Monday, May 23, 2005

Back to the grindstone

My first full week here was full. I'm still not in that groove where everything runs smoothly, but I abhor ruts. I like to shake things up too much.

The infamous brownie story has been accepted for publication by a print magazine and I'm still deciding whether I want to sign their contract or hold out for Ellery Queen or Alfred Hitchcock. I have three days to decide. I could also hold out for Zoetrope, too. Still, money in the hand and all that. The brownie tale is the first one I haven't had to flog for ages (years sometimes) to get someone to notice and that's good. Means I've finally hit the right combination of description, inner and outer characterization, place and pacing. That took a while -- or at least it seems that way. It is good enough to scare the bejeezus out of a friend and make them wonder if I'm capable of murder. All the story proves is that I'm capable of concocting a murder not following through with one. In fact, I told the landlady about the story and some of the interesting facts I've learned over the years about how to commit the perfect murder and she was a little taken aback. I can hear her telling the police, "She was such a nice, quiet person. Most of the time I wasn't even sure she was up there."

Isn't that what they say about all serial killers?

Then again, isn't every murder/mystery writer a serial killer -- on the page? The difference between writers and real life serial killers is impulse control. And most of us are pretty squeamish when it comes to committing the actual bloody, messy, smelly and need to hide the corpse kind of murder.

If everyone who ever said, "I'll kill you for that" or "I hate you and I wish you were dead," were rounded up and tried for their crimes, I doubt there'd be anyone on the bench or in the jury box, let alone at the attorney tables. Everyone would be in jail. Well, maybe one or two perfect souls who think happy thoughts, but most of those are on Prozac or in rehab centers/nursing homes in a persistent vegetative state. In the back of their drug hazed minds they're thinking, "If I ever get out of here, I'll kill you."

Time to sharpen my knives.

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