New comics, short story, EarthBound writeup, employment, reading, attempts at a social life. Busy. I hope I can't be blamed for not having a blog post prepared for this week.
So yeah: the project at the front of the queue is a short story. The idea has been incubating for a few months, and short fiction pieces are one of the more practical projects for a person who'd like to have a novel or two published legitimately during his lifetime. The gatekeepers of the publishing world are a lot more likely to respond to your supplications if you can point to other stuff of yours that's already been in print. Getting a novel published can be tricky (as we've discussed voluminously elsewhere), but there are plenty of respectable literary periodicals open to reading and publishing unsolicited short pieces. Good for résumés now; good for anthologies later. That's the hope, anyway.
One problem: I suck at writing short stories. Not once in my life have I completed one satisfactorily. I have attempted two in the past three years, and both turned into the initial drafts of novels. (One of which became The Zeroes.)
The word count for the incomplete rough draft is somewhere around 7,500. I want to keep it below 8,000 -- but the absolute cap is 10,000 words. In any case, it won't be easy -- especially since I'm trying to write something with a happy ending. Would you be very surprised if I said I consistently have trouble with those? (For some reason I can never seem to paint them convincingly enough.)
Speaking of stories, my sister Beth messaged me a few days ago. "Hey bro," she said. "I designed a cover for your book."
She stressed that it's just a mockup and that I could get sued for using these flyers without permission. But holy shit. I am quite literally stopping the presses. I feel pretty comfortable putting off making the print version available for another week or two if I can have this (or something like it) on the cover.
In other news, April begins next week. You know what that means: NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! I hope you're as excited about it as I am. I've been scouring the library downstairs and rummaging through friends' bookshelves to find some groovy and penetrating verses to share with you all.
Postscript: I'm probably going to keep the ads just for their entertainment value. What relevance does Google think this post has to antidepressants and birth defects?
Don't answer that.