No one who has had the misfortune of reading anything I've written would ever accuse me of being 'literary' in style or technique. I write like a weekend carpenter - measure twice, cut once, use screws instead of nails so that pulling it down to do it properly the second time will be easier.
However, to my surprise, I was invited by author and academic, Clare Rhoden, to submit a short literary work to an anthology inspired by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Re-reading it, I was inspired to scribble the first short story I've written in years, fueled by coffee and a mix of bleak political anger and the existential dread that creeps like black mold up the walls of our era. To my additional surprise, she accepted my piece. I can only shudder to think of poor Eliot turning in his grave.
Soon to be published by the UK imprint, PS Publishing, my modest effort* will sit beside those of real writers in an anthology called From the Waste Land. They are a mix of ghost stories, sci-fi, fantasy and apocalyptic tales, all inspired by Eliot's masterpiece of modernism, born in the wake of The Great War, an awful global war that could never, ever happen again....until it did.
Death by Water, by Grace Chan
A Winter Respite, by Clare Rhoden
She Who Walks Behind You, by Leanbh Pearson
The Watcher of Greenwich, by Laura E. Goodin
Exhausted Wells, by Tee Linden
Rats Alley, by Jeff Clulow
Fragments of Ruin, by B.P. Marshall
Dead Men, by Cat Sparks
A Dusty Handful, by Aveline Perez de Vera
Lidless Eyes That See, by Geneve Flynn
A Witch’s Bargain, by Rebecca Dale
And Fiddled Whisper Music on Those Strings, by Eugen Bacon
Mountain of Death, by Austin P. Sheehan
Fawdaze, by Rebecca Fraser
Over the Mountains, by Tim Law
A Shadow in This Red Rock, by Louise Zedda Sampson
Dry Bones, by Robert Hood
April, by Francesca Bussey
The Violet Hour, by Nikky Lee
We argued about the image for the cover. This was my suggestion...
...but, sadly, I understand they're going with something artistic instead. Probably in keeping with one of the original covers of Eliot's work. Which is, to be fair, probably for the best.
*When I say 'modest' I'm being shamefully immodest, as I suspect my contribution will stand out amongst the others as this vehicle would stand out on the set of Mad Max.
That said, I am honestly looking forward to reading the others' work, and see what resonated with them, and how it was expressed. If you're wondering about mine, I think this movie poster is close to my concept, two men, standing very close, wondering wtf. Enjoy!