Twice a week these days, I go through Kübler-Ross’s five stages, and it’s all because of Trifecta. I sit beside the computer like a junkie waiting for the new prompt on Monday and Friday, and denial hits as soon as I read it. I can’t write that. What do they even want?

Anger quickly follows. What the hell do they want? How am I supposed to finish this? There isn’t enough time. Why do I have so few words? Why this three obsession?

Then I start bargaining. OK, if I push all my other stuff back a day or two, that will clear Monday and Tuesday for drafts. I can use pictures or something quick for my blog those days. IndieInk. Crap. OK, I can do IndieInk at the same time. Or, if it’s a weekend prompt, Right. I’m going to have to submit this at the last second this weekend. Christ, three days isn’t enough TIME. At most, these posts are 333 words long.  So I’m being taxed with, at the outside limit, 111 words a day. You wouldn’t think I would need two days for a draft. But I do. I totally do.

The week the spiders crashed my writing? It was a sad sad week. I have not written a post about the spiders, nor am I likely to do so, and not just because it creeped me the hell out. I mean, spiders do happen, and only one of them was in my actual house. Mostly,  I don’t want to think about it because I didn’t get my Trifecta done. I only had two days for the whole thing, not three, and poof, it didn’t happen. And every week, even the ones I do get in on time (which is all but that one), I spend at least a few hours in a perfect funk. Depression over something I love. Huh? Whazzup with that?

Finally, I come to acceptance. I walk away from the computer, talk to Scott, go workout with Linda, and I get an idea that might just hold water. I start writing in my head, composing along until I hit the end of the story. Then I type it out. For the short ones, my first draft is usually around twice as long as I’m allowed. For the long ones, I’m often at three or four times the actual limit. The editors once noted in the comments that I seem to discuss these people like they just showed up in my head, not like they are characters I wrote. There are two reasons for that. The first is that my drafts are usually so long that I have tons of details that get cut from the final version, so I have L-O-T-S of backstory still extant in my imagination.

The other reason is that I have a funky mind. It’s crowded in here. My characters don’t go away, like ever. They just kind of get added to the cast. Rarely do they receive more than one episode on the printed page. But they’re back there, like extra personalities or something, informing me about what they think and desire. People ask me the coolest questions in the comments. And I invariably find myself thinking in character when I answer those, balancing what these people in my head might say and do against what the commenter just suggested.

Anyway, I want to shout a huge THANK YOU to the writers who participate in the  Trifecta writing challenge and the editors who created in the first place. We’ve had three community judged Trifextra competitions, and my work has been chosen for first place in two of those. Plus, the editors have given me a first place nod for one of my weekly submissions, along with two third place recognitions.

My first ever Trifecta post, Weep, won third place.

And then the very next week, my story Waterlogged won first prize.

In the first community judged Trifextra, my peers voted Street Scene the best.

Not very long after that, the editors gave me a third place nod for Lost. (And third place in the Trifecta Writing Challenge is something to write home about.)

Then, this weekend, the community voted Wizard’s Dilemma the most amusing 33 words on the Trifecta block.

That’s five awards.

Do you have any idea how good I feel?

The writers in this group are some of the best I’ve encountered on the web. Nearly every piece I read grips me by the throat. These are my kind of writers. I feel like I have found my tribe, and holy God I’ve been looking for you people for a long time. And I just wanted to say thank you. It’s nice to be home.


About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Trifecta — 26 Comments

  1. I lurk Trifecta every week and never write a word because I can never get past the first stage of "I can't write that."

    Good for you for winning so many awards with them. I'm not as brave as you and will probably just keep lurking. 🙂
    Hop over and visit Eric Storch’s recent post Understanding the Separation of Church and StateMy Profile

    • Give it a shot sometime. The real achievement for me isn't the awards. It's the improvement to conciseness in my writing. I'm doing a lot better about wasted words these days thanks to these tight little word counts and the tiny impetus of potential recognition to make me stick to them.
      Hop over and visit jesterqueen’s recent post TrifectaMy Profile

  2. My process is very different from yours. I get an idea eventually, then just poke and prod until it fits into the required space.

    Of course, you've also won several awards at it, so…

    You keep writing 'em, I'll keep reading 'em!
    Hop over and visit El Guapo’s recent post Trifextra – Finish The Story…My Profile

    • I doubt sincerely that process matters except when it actually helps you. Like most things 'writing' you kind of have to do what works for you and throw out the rest.
      Hop over and visit jesterqueen’s recent post TrifectaMy Profile

  3. There must be something in the air this week. In about half the blogs I follow, the author is writing about writing. (Including myself – shameless promotion: On Writing in the Interstices)

    At most, these posts are 333 words long. So I’m being taxed with, at the outside limit, 111 words a day. You wouldn’t think I would need two days for a draft. But I do. I totally do.

    I need a full weekend to do the 33-word Trifextra prompt, myself. If you ask me, yours are some of the best-written pieces on Trifecta, and I don't say that just to be a fangirl. 🙂 The care you take when choosing words and subjects is obvious.
    Hop over and visit Christine’s recent post On Writing in the IntersticesMy Profile

    • Thank you very much for the compliment! That's another cool thing about Trifecta — we're all on the same wavelength. I'm going to have to jump around and find the writing pieces now, because I LOVE the 'something's in the air' days!!
      Hop over and visit jesterqueen’s recent post TrifectaMy Profile

  4. That's so great! I'm still nerving myself up to actually join in this prompt thing; maybe I should start really following Trifecta!
    Hop over and visit Annabelle’s recent post Oh, Hell Yes.My Profile

  5. Ah, so here are your "steps" to Trifecta! Great post. Good to know your thought process with this. I'm not alone at checking out the prompts when they come out and churning my head over and over as "to write or not write." For me, it all depends on if I get some sort of inspiration from the prompt or not. If it comes, it comes; if not, I try very hard not to worry about it (sometimes easier said than done). I just love the fact that these prompts have made me WANT to write, and I come up with STUFF. I had no idea you had so many wins! I am going to check them all out. I've only joined this month. How long have you been with Trifecta?
    Hop over and visit Sandra’s recent post Dear SpringMy Profile

    • My first post was January 14, so I've only been with them a couple of months. When I first started posting, they had a regular group of about 12, and now that had just swelled exponentially. (I guess I can say I knew them when!) I totally agree with you that it's hard not to worry when I don't have any inspiration. For me, I use those times to try to FORCE myself to write something. Even if it totally sucks. Because I have to keep proving that I can do this. They make me want to write like all the time. And it is the most awesome feeling.
      Hop over and visit jesterqueen’s recent post TrifectaMy Profile

      • I read all your winning posts and enjoyed them all! I'm a fan! You know how I said I'd take a break this week? Well, it seems like I just cannot help myself… 😉
        Hop over and visit Sandra’s recent post Dear SpringMy Profile

  6. I loved hearing your process and your characters are always so developed. I'm very jealous of your constant creativity but not so envious that I will ever stop reading. I have the same initial reaction with the Trifecta prompts every time.
    Hop over and visit Gina’s recent post Timing is EverythingMy Profile

    • Thank you for the compliment! The fun thing about the Trifecta prompts is that I can force something out. I can't consistently do that for the other prompts I follow.

  7. This is fantastic. Thanks for writing, Jester. We love your participation at Trifecta. You always give us consistently good writing, and your comments on others' posts are thoughtful and considerate.

    I hope all of your lurkers join up and see that Trifecta isn't that scary–if you follow your steps. 🙂

    As for merchandise, it's funny you mention it. We're in the process of designing some things–t-shirts, tote bags, etc. The problem with that dino (the ONLY problem with our lovable dino) is that he's copyrighted and can't be used to generate money. So we're working on it.

    Thanks again for this, Jester. We're so glad you're on board.
    Hop over and visit trifecta’s recent post Trifecta: Week TwentyMy Profile

  8. Congrats to you! Well-deserved awards, all. I go through the same thing. I'll never get this done. This is a waste of time. How the heck can I come up with something for this. Then…Butt in chair…Write…
    Hop over and visit kgwaite’s recent post Market DayMy Profile

    • Exactly. At some point, I stop fighting and begin. I think that moment when something that began as 'nowhere' and merges into 'somewhere' is the most rewarding repeated experience in my life.

  9. You deserve those awards, Jessie! I always love reading your posts, they inspire me to someday learn how to dig deep and tap my inner wanna-be writer self. 😉
    Hop over and visit Dana’s recent post Lucky LadyMy Profile

  10. You summed up the steps I seem to go through well. I always think I can't do it, too. Then, that is all I will think about for the day (whenever I get a chance to think). 😛 I enjoy reading your pieces. You are very talented and creative.
    Hop over and visit Mel’s recent post INSANE IN THE MEMBRANEMy Profile