You can read more about the stories and their background in this blog post.
While there is an excerpt on the book’s page of my story “Maddeningly Wonderful”, I thought I’d offer another excerpt from that same story. This excerpt is right from the beginning. I hope you enjoy it. Also, please consider buying a copy of the anthology if well written erotica and trans men is your jam.
Yesterday, I spoke excitedly with a work friend about a short story I’m working on. It’s a story which I’ve had to rewrite completely, because the first draft was entirely abysmal — even beyond the point of rescue.
The current draft of the story takes place in Florence. I was explaining this to my work friend, who astutely asked me: “Why Florence?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I just like it.”
Later, I was reflecting on the first draft, comparing it to the current draft, and I realized one of the major reasons the first draft didn’t succeed was the setting. The first draft was set in a small mountain ski town during off season, where the events of the story would not have been logically possible. Oh, technically they were possible, but it’s a stretch to imagine it. But in Florence, the magic and beauty of the city adds a grandeur and sense of heightened reality. Anything is possible in this magnificent city. The action of the story thus makes much more sense. Anything can — and does — happen.
This just served as a reminder to me about the importance of setting. I often work with interior and intimate domestic settings, so sometimes I forget the importance of that, and what the setting does within the story. It can make such a dramatic difference that the setting can literally determine if a story works, or doesn’t.
I’ve since finished that current draft of the story, and I’ll be revising it over the next week or so. But it’s already taught me a lot, and I look forward to seeing what the revisions teach me.
I got a personal rejection notice from The Capilano Review! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
(FYI: There are different kinds of rejections. There are form rejections which they are generic and have no personal touches, such as the author’s name and/or the name of the story. So they are blanket use rejections.
A personal rejection notice will be more, well, personal, and sometimes even include suggestions. A personal rejection is a good sign. It means the editors might have enjoyed the story, and they spent at least a little time with it.
The Capilano Review is one of the most internationally reputable literary magazines. Getting a personal rejection from them is like getting a late Christmas present. (✿◠‿◠) )
The short story I’m currently working on is really giving me a run for my money. (Well, if I had money to run towards?) I wrote the first draft in June, and tried rewriting in August, and I’m revisiting the story now and it’s just terrible. Not the story, but the process of writing it. It’s like pulling teeth, and I can’t figure out why. Is it me? The fact I am out of practice and haven’t adhered to my writing schedule faithfully since August? Or is it this story?
I don’t know right now. But I’m going to finish this damn story. I am going to rewrite it.
(Honestly, I think I just need to approach the structuring of it differently, because it keeps becoming a messy, tangled knot of trying to be too much all at once, rather than being more focused. I’ve solved some of that problem already; the original draft is a 6,000 word sprawling mess of six stories trying to be one story. So I’ve winnowed it down to one of those stories, but it still wants to sprawl for some reason.
There were also issues with having the wrong narrator and point of view.