One of my favorite quotes (which for the longest time I mistakenly attributed to Dan Simmons, having read it first in Hyperion–it’s actually Peter De Vries) is “I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”
I bring it up in this case because actually SUBMITTING my writing for publication is something I don’t do nearly enough as I probably should. I like writing stories, I hate writing cover letters (or even the short email prefaces for electronic submissions).
However, since it’s been a little while since one of my short stories found a home (okay, not too long; “Playing with Hubris,” one of my favorites, was in NexGen Pulp a few months ago), I’ve thrust my butt into the self-booting machine ($199.95, Sharper Image catalog) and sent out a flurry of submissions.
…by which I mean about four. Here’s a quick teaser/rundown of the stories I’ve sent to various fiction magazines, otherwise known as a few children I hope to hear about finding homes for soon:
“The Atheist and the Ferryman”
Many of us have lots of things in our basement. Old clothes, washing machines, giant Olmec heads of Xtapolapocetl, etc. Marcus just happens to have a cave leading to Hades. This is one of my favorite stories that I’ve written, if not THE favorite, though I’ve not yet found a place for it. Do I like it so much that I can’t see it’s flaws, I wonder? Then again, it mixes Greek myth with modern times and a somewhat macabre sense of humor, so it IS an odd one to try to squeeze into a genre label.
This one’s a bit different from what I usually write and probably closest to magical realism than anything else I’ve written. If you could connect with the actual spirit of a lost loved one when you dreamed, would it be worth it if you couldn’t remember when you woke? What price would you pay to not forget your time together? I came up with this one for a PNWA contest a while back, but at the time I had to rush it and quite honestly it wasn’t ready then. After some polishing, I’m sending it out into the world once more.
This is a short one that I wrote a while back and recently polished. It’s pretty short (only 975 words) and makes for an amusing diversion if you like the idea of a technophile teenager trying to both get a job as Death’s assistant and help him to get Wi-Fi access. (Yeah, I write weird ones.)
Another short one, this time without humor and going more toward creepy. How would YOU feel if after three years of agoraphobia you started receiving death threats demanding a murdered man’s gold watch hidden in your attic?
(Hmm. Attics, basements. I should write something dealing with a scaaaaaary linen closet! The towels! The towels are scratchy! Ruuuuuuun!!)
Michael G. Munz