I love Dave Zeltserman.
I mean, not in a carnal let me take your clothes off kind of way. (Although, to be honest, I’ve never met him but I’ve seen his picture and he’s a decent looking hombre)
What I mean is, he and I are spiritually connected when it comes to short fiction. I like most of what he’s written and ditto him with my stuff. We both tend toward the darker end of the spectrum; places where everyone is in it up to their necks.
What I like to tell readers is that I like fiction that’s like Shakespeare: where everyone is all good and everyone is all bad and damn near everyone ends up dead…
…or at least maimed.
Short fiction is one my great loves (along with my wife, my dogs, my music, and my first real girlfriend my freshman year in high school) and the markets for mean, tough, gritty short fiction are few and far between. Actually, they’ve been drying up since Edgar Poe’s day. There are a couple pieces of his published ‘marginalia’ where he bemoans the lack of short story markets.
So it’s great that there is this editor who likes what I send. He hasn’t bought everything, and he had a couple problems with the piece I just sent him so it’s not like he’s a guaranteed sale or anything, but he’s certainly a guaranteed submission and a guaranteed sympathetic read. I’ll take two out of three every damned time.
So he asked me to submit a story and I said yes, thinking it was time to do another con/scam story. I love those and haven’t done one in while. So I thought and thought and then thought some more and couldn’t come up with dick.
Then I trolled the ‘net, the FBI database and Rat Dog’s place and some of my crime CD-Roms and all kinds of crap and still nothing.
Until I found the obits.
And not the obits you remember where bad guys scan obits for visitation times and hit the residences at those times. No, this is scan the obits and then make a COD delivery to the bereaved.
What? Wow. That’s horrible. That’s barbaric and cruel and all the rest.
And, pervert that I am, I thought it was cool.
So that’s the story I wrote. A guy tapping into a loved one’s grief in order to crab up a few bucks.
Hehehe, that’s sick enough to be interesting. What kind of person would do that? What happens to the person who pays the COD and they open a box full of rocks or shredded newspaper or whatever? I mean, the possibilities are endless!
So this is all by way of saying I sold a story today and I’ve been putting some good miles on the new novel and I’m writing every. single. damned. day.
Maybe, for the first time in a year or better, I’m actually back to normal.
(yeah yeah, keep your smart comments to yourself)
I’m sleeping pretty well, getting lots of exercise, enjoying my job again, writing. All is good.
And I went to the doctor two weeks ago and for the first time in almost exactly two years: everything was average. All the tests and counts and analysis and all the rest were absolutely, boringly, normal and average.
Lastly, go check out HardluckStories.com. Not for anything I wrote, but for the magazine in general.
It rocks the bone.