I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West
- "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
- "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
- "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, editted by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
- "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
- "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest
- "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
black sun in black static
There's a small town my Methodist ancestors ruled like petty Calvins in their own little Geneva. They passed curfews, and blue laws, and released their suppressed ids by playing sadistic and macabre practical jokes on neighbors and each other. One forebear propped a corpse in his buggy and asked a tavern keeper to take some refreshment to his friend, who was indisposed. (He was an undertaker).
To this day, the town flies banners that say, Keep Christ in Christmas, viz, we like our public festivities personal and exclusionary.
I want a banner that says Keep Thor in Thursday,
or, Keep Frigg in Friday.
My friend Dwight and I both love this parochial, quaintly evil town, where we have many happy childhood memories of band concerts and 4th of July parades. The town's cafe/music venue/used record shop is a good place for breakfast. Dwight is ten years older than I am, and as I have no older brother, is content to assume the duties of this office. Friendship is the mighty consolation of this baneful world. At breakfast, in the record shop, Dwight asked if I was sending any stories out. I said, no. Too busy with changing jobs, and ongoing home improvement ventures.
Did I have anything good enough to send out? he asked.
I have this weird story I'm fond of, I said. "Black Sun." Have I read it? he asked.
I said, no, it's too depressing.
But it's good?
I think so. I like it, I said.
Dwight became angry, and harangued me to mail the story. He was the first person I told when it was accepted, by Black Static. Black Static has won the British Fantasy Award! I share the table of contents with Priya Sharma, Lavie Tidhar, Ilan Lerman, Tim Casson, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Ray Cluley.
Jeff VanderMeer, my Clarion workshop teacher, had asked us to write a story that conveys "the weight of murder." In my story, an inept gangster, a psychotic, and a smoothly competent sociopath crossed paths in a cityscape cut and pasted from Hitchcock and Michael Powell films.
It didn't come off. When a story doesn't work, the answer is often:
You haven't gone deep enough. Or, as Andrew Wyeth says Your art goes as far and as deep as your love goes.
I rerouted "Black Sun" into the landscapes of my own childhood, and felt like I was on to something.
at 1:33 AM
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