Oftentimes, we are blocked for good reason. Maybe our standards are too high for our best creative self to want to show up. Maybe we’re taking ourselves and what we can produce too seriously. Sometimes, your block is fighting for you just as much as it is fighting against you.
–Elizabeth Percer at Lithub.com.
Amelia Gray talks revision at Realpants :
BRACE YOUR MIND: THIS GRID FROM TOR.COM via Seanan McGuire WILL EXPLODE IT!
Monday morning. Holy finish line. I could kiss my desk, which is almost clean enough to eat off again, now that I’ve scraped off all the blood. Barely a trace of the last three months left, and the bones are beginning to set. Feeling a twinge of wonder at having pushed through 4 part time jobs and a bunch of other hurdles, working 7 days and 3 nights a week, since the beginning of March, and coming out of it with just the regular teaching left ongoing, a two book deal, a new column gig, and two new stories sold. It doesn’t get easier and the stakes get higher, and it’s true, you do fail better.
It’s all true. Everything they tell you.
One thing is that I want to add Jacob Haddon, at Lamplight Magazine to the list of editor/writers without whom this whole “golden age” of smart genre fiction wouldn’t be possible. I’ve talked about this before. Zack Wentz, Keith McCleary and Matt Lewis, Tobias Carroll, Cameron Pierce and Kirsten Alene. J.W Wang, Richard Thomas, John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Joshua Chaplinsky, J. David Osborne, Joe Pulver, Neil Clarke. And now Jacob Haddon, whose eye and sense of story is behind the classy Lamplight Magazine, where you’ll find my new story, “Fairy Tale,” as well as work by Tim Deal, Gwendolyn Kiste, Subodhana Wijeyeratne, Matt Mikalatos, Douglas F. Warrick, Leanne Karwatowski, and Kevin Lucia returning for his Horror 101 series.. Please consider buying the double issue for $4.99 or subscribing to this dark drink of water. $10/year for four issues to mess with your dreams.
Congrats to my student Melina Anderson for her first published piece, finessed from an exercise we did in our Tues night SFF workshop. Antipodean Sci-fi snapped it up, and I’ll post the link as soon as I have it. I get pretty pumped when this happens.
Speaking of Australian talent, here is poem I had the privilege of teaching last week. It’s by Omar Sakr, called The H Word, and I haven’t been able to let it go.
The H Word
My suburbs had hoods.
They weren’t neighbours – just hoods.
And the kids were the lums born of them.
Hood-lums hood-winked into dark spaces,
into tunnel vision: that this is all there is.
Just pockmarked streets and bruised knuckles
for homes. Another H-word.
The scariest one. Not horror or homicide
or haemorrhage or hate. Not hope.
Home. Read more
in which I talk about Laird Barron, Don DeLillo, Shirley Jackson and others. Here is a taste but you can read more at LitReactor. Image courtesy of LitReactor.
When my kids were little we had a family fun game called “Death Scenes.” We’d gather in the back yard or in the playing fields behind our house—the same fields, by the way, where Peter Jackson shot his matricide movie, Heavenly Creatures—and we’d compete to see who could die the best. Enter alien sniper, medieval archer, Zombie-werewolf, or evil wizard/giant/ogre guy, and… action. My son’s death scenes were of the running start-spiralling-fall-anguished-yowl-false-alarm-staggering-second-wind-high-pitched-screech-down-but-not-out-oh-wait-feotal-curl-is-it-over-yet-maybe-not variety. His four year-old sister in contrast went for a speedy demise followed by an unsettling open-eyed stare, and my death involved much thrashing and gnashing and pounding of fists. As the, um, adult I had to make sure that I went for just enough dramatic effect to win my son’s wide-eyed admiration, but not enough to make my daughter cry.
Thing was, I sometimes failed. I mean I failed not to make my daughter cry. I’d try to wink or smile or get up at exactly the right moment to make sure that she knew I was okay, but it was often too late. By which time her mouth would be quivering, and her brother’s eyes would be clouded over with concern (for her, not me) and Eugene the Killer Dog would be at her side and I’d be lying alone on the grass beneath the great pink expanse of New Zealand sky, just another drop-dead mom.
It can be a long time between drinks in the writing life, either because the day job gets in the way of making stuff up and subbing it, or because rejections tend to come in swarms and leave you allergic to your keyboard…. or you get caught up in a novel. Last year I was caught up in writing Aletheia and I pretty much only wrote one story. Thank you to Jacob Haddon’s Lamplight Magazine, the very classy publisher of dark fictions from Tim Waggoner, Damian Angelica Walters, Mercedes Yardley and the like, for picking up “Fairy Tale,” my story about a war veteran haunted by the fourteen year old shooter who put him in a wheelchair.
More good news in tomorrow’s post.
Submitting opportunity at Tor.:
The mighty Vincenzo Bilof on This Is Horror.
William Vandenburg’s Punctures at Pank
The human body is generous. The hole healed over. In our remaining months, he referred to it as a puncture.
I disagreed with him. I said that a puncture only goes in one side. A hole is all the way through.
Cath Murphy at LitReactor gets iconoclastic: Four Famous Authors Whose Prose was Crap