(Muse: You stole that post title from Futurama.)
You know what they say: if you are going to steal, steal from the best.
So…. I think I have said before, I am members of a couple of writing groups. About a year ago, one of those writer groups decided that we would put together an anthology of stories set in the local area (Northeastern Arizona) with the idea that we would be appealing to our local readership, for issues, themes, and locations that would be instantly relateable.
So now, a year later, we’re to the point where the “final” drafts of the stories are due in–were due to our format volunteer yesterday–and we are about ready to proceed with this. It’s been an interesting journey.
I volunteered to critique each member’s submission and provide feedback. (I still have one kicking around to be reviewed.) The stories are varied, in length, genre, and execution–and this in turn, gave me a lot of insight to the members of the writers group and what they are really about.
No, I am not going chapter and verse about how this one is better than this one, or this member is more capable than that member. First of all, at least two of them read this blog and I have no interest in insulting anyone. They are all good people. But more than that, not everyone has the same tastes. The slice-of-life stories that have little interest for me may appeal to others. So….yeah, that.
What this did though (meaning, reading all the stories set within twenty miles of my house) did bring home to me is that I am about to put my name to something local, to something that people who know me may associate with me. In one story, I take a tangential pot-shot at local government. Will they be upset? Will they even notice? Hard to say how people react. Same for local friends. Might they read it and be offended?
(Muse: Were you offensive? Scratch that, I already know the answer.)
Well, one story features cannibals and the hint of sexual assault. The other paints the forestry service in a less-than-flattering light and is pro-tax-evasion. Both have some swearing, which my more religious friend will love.
(Muse: Yeah, you’re asking for trouble.)
But aren’t I always?
I dithered about including some of those elements. I wondered about the local reaction. But frankly, by the end, I said, “Hell with it,” and left the elements in. Some local readers might be offended. Hell, some of the other anthology authors might be offended.
But I gotta be me. Sadly, I was too much me.
(Muse: You procrastinated?)
Bingo. The due-date was yesterday and I have yet to get my stuff in, since my copy of Word decided to puke and efforts to reinstall on my laptop have proved fruitless…so I haven’t been able to do my final formatting edits. I’ll get it worked out.
I still owe my discussion on the Tucson Festival of Books. Damn, I am six weeks behind. Yeah, that’ll be pertinent at this late date….