For those of you who say you’re all caught up with my novels and can’t wait for something new, here’s some free reading.
Fellow author Brian Farrey invented The Bet. In case you’re wondering who’s to blame. He linked to this Atlantic article about a Stephen King short story, “Herman Wouk is Still Alive.”
“Every year my son Owen and I have a bet on the NCAA March Madness Tournament,” King said, “and last year the stakes were that the loser would have to write a story [with a title] the winner gave to him. And I lost. Except I really won, because I got this story that I really like.”
Along with the link, Brian tweeted, “Anybody wanna make a bet with similar stakes w/me?”
He got two takers. Foolish me and fellow YA author Kimberly Pauley.
Here are the rules. We each pick a horse in the Kentucky Derby. Maybe none of our horses win, but they have to finish in some kind of order. The one with the best showing of the four gets to dictate a story title to the person whose horse had the second best showing of the four. That person not only writes a story, but dictates a title to the person whose horse had the third best showing of the four. And that person not only writes a story, but gives a title to the person whose horse had the worst day.
Andrew Smith came in for a time, but dropped out again. David Lubar came in, then out. This year we were joined by Gail Doggett.
In case you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about this, for the last two (possibly three) years, my horse has not only won the bet, but the actual Kentucky Derby. This year my luck ran out in a big way. My horse was fourth of the four.
Gail Doggett assigned me my title: A CATHEDRAL OF BEES.
All of my Bet stories are about the lives of the same characters, a young gay couple named Brian and Tim. About Brian’s crazy family and unsteady career as an artist, and Tim’s ability to stand like a rock through all of these changes. Nobody said I had to use the same characters in each story, but I grew to love these guys.
They do tend to work best in a progression, so I’ll link to the earlier stories here:
THE ART OF BEING STUCK HERE
UNCLE MO HOLDS A GRUDGE
EVEN PIGEONS CAN SING
GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY AT STEVIE’S
And this year’s offering: A CATHEDRAL OF BEES