Pitch Your Favorite Novel

Someone on /r/writing yesterday posted a nice discussion thread by the title of Exercise: How would you have pitched your favourite novel if you were the author? and I thought it was a great idea. About 20 redditors enjoyed the query I posted enough to be signed in at the same time they pressed the upvote button, so I thought I’d share it here, too, and maybe 20 wordpressers will enjoy it enough to be signed in at the same time y’all press the like button. Here it is, and don’t forget to click through the link above to see some of the other redditors’ pitches for their favorite novels:

Dear Editor/Agent Person,

After surviving the bombing of Dresden in World War II, Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time. As he uncontrollably slips between then and now, he must deal with the war, everyday family life, and even an abduction by aliens who can see all times at once.

I survived the bombing of Dresden in an underground slaughterhouse meat locker which the Germans were using as an ad hoc detention facility, and I believe my experiences have added a nice bit of realism to such an outlandish piece.

The first twenty pages of the manuscript are attached as requested in your submission guidelines. Thank you for taking the time to consider my query.

Sincerely,

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Now how would you pitch your favorite novel?

TL;DR

So, I just might have written a reddit love story.

For the same reasons that no publisher would ever pay me to print this in their magazine (it’s about reddit, the formatting is wonky, it relies on hyperlinks), I’m offering it free for your reading pleasure right here. Wordpress will never be able to handle this formatting, though, so you’re gonna have to read it Google Docs style.

Click here to read and (hopefully) enjoy.

Long Time No Post

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but remember this is not a blog, I’ve been hard at work writing short stories, editing them, and sending them out to magazines to inevitably get rejected. That’s good for you, though, because as soon as they make it out the other end of the rejection machine, they’ll pop up right here for you to read and question the sanity of the editors who refused to publish them.

Beyond that, we’re working hard toward creating the cover art for the Asymptote’s Tail, and as soon as that’s ready, we’ll start sharing the novel, one chapter at a time, with you here on this website. So stick around, sign up for email notifications at the top right of this page so you won’t miss anything, and get excited. It’s coming people, I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have creating it.

 

 

Heirloom Pieces by Lisa L. Hannett | Apex Magazine

I’ve decided that I’m not a very good critic because I either try too hard to love the things I read, or I get irrationally mad at them because prolly they’re better than I could ever be. That all being said, I still want to share some of the better short stories and such I’ve been reading with y’all, so here’s just that. Check out this story from Lisa L. Hannett, published in Apex Magazine, entitled Heirloom Pieces, about the responsibilities that come with having a child, and maybe a little bit more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Enough

I grow tired of knocking at ivory gates, stooping so low to crawl inside, when I can just as easily bound over the castle in a single leap, blowing horns of victory.

Hail.

Do you hear them singing?

Hail!

And the knocking continues forevermore, but not my bloody knuckles, not on their bloody doors.

Yet still, I blow the victory horns.

The Song From Outer Space

I’m not quite sure I really like this story, and yet I’m the one who wrote it. That’s why I’m sending it out by paper airplane here and giving up on selling it to the birds. Only a mother could love this one, and maybe the people who follow the blog will be more forgiving like only a mom could be. Without further lowering of expectations, here it is:

length: 1,000 words

The Song From Outer Space

by Bryan Perkins

 

I dropped the pick and rubbed wet palms on skinny jeans, clenching my eyes tight, waiting for any response. After an eternity of silence, it came.

A chuckle? My heart sank into my stomach. The beat stopped. My knees knocked, probably a more rhythmic performance than I could ever play on my guitar. It was shit. I knew it.

“Stop it!” Erin said. I hear hand slapping jean jacket. “That’s so rude.”

“Sorry,” Phil said, trying to stifle his laughter. “I was laughing at something else, not you. Your music was…well…your music.”

I opened my eyes. Only Zane was left to respond. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me, hiding behind his swooped black hair.

“Well, what do you think?” I said, unable to wait longer for his verdict. My life was in his hands now.

“I don’t know,” he said, flinging his hair to the side with a tic of his neck, revealing his piercing blue, lined eyes. “It’s like–and I never thought I’d ever say this–but it’s like, too out there or something. Alien almost. Am I right?”

“Oh, yeah. For sure,” Erin said, nodding too hard. She always went along with Zane’s opinion, no matter how stupid it was. She wanted to get into his pants. Well, guess what, girl. They’re too skinny. There’s not even room enough for him in there.

Phil chuckled. “Outer space,” he said, probably because he was so high that’s where he was. Maybe I’d join him in the clouds when this was all done.

“Right,” Zane went on, nodding and swiping his hair to the side. “Like it was from outer space. It gives me a weird feeling. I don’t know. I don’t like it, bro. I’m sorry.”

“But–You said–” I said. “You said you were tired of the mainstream. You said you wanted something new, something different. Well, here it is.” I played a few notes.

“I don’t know what to tell you.” Hair swoop, sending all my hopes out the window. “I guess you’ve shown us today that there is such a thing as too unique. Let that be a lesson for all of us. C’mon guys. Let’s go. We’ll talk to you later, bro.”

Zane walked out first, Erin followed right up his ass, and Phil lagged a few steps behind, chuckling to his own joke.

My knees ended their performance once the three hipster stooges were gone, giving out entirely, and I fell to a heap on top of my guitar.

#

It doesn’t matter how long I laid there, almost sleeping. When I awoke, I lined the room with candles, lighting each one by one, and sat in the middle of the circle of flames with my guitar in my lap and pill bottle next to me.

It wasn’t that bad, was it? I started to play, staring into the fire. Sure, the time signature was overcomplicated to the modern ear, but what of the future ear? The melody followed patterns and progressions with alien logic but logic nonetheless. It produced–

The lights changed color. A rainbow chorus of candles sang out in perfect harmony with my melody. I couldn’t stop playing.

The colors flickered and danced in geometric patterns while the flames grew and shrunk. Smoke billowed. I almost stopped playing before the smoke resolved itself into physical forms. Standing atop each colorful flame were tiny, barrel-bodied figures, singing in chorus with each other, in chorus with my guitar, my song.

I stopped playing. My muscles grew too weak to carry on. The stupor produced by the vision was too much. The song kept going, though, with the little visitors keeping it alive.

One of the figures, standing atop a green flame, grew larger and larger as the chorus sang, to about the size of a toddler, dwarfing all the rest. “You sing more beautifully than we have ever heard,” it sang, and the chorus crooned their agreement.

I blushed. The whole lot of them flashed red with me. “Oh–well–I wasn’t really singing,” I said, feeling a little light headed about everything. “That was my guitar.”

“Your song was beautiful,” the green one sang. “It opened our pathway here. We had to come see what perfect creature could have such an angelic voice. Please, sing it again. For us. Bring us closer to your presence.”

“Yes, sing for us,” the chorus sang.

I tried to play something, anything, but it took too much energy to even lift my pick. All that came out was randomness. The chorus and the green one, whatever they were, flickered and squealed.

Noooo! Stoooop!

I dropped my pick, dropped my guitar, knocked over the empty pill bottle, and the aliens–I was convinced now that’s what they were–flickered back into solidity, standing atop their flames, singing my song better than I ever could.

“Come with us,” the green one sang over my own alien melody.

I couldn’t even lift my head, slumped over the dead guitar, to respond. I tried to move. I think I waved.

They sang my song louder, giving me energy. I raised up, reached for my phone, clicked the last call, and it rang.

“It doesn’t work as well from this side,” the green one sang. “Come with us or keep playing. The connection will be lost soon.”

“Hello?” said the voice from the other side, Zane. “You there, bro?”

“Come with us,” the green one sang, flickering, still singing my song, the song from outer space.

“Do you hear that, Zane?” I mumbled. “It’s so beautiful.”

“We’ll be awaiting your voice,” the green one called, blinking into nothingness along with the rest of the chorus, blowing out the candles on their way, and leaving me in darkness.

“Did you hear that, Zane? They’ll be waiting for my voice.”

The phone fell to the floor in a clatter. So did I, humming my melody, waiting for Zane or the green one, whichever came first. My life was in their hands now.

END