After a couple years of proposed summer projects that get lost in the season’s hedonism, I’m proud to say that I forced myself to buckle down and work this year. I finished one story short of my goal, but nevertheless…
The first story I tackled was Pink Lemonade. This was actually the second story I wrote, back when I was sixteen or seventeen. In addition to filling out what I had originally written, I added four pages to it that develops the role of the main character’s imagination in the story. I sent this story to Wicked Hollow Magazine.
After the award that Visceral Memory, my first play, won, I decided to take a more serious look at it. This resulted in an extensive revision that added fifteen pages of material to it, including a more powerful ending. I submitted it to the Heck-Rabi Competition through Wayne State University. Grand prize for this competition is production in Wayne State’s Studio Theatre.
I wanted to submit a story to Wayne State’s Literary Journal, so I chose First Word. After rereading it, I came to the conclusion that, even though the core idea was still intriguing, the execution was that of a squeamish amateur. So I rewrote it entirely. The result, I think, is much truer to the story’s spirit and intent.
After a quick reread, I made some minor revisions to Not a Cat Person, which was a somewhat atypical story for me. Unfortunately, Michigan Quarterly Review rejected it. My next move with the story is to submit it to Glimmer Train in October during open submissions.
I ended the summer by adding some literary depth to The Devil’s Chord. I wasn’t able to complete the edits during the actual summer, but close enough. In the next week, I’ll be submitting it to Damnationbooks.com, an online publisher created this past year.
What kept me from being able to meet my goal of sending out six stories this summer, perhaps, was the fact that The Dead Oak, which I am rewriting, decided that the reason it never worked as a short story was that it needed to be longer. This was actually pointed out to me by my sister-in-law, who read what is now the first chapter of the… let’s call it a novella. So I had a eureka moment and, so far, the first two chapters have already exceeded the length of the original. I’m very excited about this project because I will be working on it as a directed study at school this fall.
I also had an interesting experience that found me down at Hockeytown Café with a couple hours to kill before a game started. I was by myself and had nothing to do, so I pulled out my phone and, using the notepad application, jotted down some ideas. I know that I didn’t invent the wheel, but even still, that was a good moment.
All in all, it was a good summer well spent.