Let’s tell each other what a long straw we’ve drawn
in this life because we’re gay.
Toby has collected more material than he can use in CHARMED LIVES.
If the anthology is successful for Lethe Press, we'll maybe do another
So here are the submission guidelines
and some suggested storylines.
Toby Johnson would be interested in seeing stories that have
plots and gimmicks along these lines.
7,500 words. Minimum word count is 250-500. (We'll intersperse short
anecdotes between the longer, more substantial stories.) The initial deadline was July 1st, 2006.
Though that date is passed,
submissions are still welcome, though we may not be able to use them
unless and until we bring out a second volume. Contributors will receive a small fee and
copies. Email query to email@example.com Electronic
preferable. Probably the best way to send files across platforms and
wordprocessing apps is to save them in Rich Text Format and attach that
file to email (name the file: YourLastNameFirstNameTitle.rtf -- using
some sort of condensed version of the story's title). For your information: I am using a
Macintosh, running OS X (Tiger),
with Microsoft Word as my primary wordprocessor. (Yahoo.com users beware that yahoo does a
strange thing with rtf files
and sometimes embeds them--with all the formatting tags--into the email
instead of attaching them. So if you've got a yahoo email address, try
sending as a .doc, .txt, or .pdf)
Short Version of Call: Inspirational fiction, autobiographical anecdotes, and
positive, life-fulfilling aspects of gay experience sought for a Lethe
Press anthology Charmed Lives: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirit
Through Story, edited by Toby Johnson. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some ideas, if you're intrigued by any of
these, please let me know, maybe we can use your story. Remember, we're
looking for light-hearted stories with happy endings. 1) Gay Guardian Angel:
What if extremely macho straight men have
gay guardian angels to "balance their karma"?
What if a priest has a gay guardian angel who appears to him to tell
him to get the Church to change its teachings?
What if the Pope has a gay guardian angel?
2) Gay Uncle Archie:
A favorite aphorism of Toby Johnson's goes:
"Every gay man needs God to be his Auntie Mame."
How about a story about such a gay Auntie Mame -- maybe Uncle Archie?
3) Doors opening:
Some years ago, the positive
thinker/self-healer Louise Hay was popular among many gay men who were
dealing with the first appearance of AIDS, when medicine had nothing to
offer and spiritual wisdom was the only possible response.
One of Louise Hay's aphorisms/chants was a wonderful song that
"Doors opening, door closing. I am safe. It's only change."
There was a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow called Sliding
Doors that used the image of doors as entries to alternative
Every decision we make opens one door and closes another. The
"spiritual lesson" to learn is Hay's "I am safe. It's only change."
How about a story about a door?
The door of a gay bar?
The door of an AIDS hospice?
The door of a gay man's apartment?
The door of the train to New York City?
--all these doors change people's lives. There are stories about them.
Maybe you'd like to write such a story . . .
4) Quantum Theory and The Holographic Universe
One of the cutting edge notions of modern
physics was described by gay science & spirituality writer Michael Talbot in the
the book The Holographic Universe.
Talbot proposes that what human persons really are is vorticies of
energy resonating with patterns that are experienced as "the world."
Is there a way to present that vision in a short story?
5) Gay Pet Story
Cats are dogs are intimate parts of our
lives. How about a story told from the perspective of a gay couple's
pet--cat or dog--about what the couple's life is like? How lucky the
pet is to have gay humans of its very own!
6) Gate of Gay Heaven
How about a story about going through the bardo? Or getting to heaven
and meeting St. Peter at the gate? What sort of "test" might there be
for a gay man--or a gay couple who died together in an auto accident,
say--to get through the gate?
How about a gay "Beetlejuice"?
7) The Cardinal Comes Out
How about a story about the Pope or one of the Cardinals at the Vatican
or the Cardinal Archbishop of New York City who gets divine instruction
to proclaim his homosexuality? There must be comedy in that plot!
8) The Joys of Having a Gay Son or Daughter
For many parents, the reality is they are very lucky to have had a gay
child. How about a story from the perspective of such a parent? Maybe
told from "the other side." A ghost who has come back to show thanks to
his or her gay/lesbian child??
9) The Mirror of Isis
A familiar mythological theme is the mirror. Looking into a mirror is a
meditative, mystical practice for seeing past lives. The mirror reveals
"Truth" -- like in the story of Snow White. How about a story about a
magical mirror? Maybe one that reveals sexual orientation? OR shows the
10) Gay Don Quixote
How about a story about the Man of La Mancha as a gay activist?