Friday, June 21, 2013

NSA Snoopers Welcome

If I had a place to hang out a shingle – which I don’t, that’s what blogs are for – it would say NSA Snoopers welcome.  If the National Security Administration wants to listen to me, read my texts and e-mails or simply take an interest in anything I have to say, it is not just fine with me, it’s encouraged.  I’m a struggling writer.  If ANYBODY wants to read my stuff, I’m thrilled.

I do, however, have two stipulations.

First, NSA contractors – I like feedback.  I’ll never grow as a writer if you don’t send me a couple of comments.  Like, if I text my wife “R U picking me up?”  Is that too banal?  You think something like “If u ever want to c your husband again go 2 airport” would have more impact?  More emotion?  I hate to over do it.  Tell me.  I recently sent a short story to Clarkesworld that was rejected for reasons I’ll never know.  Assuming you read that, any suggestions?

Second, I am thrilled that you are keeping my phone logs.  I don’t.  All I ask is that in the future, if the New Yorker wants to do a piece on me, please make them available.  I don’t write letters like Virginia Woolf did.  Texts and e-mails are the record of my creative life.  A biographer may want to sift through them and someday say, Michael spent a great deal of time attempting to optimize his trips to Target, as reflected in hundreds of texts between him and his devoted wife.  This relentless pursuit of efficiency shows in his fiction.

That would be cool if someone wrote that.  I’m sure there all kinds of useful biographic information in the silos now.  So, hang on snoopers.  Snoopers hang on.  You get no complaint from me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Scariest movie ever

I told my wife once that I thought Ed Wood was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.  She told me to shut up.  Of course, she’s not a fiction writer, sitting alone, pouring hours and hours of thought time and typing time into a story that you think is awesome only to find out later, after your tale is released into the world, that you are alone not in your environment, but in your tastes.  Ed Wood made some of the worst films ever exposed to silver.  He thought they were good.  That is scary. 

The Sixfold story contest is over.  My submission came in 223 out of 339.  223!  That is getting pretty damn near close to the bottom.  For a story I thought could win.  It makes me officially delusional.  Scary, right?

After 30 years of writing I’m not about to alter my career direction on the results of one foray.  Still, that contest comprised nothing but other writers.  It feels, a bit, like an unmasking.  Like a small mob has cornered me and ripped off my disguise to find out I’m something way different than I’ve pretended.  A woman, not a man.  Not a human, but a monster.  Things aren’t right.  This last scene did not flow logically from the one before.  It feels like I’m trapped in an Ed wood movie.

It’s scary, but only a little.  I can tweak the third act.