Well, Lana is out of town for a few days to visit relatives and friends in Canada. The house seems awfully big without her. And it sure is quiet. Not that Lana is loud, but there's no background sound of TV or music, no footsteps in the kitchen (except for that ghost and he doesn't bother me much), no sound of Lana cursing the bird-seed-eating squirrels as "rat bastards." I sure have become accustomed to her coming into my office on occassion to rub my shoulders or bring me a drink or popcorn. She's such a sweetie, but I imagine I'll get through these next few days all right. It'll be good to have her back on Wednesday.
I was rereading an unsold piece of mine called "A Curse the Dead Must Bear" the other day and I think I understand what the problem is. It's not badly written, but there's no real payoff at the end. The "revelation" isn't surprising enough; the stakes are too small. I've sold a few pieces like this before but only if the prose was poetical. This story is more hard boiled and doesn't lend itself to that type of prose. I think that we have to remember that whether we're writing novels or short stories the end has to be both surprising and it has to pay off on some large scale. My next post is going to deal with how to determine the "large scale." I haven't given it enough thought yet. But I will.