Today’s Story Time is “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl,” which first appeared in Mike Allen’s Clockwork Phoenix #4 back in 2013. It’s either a meditation on the nature of urban legends or a story about the birth and possible transcendence of a pair of gods. Or something else entirely, which is definitely the nature of stories. Urban legends and gods? I’m still working on that.
While I was going through my files something happened that happens, apparently, to everyone after a while–I found the beginning to a story that I do not remember writing. I know I did it because the style is totally mine, but otherwise? It’s not unusual for stories to be started and then abandoned. Either they weren’t working, or we weren’t ready to write them, either by not being good enough yet or the story refusing to reveal itself or…well, there are a lot of reasons. Usually when I stumble across a story like that I can tell immediately why I stopped, and congratulate myself on getting out while the getting was good. Not this time. This one made me want to read the next bit to find out what was going on, only I don’t have a clue as to what that is. Probably why I stopped. I hope I can figure this one out, since I really would like to know.
After getting a couple new submissions under my belt I thought perhaps I should take another stab at organizing my story files a little better. I tended to let that slip a bit when I was concentrating mostly on novels, but since I want to do both, it doesn’t help to neglect one in favor of the other. Anyway, I was going over my submissions files, cross-referencing with my finished stories and noticed something odd.
I have lost a story. Completely. Gone. Poof.
I have no idea of how I managed this feat. I’m usually pretty careful about keeping copies and backups and such. I did have that one scare last year when I was certain I’d lost everything, but fortunately it didn’t turn out that way when I found, you guessed it, a current backup, so I was at least reasonably certain that the story I was missing could be found in my files.
I knew I wasn’t imagining writing that story. I wrote the bulk of it during a meeting of my old writer’s group. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering or such; it was just a fun story that I hadn’t done anything with as far as subs go, since I couldn’t think of the right market for it. I’m still not sure there is one, only now I’ll have to rewrite the thing–literally. I can do it. I remember enough of the plot and tone so that I’m at least reasonably confident I can recreate it. Still, more work for something that should already be done.
In penance, I’m putting up a new Story Time. I was about due anyway. This one is “A Pinch of Salt” from MYTHIC #2, edited by Mike Allen.
CW Phoenix 4
It’s not often I get two author’s copies on the same day, but it happened last week as I found my contributor copies of Clockwork Phoenix #4 and The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons crammed into my P.O. box together. I’m in loads of good company but other than that I’m not going to namedrop–follow the links above if you want to know all the goodies. For my part there’s an original story, “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl” in CW4, and a reprint of “Sanji’s Demon” in MBOAAD. I’m being totally objective and unbiased of course when I tell you that you really should pick up both of them.
Mike Allen just released the official Table of Contents for Clockwork Phoenix #4, in which I am in good company:
- Yves Meynard, “Our Lady of the Thylacines”
- Ian McHugh, “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter”
- Nicole Kornher-Stace, “On the Leitmotif of the Trickster Constellation in Northern Hemispheric Star Charts, Post-Apocalypse”
- Richard Parks, “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl”
- Gemma Files, “Trap-Weed”
- Yukimi Ogawa, “Icicle”
- A.C. Wise, “Lesser Creek: A Love Story, A Ghost Story”
- Marie Brennan, “What Still Abides”
- Alisa Alering, “The Wanderer King”
- Tanith Lee, “A Little of the Night”
- Cat Rambo, “I Come from the Dark Universe”
- Shira Lipkin, “Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw”
- Corinne Duyvis, “Lilo Is”
- Kenneth Schneyer, “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer”
- Camille Alexa, “Three Times”
- Benjanun Sriduangkaew, “The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly”
- Patricia Russo, “The Old Woman with No Teeth”
- Barbara Krasnoff, “The History of Soul 2065″
The official launch date is June 2013, with a launch party and author readings at Readercon in July. I like Readercon, though it’s not likely I’ll be able to make it this year. Sounds like a blast.
Not a bad way to start the new year. Almost literally. I got a request from Mike Allen, the editor of the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series, for a small tweak in the story I’d submitted. The request came in just before midnight on the 1st, I approved it, and the confirmation of the sale came in just after midnight, January 2nd. So my slightly surreal, modernist fairy-tale, “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl,” will be appearing in CP#4.
Pleased as I am about that, it’s not really what I wanted to talk about today, other than to note that “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl” has something in common with “Three Little Foxes,” an entirely different sort of story that appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #105 last year– those were the only two usable stories I wrote last year. Right. All year. While 2012 was a pretty good year in some ways, so far as writing progress goes, it kind of sucked. While I’m not the most prolific writer I know, I’m usually more productive than that. I generally manage 8-12 stories a year, and usually sell most if not all of them. Those two stories I did write were, in my humble opinion, pretty good ones and I sold them both which makes me happy, but they shouldn’t have been alone. 2012 was a fallow year. Continue reading