Story #26 – “The Time-Traveller’s lament”

May I recommend for your reading … pleasure? … my most recent publication, and my final for 2021 (and who knows, perhaps my final ever?), The Time-Traveller’s Lament ?

So many things to say about this, for a change. Thanks to the folks at Sci-Phi Journal. This is the second story of mine they have published. The first was a story that I wanted to entitle “Mr Cranky and his amazing performing evolutionary dogs”, but which is known as “Mr Cranky”. I had feedbacks with rejections of that story from magazines who never give me feedback saying that they did not like the title. Well I did. There were even reviews that said they did not like the story – who reviews little stories? Well, I liked it. The last page of that story lived in my head for perhaps 20 years, waiting for the front pages to arrive and precede a man wondering at a collection of dead pigeons, and the sound of dogs and children playing far above his head.

Sci-Phi Journal used to live in Australia, but now lives in Belgium, and I am very happy to appear in a European magazine, and always happy to be picked twice from a slush pile (hell, happy to be picked once!!)

Once upon a time, I thought, when might I feel like a real writer? I decided arbitrarily that it would be when I published more than two dozen stories. I have now published two baker’s dozen stories – this is published story #26.

I can confirm that I don’t feel like a real writer. However, I also don’t feel like an adult. This is probably because in my head, adult males smoke pipes and have their own bar in their home where they mix martinis at around 5.30pm. They are never afraid, and generally wear suits even when at home, unless wearing a cardigan, or engaged in an activity that requires particular clothing, like golf or fishing. So there is all that. I blame the sort of movies and shows that played on TV when I was young – The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, My Three Sons. I also do not feel educated (though I am, I have various pieces of paper), because Mr French, the butler (the Gentleman’s Gentleman) on A Family Affair, was always quoting Shakespeare, and due to a confused conversation with my father (I blame my 5 year old self, not Dad) I thought that to graduate from high school, one had to be able to quote the entirety of the Bard’s works.

Perhaps if I start smoking a pipe and publish 24 novels, things will feel differently … “Aroint ye witch, the rump-fed runyon cried”.


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