back, and just say, wow. I'm talking about:

"I don't know why. I never know the why of humans."

"I pause, and then I say it. 'It's a cage.'"

"I can't let Ruby be another One and Only."

I used a lot of short sentences in my middle grade novel, The Summer I Saved the 65 Days.

The opening lines are:

"It starts with Mrs. Chung.
And flowers.

Later in the book, in a particularly poignant part, I describe the action in brief, almost choppy sentences, which matches the mood of that scene, as the family is trying to come back together after a period of distance and misunderstanding. Here's an excerpt:

"Scrambled eggs. Burnt pancakes. Slightly expired orange juice, which Dad says is still drinkable. Strawberries on the rims. The four of us at the kitchen table. Small talk. A joke. Dad cutting pancakes like he used to cut spaghetti. Not perfect. A little rusty. But still a family."

Wishing you lots of short and sweet writing, and of course, tons of chocolate today!

Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of several middle grade novels. Her newest will publish this coming fall from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin. Find out more at

Monday, February 12, 2018

Let Me Be, Brief. by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Here we are in FEBRUARY: the "short" month.  What February lacks in number of days, it makes up for in letters...having the same number of letters as November and December - the big holiday months.  Things are tough for February though.  It's stuck in the middle of winter.  And it gets an extra day only every four years.  Maybe that's why Valentine's Day is in February - everyone needs love...even a short month.

I've been thinking a lot about the word SHORT and what it means.  Here's a "short"list:
- short of stature
- short tempered
- short note 
- short pants
- short-sleeved shirt
- to be short with someone
- shortcoming
- short sighted
- shorthand
- short-lived
- shortage
- shortbread
- shortcake
- short circuit

Think about this list.  In every case except one, short describes something lacking or missing, or less than.  Not my definitions...Websters Dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus.

I want to add another definition of SHORT:  Concise.  Nothing wasted.  A good thing in a small package.  Just like February.  How could you not love a month that celebrates love, a sleepy rodent, presidents, black history, and the Olympics every 4 years?

Have you guessed the one "short" where nothing is lacking?  Shortcake?  No, it's much better with strawberries and whipped cream.  But, shortbread is perfect just the way it is.  

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Yes, This Is Short

from Jody Feldman

Sorry for the extreme brevity, but that’s all it takes to tell you this:
The little book that could,
and still can,
and still does
is now 10 years old. 

To celebrate, I'm giving it away. I'll be drawing 10 names from all entries received by February 28. 

GRAND PRIZE (1 winner):
A Gollywhopper Games challenge designed especially for you 
(or instead, your choice of all the prizes below)
   * Class set of The Gollywhopper Games
   * Free Skype visit (or in-school visit if local)
   * All three books in The Gollywhopper Games series 

To enter, comment below OR send an email with your contact info to GollywhopperGames@gmail.comWant a double chance to win?
Simply list the 3 titles in The Gollywhopper Games series with your entry.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

SHORT CUTS -- by Jane Kelley

Can you take a short cut?

No. There aren't any.

Sorry. You've got to write each word. You've got to rewrite most of those words. You must start at the beginning, slog through the mushy middle, and conquer the climax before you reach the end of your story. It's word by word, or Bird by Bird, as Anne Lamott wrote in her stupendous book.

Should you take a short cut?

Absolutely. In fact, you must.

Writing word by word doesn't mean that you must describe in intricate detail every moment of your hero's life. Choosing when to linger and when to jump ahead is one of the most important decisions a writer must make. In her book, Steering the Craft, Ursula K. Le Guin calls those choices "crowding and leaping."

Sometimes, as she says, we need to keep our stories "crowded with sensations, meanings, and implications." To do that, you can't rush through those moments. Leaping is different. "What you leave out is infinitely more important than what you put in.

A narrative is a journey which is best experienced at different speeds. Sometimes you walk through the village. You might even need to slither through a field on your belly. Sometimes you should pick up the pace--ride in a car or maybe zoom in a jet. And sometimes you should take advantage of a tesseract and bend the space-time continuum to get to those deliciously crowded parts.

Will you take a short cut?

My dad always did. He always thought he could find a better way to get where he was going. He hated the conventional route. Those were the days before an automated voice told you when and where to turn. Since he was making his own path, we never knew where we would end up. Once we were visiting family in Indiana and somehow or other ended up in Michigan. "Dad!" we teased him mercilessly. Now I see that journey as testament to his creative spirit.

To sum it up:  I don't cut corners. I skip the dull parts. I seek out any trail that leads where I might want to go---even though it's rarely the most efficient route.

My husband and I found this sign while hiking in Vermont.
Did we take it? You bet!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Show Us Your Shorts!

By Charlotte Bennardo

I'm going to keep this short - because that's the theme.

Do you write short stories? No?

I know the excuses:

     I can't write anything under 20,000 words.

     I don't know what to write about.

     The word limit is too... limiting.

     I only write novels. (Or picture books. Or anime. Or screenplays.)

When I first started writing for children, I wrote picture books. But since I couldn't keep to a word count under 1,300 words, I gave that up and found my niche in novels for young adults and middle grade.

Then I saw an intriguing call for submissions for an anthology by Leap Books celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

And I thought... why not?

Photo by from Pexels

A word limit of 3,000 to 5,000 words must be observed, the story had to employ three elements (Alice, the White Rabbit, and a journey) and of course the work must be submitted within the deadline. If accepted, I would even be paid a small honorarium (hey, it's still money).

I thought and I thought. When an idea hit, I ran with it.

It was rejected- and I recognized that yeah, it deserved to be. But I was determined and wrote another submission- which was accepted (Alice Through the Wormhole is my story, and the anthology is Beware the Little White Rabbit. It's still available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.)

I forced myself to stay in the word count (actually, I misread that part; I thought it was up to 3,000 words, but it was a minimum of 3,000).  Writing that short story not only helped me sharpen my skills by learning to make judicious word choices and a streamlined plot, but it built confidence that I could write shorter pieces.

Since that success, I've had a short horror story, Faces in the Wood, included as part of a charitable anthology, Scare Me to Sleep, and I've submitted a gothic-style short for Leap's newest anthology celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The contest deadline is February 14th, and is titled Strangely Are Our Souls Constructed (a line from the book). More details can be found on their website. There's still time!

I've seen a number of colleagues branching out from novels into short stories. If you're intimidated by writing a 50,000+ word novel, this is the perfect starting point. Even if your story is not accepted, once you read it over (and you will) you'll see places where you could have improved, but you'll also see sections that amaze you.

I've gone on  long enough... See you next month!

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Power in the Short by Deborah Lytton: February Theme

One of my favorite books when I was a young reader was a collection of short stories by the very gifted Joan Aiken called A Necklace of Raindrops.
Image result for a necklace of raindrops
The main story about a girl with a necklace made out of raindrops captivated me and I read it over and over again. The magic of stepping into another world is what I loved so much about reading. A few years ago, my sister located a vintage copy of the book and gave it to me as a gift. Reading the book as an adult brought me right back to my younger self and I experienced the same joy when I entered Ms. Aiken's worlds. The book sits on my shelf near my writing desk where it can inspire me to write a story that will capture the imagination of a reader just as A Necklace of Raindrops did for me.
As an adult, I have found myself lost in the immensely powerful short stories of Margaret Atwood. She so brilliantly uses the form to break my heart into pieces in just a few pages. As writers, we all strive to craft that kind of story, a story that connects us to our readers. Studying and writing short stories will help us reach that goal. Exploring different forms for our writing can challenge us to hone our skills and just might lead us to some very exciting new works. So today, write a short story about a world made of dreams and see where it takes you.