Monday, March 11, 2013
Photo: Norman Rockwell's "Merry Christmas, Grandma!" at addictinginfo.org (Not my kinda site, but it had a good photo of this painting). Is Christmas ever this old-fashioned and homey?
"So Many Reasons to Celebrate the Season," my most recently-purchased story, about how a best-selling author deals with a collapsing marriage on Christmas Eve, was published by On the Premises (Link: www.onthepremises.com) on March 10th, in Issue #19. Use the link above, then click on "Latest Issue (March 2013)" and then click on "So Many Reasons to Celebrate the Season," four stories down on the page. Check out other good stories in that publication as well. It's all free. When you're done, please go to this blog entry and leave a comment. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
For those who care about such things, this story is especially important to me because it is the first non-genre piece I've sold. This means that it's not science fiction, or horror, or mystery, or speculative fiction, or a specific genre like that. It's a more everyday story, very contemporary, very today. And it's about relationships, about how they end, and about not lying to yourself about them. It's a tough lesson to learn that your life is crappy, and that you're full of crap as well, but that's what happens here. But I digress: this is especially rewarding because there aren't any tropes of a genre that the writer can fall back on. For example, in a horror story, you expect some blood, some terror, some fear. In a mystery, you expect a puzzle, a whodunit. In both cases, the writing itself doesn't have to be all that good, in a way, as long as the blood and terror keep coming, or as long as the reader is hooked so much on the whodunit that he doesn't notice how terrible the writing is.
In a non-genre story, it isn't that easy. There are no bloodletting scenes, no whodunit, no YA romance, nothing that a genre writer can fall back on when nothing else is working. It's just a real-life guy and his real-life problems. Characterization is more important here, and so is the conflict and the reality. So when something like this sells, the writer feels a little more confident because this type of writing can be much harder to create than a genre piece.
So if you've taken the time to read it, thank you; if you haven't, please do. And please comment below. Let me know what you think, good or bad. Let's have a discussion about it. As long as your comments are politely stated (and a specific example from the story would help), I promise to publish them. Please, and thank you.
As usual, thanks for reading my stuff. I appreciate and respect the time you sacrifice to do so.