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Thud.

I haven't had a thud in a while, so I decided to report on it. "Currer Bell Comes to America," complete today at 5765 words. It is unabashedly YA, alternate universe, and totally one of those sorts of pet stories where you get to ride around on your hobby horse like an idiot, showing everyone all the weird theories you cherish--in this case, things about the Brontës, Amelia Earhart, and the Bermuda Triangle.

Rightfully, I should probably retitle it "Currer and Acton Bell Come to America" because well, Anne is still alive (just one of the many reasons this is AU) because I posit that if Patrick Brontë had died around the same time as Emily, and Anne had been just a leeetle less sick, something interesting might have happened. More interesting than Anne dying of tuberculosis in Scarborough, anyway.

I am growing to believe that Novels Spawn Short Stories. I tend to get these little nuggets, these also-ran ideas that deserve some attention but don't fit in the novel at all. I got to know Persephone too well during The Herbalist's Apprentice The Princess Curse, so I wrote her a story, "Five Rules for Commuting to the Underworld" (forthcoming from Strange Horizons, if you missed that). Also, "Five Rules" is rather adult; Curse is not. After Curse I reworked Jane Eyre with time travelers--not so much in a ...and Zombies kind of way, more a secret history kind of way.

Anyway, I've always intended to write at least one novel about the Brontës. I actually intended to write the "What happened to Anne at Thorpe Green?" book, with one part mystery and one part romance, but it literally hurts too much to write that while heading towards her inevitable young death from tuberculosis. Charlotte, well. She died young, but she had some requited love, some happiness, and some success. Anne just got the shaft. And she wasn't fiercely shouting "Fuck you" to the world as she died, like Emily, so her death always kicks me in the gut a little harder than anyone else's in that family. Plus, I don't think she got to write her masterpiece, like the other two did. I sincerely believe she was scaling up to something truly great.

So yeah. I guess I wrote this instead. Maybe I'll still do an Anne book. It might have to be an alternate history, or maybe I'm going to have to confront my fears about too-early death--dunno. But for now, I have a story that I loved writing and that I almost certainly am not going to be able to sell. (Not that I won't try.)

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Jun. 15th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I totally, totally agree about Anne.
katharine_b
Jun. 15th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC)
I hope this story sells, 'cause it sounds awesome.
merriehaskell
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
If it doesn't sell, I'll post it for a techno-peasant day. :)
stephanieburgis
Jun. 15th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)
I can't WAIT to read that story! (And the novel!)
merriehaskell
Jun. 15th, 2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
I've been debating whether to send you the novel post- or pre-rewrite. Do you have a preference? I guess that's the obvious question!
stephanieburgis
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
Whichever would be most helpful for you! Honestly, I'm happy either way. (Although I have to say upfront that I may not be able to start reading it until July, so that may influence your decision...)
merriehaskell
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Actually, it does! I mean, if you want to do a critique, that is. If you want to read for pleasure or just curiosity (or to see how long it takes before you want to throw the book across the room) do not hesitate to take me up on that.
stephanieburgis
Jun. 15th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Hee. :) How about we'll see how the CFS is going in July? If it's okay and I've got enough energy, I'll do a critique, otherwise I'll just read it for fun?
merriehaskell
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! Or any of the territory between critique and pleasure. Like, "I liked it until you did that stupid thing, so I stopped reading" is a useful thing to know!
kelly_swails
Jun. 15th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yay for finished stories!

Your knowledge base amazes me. I mean ... for us being so similar ... our knowledge bases are so different. You know Literature and Anthropology and Languages. Cool things! I know medicine and science and pop culture and books. Still cool things ... but different. Does that make us like one well-rounded person?
merriehaskell
Jun. 16th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
To make one well-rounded person, we may need a third, unless you can play a couple musical instruments and do engineering, too. ;)

I love listening to your In the Lab stories, personally. They remind me of my mom's nursing stories, but are completely new!
dendrophilous
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
If you have two science-y people you really should get a fourth, to cover the social sciences.

(Also amazed at how much stuff you know. How come I'm so uneducated? Oh, right. Physics.)
merriehaskell
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Liberal arts education, baby. I know a little bit about lots of things.
kelly_swails
Jun. 16th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
I can't engineer much of anything, and while I love me some music, as far as music theory goes I know squat. So, yeah, a third.


dendrophilous
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
Why would you not be able to sell it? Doesn't fit any particular market?
merriehaskell
Jun. 16th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
I would say it's too YA for most of the usual markets, not YA enough for Cicada and friends, too SF/Fantasy for the literary markets, and not genre enough for the genre markets.

It's not impossible, and I'll still try, but there is no market that jumps out as a good fit.
kelly_swails
Jun. 16th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
And doesn't Cicada have a thing where they only accept submissions from previously accepted authors? Or have they lifted that?
merriehaskell
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Doesn't maybe look like it anymore? http://www.cricketmag.com/pages_content.asp?page_id=22 But I think that's probably why I stopped submitting there.
kelly_swails
Jun. 21st, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Huh. Yeah, that's why I stopped submitting to them too.

But, hmmmmm. Me thinks I have a story that should find its way into the mail this week. Thanks for the heads up!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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