Nagoya Writes

February 10, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Filed under: Issue: 2002,Prose — usbengoshi @ 11:37 am

Dear Editor,

I purchased an advertisement space in your magazine for the Spring, 2001 issue. I recently found myself on a long flight to London, and with nothing else to do I read through several of the stories and poems of that issue. My first thoughts were that I had made a huge mistake by advertising in your journal. I did not find any of the stories interesting, and only a select line or so from the poetry amused me briefly. Several of the stories I found outright boring, and to be quite honest, there was one which I found to be without any worth whatsoever. The story by Mike Sloan lacks even a single detail to interest a reader, in my opinion. I actually read through it twice, thinking perhaps there was some great game afoot which I had missed. If there is, I still cannot find it. Please inform your writers that they should at least attempt to cross the space between their readers and themselves. The original intention of this letter was to inform you that I will not be advertising further in your magazine. However, a few moments ago I received a phone call from a friend who has changed my thinking. I discussed this matter with him, and in his opinion, an advertisement placed in a magazine the content of which leaves the reader flat is a better placed ad. He has advised that most readers don’t actually look beyond the advertisements anyway. After further consideration I am inclined to agree with him, and therefore I would like to place two advertisements in your next issue. I would like to rerun the previous advertisement and I will be sending you data for the new one in a few days time. Please inform me if there have been any changes in your price structuring. Sincerely,

Bill Wadders

Buddy’s Bar and Grill

*******

Dear Editor,

Congratulations on an excellent publication. I enjoyed the last issue with one exception. I found the erotic poetry well written and want to thank you for having the courage to publish it. I also found the story by Gerald McMann utterly provocative, particularly the scene where the girl ends up being rescued by the same man she loathed in the beginning of the story and comes to love him. The final scene where they make love is beautiful prose. I could see myself there watching them in the light of the television. In view of that I cannot understand why you continue to publish stories by Mike Sloan. I have yet to find a single one of his stories even slightly interesting. The latest fiasco was utterly without merit as far as I am concerned; no description, sound-asleep narrative, and less action than a dog day afternoon. Nothing ever seems to happen in his stories, just a bunch of vague pondering. It is as though the characters have no bodies. Would a peek at a breast be too much to ask for from the comatose Mr. Sloan? I have always enjoyed your publication, but I honestly cannot understand why you continue to include an obviously unremarkable writer.

An Anonymous Reader

******

Dear Readers,

The editor of NagWrit was kind enough to pass along your letters. My first reaction was to take offense, but upon further consideration, I realized that there will always be a space between the reader and the writer. It is my intention to cross that space periodically and therefore I am enclosing a few notes to accompany the story that you loathed. A writer should attempt to cross the space between his intentions and the reader’s interests, should he not? A writer cannot write in a vacuum, after all. You seem to prefer those writers who grab hold of their reader’s attention and confine it to the story at hand; never letting the reader’s mind go until the end of the story, if then, if ever. I am hoping these notes will narrow the space between us.

Sincerely,

Mike Sloan

Note 1:

The passage in the story that reads as follows:

“… Jorge looked up from his writing, put down his pencil, and followed her gaze to the palm tree outside the window. A soft wind, pregnant with summer, moved the curtains as it entered the room.

In a hint of light the next morning he looked across her cheek to the same palm having now shed its moonlight…”

Could read:

“…Jorge slapped the pencil onto the desk, his writing forgotten. He crossed the room to her and placed his dry hand on the small of her back. The bed was placed just under the curtains billowing in the light breeze. He moved his hands round to the gentle skin of her stomach and kissed the nape of her neck through the auburn hair. Jorge guided her towards the bed. They removed their clothing as soon as they lay down. She hooked one slender tawny arm around the back of his neck and they began to make love without respite, their cries unmuffled.

In the morning Jorge awoke first and looked at her. He felt none of the previous night’s passion, in its place was a kind of sympathy…”

Note 2:

The car accident scene that reads as follows:

“… Estelle fell to the grass just at the edge of the roadway. Either the pain in her leg, or the noxious, acrid fumes confused her. The distant mountains which she had gazed upon all morning were now gone, blocked from her view by the remains of the car smoldering just before her…”

Could read:

“…Estelle stumbled from the car and fell at the edge of the shoulder. The blood seeped out from her leg where the broken bone stuck through the skin. The smell of burnt rubber and hot, spilled oil turned her stomach and she passed out. She came to three minutes later and realized she did not know where Jorge was. “Jorge!” She screamed. Without Jorge there was no future…”

Note 3:

The scene where the money changed hands which reads as follows:

“…Estelle glanced into the gray shoe box and closed her eyes. She put the cover back on and opened her eyes to see Jorge’s head drop to the table. The man in the suit fidgeted in his seat. As the invincible strength of the afternoon sun slashed its way into the room, she realized she had never seen Jorge cry before…”

Could read:

“…Estelle opened the box and flipped quickly through the bills. She did not count them, but her quick check told her the fifty thousand dollars they had agreed on were all there. She blinked her eyes and looked at Jorge. Tears streamed down his face and he refused to look at her or the man who had brought the money. He cried with the realization that there is no escaping from money…”

Note 4:

The passage where the child is shot which reads as follows:

“…under a darkening sky the crows hunted for garbage, little matter to them if it rained or not. The child lay inert, Estelle sat beside him motionless, voiceless, her mind registering only the black-ness of the sky. The rain would come down even-tually, but for now the sky just brooded, darkened further, and the wind stopped…”

Could read:

“…the sky began to threaten rain as Estelle sat stunned beside the body of her dying child. The blood pooled around its head in a sinister, growing puddle. Estelle could not scream or cry. She sat in shock, the sharp pain that would tear at her very being for months just beginning to ripple through her heart. Next to her, the child died…”

Note 5:

The footnote from the author that reads as follows: “…This story owes its very existence in this or any space to the ideas of Paul Mason. I would like to thank him for his encouragement and for allowing me to steal from his work.

Could Read:

“…This story is not intended to be read as fiction. It is entirely autobiographical. Every event in this story either happened to me or was a direct action of my own. If you would like photographs or video footage of any of the events, please contact me directly.

I hope you find these notes helpful and that they make it easier for you to cross into the space of the story.

******

Dear Mr. Sloan,

What excellent revisions! I couldn’t have recommended any better ones myself. Allow me to apologize for not introducing myself in my previous letter. Please also excuse the fact that I did not suspect you were capable of such wonderful work. I work for a major Hollywood producer, employed in the capacity of seeking out possible stories for revision to the screen. I read stories from a wide variety of sources, passing the worthy ones on to the producer, and also to several quite famous directors who I do freelance work for.

I am pleased to tell you that I have found a buyer for your story. I was so enthralled with the revisions that I copied and pasted them into the text just as you sent them and passed the story on to the most famous director I have connections with. He loved it. He is dying to meet you, and feels that once the normal process of adapting the story into a screenplay is finished he would like to start filming immediately. He may have already contacted the actors he has in mind for particular roles. He did mention something to me about a famous actor he absolutely had to have for your own character. His secretary will be contacting you shortly. I hope this turns out to be a lasting relationship for both of us, and I look forward to meet-ing you soon. Sincerely,

Ryder Cottel,

President, Ryder Agency

PS. I have already lined up advertisers as well. Coca Cola would like to take an ad placing a can of coke on the writing desk in the prelude to the love scene.

Ford Motors would like to place (what we in the industry call an “anti-ad”) a large amount of money ensuring that the car in the crash scene is a Toyota. As you can see from the quick interest, financing won’t be a problem on this one. This should also be good news for you as it ensures that your future screenplays, or adaptations of your stories, will be financially viable and readily accepted. I have no doubt that big name actors will soon be begging for roles.

R.C.

******

Ryder Agency President

Ryder Cottel

CC. Editor, NagWrit, Matt Carson/Mike Sloan

Dear Mr. Ryder,

Please be informed that our firm, Sniff-Myers, MacGreggor, and Levi-Bardeluden, will be hence-forth representing Mr. Mike Sloan, and his copy-righted works, including but not limited to work previously published in NagWrit, and in particular the story “Jorges’ Boat,” copyright Mr. Mike Sloan.

The intent of this letter is to inform you that you, your company, or any representative of your company is unequivocally denied permission to use “Jorges’ Boat” or any part of it. We are further authorized to instruct you that even the most complete of adaptations, including those which render the original story unrecognizable will be challenged in a Court of Law. Our client also wishes you to know that he will pursue any studios affiliated or not affiliated with your agency who attempt to make use of any of his work, or even any miniscule extraction from his work.

Please be informed that all previous communication between you and the client, up to and through this notice has been notarized in full in the City of Santa Monica, California and will be admissible…

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