Thursday, April 23, 2015
Fly Fly Island Away!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Took over a month to get it, but it finally delivered! The Best of Flying Island, Volume 1; 2014. WooHOO!
I pull it out slowly from the bubble-wrapped envelope. A smooth, light blue book that smells like paste. Yes, paste; but freshly published paste! Inside contains a story that is all mine and –cool, man! In an actual book. So freakin’ sweet!
Yeah, it’s just a short story, and it’s inside a collection of stories. And, well, this book is awfully thin, but who cares? It’s shiny! Ha-Ha! And quite official: INwords Publications; ISBN 978-0-9849501-6-4.
OMG! It’s gorgeous. To think that some of these white pages are mine. Where did they put me? Wait! Not cool. Just read the book, Randall; read the other stories and poems first and don’t be so selfish. Get some tea. The Licorice one, from Whole Paycheck.
Let’s dive in. Ah. Some of these I have already read, of course. Yeah, I recognize this. I remember that. Good effect of that never-ending summer heat by Haines. Richard Pflum is one of my favorite poets, local and all. I remember listening to him read when I was younger and more hopeful in the early 2000s…
So where did they put my story? Gotta look!
Here it is. Yep. I first posted this on Fiction Forge Indy. I can feel all my pages between my thumb and index finger. Feel… Not sure if it would be normal to read my own story. Definitely weird to read my own stuff. Besides, I wrote it. Many times over!
Huh. Seemed longer than just these few pages. 51 to 58? A little...thin.
I don’t know why I keep thinking how ‘thin’ everything is! Why go to ‘thin’ at all? Quantity doesn’t equal quality any more than ‘thin’ equals beauty. Although, there are a lot of beautiful, thin people... That’s beside the point.
I like how the editors separated out my paragraphs. Gives it more punch. Punch? Yeah…punch. I guess no harm done if I read the first couple of paragraphs. I'll even read them out loud!
Um, that's strange. Doesn’t sound like anything I wrote. Ha. Too funny, right? Let me try this again. Oh, but not out loud. Comes off as creepy and alien-like and all.
Okay. All right. It reads a little…novice. I mean… Look, I get that I am sounding a little critical of my own work. I just realize that these other stories in this collection are really quite good! Amazing talent here in this thin little -I mean, tight collection. I don't see how my own writing belongs among them. It’s like…like I am in an upscale restaurant, at a beach-side resort, full of nicely clad patrons. But I’m wearing Bermuda shorts. No. It’s more like I am at the swimming pool of that resort and everyone has nice pecs and flattened bellies and perfect skin and long legs and I am…swimming with my tank top on.
Yeah. I could do better. I can get into better shape before I end up at this pool...good enough shape to take off my shirt and chat with the upper crust.
Seriously, am I wrong to want to correct my own print? Cross out a sentence, choose a more descriptive word, write a tighter paragraph? In red ink? I’m tempted. I can leave it at a mechanics shop or at my Dentist’s office so everyone can see that not only can I recognize bad writing, but I can also improve upon it.
Oh god! Just saw a glaring grammatical error. Really, Randud? And you didn’t want to use that F- word, but there it is. Looks so ugly. Not sending the parents a copy, for sure. And that is a typo...totally not my fault. But I know this other silly error is all mine. It’s not a point of view shift, but it comes off as one. Dang it. Dang it!
Ah, geez; so embarrassing. Can I resubmit this and have the collection republished? How much would that cost? Obviously, the first thing I would do is, I’d place quotations around “Welcome to Jan’s” –or in the very least, italics. And definitely, I’d have less ambiguity towards the end to sharpen the sting, to deepen the regret. Or, does it work best as is, with the revelation coming to the reader all at once? More ambiguity then?
Because it can’t stay as it is!
And Indianaville doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Should have called it…Hoosier…Hoosierville? Amateurville sounds more accurate.
This was such a nice story. Deserved better writing. Should’ve captured Mint & Sweat’s loss in a more gripping way; that feeling of messing up a good thing just because society demanded it. Mint & Sweat’s error was a forever kind of error. Did I really capture that as best as I could?
Ironically, now my writing imperfections are, too, forever…in print, in situ, infinity. “And I was familiar with that kind of forever. I knew what happened when people leave: they leave others behind.” That should have been a semi-colon!
I need to step it up if I am ever going to actually earn another shot at this high-end real estate. Just gonna forget about 51 to 58 and move on to the other stories, like Lovelace’s Sphinx the Hunter, and put this agony behind me.
Why can’t I write like Lovelace?