Last weekend wrapped up the series of performances of Twelfth Night by the Sweet Tea Shakespeare company. It was a heck of a ride and a fine group of people with whom to explore the creative. The experience shook loose the dust and cobwebs from off my fingers and out between my ears, and I sincerely believe the challenge of participating in an energy that is not familiar ground was good for my writing and also my mental health. Also, they let me write a little blog piece on the role of love in Twelfth Night. So, creative challenge plus the chance to get all lit-nerdy? All right…
My hope is that I will be able to participate in future productions. To that end, I am moving forward with closing out one part of my life, namely leaving command and becoming even more of a part-time Soldier than I am now. Sadly, I will miss STS’ production of HamLIT and possibly Sense and Sensibility, but when it comes time to audition for Measure for Measure and Merchant of Venice, I’m going to polish up the old guitar, practice Ye Olde Shakespearean pronunciation, and give it what I’ve got.
I have not been neglecting the writing part of this writing life, although I haven’t always hit my daily word count. Steel-Toed Blues is coming along, slowly and surely. My productivity took a hit when my tablet turned off and failed to turn on. Apparently the hard drive was degrading. I rescued the documents off the device, but the disruption was complete. I will be back to it in no time, although I am currently still working on a short story.
Speaking of short stories! I recently received contributor copies of the February issue of O-Dark-Thirty: The Review, which contains my short story “Terminal Leave.” You can download the issue for free, which I think is a good price. This was a story I had written a few years ago for an anthology on brewing beer. I think the story went to a darker place than they were looking for, as the editors rejected it. I tried a few more times to place it with various literary fiction magazines, but with no luck. Finally, someone on Facebook sent me the link to the call for submissions for the women veterans’ themed issue and they accepted it.
I also submitted a short story to an anthology by Writerpunk Press, the folks who put out Sound and Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk, and Once More Unto the Breach: Shakespeare Goes Punk II. This one was for a Poe Goes Punk anthology. I used the characters from my steampunk alt-history New Orleans, and sent Detective Mignon Boudreaux, Sergeant Thomas Woodson, and Lieutenant Mikhail Feryusovitch on “The Case of the Lonesome Cigar Girl in the Sixpenny Temple” (based on “The Mystery of Marie Roget.”) I’m pleased to say that after some minor edits, the piece has been accepted and will be coming out when the anthology is released in the spring.
(I also attempted to pitch a novella series featuring six short stories, but the first place I pitched to declined. I have another one lined up, but I’m going to write the stories first, then pitch. I’ve got three more to go…)
I’m currently working on setting up a series of writing workshops and convention appearances for the rest of 2016, as well as finishing up a few short stories and STB. In the coming weeks, I’ll be re-vamping my Web site to reflect some of these changes, so stand by for some new stuff. In the meantime, why not settle in with a good book or take a nap and I’ll catch you on the flip side…