A Year of Writing in the Life of Trent Lewin

close up photo of black ceramic mug
close up photo of black ceramic mug
Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Preambles and Prologues

I don’t know where it all comes from. I don’t. I’m a normal person. I’m sane. But for whatever reason, I write literary fiction that is bent across genres, and love doing it. Creating normalcy in and amidst the strange.

The thing I have is this: I am true to this craft. I work incredibly hard at it. And anyone who supports me, I will pretty much do anything for you, because this means so much to me. And you do, too.

My promise is this. Here, you’ll find fiction unlike anything you can read elsewhere. Genres will break, and then they will snap. I will write fearlessly. I will hone my craft, grind the words, and find the story they were meant to tell. And I will be shamelessly open about wanting to be read – whatever else might be inherent to my writing, it’s unabashedly commercial. I know I’m good. But getting published traditionally and out there takes more than just being good.

The 2020 Stories

My year of short stories posted on the blog (about 30% of the total stories I wrote this year):

The year started with a drug addicted prostitute in Port-au-Prince who believes that there was a twelve-minute period of time in history when no one in the world died, and is trying to find out how that’s possible. From that, I went to God. A famous incident in Fatima, Italy in 1917 when angels descended to Earth. In this case, an old nun takes that event and predicts the downfall of Communist Russia, plus an avalanche on a certain Swiss mountain in 2038.

God was on my mind in 2020. In Thirty Eons, a bearded, female God creates the Earth while drunk and then decides to take little Janey to the other end of the universe in a celestial sleigh. On the opposite side, I wrote an untitled piece about an online predator that I tried hard to redeem, and mostly failed. How do you redeem someone like that? Can they be redeemed?

An alien searching for this ‘music’ it’s heard of. An autistic, abused girl trying to find something, too. Of course they meet! We the Divine. Then an Indian boy lusts for his cousin while a family tries to use a traditional method to cure a schizophrenic child. What could go wrong? Later, the security guard struggling with her weight, who gets beaten up while wondering who named our planet ‘Earth’.

The sing-songiest story I ever wrote, pictures and words. My goddam grandfather shot his hand off behind a shed, and where he bleeds, roses grow aplenty.

I got to show off some award-nominated short stories this year, three in total. One is Boston, D.C., where a down-on-his-luck Canadian travels to India to become a phone scammer. In The Arms of Village, an entire village of people has their arms cut off, but this story is not about that. I reposted one of my favourites, a story that was shortlisted for a very large writing competition. Poor Saad just wants to save the girl in the apartment building across the street. In each of these cases, I finished within the one percent of submissions made to these competitions, and that’s just lovely.

I saw the future. I did. Interstellar beings arrive to start evacuating the good people of Earth. But only the good ones. This story is not about the aliens. Or the good people. It’s about those who don’t get the invitation to ascend. Speaking of invitations, a drunk who sees ghosts, an old woman who hates airplanes, and a goose whose mate was curried, intersect around around the commonality of being widowers.

I said I’m a person of colour this year. I hid that for years. Even my pen name hides it. But it’s true. So I produced a story about what race means when it works backwards on you. I know this doesn’t matter to many of you. But for those of us who have been marginalized in the past, it’s important to speak our truth.

I had to do one epic story, so I wrote about Drew Ramos, a boy who went to other worlds, but whose only dream was to paint. This story is about the beautiful girl in the boarding school that loved the boy, and then saw him go so far away. I love these two characters, they really did it for me.

In Last Rights, a human travels to the stars, only to discover that other people have already beaten him because ships get faster over time. The results are predictable. What he does about it is not. And then a ro-bot that grows wings and makes the acquaintance of a dragon-whale, sing-songy as we descend on a city of metal beings.

In Down Bubble, a gay submarine captain in WWII meets a sea monster. Via Promise, high school losers who detest each other strike a bargain that spans decades, an imperfect match that is the perfect union for our times. In another untitled piece, Althea rides her red scooter while delving into the history of chess, and the woes of love. But this is not a love story. It’s a story about a strong girl who replenishes her life on her own.

And finally, the Icelandic teenager and the homeless Canadian climb up a mountain that was deforested by the Vikings. What are they looking for? What are we looking for?

That’s some of the stories I wrote this year. Others were written, my secret stash. Those have been sent into various competitions, so I haven’t posted them. Others are sitting on my laptop, just waiting. Some of these… I don’t even know what to say. They make me very proud.

The Future

In 2021, I’m going to publish my novel, “Girl Island”. I just am. It’s a wonderful book with an uplifting story. We need that. We need to start again sometimes, and this book is about just that.

I’m going to start a new novel. The premise is set, the structure is being built.

I’m going to continue writing short stories for the blog. Different styles, different genres, many flitting across genre. Some controversial, many of them funny, all about people. About us. I’m going to continue to love my characters and be thankful for them. I’m going to continue to love all of you who stop by and read and comment. I am so thankful for you.

And I’m just going to level-up my writing in general. I’m ready for that. I hope you are, too.

Dream hard, rage hard.

19 thoughts on “A Year of Writing in the Life of Trent Lewin

  1. Such a cool collection of stories.
    I can feel the affection you have for them and the characters contained within. Long may you prosper.
    Terry

    1. Thank you, Terry. Likewise, I always sense in your writing that you have a real affection for your characters and the stories themselves. I think we have to love our fancies, right?

      Let’s keep at it, you and I, shall we…

  2. I would like to say, you’ve inspired me, but I am too honest. I am just not this good or energetic a writer, needing another lifetime in different soil to grow, your way. I learned about you and me, as I read, you. I hear you blooming, but I’ve got dried hydrangeas and the petals are brown and falling, so I need to clean those up and do something else. Thank-you for the lesson.

    1. Hey Ramona, listen. I think very few people start out as proficient writers. I don’t think I’m one yet, but I feel like I’m on a journey of telling stories in a really authentic way. But it is a journey, and if you’re on it, that’s all that matters. Never worry about where you are on the trip. Just enjoy the wind in your hair.

      Figure a little winter clean-up is okay, right? Toss that stuff away, commit, and just have at it. Wonderful things will happen, my friend. I can promise that. I can’t tell you what those things will be! But you’ll know them when they arrive for you.

      My best to you, my friend.

  3. Dear NB, it has been a year for the books, and as I’ve not connected with you (or anyone in our previous blogosphere nigh on 2, 3 (?) years, I will expand and say it’s been a year or two or three; for the books.

    First, Happiest of New Years to you and the family. My greatest wish for you and yours is that your greatest wishes all come to fruition.

    Second, I spent my entire new year’s eve reading about some of the worst times in my recent history, spewed out for all the world to see, in words and images that made me laugh out loud. A Lot! Written by, one could think after reading, a pretty incredible woman. And I was amazed that that woman was me. What humbled me even more was that, through it all, you were there and you were honest and sincere and delightfully engaging and uplifting and a true friend, to this spirit that needed all of those things and I’ve let it slip through the cracks like yesterday’s dust.

    Which is why I’m here. Now. Today. Reading you like my favorite book; the one I take off the shelf when I need a friend or a laugh or a cry or just a safe place to get away to play. I have missed you my friend. But, there is something to be said about not having been a true and constant reader of late, and that is that I can now sit and visit with your incredible mind anytime I have the time, because I have so much to catch up on. I do love the feel of this particular post, though I must admit, this is a new TL to me…one who openly acknowledges his talent and your love for what you’ve done and will do. I look forward to delving back into the workings of your fantastical mind…and reconnecting with my NB. Perhaps raise a scotch or two? And who knows, I may even begin sharing again, in my own special way, the never ending adventures of life in 50 shades…now 60 btw! Eek.

    1. I wish I could put a heart to this comment, but all I can do is Like it. But I love that you’re here, SB. You have no idea. There are so many people that flit in and out of blogland, some who disappear forever, and that’s the way of it. But I’m so happy you’re back, and you shouldn’t worry one whit that you were gone for a while. Not even a bit. You’ve always been one of the most genuine, wonderful people around here, and you just made my morning by being back.

      So happy new year to you and the family! And I do hope you post something on the blog, and tell us what you’ve been up to. Because it matters. I remember the thoughts you put out there previously and just know that I’m always going to be there for you.

      You take your time, read what you can of what I got. Yes, there’s been some changes, more evolution than step change. It’s amazing, I write despite a really demanding full-time plus job and many kids (as you know), because I’m going to make something of this. I just have to. I’ll work harder than anyone to make sure of that. But I really feel that I’ve written some doozies in the past year (after a bit of an absence from blogging myself). I still wonder if I should put my stories out like this, for free, but this is just a smattering. I hope you like some of them.

      As for the scotch – I will raise one tonight, in your honour, SB. I am so happy right now. You be well. You be back! I’ll always be here waiting to hear from you. I will always have your back.

      Your friend,

      Trent

      1. Best news ever…you are happy I’m here and you’ll always be there waiting (though i never doubted it for a canadian second!) I will write again because it’s in my nature to do so, but in the meantime, I will read. Soul Soup. That’s what you are. Soul Soup.

  4. Since I am late to the party that is you… or rather, somehow had fallen off my email list – since recovered, it appears I have some reading to do. You keep on keeping on coz you know I’ll (eventually) read you!

  5. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this to you before. I don’t always read your posts right away. There are a couple of reasons. The first is that I don’t like to be interrupted during one of your stories. I like to make sure that the phone is not going to interrupt. I make sure He-Who is fed and occupied elsewhere. It is important that I can submerge myself in your write without any distractions. The second reason is that sometimes I need to get away from the reality that is my life. Sometimes there is no better comfort than to have one of your stories wrap itself around me and take me to another place. Keep writing My Friend. I can’t wait for Girl Island.

    1. You are such a gem, Michelle. Thank you. I’m glad you can curl up with my words. I hope you get to read Girl Island – writing it was a pleasure. I finished it on the beach in Costa Rica last year. I still remember that moment. It’s ready – edited, worked over, edited again. The real hard work is in finding someone who wants to work with me, and that I can work with. Whoever that is, I’m not going to let them down. The search starts!

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