Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WIP Wednesday: This I Believe

If you've never listened to NPR's This I Believe, you just might be missing something. Maybe.

What do I believe?

I believe in persistence, for one thing. I believe the underdog fights harder because he/she has something to prove. I believe in rewrites.

I believe I'm ready to start revising Loathsome, Dark and Deep. This past week, I finished "The Unfortunate Persistence of Harold Francis Beamish" (yes, I changed his name); it's my most Joe R. Lansdale-style tale (think "Stepping Out, Summer 68"). Let's just say the man they hit on that lonesome country road was already undead and stays that way.

“I wanna go home, man,” Bobby whined.

“I know…I know.” Darren rubbed his sore knee and suddenly snapped his head to one side.


“Listen,” Darren whispered.

I wonder what he heard?

I've also finished two flash pieces since last week, and I'm mulling markets for them. One, "Sometimes They Come Back" is a rumination by a librarian. Yes, he/she is speaking of overdue books. Of course, these books are different. The other, "Billy Boy", is a (hopefully) haunting piece about a missing child. From "Billy Boy":

The game was Billy’s idea.

We built a circular wall of boxes in the storeroom of one of the anchors to the mall, the largest building on the south end. In our circle, our sanctuary, we told stories, we pushed our imaginations to the blackened corners of that space to flirt with spiders and dust. Our stories grew arms and legs, fingers and eyes; they flickered just past our musty cardboard fortress.

We made monsters, and Billy was the best.


Alan W. Davidson said...

I love the snippets of the short stories...the anticipation is deadly.

Katey said...

Thanks for the link to This I Believe. All those years of NPR in the mornings and afternoons and I never heard it. Terrible.

I'm ashamed to admit that the intro they posted there reminds me of The Clash. "I'm all lost in the supermarket/I can no longer shop happily/I came in here for the special offer/guaranteed personality". Little bit later than Mr. Murrow, but er, yay for The Clash!

Love the snippets. I rather wonder what he heard, too. Also very curious about the librarian, but perhaps you'll provide a snippet of that one later, if I ask nicely.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I like that snippet. It has a voice of age and sounds like an old story with a familiarity to it.

Aaron Polson said...

Alan - Deadly anticipation is all I have. :)

Katey - This I Believe always gets me. Love the Clash. As for the sound...hmmm...

Jamie - That's what I'm aiming for (with the voice).

Cate Gardner said...

No fair, you have flash stories and yet you can't send them to 52 Stitches. ;D

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - I wouldn't accept this junk anyway ;)

Anonymous said...

My dad turned me onto This I Believe. They're fascinating, potent, and sometimes frightening. Now I'm obsessed with them again. Thanks for that, Aaron. ;)

Your snippets are quite tantalizing. More. Moooooore!


Fox Lee said...

The undead really need to start wearing reflective jackets at night ; )

Aaron Polson said...

Mercedes - Anything I can do to feed an obsession and tantalize. It's like I sell drugs or something.

Natalie - I think you're onto something: safety gear for your loved ones who have "turned".

Danielle Birch said...

Thanks for sharing, I'd not heard of it before. And persistence does pay off, even when you feel like you're about to bleed from the eyeballs.

Aaron Polson said...

Oh...Danielle...bleeding from the eyeballs is the worst! ;)