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RemovedApr 3, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders
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Thank you so much, Joanna! This was such a fun experiment. I'm looking forward to a round 2 sometime in the not-too-distant future.

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Love this story and how you paced it. It unfolds a rich story that should take so many more words than you use.

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Thank you, Ben. I'm trying to write more with the intention of leaving space. Old writer me liked to fill in all the gaps and leave less up to interpretation. Because I wanted to convey something specific. But I'm finding this kind of storytelling to be really cool. Where I may know what fills the empty spaces for me, but someone else might fill them differently depending on how the story resonates with them. I'm glad you liked this one. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

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founding

Oh yeah!!! This is really intriguing ... it just feels like there is so much more there. I want more!

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There is more. I'm just withholding it from you. ๐Ÿ˜

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founding

How do you know how much to withhold? Serious question.

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I don't really know. I should credit Jordan for some of his editing notes. He suggested places where I used more words than I needed to, and by cutting a few I would make the remaining ones stronger. It's something I have to practice for sure. Even after I applied his notes, I found more places on my own to trim back and strengthen, so it turned into a really awesome exercise for me. And it kept the story to a nice (not too long) length for once! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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founding

I find myself hungry for a little more exposition in some places ... just a little more explanation, setting, backstory, something. But maybe thatโ€™s just how Iโ€™d tell the story? Iโ€™m not saying thereโ€™s one right way, but this reader feels hungry for a little more in the way of background. It reminds me of something a professor once said to me when I was an undergraduate. He said, โ€œI canโ€™t tell if you really know whatโ€™s going on in this story, or if youโ€™re just a really good bullshitter.โ€ Iโ€™m not sure this is the best way to explain this concept ... Iโ€™ll keep noodling on it.

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Unless you believe fiction to be bullshit... which, I mean, it kinda is. It's lies after all. ๐Ÿ˜ŠOr at least it's made up.

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founding

Nope, donโ€™t think fiction is bullshit. I do think there is an art to creating the sense that there is more behind the words that can be perfected.

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Yeehaw.

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Where's yours, cowboy?

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I'm a lazy Californian, so I had it scheduled for 7am.

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Is there any other kind? OOOHHHH snap. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Heading over to read it now. Sorry we can't high five each other today. Curse you, geography!

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I love this, Meg. The concise style and overall execution is flawless! Hands-down one of my favorites of yours. I hope we get to see more of this one!

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Aw. Thanks Justin. This was such a fun process for me. Like working with a prompt, but bigger! The original piece J.E. wrote had a broad timeline, so it was challenging (and awesome) to try to work that in while keeping the story concise. Making the move from 3rd person to 1st person helped with that a lot. The protagonist's world is inherently smaller in the first person, so I was able to get closer in to her unique experience in the world J.E. created for me. So fun!

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Itโ€™s really neat to hear about the overall process, collaboration, and evolution of this story! Sounds like a blast!

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The Dispatch Stock Exchange is such a cool idea! This story had a different feel from your usual. It was cool to see how you put your voice into J.E. story, while still retaining some of what I assume to be the original feel of the story. A successful experiment, I think!

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Thanks Claire!

J.E. has a much firmer grasp on the Science Fiction genre than I do, so part of the challenge for me was to bring his story a little closer to the "earth" I know well, so I could run with it. For me the real challenge is coming up with terminology for stuff that doesn't exist yet. He's good at that. I'm all thingamabobs and dinglehoppers over here. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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There's nothing wrong with a good old thingamabob or dinglehopper every now and again ๐Ÿ˜

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Cool story. Cool collab concept. I love most your intimate moments of physical touch - โ€œHe drags his thumb over my forehead, and I close my eyes, dropping two hot tears onto my cheeks.โ€

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Thank you, Wil!

I like to find moments of physical contact that say something about the characters' relationship. I'm happy this one resonated with you. I used to do the thumb/forehead thing with my babies. Especially my daughter who had a little angel bite birthmark between her eyebrows. It's since faded and only appears now when she's fired up about something. Like a superhero emblem. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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This was a gorgeous piece of science fiction, Meg. Is there any reason why you wouldn't enter this for the Lunar Awards? You mentioned another part with the cross post, so maybe that's why?

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No reason at all! I was considering it. I only feel a little iffy because this story was born out of something Jordan wrote. It is a different story, but I just wouldn't want him to feel short changed when I win. ๐Ÿคช The cross-post Wednesday is a different story altogether. One he rewrote from an original of mine. If he's okay with me entering this one, I absolutely will. Thank you!

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It's me and you versus him so he has no choice! If you win, then you can thank him in your acceptance speech ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This aged well!

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I know, I was thinking the same thing! But you didn't enter anything for the first season, so you're permanently banned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Wow! Tough, but fair.

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Next season will also include a serialized category, so I guess I can give you one last chance to redeem yourself.

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Apr 4, 2023ยทedited Apr 4, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Hi Meg!

Really liked the voice of the narrator. Especially for a sci-fi piece like this. Love the way you brought the "mundane" to the foreground--what a teenager would care about, even amongst the chaos: their boyfriend, their friends, divorce, life being unfair...

And how the heck did you do those pretty break lines with the twinkle stars in the middle? They fit right in to the setting.

Would be curious to see what you had to start with and how much the story transformed! Sounds challenging, but I like the way that no matter what the challenge, you always find a way to bring out that YA voice that's true to Meg.

Nicely done.

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Thank you, Maegen! And thank you for appreciating the focus I put on making this story revolve around my teen protagonist. Her world is small, but so full of "STUFF."

I make all my dividers and graphics in Canva. I can make you some meaty ones if you want. Let me know! Or some green ribbons for your most recent horror story. Oooohhh. Ribbony.

I can't stay away from YA. No matter how hard I try.

Thanks for reading!!!๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

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The green ribbons sound glorious!!!!!

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Holy beautiful. This is perfect.

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Aw. Thank you, Nicci. ๐Ÿ’›

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Apr 9, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

That was excellent! Really intriguing start that kept me guessing throughout. Love that mom's an astronaut (space traveler? settler?). Excited to read Round 2.

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Thank you, Thomas. So glad you enjoyed the story and happy to have you aboard!

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This was lovely. :)

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Thank you for reading, Jackie!

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So well done and so deserving of a WIN!! A great first choice.

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Thank you so much, Ben!

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This is beautiful Meg! And made me tear up. Congrats on the first prize you deserve it. Keep writing - your writing is lovely and you'll go places some day. In the meantime, I'm a big fan!

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Thank you for this, Reena. So glad we've kept in touch after the story challenge. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much. ๐Ÿ’œ

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I love that you added the badge to the top!!! It gives me warm fuzzies. I updated the Past Winners page now as well: https://lunarawards.substack.com/p/past-winners

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Well, winning a Lunar Award is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me on Substack, so... badge on!

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I know this was supposed to be short, but I would really love to see the background story in a longer fiction work.

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Thank you for reading! Short speculative fiction always screams for expansion. I'd consider building this one out someday. I've never written a sci-fi novel, so it would take some self-convincing to believe I could pull it off. ๐Ÿ™‚

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