The Sound of Things

Yesterday morning, they played this song on the radio:

They were trying to argue that it was a kind of proto-rap, which is not really an argument I find that interesting. But I do think that the song has something in common with rap. Not just the rapid-fire delivery but with the joy taken in the sound of words, the playfulness with the very noise of language. These names of places are just fun to say.

I also like this song, because it reminds me that a lot of Johnny Cash songs have a kind of scary humor to them that may not always be immediately obvious. In this one, it’s only when you listen carefully, when you hear him say “I’m a killer” that you start to be very nervous for the guy who picked him up going to Winnemucca.

There is a tradition of kind of “talking” singing songs. Like, you can hear it in “Hot Rod Lincoln,” which, in my head, is a kind of brother to “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

But, clearly, this is about the noise the instruments can make and the story and the sounds of words is less paramount.

I was kind of thinking that this song, by Nathaniel Rateliff, has that same kind of joy in the sounds of words. Who knows what he’s saying? Who even cares? It just sounds like something.

How Things Go

You all remember that my story “Jesus Has Forgiven Me. Why Can’t You?” got accepted by Fantasy & Science Fiction a while back. Yesterday, I got the edits on the story. I have a dream that, if I had a good editor, I learn a shit-ton about writing. This experience did nothing to dissuade me. The kinds of changes they proposed did a lot to really tighten up my prose.

But, yeah, so the interesting thing is that, even at this point, since it’s a print magazine, there’s a whole other round of checking of page proofs that is going to happen later. And it’s still not clear which issue it’s going to be in.

Now, keeping in mind that I’m speaking from my experience, but this is different than how online magazines work. First, I had a contract and got paid for my story way back when they accepted it. Then many months went by and now I’ve received the copyediting. There will be some point at which I see page proofs. And I’ll eventually learn which issue it’ll appear in. Then it will come out, probably sometime next year.

The online magazines I’ve worked with have accepted me pretty quickly, but not sent me a contract until much closer to publication. So, it’s like contract, payment, copyediting, published, kind of all in a bunch and the waiting time is between when you hear that the story is accepted and the flurry of activity that happens right before publication.

I’m sure there will be other ways other places work, too. But it just goes to show that Publishing is not a thing, but a bunch of related things that kind of all have steps in common, but are also really different. Doing it once doesn’t really teach you much about how it might go again.

In related news, I laughed so hard reading through the story, which made me happy. I think it’s a good one. But, as I was telling the Butcher, it’s the kind of story that pretty much does a bunch of stuff stories aren’t “supposed” to do.