This afternoon, probably the penultimate warm day of 2011 if the long-range forecast and my hard-won knowledge of New England climatic patterns are to be trusted, I completed a draft of my third story for the year. Not a short story. At nearly 12,000 words, it’s about midway through the range defined by SFWA for award purposes as a novelette. A summer story.
Literally. The central notion’s been kicking around my head for a few years but I couldn’t find the right angle of attack until Steve Berman issued a call for submissions to an anthology of stories for gay youths to be called Boys of Summer. I commenced serious work in August.
It takes place on and off the Aegean coast of Turkey, where a teenager from Berkeley, CA—third wheel on his dad and stepmom’s midsummer honeymoon—becomes tangled up in the multiplicitous myths of Adonis and, naturally, falls in love with a handsome Turkish lad. At Sandra McDonald’s insistence, it has a happy ending. You don’t want to quarrel with Sandra!
I e-mailed the draft to Steve almost as soon as I could convert it from *.pages to *.rtf. Two hours later he called me. He sees some structural weaknesses and is not especially thrilled by my unwieldy (though justified!) title, “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorrow, Blood for Joy”…but assured me I’ve made the sale. The Soliloquy imprint of Bold Strokes Books will publish Boys of Summer next July. Compassionate God willing, and revisions completed by 1 November 2011, “Wheat, Barley” will be part of it (if, grumble, under a different title), in time for my mumblety-fifth birthday.
In other news, I still don’t have confirmation of my plausible fourth story publication of 2011. There are rumors, wild dark rumors, but no unambiguous statements I’m willing to bank on. If it happens, it should happen next month.
But my other three 2011 stories are out there waiting—go get ’em (if you haven’t already)!
- “The Arab’s Prayer” in M-Brane SF #24 (still available for free download) and the print Quarterly #2.
- “Captain of the World” in Steve B.’s earlier queer YA anthology, Speaking Out.
- “Liam and the Ordinary Boy” in Icarus #10, both print and PDF.
Must lie down with headache. Massive amounts of copyediting to do tomorrow. And a long chilly winter to anticipate. How I hate being cold. Dread spoils the fleeting warmth.