Less than ten miles from the center of the city (thank you, Google Maps), there are canyons and waterfalls and primitive hiking trails. It's 80 degrees outside in January. We've been hitting the gym pretty hard this month and felt like it'd be nice to get out and about.
It was very nice to get out and about.
There were times when we couldn't hear any other people or see any sign of human activity. It's a little surreal to be that close to such a large city and be completely isolated. It's one of the things I love about this place. The people around here see value in preserving spaces like this. I value of the land the park is on is so great that I literally can't imagine what it would be, but completely undeveloped and free to the public. Eight miles isn't very far to have to go to feel like you're someplace else entirely.
The last two stories represented the two extremes of working with writing prompts. The first one never really clicked with me and it was a struggle every step of the way. The second produced a novel's worth of ideas and, even when I cut most of them out of the story, it wouldn't fit in a one-thousand word box.
I tried some silly stuff that I wouldn't use in a "real" story with both of them. The first was entirely without dialog. I love writing dialog and I lean on it to an unhealthy degree. The other one was always going to be too big for the space, so I cheated a little by treating it as an "internet-only" story, using hyperlinks to explain things rather than laying it out in the text, and playing with the formatting a little.