This year I resolve to post something to this blog every day. If the past is any guide, the resolution will expire sometime after lunch on Jan. 27 — about the same time the treadmills start emptying out at the Y. But until then, fasten your seatbelts: You thought my posts were windy and narcissistic before, wait until I start doing them like clockwork.
So far, 2009 has been a good year. I got back from Montana to find a contract from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the mail. They bought my story “Dead Black Cadillac,” which I sent off six months ago. It takes forever for them to accept a story, and another forever for them to actually print it, but I love Ellery Queen. They buy almost everything I submit — as long as I send them only one or two stories a year. Unfortunately, the pay scale hasn’t changed much since the days of Dashiell Hammett. Let’s just say I’m not planning on a new Lexus anytime soon. And I’m not sure about the readership, but I’m guessing it’s gone the way of all print media: right down the toilet. Still, if there’s a better market for short crime fiction, I’m not aware of it.
Speaking of crime fiction, I’m still working on that novel I mentioned on this blog about, oh, a year and a half ago. It’s been tougher than I thought. Turns out any dummy can write a good beginning, and a passable middle, but a decent ending is what separates the true writer from the dilettante. I stand around at parties and tell people I’m a writer, but until I get this damn book done and sold I’m just a poseur. It’s getting a little embarrassing. Kind of wish now I’d kept my mouth shut. But when people are bracing you about your work, it’s such a buzzkill to mention you’re unemployed.
So: a writer I remain. And now I’d best get to it.