Archive for October, 2010

So, there is an issue I’ve long pondered and the critiques of “Lost and Found” have brought it to the fore in my mind again.

Early in the story, Emrys my recurring super-wizard who dresses in Medieval style clothes and has a clawed hand and foot, appears in a spectacular display before two archaeologists in a ruin in a modern-day type world.  One of them responds with considerable skepticism, trying to rationalize him as some sort of wacko that snuck into the dig, despite what he just saw. Most of my esteemed critiquers have said this doesn’t make sense and I can agree with that. However, I’m not sure if it’s entirely unrealistic. The question, which I have considered before is, how would a “normal” person from the “real world” react when confronted with a supernatural occurrence or being, given that we have it drummed into us from childhood that there is no such thing as magic/monsters/ghosts etc. I think in the end it depends upon the person. But I think that, for many, in such a situation their mind would see two options: Rationalize it, or confront the possibility of their own insanity.  I’m not sure how many would, at least right away, entertain the possibility that what their seeing may simply be real and be exactly what it seems to be.

 

Thoughts?

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A few days back, on Hatrack there was a conversation…I can’t remember what thread. People were talking about rejections and about the “Please feel free to send us more of your work” sort of add-on to a form rejection. The esteemed KDW was saying that such an addition is really pretty significant…when an editor or editorial team says that, they really mean it and that it means they found some definite merit in the work even though they rejected it.

Lo and behold, today I receive this, from Intergalactic Medicine Show in response to “The Open Hand.”:

Thank you for offering your story to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.  We’re sorry to tell you that we will not be using it; you are free to submit it elsewhere.  However, we would encourage you to send us more of your work for consideration in the future.

Very nice. Also nice, and useful and a bit surprising because “The Open Hand” is a high-fantasy piece and it seems that, for reasons beyond my not-inconsiderable comprehension high fantasy is rather unpopular right now. Perhaps IGMS is a bit more open to it…I can but hope.  Based on the new information, I recored it as a “personal” rejection.

 

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I just got the response to my “Ghost Deli” re-write: It will be appearing in the November issue of Flagship! This marks my fourth short story sale and I’m quite excited. It’s also the second T&H General Services story to be published (although I’m not sure I’d come up with that name for the first one.) Thanks go out to all the fellow writers that critted the story for me. I’ll add a link in the Publications section when it’s released.

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Issue #12 of Necrotic Tissue, containing my story “Pilgrimage” and also “Nosophoros” by fellow Liberty Haller Christina Lucas is now availble here: http://www.necrotictissue.com/

 

Go get one!

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Just got home from work and waiting in my inbox was a sad thing and a happy thing: BCS rejected “A Destroyer, A Protector”, but Flagship basically wants to buy “Ghost Deli”…I just have to make a small tweak to be sure readers understand what Hashito’s ofudas are. I’ll be doing that tomorrow, send it back to ’em and then I should be posting a “story sale” post. It’s nothing big league but still…it’d be pretty neat having two of my stories with the same reoccurring characters published.

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Got an email late last night/early today from Ty Drago at Allegory saying they really liked my story “The Mystery of the Sea” and it has passed into their second tier of consideration. I should hear something  for sure early in November.

Got by far the most in-depth personal rejection from Apex magazine I’ve received thus far…it was pretty extensive and complimentary, although as always in these cases I have to wonder if they liked it that much why they didn’t just accept it 🙂 Also got a nice “Well written, but not for us” from Electric Spec.

Made a decent amount of progress on my WIP over the weekend. While I’m still deeply troubled over the events I spoke of in my last blog post I seem to be regaining some mental and emotional composure. Writing helps as does the shift to wonderful cooler October weather. My story-response to those events brews in my mind even as I finish my current WIP. I hope everyone else’s writing is going well.

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So for a while now I’ve been meaning to post an update on my writing…what I’m up to, what I have planned all that. My plans changed a bit though, on Thursday. More on that later, first, I’m going to post the things that I planned to post before…they are all still true anyway, just this stuff has got bumped back a bit.

The part that hasn’t changed is my current WIP, “Lost and Found” a rewrite of my “be careful what you wish for” story with Emrys as the Monkey’s paw. I’m going to finish that before moving on to anything else. Also, I finished revisions on “A Destroyer, A Protector” and have submitted it to Beneath Ceaseless skies.

Other future stuff…

Continuing the groundwork for my novel(s) ideas in the “Roads” world.

A new round of revisions to “Guardian of the Green Node”  based on feedback received in the Polish Challenge at Liberty Hall.

A story idea I’ve mentioned previously involving giant, motionless and extremely creepy monsters dotted around a modern-setting world. I’ve decided it’s probably going to be a first-person narrative.

An idea for a “T&H” story involving disgruntled fey, nightclubs and the Elf King’s tune. It will be from Hashito’s perspective and involve some of his family issues…however the main “threat” in the plot will be handled mainly by Tommy…essentially, the reverse of “Kitsune-tsuki”, the T&H story that appeared in Electric Spec last year.

However, now, once I finished my current WIP my next project is going to be a story inspired by some current events. On Thursday I came home from work and saw a blurb on MSN about the Tyler Clementi suicide case. Basically an 18 year old college student was secretly videotaped by his roomate having intimate, private encounters with other males. The revelation of this led to his suicide. That was upsetting enough but via references and links in that article, I discovered that in the space of about 2 weeks in September 3 other young men, 2 of them 13 one 15 (Seth Walsh, Asher Brown and Billy Lucas) killed themselves as a result of bullying, harassment and abuse they received from their so-called “peers”. One of the 13 year olds was openly gay; the other 13 year old, information is a bit sketchy but apparently he had recently come out to his parents and while the 15 year old never proclaimed himself gay the abuse they all received was primarily either because of or in reference to their orientation. Indeed in at least two of these boys were quite specifically told by their “peers” that they should kill themselves because they were gay and/or too different/weird/whatever. And so, since our “education” system teaches that your “peers” and their opinions are more important than anything else, that’s what they did. In all of the cases, the parents complained to the “proper authorities” within the school system. Nothing was done…in fact in one case school officials went so far as to claim they’d never received any concerns or complains relating to the boy in question except for one about problems at home.

Obviously the gay part of this situation makes it hit especially close to home for me. I mean…to some extent, that could have been me. If my parents had thrown me into the soul-destroying meatgrinder that is our school system…I like to think I would have survived it but I would certainly have endured that same abuse. Heck I still go some of it, through my abortive attempts to “enter my peergroup” with kids in my neighborhood.  However, while that specific aspect of this situation is important to me its not the main focus of what I want to say.  Because for kids forced into the cesspool we call an education system, you don’t have to be gay or really particularly different to be abused and defiled.  So back on a writing note for a moment, my next project is going to be a first-person story from the POV of Hashito (who is gay…Tommy is on vacation) involving his being hired by a man and a woman to rid their house of haunting phenomena…you can probably guess where this is leading.

I apologize in advance if any of what I’m about to say offends anyone. It isn’t meant to, as such but my outrage makes me feel the need to express things I’ve always felt but never come right out and said, in very general terms.  To any parents with kids in school, teachers etc who made read this, I’m not trying to attack you…I’m just telling it like it is.

What I have to say essentially boils down to this: If you are a parent and you care about the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well being of your children, for the love of Wonder take them out of the school system. Public or private, doesn’t usually matter…not enough to make a real difference. It is a poisonous environment that is not and never was about education or growth. It’s about money. And it’s about indoctrination and psychological warfare.  I implore you to forget or ignore all the terrible things you’ve been told will happen to your children if they aren’t in school…how they will be socially inept or academically bankrupt and forget also the bull you’ve been told about how it takes special training to teach children the basics, how you as a parent aren’t “qualified” to teach them what they need. I’m here to tell you, that is the biggest steaming crock of horse crap our culture has ever been fed. I am LIVING PROOF that that is so. It is the wool that has been pulled over our eyes…it is the Matrix and Big Brother and every other dystopian horror you’ve ever heard of right here, today. As part of its function it facilitates the kind of abuse and torture that drove these boys to suicide and covers its tracks by having convinced most people in this nation that such behaviour is a normal…even necessary…part of growing up. The majority of the greed, intolerance and emotional emptiness that form the roots of our society’s problems can be traced back either to indoctrination committed by our so-called “schools” or scars left from enduring them.  In the name of sanity and in the name of every outcast child and even of those who’ve been brainwashed into doing the casting out, if you are a parent I implore you: take your children BACK!

And to the “gay community” which I’m not sure I’ve ever considered myself a part of: Maybe you should be spending less time and money fighting endless political battles over the ephemeral definitions of “marriage” and more of it to help aid and protect gay and bisexual young people during what is by far the hardest part of their lives in that respect.  Heck, many people don’t or won’t even realize that there are gay people under 18 and how difficult it can be growing up gay. If the “gay community” is to have  a focus in terms of charitable effort, education, legislation etc it should be there. This transcends the larger school issue as many of us faced issues at home as well…how about funding some outreach programs to parents of gay kids? Heck outreaches to especially male straight teenagers to help them dispel the stereotypes and realizes just because your classmate is gay doesn’t mean he’s trying to get into your pants.

Even better…how about we ALL stop worrying and fighting about the definition of marriage, where mosques are being built, whether we’re right wing or left, socialist, capitalist or communist, Christian, Atheist, Muslim or Hindu and start concerning ourselves with the much larger issue that WE ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN, MIND BODY AND SOUL. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

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