October 11th, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Finished a new 4,600 word story, "A Day at the Beach." This is a major rewrite of a story I wrote back in middle school. I was at some sort of extracurricular program, and they had us do a meditation/guided visualization sort of thing, and the preliminaries involved you imagining yourself in various relaxing situations, including walking along a beach. That gave me a really cool idea, and I instantly disregarded the exercise and spent the remaining time working out most of the details of my story. At the end of the session, one of the New Age-y women who was leading the exercise approached me and was like, "It didn't seem like you were paying attention," and I shrugged and said, "Oh yeah, I came up with a story idea, so I did that instead," thus demonstrating the attitude that has endeared me to so many instructors over the years -- my simply taking it for granted that the lesson plan is so far below me intellectually that the teacher must concur that it would be a waste of my time for me to actually pay attention to it. I'm always kind of taken aback when they get all offended. Don't they realize how inane they are? Anyway, I wrote the story and thought it was great. It was never published, but every once in a while I'll describe the concept to someone, and it reliably evokes a "Wow, that sounds awesome" sort of reaction. I just dug the story out, and along with it was a sixteen-year-old rejection letter I'd forgotten about from Merlyn's Pen. I read the rejection letter, then read the story, and yup, the rejection letter pretty much hit the nail on the head in terms of what was wrong with the story, so I used that letter as the foundation for writing my new version.