Do you remember in 5th grade class when Miss Habershab stood in front of the class and announced, “Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn how to have fun with ideas.”? Then, as soon as she turned around to write the three reasons why ideas are fun on the blackboard, Cynthia Dresslor did her crazy pretend-to-barf act and everyone in the room tried very hard not to laugh out loud.
Well, Cynthia or not, that is what I’m going to be doing on this blog, having fun with ideas. So Cynthia, please go off and do your barf act somewhere else.
Wait a minute, you say. Fun with ideas? What kind of ideas? I’m mostly going to be talking about ideas relating to writing, and mostly about writing fiction. As starters, take a look at the page titled Writing a Story which will take you along with me as I try to write a short story about a long distance hiker. The first piece is there, every few weeks, I’ll add more to the story including your suggestions for where the story should go.
Also, I just finished a novel, “Hark to the Chimes”. I’ll be talking about that novel and the process of writing it with a few examples, but I won’t, of course, tell you enough so that you don’t have to read the book if and when it gets published.
Now for some background.
My name is Stan Dryer. That’s my pen name. I’m actually an old man-about-town, kind of an aging Lamont Cranston of The Shadow fame. Well, that’s what I’d like to be, particularly the part where I have the power to cloud men’s minds. Actually, I think I’d rather have the power to clarify men’s minds. Follow my blog and decide for yourself which I’m doing. As for the man-about-town bit, the Virus has put the kibosh on that.
Back to reality. I’m 87 years old and, except for writing fiction, most of my ambitions have disappeared along the way to old age. For example, I no longer plan to become a concert pianist. I’ve given up the thought of a solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite. However, I still can write. I’ve also been experimenting with a variety of genre’s and topics as you can see from what I’ve written. The crazy part about my writing at an age when most professional writers have given it up, is this, I’m still learning a lot about the craft of writing. There will be more in that vein on this blog. So come along for the ride. I’m still at the wheel although that last driving test was a close one.
What has been my writing career? Or, as everyone likes to say, “What are my credentials?” I suppose you could divide me up into three parts. (1) from roughly 1955 to 1990 I wrote fiction and sold roughly 15 short stories to a variety of national magazines such as Playboy, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Cosmopolitan. Yes, Cosmopolitan which was a quite different magazine in those days. (The longest piece of prose I found in a recent issue was an entire page describing the side effects of the birth control pills advertised on the opposite page.)
(2) I didn’t write any fiction for about thirty years being too tied up with town government and running a used book business with my wife, Lucia. Lucia sadly passed away in early 2018.
(3) I started up writing fiction again in 2018 by dusting off and rewriting some old stories that hadn’t sold thirty years ago and also writing a few new ones. I’ve had some of these stories published or accepted for publication. A bunch more stories are out there waiting to be discovered by editors clicking their way through electronic piles of manuscripts. See the page Published Stories for the current status of accepted stories and how you can read them on-line or get copies sent to you.
And of course, the novel. It is finished, all 76,000 words. More of that on a separate page when I get to it.
So that is where I’m at. So if you haven’t subscribed, please do so at the bottom of the home page. You should get e-mail messages of my posts whenever I add something new to the blog.
Enjoy, Stan Dryer