Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Well, I finally wrote my ghost story. This morning. In about 40 minutes.

I hate flash fiction. I mean, I really despise it. I think a good story should take the reader for a ride, both in development and in resolution, and I have a hard time believing that you can do this in less that one thousand words. Still, I signed up for a "Writer's Group Reading" tonight because, frankly, I'm getting bored sitting around the house on Wednesday nights. Plus, with Des pregnant any time out of the house is like a godsend.

The only thing is that there is a requirement to bring a piece for reading to these groups. Flash fiction, with this month's topic being "Weird Western". Since I've gone far over the "flash fiction" requirements on everything else, I wrote my ghost story with a slight variation on the image I'd mentioned in an earlier post. I then trimmed it to about 950 words, stuck it in SMF, and saved it for printing later.

Hopefully this thing will help me loosen up my block on the other couple of tales I'm working on, not to mention the "Long One".

I'll let you know how it goes.

J.C. Tabler

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ice, Ice Everywhere...

Today we had an "ice storm" that shut Louisville down. In the standard practices of my office, we kept working until 2, several hours after all of the major companies with a lot of employees had locked up for the day at the request of the mayor. That's right, we're rebels at my workplace!

Working on a critique of a story right now that reads like a bad urban legend. It's not horrible, but it needs major rewrites and work. I fear discussing it tomorrow with the author.

Got back to work on the Derby story today. Only knocked out about 600 words, mainly because I was feeling ill after getting home today and dozed off on the couch. This weekend I hope to get back above the weather and wrap it up...

Alright, I'm going to bed. Early riser tomorrow.

J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Rare Political Moment


I'm not very political. I never really have been. I voted for Bush twice, the first time because I was young and stupid, the second because I figured everyone deserves a second chance. I have to say I, like the majority of Americans, have been disappointed with his progress in the Presidency. Instead of making us a nation that can view the world as brothers, or bringing the American people together under a common banner, he rode the wave of terrorism to the highest approval rating we've seen, then crashed with it when the wave broke.

The Bush Presidency has been a one-note wonder, with that one note being a horrible loss of life in New York City in the first year of his term. After handling this, he began to be some absurd vaudeville act. "Abbott and Costello Get Elected", only without the funny fat guy and in full color and sound. In history, George W. Bush will be remembered for being less effective and more destructive than his father both internationally, economically, and domestically. His term, filled with rhetoric, has divided our nation so completely that one wonders if the damage can ever be repaired.

This can still be salvaged, however.

Bush can open lines of communication with Cuba. Let's face it, the whole "ignoring Castro" thing made a lot of sense when it was us who helped him get into power by educating the man. When Castro led a ragtag group of rebels against a large government backed by the full power of the U.S., we were embarrassed. It continued with the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The truth is we're not ignoring Castro for ideological reasons, and never were.

We dealt openly with the USSR when it existed, and continue to deal with China, both of which were/are Communist states. So why not Cuba? It has nothing to do with Communism, and hasn't for a while. Originally it may have been because we didn't want a nation that was so chummy with our greatest potential enemy to survive. Now, with the decline and fall of the USSR, I see it as a pissing contest.

So, here we go. People remember Nixon for Detente as well as Watergate. Bush may not be able to repair the damage he has done to this nation, but he can repair the damage he has done to his reputation. Let our President open the lines of communication with Cuba so we can start dealing with our neighbors. Let the world see we're willing to dispense with old grudges that no longer apply for the betterment of our hemisphere. Let us extend a hand, not of domination, as we have done so often, but of cooperation and assistance, across the gulf that divided our two countries.

Castro has resigned. His brother will most likely take power. The diplomatic hatred must end here, with two countries about to undergo a change of leadership. This is the 21st Century, and let us try to make it less like the last one. Let's at least make an honest shot at a century of relative peace in the fraternity of nations.

If Bush is going to go out, let him try to go out with class. Let's open the doorway to Cuba.

Course, that's just my opinion.

-J.C. Tabler

Monday, February 18, 2008


Alright, so normally I don't like to talk plot. This time...well...

The other day I got to thinking about how annoying it is to be a Kentuckian during the Derby. That is a truly horrible time of year. People from all over flock to get a taste of "southern charm" and generally make our lives a living hell for several days in a row. Meanwhile, we can't go anywhere or do anything without getting asked directions, told how different things are where they're from, or even eat out because every table is taken.

So, on a boring day last week at the office, I decided to get my own version of revenge by playing out every Louisvillian's Derby fantasy. The problem? I've been away from the story for a few days now, so what was once very clear has become fuzzy. Today I only got two hundred words on paper before calling it quits.

This, ladies and gentlemen, sucks. So tomorrow I'm coming home from work, sitting down, and getting this damn story rolling again. If I don't i want one of you to come over here and smack the hell out of me.

Time to smoke a cigarette and hit the hay. I'm dead tired tonight.

J.C. Tabler

Marraige is...boring

I got married Friday. What's new in your world?

With twins on the way we decided that marital bliss in June wouldn't be a good idea, so Friday we gathered our things and got hitched on short notice. This makes certain that I can lie to my children about one mroe thing, namely whether or not we were married when they were conceived. I'll be more than happy to tell them that they were just born early. As I plan on fibbing to my children about many, many things over the years, it shouldn't matter too much. At least not as much as when I tell them Abraham Lincoln was the man who invented the penny.

Today I've puttered around since getting up at 5:30 in the morning, eating a bowl of cereal and catching up on all of the news I've missed in the past week. Did you know there was a shooting in Illinois? No lie, I had no clue until this morning. I've been understandably distracted by other things over the past week, so now that we've started to fall into line it makes more sense.

The "novel" got stuck on the backburner when I started a freewrite the other day, then had an idea for a short story I want to finish well before Derby this year.

J.C. Tabler

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Dream of Selling

"A Dream of England" came home today with a polite form rejection from Intergalactic Medicine Show. In response, I'm going to look at it and see if I need to do another rewrite, then submit it to a small game market.

More later, kinda busy right now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just Got Done Tonight

So I just hit the word limit for today. Finished up the third chapter, started on the fourth. Four chapters in, and I'm just now getting into the real meat of the story. Although I have a desire to keep writing tonight, I'm going to need a day to figure out how to get this chapter really up and running. My goal, now, will be to get a chapter done on each weekend day, maybe more, as well as hitting the 1,600 words I want to do every weekday. The sooner I get this done, revise it, and see if it has merit, the sooner I can get on to some of the other projects that have started niggling around in the back of my head.

Still no word from any of the other markets, although I learned something today. I learned my aunt has begun to read my journal. Personally, this freaks me out a little more than the whole preggers thing. See, I have no problem talking to the whole world when it may stumble across my doorstep like a drunken bum on a Saturday night, but family? That's a different matter. I never know what to say around my family.

Not to mention it means I can't relate any of the really funny stories about my genetic background.

My mother may also be reading this now. Expect the curses to virtually cease from this point on. No more potty mouth from me, oh no no no. I have to be a good boy now.

Well, that's that for the night. Work tomorrow, then home again to continue writing. I'll let you all know when I hear back from any of the story markets I've submitted to, if I hear back from them. And, of course, another post tomorrow about workign on the Long One, as I've named this project.

J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So I've been absent

It doesn't matter. Nobody really reads this anyhow.

Alright, so we're on the cusp of me getting the rejection from Intergalactic Medicine Show, which should be showing up any day now. In addition, I have a crap story submitted to McSweeney's in a fit of drunken pride, a story out for consideration with Aberrant Dreams, and a fourth just sent out to garner a rejection from Modern Drunkard. Duotrope is the scourge of editors where I am concerned.

The writing has taken a back seat in the last week, primarily because we've been dealing with the baby stuff. Among this was today's experience, where I found out that we're having twins. As I stated to the doctor, I'm screwed. Seriously, I'm an underpaid, oddjob working writer who hasn't sold anything since a low low low paying piece in December. I have no job after June. I need to find something with health insurance and a good pay, as well as finding a new place to live after the kiddos are born.

In other words, I'm back to freaking out. Seriously freaking out. I mean like crying in the corner freaking out.

Short stories are on the backburner right now. I've started a second piece in the "A Question of Freedom" universe that may stretch out to become a novel. I don't know yet. All I know is I'm around 6,000 words in, and it hasn't yet gotten to the main portion of the plot that will serve as the catalyst for the characters and the climax. We'll see what happens, but until I get 50 pages in (if it lasts that long) I don't want to start on any stories that may distract me too much. Starting in March I'm going to work on a few short story ideas that are bumping around, but now isn't the best time to start them. Too much going on for me to stay concentrating on several balls at once.

I'll post more tomorrow after I get a little writing done. I'd like to, if this does go novel length, do a journal on my daily writing struggles. Because of my family, school, and work obligations, my target word count per day is 1,000 to 2,000. Sometimes less, sometimes more. We'll see, right?

So that's the news from Louisville. Now, I'm heading off to bed.

J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, February 5, 2008



We think. She'll be going in this week for the blood test. This bumps the wedding date up considerably, as you may guess.

I'm still in shock, so I'll say I sent "The Tribe of Harry" out to garner its lumps in the rejection field today, and then started work on another story set in the same America as "A Question of Freedom".

Now, to go freak out some more.


J.C. Tabler

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Being Constructive

So the weekend has been a lot of tears in our household. To lose a cat, especially one like Zed-Head, after only a seems too soon for us. Desi is slowly coming to terms with it, though this is a big blow. Zetti's brother died in the summer of 2007 in a farm accident, when one of the vehicles hit the poor Kitty. She was torn up about that. She's heartbroken about this.

We buried him yesterday morning on a piece of lan at my parent's place, under a nice old tree. I couldn't help but crack a joke, one of my ways of dealing with grief. I looked at her and said "I know what yer thinkin', but dun do it. What ya put in the ground up thar ain't always what comes out." She laughed, I laughed, and then we both cried and buried our cat.

Today I took advantage of the quiet house (Des is at work) to finish "The Tribe of Harry", a short fiction piece I started work on last week. First person perspective with a lot of dialogue, easy on the narrative descriptions. It's a new form for me, as I tend to overload the descriptions and let the dialogue tell the character's past instead of the current story. Coming in at just over 11 pages, typed, non-SMF, it seemed like a fun enough first draft to me. I've sent it off to my regular gang of proofreaders and my upstairs editor to lambast. Once they're done, I'll rewrite it.

I'll keep this pretty short, as I have to go pick up Des in a moment. I'll be rewriting and submitting "The Tribe of Harry" this week after I get back the comments for it. That's just about all I have today.

To anyone reading this, bet on the Pats.

J.C. Tabler

Friday, February 1, 2008

R.I.P. Zetti

Our cat died today. He was only a year old. He got sick early in the week, though in retrospect he was probably sick for two weeks. Last week it seemed as if he was trying to cough up a hairball. Other than that, he was active and normal. On Monday of this week he stopped eating his normal amount of food. On Wednesday he was only nibbling and having trouble breathing, so I called the 24 hour emergency vet here in town. The receptionist told me to bring him in Thursday morning, but I couldn't get off work. I asked if it would be okay to bring him in Friday after my class instead.

We were amazingly worried, but had no other option. Wednesday night we could have brought him in, Thursday we couldn't because if I didn't work we couldn't pay the rent. I took him in this afternoon at 2. He laid down in the carrier while we waited for 3 hours to see a vet. In that time, he passed away in his carrier while sleeping.

Des is heartbroken, and so am I. I can't help but blame myself over this. Had I taken him in last week, when we thought it was a hairball...or had I fought with the receptionist Wednesday night on the phone...or if I had not gone to work yesterday....or even if I had put up a fuss that he had to see a vet right away when I got to the office this afternoon...

Instead, our cat is wrapped in a blanket in my Jeep tonight, so we can bury him tomorrow on a corner of my parents' land.

I feel like this whole thing is my fault.

I'm going to bed.

Good night,
J.C. Tabler