Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Ugly Duckling: Coming Out of the Closet as a Writer

photo of The ugy duckling and his beautiful family of swans
Beautiful photo by Liam Moloney with CC BY-SA 2.0 license

I have decided to come out of the closet as a writer. I am writing this post both for myself, to make it official, but also for other writers or would be authors that may have had the same experiences or perhaps still do. Anyway, here goes...

Lately, I have reached the conclusion that I am a real, bona fide writer and probably should have been writing from the moment I was able to do so, when I was about six years old. I was actually born to write. Who knew? I certainly didn't. Why was this fact hidden from me for so long? Why come out now and not ten years earlier or later? How does it feel to come out, and what does this have to do with the Ugly Duckling? These are all good questions, which I will answer in this post. If you are still interested, read on.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why I unpublished "The Vegetarian From Outer Space" from Smashwords

A few days ago I unpublished the story "The Vegetarian From Outer Space" from Smashwords. It had been available for free for almost exactly a year, but I decided to pull the plug on it.This post will discuss the reasons for this drastic measure. It will be  a brief discussion, because the reason is simple: it just wasn't a very good story. How do I know this? For me the best way to know if a story is good is if I read it a few months after it's finished and still enjoy it. For instance, I re-read the Jewminator a few days ago and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. That's the mark of a good story. When I re-read the "Vegetarian From Outer Space", I was not impressed.
 For sure, "The Vegetarian From Outer Space" was a good idea, but the execution was flawed - it is way too cerebral, and the plot line and characterization are too thin, even for such a short story (only 12500 words). These flaws have been corrected in my new vegan novel, which is finished and coming out soon (Yay!). Nevertheless, I wouldn't have pulled it if I hadn't reached a new stage in my writing life, "the coming out of the closet stage". But I'll discuss that in another post. For now, if you do wish to read the story, it is available below in its entirety. If for some reason you want it in PDF format, send a mail to joabcohenauthoratgmaildotcom with your request.

The Vegetarian from Outer Space
By Joab Cohen