We lost one of my favorite authors yesterday. Kurt Vonnegut was our modern day Mark Twain. He passed away yesterday at 84 of complications from a head injury he received a few weeks ago.
From CNN: Vonnegut once said that of all the ways to die, he’d prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.
“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon,” Vonnegut told The Associated Press in 2005.
“My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I’ll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children.”
Of all the short stories I’ve written over the last several years, I’m down to only ten that I’m shopping around. The rest have either sold or I’ve retired.
Some of them I retire by deleting them. I’m sick of them, I’m tired of looking at them. They haven’t impressed anyone. Time to cut the losses, goodbye. Nothing is ever really wasted because that frees the idea up to be used again in a different way.
Other stories, however, I think are worthy yet haven’t found a suitable market. That’s the chance you take when you write to please yourself and not a specific market. It’s a choice we all must make.
So do I delete these stories that I deem are still worthy, yet I can’t stand looking at them anymore? No. Not those. I’ll put them up on my website on the off chance that someone will read them and get something out of them. Others say you should never do that, but … if I’m sick of shopping them around, that’s that. I’m sick of it.
Time to write new stories.
The two stories I am talking about, though … I almost did that, but at the last moment found new markets on Ralan that I thought might fit. So off they went.
I once again have ten stories in circulation.
UPDATE: Make that nine stories. One came back already. I’m retiring that one.