Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tell It Like It Is

 I've been invited by Lincoln Crisler to submit a novella for a dark speculative fiction anthology he's planning with a publication date of June 2012. Lincoln will also contribute a novella of his own, and novellas from Ed Erdelac and Tim Marquitz will round out the anthology.

Lincoln recently accepted a superhero short story of mine for his Corrupts Absolutely? anthology, which is how I know him. He may not remember this, but I also submitted short stories to an anthology of his a couple of years ago.

Tim and I "met" recently, and he writes dark fantasy, which is not surprising, considering the company he keeps (Both Ed and Lincoln have dark bents to their fiction and tastes). Recently, Tim featured an author spotlight on me on his blog (much appreciated Tim!), which is a bit tripped out considering there's not much to spotlight. That will change soon, though.

Ed and I went to high school together, and we were even in the same homeroom for two and a half years or so. I knew back then Ed liked to write and that he was into speculative fiction (though we didn't call it that at the time), but we didn't reconnect until a couple of years ago through a mutual high school friend (Wayne) who also writes spec fic. Ed is a much more prolific and established writer than I am (as is Lincoln and Tim), so I'm honoured to be invited to contribute to this anthology.

One of the cool things about the novella I'm writing is I'm having a lot of fun with it so far. I'm fleshing out the alternate Chicago steampunk world I've built in Bijou LaVoix and the Coal Dust Faery, known as New City. My goal is to make the novella different, unique and entertaining, while seamlessly weaving into the story Chicago culture that I grew up with, as well as cultural elements Chicagoans can recognize today.

Putting all of that into a steampunk setting is a difficult challenge, but a fun one since I love challenges. So on a whim, I came up with this for my main character, Bijou, last night:


“My name is Bijou--”
(tell it tell it)
“--and I’m on the line--”
(tell it tell it)
“--but I’m not scared--”
(tell it tell it)
“--because I’m so fine!”
(tell it tell it)
“And you know what?”
(what)
“And you know what?”
(what)
“You can kiss my butt!”


For those of you who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, you probably remember that. For those who didn't, that's one of those cheerleader chants girls did to tell people how fine they were or how cool Sagittariuses are. Straight old school. So old school, that I can hardly find any reference of the chant online.

And while it may not seem so from the excerpt above, my story is dark urban fantasy, which makes Bijou's little "Tell It" chant a bit more disturbing. Eleven-year-old Bijou says the chant to someone she meets in a supernatural darkness that cloaks New City, and--.

Well, you're just going have to read the novella when the anthology comes out next year to find out what happens next.

10 comments:

Lincoln said...

Yeah, I remember...the Our Shadows Speak volumes. Three cheers for a publisher that ISN'T falling off the face of the Earth!

six blocks east of mars said...

Yeah, it's always nice to find some stability in the publishing world.

ConstanceB. said...

Congrats on your spotlight!

six blocks east of mars said...

Thanks, ConstanceB. Good luck on NaNoWriMo!

Wayne said...

Hey man, congratulations! That's great news (though I better pick up my game so we can do an all-TW antho soon). Looks like Lincoln's Corrupts antho has a couple spots left, too. I'll see what I can do.

Great to see your success!

six blocks east of mars said...

Thanks, Wayne. It's been awhile since I've seen you around these aprts. Yeah, think it's just a matter of time before you, Ed and me are in anthology. Would be cool if you got in the Corrupts anthology, too.

Wayne said...

Re the corrupts anthology, I'm right at 3,000 words and have one short conflict scene to write today, then it is getting sent off to mr. editor. Yes, I realize time is ticking!

Re being around these parts, I've been lurking and have had an interesting year for writing. Will report more by email. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. BTW, I see World Fantasy Convention is in Toronto next year. Have you given any thought to attending?

six blocks east of mars said...

@Wayne: can't wait to hear how your story goes for the Corrupts Absolutely? anthology. Also can't wait to hear about how your writing the past year or so. I'm thinking things have gone well.

I'd very much like to go to the World Fantasy Con next year. There was a con here just recently, and one this past summer. Both kind of snuck up on me, but I have my eye on World Con for next year.

Wayne said...

Success! Got the word today from Lincoln.

six blocks east of mars said...

@Wayne: Nice! Congratulations! That is very cool. We've got two of the three of us in Corrupts Absolutely, and two of the three in Four in the Morning. Next year, all three of us have to get in at least one of the same publication.

Can't wait to read your story, especially since your style is so different than mine.