Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WIP Wednesday: I Need an Intervention

Just as I wrapped up edits on my flash pieces last week, just as I thought it was safe to delve into full revisions of Loathsome...another short story idea seized me by the throat and wouldn't let go. I blame it on American Fantastic Tales, a new two-volume collection from the Library of America (more on this in the future).

So I'm writing one more short story while limping along with Loathsome. Call this one "Guarding the Dead":

Sometimes, when I dream of gates, I imagine one wrought of iron, heavy and black with hints of rust where the bars cross. To either side of my dream-gate, square blocks of limestone form pillars seven feet high, only a foot taller than the length of the spine-topped stone wall. The gate is the weakest point, the only threshold for me to guard.

When I wake, I remember the yard, the setting sun, the dark shapes that form and un-form in the shadowed but wall-free perimeter around the house, and I reach for my gun.

One little WIP note from school--one class engages in a creative writing endeavor I've simply titled The Monster Project wherein pairs of students create a mass of news reports, eyewitness accounts, video, audio, and physical evidence for an imaginative monster (think Bigfoot but totally original). I plan on posting the best bits to my school blog when they're done, and I'll add a link here, too. It's quite fun to watch them conjure beasts from their imaginations.

Have a lovely Wednesday, and add "In the Bag" by Ramsey Campbell to my list of favorite short horror tales. Thanks for all the suggestions, too.

14 comments:

Rebecca Nazar said...

My daughter is slogging through The Scarlet Letter in lit class right now. I'm sure she'd rather be conjuring monsters.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I think that the duets of Monster Conjurers is a great idea. I look forward to the link. I'm sure they'll have a captive audience.

katey said...

That's the most fabulous project for an English class imaginable! Those kids are going to love reading. I mean this in all seriousness: you are a hero. Teachers are the best.

Love the snippet, awesome image, but also has that emotional kick that makes it extra memorable.

Aaron Polson said...

Becca - Comfort her during such trying times. Really, The Scarlet Letter--I'd find a new place of employment if they made me teach that one.

Alan - If they only knew how many monsters I conjured on my own...

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - "Teachers are the best" (I'll send you the money, later) Anyway, I just try to make sure they don't hate language and literature when I'm done. That is the victory.

Cate Gardner said...

If you'd been my English teacher, maybe I would have written that book when I was thirteen. You're an inspiration.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I want to go back to school, but only if you can be my teacher.

Aaron Polson said...

Oh Cate, but the book is much better now. ;)

Jamie - Only if we can have smores for lunch everyday.

Natalie L. Sin said...

You're spoiling those students, you know : )

Aaron Polson said...

Natalie - Yeah. I'm doing it so they send me checks once they become famous. (Right)

katey said...

It is a victory-- it's what my entire family tries to do with music every day. (So no need for the check, since they've already sent theirs as scheduled.)

Barry Napier said...

That is one AWESOME class assignment. I nominate you for the Best Teacher in the Universe Award!

Demon Hunter said...

That is a wonderful class assignment, Aaron. I'm sure the kids are really partaking in that one. Cool. :-D Learning should be fun. ;-)

K.C. Shaw said...

I love that snippet! I'd say go with all the short story ideas you can, if they're all that good (and they are). :)