Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Feero, Bagley, Feral, and Me

A few weeks back, writer, editor, and all-around ass-kicker Lyman Feero hit me up to write a story for a new venture he had cookin' called The Feral Pages. Never one to turn down a submission invite, I said sure.

Problem was, I had nothing.

When I had four weeks to come up with something, it was no big deal. Three weeks left, and I was fine. At two weeks, I began to sweat. When this weekend rolled around, and I realized I only had four days to get my ass in gear, I started thinking maybe I wasn't gonna come through. Skipping deadlines, even deadlines set by friends, is the height of writerly bad form, and I didn't much relish the thought of missing this one, but every story I sketched out sucked, and the ones I'd started never seemed to cross the finish line. My head was too full of book-thoughts; short stories just wouldn't come.

So yeah, I got nervous. I tossed. I turned. And somewhere along the way, I got to wondering what that scratching in my walls was all about.

The result of that wondering is a short story called A Better Life. I started it on Saturday, and finished it today, the day that it was due, in the wee hours of the morning. Not bad for 2,500 words and five freakin' drafts. And actually, I quite like it. Lyman seems to, as well, because it's gonna appear in The Feral Pages premiere issue, set to go live sometime in October (details and links to follow).

So that covers the Feero, Feral, and Me, but what about the Bagley? Easy -- Patrick's also got a story in The Feral Pages, and I was lucky enough to get a peek at it. You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. The Cove is all I've come to expect from him and then some; an inimitable voice, stunning characterization, and an ending that's pure poetry. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing.