Last week I was challenged to write a short story based on an obscure and uneventful part of history. In turn, today I challenged a few writers to write stories on other obscure points of history. I don't know how widespread this concept will go, but time will tell. Thus far, all challenges have taken place at some point during the 1800s. At the end of the day, I have no idea how many stories will come out of this or what will become of them.
I do know that I rather enjoyed writing my assigned story about the early days of Calamity Jane when she washed dishes for a living. Likewise, dreaming up stories for other challenges was fun--though not at all easy. That certain point, where it has no real importance to history and yet still leaves someone a fighting chance to come up with an entertaining story is not always easy to settle on.
There's something a bit odd about writing a story that someone else chose for you. Reporters do it all the time, but not fiction writers. For us it's weird.
Points not chosen. I considered breaking the 1800s rule. For one thing, I always wondered what it was like to be on Apollo 11 during the moon landing--not the lander, on board the orbiter sitting there by yourself for three days just orbiting the moon all the while aware the order could come to return home alone. This was dangerous business. But, wrong century.
Also passed over was George Atzerodt, a man assigned by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Vice President Johnson. Instead, he had a few drinks and wondered around Washington the rest of the night. Obscure? Sort of, but not really.
Anyway, if there are any noteworthy developments on this project I'll mention them at some future posting in time, if and when the stories come back in I'll mention what they were.