Write...or Die Trying

I used to work in a factory. Now I work in an office. Either way, my writing was dying. So now I must: Write...or Die Trying.

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WANTED: Strange Story Needs Good Home

I'm looking for a short story market. The Diary is inspired by the true story of my grandfather while he served on the island of Saipan in 1945. When my grandmother and I cleaned out her attic a few years ago, she let me borrow a box of his personal effects, which included a large number of photographs and sundry documents and paperwork. Two official-looking documents jumped out at me. One was a debriefing of an American GI about an unnamed battle during the invasion of the island. The second was four typewritten pages titled: Translation of A Japanese Diary. True to form, this document covers a month on the island, from immediately before the invasion, till the author's presumed suicide. It's a compelling look into the experiences and mindset of a Japanese soldier.

What struck me most was how I felt when I read it. I was conflicted. On the one hand, I didn't want to feel outright sympathy because our war against the Japanese was more justified than any we've fought in a long time, owning to their unprovoked attack against us; on the other hand, having been in some very dangerous places while on military deployment myself (like Khobar, Saudi Arabia), I could get a sense of the empathy a soldier sometimes feels for the people he's supposed to kill. It's a dichotomy I wanted to explore in a short story.

The Diary follows the thoughts of a fictitious surrogate for my grandfather while he reads this document for the first time. I tried to include bits of the atmosphere of being deployed and spent some time exploring the complex emotional reactions of someone coming to grips with feeling empathy towards an enemy.

My only problem so far is finding a home for this little guy. It's made the rounds at the larger magazines and literary journals. I'm down to the more obscure ones now. If you have any ideas about what would be a good market for this story, then please let me know. If I can't find a market for it in the next couple of months, I might go ahead and post it here. Let me know what you think...

2 Comments:

At 6/13/2004 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Michele said...

This sounds perfect for e-publishing. You might consider checking some e-publish site where people pay a small fee to download stories/books/articles to their computer or pda for a small fee.

Good luck! Its a very interesting story. I'd pay to read it!

-michele

 
At 6/14/2004 01:13:00 PM, Blogger r said...

Michele, it is good. I still have a copy of it on my computer. Great idea! E-publishing!

 

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