Wednesday, 25 July 2007

A Bit of Company

My short story A Bit of Company will be published in the 7th August 2007 issue of Woman's Weekly magazine, out next week.

Mrs Parsons has a visitor, and it isn't the gas man:

I don’t let him come no farther than the scullery though. Well, you can’t be too careful. Mind you, he looks on the level, if you know what I mean. Nice coat. And a proper shine to his shoes. You can tell a man’s character by the shine on his shoes. In my day, if you couldn’t see your face in a man’s shoes you’d give him a wide berth. That’s why there’s so many young girls in trouble these days, if you ask me. No one bothers with shoes any more. They all wear these plimsolls.

Read more in next week's Woman's Weekly!


babysweet said...

That takes me back a bit! I must get a copy of Woman's Weekly to read more.

Paul said...

I'll get The Secretary to send you a copy!

Mary Witzl said...

Good for you, Paul! I'll try and buy a copy myself! It isn't easy to get a short story published -- or at least it has not been for me.

I have written dozens of short stories, but they seem to appeal to no one other than the people in my writing group. Or perhaps I am not aggressive enough in marketing them, but then I would think that, wouldn't I?

One thing I believe is true: a fantastic short story is every bit as challenging to write as a novel -- more so, in fact. It just takes less time.

Kanani said...

Great! I love how you've used the "you." Also, your character has great rhythm. I can envision her sitting, her hands gesticulating in the air, slightly leaning forward!

Well, let's see... I got this:
Gentle writer:
Please forgive me for returning your work and for not offering comments or suggestions. I would like to say something to make up for my ungraciousness, but I don't think a few quick remarks would really help. The truth is I must return almost everything --99%--of what's sent to me, including a lot that interests me and even some pieces I admire. (Also, I make mistakes; my taste is erratic, my judgment flawed).

HA! Probably the best form rejection letter I've ever received!

Paul said...

Mary - I love writing short stories, a recently-acquired passion. It's like painting with watercolours after a lifetime of using oils. If only there were more outlets for them! It always seems to me, a jealous Brit, that US publishers are more interested in the short story than their UK counterparts.

Kanani - thank you for your kind comments. And you're right, that's a GREAT rejection letter! I like to think I'm immune to rejections by now, though I know deep down I'm not. But if a piece has to be rejected then it would be good to get a rejection letter like yours!

Mary Witzl said...

I once got a rejection letter similar to Kanani's. Funny, self-deprecating, kind, bending over backwards not to hurt -- and perfectly punctuated. I was so impressed, I wrote back to the agent and thanked him for it. In a way, though, the awful ones with misspellings and infelicities are better. They make you feel as though you were better off scorned by such dolts. And getting the good ones is almost more painful, as anyone who would take the trouble to be so kind would be the sort of person I would dearly love to work with. Sigh.