When a Short Story Grows into a Novella

Halifax County Ex 23It started innocent enough. My story idea of a woman who takes up chicken husbandry to avoid the doldrums of retirement was fairly simple, a little silly and a bit laughable.

Here are the first few unedited paragraphs.

The accolades and celebration of forty-three years of service with Canada Post dissipated the first week of retirement. At the age of sixty-five years and seven days Mildred Fowler decided she had received the worst possible birthday gift: unemployment.

The smiles and hugs from coworkers still flashed before her eyes and the din of their congratulations hummed in her ears. Even the sweet smell of Sally’s breath as she toasted to long days of leisure lingered on her nose hairs. She now wondered if they truly believed being sent out to pasture was a happy occasion or if they simply wanted to give her a final hurrah before she entered obscurity. In reality, who really wanted to do nothing all day?

Her son Clyde told her to take up a hobby if she got bored, which he sincerely doubted she would. “You’re where everyone aims to be,” he had said. “You’ve earned this freedom. Take advantage of it while you still have your health.”

“You’ll be able to sleep in,” her youngest son Victor had said on the phone from his office in Summerside.

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Free Fantasy Short Story eBook

DLMcGyver-Blade of Truth-CoverMy second short story  in the Castle Keepers Tales Blade of Truth is enrolled in Kindle Select, and from now until Monday October 21st (12pm Pacific Time), it is FREE. The regular price is $0.99. Canadian residents can download it here, and those in the United States will find it here. Thank you for your downloads. Everyone counts.

Blade of Truth shares a pivotal story in Bronwyn Darrow’s early years. Readers of Shadows in the Stone will immediately recognise this man as one of the leading characters.

Summary: Bronwyn Darrow is a young dwarf eager to celebrate the end of his educational years and to embark on his future trade. He would love to ask the girl of his dreams to the celebrations, but he’s too shy. The morning of the big day he’s surprised when she asks him. Is this his dream date or his worst nightmare?

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Introducing Miss Tuttle’s Lemon Tarts

Miss Tuttle's Lemon Tarts - Diane Lynn McGyverMiss Tuttle’s Lemon Tarts is a short story. It’s just over 6,600 words long. If it had taken me a few weeks to write or even a few months, it would seem only natural. Except it didn’t take me a few weeks or a few months or a few years. It took me about six years. That’s 1,100 words a year.

That’s slow writing.

But each journey starts with the first footfall, right? And each story begins with the first word.

Miss Tuttle and Rita began their journey over a sack of potatoes. It wasn’t Rita’s intentions to help or stick around afterwards, but she did.

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Today is the last day of the Summer Sale

Diane Lynn McGyverToday is the last day of my Short Story Summer Sale. Throughout the months of July and August Mutated Blood Lines and Dancing in the Shine have been free to download at Smashwords.

To download the short stories before they return to their price of 99 cents at midnight tonight, visit my author page on Smashwords .

They are available in all ereader formats, including Kindle, Epub, Kobo and Apple.

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Forget the Shoes; Climb into their Pants

You’ve heard the old expression, To really know someone, you must walk in their shoes.

This expression reminds us to not judge people before we get to know them and to not assume we know what they’re thinking and feeling. This expression holds true for the people in our life as well as the characters in our stories.

Writing about someone without knowing them first makes them flat, uninteresting and possible unreliable. When I begin a new story with new characters, I often stumble my way along, wondering if my character will go this way or that. If they are faced with a challenge, what will they do? Turn and run? Or stand and fight?

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Interview with Diane Lynn McGyver

Recently, I shared a cup of tea and cranberry muffins with author Diane Lynn McGyver. We discussed the coming year and her current projects. Below is the meat of that conversation.

TIBERT: I read your short story Mutated Blood Bonds on Smashwords. It intertwines the mysteries of the ending of the Mayan calendar and the grid lines criss-crossing Nova Scotia. What do you think will happen in December 2012?

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“The end is near!” cawed the crow.

About twenty-five years ago Penhorn Mall in Dartmouth was a hopping place with many unique stores. I loved shopping there: park once, walk a spacious mall with no stairs or escalators, be protected from the weather and pick up everything from groceries and alcohol to boots and tires. Woolco was on one end, Sears on the other and Sobeys was stuck midway. For a mall, I found it very relaxing even on Christmas Eve. Sure it was busy, but the people who shopped there were the neighbourhood-kind of people.

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