The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - "A Window, Clear As A Mirror"
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"A Window, Clear As A Mirror"|
I want to give you a piece of my soul. A lot of times I do that through journal entries.
This time, I did it through a story.
The tale "A Window, Clear As A Mirror" is the most personal thing I've ever done in fiction - and, as far as I'm concerned, the most beautiful. It started out as a weird fantasy story and evolved into the tale of my last serious relationship before I met Gini.
When I finished it, I realized that this was as close as I could get right now to writing what my friend notadoor called a "sacred text" - the kind of book where it spoke directly to some folks' hearts, the one that they clasp to their chests. Because this was personal. Not that I don't try to put something of myself into every one of my tales, but this one felt like it was a reflection of everything I'd ever done. It felt like I'd managed to make the experience magical without losing the essence of a story. Malcolm, the lead character, isn't me, but the story is.
Some others have agreed. nayad kindly said, "This story belongs in a Year's Best." The editor had a dream about it, the first time my fiction's ever tickled someone's subconscious.
Now, I love this story, and I wish you could read it for free - but alas, it is kept within a magazine that (quite rightfully) requires payment for it. So I'll make you a special offer: if you like my journal, and you haven't been quite sure about trying my fiction, pick up Shimmer Issue #13, which is where "A Window, Clear As A Mirror" is housed. You can get the PDF version for $4, print version for $6 - g'wan, they're waiting for you.
The special bit is this: if you don't like the story, I'll refund your money. No questions asked. You know where to find me. (It'll be through PayPal, though.) This offer's not for everyone - just you folks who've watched me write about polyamory and love and friendship here on this blog, and have liked it. You, I'm pretty sure will enjoy it, if you like short stories. The outside world? Who knows?
Want a sample? Here it is:
Malcolm Gebrowski returned from his job at the stamp factory to discover his wife had left him for a magic portal. He stared numbly at the linoleum floor of his apartment’s walk-in kitchen, all scuffed up with hoofprints, the smell of lilacs gradually being overpowered by the mildewy stink of the paper plant next door. All that was left of eight years of marriage was a scribbled note on the back of the telephone bill. I actually hate plugging my writing, so I'm going to stop here. I feel embarrassed enough as it is today. But if you want it, here it is.
He’d crumpled the note in his fist without thinking. He smoothed it out against the refrigerator to read Julianne’s last words again:
Remember when I said you could sleep with Dakota Jewel if she ever dropped by? I sure hope so. ‘Cause if you had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep with the most beautiful movie star in the world, I’d want you to take it. And remember when you said that if I ever found a magic portal, I could go?
Guess what? A magic portal just opened. I tried to call you at work, but your boss said you were replacing a plate clamp assembly, and Pthalmus – he’s the unicorn - said our worlds would desynchronize before you got home, anyway. You should see the Sunlit Lands; the air over the meadows is all faery-sparkly.
Don’t worry about me. Pthalmus says there’s an opening for a unicorn-herder there, and that I’m practically a virgin by elf standards. Tell my Mom I love her, and I guess you were right about us not being ready for kids. It’d sure be awkward telling our son that Momma ran off on a rainbow, amiright?
Anywhoo, we have to go now. I hope you get that promotion!
P.S. – There’s lasagna in the oven.
P.P.S. – And a magic mirror in the bathroom. Pthalmus brought it as a gift for me, but I won’t need it where I’m going. J LOVE YOU XXOO
Malcolm slumped on the folding chair by the cheap, screw-together kitchen table....
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/100449.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
That made me laugh out loud. Well-done.
I'm swamped in finals season at the moment, so I haven't the time to get sucked into reading, but once it ends I will definitely pick up a copy. Four dollars is a pretty good deal.
Thanks! I appreciate it. I hope it's a good reward for getting through finals.
You gonna be in Columbus this weekend?
I will be indeed! I'd like to say hi; I've been a fan of your writing on SCG and livejournal since before I came to Case, and here I am about to leave Cleveland.
Do you intend to battle in the main event or in flights? As a value proposition, flights seem better, but I've never once been part of a regional prerelease main event, and this is, after all, my last chance to do so.
I'm still debating. it's the last main event, but I can't stay terribly late. Then again, I don't expect to win. Then again, every other time I haven't expected to win, I wound up in the top 8.
It is a good story. I will reread it in a while, and perhaps comment more.
Thank you. I'd be curious to hear what you of all people have to say.
Hell, I've spent more than that on a writer I wasn't familiar with. Got my copy :)
Thanks! Lemme know what you think! Even if that's, "MY MONEY BACK, ASSHOLE. NOW."
No money back needed; that was worth the money all by itself :)
|Date:||May 3rd, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)|| |
Done and queued up after the book I'm currently on.
One of these days, online retailers (or cart authors) will cotton onto the fact that asking people for their phone/address/blood-type for everything puts people off.
One of these days, the automated shopping carts will be better designed and realize what you need for e-merchandise/physical merchandise. But the automation's always years behind the curve.
I speak from sad experience....
|Date:||May 4th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)|| |
Don't let that put you off. It doesn't even have to be a number entered into that field, IIRC.
|Date:||May 4th, 2011 06:30 am (UTC)|| |
Comment replied to (now marked as spam) from Ezra was: "For example, me. I want to read your story $4 worth, but I don't want it enough to give Shimmer my phone number."
I have ordered a print version. I'll let you know my opinion after I get to read it. =)
Your response will be quite interesting. Let me know!
Bought and paid for!!
I just ordered a copy for myself, based solely on your excerpt....but, the other stories look great as well! I can't wait for it to come in the mail so I can start reading and show off my friend's writing!
Re: Bought and paid for!!
Thank you so much! Let me know what you think!
|Date:||May 10th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Bought and paid for!!
I just received the magazine and am teasing myself by not opening the envelope right away. I want to be able to devote some pleasurable time to reading it cover to cover, then rereading your story...
|Date:||May 10th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Bought and paid for!!
Oh, that's so sweet! I hope I don't disappoint.
I read my copy of Shimmer on Sunday and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. (But, being me, couldn't.)
I really liked Malcolm and where he ended up. He got the job that I think I would want. Part of me hopes that he eventually gets the night he had permission for.
Thank you so much. Trust me, I get so few compliments on my fiction I'm always happy to get 'em!
I hate to pull that "Honestly, I have no idea what happens afterwards" author crap, since it's irking - but in this case, I really hope that, too.
Oddly enough, I prefer it when authors say they don't know what happens after the story because it lets my mind wander and wonder about characters I like. Besides, with Malcolm the other main possibility is pretty good, too.
I bought the print version too. I have tried and tried to read on a computer and it just doesn't work. I like the feel and smell of the paper. Plus, pleasure reading generally requires that I get comfortable, not generally something I accomplish while sitting at my computer desk.
Here's the fun part: I'm leaving for California a week from Saturday. If it doesn't get here before then, it will end up having to go through the mail forwarding process. I hope I get it before august!