Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fasting, Short Stories, Partial Comfort Tonight

Am going to try and juice fast today and then wean myself off of the destructive Starbucks addiction.

Lovely short fiction in the New Yorker this month. "Something Like Happy" by John Burnside. Not the sort of thing that I generally go for (no space aliens, swords, lustful dragons, zombie hordes, etc.) I am pretty solidly pleb in my reading tastes, and this is highbrow fair (although about lowlifes). The narrator is a girl from an unnamed Midwest projects, sort of fighting a life of poverty and sort of giving in to it. Chronicling a vicious turn in her sister's love life. I found it utterly compelling. Wished it were a full length. Maybe Mr. Burnside will expand it someday. The New Yorker has lured me back into the seductive embrace of the short story. I gave up that art form years ago.

Readers who have known me since college will remember my ambitious plan to publish fantasy and science fiction short stories-- I still have some rejection letters from circa 1995 from Marion Zimmer Bradley saying things like, "I know you must have had a point when you wrote this story, but you utterly failed to make it." And a few coffee stained stories of mine that she read and returned with the word "TRITE" scrawled across the margins in pencil. Despite this, I really loved MZB for publishing that magazine-- sent a good dozen stories in and got close with one. The editor put a note in my rejection saying "I really liked this story, but some of the other staff members thought it wasn't well enough developed." High praise after "TRITE" written on all the other stories. Another dozen stories would have probably got me in the magazine (she said smugly and optimistically), but I switched over to screenwriting for a bit and lost interest. And, of course, MZB passed away and the magazine went away. I was sad about that. Well, another few weeks of reading the New Yorker and I may be writing short stories again.

Thinking that I might serialize the play I wrote this weekend and let people read it on-line. You can all help me write it that way. And brainstorm on good titles. Still noodling this.

Going to a planning meeting for Partial Comfort Productions tonight with my friend Kay. Will blog about that tomorrow. Should be fun.

No comments: