A Day for Angels, A Day for Witches

 

I warned you before that I had a Christmas story appearing in a horror anthology, so look for ‘Christmas Angels’ in the newest edition of the Yellow Booke. Like the previous editions, it will be illustrated by M. Grant Kellermeyer. And will be released on the very night of the Witches’ Sabbath, Walpurgisnacht, April 30th.

I should also say that it will Kellermeyer_Christmasbe released as an ebook so you can download it, be safe, and not venture out of the house.

 

 

 

Where Have All the Good Stories Gone?

I saw a few open calls for short stories this week that I was very excited about.  I had a story for each that had been cluttering my hard drive for years. They were great stories. No editor would turn them down. All I had to do is give them a once-over proofing and send them off.

The quality of the stories seems to have unexpectedly decayed in storage.  I remembered them as being fast, fun, and unpredictable, but somehow over the years they had become plodding, dull, and didactic.  I never took myself to be the didactic type, or the type who thinks he’s clever and goes through great lengths to prove it, to only come off like a putz. So I am at a loss to what happened to them.  I think that one of the stories can be rewritten front to back so that the idea can be salvaged, but the other must be scrapped completely.

These stories are not bad or incompetently done.  If I were to send them out they would likely be published. But I think I have an obligation to not send out anything into the world that doesn’t represent my best.

It makes me a little vulnerable, because it cuts me off from excuses like ‘well, it’s not my best but there was a deadline…,’ but maybe the vulnerability can make me a little better, and anyways, you, my public, always deserve the best material possible.

DEAR MR. SONDHEIM,

NOTE: this is an unrevised version of an entry from my old blog from August 12th, 2016

NOTE: this is an unrevised version of an entry from my old blog from August 12th, 2016   

I have become fascinated by a  60s TV special that you were part of  — an adaptation of John Collier’s Evening Primrose.  Collier was one of the greatest short story writers of the 20th century, and you, well I suspect that you don’t want to be flattered, but you are quite good yourself.

This should have been the first big feather in your cap.  You completely understood the story and used bits of Collier’s dialogue to great effect.  But there is a falling off after the first number.  It isn’t you of course.  The screen play is trash.  I don’t want  to spoil it for everyone else, but the brilliant sideways love story gets — well you know what happens. The very end is fine but the queer genius of the story is thrown out entirely and replaced with something barely plausible and trite.  I don’t think that the screen writer (or maybe some officious producer) knew what the story was about, and ruined it, or, if he did understand, he might have thought that  it was too edgy for viewers.

These are old complaints I am sure.  And I know that you are 86 and semi-retired.  Nineteen sixty-six must seem like a thousand years ago, but, for the sake of the rest of us, would you mind writing a few songs to go along with the proper plot of the story?  If you like, go right ahead and someone else can tidy up the script.  Certainly I want that person to be me, but anyone on earth would do it if you asked (remember though, if by any chance they do turn you down, you have a volunteer).

Collier’s story has the quality of earthy unreality that you handle so well.  You did it in Into the Woods, and Sweeney Todd.  Please do it here.  I heard a rumor that you were doing another version of Road Show.  I love that production.  Leave it as it is.  The public should come around eventually.

Just give us, not the Primrose that we have, and certainly not the Primrose we deserve, but the Primrose that only you can deliver.

With great admiration,

Thomas Olivieri, August 2016

 

 

Tags: Officious Dolts, Open Letters, Road Show, Passion