Saturday was a lot of fun.
I spent part of the day hanging with Brenda Lee Browne, Floree Williams, and Linisa George – three literary ladies who are about it – at the Best of Books Antiguan Authors Day. Joy Lawrence and Rachel Collis were also there representing …but they were seated outside and the four of us were chatting and laughing (not to mention drinking) it up inside with Glen Toussaint (another Antiguan writer and Best of Books rep) and visiting Bajan poet Robert Gibson about all manner of things in between interacting with shoppers about the books spread out before us (our books…and how good does it feel to say that). It was a good day, made infinitely better by the double feature of The Hobbit and Catching Fire I took in afterwards with a longtime friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. That’s roughly six hours of film fantasy if you’re counting. Near perfect day.
Today, now, I discovered that The Cat has Claws, a story I wrote a few months ago and submitted on a whim to Akashic Books’ Mondays are Murder series is now online. I like to experiment – challenge myself, push the boundaries of what I think I can do – literarily. The Cat has Claws is my latest such attempt in the short story format. When I discovered the series, I’d never written in the noir genre, but I decided to give it a shot. It was a bit like walking a slippery pole initially, especially since I had no story. Then inspiration struck on one of those hot and miserable late summer days, actually inspired by just how hot and miserable it was. I was riding the bus, I remember, because suddenly the line about the heat came to me and I had to try to hold unto it until the bus stopped moving and I could write – if you’ve ever been a sack of potatoes on one of our minibuses you’ll understand. Next to come, I think, was the image of the two women, clear as day; which had something to do with the fact that they were both modelled physically on people I knew, albeit vaguely knew. Think more, had seen…once. I was just borrowing their look, really. After that everything kind of fell into place; so much so that the hardest part was containing it – 750 words? Are they kidding? But…thinking on that…I ask the Wadadli Pen entrants to do 600 words…so shame on me, right, if I couldn’t exercise the discipline to snip, snip, snip and still keep the essentials…and the atmosphere…and all that makes noir, noir. So I tried…and I submitted. When you submit as often as I do, you have to put it out of your mind once you hit send or you’ll just obsess over the uncertainty…when you’re not recovering from the rejection. But there was no rejection this time; there was the rarer “I am pleased to inform you…”
And now it’s out. I hope you’ll give it a read. It’s here with other short pieces I’ve written and published.
A good weekend and a good Monday all things considered. All that and a writing cheque in the mail today; not a big cheque mind…but still…a cheque for writing.
Hm, I guess that’s three things. No wait, four…:
Vote, Tessanne Chin on the Voice.