After my last post, back in January, I had about a month of bookstore mayhem to deal with before I was able to focus on properly writing again. During that time I waited to hear what would become of my new novel, with has been submitted to various Canadian publishers, a bunch of whom have dropped the same old horseshit lines about how I’m a very good writer and there is no way they can publish my book. If you are confused by that stance, join the fucking club, but that has been my life as a novelist so far.
Nonetheless, I think the book is pretty good. At the behest of my agent I’ve been reading a bunch of CanLit writers, just to see what’s out there. To be honest, there is some good writing, but it mostly just furthers my bewilderment about the machinery of Canadian publishing, and reinforces my belief that there is no intelligible pattern nor design to a lot of the decisions being made in those rooms. Nonetheless, I did have a good shot with an excellent editor recently. They fought for the novel with their publishing house’s editorial board but couldn’t get the book done. I felt like putting my head through the wall for a while, no doubt, but literary landscapes can change quick around here. Not long afterward I found out that I’m not dead in the water with this particular editor yet, and may get another kick at the can before I flat-out turn to crime. The reasons for this will all have to be left opaque for now, but I’ll say more if I hear more and feel like I can say it. In the meantime, keep all your fingers crossed, and your motherfucking toes, please.
Until then, it is a short story explosion over here. I started really laying down new stories in mid-February, and since then I’ve finished, edited, and submitted five stories to Canadian and US journals. The very first one I submitted, which is called “We gotta save the leg,” was accepted by a very good online journal called Little Fiction, run by the affable and goddamned expedient Troy Palmer. I’m not sure when it will come out, but keep an eye out for more news on that one, and check out what Little Fiction are all about by clicking this link: LITTLE FICTION
As I mentioned, I’ve got a number of other stories under consideration at various journals across North America. Here’s a list of their titles and a brief rundown of what horribleness they entail:
Raccoon – 3077 words
– Wherein an up and coming female Muay Thai fighter blows out a disc in her lower back. Tries to get by during one of the worst snowstorms on record. Takes a fair amount of medications one evening and adventures out in the white. Sees something heinous near a city backalley.
Thought you were fast – 4082 words
– Story about a contractor with a young family who struggles to impress his boy as a upstanding human male. Somebody he knows dies. Wayward cattle try to kill him. Things are set on fire.
Bandits – 9045 words
– In which a son learns the outlaw trade of snowmobile robbery from his hillbilly father, his uncles. Meets a townie girl. Struggles with the dynamics of their fragmented family. People go through the ice on sleds. People get shot. Plenty of snow and violence.
Hunted by coyotes – 9256 words
– Where a young man works one of the worst jobs ever imagined throughout Alberta. Knocks doors as a travelling sales agent for gas and power. Watches his moral compass go haywire. Sees coworkers fall off his crew. Comes to believe that all the dogs in the province are trying to kill him. Trailer parks and threats of gunplay abound.
Left arm – 3611 words
– Story about a child raised near feral by his granpa and uncle. Parents long gone. Taught to fight and taught other lowly things. Boy grows up and does not tow the line. Meets a girl. Brainpans get fractured. Prison awaits. Foul farmlands trickle down the generations.
If any of that sounds interesting to you, then great, keep your eyes peeled. I’ve got plans for a bunch more and hope to grind them out day by day. If any of them land I’ll let people know.
Thanks again for supporting my writings and ravings about the whole deal. I’d say I’ll try to post more on here but it would probably be a lie, unless there is something useful to say. Maybe if I can get some actual steady string of short stories accepted I’ll be able to fire posts up at a better clip. Who knows? Until then I’ll been drinking a bunch of beer and thinking up more awful shit to write about. None of it will have semicolons, exclamation points, or first-person present-tense. There will be absolutely no poetry. Ever.
Follow me on Twitter if you want, for more regular, daily nonsense: KHardcase. Or don’t, and go suck an egg.
Take care and believe in your dreams and whatnot.