I’ve been immersed lately in an online course from the University of Iowa – How Writers Write Fiction. Lectures, readings, 5 assignments, and contributions to discussions, all means I’ve been extremely busy. I’ve found I can write very quickly if it is required – most of the 5 stories I submitted were written in under 2 days, one written and edited in one day, which is not at all like my work rate. The stories were all around 1- 2500 words, so shorter than I’m normally used to. But the added pressure of having to write school reports very soon, meant that I pushed myself to a self imposed deadline. This also meant that I now have a very sore arm, neck and shoulder from excess computer use, so that doesn’t bode well for report writing! But the course itself was so worthwhile in terms of just immersing myself in the form of the short story. I’ve read countless short stories by others involved in the course and given feedback and received comments in return. I’ve read a huge variety of stories from the sublimely beautiful to those that need further work, but each has contributed to the whole process of creating an environment where I can feel like I truly have been immersed in the short story. And, I have 5 new stories to work with – probably worth the sore neck and shoulders.