On Thanksgiving Day Musings

Last night, I moved a few things on my desk — I was looking for my Age of Empires 3 disc, because I wanted to commit some war crimes — and the rejection letter from Random House for the Merlin novel, and the outline for said novel, were sitting there.

It’s a lovely rejection letter. I hadn’t read the outline in a while, and so last night I did. Looking at it now, in the sober light of the first season and half of the second, I can see that the story doesn’t really work — as a Merlin story, that is. I wrote Merlin as being a little more competent, a bit more assured than he is on the series. There are no “Merlin, you idiot” moments. It’s still a good story, maybe a little more like The Tudors (minus the smut, plus talking dragons) and a little less like Merlin.

As I said, the rejection letter from Random House Children’s Books UK was lovely. It was unexpected, as the outline was unsolicited, but I had a story and I wanted to take the chance. I expected (best case scenario) I’d never hear anything or (worst case) the outline would have been binned outright. Instead, I got back not just a rejection letter, but they returned the outline as well.

I bring this up because of a short story I submitted earlier this month.

While I haven’t heard, one way or the other, I know, in my heart, that I didn’t sell the story. :tired:

I’ve suspected as much for a week, and I decided that, had I not heard by this Monday past, that the story had been rejected.

It’s a problem of time, you see.

The issue of City Paper publishing the winners of their annual fiction contest comes out next Wednesday. While it’s theoretically possible that they’re waiting until the last possible minute to notify winners, send contracts and money, it strikes me as unlikely. And it strikes me that there’s no reason to notify the losers, for want of a better word, as the issue hitting the stands will make that clear.

I pulled a couple of back issues of The Writer and made up a list of other markets I could send this story to. I think it’s a good story, though also a little strange. There’s a Joycean quality to it that I didn’t quite intend, but I chalk that up to the mood of the piece.

It’s the first piece of “THOD” to leave the nest, in a way; it’s based on material from the first and fourth chapters, but it’s also a parallel narrative as there’s nothing in common in terms of the text. A variation on the theme.

Suffice it to say, I’ll find a home for this story. Even if it’s just a low-circulation lit-mag.

Onward and upward, as a friend would say. :cheers:


Manly Wade Wellman and his son Wade Wellman’s novel, Sherlock Holmes’ War of the Worlds, has just been reprinted by Titan Books.

I have added this to my Amazon wishlist.


I like Merlin. I really do. I think I may just be looking forward more to Merlin‘s season finale than Doctor Who‘s “The End of Time.” 😯

But the relationship between character names in the series and the Arthurian myths is really breaking under the strain.

The use of names can be baffling, if you try and associate the Merlin characters with their accepted roles in the legends. The relationships between the characters are different, and that can sometimes cause some cognitive dissonance. I spent “Sins of the Father” trying to puzzle out the exact relationship between Morgause, Morgana, and Ygraine. (Okay, Morgause/Morgana is simple, because the episode tells us they’re half-sisters, both daughters of Gorlois. But I’ve been working under the assumption that Ygraine had a child before Arthur, to match with the legends, but “Sins” scuppered that. So what’s the relationship between Morgause and Ygraine? Sisters?)

The confusing one is Nimueh. In some legends, she also goes by Vivian, and that’s Georgia Moffett’s character’s name in the next episode. In the legends, Merlin and Nimue have an interesting relationship; they’re lovers, he teaches her his magic, she imprisons him in ice for all eternity. Obviously, this doesn’t work in Merlin, as Merlin fried Nimueh with lightning in last season’s finale. Is Merlin going to teach Vivian his magic? Will they become lovers? Will Merlin flirt with dark magic? Will she become a “big bad”? And let’s not forget that Nimue/Vivian/Ninian is the Lady of the Lake. Except that, per the most recent episode, the Lady of the Lake of Merlin is someone else entirely.

I do a little fist-pump any time I hear a familiar name, like Pellinore, but at the same time, I get a little disappointed when the relationships aren’t what I expect. It’s like the writers are reaching into a grab bag and pulling out names because they sound cool, not because they make sense. And that’s a bit frustrating. Cognitive Dissonance. Yadda yadda yadda.


Home Run Derbies in the Polo Grounds or Shibe Park are fun.

Where else can you drive a ball 500 feet and not get it out of the park?

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