Sunday, September 04, 2016

Been away for a while

I left on Wednesday, August 24, to the East Coast and a respite visit with my mother while my sister took a few vacation days. I got back to Texas Monday, August 29, and had to hit the ground running at work because of the time I was away from the office. My time is also being eaten up as my wife and I work on the closing for a new home in the city where I work, which would end the 46-mile (one way) commute I have been making since January of last year.

Since my last post here, I sold two stories. I received word the day I arrived in Virginia that Silver Pen will publish my tail-biting time travel story "Time Like a Rope", and The Gallery of Curiosities podcast on Wednesday bought "If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love".

Meanwhile The Siren's Call ezine has published "And He Threw His Hands Up in the Sky".

Speaking of "If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love", it may seem a little strange, but you'd be surprised how often stories start with the title first.

Snappy or catchy titles have a way of prodding a good writer's creativity.

Back in 2003, when I was just starting out, I tried coming up with phrases that I could hang a story on. It often was as simple as flipping randomly through a dictionary.

One phrase that stuck to the wall was "Cast Iron Dybbuk" and I successfully wrote a story to go with the title. I sold it to Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine and it was published in the Summer of 2005.

In 2004, the first time I ever met Joe Lansdale, he told me he does the same thing, and in fact one of his bigger successes in short stories came when he wrote a story to match the title "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back".

I bring this up to say that while many people have held forth about Rachel Swirsky's story "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" during the past few years, all that talk led me to come up with the abysmal pun "If You Were a Dinah Shore, My Love" - but then I was able to write a story to match it, and you know what - It turned out pretty good.

So as the saying goes, "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good."

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