Two rejection day so far--RoF and Ideomancer. I never get a steady trickle. The proof of chaos theory: even rejections come in clumps.
So I've been poking at a story idea relating to the old leatherman for a while. What? You don't know who the old leatherman is? He's a Connecticut and New York State historical figure, bit of a local legend--a fascinating vagabond from the late 1800's.
I decided to give myself a break from Kit and Will and their fates today (see previous entry) and do whatever I felt like.
Apparently what I felt like was the old leatherman story. Since I seem to have outlined it and written the first few pages. And some very odd stuff that goes in the scene-breaks.
It's also got influences from "Hurt Hawks" by Robinson Jeffers, "Famous Blue Raincoat" by Leonard Cohen, and many fairytales, perhaps chiefly "The Wild Swans" a/k/a "The Ravens."
It's not quite like anything I've written before. I suspect this one may take a while and slow writing and teasing. Especially as it appears to want to be a notorious stylemonkey story, with as much of the story in the intersices as on the page. But I feel oddly kind of good about it.
I've been wondering if part of the reason I'm having trouble selling stories pro is that I'm something of a style chameleon. It often seems to me as if every story I write borrows heavily--perhaps almost to the point of pastiche--from a different writer. "Los Empujadores Furiosos" is a Zelazny story. "This Tragic Glass" is a Willis story. "Tiger! Tiger!" is Kipling meets Conan Doyle. "Chains that your Refuse" is a Hannah story. "Rising Sun" is a Jer Tolbert story.
I dunno what this one is yet.
A red-tail hawk sat hunched in a naked birch halfway up the hillside. White tree like bone among the cast iron black of wet oak and maple, the hawk fluffed almost headless against the chill and rain. Another farmer might have cursed leaving his shotgun leaned up by the planken door, butt propped beside the steel bucket of sand for the tall kitchen steps. Might have trudged back downslope, trudged back, shot the hawk off the branch and gone looking for its mate. Might have crucified both bodies on the barbed wire fence beside the chicken coop, way to send a message.
But Dell didn't keep chickens since his wife died, and he knew foxes took more poultry anyway. A red-tail was more likely to eat a weasel than eat a hen, and weasels were bad on eggs.
See what I mean about the stylemonkey thing?