Publication and pancakes

Let this serve as a warning. This is a dual-purpose post.

I recently received news that I story I submitted to the Human Tales anthology by Dark Quest Books, edited by Jennifer Brozek, had been picked up for publication. This is happy news, as it continues a recent string of anthology sales.

This is one of those all-too-frequent instances of a title informing the story. The original title (which will have to be changed for the anthology) was “Damn, It’s Hard Out Here for a Brownie.” Without that title, I wouldn’t have had a story. Originally had considered a completely different piece, abandoning the idea of a story about cobbler elves until it was pointed out that “Medusa isn’t exactly a fairy tale,” thus forcing THAT story idea onto a back-burner.

So there I was, nothing but a title and a vague idea about cobbler elves having a difficult time fitting into the new economy of disposable culture. Then I found my hook and oh what a bitter, dark hook it turned out to be. The ending was completely re-written at the editor’s request, which was a first for me, and more edits will be dictated. I’m fine with that. No story is perfect, and I’m sure this one can use some more work. But while I understand the need for a different ending, I still found the process fascinating. The new ending fits perfectly well with the needs of the anthology, and with the story itself. And it’s dark — just a very different kind of dark than what I originally intended. I’ve held onto that file with the original ending. It might see the light of day sometime in the distant future. One never knows, and I never throw ideas away.

The other news involves pancakes. Yes, you heard me right.

Next year I’m going on an exodus with a photographer friend in tow. We’re going to chart a course using pancake houses as our guides, and travel the heartland fork by fork. Our goal is to create a document in words and pictures chronicling our journey as a Short Stack of Americana, a bit of a love-letter to the American pancake house. We took a test run this morning, and it went pretty well. The logistics of our trip will be sorted out by the end of the year, including (fates willing) some kind of way to finance the journey. By some time in summer of 2011, we’ll be taking to the road for a month to do the legwork.

Look for Human Tales sometime in late 2010 or early 2011. Look for updates on the pancake journey on its own page.

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