I say all this to lead into the fact that I am going to try another short story. There is no contest looming on the horizon, but it has been so long that I think I am due to write a short piece. Life cannot be entirely devoted to novel-length plots...
I am rolling around different ideas in my head. There is no one to give me the first three words or a picture to base my story on. There are no restrictions, no props, and no judges.
Methinks I will try something that is both epic and ordinary...something I have seen before. After all, personal experience, great things, and the expression of the ordinary are part of what makes a story.