Posted tagged ‘Travel Light’

“Travel Light” travels again

September 8, 2015

My previously published story “Travel Light” (Penduline Press, 2013) has been accepted for reprinting in an upcoming issue of If and Only If Journal. Specifically, it will appear in Issue 3, which means sometime next year.

If and Only If is an online magazine that features creative work about body image and eating disorders. Certainly my character, Chris Newton, can fall into that category.

I have a few stories on submission here and there. Mostly I’m getting nicely worded rejections, but it’s nice also to get the occasional acceptance.

“Travel Light” is available for your reading pleasure

September 23, 2013

My story “Travel Light” is now up at Penduline Press. Surf on over there if you’d care to read all 5,290 words. They had a call for submissions dealing with the Seven Deadly Sins, and my story addresses gluttony (though self loathing would have served had it been one of those sins).

This story began its life as chapter two of my failed novel Larger than Life. It is out of tone with the rest of the story, which is part of why I think the novel never gelled. It was never as good as its start.

I actually wrote “Travel Light” to be no more than a short story, but it seemed that there was more to the Chris Newton character, so I began exploring that and thought I had enuf story for a whole novel. Chapter one, which is admittedly a fantasy inside the mind of Chris Newton (or is it?), was also out of tone. And the last chapter, which was going to tie all of this disparity together with an upbeat ending, was also more fantasy than the center of the novel. But the center did not hold and the thing fell apart.

The story takes place during a float trip on the Kaw River, which is an actual river that pours into the Missouri River at Kansas City. I had floated it some years ago with my sons’ Scout troop, and it really is as wretched a float as I describe in the story. Whether the river is a metaphor for the character’s life is your call, of course.

traveling too light

May 1, 2012

How many times has this happened to you? You submit a short story to a publication, a hundred days go by and you haven’t heard anything, then suddenly you get an email from the editor there saying that your original submission seems to have gone astray and would you kindly send it again?

This is the first time in my recollection when it has happened to me.

Back in January, I had submitted my story “Travel Light” to a regional literary magazine. The story has a significant regional connection, and I thought it had a good shot at this magazine, which favors the region in question.

So off it went. The submission guidelines at the magazine were a bit vague, and I had ended up sending it to two different people there. That may have explained how it got lost.

But what’s unexplained is the courtesy and professionalism of the editor. This is not to say that editors aren’t, as a group and individually, both courteous and professional. Rather, it is to say that this editor, who must be as awash in submissions as any other litmag in the land, somehow noticed the missing submission and then took the time to pursue it (rather than simply delve into the slush for other worthy candidates).

So off it went again today. I’m resetting the clock at Duotrope’s Digest (where I’ve logged the submission), crossing my fingers, and getting busy on other things.

“Travel Light,” you may recall, is the second chapter of my eternally-in-limbo novel Larger than Life. I continue to believe it is a viable story, and I continue to make notes for it. I have another chapter of it in circulation as well. I suppose if that’s all that ever sees print, I could be satisfied, but I hate unfinished business.

bits and pieces

March 15, 2012

If you’ve read this humble blog long at all, you know that I have a healthy disregard for the so-called “rules” of grammar. I say this only for creative writing, of course. If you’re teaching high schoolers how to write term papers, grammar is good. If you’re writing technical manuals (something I’ve done) or legal contracts, or even if you’re guilty of committing journalism, then by all means use the lingua franca that grammar provides. But fiction writers have license to invent the language, not to be slaves to the mechanics of it. And poets? They are on the far frontier, finding the future for the rest of us.

Even so, there are times when people commit errors that grate on me. Peter Anderson points out a doozy on his blog. Where was the editor for this sin against humanity? Another that particularly bugs me is when people use “then” instead of “than.” It’s not as though these people are willfully misusing the language for a rhetorical effect. They’re just wrong, I tell you. Wrong!

leavesup

This sentence may have a punctuation error, do you know what it is?

This sentence may have a punctuation error; do you know what it is?

leavesup

I received one rejection this week, from Beecher’s Magazine. The submission was a long shot. Although my story, “Travel Light,” is a serious and worthy effort, I tried this magazine mostly because the story is set on the river that rolls through the college town the magazine hails as home. No worries. The story is under consideration at a couple of other places as well. It’s actually a chapter from my eternally limbo-ed novel, Larger than Life.

leavesup

I never made it to that launch party at the Writers Place last Sunday that I spoke of in a recent post. Number Two son and his lovely wife arrived in town (from Portland, Oregon — a really fine town!) and we hung out with them. Certainly the wiser choice, but I still crave that fellowship of writers.

leavesup

Recently, the Little Patuxent Review published my story “The Respite Room” but it’s a print journal. You can’t (couldn’t) read my story online. So I wrote to the editor asking how long I should wait to publish my story here at Lucky Rabbit’s Foot. I assume even if there is no contracted waiting period, there is probably a courtesy period. The response I got was a surprise. They thanked me for the consideration of asking and then asked me to write a short piece about the genesis of my story that they would publish on their blog. So I strung some words together and sent it to them. If they accept it, my strung-together words should appear there next week. I’ll post a link. Also, there is supposed to be a link to the story itself, so you’ll get to read it. And most amazing of all, there may even be a picture of my ugly mug, so you’ll get to put a face to the babble you read here. However, I sent them three photos that represent facets of my personality, and only one of them shows my ugly mug. We will see what they choose.