With relative silence comes great productivity

It’s been a chaotic month. In the past four weeks (in addition to my regular 9-5 job), I did one reading for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE URBAN KIND at the University Bookstore, celebrated one wonderful relationship milestone, celebrated my birthday, and finished the first draft on three original short stories — two of them started from scratch in that time. Now, this was at the expense of my health, mind you. If you were to have heard my cough last night as I was finishing story numero tres, you would have summoned a priest.

But to hell with it. The story was worth it.

The next few days I’ll be a bit more laid-back as I make revisions and minor rewrites on those drafts. Up first, the David Bowie-inspired piece I wrote specifically for submission to an anthology. The deadline on that is still a bit away, but the sooner I get it in, the happier I will be. I can’t share details on the story yet, but let’s just say that head-wounds are messy things.

After that second draft, I have to retouch my new Gato Loco story. Set in Yuma, Arizona, it is my reaction to Arizona SB 1070. How would Mexico’s favorite vigilante biker deal with the high profile arrest of a journalist in a place wrestling with simmering immigration issues? It doesn’t have a title yet. Nor do I have a clear market to submit it to yet. Because of the timeliness of the subject matter, I really want it somewhere that can get it live quickly.

Finally, I need to do a second draft of my new Cobalt City story. Set during the final days of the Vietnam War, a veteran returns to the old neighborhood, his spirit bound with that of an ancient Norse god. How he chooses to embrace his destiny as the embodiment of Thor allowed me to tap some ideas I’ve been playing with for a while. How he chooses to deal with the poisonous influence of Loki in West Key (a small neighborhood in Cobalt City’s Quayside district), surprised even me. And nothing could have prepared me for the unplanned involvement of one of the Protectorate’s more mysterious members. No. Really. Until it happened, it never occurred to me. The end result turned out to be a delight, and I can’t wait for the Cobalt City Timeslip anthology so other people can enjoy it as well. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be writing about Midnight Thunder, protector of West Key again.

Until next time, edits await.

And some cough syrup. I mean, really. A hack like this, I should take up smoking!

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