Today we are celebrating Deborah Trowbridge. Since Deadlines for Writers started in 2017, many of our writers have gone on to publish and accomplish great things with their writing. The Prompt to Publication emails are all about celebrating these writers and their wonderful stories.
I hope these interviews will help and teach you how to use Deadlines for Writers to build your author platform.
Scroll to the end to watch Deborah’s interview.
Author feature: I’d like to introduce Deborah Trowbridge
Have you completed any of the challenges on Deadlines for Writers?
Deborah Trowbridge: Yes, I completed the Flash Fiction Challenge in November 2022
What have you published?
Deborah Trowbridge: I wrote stories I didn’t know I had in me. One of my 50-word pieces, “Bees” was published in 50-Word Stories, in March. A second, “My Papa, the Poet,” was published in July and the direct outcome of my Stella scene “DNA and Stella” written during the Flash Challenge.
Has Deadlines for Writers helped you as a writer?
Deborah Trowbridge: Absolutely. The variety of prompts and word counts provided a framework where I explored and experimented.
What did you learn that you applied to your story?
Deborah Trowbridge: During the challenge, I established daily writing routines. Every morning at 9, I sat down pen and paper in hand. I included the date, time, prompt and word count at the top of the page. I sat at my kitchen table and began. My imagination took me on all sorts of adventures. By noon I had typed my story and submitted it for review. I then read and commented on the work of four other writers.
At the outset, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do so much in a single day. Turns out, I could and did. As I continued, I derived great satisfaction in doing the work and sharing it with others. It was a delight to read and comment on the imaginative, often playful stories of others.
I felt supported and encouraged by the many comments and observations other writers so generously gave me. I experienced a spaciousness within the time constraint(s), and learned patience. My work became clearer and energetic and I thrived as a writer.
What is your favourite story you wrote for 12SS?
Deborah Trowbridge: My favorite story, mmm… Today, right this minute, I would have to choose two that are integrally linked. The 17th Prompt: Off, produced 120-word “Smitten” and the 18th Prompt: Label, produced 100-word, “Early Mornings.” The scenes establish Rafe and Helen’s secret love story. You can read these stories below.
Deborah writes fiction, flash, and creative nonfiction in northwestern Montana. Her work has been published in Thin Air Magazine, Common Ground Review, The Ekphrastic Review, 50-Word Stories among others. Her fiction, “Hardened Road,” was long-listed in CRAFT’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest. Her flash, “Family Legend,” was anthologized in Ekphrastic Review’s Lucky 7 Writing Marathon, 2022, judged by Meg Pokrass. Deborah’s “Bees,” and “My Papa, the Poet,” were published in March and July of 2023, in 50-Word Stories. “Bees” was selected story of the week by its founder and editor.
Read Deborah‘s stories
Monsieur Binet, staff in hand, black slippers on arthritic feet, steady-eyed, missed nothing, though his body was a husk of the once strong dancer noble who performed with the Paris Opera for almost two decades. Class was scheduled to begin in a few minutes, but the young cellist had disappeared. Punctuality was a discipline not merely a social courtesy for M. Binet. Ballet class and life at the Opera depended on punctuality and rehearsals were tightly scheduled all afternoon. Eh. Alors. Class would proceed with or without the cellist.
Binet thumped his staff to assemble his dancers and class began……after the traditional barre came center work. The first dancer with the pink sash of a soloist made her way across the studio in a waltz combination. Mon Dieu, he thought. Leslie’s feet and her arabesques are disintegrating in front of me.
“Again, Leslie, from the corner. Imagine Chopin’s Minute Waltz. You must plié, plié then releveé into the arabesque.” He had no patience for any dancer who would not commit completely. Was Leslie’s early promise merely a blink, a firefly that flashed and faded? He’d seen it happen with so many dancers.
On the periphery of his vision, a red jacket and black bonnet in the gallery drew his eye. The face beneath the bonnet is familiar, is it not? Non. Attention, Edward, he scolded himself. You are so easily distracted by a flash of red and another pretty face. Even now.
Youthful male fingers brushed the back of a maiden’s reddened hand. The young woman in service to Lord Cromwell paused in the stairwell, skirts rustling, her cap askew. She looked directly into the dark eyes of the tall, son-like figure being raised by Lord Cromwell. The young man held her gaze and thought her gray eyes lovely. Her pretty mouth, perfection.
Without discretion they introduced themselves. Rafe Sadler, Helen Barre. This is off kilter, she whispered with flushed face.
Off limits, he said, completely smitten.
Their families would reel, never approve. Friends predictably shocked and dismayed. A refrain of ‘off limits, off limits,’ rang in Rafe’s ear.
Oh, foolish youth, in secret they would figure out a way.
18. Early mornings
Rarely, if ever alone, Helen and Rafe devised a lovers’ vocabulary given to necessary stealth and silence. A look, tilt of the head, blink of eyes, and nuanced lips translated to secret conversation. Extended touch of fingertips in passing held promise of so much more.
Helen’s singular domain was the morning kitchen long before, Thurston, chief cook arrived. She lit the candles, stoked fires, set out baskets of breakfast eggs and baked rising loaves in the side ovens.
In flickering candle light, between kitchen and store room Helen and Rafe rendezvoused. Their passion consummated amongst barrels and bags of flour, sugar, dried fruit and spices.
American Writers Review is a multi-genre literary journal published by San Fedele Press. We welcome writers, artists and photographers of all backgrounds, styles and experience levels, who want to explore their art with us. www.AmericanWritersReview.com
Well done, Deborah!
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