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Writing Up a Storm

My progress bar plugin congratulated me today for writing up a storm, but I accept no responsibility for the downpour that’s been falling off-and-on over the last few days.

I have been writing a lot, though. I just polished off a 2nd redraft (meaning a 4th draft total) of a story that’s still being called Solvjaynghi’s Christmas Wish. It’s an 8200-word seasonal beast that’s next in line for criticisms with my regular crit group. Aside from this story, everything else has been light work.

The light work hasn’t been that light, however: a couple of drafts ago, I had a somewhat boring story about a young female Korean medical resident doing CPR on a dead body. Yes, it’s based on an experience of my girlfriend’s, but the horror element was very subdued. In my most recent couple redraft and reworking, the horror element in this story, which is now titled “Dyscrasia”, is somewhat more overt. When I read it to my girlfriend, she yelped, “What?!!?” at exactly the right place. I think it’s suitably Hellish for the market to which I’ve submitted it, but the competition’s, ahem, stiff.

And there’s another short piece I wrote which is a retelling of the story of the Shaitan, titled “Iblis”, which I’m soon to rework a little (though to be honest I’ve been fiddling with it all week, while critiques have been flowing in). It’s my take on the inherent flaw in Intelligent Design ( though it may take a little tinkering to bring that out), on how and why humans ended up flawed, and just a retelling of the Muslim version of the story of Lucifer’s fall.

I want to get some longer, meatier stuff out to market, so I think I’ll try to get “A Killing in Burma” redrafted from scratch this weekend and next week, and then focus my energies on recutting, polishing, massaging, and oiling “Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons’ Blues”, “Comfort Woman”, and “Jangguk vs. The Madman of Pyongyang” before I boot the poor fellows out the door.

As for reading, I’ve been plowing through J. Scott Burgeson‘s Korea Bug, which is a hell of a book, and Ray Vukcevich‘s Meet Me in the Moon Room, which is also quite a fine collection of short stories (thanks again, Tina!), both put out by smaller presses with that wonderful, freeminded, DIY feel to them. I’m sadly behind on my magazine subscriptions — mags are piling up — but I’ll get to them, and the books I’m reading now are wonderfully meaty and fulfilling.

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