Friday, January 23, 2009

Ladies of light, and ladies of darkness

Neil Gaiman posted links to some early reviews of his new children's book Blueberry Girl this AM...well, I suppose it sits on the children's book shelf, but it seems like more of a book for a parent to read to a daughter and explain the words like "paradox" and "never-you-mind"; my girls are a bit old for this level of book, but it reminded me that he read it aloud at the book fair here in Vegas last year (I think he read it in most cities on his tour, and told the story about how it was a gift to Tori Amos for her yet-to-be-born daughter).  It also reminded me how wonderful poetry can be when it's accessible to philistines like myself, and gives me renewed respect for those who can pull it off:

Help her to help herself, help her to stand
Help her to lose and to find
Teach her we're only as big as our dreams
Show her that fortune is blind

I sent the first 26k of so of Mojave off to Mari Adkins this week for a critique. Not sure how long it will take, but I've decided to take a few days off before I dig back into that story and knock out a short. In a similar manner to what Aaron posted today, I was inspired by a building this week. I've had this vague notion of a story in the back of my head, but couldn't figure out exactly what the story was about. At lunch Wednesday I took a walk downtown and found an abandoned building (there are no shortage of those downtown in Las Vegas), looked in the window, and thought about the things that may happen there during the day, and the things that may happen there when the good people of the world are asleep. So, I started on that creepy little tale last night, written from the perspective of one of the residents of the building. It promises, so far at least, to be one of the more disturbing things I've written.

In other news, I got my first rejection for the new year from AGNI at Boston University. Next week I'll re-work that story a bit and keep bouncing it out to literary markets (I'm trying to stick to my "start pro and work downward" strategy...we'll see how that works out, and if my fragile ego and resolve can take the endless string of rejections that path holds).


Aaron Polson said...

That poem makes me wish for a daughter.

Sorry old buildings make wonderful settings.

I hope the Mojave critique is helpful.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Oh isn't that man wonderful - I am so jealous of his talent.

Jamie Eyberg said...

He is a gem isn't he. good luck with your stories in the paying literary markets. I have been bouncing stories to them and gotten nothing but rejections, so far. Several from ploughshares, West Branch and a very coveted one from Crazyhorse. I haven't tried AGNI yet.

Natalie L. Sin said...

My goodness, did we all get visited by the inspiration fairy? : )

Felicity Dowker said...

Even if Neil Gaiman produced nothing but schlep for the rest of his writing career (which he won't, but that's beside the point), I would always adore him for his work on "Good Omens" with Terry Pratchett. Gotta love a Gaiman/Pratchett spoof of "The Omen".

Commiserations on the rejection, Jeremy. I'm sure it will soon be balanced by acceptance, glorious acceptance!