Wednesday, July 20, 2011

41. The murky depths } of the frog pond.

At last back from Boston, where my ship wrecked in the middle of the frog pond shortly after I left Emerson College. There was nothing to do but sit below the fountain and watch dryads mock me from the trees. A little girl led me and my crew to the shore, only to transform us into carousel horses. As I went round and round there was time to contemplate Emerson's Pre-College Creative Writing Program, for which I was a guest speaker. Thirty high school juniors and seniors listened to me during the day's Coffehouse Hour. I was asked to "prepare a brief introduction that touches upon what you wish someone would've told your teenage self about writing… and read about ten minutes worth of an excerpt from a recent publication or something you are working on." I spent all morning thinking about what I wished people had told my teenage writer self, but my thots all rabbitholed back to the fact that people did tell me, gave me fine advice, a very little of which I followed. If I could tell my teenage writer self something it would be to take some of that advice more seriously. So I told them to watch less television, eat reasonable after-school snacks, read more and more widely, and to fold and put away their school clothes.

I also showed the students OUTLAND, read a new story called "Open Houses," and encouraged questions. I'm not sure what I would have asked if I were in their position, but at least one student was determined to go home to his mom and dad with proof positive that a writer can make a living so mom and dad please send me to college for creative writing and not dentistry. I was little help, since I am a dentist.

While I went round and round the carousel, Speculative Fiction Junkie posted a positive review of Shadows & Tall Trees #1, and editor Michael Kelly can now wear a “British Fantasy Awards Nominee” badge, if he so chooses (Murky Depths won last year for best magazine? Murky Depths is what’s wrong with horror magazines. And its victory illustrates how broken fantasy literary awards are). Whatever. I’m pleased to see S&TT get some attention.

Night fell on Boston. The children went home and the gates to the carousel were locked. All we could move were our eyes.


  1. Adam,

    It sounds as if you were likely a lot of help to those students. Bravo!

    They haven't announced the British Fantasy Awards Winners yet. Voting goes until the end of the month. Murky Depths won Best Periodical last year.

  2. I was no help.

    Thanks for the fact check--it's amazing how little I had to change of my original post to remain outraged AND be correct. I could also have written, "Murky Depths is nominated again? Etc., atc."

    Now confess: you are wearing a BFA badge right now, aren't you?

  3. Oh, badges!? Cool.

    I'd be very surprised if Black Static doesn't win Best Periodical. But, then again, as noted, literary awards rarely go to the most deserving nominee.