Happy New Year everyone. I gotta get behind 2014 and hope this year will be a good one. 2013 was a real son of a bitch in a lot of ways and I’m pretty glad to see it go. Nonetheless, despite some of the nonsense that last year brought, I wrote a fair bit and met a lot of good writer folk around town, and that kind of kept me alive and sewed some oats to prevent murder and jail in 2014. So yeah, no regrets. And thanks to all those who put up with my raving over the year…
Just before the holidays I got word that another new story, “Thought you were fast,” has been taken on by The Fiddlehead, one of Canada’s most hallowed literary journals. Not sure when it’ll show up yet, but I should hear more shortly and will get that info out when I have it.
“Thought you were fast” is a story is about a contractor in a small town who has a run of bad luck while trying to put food on the table for his family, and seems to be outmatched by the universe in being able to impress his young son on terms that the boy will understand. In the end he reaches a breaking point when his buddy, in a similar position, decides to pack it in, and eventually the whole story comes to a head by the rampaging of a mad bull and a good, old-fashioned car-fire.
So yeah, standard Hardcastle fare all around.
I’ve been trying to crack The Fiddlehead since 2007, and had a few stories come back with excellent notes and the chance to rework them for possible publication. It didn’t turn out after all, but one of those ended up being my first print publication in subTerrain Magazine (which you can still read online right here). Either way, this story went out for submission way back at the beginning of 2013 and got passed over while some newer stories were snagged by other journals. I liked this one, and I’m very happy that The Fiddlehead took it in the end.
There are some other story developments that might happen with the folks there based on my last run of short fiction, but that’s to be reported on later if and when it all shakes out. Until then, I’m just proud to have got a nod from another of Canada’s great literary journals and will keep at it until I can maybe talk them all into printing something. Then I’ll probably bombard them with more stories again…
Otherwise, there should be a quick and dirty run of Hardcastle fiction out there over the next month or two. I mentioned them before. But here’s what they are and where:
“Hunted by coyotes” – The New Quarterly, Issue 129 (Late Jan 2014)
“Old man Marchuk” – EVENT, Issue 42/3 (Jan 2014)
“One we could stand to lose” – PRISM international, Issue 52.2 (February 2014)
My work aside, there are some very good writers in all of those issues, and it would probably be a real good idea to buy all of them and see what kind of magic goes on in those pages. Without journals like these we’d all be sunk as short story writers, and I know that I’d be banging my head against the wall considerably more than I should be. So, thanks to all of the people who work so hard to get good fiction printed in this country. For my latest set of stories, that means Pamela Mulloy at TNQ, Jane Campbell at PRISM, Ian Cockfield/Christine Dewar at EVENT, and Mark Anthony Jarman at The Fiddlehead. Also thanks to all the readers and other staff that battle those story-piles and put in their time and two-cents over and over to make sure good writing gets noticed.
In the same vein, I gotta thank the two journals that started everything off last year after the Journey Prize ruckus. The mighty Little Fiction, owned and operated by Troy Palmer, published my story “We gotta save the leg” back in June 2013. And The Puritan, run by Tyler Willis and Spencer Gordon (with a great editorial/production staff behind them, including young Hank McCoy, aka Andrew Sullivan), published “Bandits” in July. These were the first stories I actually had published since 2011 (before I got down to finishing the latest book I was writing), and they seem to have broke down some doors for the others that followed. I thank you all for that sincerely. No fucking around, for real. Thanks all.
That’s it for now. I’ll be on here with more news hopefully sooner rather than later. Take care. KH.