I enjoy reading issues of Glimmer Train, and this one in particular had some great offerings. Even the stories I disliked the most had something worthwhile to provide. I can find short stories in many places, but the ones in Glimmer Train reveal the best path to a first ever publishing. Here are my previous reviews, from the worst story to the best:
I mentioned on April 1st that I was reading Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov. I finished the book today. Mind you, the book only has 300 pages, and I started a good deal before April.
If you want to know what I thought about Pale Fire, you can find my review on my Instagram. Yes, the review consists of one picture. To find out what I thought, use your interpretative skills.
I like creating critiques of books through visual shorthand. It’s a weird hobby, but the practice helps me abstract my reaction to literature, record what I read each year, and create a type of analysis never seen before. It’s also in danger of ruining my reading hobby.
So instead of updating Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar, I spent this week creating the character sheet for Henry Cockburn. I say “this week,” but it was more like “today.” “This week,” I prepared myself to jump over the hurdles of procrastination to get to today’s results. Despite my resistance to filling out these questionnaires, I’m still proud of the work I did. And the results will make the next few chapters much easier to write!
I’ll create another sheet for Amal, and then I am done. When I first started writing a novel back in 2012, I made character sheets for anyone who lasted more than two scenes. I don’t think that’s happening again. Yet I’d still like to have a reference for minor characters regardless. It’ll be more fun to let readers fill in the details on bit players… but I’ll need to give my audience somewhere to start.
If you searched “why do writers use similes” and looked at, say, this Quora page, you’d receive the assumption that authors employ metaphor because it’s nice to have. Anyone can say, “It’s fun to be able to compare things with a simile!” But that doesn’t answer the question. Why say something is like another thing, or something is an abstract concept of some sort, when you can just describe what the thing is?
No, seriously, why not? Maybe we should limit ourselves on the whole abstract comparison thing.
I hate research. It’s the number one aspect of writing that keeps me from actually putting pen to paper. The worst thing is, all this stress resides solely in my head. While I sit and write, I keep asking myself, “Do you know enough about this?” While I sit and research, I keep asking myself, “What if you’ll find something new and story-changing in the next hour?” And while I’m doing neither, I keep asking myself “Shouldn’t you be writing?” It’s madness, all of it. I seem hardwired to seek out all information that’s not relative to my life and to avoid any other bits of knowledge… but you all know I’m pursuing an English degree, so that revelation shouldn’t surprise you.
If you google “how do writers dress,” the first result basically paints writers as hipsters. “Writers always wear glasses” “Writers put on a nostalgic-smelling cologne!” “Writers avoid stereotypes in their words, NOT in their dresser drawers!” I’m not interested in repeating clichés that don’t even apply to me, let alone apply to you. So let’s do something different. I’ll list articles of clothing that you can wear when you’re seriously sitting down to write… and then I’ll list what you’re going to wear anyways. SPOILER WARNING: I’ll mostly keep men’s’ fashion in mind while typing this, because I want to maintain a weekly limit to how often I make a fool of myself.
As I develop one of my many spreadsheets when editing “The College Station All-Male Feminist Union,” I fight with the niggling worry that I’m putting in too many edits after I published a completed version on my blog. Was I lying beforehand, in a sense? Did I knowingly give you all an “inferior” edition of my story? I’m here to say no, I did not… and even if I did believe so, it wouldn’t matter.