The past couple weeks have felt like I’ve been sprinting ahead, and only now does it seem like I’m slowing down again. For the first time ever I actually submitted some of my work for publication – two pieces of mircofiction and a short story – something of a big deal for me, even if they were less than 3,000 words total. To date, I’ve received one reply (an acceptance!) which I’m obviously incredibly happy about. You can find it here at trapeze magazine. It’s not very long, I promise. The other two submissions I’m looking to hear back from in another three to four weeks.
I have two more deadlines this year; one at the end of September, and one in November, both for short stories. That aside, I’ve added another project to my growing list of WIP babies, and this one wants to be novel length. I’m considering writing it out of my usual world, but certain elements of it seem to want to connect, so we’ll see. If it ends up being a new world, it’ll definitely be a thrill for me. I think I’ve toured my usual world so long that it’s getting a bit boring.
In other news, I’ve switched gears a little to read some nonfiction. I’m in the middle of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan which is, I don’t know. I think I’m going to need a gander at the Wikipedia page to understand this. Sometimes I think that I understand what I’m reading and other times I catch myself cross-eyed absorbing the words one at a time as they appear on the page and taking no real meaning from what I’m reading. It takes a long time to come to the point of anything, which probably says more about my internet age level of attention, than the content of the book itself. In any case, I’m popping through it at a decent pace, but as far as actually learning anything, that remains to be seen.
Secondly, to research for a piece of flash fiction I’m working on this week, I’ve been pouring through Alex’s Japanese monster survival guides, Yokai Attack! and Yurei Attack! both by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. They are decent enough reference guides for basic Japanese ghouls, ghosts and demons, but the tongue in cheek jabs at thousands of years worth of culture and tradition is a little grating. Yurei Attack! Is the superior text in my opinion, giving less commentary and more of the actual history and cultural significance of the ghosts it chronicles.
And finally, because my interests are wide and morbid, I’ve been watching a Yale lecture on the history of epidemics in the west, via YouTube. It’s great to be able to listen to lectures like these online. They appeal to both my hunger for knowledge and my ambition crippling laziness. The lecture is very informative and well delivered and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. There are 26 parts to the series, and you can find them here, if you’re interested.