Words, Words, Words

Recently a horror magazine put out a call for submissions on Reddit. I’ve never really written a horror story (partly because, as a schoolteacher, I feel restrained from writing the kind of nasty stuff that is usually found in the genre), so I took a shot.

I think the resulting story, “Dermatobia hominis”, is decent, but it got rejected. The editor gave some feedback (which is rare, and which I appreciate) indicating that the main character is underdeveloped and the story feels predictable. I can’t really argue with these, but in the first case I don’t much care. It’s not about the main character (and yet even as I write that sentence its absurdity strikes me); it’s about what happens to the main character. (Besides, we do know some things about the main character.)

As for the second: Yeah, it’s probably predictable (I can’t judge). But isn’t Romeo and Juliet predictable too? I think this strikes at the biggest problem I face with the horror genre: Everything in it is predictable as heck, and I thought I was doing something interesting by exploring the real behavior of an actual animal.

I know writers have to be tough, and generally I don’t care when someone doesn’t like something I’ve written. But this is why I don’t spend much time on the post-writing part of things. I hate begging people to read my stuff, and it’s disappointing to get negative reactions. Then again, it’s got to be part of my life if I ever want to get a bigger audience.

The other problem, of course, is that I wrote the thing so very quickly, and I don’t know how confident I am about it. If this were “z”, then I wouldn’t give two figs about what people said about it. I know that story is awesome. I think this one is good, but I don’t have the same love for it. I think I’m going to submit it elsewhere, but it’s a gamble. If it gets rejected again, that will feel even more painful. But it’s ridiculous to just give up when I get rejected once. (Insert boring aside about my pathetic love life pre-2k.)

Keyboard!

On a lighter note: I got a new keyboard, the state-of-the-art Microsoft Wired 600. I wasn’t opposed to something a little more fancy, but the reason I bought this one is because it was literally the only keyboard in two office supply stores that wasn’t wireless. Why do I want a wireless keyboard!? That’s all I need — more batteries running down and polluting the planet. Besides, my keyboard is always in the same place, in my little roll-out tray under my desk. I can’t imagine who has such an active lifestyle (but still uses a desktop PC) that they need a wireless keyboard.

The interesting thing for me is how different the typing experience is with it. I only recently began to realize how gummy and unresponsive my old Apple keyboard was (I have no idea when I got that one). I’m still getting used to the different spacing on this one, so I’m probably getting the same error rate. But when I don’t, it seems so nice and smooth.

I also got the video game Super Hexagon, which is an evil exercise is masochistic punishment. It works much better with a fresh new keyboard. I still hate it, tho.

Win7 > Mac for Once

I spent many many hours this week getting Windows 7 working on BootCamp. Now I can play all the cool video games that aren’t available for the Mac. Yay! (No Skyrim, tho — looks like the requirements are higher than what I’ve got. I’ll probably try Fallout 3 or NV and/or Oblivion at some point. Maybe Morrowind.)

However, today — quite by accident — I found this cool feature of Windows 7, which is really nifty and unique:

When you hold down the windows button and hit tab, you’ll get an animated flow of windows to choose from. Sweet!

That’s all.