Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh, and I Wrote a Short Story Yesterday

It's only 2,500 words long, but that has happened to me maybe three times in my life, that I sat down and wrote a short story.

It's called "Going to France".

This makes three short stories I have written this year. For me, that is blinding speed. The three stories are all at sort of different axis of my writing styles. One is kind of domestic fiction, a story of suburban life written as if it were a New Yorker article, about amnesia. It was fun because I wanted to sort of figure out what some of the differences were between nonfiction and fiction. (Of course, the obvious difference is that nonfiction is 'not fiction.' But there are other differences, too, in tone, in the material presented, all sorts of things.) So I wrote a fictional nonfiction and Jonathan Strahan accepted it for Eclipse, his original anthology coming out from Nightshade.

Then I wrote a zombie story for Adam. He had an idea for a story and he really thought it would be cool as a movie or a story so when he told me, I knew I would need a story for Rio Hondo so I wrote it. Writing for freelance projects I've had to develop voices which are a little outside of my usual writing style and one of them is something my employer calls my "Elmore Leonard voice." I'm not saying more than that about employer and freelance projects because I am covered, nay, buried, in nondisclosure agreements and corporate lawyers would come and smother me in my sleep if I talked more. But I wrote the zombie story in the Elmore Leonard voice, which was fun.

And then today I wrote a fantasy story which is elliptical and fantastical and, well, okay, I'm not actually sure it makes any sense. But I wrote the whole thing today and it's got a couple of great moments in it, so how bad can that be?

Bob has been saying he hoped the move would kind of shake me up and make me write. I think it has.


Blogger Unknown said...

Hurray for shakeups! Keep up the good work.


May 15, 2007 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you going to do with the zombie story? I'm really curious about it--I mean you doing one... intriguing.

May 15, 2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Ellen, first I'm going to let the bright minds at Rio Hondo have a crack at it. Then I'm going to send it to my agent. I think it may be the most commercial manuscript I've ever done.

Than I'll probably email you and ask you if you're doing an anthology anywhere...

May 15, 2007 7:43 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

"For me, that is blinding speed."
Ha! Glad I'm not the only one.

I'm intrigued by the zombie story too. I loved your take on werewolves in "Laika Comes Bck Safe."

May 16, 2007 1:23 AM  
Blogger David Moles said...


May 16, 2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

The best Zombie story ever is "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" in Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link. My zombie story is actually a pretty traditional, zombies have invaded the city kind of story.

May 16, 2007 9:42 AM  
Blogger Beth Adele Long said...

This is so exciting! Maureenly goodness in multiple styles!

May 16, 2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Sweet, the world needs more Maureen McHugh stories in it! I can't wait to read your zombie story. I wrote one this month too, and unfortunately I couldn't attend Rio Hondo because I'd already committed to Syc Hill (and a freelance job where I have to be in town for part of Rio Hondo to write about an event happening at the same time). :( It would have been so cool to see the Maureen McHugh zombie story before the rest of the world does.

Much agreed with Nathan. Laika Comes Back Safe is still my favorite werewolf story. I *did* get to read that one at Clarion in '98 before the rest of the world though. :)

I'm glad you're writing so much.

May 16, 2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

Aw, I wish I'd been able to come to Rio Hondo, because I would have LOVED to read a Maureen McHugh zombie story.

Well, I can wait till it's published. Just barely, and with great pain, but I can wait.

May 18, 2007 9:13 PM  

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