I'm about 10,000 words into writing what I hope will be a horror novel.
But I woke up Thursday morning, stumbled into the kitchen for my morning gallon of coffee -- and was suddenly smacked upside the head by a silly, irresistible idea for a dumb horror-comedy short story....
And as of an hour ago, I've finished a 5,000-word rough-draft of it, the first short story I've managed to write to the end of in ... probably 10 years.
Of course the idea is really dumb, and it made me laugh. That's why I decided to try writing it up.
The story also uses some of the stuff I've been through in the last few years as background for the really silly main idea.
And it was so simple I couldn't NOT write it.
I think this is what writers are supposed to do.
And I think it's a sin NOT to write something when an idea just comes to you out of the air, like that. I've already thrown away tons of ideas when it comes to short stories, and wasted lots of ideas that I somehow couldn't knuckle down and get to the end of....
And even though I've only got a rough draft, I'm already thinking about where to send it.
I've been thinking about Tor.com -- the website for the science-fiction/fantasy/horror book-publisher. They pay 25 CENTS A WORD for short stories. Holy crap, that's unheard of. Course you've gotta be really good, and I kind of doubt this story is going to reach that level. But what the hell.
I was also shocked to find out that WEIRD TALES is only an open market part of the time these days. FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION pays 7 to 12 cents per word, but surprisingly they don't accept e-mailed submissions. And I don't have a printer these days. Plus, they've gone bi-monthly over the past few years. And they always were a tough place to get published -- very high standards. Which means they've got twice as many good stories already waiting to get printed.
There are plenty of on-line markets out there, if you want to get paid a penny per word. Or not get paid at all, just do it for the glory, or whatever. I'm a little bit beyond that.
So, I'll keep you posted. I don't want to let on what the story (or the novel) is about, until I get it finished, or I'm far enough along that I'm pretty sure it's going to work and I'll be happy with it.
If I do end up sending the story off, it will be the first one I've submitted since the early 2000's.
Been reading some spooky stuff -- Stephen King's OK "The Road Virus Heads North," Dennis Etchison's "The Late Shift," about zombies pulling graveyard shifts at the local convenience store -- a great idea I could really relate to, although I wish he'd gone farther with it. Also read Douglas E. Winter's rather good 1985 collection of interviews with horror writers, FACES OF FEAR, and a few other things. I'll be reading more spooky stuff in the future. I'm studying up.
Been awhile since I've heard any new music, and I've pretty much given up playing music at work, other than the radio. SOUND OPINIONS the past two weeks has featured a look back at Abba(!), and an hour of songs that made the rock-critic hosts cry -- in a good way. Best thing I heard in that whole show was Clarence Carter's "Patches," a real classic that I hadn't heard in YEARS -- and they only tossed it in at a station break....
Life is OK here. How are you?