Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The New Year: Hope and Disappointment

Got up this morning and everything was blanketed with snow. I drove to work with big flakes swirling around my car. Come noon when I went back outside, not only had the snow stopped, but it had almost all melted away. Now I look out the window, and everything's sunny and dry, the sky blue with only a few hints of cloud. It's hard to believe I drove to work in the snow this morning.

The last thing I remembered dreaming before I woke was driving past a gas station and noting with a start that gas had gone up to $7.01 per gallon. Funny how your nightmares change as you get older.

I've had a printed story sitting on my desk for about a month, waiting to be sent out. It got stuck here waiting out the holiday madness, and was recently joined by a friend. Today, I finally got both sent out. I'm starting to emerge from the end of year doldrums to get stuff done. I haven't really started writing yet, but I've I've started thinking about writing, at least. I've got four stories out right now, and I'm looking for places to submit more.

The one big disappointment? "Frame by Frame." I wrote this story a couple of years ago, using the background I'd developed for a novel that never came together. When I read it to my local writers group, I was horribly nervous, and grew more so as I read, because everyone seemed bored out of their skulls. However, when I finished, almost everyone said they loved it, and they still comment on it today; someone asked me at the Christmas party just last month if I'd managed to sell it yet.

The answer was "no," and I suspect it will be "no" for the rest of my life, unless I manage to achieve some kind of Stephen King-like success where someone will publish just about any piece of crap I ever scribbled down, just because it has my name on it. The problem is that it's not really a story, per se. It's a mood piece, an 8,500 word mood piece, and who really wants to read that? I sometimes think the reason it went over so well was not so much the story as the performance; I was scared when I read it, scared they wouldn't like it, scared they'd tell me the emperor had no clothes even though I thought I could see some. I think that fear translated well to the narrative, which is a sort of horror story.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just coming up with excuses. Maybe I could edit it down to a more salable length and try again. But as it stands right now, I don't know of anyplace else to submit it, and it depresses me, because in some ways, it's one of the best things I've ever written, even though it breaks about a thousand rules in the process. I just don't know what to do with it.

No comments: