Friday, August 15, 2014

Mirror Shard Post-mortem

Yeah, well.  My tale is finished, out there for all to see.

Big finished his story ("Doctor Claw") here:

Bria Burton finished her story ("Little Angel Helper") here:

And, to my surprise, Katherine Inskip also wrote a story ("The Catch") here:

Algar Van Cluth is still struggling with his.

I think I explained (apparently, falsely) how this story came about.  Big and I have both written stories based on the same claw machine premise.  He finished his earlier than I did--which is fine--and is probably on to his next story project now, which is also fine.

What I didn't say was that, about a month back, I went out to eat at a restaurant with my sister, my niece, and my two nephews.  By the doors, they had, ironically enough, one of those machines that smashes pennies into keychains.  No, it was a claw game, with all unironicalness.  And my nephew begged me, my mom, and my sister for quarters so he could play it.  I tried to explain that they eat people's money, and that they look easy but are really hard, and that he'd be throwing it away, and that Jodie Foster doesn't like men at all, but that Tom Cruise and John Travolta do. 

But there was no reasoning with a seven year old, and he insisted that he'd seen a guy win big on there, and he could win just as easily, if someone would just trust him with half a dollar.  I believe my mom and sister both contributed twenty-five cents each, and the boy ran off to waste it on the game . . . and won.

He just won a little rubber ball, which probably only sold for fifty cents in a store, but he sure was proud of proving me wrong.  And of course, by the same time the next day, he had both lost the ball and forgotten it ever happened (until the next time he saw one of those bloody machines).

I believe I originally planned on the brothers coming to the convenience store three times.  The little brother was supposed to win the first time, then the big brother won something small, and on the third day, the big brother was supposed to have tossed away a fortune trying to win something again.  But I lost interest in the story rather quickly, and it ended up being a) just the two visits, and b) plenty long with only that.

The story turned out to be similar--too similar?--to a couple others I've written where someone finds a magical item and becomes fixated on it.  I like that kind of story, and the kind of open ending this one went with.  In a way, though, it was a truer writing exercise than the last one was because "A Lovely Singing Voice" had already been written once, and this tale was wholly written for the blog.

So, look: "MagiClaw" is not going to win any awards.  It was meant to be short and amusing, and I don't know that it achieved either.  But I had a conversation with Big about it afterward, and it's possible I wrung the best story I could out of the premise.  I dunno, maybe somebody like Josh Roseman or Will MacIntosh could create a gem from this particular chunk of gypsum, but there is one moment in my tale that I like quite a bit, so I don't consider it a total loss.

And as far as that goes, I wrote it, I finished the damn thing (which has started to be par for the course on my writing of late), and I shared it with other people.  And that, good sir (and madam), is an actual triumph.

Rish Outfield

P.S. As before, feel free to let me know of any typos or grammar/structure problems, and I'll fix 'em.  But the "irregardess" has to stay, I'm afraid.

1 comment:

Bria Burton said...

Well done! This was a good story. The kids felt like realistic characters and the plot kept me interested. Even though it didn't take the place of House of Ideas (my favorite of your stories), I appreciate your writing style and am always happy to read another one of your stories. You set a goal (a really challenging one, which I can say with confidence after joining in), and you achieved it. I hope you're proud of that. You should be!