Metapost: Releases and Revision

I hope this update finds you all as well as I have been.

In the past few months, I’ve had two anthologies released from Cruentus Libri Press, and another story featured in the Mad Scientist Journal. If you’ll forgive the self promotion, here are the links to read “Zero” at Mad Scientist Journal, or to purchase either anthology from Amazon:

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Metapost: 2012 – The First (Serious) Year

2012 was a hell of a year.

I didn’t meant to quit writing. But it happened. A month of not writing became six, and it was okay, I told myself. It was a difficult time, and it would surely end. Then I stopped justifying it to myself, and finally, stopped even worrying about justifying it. That’s how I quit writing for well over a year.

Part of it was from lack of a plan. When I started, I challenged myself to write a short story every week. This led to many a 4am night, blearily editing absolute nonsense, but it worked. Then I decided to give myself the room to play with longer ideas, and removed the arbitrary deadlines. Soon I was finishing work on a monthly basis, then bi-monthly, then it might take me a half a year. And this was when there was nothing else required of me. The moment fatherhood and a difficult pregnancy were my dominant concerns, writing slipped away.

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Metapost: Audio Readings

Can I confess something? I google myself.

It happens. I’m not proud of it. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have found these readings of some of my older stories.

Youtube users MrCreepyPasta and ZoomingDakota have posted audio versions of two of my older stories, Fog and Chiasma. And they’re both pretty damned awesome.

Videos after the break…

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Metapost: On Genre and Storytelling

I warned you I’d start doing this more. Proceed at your own risk.

Over on my twitter feed, I got a little excited about the Lev Grossman article in response to Arthur Krystal’s article in the New Yorker (unlinked, as you have to pay to read) about genre fiction and traditional literary fiction. I debated putting those terms in quotations.

Before I even finished the article, I had to google one of the books in the lead image that I hadn’t heard of, Zone One, by Colson Whitehead, which led me to this review by Glen Duncan.

It begins:

A literary novelist writing a genre novel is like an intellectual dating a porn star. It invites forgivable prurience: What is that relationshiplike? Granted the intellectual’s hit hanky-panky pay dirt, but what’s in it for the porn star? Conversation? Ideas? Deconstruction?

So, genre fiction: pornography, literary fiction: intellectualism. Got it. Then I read this part:

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Metapost: On Pseudonymity, Publishing Updates, & More Metaposts

Hello all,

I had a good weekend for writing, finding the time to work out a new short piece, First Souls, (that I will be posting within the next day), and getting some good solid editing on some other work. Runner B stopped mid stride in the last couple weeks, as I’ve found little time to work on it from home. I’m currently on paternity leave, so my time to write is dictated by the nap schedule of a capricious id that cares little for quiet, uninterrupted working time.

First Souls was something that bubbled up between running and a bout of what I hope was food poisoning last week, and it needed to get on the page. If I didn’t give it a shot at life, it would have eaten away at me while I tried to work on Runner B. I will return to Runner B, but for some reason it’s proving more challenging than I’d thought.

I’m trying to take writing much more seriously now, scheduling out the tasks I need to address, including research of markets, agents, and publishers. Finishing Runner B is next on my task list, followed by final drafts and submissions of two other pieces. No more rejections or acceptance letters have come back in, and I’m about to send queries to some of the more tardy markets to see if I can goose them into a response, if only to free up the pieces for other submissions.

Two other things of note on the publishing front:

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Summer Night

This isn’t a new story, per se, but instead something I wrote up recently for a subreddit while I was waiting for some code to compile. This is, for most intents and purposes, a “true story”. Or rather, that’s what I said when I posted it there. There is one slight fabrication here, a keystone to hold this together as a narrative, as opposed to just a simple scene. But other than that, the rest is as I remember it, with all the unreliability that that implies. Enjoy.

I love horror, and I write scary stories, but I’m a skeptic, a strict rationalist through and through. I am not a believer. There have been, however, a couple of events in my life that I can’t properly explain.

When I was in college, a group of six friends and myself were on college campus, fresh from the disappointment of a failed attempt to score some hash. The college has a large arboretum, that edges a wide slow moving creek. It was a perfect California summer night, hot and muggy punctuated by gentle breaths of cool breeze.

We were walking along a long stretch of path, a wide paved trail with a steep drop into the water on the left, and a steep incline up a hill to the right. We’re talking too steep to go up without using your hands. On the incline to the right, a row of oak trees stood side by side with tall thin streetlights, casting the only light around, as it was a new moon. Ahead, we could see two hundred meters of trail, wide pools of orange light broken up by the deep black shadows under the limbs of the oak trees. But the path was flat and straight, so although the areas beneath the trees were inky dark, you could see there was no one else ahead of us on the path. The only sound was the gentle breeze and the frogs and insects in the creek.

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