New story sent to NPR 3-Minute Fiction Contest with 20 minutes to spare

Just when you think you’ve made a decision about something—suddenly a completely different decision comes to life. Literally. For Round 8 of NPR’s 3-Minute Fiction Contest, I sent in a new short story that started with this required first sentence:

“She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.”

Just when you thought you’d made a decision, indeed.

I hadn’t planned to enter the contest. The deadline was this past Sunday, Mar. 25. But that evening, I got an idea for a story. It happened while my wife and I listened to the judge, Luis Alberto Urrea, talk about the contest on All Things Considered:

“The key being, of course, that ‘finally.’ “There can be an infinity in what’s going on with that ‘finally.'”

Then it hit me. A woman… with a book… who comes to a big decision about her life, a new direction and travel. But just when she goes to make that decision real, she’s stopped by… herself. Literally.

In less than 2 hours, which also included me cooking and eating dinner, I’d written a draft of the story, which had to be 600 words or less. My wife reviewed and gave me feedback on 2 drafts. With 20 minutes to spare, I submitted my final draft of “The World That Waited for Her,” which clocked in at 565 words.

And now… we wait. NPR will announce updates during All Things Considered, and they’ll be listing the latest news about the contest on their Facebook page.

Will let you know how my story does, and when it can be available for you to read!

Photo: Edgar Polo

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