My latest short story, “Ruinous Acting,” about an actor’s ill-fated compliment to his costar, was published today in the Pennsylvania Literary Journal. I have a nasty habit of writing stories very quickly and then spending many years (more than a decade in many cases) revising them until I can’t bear to look at them again. Once they’re published, I’m done with them, but the process is exhausting.
As usual, this story was written speedily. I woke at 4 a.m. about a month ago with a simple idea and finished the story before leaving for work. Thankfully, revisions didn’t take more than a few mornings this time. That’s partly because I’m deliberately working to a strict deadline, but it’s also down to practice and efficiency.
Sometimes, it takes weeks or months to hear back from editors. This story received an acceptance precisely five minutes after I submitted it. I think it may be the fastest yet. I’m glad PLJ deemed it worthy of inclusion, as I’ve read quality pieces in the magazine in the past and felt that this was the right venue for the story.
For the record, “Ruinous Acting” is a self-contained short story explicitly written for literary journals. However, at some point, expect some of these characters to emerge, playing small parts in future manuscripts.
The latest Pennsylvania Literary Journal issue is available on Amazon here.
Reviewing Literature from Joke Writing to Mercenary Wars: Volume XV, Issue 2: Summer 2023:(Softcover: $20, 282pp, 6X9″: ISBN: 979-8-857788-49-3; Hardcover: $25: ISBN: 979-8-857788-72-1; Books—Literature & Fiction—History & Criticism—Books & Reading—History of Books).