As a total aside, I think it’s important to make the point that, as a writer, sometimes you just have to produce a work that is absolute shit.
One of my goals for this week was to finish a short story that I’ve had outlined for about the last month. At the time I thought the idea was great. By the time I finished writing it, though, I realized not only that the idea was trivial, but that I hated the characters, the setting, the flow, and basically the entire purpose behind writing the story. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a visceral response to something I’ve finished. But it was cathartic, in a way; I have this story out of my system, and now I can focus on my next project. So the lesson here is that writing shit happens, and it’s perfectly fine.
More importantly, I just finished reading On Spec #95, which contains my short story “Remembrance.” I’ve discovered several excellent writers since I first subscribed, and this issue added one more to my list.
I absolutely have to recommend “A Place to Be,” by Adria Raycroft, for two reasons. The first is because the story explores a topic that’s been discussed in various political arenas and coffee shops for a while: the possibility of a global resource crisis, and what would happen between Canada and the United States. As Jeremy Clarkson recently declared, Canada is “God’s pantry,” so naturally our neighbors would look to our vast resources if a crisis occurred. The reason why I like Raycroft’s story is because it’s very human, focusing more on two central characters and their search for a way to trust strangers in a world that has made trusting anyone a potential liability. Overall, it’s very real and very compelling.
There are other intriguing stories in #95, looking at rural-community seers and other takes on a post-apocalyptic setting – not to mention my story! If you aren’t already reading On Spec, this is a good place to start.