Monthly Archives: May 2014

Flash Fiction Challenge – There Will Be No Gravy


It has been a while since I participated in one of these, but since I am between stories right now I thought it would be fun.

TerribleMinds is a blog run by Chuck Wendig – He is smart, talented, and very potty mouthed. But his advice for anyone who writes is superb. If you haven’t checked him out and you don’t mind a few a lot of curse words, then you should. Check him out that is.

Anyways, each week he has a Flash Fiction Challenge – This week it is to write an entire story in 100 words. Not as easy as it sounds. Plus we are supposed to make the reader FEEL something.

I decided to give it a try and my story is below. Hope you enjoy.


There Would Be No Gravy

I stared at the empty pan. What was I doing?

My job was turkey and dressing. I never made gravy.

It seems like a simple task, making gravy. But she made the best. I never watched or learned.

Even while cancer ate away at her, I lived in denial. Mom the invincible made the gravy.

In a few minutes, the house would surge with family. I stared at the empty pan. The clock blinked 3:25, it was time.

The knock on the door came, “We’re here, Merry Christmas.”

I crumbled and wept. It wouldn’t be a merry Christmas without gravy.

© Shelly Tennyson Taylor 5-2014

What’s Next?


It has been a little over a week since I finished the revisions on my Novel THE OYSTER KING.

It is time for a new story to begin. But where? Don’t get me wrong I have a ton of ideas swirling around in my head, I just can’t figure out which ones are strong enough, deep enough, to become my next project.

How do you guys do it?

With this one, the inspiration just came. I got the guts of the story and then wrote an outline and fleshed it out.

I keep second guessing myself on this next one. I think the problem is I am thinking, “I have to write a novel,” instead of “I have to write”.

I have an idea for a sequel to the one I just finished and I have the 35K word partial story I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. And while I do want to finish it, I have other ideas that are churning in my head and I feel like I need to get them out and explore them before I commit to something.

The problem is all the ideas, instead of getting me writing, are bogging down my brain and nothing is coming out.

I won’t use the term “writer’s block” because, frankly, I don’t believe in that term. We can always write something if we sit down and write. But I have not sat down to write… and that is the problem.

Part of me is thinking, hey it is a miracle you finished a book at all do you really think you could do it again.  Another part of me is thinking, the one you just wrote is a piece of crap, why do it again.

But the true writer in me knows I have NO CHOICE, I HAVE to write.

I just need to sit down at my computer and do just that!

I really would like to hear how you guys do it, though!

There are More Fish (AKA Agents) in the Sea


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Only a few days ago I finished my final draft of editing and began the daunting progress of reaching out and searching for an agent.

That is what we aspiring writers do.

We read.

We write.

We query.

And apparently, we get rejected.

I know, I know! I am not alone in this land of agent rejection. But it is hard not to take it personal, when you are putting your soul on the line and someone is telling you, you aren’t good enough.

Granted, I am an unpublished writer and I am aiming high right now and reaching for agents that I probably shouldn’t. But dream big, right!

The only downfall to that is the stabbing pain in the back and the sickness in the pit of your stomach when the big “No” comes in.

I have queried 3 agents in the past 3 days and received 2 rejections.

The first one went like this…

“Thanks for thinking of me, Shelly, but I didn’t connect with the characters the way I’d need to in order to consider representation and so, unfortunately, I’ve decided to pass.  I wish you the best of luck elsewhere.”

And the second one this…

“Thank you for considering ***  as a potential agency to represent your work. We have reviewed the material you sent and we regret that we will not be offering to review your work further at this time. Please know that we are very selective with the materials that we request. We encourage you to keep writing and we wish you every success. Please forgive this impersonal note. We receive a tremendous number of queries and are forced to focus our attention on a limited number of projects.”

Am I reaching too high? Trying to land a big dog agent, when I am a little fish?

I can see I am going to have to toughen up my skin and keep on, keeping on.

Reminding myself, that there are plenty of other agents out there and one will,  I mean hopefully will sign me!

The Revisions are Done


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My mom would be so proud, 358 days after finishing the first draft of my novel “The Oyster King” and I have finally finished the revision process.

The first draft took me only 4 months (116 days) to write. But it was only 45K words and extremely rough around the edges.

Five editing passes, 26K words, and 358 days later and I am done.

Now comes the hard part. Putting it all on the line and searching for an agent. I have spent the last few hours combing through the Writer’s Market Agent lists. Just reading everything is daunting. Over the next few days I will work to write a query letter that will hopefully spark an interest with an agent and put me on my way to publication.

So wish me luck!
And if you have any sage advice for querying a book as an unpublished author please feel free to share. I will take all the help and guidance I can get.

A note to my mom

My beautiful mommy! How I miss her so!

My beautiful mommy! How I miss her so!



You were the first person to love me. My heart and yours beat together for nine months.

You were my role model in life. You taught me how to love and be loved. You made me realize that it was okay to want more and reach for my goals.

You encouraged me, you believed in me.

You taught me how to be a mom. To show Stormy unconditional love. I will give her the strength to know that whatever she wants in life, she can achieve. I can teach her all those things, because you taught them to me.

When a boy breaks her heart, I will be able to comfort her, because you comforted me when my heart was broken.

I will stand up for her, like you did for me. I will do my best to show her how awesome you were by being the best mom I can to her.

If I had just one wish in this entire world it would be to hug you close and tell you how much I love you; how grateful and blessed I was to have you as my mother.

I love and miss you momma, happy Mother’s Day