Monday, April 09, 2012

Monday Update

Well, well, well, as the man said when he saw three holes in the ground. One of my March subs for 2012 has been accepted for publication. Nothing that pays, but hey, it's somewhere different to the norm.

The story is entitled Galaxy of Spirits and will be published by 'The Weaving Knight' online in May. The email I received said the following:

I read through "Galaxy of Spirits," and I found it fascinating--and particularly sad. Mark had some good sarcastic quips too, but overall, your short gave me a deep sense of discomfort that is difficult to pin down, almost like watching a well-designed machine that isn't calibrated with the due precision, and so it is spinning off course... almost imperceptibly. Perhaps you understand what I mean? It's an elusive sensation to describe, but it most certainly isn't a bad thing.

In any case, I'd like to publish your short story on my site and wrap it up as one of the debuts in the first "issue" in May. I suppose that was the line you were looking for. If you are still interested in being published through our venue, I have attached a copy of our Author contract for you to complete.


I'll be returning the contract soon and I'll let you know more details about it's publication date and where to read it as soon as I know.

In other news, I have no rehearsals for this week and next week I'll just be a corpse, meaning I can get on with line learning. I have, however, been told that I play a great corpse.

I have started a new short story, another SF comedy, about a starship sent to make second contact. The mission has been planned with all the detail necessary to achieve complete failure, up to and including an officious security officer, a ship held together by sticky tape and a computer with a personality.

Now, for the play I am writing. We're up to scene 4 of act 2.


Scene 4 (Mayor's office, dusk)

Mayor is sat at his desk writing.

Man: (Offstage) You can't go in there. The Mayor's busy.

John: (Offstage) I don't care. This is a matter of life and death.

Man: (Offstage) Not this old saga again. Are you ever going to forgive people?

John: (Offstage) The murder of my family is not some ancient saga that you or anyone else can just brush away as if it doesn't matter. But that is not why I am here. It's about my housekeeper and a visitor to the town.

Man: (Offstage) You still can't go in there.

John: (Offstage) And who's going to stop me? You?

Man: (Offstage) Yes.

There is the sound of someone being punched and falling to the floor, then John walks in, stage right.

John: Mayor. I need to talk to you right now.

Mayor: (Not looking up from his writing) So I gathered. Do I need an undertaker for my assistant or just the doctor.

John: A bucket of cold water should do the trick.

Mayor: In that case I'll leave him for a while. He's been asking for that for a while now. (Looks up) I should have guessed you'd be the one to hit him, though others have had plenty of opportunity and reason. There are times I wonder why I keep him in that job.

John: Probably because he's your son.

Mayor: Ah yes, that'll be it.

John: Much as I'd like to spend time...

Mayor: Martin sent me a message about the visitor. His daughter gave it to me earlier.

John: He didn't tell me that.

Mayor: Did you give him a chance? (Pause) No, I thought not. The mood you're in I doubt you're going to listen very much at all.

John: Listen...

Mayor: No, Mr Maynard, you listen. (Stands and walks round his desk to face John) This town and its people have done everything they could to make your life easy for the past few years, but it's gone too far now. You are no longer contributing.

John: You owe me...

Mayor: No. The Millers owe you. Yes, we were complicit through inaction and fear, but how much longer do you expect the people to feed your hatred of us? What we did would not cause any of us to be jailed. We are guilty of nothing but cowardice and we have paid you a price for that, far above what would normally be expected. And now you have this woman and her children we can no longer turn a blind eye to it. How much longer do you really expect us to keep paying for the sins of others?


John: I want to leave this town and take my housekeeper and her girls with me.

Mayor: No one will stop you.

John: I need money.

Mayor: No. I am not going to give you money just because you're leaving. You have had....

John: I'll give you the deeds to my house and all but a few items of furniture. What I can't load on my cart the town can have.

Mayor: And what use would the town have for that house?

John: An official residence for the Mayor? A guest house for visiting officials. It's one of the finest houses in the town and I'm sure it would go for a handsome price at a public auction. £500 and it's yours.

The Mayor considers this for a moment.

Mayor: £400

John: £450

Mayor: £425

John: (Sticks out his hand) Agreed.

Mayor: I'll be round in the morning with the money. And I'll make sure that the townspeople provide you with enough for your journey to...where are you going?

John: I'd rather not say. In case some people start talking loosely.

Mayor: Wise.

John: I'll have the deeds ready to be signed over to you.

Mayor: I shall bring Mr Demeter along as a witness. I assume your housekeeper can be a witness to the signatures?

John: She can.

Mayor: Then I wish you goodnight.

John bows and exits stage right. The Mayor returns to his desk and sits down to write. There is a groan from offstage, followed by the Mayor's son entering from stage right.

Son: Where's Maynard?

Mayor: Mr Maynard has gone home. Tomorrow or soon after he will be leaving this town for a new life away from here.

Son: Good riddance.

Mayor: I beg your pardon?

Son: I said good riddance to bad rubbish.

Mayor: Son, there is one thing you need to remember. For all of John Maynard's faults, and he has many, he performed the most striking act of public service this town has ever known when he killed the Millers. I have made sure that he has been well looked after.

Son: So why have you been urging people to be less co-operative?

Mayor: Because he has begun to wallow. He is dying a slow tortuous death. When that woman turned up I saw the perfect opportunity to lift him. Sadly, today's visitor has put a spoke in the wheel.

Son: What happens now?

Mayor: I want you to go to the vault tomorrow morning and (hands his son a piece of paper) withdraw this amount in gold coins.

Son: You're not giving him that much are you?

Mayor: Yes. For his house.

Son: It's not worth that much.

Mayor: You're right. But that's what he'll need to start a new life. We owe him nothing less. Though I doubt the aldermen will see it that way. (He turns to his desk, but stops) I've done enough for one day. Let's go home.

They exit stage right.


On that note, I'll bid you good night. See you on Wednesday.


defcon said...

Congrats on the acceptance! Sounds like an excellent story.

I adore SF comedies, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy being my favorite. Good luck with yours!

Lisa Shafer said...

Hey, that's great! Congratulations!
Let us know more soon.

Chloe said...

Congratulations. Let us know when it's out!

Martin Willoughby said...

Defcon: Thankyou. Ever seen galaxy quest? It's a superb film.

Lisa & Chloe: Don't worry, I shall be shouting it out as soon as I know more.

E. Arroyo said...

Congrats!! Most shorts I found are a non-paying market but it's great to get out there.

Martin Willoughby said...

EA: Getting my name out there is more important at this stage of my career. The ones that do pay either pay token amounts, or are almost the preserve of professional writers.

Dana said...

Congratulations! I'm very happy for you. :)

I thought I'd been following your blog, but, as with many things in life, I was wrong. That situation is remedied now. Looking forward to reading your posts and following your continued success! :)

Martin Willoughby said...

Dana: I've made that mistake with blogs too.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Congrats that is AWESOME!

Good luck with being a corpse.

Jen form Falling for Fiction.

Martin Willoughby said...

Jenny: At least as a corpse I can't forget my lines.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Late to the party AGAIN, sorry!!!

That is GREAT news about your short story. If you can unsettle someone with a story, you're doing well, I'd say. Well done! And good luck with the play. For sure.

Martin Willoughby said...

Veg: I don't mind you being late. You're always good fun when you get here.