Stephen L. Thompson's Reader's Choice

Steveís Readerís Choice

When I went through my writing notebooks for story ideas to use in my 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge, I came across several stories I had started but never finished. Either I ran into problems or other things came up. I really should finish these, I said to myself. But where to start? Thatís when I decided you, my loyal readers, should determine which story I should work on. So I wrote up little blurbs about five stories that were half-finished, and let you vote on them.


I enjoyed doing this last year and I really wanted to do it this year, but Iím trying to do too many things as it is. So for the best Iím not going to do it this year. Hopefully next year things will be better.

2008 Results

VOTES TITLE 0 Check 0 The Most Powerful Man in the World 2 The Gift 2 The News 2 The Return

As it turned out, the story I was hoping would win was one of the ones that recieved two votes. So, I finished that one.

The Return

I think this story started several years ago when I heard about the Artemis Project, which ďis a private venture to establish a permanent, self-supporting community on the Moon.Ē I wanted to help, by writing a story about the first astronauts to return to the moon. Making them associated with NASA probably isnít what the Artemis folks wanted, but I figured that NASA would get there before private companies and I wanted the story to be the return to the moon. So I started this story of an astronaut answering questions and I had the ending. That was as far as I got. Other things came up, I put my energies elsewhere and this was left behind.

Then NASA came out with their Constellation Program. My crew capsule wasnít like the Orion capsule, and I thought I should try to change it in keeping with the new program. But my idea of a base at the Lunar South Pole doesnít fit in with NASAís plans. So I became frustrated, and put it aside once more. But I liked the idea of the first mission to return to the moon too much. So I dug it out, said to hell with NASA, Iím returning to the moon my way.

The biggest problem I had finishing this story was that while I had the first several pages done, I just had a general idea for the rest of it. So I would write and write and realize I still needed to explain stuff. So Iíd write and write and there would still be stuff that needed explaining. For awhile I wondered if I would actually finish the damn thing. But as you can see, I did manage, although Iíll admit there are still some rough spots. But as the saying goes, ďArt is never finished, only abandoned.Ē

The other big problem I had was making it Ö good. If you watch the Eagleís landing or the landing of a shuttle, theyíre not Ö well written I guess you can say. Even though Iíve seen it a hundred times, I still get choked up watching the Eagle land. That is such an important moment in history and for me. (Can I say it was an important moment in my life when it happened seven years before I was born?) Trying to duplicate such an event in writing is extremely difficult, but I did my best.

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