|This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay. I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest.|
|Link to This week’s full list|
|Link to my Story Blog: Table of Contents.|
Greetings, Are you sure you want coffee today? It’s already pretty hot out and were heading for the mid 90s here today. I can offer you coffee, but I can’t do the same with AC. The air is the air and the shade of a redwood tree is the best I’ve got . As my title suggested, we had a visitor this week. It wasn’t that beetle monster in my title photo. Him I had to deal with as a high school student doing a late night job as a golf course maintenance worker. This guy landed on my arm while I was driving the tractor one foggy night when I could hardly see. Here’s that story. That beetle nearly scared the life out of me and almost caused me to crash the tractor. Our visitor, if he had surprised me, in the dark and cold with limited light certainly could scare the calories out of a person. What is it about some bugs that look so bizarre that they trigger a fight or flight response on first sight? Our visitor is one of those bugs who look like they should be dangerous, even lethal, but are harmless–at least to us. We don’t many dragonflies around here because they like to stay near fresh water where the bugs they like most are found and any predatory bug that prefers other bugs to me is welcome to my home. I’m sure you’ve seen some yourself, but were they dressed this fine? I was taking care of the new cherry tree. It too is suffering with the heat and is still trying to get over my transplanting it. But turning back, I glanced up into the plum tree and wow. Here was our visitor. He was almost 5″ long, nose to tail-tip. He was very composed, calm and just hanging out I guess. He was completely unconcerned about my photographing him, so I zoomed in for a close up. Focus is always a challenge with my magnification app, but I think this one turned out pretty good. Have you ever seen such amazingly blue eyes? Forget that they look more like helmets. These eyes have ~24,000 optical units named ommatidia each. I don’t think we can begin to imagine what the world looks like to them. This past week I was determined to complete an expansion of the story I released the previous week. Folks from this coffee group and several other groups gave me some wonderful feedback and I decided they were right. It was surprising to be told that my story was too short. I can think of several full books that I wish were longer, but a short story (?) I don’t know that I’ve seen that more than once or twice. But my reviewers were clear. This one had to be longer. I already know, you just don’t argue with readers. They know what they do and do not like. Trying to please them has made me a better writer. They told me that this story had more potential than I allowed with 3000 words so I took it to 4000 and am very pleased with the result. My main concern is that the longer a story is, the more readers tend to not even try it out. This is part of the reason my original project had the 2000 word limit. If I’m only asking for 10 minutes – most readers need little incentive to give it a try, but as the word count goes up, my experience is that readers quickly begin to move on without trying it. What do you think and what’s your experience with story length? If you enjoy stories where the end result is encouraging rather than dark, this might suit you. If you read it already, please check back with Ayem and Havilah for a second read and let me know if you agree that they did a better job of earning your time. If you already gave me feedback on the first version, I hope this more detailed ‘director’s cut’ resolves your points.
Here’s the link. – – – Ayem NotthymnThanks for stopping by. Stay cool out there. I’ll be around to your Coffee Share real soon. Blessings.