Send Us Your Short Stories, Your Series, Your Pride and JoyApr 5th, 2010 | By Paquita Meseguer | Category: News | 3409 views
UPDATED: April 5th, 2010
As the Story Editor of Troubadour 21, I have had the immense pleasure lately of reading many wonderful short stories and discovering some excellent authors. I have only been the story editor here for a few months, but I have been involved with T21 since it was a mere gleam in our much esteemed executive editor’s eye. Carlton Smith had the amazing idea of bringing together artists of all kinds, not just in the Detroit metro area, but from places both far and near.
Once I became story editor, I contacted my authors by email to request more of their work, since at first we were getting more poems than stories, and I wanted to earn my keep as a story editor. I soon received many new stories. I have enjoyed reading them and posting them on T21. I feel as though I am slowly getting to know some of our authors, which should be what every good editor does. Some of our series have gained a lot of followers. Some seem to end too soon, and will be sorely missed. Some series end, but then the authors send us a new series, and the fun continues. Some have been put on a hiatus due to novels being published, which is understandable, or work being lost due to stolen laptops, which is so sad. And sometimes there is the dreaded writer’s block. However, we still have many series for you to read and enjoy.
T21 has quickly become a vital online artistic haven for poets, writers, photographers, painters, and musicians, with a staggering amount of monthly page viewings. Yet T21 is becoming so much more. We are no longer just an online site, but have also had quite a few gatherings of local artists, where we have been able to hear many poems, see paintings, and hear music. We have many more ideas for its expansion in the future, and hope to bring all of our T21 family with us.
Carlton had originally asked me to look for good series to bring in readers on a weekly basis, and once I became the story editor, I thought that T21 needed more short story series. Some were sent in on their own, such as the “Lonnie and I” series, written by Bill Burkholder, another vital person in the development of T21. In September, he began the series of two southern men and their adventures. The first story had his readers in stitches of so much laughter, that we asked him for more stories. Now T21 is the proud home of six Lonnie stories, that have grown in depth and hilarity, with the introduction of new characters, such as Lerlene and Granny.
Our next series “My Brother Billy” is written by Julie M. Tate, who is a highly creative artist, writing not just short stories, but also poems. We have even published one of her photographs, so she has multiple artistic talents. She sent in a story, “Living Under Glass”, some weeks ago on a character named Billy, and his interactions with his sister. When I recently asked her for more stories, she told me to my joy, that she had a few more stories on Billy. Her seventh story was just published this week, and her series is quickly gaining many readers. Her Billy stories have a uniqueness to them, a restrained passion and angst, that make readers want more. They want to learn about the woman and her feelings for her brother, Billy and her love interest, Nathaniel. She is now writing new stories just for T21, and I look forward to many more Billy stories. Julie Tate’s last Billy stories was posted on January 30th. I will miss Billy and his sister, but I am sure that Julie will start writing something new very soon…
Another series, “Armed Robbery” was posted on October 21st. Well, the first installment, “My First Armed Robbery” was actually published a few months ago, but became a series for us in October, when the author informed he had more stories on the same character, which is based on himself. It is a series of stories on armed robbery and its consequences on the life of its author. These stories are raw and vivid and real, showing the consequences of crime, about life in prison and how it affects both those inside prison serving time, and their loved ones waiting for them outside of prison. We posted the first one on T21 on August 21st, and the author Steven B. Smith informed me that he had other parts to this story. The fifth and final part was posted on November 8th, 2009.
I asked our current short story writers if they had any series, and I have found a few more that will soon be appearing on T21. Some just need to be sent to me or have some editing done, whereas some still need to be written, since a few authors hadn’t thought of turning their story into a series until I suggested it. Of course, if the series become famous, I will take full credit for them (with their permission) on behalf of T21.
Some of our authors have been published, and some (myself included) are looking to publish their series of short stories. Regardless of the short story’s theme or style, I think that T21 is a great place to share our series and get a feeling as to how they will be received by the public. I post a link to mine on face book and have received many compliments, comments, and suggestions. I would like to welcome our T21 readers to do likewise, when reading any of our short stories, be it part of a series, or one that stands alone. When writers read comments pertaining to something that they have written, it fills us with this incredible pride and happiness that something we’ve written has touched someone in some way.
So please, send me your stories, your series, your pride and joy, your babies, and I promise to treat them with the respect and careful consideration they deserve. T21 has become a very important part of my life, and I am incredibly proud to be in charge of placing someone’s work out there to be read by everyone who has found T21. I am also more than willing to help out with editing advice and suggestions, and with grammar and spelling mistakes. I attended an oh-so British school in Spain until I left to go to college, and therefore proper English was drummed into me from a very early age. I would never let grammatical mistakes get in the way of my accepting a story. Likewise if I feel that a story is almost there, but just needs a little more work (be it in details or depth), then I let my writers know, and ask them if they mind tweaking it just a tad. So far, I’ve had a great response to this, so thank you to my writers who can accept well-meaning critiques.
I am looking forward to receiving many more stories, and hopefully a few more series, to add to T21, and to bring enjoyment and entertainment to our readers. Your series can be posted weekly if you are able to write a chapter a week. We also have series that go up as they are written, sometimes every few days, and sometimes every few weeks. If you send me a story, please let me know if it is part of a series or not. Also, let me know how many chapters you have already written, or if you have not yet written the future chapters, and they are mere ideas right now, waiting for your muse to put the words together. All stories sent to me are shared with the other editors on T21 to get their input, but as Story Editor, I do get final say.
UPDATED: October 31st, 2009
Since I first wrote this article, I have received a few more stories that are a part of a series. I have already posted two of them, and I’m waiting to edit some of the others. One of our newest series, “Fables, Fairy Tales, and Folklore”, was submitted by Tom Sheehan, who has quickly become one of our most prolific contributors. When I asked for more stories, Mr. Sheehan was gracious enough to send me lots of stories, each so good that it has become quite a challenge for me to pick one to publish. I asked Mr. Sheehan if he ever sleeps, or if he writes in his sleep, and he told me that he starts his day at 4 AM and beings by writing. Funnily enough I sometimes write UNTIL 4 AM!!
His series is made up of short, yet beautiful stories that have a touching moral to them, a lesson to be learned, an emotion to aspire to. “The Old Man Who Hid Music” is the first in the series, and I have many more in the series. I will be posting a new one each Monday, so please check them out.
Our newest series is one that is very close to my heart. When I first began writing my Gigi series on my experiences on dating, one of my closest friends, Helen Obispo, was likewise inspired to write about her dating challenges. At first, Helen did not want to post her stories, so I went ahead and had mine posted. 19 Gigi chapters later, Helen agreed to post her stories. In just one day, her first chapter received over 100 views, and she now has quite a few fans of her very own. We are planning on combining our stories into a book, at this time tentatively called “Adventures in Dating.” The introduction to our book has been posted on T21 as “When Gigi Met Helen”, and is followed by Helen’s first chapter, from “Helen’s Horrors of Dating.” I hope our readers enjoy them as much as I did. I will be posting a new Helen chapter every Wednesday. We have created Gigi and Helen t-shirts to sell on T21, so please buy a shirt if you are a fan, and help us maintain and expand the site. Please go to the cafepress.com box in the top right corner of Troubadour 21 to order yours. Her last chapter was posted on Wednesday, February 17th. From now on, you can find Helen’s stories on our dating blog mentioned above.
UPDATED: November 5th, 2009:
“Ask and ye shall receive” or should it be “Build it and they will come?” I asked for more stories and series and, boy, did I receive them. T21 just posted two new series this week, and received short stories from a lot of new authors. We are being found thanks to postings on facebook (what a wonderful social network!!) and also by word of mouth, or typing of email or texts. Don’t you just love modern technology? Just imagine what Shakespeare could have done with internet and emails… Some of our new authors are friends of our current authors. Regardless of how they find their way to me, I asked for stories and I am happily getting them.
One of our newest series is “Railroad Train to Heaven” written by Dan Leo, who stays up late writing stories about a character named Arnold Schnabel. Dan Leo writes with a very pithy and witty sense of humor on the life of a man in his forties, living with his mother and three maiden aunts. I have many, many more chapters for my readers. When I asked Dan if he had a lot of chapters, he told me in an email, “Oh God, I’m almost embarrassed at how much of this there is. I had this vague idea to write a sort of endless novel — my only justification being Proust and insanity — and so I admit I have something like 170 chapters of this nonsense.”
Dan Leo writes in just this way, making fun of life, and having his character Arnold make fun of himself. I was laughing when I read the first few chapters, and immediately knew I would enjoy the series. T21 welcomes yet another new and very prolific writer who will keep us warm during the long cold winters. 170 chapters, if posted once a week, makes for how long? Mathematics have never been my forte… “Railroad Train to Heaven” will be posted every Monday.
Our second series is “The Green Door” by Lois Bassen. This is the story of Arthur Hopewell who comes to New York to find his fortune as a playwright. The series shows the relationship between Arthur and the people in the theater around him, and his zany room mate, Angelo. There are also many chapters ahead of his adventures in the theater world. Now that we have received even more series, and have more soon to come, I am moving “The Green Door” chapters to a new day. The last chapter was posted on January 10th, 2010.
UPDATED: November 15th, 2009
We have received so many new series since I first began to look and ask for them, that our executive editor Carlton Smith recently created a new section just for series. This is now at the right-hand side of T21. If you move the mouse over the name of the series, it will show you a short synopsis of the series, and if you click on it, it will take you to all the chapters posted so far. I spent a part of this weekend adding links to get readers even more quickly to the next chapter. If you look at the end of each story, you will see a link to the next chapter. All of our series now have this feature.
You can also now see the series all posted at the right side of T21, and as you move your mouse over the title, you will see a brief synopsis of the series. If you click on one of the series, it will take you to a section just for that series, and you can see all of the existing chapters on the right hand side of the page, so that you can more easily go from one to the other. I suggest that if you start reading a new series, that you begin with the first chapter, as most of them need to be read in order.
Our latest new series “Desperate Teenage Romantics” is written by Zoey Day, a 17 year old girl from England, who was published at age 13. I had no idea of her age until after I received her second story, and I am highly impressed at her command of the written English language. In between her arduous school life (and believe me, the British schooling system is arduous), she is finding time to write her series. She had originally sent in just one story, and when asked, agreed to turn it into a series. It is not just our newest series, but our most viewed series, with over 800 views in just little over a week for the first part, and over 300 views for the second part. It tells the tale of a teenage girl desperately in love with a man who has had to move away. She writes with all the passion of one in the throes of first love, and I cannot wait to see where she takes her series. “Desperate Teenage Romantics” is posted on Fridays, but she is a bery busy high school student, and does not always have time to write her stories.
Please be patient and understanding while waiting for new chapters.
UPDATED: November 29th, 2009
Our series section continues to grow. We have another new weekly series, “Black Widow” that is quickly gaining popularity. It was sent in originally as a short story. As soon as I read it, I asked the author Pela Via if she could turn it into a series, since it left the reader wanting to know more about the characters, about what led up to the conflict and the all important “what happens next”: all excellent and very necessary parts to a successful series. We have now posted the third chapter of “Black Widow”, and Pela Via has a few more chapters coming our way. It is about the destructive love between Carmen and James, what starts off as an innocent flirtation and leads to much more dangerous results. The last “Black Widow” chapter was posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010.
I think that T21 readers will enjoy what is yet to come in the lives of Carmen and James, Arthur and Pamela, Arnold, and our as yet nameless Desperate Teenager, our newest characters who have joined our other series characters, Stephen, Billy and his sister, Lonnie and his nameless partner in crime, Helen and Gigi, and the men they have the misfortune to date along the online way. Some of these series are comical and amusing, laughing at the tribulations of life. Some are more serious, showing a darker side of life. Hopefully our readers will enjoy them all, and find they can relate to these stories.
I am also very excited about six, possibly seven new series that will be starting next week. These will be posted every two weeks, and are being written just for T21 by some of our very popular short story authors, whose work verges on the thriller, sci-fi, and noir aspect of literature. Amazingly enough quite a few of these writers know each other. I’m not sure which one first discovered T21, but they quickly brought their literary friends along with them, and there are more of their friends coming our way. Look forward soon to new short story series by Cortney Bledsoe, Chris Deal, Nik Korpon, Angela Nichols, Alex Taiari, and Richard Thomas. We are also going to be showcasing two stories a month from our new in-house writer, Christopher Dwyer, another friend of our talented literary pack of authors.
T21 is proud to be the home for all of these wonderful stories and authors. I’ve been reading most of the new stories this past week, in between eating a lot of turkey, and already I am hooked and want to read the next chapters. Unfortunately for me, I will have to wait along with our T21 readers as they are not yet written. The series will be posted this week, along with Chris Dwyer’s first story.
UPDATED: December 8th, 2009
T21 is very proud of all of its new series, which will go up either twice a month, or once a month. They are being written exclusively for T21, by some of our best authors, who have submitted several short stories.
The first to go up was “The Idealists” by Cortney Bledsoe, a series about Derick and Ruthie, a couple who teach at a boarding school, and the issues they are facing in their marriage. This series is a flash fiction view at their lives and will be posted every other Sunday. The first one went up on November 30th.
The second new series “If the Penguin Were Female” by Angela Nichols, is the amusing story of Penelope and her shady lifestyle and fascination with Batman. You will enjoy reading about Penelope, her henchmen, and her rivals. This series will be posted every other Sunday. The first one went up on November 30th.
The next to go up was “Throw Back” by Chris Deal. This is a futuristic series about Stockton Davies and his escapades from the authorities in a city connected through NeuralNet. This series will go up every other Tuesday, and was first posted on December 1st. Chris Deal is also going on a hiatus while he deals (oops, no pun intended in the word) with the massive school work and essays he has to write.
Also up that same day was “Old Ghosts” by Nik Korpon. This is the story of Cole and his wife, and how ghosts from his past rear up, threatening to change life as he knows it. This series went up every other Tuesday, and was first posted on December 1st. The last chapter went up on March 25th.
A few months ago, I received a great futuristic story “Everything is Beautiful” written by Richard Thomas, and I asked if he could turn it into a series. I reposted the first part again for new readers to find it, and I will be posting the second part on January 3rd. This series was supposed to go up once a month, and is the story of John Harrison and his life on a dust covered planet. However, the author, Richard Thomas has suddenly become incredibly busy, due to his novel “Transubstantiate” being bought. It will be on sale this June, and T21 is looking forward to reading it as soon as he sends us a copy. His series for T21 will therefore be on a hiatus, as he feverishly works on his novel. We will be counting the days until he can send us the next installment of “Everything is Beautiful”.
The last to go up was “Lost Tales of a Dying City” by Axel Taiari, another futuristic tale about Dead-Eye, and his troubles with the authorities. This series was also supposed to go up once a month. The first one went up on Thursday, December 3rd. We have two chapters up so far, and will get more this summer. Axel Taiari is our next author who is hopefully about to have his novel published. He has locked himself away in a cottage in France to work on it, and therefore will also go on a few month’s hiatus from writing his T21 series.
UPDATED: December 31st, 2009
Troubadour 21 has gained seven new series since my last update to this article. One of the first to go up was “Sunset” by Edward Rathke. His story was also submitted some time ago, and he was asked to turn it into a series. I reposted the first part “A Night on the Town” two weeks ago, and the second part went up on December 31st. This series is a different kind of series, as none of the stories will have the same characters. It is the theme that remains common throughout: that of a world in which the sun is dying, and everything is affected by this. Although the characters change in each story, you can see how the death of the sun affects life as we know it, and the description of the characters draws in the reader. This series will go up on Thursdays twice a month. The latest part was posted on February 25th. This series will go on a brief hiatus until May, while its author finishes up some other projects.
The next new series “Ah, Look at all Those Lonely People” by Stephan Ikeda is another series in which the stories are not all connected to each other, but instead show us glimpses into the lives of people living their lonely lives in cities. The first part was posted on December 10th. This series was supposed to go up twice a month, and the first two were posted, when Stephan Ikeda had his laptop stolen, with all of his stories on it. Unfortunately he had not backed them up anywhere else, and he lost a lot of his precious work. Hearing this made me run to my Gigi stories and save them in several places. Authors beware of not having several back up copies of your work!! T21 wishes him a speedy return to literary writing, and hope that he will find it in him to rewrite stories and continue the series as soon as possible.
We have yet another futuristic series, “The Final Space Log” by John Kirkland. The first part was posted on December 24th and will be posted twice a month, on Thursdays. It is the story of Joseph Freeman, a captain in a spaceship, who saw the world explode in front of his eyes, making him the last living person alive. This series has gone on a brief hiatus as its author is a fulltime college student, faced with a lot of studying.
The next series is one of my personal favorites, and was one of those ideas that comes to one late at night. Many of our authors like writing thriller/noir stories, and I thought it would be an interesting idea to have a series in which the theme is that of horror creatures or scary myths, and we could have a story written by different authors, to get a mix of styles, and maybe someday a great compilation of stories. This series is called the Troubadour Horror Zone. Chris Deal, whom I was emailing the night I had the idea, will write a research essay on each different horror character, and the essay will go up with each story written on that character. The first story “Cosplay” went up on December 16th, on zombies, and both the story and the essay were written by Chris Deal. The second one in the series will be on werewolves, and is going up this week. The story “Bloodlines” was written by Rick Huffman. The third in the series was about an incubus. “The Nazareth House” was written by Craig Wallwork, and is quite forceful. The fourth part that went up was “Daughters of Erzulie” on ghosts, written by Kelcey Wells. The fifth part is “9 Lives” by Angela Nichols, and is about the cat being a witch’s familiar. The sixth part that went up is “Vanita’s Eyes” a creepy voodoo story written by Bob Pastorella. The seventh part was “Spider” written by C. L. Bledsoe.
The newest series is “The Dream Mechanic” by Tom Fillion, and is about Wilbur Dobbs, a college student who takes a job as a waterbed installer and about the comical clients he meets along the way. This series was first posted on December 25th, and will go up every Sunday.
The last new series is a three part series “Weighing the Straw” by William Crawford, one of our most viewed authors on Troubadour 21. The first part was posted on December 25th and will go up for the next two Sundays. It is an autobiographical story on important events that shaped the life of the author. It is written with such emotion, pathois, and a wry sense of humor, and is very touching to read. The last and third part was posted on January 12th. William Crawford is one of our most read authors on T21, and his stories always head the most viewed stories. We look forward to many more of his stories.
UPDATED: January 22nd, 2010
Since I first began to look for series for T21, we have gone from having a few series, to having 23 series!! I hope that our readers are enjoying them as much as I am. There are writing styles that hopefully can fit everyone’s taste: from comical dating stories to more complicated and twisted relationships, from dark noir stories to on the edge horror stories, from scifi imaginative stories to everyday life situations. With all these series being posted on T21, I think our writers can find at least a few to follow and enjoy.
New to our series collection is “Memoirs of a Nurse” by Paula Munch. It will be posted every other Thursday, and the first one was posted Thursday, January 21st. . Ms. Munch writes with warmth and humor on the experiences of Hope, a young girl who decides to become a nurse, and the readers will be able to follow her nursing career. I can foresee lots of emotional chapters as this series continues, and people always seem to love those medical shows on television, so we are proud to bring a medical series to T21.
When Lois Bassen’s series “The Green Door” ended, I asked her if she had anymore series for T21. I think she called me “Santa” saying that if Donder knows Blitzen, then of course she has more stories!! She soon sent me two to choose from. I guess some people are as prolific a writer as myself and Tom Sheehan, and their work will just keep on coming. It was hard to choose among the two she sent me, but I chose to start with “Marwa” that will be posted for the first time on Satuday, January 23rd. . “Marwa” is about a young Muslim American-born daughter of immigrant Egyptians.
UPDATED February 6th, 2010
We have had some of my favorite series end, but we are still getting new ones. Today, Saturday, February 6th, I posted the second part of “Lessons from the Orient Express” by Heather Ann Schmidt, who is a cherished poet and writer for T21. Her series is about Isabelle, a young woman and her adventures around the world. They will be posted every other Saturday.
UPDATED March 8th, 2010
Our newest series also began its life on T21 as a single short story that was sent in quite a few months ago, one that had me in stitches and tears of laughter, so that I immediately asked its author, Kelcey Wells if he could PLEASE turn it into a series. I have been bugging him quite foten, and he now has the first two chapters written. The series is called Swingshift. “Cheer” the first part was reposted on Sunday, March 7th. the new chapters will go up every second Wednesday, starting this Wednesday, March 10th. I am sure that this series will become an instant favorite for many of our readers.
I have had quite a few series end or go on a brief hiatus, so I would like to encourage our writers to send me in more ideas for future possible series. Please cut and paste your stories into the body of an email, one story per email, and send me your submission to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATED April 5th, 2010
We have two new series join T21. One is “Tales From the Ranch” by Ronald Paxton. These stories are about the Howard family, John, Sarah and their daughter Emma, and their daily life on Wild Pony Ranch in the foothills of the Bue Ridge Mountains in southern Virginia. I think that our readers will come to love these stories as much as I do. The first two were posted as short stories a month ago, until I saw that they were about the same characters. I then asked the author if he had more. Indeed he did, so now they will go up every Sunday. As of today, we have four chapters up and running.
Our newest series is “Invisible City” by T. Ricks. This series is about an African-American family and their move to Detroit. It began as a short story until I asked the author to turn it into a series. I reposted the first part on March 29th, and then added the third part a few days later. The series will go up twice a month, if all goes well, and my newest author finds the time. Read all about Lou, Sweet and their daughter Veda. It is written in a beautifully descriptive and poignant fashion.
Our submission guidelines can be found at www.troubadour21.com/submissions/
Hoping to see your work on T21!
©2009 Paquita Meseguer All Rights Reserved