Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Story time

From time to time I submit short stories to magazines. None has been published yet and I’ve had plenty of rejection letters, one of which, from the editor of The Third Alternative, I cherish as it was handwritten and most encouraging. I’ve come up with a bunch of new ideas for stories and thought I’d run them by you lot.

  1. A pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses use firearms to smooth their path across somebody’s threshold.
  2. Members of a community of bloggers start getting picked off one by one by an Internet stalker. (I stole this one from a comments thread at Harry Hutton’s site.)
  3. Grave robbers dig up Shakespeare’s bones and hold them ransom. A scholar outwits them using his expert knowledge of the Bard.
  4. The Vatican hires an assassin to take out Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown. (I’d do this one as a knockabout farce.)
  5. A man finds a pair of spectacles in an antique shop which enable him to see people in their true colours. (Not really a new idea, this; I’ve already written this story but it’s been rejected so many times I’m beginning to think it needs an extensive overhaul.)
  6. A man wakes up on a foggy country road, unaware of who he is but conscious that he’s being pursued by some dimly-realised but terrifying entity. (I have a killer twist worked out for this one.)
  7. David Icke’s theories are exactly the wrong way round and a handful of people, including George Bush Sr., Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair, are the only humans in the world battling a population of lizard creatures.
  8. Two patients in need of a heart transplant discover that a fresh heart has become available, and compete for it with violent results.
  9. Apples acquire consciousness and begin a campaign of resistance against those who eat them. (Okay, a bit silly, that one.)
  10. An impoverished student in 19th century St Petersburg murders his landlady and is tormented by guilt. (This one really has potential, I reckon. Might even be a novel in it.)

Positive feedback would be welcome. Negative, too, come to that.

spekign as a lizerdcrature imnot sure waht ickes so upset abuot. we all gota make a livign.
for teh shakspearfe one id have it taht teh baddies are undar seige thregtanign to dastroy teh bones. the scolar racas against time to proave the plaays we're rely writan by the beowulf poat or sombodddy. he suceds at the last minuet an the palice are free to blast em all ta hell with no fear for the now worthlas bones!

for a comicly ironec twist at hte ensd his thesis avisor (unaware of the hostage situation) finly acepts his disertation during the assault itself — a diserattoin our scholer had givenup for lost which was why in desparation he had startad over from scratch wiht shaskpears identaty as a new topic.
The internet stalker idea has potential. There's plenty of material within the 245 messages on that comments thread about David Irving. I think he would seek revenge on Harry, not anyone else. Obviously not murder, but some kind of public humiliation.
which i mean to say teh old disartatoin taht gets accepatad during the seige was about teh fary queene or some such godawfal drivil.
so how does one go about reading these masterpieces?

would you mind posting or e-mailing a couple? a good short story is ALWAYS amusing.
oh oh oh! an in hte last sceane as the gunfiare dies away his estrananged swetie raturns to his arms wiht teh good news from his avisor an hes thiknign 'all is wwel! no moare ecxitmant!'

but unbeknownst to him thouusans of milsa way in teh unitad stats teh sinistar modern language asociation centrel comittee is waching the bloody finale of the siege on cnn and draftingg a muerderous fatwa against the man who efaced shakspers good name — dum dum dummmmmthe end...?
Arlington: sounds as if you've got the story all but written there. Not sure about that coda, though, that might be a bit OTT. And yes, The Faerie Queen is a load of old bollocks. Spencer Tracey should have stuck to acting.

GB: if I remember right, 'Sol Kashberg' was never too upset with Harry on that thread, just with everybody else.

Sarah: thanks, but I have to write most of the damn things first. The old ones are languishing on a floppy disk somewhere and my PC doesn't even have a floppy drive. Will try to dig them up.
ovar teh top? how so? did i mentoin orbatal lasars an sdhark tanks? no i did not.
Footie, are you posing a quiz?
As No 10 appears to be a variation on Crime and Punishment are the others loosely based plots of other famous books?
Hynes: you seem to have a thing about sharks at the moment. You mentioned them in a comment on Gorilla Bananas's site recently as well, and I had no idea what you were on about. Have you had a bad experience with them or something?

Anonymous: are you LindyK? No, the rest of them aren't based on books that are famous. Yet.
u mentoined hurst was all.
Send me number five and I'll overhaul it. Was the shop specsavers by the way?

The heart transplantees in waiting would be too weak to speak let alone...
No, Footsie, I wouldn't post anonymously. I do, however, like the heart transplant one: I vote you have them duke it out to the point of death, then their six degrees of separation is revealed and they're somehow related... maybe they can be a part of the same blog group...
Sorry Footie, that was me - I didn't mean it to be anonymous, am not very techie so am constantly cocking up.
I like the sound of the heart one, but how about a heartshare? With future technology?
You weren't following it very closely Foot Eater. Harry (or his moderator) deleted a score or more of Kashburg's messages plus a number of messages from people pretending to be him. Kashburg is now adopting pseudonyms himself: the last one was Josh Dangler. For some reason Harry hasn't blocked his ISP, which I believe is possible with Haloscan.
oh.. excuses excuses..

HHH: groan.

Doc: no, but he should have gone there.

LindyK and SB: nice ideas.

GB: I stopped reading the thread after about 200 comments. I see you've crossed swords with Mr Dangler already.
I like the DaVinci code idea of taking out Dan Brown. My book club read this a couple of years ago at my suggestion. It had the biggest turnout for the discussion group. I found the story tedious and predictable. My opinion was in the minority.

Short stories are often just plain weird and have non-ending endings. I don't usually like them, but there have been exceptions (can't think of any right now).

Your ideas for short stories sound funny. I would read them. Self publish.
Have Dan Brown slug it out with the heart transplant patients on a foggy night in Russia. Winner gets to claim the Da Vinci Code as an original work of fiction.
Oh, there should be bears and wolves howling just beyond the light of the camp fires,(bear don't howl but the can huff) we don't want it too suburban. I want a part in it, I want to be the one wielding the cordless Black and Decker drill that I will use to drill through someone's kneecap.
My vote:David Icke’s theories are exactly the wrong way round and a handful of people, including George Bush Sr., Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair, are the only humans in the world battling a population of lizard creatures.

And...well...that one was done by that russian fellow already, now wasn't it.
I like the Dan Brown idea. Have the Vatican take out Nora Roberts and James Patterson, while you're at it.

Every time I walk into a bookstore I get deja vu all over again.
JG: I've held out against reading The Da Vinci Code so far, mainly because I'm a bit perverse when it comes to books everyone raves about; for the same reason I've never read any Harry Potter.

FMC: drills? Kneecaps? Now you're making me think you and Andraste are one and the same person.

SafeT: which Russian fellow? I'm sure I had the idea first.

Charlie: welcome. My mother is a Nora Roberts fan so I should probably leave her alone. I'd have added Robert Ludlum to the list but they've already got to him.
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I'm surprised it's taken so long...
There's a short story I'd like to read about, Footeater. I had two different boyfriends (one after the other) that had feet fetishes. It did nothing for me when they sucked on my toes, except to wonder what they might suck out of from under my toenails.
Hope neither of them had oral thrush.
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