Somehow, it’s already Wednesday. I enjoy weeks like this that fly by, but it does make me realize I have another week to work through before I get to see my wife.
Some good news: my short story “Itch,” which took several years to write through many, many revisions before being rejected 4 times, was verbally accepted by Weird Tales. This news is very validating for me as a writer. I remember becoming enamored with the works of H.P. Lovecraft in college, and always thinking “That’s what I want to achieve.” Not the life-long poverty or probable mental illness, but that ability to craft truly creepy and unnerving tales. His first major publication was in Weird Tales, and now, I have followed in his footsteps. It still isn’t published until it’s published, but with the new editor saying he likes my work and it is in their accepted folder, I think I will call this a win.
Also, on the topic of Weird Tales, Mr. Marvin Kaye (the aforementioned new editor) gave me a great compliment in saying he liked my writing in regards to my submission of Episode 1 of The Lake Chronicles. The Lake was a story I thought up while reading The Ruinsby Scott Smith. I first grabbed the book after seeing a trailer for the movie and seeing it used a similar device to an idea I had in my long-under-construction novel. Fortunately, the device was very different, but Smith hooked me instantly with his story of South American horror. I began to marinate on this idea, along with my growing Lovecraftian influences, and a snippet from a movie I saw as a child of a sentient oil slick who killed people. The Lake was the final product: a 4000+-word short story I wrote for a class. I got an A, which was cool, but I wanted to do more with it. I wanted it to become a novel. So, with the 2010 NaNoWriMo, I started chapter 1 of that book. I dropped out right after that, but the idea was forming. With my acceptance in Weird Tales, I took a chance and pitched The Lake as a novella. Mr. Kaye declined that idea due to time and space issues, so I submitted just chapter 1 of my book and called it “The Lake Chronicles: Episode 1.” From that submission, I formed a new idea: The Lake will become a series of stories that lead up to my former story which will be expanded into a novella. This presents a new goal for me: I want to publish all the episodes in various magazines before I create the actual collection.
Suzanne Collins, take note: when I was writing this story/novel, I googled the title immediately. Sure enough I came up with three similar stories. One is about a romance and religious cult,one is about a freak of nature who hunts people,and one, which was so close to my story that I bought the book to make sure, is about conscious algae. There’s also an independent film that has a conscious lake, but I believe I have them beat by a few years, my story has a different origin, and the website hasn’t been updated in 10 months.
That leads me to my next and final topic: I watched Hunger Games. The movie wasn’t really a Battle Royalerip-off as many believe going into it because Battle Royale was good. Since I didn’t read the novels, I am just critiquing the movie experience. The camera work was worse than a student film maker who wanted to be “edgy” and do bad camera work to make a point. Nearly every conflict in the movie was horribly obscured by the fact that you can’t see what is happening. Evidently, this was a conscious decision, so they are fully to blame for it being bad. I think Cloverfieldhad more stable camera shots during the action segments. The acting was either really bland or really hammy throughout. Lenny Kravitz was the best actor, and as my wife and I joked, I don’t think the gold eyeliner was part of his costume. The plot was okay, but you knew how it would end as you go in, and the love triangle was so forced and inorganic. I really never got the idea that she was in love with either character she was supposed to be in love with, but people seemed to love it. That brings me to my ultimate problem with the film: it was a fan-service film. If you read the book(s), you are seeing your imagination come to life with a lot of assumed details. One thing removed was supposed to be Katniss’ insufferable inner-monologue that made a lot of people hate her. I have heard that this removal was a good thing. I think when a movie is made like this, it needs to appeal to the wide audience. After seeing Hunger Games, I have no desire to read the books whatsoever.
EDIT: I also forgot to mention that I have my next two story of the week ideas. I may add their synopses today.