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The... a couple of years ago I was trying to make it big time as a short story writer I had already written two novels which were moderately successful amongst my friends (until two threatened to sue me) looking around you- I suppose every snatch of conversation, every weird reflection of light, every nuance seems to hold a story within itself I consider myself a conceptional artist now no reworkings of personal experiences for me that is all too easy I want to capture the human condition in a contemporary symbolist way but also to write in a conversational, accessible tone at the time, I compiled notes on palm cards of any ideas for possible stories much like contemporary poets do on beer coasters I had dozens of these cards within a couple weeks the one in front of me in the process of this research in upper case letters reads (no shit):
STORY OF PEOPLE WALKING AROUND WITH HARD ONS. FUCK WHEN FLACCID GUY. SON OF AN ALCOHOLIC BORN WITH A DEFORMITY. GLASS ATTACHED TO MOUTH. SELF REFILLING. BLOKE-WRITER SPENDS WHOLE LIFETIME TRYING TO REWRITE ONE SENTENCE.
I remember choosing the last scenario & started to write the story it seemed challenging enough the narrative was to be more than just about writer’s cramp but also reflecting the ongoing uncertainty, indecision in our lives the difficulty lay in deciding on an appropriate sentence to spend a whole life’s dedication in composing after a couple of agonising weeks the story hadn’t progressed beyond the opening word, ‘The… there were too many variables, choices, responsibilities one word omitted meant that others had free reign another chosen implied, other, often uncontrollable possibilities as an artist, I decided I just could not continue with the story as my integrity was at stake I explained all this in detail to the Editor of Quagmire when submitting my one word short story ‘The’ nothing could have prepared me for the shock & humiliation which was to come in the form of a standard rejection slip: Thank you for submitting your work but we cannot use it at this time. in the aftermath of this experience, I suppose I’ve learnt that people want formula, a pablum for the mind they want to hear what they already know to make them think that their world is going good for them shit, the porn story should have worked!
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