Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Night of the Living Debt

Have been morosely thinking about how this hospital stay is blowing out our finances, so rather than burden you with that I am trying to write something cheering here.

In my spare time – I seem to have a fair quantity of this, if not a particularly high quality – I have been thinking about writing.

When I get out of here I want to do a bit of writing, and one of the things I like writing is stories for anthologies. Unfortunately the whole patient confidentiality thing stops me from banging on about any success I have had in this area recently, but I am having a few things published under my orthonym lately, which cheers me.

Anyhow, I got a few minutes of internet access a few days ago and looked up some speculative fiction anthologies. I don’t write as much of that stuff as I did previously, and I barely read any, but still there were a few small-press markets out there wanting stories for anthologies: one calling for stories set in New Orleans, or in Maine, another looking for time travel stories, that kind of thing. I should point out that these are almost always “for the love” publications – nobody gets any money, people everyone gives their time and money for the thrill of seeing their name in print, either as an editor or an author. The community of people who write and produce these things is fairly close.

Anyway, a few interested me, more as a challenge than anything else. Someone I know is editing an anthology on Zombies. There is a fairly interesting book on this that I read a few years ago, some good source material. Another, which sounds interesting, requests tales of religious madness. And another wants “piratical” stories – before things fell apart here I was sortof reading "The Floating Brothel"and "Buried Alive", both of which could be used in that way. And a writer’s group to which I belong published a heartfelt plea by a woman looking for stories for her upcoming lesbian sleuth stories, and someone else wanted something set in Maine.

So, three or four stories. But I was thinking – maybe not. The problem with writing for anthologies is that if you don’t sell your purpose-written story to “Tales to Amaze – the year’s best bisexual robot matador tales” you’re stuck with something that may not be that saleable to anyone else. So… what if you tried for a strategy to double or even triple your market?

With that in mind, any plotlines for a short story, set in either Maine or New Orleans, featuring either a lesbian pirate and a zombie preacher, or a lesbian zombie and a preacher who is also a part-time pirate, and ideally running to exactly seven thousand words (the maximum word count of the zombie anthology and the minimum of the lesbian sleuth one) will be gratefully received. Try and have some sleuthing in there, no excessive gore (the Maine story wants PG-15 rating, which might make it difficult for the zombies), and at least one character who goes mad (which would not be surprising, considering the appalling funding in recent years of pirate zombie mental health services).

And ideally something with colour and vision and spectacle, something that would attract the eye of, say, a Spielberg or a Tarantino, someone with money who’s not afraid to spend it. On me, who would also not be afraid to spend it. I will remember the person concerned fondly when the movie deal is announced and see if I can get you a bit-part in the film – “peg legged dominatrix in cardinal’s clothing”, or “crazed prelate with eye-patch”.

Anyhow, fame, if not fortune, awaits - all this slothing around has left me with insufficient funds, something I am thinking about all the time. My writing future is in your hands.

Thanking you,

In the early days I wrote, and have failed to sell, a story called "Kung fu vampire sex kittens from Mars". Round about five thosand words. Anyone wants to anthologise this, email me.



Blogger Foilwoman said...

If he still has it, His Eminence, Benedict can share my postcard from Maine this summer (real summer, in the Northern hemisphere, in July). Things to know about Maine: The water is always cold. FoilMormor and I swim in it anyway, because we're tough. There are lots of lighthouses. They really like their lobster. At five a.m., biking out to the dock to pick up lobster from a lobsterman who really does say "Ayuh", with the sun rising over Casco Bay (or Penobscot Bay or any of the other three thousand miles of bays in Maine's twisted coastline) with, it really is God's Country. Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park are truly beautiful. As is Acadia National Park. Moose are large and not to be messed with. Seals like to swim up to rowing shells, and are very doglike looking. When they get close, they are scarily large. Sometimes, from Peaks or Cliff or Chebeague Island, and often from Monhegan, you can sea humpback whales swimming in a leisurely fashion, looking big and friendly. Unfortunately, it is damn near impossible to make a decent living in Maine. If you leave a purse or a wallet by mistake in Maine, more than nine time out of ten, it will be returned to you, in person, with money and credit cards untouched. Even if the person returning it looks rattier than any homeless person you've seen in a big city. Maine is, in all truth, the way life should be, just as the license plate says. I hope that helps. (I've lived in Maine for four of my forty-five years, and FoilMormor has lived there for ten years, and for summers for the past five). I hope that helps.

I can't help much with New Orleans, except that the one time I was there it was with a convention of elementary school teachers. The police got called because the partying got too rowdy (all those drive through bars). We had a contest to find bad food in the city and no-one one. One school librarian married a stripper she met there. He's still gorgeous and still married to her, and I can't help remembering the night they met every time I see him. I don't think he knows why I smile whenever we meet. Don't worry. It's a very ladylike smile.

Oh, and there was no bad music either. Even the lounge singers could really belt it out. Tipititos was really great.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Camilla said...

Maine sounds wonderful. New Orleans sounds wonderful too. I loved the story about the school librarian and the stripper! Now there's a story that's begging to be written :D

6:29 PM  
Blogger Bronze John said...

God those places both sound great. New Orleans was always on my list in the US - like you say, no bad food, no bad music, plus all that southern Gothic stuff... and now Maine.

To hell with it. When Sarah wakes up we're discussing this. As ALbert Collins (great Texas/Mississippi bluesman) would say, I've got a mind to travel.

And I can understand the whole school librarian-stripper thing. Librarians are sexy.


9:55 AM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Librarians are damn sexy (and I should know). As for Maine, we'll be there again this summer. I'll send you the most gorgeous postcard ever (just to make you salivate) care of His Eminence, Benedict XVI if you have the good sense to keep guarding your privacy and don't feel reckless enough to share contact information with a loon like me. Glad to see all the responses to the comments, and I hope you, Sarah, chooks, cats, etc. are all well.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Oh, and travel to Maine in summertime (in Maine, that's a short season: June 15 through August 30), and to New Orleans in spring (March-May) or possibly winter (December through February, although you might have trouble getting a booking during Mardi Gras)(fall is hurricane season, so eschew that). I can provide lots of contacts (including chief counsel for Maine Medical Center) in Maine, for work, for recreation, whatever. Also, FoilMormor is in Maine (in the summer).

12:22 PM  

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