In February of 2013, a writing friend of my asked if I would contribute to her blog. Back then, I was anxious to brand my name, create a place for me in the writing world. Today, I have cast those emotions overboard. Today, I would rather write than marketing my writing. I do not care about making money from my writing.
I committed to Victoria, expecting the ubiquitous Proust Questionnaires, for which I already had my responses. A day or two later, I found out that she wanted me to write a short story, a flash fiction piece in fact. At the time, I had no idea what ‘flash fiction’ meant. She gave me a deadline of six weeks and told me the story had to include four prompts or elements; a 1959 Zil 111, a dead gypsy, a jug of moonshine and a mounted sword fish. I was lost and regretting my promise. But I believe in keeping my word. I googled flash fiction, and the Zil 111. I stewed over it for a day or two, realizing that, as I had never considered writing a short story, let alone a shorter short story, I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t want to back out. I do not believe in running away. I made a promise, so I had to keep it.
I sat down the next day, and this is when I googled the Zil 111, and the muse (Ida) flew by. In an instant, a matter of mere seconds, I had my story. Five hours later it was written, polished and sent off to Victoria.
Over the next few days, I was amazed with my emotional reaction to what I had written. It was almost euphoric. I was sharing the experience with a coworker, who stated it reminded him of the Iron Chef. That was when Ida flew by one more time. It was like the proverbial light bulb going off in my head. That night I googled, searching for the ‘Iron Writer’. Unfortunately it was already taken buy fellow who had not been active on his blog since 2006. But, ‘theironwriter.com. was available. I built the website and announced it in a few writing groups on Facebook that so I was a member of. A week later I posted the first challenge and here I am thirty seven months later with this wonderful albatross hanging on my neck. The Iron Writer Challenge has become my love child, taking much of my writing time, but I’m okay with that. Today, there is a large group of writers who have banded together, embracing the concept and helping each other in our craft. I’m grateful for that and plan on spending much of my retirement keeping that website viable.