Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy birthday to me

Well today is my 58th birthday, and I celebrate it by starting a new job - I'm going to the managing editor of The Clarksville Times, the paper in Clarksville, Texas, in Red River County. I'm going back to work for the people I worked for, for seven years before the Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune was sold to a corporation.

There are a number of positive things about the change. I don't have to move, I will be able to commute. In fact, after all these years of having to be circumspect because of living and working in the same city, I can become a regular citizen and taxpayer in my hometown. I can get involved in some things I couldn't before.

Going from working for a newspaper owned by a corporation to one locally owned will be a great improvement in working conditions and hours. Many, many years ago, I told a friend of mine - after having both worked for a corporation-owned paper versus local ownership - that when the day comes I would entitle my autobiography "I Escaped From a Newspaper Chain Gang."

The change in schedule, going from a daily to a weekly, will enable me to spend more time on my fiction writing. After I was bounced from my previous job at he end of last week, I spent a nice 45 minutes chatting and getting caught up with Joe Lansdale Saturday. We talked about many things, but his parting observation was "You need to write a novel."

In fact, I got a start on it yesterday, 3821 words. It's an alternate history set on a Mars colony thirty years ago, with the working title of "1985".

The situation reminds me of what happened in 2002, when - after having owned and operated my own small community weekly paper for six years (which was a very time consuming undertaking), I had to admit defeat, close down, and get a "paying job".

The demands on my time were so much less that I had the chance to try my hand writing fiction. By that fall, I was submitting stories, I had my first publication in 2003, and I was published in Asimovs in 2005.

Another plus go the new job is that I'm free to pursue free lance opportunities. A magazine editor in Dallas wants to talk to me about doing some work for her. I may meet with her before the end of the week.

I'm proud I hung in with my old job as long as I did - since July 2007. In the end, since wouldn't walk the plank for the corporation, they had to throw me overboard. It's their loss, I say.


  1. Definitely their loss. And it sounds like losing the job will be a blessing. (Having been in that situation, I much prefer where I am now to where I was six years ago, at least in terms of the job.)

  2. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Happy birthday Lou. You are right it is their loss. Will miss your work in the paper but Congrats! Read Jeremiah 29:11 ��


Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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