Posted tagged ‘short story’

“Old School” reaches initial completion

September 6, 2016

I finished the first draft of my newest story “Old School” yesterday. I knew all along where it was going, but I’m still not confident about how it ends. I have ended it, but I’m not sure that’s the most effective way to do it yet.

The story comes in at just over 2,200 words, which is a healthy birth weight for such a slight story; it’s a comic tale, much like my story “Velvet Elvis.” More importantly, though, it is not part of my One-Match Fire universe. It is an independent, stand-alone story that eases me away from the years of devotion I have given those stories. (I’m eager to start on another new story, “Stargazing,” as well. It’s been knocking around in my head for a long while, and I’ll delight in beginning to pull it together. It’s another comic story, with a couple of love interests in it, so it should be fun to write.)

Anyway, uncharacteristic productivity here are Chez Lucky Rabbit’s Foot.

“The Mythmaker”

June 13, 2011

I’ve added another of my early short stories, “The Mythmaker,” to the sidebar for your reading enjoyment. It is my first published story, appearing in 1990 in The Platte Valley Review. Since that was in the days of print-only publication, I had to re-key the entire 4,900+ words, so please be kind if you spot any typos.

I’m proud of this story even though I might use my commas and sentence fragments differently if I were to be writing it today. Nonetheless, I reproduced my grammar and punctuation just as they had appeared in print more than twenty years ago. Like my story “The Lively Arts in Kansas City” it is locally focused, but you don’t really need any background to understand the story.

I’d love to hear what you think of the tale.

More “Unfinished Business”

October 10, 2010

My story “Unfinished Business” is now up at Midwest Literary Magazine. It’s in the August 2010 issue, and it begins on page 60. I’ve made the link here, but I haven’t figured out how to take you directly to the story. There is a small box at the top center (in my brower, which is Firefox) where you can key in the page number — 60 — and press Enter. That should take you to my story. (Click to embiggen.) Also, they seem to have left the title off, so it may not be apparent that the story starts right after the epigraph from Don Juan.

I count this among my “serious” fiction (though I’m serious about each piece I write). Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

“Moron Saturday”

September 3, 2009

My email inbox had a welcome bit of news for me this morning. Another short story of mine, “Moron Saturday,” has been accepted for publication. The magazine is Danse Macabre, and the story will appear in their November commedia issue.

The story is one I’ve been tinkering with for years. I even shopped it around to a few sites without much interest. When I saw that the magazine was soliciting submissions for its upcoming comedy issue, I remembered this story of mine and submitted it. That was back at the beginning of August, and I checked periodically in both my email and the magazine’s site. When I saw that the magazine was closed to submissions, I feared that my story had ended up in a black hole. But the email came this morning. They are simply closed to submissions for the two preceding editions.

My story takes place on a Saturday, there’s more than one moron involved, and the title is actually a play on words. It is my interpretation of the Greek myth of Diana and Acteon, and I have a bit of fun with it. I thought that the story might be too idiosyncratic to be marketable, but if you click that link above, you’ll see that the publication is unique in its own ways as well. When the issue comes out with my story in it, I’ll be sure to post the link here.

I need to make mention once again of Duotrope’s Digest. I found Danse Macabre at that site, specifically by going to the Deadline Calendar and scrolling down to see what categories I might have something for. In fact, when I looked at the Calendar again today, I found another magazine for another story of mine, and I’m going to send it off just as soon as I finish this post.

Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

“The Manuscript” is now online at Mirror Dance

June 2, 2009

My short story “The Manuscript” is now online at Mirror Dance. You can read it here if you care to. And if you are so moved, you can leave a comment at the end. I hope you like it.

A writing experiment

March 31, 2009

I’ve begun a writing experiment, though I don’t know why. I’ve started working on a short story that will be written exclusively on Google Documents. I noted in an earlier post that I had looked at Google Documents as an offsite storage device for my writing, the need of this springing from my hard drive crash of last summer and the loss of two chapters I had written.

I still haven’t done any serious uploading of my stories to Google Documents. It’s a manual process, and despite assurances from the site, I don’t feel confident about the privacy there (or even the longevity). I’ve moved a few things there to see how it works. If I know I’m going to have some computer time when I’m away from my laptop, I have put a story there so that I can access it (from anywhere in the world actually) and maybe do a little work on it. (I haven’t followed through though.)

My experiment is different. I want to try writing an entire short story in unfamiliar locations. I am curious to learn how important the familiar setting (in time and place) of my writing spot at home influences (or even allows) my creativity. If I am at the office, in a hotel, at the library, at a friend’s house, will I be able to call up my creative side and make coherent progress on something that demands concentration and unearthly focus?

I’m not making the experiment easy. I don’t even have a plot for my short story. I hardly have a character. I do have 23 words though. It’s a start. The opening sentence is one that more or less just popped into my head when I was driving one day. It deals with tone and circumstance, and I think it could prove fruitful, but without knowing where it might go, I don’t see how sitting down in some unfamiliar, noisy, interruptive spot is going to allow development. But it’s an experiment, and that’s how these things work.

“Night Train to Kisumu”

March 21, 2009

Allow me to crow a little bit. My short story “Night Train to Kisumu” is up over at Wanderings Magazine. You can go straight to the story here.

I mentioned in an earlier post that this was based on an actual train trip I took in Kenya several years ago. The characters are changed a little bit, but the facts of the narrative are pretty close to my experience.

I’ve always liked this story, liked it enough to keep shopping it around while most of my other short stories just languish. I probably shouldn’t do that, but there are very few that I think are actually ready to go. And then comes the problem of finding a magazine that’s likely to be interested.

I’ve had some luck using Duotrope’s Digest. I’ve placed a couple of stories through here, and it looks as though they get fresh markets regularly.

Let’s do this again!

March 11, 2009

Absolutely “effervescent” with the recent placement of one of my short stories, I thought I’d try sending out another oldie but goodie that’s been languishing in my story subdirectory for too long.

It’s a short, short story — only about 1600 words — and it is pretty much in the middle of the middle of the science fiction genre. The story is simple enough, but it builds to what I think is a clever and humorous twist at the end. I’m sure it was inspired by an Isaac Asimov story I read years ago.

I had shopped this story around quite a bit a few years ago. I even had the chance to get it in an anthology that had considered two of my stories. I chose to have them print what I thought was the stronger story, so this shorter, funnier story missed out. Since then I’ve had a few near misses, with some encouraging rejection letters, so I was certain the story itself was good. The problem was more in finding the market. I was not sure there was a lot of call for science fiction stories with funny twist endings. But once I got the bug to try shopping this one around again, I spent about ten minutes looking until I found an ezine that stated it is interested in humorous science fiction short stories.

Response time is an interminable 30 days. How am I going to find the patience to endure that?

Update: The story was declined by the magazine, but their email response went into my spam folder, so I didn’t even realize it was there for more than two weeks. (I’ve had this happen once before, and it was when I had sent in a story through the site’s online submission function rather than through an email.)

Oddly, they said the story was too long. But they said there was good writing in it and that the twist ending was good, so I’ll take that much.

Happy News

March 10, 2009

I received an email from the editor of Wanderings Magazine thanking me for the submission of my short story “Night Train to Kisumu.” He said he would like to publish my story in his magazine, and after reading the terms he included, I agreed.

You may remember that I posted about making this submission here. As I said in that post, I made the submission almost spontaneously, thinking I ought to have something in circulation, but also thinking I wouldn’t give it another thought once it was on its way.

Then I began checking my email several times a day to see if I’d received a response. The submission page noted that it was unrealistic to expect a response before thirty days had passed, and here it is, one month and one day later and I have a response. A positive response.

The story is what I consider some of my “literary” fiction. The last two stories I’ve had published are probably best defined as “fantasy” though one of them is really social commentary and the other is a sweet love story.

Moments like these are the payoff for all of the early hours at the keyboard, trying to squeeze from my uncooperative brain some semblance of fiction.

Update on March 18, 2009: I received the proof copy of my story today by email and read through it carefully. The editor made no changes to it, but I did suggest one word change (the word “safe” appeared twice in about five words) and I corrected a glaring spelling error: “and” should have been “a.” I understand the story will appear in the magazine soon now.

The Train is underway

February 9, 2009

I think I’ve mentioned here before that I have a short story called “Night Train to Kisumu” that have shopped around without success. I’m not sure just how much shopping around I did though. When I looked at the log I keep of these things, I had only sent it to two publications in the last two years. (I may have sent it to more and the log may not reflect this because it is the restored log from after my hard drive crash last summer. Grrr.)

Regardless, in one of those fits of industriousness that sometimes afflicts me, I looked up a likely magazine for it and made a submission of the story this morning. It is a serious magazine, though the content is eclectic. It was hard to judge their interests based on the stories they had published (online, of course) since they are of such a variety.

I like this story, and I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t put more effort into getting it published. I think it is a good tale, based on an incident on a train I was riding in Kenya some years ago. Response time is supposed to be in thirty days. As you might guess, I’ll let you know if anything comes of this fit of mine.