I was surprised by how much work is involved in getting a few decent pages together. I've sometimes taken a couple hours or more to blog a few paragraphs of fart jokes and profanity, but I didn't know how much work it takes to create something you expect strangers to read if it's not for free. Over the span of time it took me to write the five pages of my short story, I managed to read three whole books: "Darkness at Noon," "Under the Volcano," and (most of) "Where I'm Calling From." Not only did that take a long time, but it had an influence on how I wrote. What resulted was a depressing mess. The first draft was just my caricatured impression of Koestler's brooding philosophy mixed with Lowry's embedded allusions, sliced and diced into terse Carver-like sentences. It took a couple weeks of reading and re-reading, changing a few words in each paragraph or cutting them completely, and eventually changing the whole plot before I had something that wasn't too embarrassing to open when there were people next to me on the train.
What I ended up with isn't like what I write about on this blog. It's not even funny- it's about a couple English officers in the Third Crusade who are looking for a sabateur, with a little plot twist at the end, Twilight Zone-style. I'm happy with it though because I like medieval history and I think Twilight Zone (the original series, not the uninspired revivals they seem to churn out every decade or so) was the best show on TV. I'm not sure it's worth a dollar (people are selling entire novels at that price), but that's the lowest Amazon will let me go, so that's what it costs.
Anyway, if it sounds interesting and you'd like a preview, you can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XDA1V8
That is all!