Ephemeral Truths and Short Fiction is out. It’ll be free this weekend, but if you feel like giving me 99 cents, you can get it now: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYRAXNI. I tried to make this book free and keep it that way, but as it turns out, doing so is a bitch. The best I could do for now was to join Amazon’s “KDP” thingamabob which strangely felt like some sort of modern day Faustian embargo, but so be it. It’ll be free for five days out of every ninety, which is arbitrary at best, but Amazon is calling the shots.
I received a rejection letter in the mail today that was two years late. The only thing worse than a rejection is a tardy rejection. I got that spike of excitement before opening the letter; that fluttering sensation of a remote possibility. It’s that same disillusionment that comes with a lottery ticket, but whatever. I was swinging for the fences with this submission anyway. TOR publishes all of the greats and I sent them a copy of my first book quite some time ago hoping that whomever read it would’ve come to work high or something. They were obviously sober.
The TOR magazine, however, came through in a big way. They sent me a personalized letter telling me that I had just missed the mark along with at least a page worth of critiques that if followed to the letter, would help my submission “next time”. How badass is that? One of the busiest editors on the face of the planet takes the time to write paragraphs (notice the plurality) just to help me out because he recognizes the potential. Constructive rejections are about eighty-thousand times better than tardy ones.
Anyway, I’ve published two books and thirty thousand words worth of nonsense here since I made that ill fated submission to TOR and I’m saving that rejection letter so I can frame it next to their acceptance letter that’ll be showing up in ’15.
There’s a backwoods country road that I travel every Tuesday when I take my oldest monster to her piano lessons. I have no idea how old the road is because I’m not native to these parts, but when they built it, they cut down into the hills thanks to that unyielding desire our species has to keep our roads as flat and strait as possible. As a side note, that desire would probably change if everyone drove Porches.
In the summer, the rock face alongside the road constantly weeps. Some fresh water spring or superficial aquifer leaves the stone wet and dark no matter how hot this ridiculous desert gets. In the winter, the water freezes in rivulets of ice as the earth’s ichor seeps from the wounded sandstone. If you stare at it long enough, it almost looks as if you’ve discovered some new and weird species of tree that grows icicles instead of roots. The locals call it the “glacier”; some of them even think it’s a glacier thanks to their seclusion below the Seward Meridian. I just nod along with ‘em and make affirming noises when I’m told how pretty it is.
Is there a word for formations like these? It’s too slow to be a spring and far too pedestrian to be anything else I can think of. Not to mention the fact that the ice is accidental. It was formed by a bulldozer. Whatever; surrounded by bland sagebrush and trailer parks, the blue icicles stick out like fine art amongst subway graffiti.