A Little Night Music

Coolio! I finished a short today and sent it off to an editor for consideration. This was an invite gig, so long as my story works for this particular anthology, I’m golden. The trifle (about 4000 words) is entitled, The Sad, Not-So-Sad, Ballad of Goat-Head Jean, Ambivalent, Devil Queen. I know, I know, it’s looong. Maybe to a fault? I think it’s interesting. We’ll see.

Short stories are so HARD (check a recent rant on them here). I sit there and churn the little suckers out, moving things, trying to find away to give these wild stories some levity to counter the pitch-black horror and violence. As of late, I have been having fun playing The Narrator. I get to interject and intrude here and there. I like the style. I like how I can frame absurdist bits with a bit of knowing humor. Then I like to drench the whole thing with buckets of vile blood. Fun!

I have to begin editing another short for another anthology. This one isn’t an invite, so I have to submit to the slush pile and hope I make the cut. This story is particularly good (if I don’t say so myself ;-). I wrote it for an invite antho that caved (I was really looking forward to it too – the editor and publisher are top shelf). I gotta give it  a coat of paint and send it off by the end of this week.

Unfortunately, this project only accepts snail mail submissions!

I actually have to print the manuscript out and send it via the US Post!

Why am I yelling?

Calm down, okay? Okay. Anyway, I am so used to doing the e-mail thing. We usually don’t print anything on paper until the ARCs, and then the final book comes out. Oh well. I dig the old school approach and I really, really like this publisher. It would be an honor. Why so cryptic, using terms like publisher and editor rather than name drop? I don’t want to jinx things here. I’ll spill when the time is right – upon acceptance or denial – and don’t worry, I’ll name names so you know what’s what and who’s who.

In any case, my cool sister was nice enough to give me a Rolling Stone’s book (a special edition of the magazine) about the Beatles and the production of all of their albums. It’s an awesome read. I love learning about the technical secrets behind the creation of each track. The maga-book (?) also has some nice stills, sidebar pieces by popular musicians about their feelings on this album or that, and a nice breakdown of each song and how it was recorded.


(Beatles, like cockaroaches, will never die. They will outlive us all and last forever and ever.)

I feel in love with the Beatles when I was about twenty. Some of you discovered them earlier, some of you might have yet to have a Beatles phase. But you will. Trust me. So long as you’re human and of this earth, if you don’t love the Beatles, you will. Just listen and learn, Loyal Reader. Bow to the master of rock, R&B, and pop.

The early albums are jangly, rocking gems. The later stuff got a bit deeper. Most of their lyrics are wonderful, introspective bits of pop perfection. Some of them are actually pretty dark. I even used the line – What do you see when you turn out the light / I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine – as the closing for one of my stories. It concludes the tale of a man who is forced to eat his way out of a pit of dead bodies (Consumed, from HORROR LIBRARY Vol.3 and my collection, BLOOD & GRISTLE). Cutting Block Press (the publishers behind the Horror Library series) couldn’t print it due to contractual reasons, but I think it remained intact in BLOOD & GRISTLE (hmmm, I’ll have to check that).


(Freaky cover, huh? I never showed this one to my mama. Too scary!!!)

Anyway, those Beatles were masters of melody, craft, the hook, and some damned ingenious major and minor chord shifts. They jam out on the greatest, blistering rockers, and haunt your mind with the greatest, melancholic slow burners. They mined that minor scale and tapped into pure emotion. Plenty have done it before (the Beatles had to learn from someone) and plenty more after (all trained by the Beatles), but in my humble (esteemed, expert, conceited) opinion they stand at Number One.

Here is one of my favorite Beatles bits. This one is a Lennon original and its melody does something indescribably special to my brain.

If I fell in love with you / would you promise to be true / and help meeee / understand
’cause I’ve been in love before / and I found that love was more / than just holding hands

Well, Loyal Reader, that did it. Now, If I Fell is stuck on repeat in my head. Why not give it a listen and get stuck too…

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One Response to “A Little Night Music”

  1. […] A Little Night Music (via Michael Louis Calvillo Must Be Destroyed) Coolio! I finished a short today and sent it off to an editor for consideration. This was an invite gig, so long as my story works for this particular anthology, I'm golden. The trifle (about 4000 words) is entitled, The Sad, Not-So-Sad, Ballad of Goat-Head Jean, Ambivalent, Devil Queen. I know, I know, it's looong. Maybe to a fault? I think it's interesting. We'll see. Short stories are so HARD (check a recent rant on them here). I sit there and … Read More […]

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