Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A story within a story

Something very strange happened last night while I was working on my short story. I was sitting at the kitchen table, writing. It was late. The kids were asleep. I was the only adult in the house. My dog was sleeping peacefully on the floor.

Then my cell phone went off. I had it on the table nearby and it's set to vibrate. It started going off and I just thought, Okay, I have a new message. I'll get to it soon. I was busy writing and didn't want to stop.

But it kept going off. Usually, when I get a message, it goes off for a few minutes, then stops flashing the little red light and the screen goes dark.

This time, however, as I kept writing, I noticed that didn't happen. The little red light continued to pulse and the screen stayed lit up.

So I decided to just look at it. I pushed aside my notebook and picked up the phone to push the button that unlocks the keyguard. But before my finger hit the button, I noticed a lot of words covering the screen. Before I had a chance to read them, though, my finger hit the button and they disappeared. GAH!

I only saw one word, though: "Top."

Very strange! Usually, when I get a new message, it just says "1 New Text Message." Not a bunch of words!

That was weird. And the fact that my story is a GHOST story made it creepier. I was too scared to keep writing after that!

But it gets me thinking....hmmm, all of those words on the screen. Kinda like I had all of those words on a piece of paper.

It made me think of how some writers have written "text novels." Or...something like that. As far as I know, it's all the rage in Japan. I have absolutely no idea what those kinds of books are all about, as far as writing style is concerned (I mean, are words like "you" spelled as "u"??), but, apparently, the writers wrote the books using text on their cell phones.

I have suggested to writing parents in the past that, if you don't have something to write with when inspiration strikes, use your phone. Text yourself or email yourself what you want to write.

But using a cell phone to text a whole novel. A WHOLE BOOK? Egads, I'll end up with carpal tunnel syndrome or premature arthritis trying to text myself a whole book! *faints*

I have thought about it, though. I even saw a web page of a publishing company soliciting cell phone novels.

So with my phone doing that last night, I started thinking about it. It's something to consider doing one day, I suppose. When I have the wiggle room for that sort of thing.

Or maybe it was just trying to tell me to stop writing, already! Go to sleep! It's after midnight and you need to get up early!

And maybe this is something I can use in the short story. Hmm. The wheels are turning!

Anyway, it's back to work on the short story today. I've slowed down on answering emails, etc., while I try to finish it. I am also going to keep my cell phone somewhere else while I'm working on it!

But the thing is, I no longer have a deadline on this story.

Apparently, I got confused!

I checked the web site for the anthology submission this morning, just to see if they were still accepting submissions. Yes, they are. The new deadline is the 31st. Woot!

But...it's not for short stories. Actually, she wants poetry.


I don't know how I got poetry confused with short stories. Sheesh.

Well, that's definitely a can-do. And much easier to write quicker! The poems have to be no longer than 20 lines. Faster for me to write, revise, and type up to submit.

I'm still going to finish my short story, though. Still want to keep at it. I'm almost done and I want to find out what happens! But not what happens at the end. I know what happens at the end. Thinking about the ending gives me goosebumps and I can't wait to write it!

I guess I'll just have to hold on to it until I can find somewhere to send it. At least now I will have another short story to send out there. Somewhere.

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