When Colson Whitehead published a genre novel about zombies (Zone One), New York Times reviewer Glen Duncan made the analogy that it was akin to an intellectual dating a porn star. A literary shooting star was slumming! Epiphany! So that’s why I love writing pulp. Besides, it’s hard to dance with the angels when the devil leaves the porch light on.
Those thoughts tugged at my nether regions as Pulp Modern this week accepted “Gaslighting.” (“Being a kid can be stressful even without having someone abuse your girlfriend, Halloween or not. And then there’s that thing with living lawn ornaments.”)
This was followed a few days later with Big Pulp accepting “Flying Objects.” (“The green baize of a blackjack table is a playing field worthy of the best antagonists when love and money are at stake.”) Why is pulp fiction so much fun to write while stories of literary quality languish?
Today, “Carnival’s Last Show” went up at The Jersey Devil Press (http://www.jerseydevilpress.com/?page_id=1792). Read it, and tell me a tear doesn’t come to your eye, all you tough guys who wanted to run away as a kid.
And The Corner Club Press also accepted “Silver Screen Saver,” with editor Amber Forbes saying, “I think by now you can at least suspect you're going to get into our issue 5. Your stories are always so diverse, and from one story to the next, I wouldn't be able to pin that it was you who wrote it, which is probably why I'm always accepting you. [WG note, this will be story No. 4 in CCP’s five-issue run.] So it's fantastic that you can write all these stories and make them so unique with different styles.” [WG note, Ah, shucks.]
Back to the point of pulp: I try to keep my mind on higher things, like eternal love, the meaning of life, and if there are clues to the meaning of life in Lindsey Lohan’s adventures. Look, I researched, wrote and posted a review of Dashiell Hammet’s Red Harvest last week. And, a thumbnail review of John le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man was printed in the Asbury Park Press Nov. 1. I moderated a real, live writing group, and I advised my grandchildren on the meaning of life, value of hard work and to not mix the grain and the grape. That ought to deliver a couple of karma points.
So, don’t give me any guff about pulp. I’m working on a serious literary story now. (See, there's this kid who duct-tapes the slacker to death and ends up getting devil’s 1960 Chevy pickup truck.) But it’s the cocktail hour. Stay tuned.