Anyone over 35 there? Third edition



Every spring red foxes hunt bunnies in my yard. It is quite a sight.


We had a red fox on our driveway in suburban New Jersey more than once. I think I even got a picture once - plus deer and other creatures of the suburbs.


It’s not growing very fast, though. They tell me that’s typical when they’re getting started.


I watched coyotes trying to catch an antelope (which can run a lot faster) by tag-teaming.

One coyote hid out in a brushy gully while the other two circled around an antelope and herded it toward the one hiding. When the antelope trotted near, the hidden coyote dashed out and tried to get hold of a leg, barely missing. I could hear its jaws snap on thin air.

The antelope ran off and the three coyotes sat down, scratched, and looked at one another, like WTF? One of them yipped and they set off to look for another ambush spot.

I’ve also watched coyotes run deer into a snow-filled gully and bog them down, then jump on them and bite the back of the neck.

It takes a good spotting scope or binoculars, and loads of patience.


Miserable day here, just above freezing with rain pissing down and lots of wet ice.

Went down to get the mail with the doggo charging ahead. A yearling doe got hit by a car just south of where our lane intersects the paved highway, so I was keeping an eye on him– don’t want him working a carcass.

When I opened the mailbox—skreek— a flock of ravens, crows, and magpies rose from the dead deer, and a mid-size black coyote dashed up the opposite slope. I whistled (sometimes they’ll stop) but this one just dashed away as if the devil was on his heels.

Didn’t have the camera, alas!


For my higher education thing, I moved to a state in the old American South. (Right now, I live in “America’s Heartland” :heart:, or mid-way down from north to south, and more in the center.)

Anyway, I had an apartment in a small valley right off a major road. Perhaps for that reason at my front door I’d find deer, raccoons, stray dogs, feral cats, large birds and spiders, and even a chameleon once.

When we told someone we knew up here that situation, they said “Who are you? F*cking Snow White?”


I wrote about higher education just above, and it got me thinking about the first story I ever wrote.

When I was little I wrote adventure tales. However, it wasn’t until I was still doing my higher education thing that I wrote a novel of about 55,000 words. Here I tried to consciously incorporate features like subtext, the importance of good POV, etc.

That 55,000 word novel I trimmed down to about 12,000 words. It was the first story I posted to Wattpad. I wrote it in 1994, with revisions a couple of years later. (The story easily-enough takes place in 1993.)

So my question: What year did you finish your first “real” story? (You don’t have to say your age.) :sunny:


Absolutely no idea. It would have been a capping piece for an article that I wrote in Valkyrie - a piece of fiction in SJG’s Ogre setting. So, given Valkyrie was around and paying me, it must have been sometime around 2001.


Did it focus on military games at all? Some of my friends might have read that magazine.


All sorts of games - board, miniature, card, roleplaying. No computer games though. They had enough of their own magazines.

I used to write reviews, articles and - towards the end of its run - edit a couple of columns. I’m credited under the name that my gaming friends know me by.


I wrote a few for high school English, but I suppose my first foray into flash fiction was in 2007.


When I was fourteen I wrote the first SF time-travel romance. Novella length. I think my mother saved it and I have it somewhere - I reread it once, and it was a bit naive, but not bad.


That’s awesome!


Hey @HardeeBurger! Haven’t seen you in awhile. Hope things are going well.


LOL! I hope you said, “Yes. Yes, I am.”


I was writing a YA novel in 1979 in a red notebook, chapter by chapter, and passing it around to my friends. Also I drew illustrations. I was in 7th grade. I would have LOVED Wattpad.


If you mean first published piece, it would have been 2010 in True Love magazine. It was a confession story called Shocking Infidelities, lol.


Sounds … interesting.


In high school (a VERY VERY long time ago) I lived in a community where we were considered outsiders. I didn’t have many friends. I built my own world, on paper in stories and drawings of their flags etc. It was my way of dealing with being stuck in house in a town that I didn’t fit in.


A very dark short story, written in 2009, at a writers’ retreat with a novelist I admire as workshop leader.

The challenge was to use the setting of the retreat for the story, so I changed my accommodation to a room at a private hospital.

I’d published poetry up to then, and he observed that while he found the story fascinating, the whole thing was set in blank verse. So I dove back in and recast it in prose rhythms.

Submitted it to a classy lit journal and they published it in 2010.

But I didn’t get famous. Didn’t even get paid.