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Archive for January, 2010

“Carousels” Excerpt

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

A short piece I clipped from my recent short story “Carousels”:

Sal talks so that no one else can hear over the teenagers.  “Ya know, Daniel, you look like my nephew Marco.  He was a good kid.  Was a main man in our business—ya know, selling upholstery.  He was an upholstery salesman.  Anyways, he goes to jail on some bad rap.”  He spreads his hands to emphasize random words.

“Spent five years locked up like a crook.  Anyways, Marco gets out and he’s a Christian reborn or whatever—that isn’t important.  What is important is that he wants nothing to do with us.  Me, his old man, upholstery.”  Ice sickle eyes watch me without blinking.  “I’m gonna be blunt:  he knew too much—about selling upholstery.  So I had to take care of him.  Not me, myself … but I had someone else to take care of him, ya know?”

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Shift’n Stories

January 29, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s time to let “Carousels” sizzle on the back-burner for a while.  I have some great feedback to think about and it will be good to see it again with fresh eyes when it comes time to work my next draft.

This comes at a convenient time seems how I need to start working on a new story for my class / workshop at The U.  I have a few good ideas rolling around inside my head, although I’m concerned that some of them might not be suitable for this class.  I suspect that the instructor is open-minded about taboo subjects–he’s a writer himself.  We will see.
I think that a good enough writer can write about offensive things without offending anyone (if that’s what they wish).  The question arises, “Am I a good enough writer to pull this off?”

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Critiques

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

The latest version of my short story “Carousels” (working title) has gotten mixed reviews in my online workshop.  Those that read the earlier draft aren’t too impressed with the overall reconstruction.

The narrator from the first version was more charismatic, and I knew this when I recreated him.  I was going for emotionally detached in the second draft, which I apparently did very well.  Too well.  Critiques complained that they had no real reason to “like” the new narrator, while the old one had a certain charm.

On the other hand, the reviewers who didn’t read the first draft seemed to like the story.  Don’t get me wrong, they still had their complaints, but they definitely liked it more than the others.

The second draft of this piece was really a whole new story–I basically stole a few ideas from the original and created the second from “scratch”.  I didn’t really intend for readers to compare the the two versions, but I guess it makes sense that they would.  They had things to say that deserve consideration.

The feedback has been great and I’m excited to use it in shaping the next draft of this story.

P.S.  The narrator from the first story isn’t coming back … sorry folks.

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Classroom

January 25, 2010 1 comment

Tonight was the first night of my 6-week “Short Story” course.  It’s a class on writing literary fiction with a twist of workshop thrown in.

I did my homework  before I signed up for this class … researched the teacher.  I read a few of his stories and enjoyed the experience.  He’s different that I thought he would be–just goes to show you I guess.

Class was good.  There are five other students.  I am excited to participate and, if nothing else, spend time around other writers.

Over.

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So I have a blog…

January 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I knew this day would come.

So now I cheat.  I create a free blog, write about writing and call it a website.

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Define

January 23, 2010 1 comment

Transgressional fiction or transgressive fiction is a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who use unusual and/or illicit ways to break free of those confines. Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressional fiction may seem mentally ill, anti-social and/or nihilistic. The genre deals extensively with abnormal psychology and taboo subject matters such as drugs, sex, violence, incest, pedophilia, and crime.

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