I’ll let you into a little secret: I struggle with short stories.  Really I do.
It’s not that I can’t write them.  Jetsam got some of the highest praise (hello, honorable mention, year’s best horror).  It’s just that I seem to be so hit and miss with them.  I’ve been thinking about this recently and I came to the conclusion that my problem is that I often try to write stories I can cram into 7000 words rather than actual short stories and one is not always the other.   In the last few months I’ve written a few, sent off a few, and had a couple of rejections.  I do enjoy the process of writing them and I’ve proven to myself I can write decent ones (who wants to be a one hit wonder?).  But time is at a premium with a ridiculous number of projects on the go and trying to make up lost time due to illness, so I can’t really spend the time to write more than one occasionally.
Now I’ve received an added incentive.

I know I still need to write up WFC.  It’s just that it requires a long blog post and I’m up to my eyes in work right now.  But one of the nice things to happen at the event was going out to dinner with Glasgow SF Writers’ Circle.  There we were discussing short stories and the number that my friend Ruth has got coming out.  I joke about it but she’s worked very hard and I’m really very proud and expect huge things for her in the future.  And so a challenge was laid down for everyone sitting around the table.
We’ve all got to get two short stories published by Worldcon next year.
Now for some people that’s going to be easier than others.  For me it’s going to be a massive challenge.  But I’m up for it.  I’ve got a few non-fantasy ideas for short stories that I’d like to try out and this seems like the perfect incentive.
Whether I get two published or not, I can’t predict, but there’s no reason why I can’t.  And besides, every bit of writing I do makes me a better writer.