Son of Bones

Thanksgiving week saw one of my post-apocalyptic stories published. It appears in Ruined Cities, an anthology by Deepwood Publishing based on the theme you would guess from the title. I am very much looking forward to reading the other stories included. Here is part of the intro from the editor, James Tallett:

It is an iconic image, the empty city street, run down and overgrown as Nature reclaims what once belonged to it. But that is only one possible take on what a city can be. Here, we have sixteen visions of a future gone wrong, of lands that have seen their glory days collapse into the distant past, of decrepit space stations, lost islands, and failed countries.

At the core of each of these stories is the human element, that singular character who brings to the surface all of the trials and travails that civilization has suffered, the light and the culture lost in the collapse. Some are kind, working for the betterment of those around them. Others are cruel, cowardly, and greedy, out for themselves and no one else. But each has a story to tell…

My contribution is a story called Son of Bones, which is probably the most disturbing of anything I have written thus far. So be warned–it is not for the faint of heart. Here is a preview:

 Son of Bones

By

Joel V. Kela

The prophet who called himself Enoch limped through the ruins of the dead city, following his spirits as they flitted ahead of him. He crossed from shadow to shadow, trying to avoid the worst of the rubble. Beyond the broken spines of skyscrapers and crooked utility poles the sun bore down out of a pale cream sky, and heat shimmered along fractured pavement. Wind hissed through the steel-and-glass canyons, setting his rags to boil around him like black seaweed.

He was thirsty.

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Cover Art Achieved

So last summer I wrote a horror story set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan about a guy whose fingers turn into bloodthirsty worms. It’s one of my favorite stories that I have written, and it got accepted by a magazine called Big Pulp (my issue comes out in winter 2012).

Today I saw that art inspired by my story was chosen to grace the cover. Click on the picture to read what the artist, Ken Knudtsen, has to say about how hard it is to draw worms…

Novel Submitted!

 

Five years after beginning to write a novel, I finally sent it off to a publisher tonight.

Why in the world did it take so long, you ask? I actually had the thing written two and a half years ago, but then I spent six months or so editing it. By the end of that process I had this dim realization that it might be a good idea to get some formal training in writing.

So I took the next year off to take some very excellent writing classes. I learned a lot, including that my previous writing skills left something to be desired (okay, a lot of somethings).

I took the year off after that to focus on writing short stories and getting some published.

That brings us to this year. I started editing again some months ago, and it took far longer to complete than I had guessed. After getting used to a short story length, it was somewhat mind-boggling to return to the novel length. And then there was this pesky business of having to rewrite almost every single line, because dang, whoever wrote this rag really could have used some writing classes…

To give you an idea of what this process was like, the story went from 122,000 words to 112,000 words, all without removing any plot or character elements. I even added some stuff. Those ten thousand words got chopped out one sentence at a time as I streamlined, tightened, and generally embettered (*new word alert*) it.

So anyway, I’m relieved to finally have it “out there.” I’m actually about a fifth of the way though the sequel, so hopefully I can make some good progress by the time I hear back on my submission.

Bottom Line: I believe in this story again, love it, and hope that someone else will too.

So how about you? Do you have any slow writing stories?

Our First Catch of the Day

…or not.

A while back I invited folks to subscribe to my website using my *new super-duper subscribe by email* button. Problem was, it wasn’t actually working! So if you thought you had signed up before, or were about to sign up but instead got attacked by weasels (That must be the only reason why you wouldn’t subscribe, right?), then now you can rectify this dilemma with my *new super-duper subscribe by email and it will actually work* button. Behold its terrible glory at the top of this page’s right column.

 

There will be no one to stop us this time.