"Manning Up" is live at Misfit Magazine where you can read it for free. Free-free, not "everyone who donates blood receives a free t-shirt" free because, really, the t-shirt isn't free, is it? You donated a pint of blood for that shirt.
I've been thinking about how "selling" art ruins it (and yes, I consider writing art, even the pulpy lies I write). By ruin I mean changes it--if the goal is to sell a piece of art, market conditions will, even if unconsciously on the artist's part, alter the art. Thomas Kincaid doesn't mass produce his garbage because it's an inner expression of his heart and soul. He mass produces it because it sells. It's not art. It's commodity.
I know some readers of this blog won't consider writing "art". Okay. Fair enough. But I consider the best short fiction to be a pure aesthetic experiment with the ability to conjure a visceral response. (er...art) Consider "The General Who is Dead" by Jeff Vandermeer and Guernica by Pablo one is a short story...the other a painting. Both deliver the horror of war. Both linger long after viewing.
My favorite children (stories) were born from a desire to tell the story rather than write for a market. Maybe I'm not normal, but I write best when I write for nothing but the story. Yes, those stories are hard to sell at times. But they're free. I like short fiction because of that freedom--because short stories are the play land of experimentation and experimentation is vital for art to exist. I'm afraid to write another novel because of the time commitment involved with (at least) a little pressure to write something which can sell.
I'm not here to sell anything, even if I had something to sell.
Have a lovely Monday.