Thursday, 28 May 2009 The Boneyard goes Global

Or maybe Die Friedhof geht Globalen would be a more appropriate title for this post as it seems one of my stories is reaching out for the international market. All of its own accord too, by the looks of it; it’s certainly nothing to do with me, anyway.

I just happened to stumble across a new, exciting version of my story, Mother’s Love, on someone’s blog. How or why it got posted there, I have no idea. Whatever happened to copyright? Where’s my reprint fee?

The more readers the better though, I guess, so I’m not bitter.

As far as I can gather, it seems to have been translated into German, then back into English. The results are… well… interesting. Highlights include:

He loaded a reticule on the vespers all the habits his four year dear son came correct to croak and left-hand.

Shirt cuffs poked gone of the zipper like hands rising from a importance of autobiography.

Mothers be dressed no best, she mental activity, we be dressed to be Draconian.

The sniffles hooey function knotty.

A pitch-dark, midnight adoption with a gunge drub.

The cell was sniffles and grew colder quiet.

Bone fingers rapped an anile tattoo against the bifocals.

So, if all that nonsense has whetted your appetite for the full version, go here.

This is good stuff; I never knew I could write so well. True, it’s a new direction for me, but I think I like it.

There must be a market for this stuff, surely? It may even pay more.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 Acts of Blatant Plagiarism

Act I: I truly have no shame, none at all, and have no hesitation in saying that I purloined this (the link, that is, not the inane chatter) from Michael Stone. (By the way, do yourself a favour and check out some of his work at Dunesteef).

The Name Decoder cuts to the chase and tells you who you really are. With a choice of Cyborg, Monster or Sexy (oh, yes) there’s something for everyone. No need for over-priced therapy or painful flagellation; simply type in your name and be at one with your inner self. Harmony, understanding and self-actualisation await.

Of course, I had to go for the monster option and think the result pretty much sums me up.

As much as I hate to admit to bad habits, nuns are indeed very tasty. We all have our vices, after all.

Act II: Another purloined link. Most people who read this sorry excuse for a blog are probably already members of the 52 Stitches family and so have most likely seen this trailer already. It’s presented here for those who haven’t and it’s very cool.

I’ll keep it short and sweet: read 52 Stitches now.

Act III: Well, I’ve never bothered with a third act before, so I’m not going to start now.

Friday, 15 May 2009 Measuring Up

I’m not a prolific writer, by any means. I write as much as I can as often as I can, but it’s never enough. I need to write more, pure and simple.

I also need to focus more and decide what it is I really want to write. I love writing short stories and flash – can’t say I love the dejection when they come back with a ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ but that’s all part of the dance.

It’s the potential for impact that I enjoy about writing (and reading) flash. The short, sharp kick in the guts that can really, really hurt. The sudden, unexpected brutality of a blow to the head that leaves you reeling. The tight, concise story you can read in five minutes, but can linger like a shadow at your feet for days.

I’m thinking here of the likes of Richard Christian Matheson, whose Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks collection, is something I’ll happily revisit again and again. All of which are fantastic examples of what flash has to offer (hell, it wasn’t even called flash back then). Of course, his dad told a pretty mean tale too, but that’s a post for another day.

Flash seems so suited to the instant gratification fix of today too. Does anyone really want to read a 5000 word short story on a back-lit computer screen? Well, hopefully...

It seems I’ve digressed a little. What I wanted to say was along of the lines of: I’ll always write flash and short stories, but one day I’ll need to seriously knuckle down to something longer, maybe even that novel I keep thinking about. Radical, I know.

The single longest piece I’ve written so far (at the start of what will hopefully be a long journey in this writing game) clocks in at around 9000 words. What kind of useless length is that? Is that a ridiculously long short story or a ridiculously short novelette? Either way, it’s a tough sell.

Now, I enjoyed writing every one of those 9000 words, but the end result is probably no use to man nor beast.

Maybe I’ll try for a novella (something else I’ve always been keen on) before attempting the big, scary novel. One step at a time.

So, focus Boney, focus.

Friday, 8 May 2009 Same Needle, Different Thread

Assuming I know how to read a publication schedule (that, in itself, is a fairly hefty assumption, believe me) my flash story Mother’s Love is due to go online at the weekend over at Fifty-Two Stitches.

It’s my second and final appearance there (if you haven’t already read In the Garden, please do and I’ll promise to be your bestest friend forever). Fifty-Two Stitches has been consistently entertaining so far and I’ll be sticking around to keep up with the rest of the stories the year has to offer. Looking forward to the book coming out too, obviously.

It’s another fairly dark tale, so I feel the need to point out that I have written light-hearted fluffy stuff too… honest. I just can’t seem to sell it for some reason. Looks like I’m doomed to be a doomsayer forevermore.

The weekend also sees my birthday roll around again (how did that happen so fast?) so it’ll be time for a boneyard birthday bash. At least if no-one likes my story, I’ll still have a reason to be cheerful.

On another note, I had my second rejection from Tweet the Meat this week. With over 120 submissions per week so far and just 7 stories to accept, is it really worth trying a third time? Or is that too defeatist?