The Writing of Martin Brennan

Now: March 2019

First of all, this month I have a special announcement to make. I’ve had a piece accepted into the TL;DR Press Family anthology, called Kindred! This is my first ever published work and I’m extremely excited about it. The piece serves as backstory for the primary antagonist of my current manuscript, The Thaw, though it can be read without any knowledge of the novel. You can read more about the anthology at the TL;DR press Kindred lineup announcement. I’ve added a fancy new Published Works section on my works page to celebrate as well!

TL;DR Kindred Anthology

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I submitted this story to Third Flatiron Publishing’s Hidden Histories anthology at the beginning of February. Unfortunately this time I was not accepted. So, I thought I would post up the story as I cannot think of another place where it would be accepted, with the theme being so specific. I enjoyed writing this story and researching some history, though I struggled somewhat with coming up with a hidden history for the overall theme. What drew me to write about the Dresden bombings was the controversy around whether the city was a valid target, coupled with Kurt Vonnegut’s vivid descriptions of the bombing and the fire in Slaughterhouse Five. So, without further ado, here is YELLOWJACKET.

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Now: January 2019 and Year in Review

Another year has come to a close and I have come short of my writing and querying goals. This may sound bleak, and I certainly am not exactly happy that I haven’t finished what I set out to do in some regards, but I still did enough writing throughout the year that I didn’t feel as though it was a total waste. More often than not I get in my own way when it comes to writing as much as life, work, and procrastination get in the way, which means that I don’t write as much as I would like to in a year. This is a retrospective post on the last year, what I am going to try and do differently this year, and what I’m currently working on in January 2019.

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Now: November 2018

I’d like to provide more frequent updates from a “writerly” point of view I guess you could say, where I post about what projects I’m working on on a more regular basis. This is inspired in part by the Now page on Derek Sivers’ website, and also because I don’t usually post stories here if I think there may be some chance of having them published at a later date. For example, short story competitions that I enter may have a specific theme, like Horror, that may allow stories to be re-purposed, and I don’t want to get disqualified because of the common “previously published” clause. It’s kind of a moot point at this time because I’m not yet published, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. These posts will be loosely structured around three things; manuscripts, competitions, and what I’m currently reading. So here’s where I’m at for November 2018.

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I wrote this piece as an entry for the 2018 Literary Taxidermy short story competition The premise of the competition was to take an opening and closing line from one of three short stories and provide your own unique filling. The story I chose was “A Telephone Call” by Dorothy Parker. Without further ado here is my entry, UNREPENTANT.

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Prison always has been a good place for writers, killing, as it does, the twin demons of mobility and diversion

— Martin Silenus, Hyperion

Hyperion is like nothing I have ever read before. A sprawling sci-fi epic that is at the same time deeply personal and poetic, Dan Simmons has achieved a monumental feat of storytelling with the first novel in the Hyperion Cantos. My partner picked this up for me as a birthday present after she had read glowing recommendations for it online. I don’t often read sci-fi novels, mostly staying in the realm of literature, fantasy, and “Stephen King” (who I consider a genre onto himself), and it was initially difficult for me to get into, but about fifty pages in I was hooked.

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