I do a fair amount of blurb-writing and marketing consultation for Monique Happy, over at moniquehappyeditorial.com. A few years back, before I got involved, she put together a couple of “themed” anthologies of her clients and colleagues, some from the late and often reviled Winlock Press experiment with Permuted Press (and yeah, I was part of that, too).
Recently she’s decided to bring those anthologies back and add a new one and I, like a fool, offered to help. I wrote a cute little wraparound sequence, fully fleshing out the Creepshow-like “host” of the anthology, Kilarty the Clown, making him a tour guide through eighteen different attractions (i.e., stories and such), and even gave him a beginning and — I hope — creepy ending. And then, feeling particularly foolish I offered to kick in a short story of my own to fill the Evil Carnival out just a little bit more.
I wrote “Bumble’s Last Performance” in a flash — a single sitting, with a single second-draft polish. Then I sent it off. Not much different than the “Amusia” story I wrote recently with Bruce McAllister, and that we (i.e., HE) sold to Mystery Weekly. (You can read that one here. Didn’t I tell you about that?)
I … like it. It’s a little odd, it’s probably exactly as long as it should be at bare 7,000 words, and there’s a nice dig in there, an inside joke for me only about a sort-of conjoined twin who’s really awful. But I find I really enjoy just jumping in and writing a quick little story like this, fast and furious and then moving on. “Amusia” came, quite literally from a half-waking dream after I edited a long piece on rare after-effects of stroke for a neurology publication. This one is a bounce-back-spin-around off another, completely different idea I may never write a novel I plan on calling Clown Prince if I ever get around to actually writing it.
Anyway … it was fun. Here’s the cover of the anthology; it’ll be out in a few weeks, and I’ll let y’all now.
Now back to the real work.