So, I pretty much fell off the map. October was a tough month, and November was an adventure. Steamfest Atlanta was asking for submissions to be turned into staged readings at next year's event. I was having a lot of trouble coming up with ideas. Short-stories are typically a weak-point with me. I have a world-builder's mind so I want to explain all the nuances, history, backgrounds of characters, etc, which just isn't always necessary. It's been clear in previous places to which I've submitted short stories as well. Again, I do make it out of the slush pile, but after the third time you hear "That was pretty good, but it's pretty clear you kind of hamstrung yourself. Try writing something longer," you sort of want to stab yourself in the face with a spoon.
Anyway, my original idea consisted of a young woman, a bit of a rebel at heart, visiting an eccentric uncle. Kind of a murder mystery. The idea was definitely solid, but as I continued with the piece, I was finding myself referencing a lot more props, effects and other things that were seemingly necessary. The convention in question is small and still growing, so it just didn't seem appropriate to approach it with something (even a short something) that required quite so much work, when they were looking for multiple submissions to present as one or two act, short plays. So, at 2:30 in the morning on day of the deadline - I decided to stop and start over with something else.
I'm happy to say I successfully came up with something within the length criterion that's funny and will hopefully be entertaining. It concerns three airship captains who happen to meet at a bar. Two are old friends and talk of times past, one is a new guy with his own sense of what it means to be a captain. I tried to blend a little wit and humor with a bit of a twist ending and I think I managed to do so. It's also very low on props and really doesn't need anything at all in terms of effects, so I hoping it will be easy to present. I'll find out if it was accepted at the end of February.
The next step I need to take in terms of my writing is onto to some horror. I happened to meet someone at work who knows folks who do the horror thing. He's an artist who created a huge image of Ctuhulu represented as the 'Evolution of Man' - from squiddy to full blown Ctuhulu. He's been to several conventions and sold the hell out of the prints, so, he knows some circles in which he could pass around my writing. I don't have or do much in terms of horror. I've done a gore piece or two, but I prefer the psychological thriller and that just takes a while to write effectively. I've had plenty of other stuff on my plate, so it took a backseat. The piece I have in mind to give him deals with an old question in the Sci-Fi community: what the hell is happening to your soul when you teleport? Does it travel with you, or are you soulless copy of yourself afterward? I'm not the biggest Lovecraft fan; he was a racist and had a very low opinion of aboriginal peoples, but so was Ghandi (yes, really - look it up) and the peopl he'd be passing it around to are very pro-Lovecraft, so I'll take my stab at writing a Lovecraftian tale and keep my mouth shut.
Outside of writing, I've been asked to help teach a group of Capoeristas in the area. Their regular instructor will be out of town for a while handling personal issues, so they've managed to find a few folks (including me) who can make it to classes and help instruct. Needless to say, I've been sore for weeks. Thankfully work has been okay with keeping my schedule open enough to make me available a day a week to do so. I've also been asked to do another talk on Eastern Philosophy, specifically Taoism. Since college I've done talks on the subject on an off and thus far everyone has been pleased. I'm enjoying the practice and look forward to doing more with it in the future. I'm also in the running to do a talk at a regional convention up north on Steampunk in Literature. It's small con and hoping Steampunk will help revive sluggish/waning attendance numbers. It'll be fun, and I may get the opportunity to see some Bartitsu (gentlemanly form of combat from the mid to late 19th century) from a proper sort of practitioner. Yeesh, busy, busy, busy...
Also - I'm reading Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I'll talk about it soon..I hope, heh.