Monday, October 23, 2006

I Know It's Been Forever, But . . .

Back when I started doing this whole blog thing, I looked at a lot of other people's blogs and discovered a few cliches which I swore I would never stoop to. The main one being posts which start with the line: "I know it's been forever since I've posted on here, but . . ." followed by lame excuses about being crazy busy, terminally ill, dead, etc. These blogs always end with a promise to be a more faithful blogger in the future. (A statement belied by the fact that the post is 2 years old.)

Well, it HAS been forever since I've posted here and I HAVE been crazy busy (writing, kids, last-minute "Day of the Dead" edits, assorted hausfrau duties, my ill-fated State Senate campaign.) Actually, though, it's been more of a case of a lack of anything to say. My life is pretty routine, and a recent bout of extreme poverty (it's a viral thing- doctor says it might be chronic) has further limited my activities outside the house to not-very-thrilling trips to the park and the library. Not much grist for the web-log mill.

I know my faithful readers (all 2 of you) must be frustrated. My good friend Angie (see her four comments posted on my last entry) was especially vocal in her exasperation. She even took the drastic measure of deleting me from her 'favorites' folder, exiling me to the gulag of her desktop 'Recycle Bin,' an electronic purgatory where I drift in the ether along with her other abandoned interests- like the Milli Vanilli fan-site she used to be so enthusiastic about.

Well, still not much going on worth talking about. I did finally receive my check and free copy from the Canadian smut peddlers. My debut novel is as inauspicious and sleazy as I have feared. Random stock image photo on the cover, with the tag line "The wicked tale of a young woman's descent into depravity." This is somewhat mitigated by the jacket blurb- "Luminous- a tale of grace and power recalling early Hemingway." Thank you, Stephen King. I owe you one.

(Also- a note for any porno editors out there; you can not change a scene from gay to straight simply by converting the pronouns, though in this way you CAN make the scene much funnier.)

Anyway, check's in the bank and we went out for Chinese to celebrate, so I can't complain too much. Right now, though, I am actively searching for a way to wash the 'porn' taste out of my mouth. I'm looking to either enter a writing contest with a cash prize, or submit to a professional fiction magazine (print or on-line.)

In the past, I've gone about getting a story published in the only way which seemed logical to me: 1) Get an Idea, 2) Write the Story, 3) Send it out to everyone who might conceivably publish it. 4) Hope for the Best. This has so far not panned out, so I'm going to try it another way. I'm going to find a contest or a publication which I like and try to tailor a story specifically for the market. We'll see if I have any better luck with this approach.

My goal is to be able to answer the question: "Have you been published?" with a statement other than: "Well, sorta . . ."

Anyway, that's it for now. I promise to be a more faithful blogger in the future. Check back here for a new post in two years or so.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Confessions of a Flasher

Recently, I've posted a couple of "Flash Fiction" stories on various web-sites, "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" and "White Moth." (The latter being a slightly edited version of a story I first posted right cheer.) If you're unfamiliar with flash fiction, definitions vary. Most of the web-sites specializing in this unique genre place the word count limit at 750-1000 words. Some especially sadistic editors place the limit in the 250-500 word range. I've even seen one site with the psychotic limit of 50 words max. (A Flash Horror site has the brilliant conceit of a 666 word max count.)

However you slice it, that's dang short. Especially for someone like me, with a very real problem of diarrhea of the keyboard. That's one of the reasons I wanted to write Flash Fiction, for the challenge. The other reason is that people actually seem to read these things. (Oddly enough, that was one of the same reasons I started writing erotica.) There's not much time investment required to look at something just a few paragraphs long.

There's also something to be said for the brevity and compression, the stripping of the narrative down to the barest essentials. It's almost like poetry, except I ain't no poet.

Some of you might remember my first attempt at Flash Fiction, "Indoor Recess," written for a contest I entered a few months ago. I wasn't quite happy with how that one turned out. I tried to accomplish too much in the limited space I had to work with. Hopefully, these two selections work better. Please check them out (click on the links) and feel free to post flattering comments.

In other news, I've also written a rather tongue-in-cheek (I've always wondered about that expression. How can you talk with your tongue in your cheek?) post for the Day of the Dead Dinner Show blog. So, if you've wondered why I haven't posted anything here for a few days, it's because I've been posting stuff everywhere else.