Monday, January 12, 2015

Links to Real Good Stuff!

Some good luck scattered across 2014 is coming to fruition in quick-time harch this month. Today, my short story "To-Do" goes live on The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, which is frankly a personal triumph for me and a pretty nice thing professionally as well. You can read it here for free. I hope you like it.

Also this week (!), Kzine, a Kindle-only genre magazine, publishes its 11th issue, which includes "On Conti Street with the Kintner Dame," by yours truly. This story has about as much in common with "To-Do" as two-toed sloths have with Picabo Street. It's a lot of fun, though, and it sits in good company in the magazine. The issue is available at Amazon here. I think it's a free read for Prime members who have a Kindle.

In case you're not convinced enough to click through, here's a little bit about each story. "To-Do," which I've called the grandma story once or twice on this blog, is, in brief, about a fairly awful woman biting off more than she can chew.

You go, little turtle! (You're not endangering children, like Lily is.)

Writing about her was challenging and satisfying, as was writing about the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts many years after I lived in it. I tried to make the story slightly different than the norm visually, and to (maybe) trash some reader expectations for the rhythm of a 3,400-word piece. Other than that slight push toward experimentation, I haven't got a lot to say about this one. I worked hard on it, but writing it wasn't a mystical creative experience.

"Conti Street" came out of a dream I had about a band composed of zombies. When I wrote the dream down in my notebook, I thought of just doing a throwaway line in some story about how if zombies formed a shoegazing band, no one would even notice they were zombies. But then I had another dream about a strange silver coat with magic powers (which I as dreamer never quite sussed out). My determination to write a goddamn noir story already formed a chemical reaction with those ideas, and Jean-Jacques McHugh was born. I want to write another one with him, but I haven't written a lot of genre stuff lately and I'm kind of discouraged from the get-go. I loved writing "Conti Street," and nearly everyone to whom I gave it loved reading it, but I had a hard time placing it. Most noir magazines today, I discovered, want gritty-ass modern noir instead of old-fashioned Philip Marlowe stuff. Me, I love Chandler, but it's possible that I love parodies of Chandler just as much

, and I hope "Conti Street" walks the line between the two as lovingly as I intended.

If either of those stories has brought you here, welcome! Make yourself at home. Leave a comment. Have a drink. The bar's open and I can be pretty talkative.

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