Posts Tagged ‘contests’

Sorry, folks, but I’m not gonna let y’all off the hook with one little post on this subject. I don’t brag much but… I’m braggin’ now!

Also, the life history of the story is kind of interesting.

The story started with The Handyman (aka Ira Handelman,) the orthopedic surgeon that crashed his car into a canal and became, post mortem, a reassembler/reanimator of dead people. In Southern Florida, all kinds of shit ends up in the canals — intentionally or by accident. People, parts of people, cars, animal sacrifices (santeria and voudou!) as well as native and exotic wildlife (gators, manatees, walking catfish, boa constrictors.) The canals seemed deserving of further literary exploration (or exploitation.) Gradually, the animatee — a former narc — and the one who put him there, The Crowbar man, a former coke dealer just released from prison, took shape and it very, very gradually fell into place. I workshopped it in my online and flesh & blood writers groups, changed from first to third person, present to past tense, put it on the shelf several times, submitted a couple of longer and lamer versions to a few markets (rejected,) then finally became interested in it again. Submitted it to a market, then withdrew it when I found out about the Chizine contest. Much cutting to get it down to the 4k limit. I think it was a little better around 4100-4200 words. (It’s like with women; a little extra weight is nice. Was that sexist? Too fuckin’ bad.)

It would be great to get some comments from the judges, but my feeling is that it probably got an A+ for originality, perhaps lost a few points with some for non-serious approach (many people like their horror straight up, humor is subjective and its a risk to overuse it but it’s a part of my shtick!) and despite my best efforts at cutting, there’s still maybe a little too much exposition in the first third of the story. Have a few reservations about the ending, but I can’t see a different one.

Anyway… even if I finished in the money, I would have made $280. More than I’ve ever received, but it would probably work out to about to fifty cents per hour.

Not sure why the call them short stories.