Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Monday, May 23, 2005

Once more around (or, Diving Headfirst into Inanity)

A long time ago, back in college (yes yes, cue dinosaur jokes here), I submitted a story for the campus literary magazine. It got rejected, but the editor told me how much he liked it and how it was basically the alternate—if the one they’d picked hadn’t been revised in time, they would have used mine. The next year, I submitted again, and got a similar response. By the third year I was feeling a little fed-up, so I got snarky. I wrote a story about a writing major who kept submitting to the campus literary magazine and kept just missing being accepted, so he finally wrote a story specifically for them to reject. And they accepted it.
And yes, the real magazine took that one. And ran it. I have copies to prove it.
Cut to a few years ago. I hadn’t been writing much and was getting irritable (I’m like that when I go too long without writing), so I decided to write something just for the hell of it, which I never do. It started out as a silly little thing, and it grew into the start of a novel. I haven’t finished it because paying work got in the way again, but I think I had about 100 pages by the time I stopped. It’s a story about a writer who can’t get anyone to buy his real fiction, so he writes the worst drivel he can imagine—and it not only gets published but becomes a huge success. Very strange novel, and very Heller-esque (though I’m not claiming I’m in his league, just that it’s the same sort of disjointed nearly-unbelievable humor), but I had fun with it and the few who read sections seemed amused. Perhaps some day I'll actually finish it and send it out, and we'll see what happens then.
Why am I mentioning these two incidents? Because I feel like I’m in one of them again. Working on something that’s getting to the point where it’s almost “okay, that rational approach didn’t work so let’s see what happens when I go completely loony on—oh wait, you liked it? You want more of that? Um, okay.” I’ll provide more details later, depending on how things work out. For now, it’s something you can ponder in your free time.


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