Monday, April 28, 2014

The Next Plateau

Chasing a dream means hitting certain plateaus. I was worried for a while that maybe I'd hit my peak as a writer. This week, I'm happy to hit a new high.

My story "Voodoo John" was a runner-up in the 2014 Saints and Sinners fiction contest. That means I'm number two. Not poo. More like silver medalist.

I'm happy about it. Fuck that "second place is the first loser" negative high school coach adage. It isn't easy to earn a silver. This is my first time placing in a national contest. This is my sixth published short story. This the first significant money I've received for my work.

"Voodoo John" is about a trust fund ne'er-do-well named Jack, a perfectly muscled and moisturized manwhore living on eternal holiday in the French Quarter. I meant him to be a skewering of the gay 1%, mostly out of jealously that they're always presented as the sum total of the gay community. There are a lot of us who can't afford to live in cities. Most of us wear jeans and have jobs.

Of course, I wound up loving Jack. If I had the money, I'd take an open-ended holiday. There's a ne'er-do-well in all of us.

Someone puts a voodoo curse on him, and poor Jack has to find out how to stop it before he loses his wealth, his wits, and (gasp!) his looks. Finding out who did it is complicated: Jack has a long trail of broken hearts in his rearview.

The collection, Saints and Sinners: New Fiction from the Festival 2014, will be available on Amazon in June. The 2013 and 2012 editions are available now, and also feature stories of mine. 

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