First of all, you know the drill: Who Is Anthony Stephens?, the mystery-novel/commentary-on-post-college-life-in-2012/rant-against-the-student-loan-industry is steadily moving forward, day by day at http://whoisanthonystephens.wordpress.com.
Go visit the site, get your read on, leave some comments, smile and feel good about yourself. You deserve it.
Next, my short story “Good Help Is Hard to Find” was just accepted for publication in Writes For All magazine’s next issue, which officially puts me in the double digit bracket of fiction short story publications. Pretty psyched about that (next step: getting an agent for my novels. Working on that.)
This current story–”Good Help Is Hard to Find”–used to be called “Mike and the Hit-man” until I realized the title “Mike and the Hit-man” universally sucks.
It’s a totally accurate heading for the piece–it is about a guy named Mike, and a Hit-man–but doesn’t do the subject matter justice whatsoever.
So after having the thing rejected enough times to break through my typical “I don’t give a shit, the next magazine will pick it up” response, I decided to go ahead and change the title a bunch of times, which subsequently got it rejected another bunch of times. Enter depression.
I have a particular love for this piece (multiple reasons, namely that I remember very vividly the day that I sat down to write the first draft, during my last semester as an undergrad at FSU; it was a good day), but due to all the rejections I’d pretty much written it off as a bust. One of those personal pets all writers have that they go back and read every once in a while just to remind themselves why they love what they do, even if nobody else likes it very much.
One day I sat down to reread one of my top five favorite short stories–“A Good Man Is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Connor (if you haven’t read it, click on the link…and shame on you)–and thought, again, how awesome that story is overall. And how it’s all about morality. And how my story about a psychotic hit-man isn’t nearly on the same level as her masterpiece, but does have the morality theme in common. And (again) how much I really love O’Connor’s story. So I changed the title to “Good Help Is Hard to Find”, sort of a testament to her and her mastery of the craft. Then my story got accepted for publication.
I’m not going to say there’s a correlation between the two…but I think there’s a correlation between the two.
“Good Help Is Hard to Find” is about a hit-man named Brig who suffers from multiple-personality disorder and is being followed around by his very imaginary friend, Mike, who tries to get him to reconsider his career choice. Not ground-breaking stuff, but it was fun to write and obviously fun for the people at Writes for All to read, so I’ll take what I can get.
Anyways, I’ll be posting on here whenever that goes online. Other than that, Go Heat, Obama’s awesome, Chris Anderson just (allegedly) proved what I’ve been saying for years: he’s a psychopath, and whatever other current event comments I can’t think of right now because it’s friday and I’ve mentally checked out.