So one of the markets I sent a story to has died without fanfare, whilst another has resurrected only after deleting its backlog of submissions…
     But I’ve increased my total of stories searching for a home by an additional one.
     Yay me!
     I’m not going to mention the emotional rollercoaster that is my life. I would have to talk about the sequel to the story posted below (well, the thematic sequel on which the original was based…) and my father finding a wench mere moments after the separation from my Mother.
     You don’t want (nor need) to hear any of the fact. Wait until it becomes fiction. I like to share the fiction.


Emotional Content

Write about what you know, they say.
     Keep emotional distance, they say.
     One of the criticisms put against D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’ is that Lawrence did not have have have enough distance in re his mother’s death to write on the material properly.
     Yet there are some things that might only be processed properly by recording the material…
     Whether such thoughts need to see print I do not know. Cry for sympathy, perhaps?
     So, since it wasn’t written in a state of emotional turmoil but reflects something of how I feel now (desolate but with a tinge of hope) a story that cannot ever see print because it uses large sections of a formerly popular song as its dialogue.
     ‘Tis so apt for some many reasons.

Conversation outside a door in 1975; or, That pretentiously titled story.


“So, what job lot is this one?”
     Andreus looked down at his clipboard. “Ah, CC10 I believe.”
     “And the description?” Petrov asked.
     “One stuck door to be created, so that it takes the household inhabitants additional time to leave the premises. It brings this year into line with the project, and we get to start work on Anno Domini 1976.” Andreus hung the clipboard on a hook on his belt. “This door here, I expect. Do you have the Temporal Accelerator, or should I use a Milliputt Ager?”
     “Nope, I’ve got the Accelerator. What kind of wood do you think this is?” Petrov pulled out the required tool from his satchel. “I’m thinking a cheap English pine.”
     “Agreed. Probably only needs a .73 on it for the desired effect.”
     “Right you are.” Petrov knelt down by the floor at and placed the device on the tight corner of the door. “Ah, Andreus?”
     “Can I ask you something?”
     “Yes, of course you can.”
     “Ah, its awkward. It’s personal.”
     “Yes?” Andreus voice was hesitant.
     “Susanna, my partner, I think we’re going through a really rough patch.”
     “Ah.” Andreus placed a small circle on the door. “So, what’s been going on?”
     “Well, we spend all our time fighting these days. She doesn’t like the fact I’m doing direct interventions, and I can’t see why she wants an admin. job. I mean, before you and me, Susanna and I were the perfect team. We used to do the most marvellous set-ups. We could organise events from a hundred years away, and everything would always fall into place. Now all we do is organise fights that seem like a hundred years long.” Petrov stood up. “Should I have the honours, or will you?”
     “If you’ll be so kind.” Andreus handed Petrov the activation plate.
     “So, what do you think?”
     Andreus pressed the plate, and then returned it to his satchel. “About your problem?”
     “Well, in my opinion, too many broken hearts have fallen in the river. Too many have just drifted out to sea. It’s like laying bets; you pay the price.”
     “For the things we do for love?” Petrov asked?
     “Exactly. You see, communication is the problem to the answer. Sorry, communication is the problem to be answered. Time shifting seems to screw up my language centres every time.” Andreus tapped the circle on the door. “Seems to be working.”
     “Yeah. Well, I do have a number, and my hand was on the phone, but then we shifted period and the vortex turned nasty, so the lines are down.”
     “And she isn’t going to be happy?” Andreus knelt down by the door again.
     “No. The things we go through for love.”
     “Yep. Like walking in the rain, and the snow, when there’s no where to go, and you feel like a part of you is dying.” Andreus removed the accelerator from the door-frame.
     “Yeah. You’re looking for the answer in her eyes. You think you’re going to break up…”
     “And then she wants to make up?” Andreus finished.
     “Yeah. And you know, it really makes me love her. I mean, when we’ve both gone away to do our things, my mind feels like its crawling up a wall.” Petrov peeled the circle off the door. “Shall we get going?”
     “Yes.” Andreus pulled the clipboard off his belt. “Ah, I see we’ve got a five hour break to break back to home, shower, clean, and then take part in a robbery. It seems that in this reality the 1976 Robinson Murder only had three people involved, and our records indicate there was seven in the house at the time. Andreus hung the clipboard back on his belt “But about you and Susanna; look. I think a compromise would surely help the situation. Agree to disagree…”
     “But disagree to part, that kind of thing?”
     “Yes. I mean, after all, it’s just a compromise of the things we do for love.”
     “You’re right.” Petrov smiled. “The things we do for love.”


Istanbul Malarky

It was the dawn of the 2nd age of mankind,
Ten years after the Axis-Allies war.
Constantinople was a dream given form,
Its goal; to change its name to Istanbul and cause mayhem and malarky to travellers everywhere.
It’s a port of call, a home away from home to busters, minstrels, bards and troubadours.
Friends and foes brought together by the jewels of the orient, a precious gem all alone in the night.
It can be a saucy place, and you’re unlikely to find any peace…
This is a story of this last remnant of Byzantium.
The year is 1953,
The name of the song is ‘Istanbul’.


More Productive Than Alexander the Great on Holiday!

I like editing my stories.
     Taking a story, punishing it to a large extent and forcing it from crap to mediocre is very satisfying.
     I think of myself as a good editor; I am ruthless with my work, asking whether each paragraph plays any role in the story. I can cut a thousand words from a story and weep only a little (well, like a babe in swaddling cloth rather than as a comic geek whose favourite title has been pulled and replaced by a Grant Morrison revamp).
     Actually, the editing process is an interesting one. I write crap first drafts; often I feel compelled to insert an exciting new idea into a story which then fails to play any important role in the tale. Removing said ‘idea’ then proves difficult because I assure myself that no matter how useless the plot point is, the idea is so new and novel that the world will grant me an extra five hundred words.
     Because I’m great.
     Great, but still unpublished in any meaningful way.
     Editing takes a long time; my current story ‘Towards End’ (which I am having serious doubts as whether it says anything interesting) is on to revision 10. I thought I had it down pat with version 9, but then I realised that I could excise sections and restructure other paragraphs and so it probably needs another two edits to bring the current version into readable copy.
     It takes about an hour to edit a three thousand word story. It took about two hours to write it, and another thirteen hours to edit it.
     Fifteen hours, and I’d be lucky to get an hundred for it if it ever sells. So that’s about seven dollars per hour.
     This is not a glorious business. And as I haven’t sold a single story it will turn out that my first story sold will proably ned me something close to fifty cents for all the hours needed to write something publishable.
     (I have a kidney for sale, if anyone wants it…)