I know a building that reminds me of the sea. It takes up half a parking lot next to train tracks that lead to the university. Its brick is old, stained a draining white from internal leaking pipes, and ringed in dune-grass that is never mowed. Its paint is peeling, its wood planks are faded, warped, and aging, and someone, somewhere, repaints it once every three years.
But the wind hits it in its unhindered roll over the plains, scours and slashes and blasts ground train-stones against its walls. But not when the trains come. The trains protect it from wind, but howl worse, like sirens by the lighthouse.
Today it is raining. I paused at the building on my way into work and took a deep breath. I smelled the fresh growth of grass, smelled the mouldering steam-soaked bricks, and listened to the husky sound of dune-grass.
I sometimes imagine I am back at Coco Beach, and I am twelve years old, and none of this happened.
I spent most of my evening doing research on Religious Fantasy, a little-known sub-genre of Fantasy or, even, a subplot for Urban Fantasy. The use of religion and religious beliefs as a form of magic while also incorporating fictional characters are apparently frowned upon. Most publishers and most agents will avoid it like the plague.
This frustrates me because I’ve spent two years polishing a heartfelt work based on fact that, in the end, nobody’s biting because of the content: disillusioned boy discards ways of American life to travel the world, returns to realize all his ghosts (literally) are still around, and he must finally pick up the mess. In comes a priest, haunted by a demon. Soren puts his Dresden-esque abilities to use, hilarity ensues.
200 rejection letters from publishers, agents, and everyone in be-tween later, and I finally realize I never got more than a form letter. It could be the writing, of course: it might just suck. But the truer thing is most likely the lack of interest in touching fantasy elements in religious affairs.
I think I’m going to just self-publish it, or else release it to the internet via my wordpress site.