I'd always shied away from the short story. It felt like I had two writing modes: the very short (poetry) and the very long (the novel). Short stories seemed like a strange hybrid beast that I couldn't really understand or tame.
I got inspired to write short stories after reading a few from one of my crit group buddies. (Waves to Grant!) He has a facility with short stories that I admire. So I tried my hand at the genre and wrote a few last year.
I've had some mild success, getting to HMs in the Writers of the Future contest for 3 running quarters. (Story number 4 is in the current contest--keeping fingers crossed.) My goal for '09 is to get these stories a home in a paying market.
I've done a fair bit of editing and the 3 finished stories are all out to different markets.
I found this contest via duotrope, and decided to try my hand at a themed story. I'm pretty happy with the way "The Last Time I Saw Richard" turned out. I have till the end of the month to edit it for this contest and that will be 5 stories out in the world in search of homes. (3 to magazine markets, 2 to contests.)
I hope I can continue to write a new short story each quarter in 2009.