I'd written a flash fiction piece for a new SFF magazine. Some of my regular beta readers provided thoughtful feedback that helped shape my revisions. In my wife's words, the new version was immeasurably more comprehensible.
But not quite good enough. The editor liked the world-building, but felt the "stakes" were difficult to "parse." She may be pretentious, but she is not wrong. In making it a flash piece, I had shortchanged the relationship between Grandpa Ayala and his granddaughter. That may not be the central idea of the story, but it is its heart. I think that if I revise the tale, developing that section, I might find success somewhere that has a less stringent word limit.
Saturday I walked through the park to the library, planning to catch a glimpse of the Holy Roller, newly returned to its familiar place. A team spent the last year refurbishing the World War II Sherman tank. It's one of two Canadian tanks that landed on D-Day and survived intact to the end of the war. It's still roped off, but I suspect that, before long, we'll see kids climbing on it again.
The Canadian military and several historical re-enactors were displaying weapons, historic vehicles, old mess kits, medical kits-- even a couple of discreetly placed vintage condom packages (No vintage condoms, however. Apparently, o-rings gave the packages the appropriate look). Objects skip through history like a stone on water. One display featured, I am certain, the same model Great War gas mask my uncle bought surplus and wore to environmental protests circa 1970. One presenter has apparently appeared in a number of documentaries. I'll have to look for him should I ever watch Canada: A People's History again.
Hey, it's possible.
I shot some video and continued onward. The local SF club was meeting in the main library to discuss Live Nude Aliens and Other Stories. I think it went well, though I was not so well-prepared as when The Con was up for discussion. It's also harder to talk about a collection, because everyone has different interests.
My wife had driven to the library and she joined the group. Afterwards, we saw a confused group member looking for a bus. Due to downtown construction and a music awards show set up in the city core, it was impossible to find an active stop. We gave him a lift home.
We ate at the Neptune Diner, the old Prince Albert under new management and name, replete with retrofuturistic décor. Thick milkshakes remain; liquor license is pending. We rocketed in between 5:30 and the place getting full, and landed a booth in the window.
Life feels a little like normal again.