Tomorrow being what it is, I have a small bit of more or less seasonal whimsy to offer for the new Current Story. We hear a lot of fatigue with one sub-genre of Horror or another; The Inconvenient Weekend of the Dead is my response to my own manifestation along those lines.
No, I promise I’m not doing any fan fiction on this site. At least, not Star Trek fan fiction. There’s plenty of that in the world.
The new Current Story was prompted by my brother mentioning Chekhov’s old maxim at just the right moment, when some valves of my imagination were properly set. Thus, after a certain amount of effort, I arrive at The Third Act, which if we stretch a little can be wedged into the horror genre– you certainly would not want to be in the protagonist’s shoes.
I know most people get headaches now and again, but I’m one of those lucky folks who enjoy the migraine. The fact that mine are brief and not too severe, as these things go, is balanced out by the fact that once it’s running there’s no medication that helps. I have a friend who says of these events, “Oh, yeah, all I can do is go to bed and sleep through it,” to which I boggle– you can sleep through these things?
That’s the inspiration for the new Current Story, “Migraine“. Write what you know, yes?
The new Current Story is “Old 237“, which has its seeds in my son’s nearly life-long fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine (he wasn’t really hooked until he was two). I don’t think, though, that anyone will confuse it with one of Reverend Awdry’s charming little tales.
This exercise should not be as intimidating as I’m letting it be. I have, after all, been keeping a blog long enough to run out of original thoughts.
Wait. That may not be the right tone. Pressing onward!
This is a somewhat different prospect than my long-standing effort to increase the amount of stream-of-consciousness nonsense cluttering up the servers of the world. This is an effort to present myself as an author, someone who doesn’t just tip words out of his head, but who puts some time and effort into lining up what pitches out of that hole in his head, arranging it into pleasing, amusing, and even possibly-effective shapes.
Since the aforementioned running-out, I’ve been keeping the followers of my thoughts on the strange and arresting world of fountain pens and other outdated concepts up to date on my efforts to create short stories. I have also, a couple of times, mentioned submitting these stories to publishers. Thus far, no success, and I am informed that a part of my failure to impress is that I don’t already have a presence as an author in the world. There is that blog, which is as fine an un-revised heap of mis-spelled words and poorly-braced sentences as one could hope to find. It’s not, for want of a better word, polished. There’s also the informational website I keep and intermittently add to, but that’s non-fiction (mostly).
A very little of my writing, the fun, carefully-handled fictional stuff I actually dignify with that term, has shown up on that earlier blog, placed as an penance offering to the followers there (I am mindful of your patience, folks). That same material is, initially, what will show up here. This is by way of priming the pump– once I have this thing’s engine running smoothly, the original material will start to flow. Expect fresh things to appear by the end of this week, in fact.
Before presenting any of that writing, I’ll add an admission familiar to followers of my other blog: I am terrible at self-promotion. The quivering mentioned above is not just from the prospect of dragging my tender tales out into the searing light of public scrutiny, but at the audacity of hoping people might actually pay to look at them. Not just “some people”, the nebulous personification of editors and a greater reading public, but actual, discrete people– I’ve gone and set myself up on Patreon, hoping that some small bonuses for becoming a patron will move folks who enjoy the kind of writing I do to encourage me to keep at it. If you’re that kind of people, pop on down that link. The very least you will get out of it is an expression of gratitude.
Enough of that, though. You’re not here for this, you’re here for stories. The current story is “The Notes of Erich Zann,” which I chose as the inaugural entry here for a couple of reasons. First, it is very nearly a fan-fiction, to the point that I wouldn’t think of submitting it to any publisher who wasn’t specifically calling for works picking up where something H.P. Lovecraft had done left off. Second, it’s relatively big, and if I’m not putting something brand new out to test this new forum of mine, I should at least offer something meaty.
You will also find a few things in The Back Files, a few previously submitted or presented objects to keep it from being a yawning void while this enterprise if getting up to steam. Because I do want to get off to a bang, “The Notes of Erich Zann” will be rotating into The Back Files in about a week, and a story never publicly presented before will take over the place of prominence.
I hope you’re as excited as I am, if not quite as nervous.