illustrated by serenity_winner
It was the war’s fault that she was there, in dungarees and with all her wavy red hair tied back in a kerchief, her hands grubby in the crevices of her knuckles and palms, holding pneumatic tools she hadn’t known had existed two weeks before, wearing a gold locket with Tom’s picture in it the way his letters promised he kept what few pictures he had of her wedged in the crevices of the metal that held his bunk to the wall. The war was responsible for how the nails she’d always kept so nice were ragged at the tips and cuticles, and rimmed around and beneath with heavy black-brown grease; the war was why she came home to an empty house and cooked supper for one and jumped in the middle of the night at every unexplained noise and sometimes stayed awake until dawn, hugging Tom’s pillow to her chest and telling herself it was going to be all right.
She wouldn’t complain; she was a good girl who never complained. She just wanted God and the rest of the universe to be clear on the point of the matter of her suffering. She had done nothing wrong; it was the war.
Patty White had all of five weeks to spend with her new husband before he was called away to serve in the war. Now living miles from her family, in an empty house, working with the other military wives at a factory job, Patty is more isolated than she’s ever been. But she finds a friend in one of her fellow workers, and between the two of them, the loneliness and hopelessness of wartime begins to recede.
SPOILERY ETC. UNDER THE CUT:
It is apparently the 10th anniversary of the fine Nicholas Sparks film The Notebook, so here is the Shousetsu Bang*Bang story I wrote that involves the line “Nicholas Sparks had to be a witch.”
Signups are now open for the September 22 issue, which is a special issue dedicated to showing off the works of the visual artists in the community. Illustrations, sketches, doodles, sequential images, comics, manga — they’ll be the order of the day!
The theme for this issue is Four Seasons: A discourse on the transitory nature of life and the passage of time. Either that, or a really swanky hotel.
So if you’re an artist who’s planning on contributing, sign up! Signups are of course neither necessary nor binding, but they give other contributors and us at the editorial staff a sense of what to expect.
For this issue, we throw a bit of a Sadie Hawkins dance: this time, authors may volunteer to generate ideas, hack out dialogue, write/polish final scripts, and/or whatever else might be necessary in the story-creating process. If you’re an author who wants to volunteer your services, leave a comment; if you’re an artist who’s looking for a partner, check out the comments before signing up yourself!
a message from antiquitylensescosplay
Don’t be scared! I promise we’re nice. We’ve had tons and tons and tons of people tell us that this is their first time writing anything, or first time writing something that they’re going to have other people see.
A thing about Shousetsu Bang*Bang is you have the option of publishing under a pseudonym. If you’re really nervous about it? Well, no one has to know it’s you. It’s a way of testing the waters instead of jumping in the deep end.
Our editorial process is very gentle. If you submit anything before the deadline, it’s even better, because then we (or really, mostly ladysisyphus, who does way more of the heavy lifting) have a good long while to give you feedback. And when it comes to feedback from editorial, it’s given with a general rule of ‘here is our feedback, and it’d be great if you made these changes, or want to talk to us about it more, but if you want us to run it as is, we will.’ With exceptions, of course, for things that just totally bust the guidelines, like, say, when we’ve gotten the few stories that don’t have any smut in them! I can’t think of a time we’ve ever outright rejected a story; at most we’ve had a few times when there were major red flags that we bounced the story back to the author for and then never heard anything back from them.
The main purpose of S2B2, I think, is to have a good time. I mean, this is all a volunteer-run, totally free endeavour. We’re just doing this because we like doing it. So you should write a story that YOU like writing! We’ve had things that are the silliest trashiest pulp to stuff that makes people cry. It doesn’t have to be perfect (though we’ll provide advice to give it polish!), it just has to be what you wanted to do.
Writing for Shousetsu Bang*Bang has been great for me personally, because having that deadline, that reason to crank out an original story at least once every two months, has meant I have gotten so much writing practice. And practice is everything! If you start submitting to S2B2 and keep it up, you will most likely become a better writer!
I hope this encourages you, and I hope we see you in our pages in the future. YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE READING THIS!
Some good words for anyone thinking of submitting to Shousetsu Bang*Bang. And this goes for art, as well! Working with an author is super fun and good practice for people who want a low-pressure “client” experience. Every story illustration I’ve done for S2B2 has pushed my abilities and helped me learn in some way!
eta: there’s a typo in the original ask, so best to use the link in my response! sorry about that!
From volume 9, issue 44
Daniel paused a few steps away from the checkout counter and grimaced. God damn it, for how much of a burnout Eddie clearly was, he took an impressive assortment of shifts. This was what he got for not going to the “good” 7-Eleven. Daniel shook his head at himself and raised his eyes to heaven for strength so he could just get this over with.
He put his two six-packs of Sam Adams up on the counter and pulled out his wallet without making eye contact. He could still feel it, the slow, stoned pull of Eddie’s gaze as it went from the beer to his face. Just hearing him start to smile made him want to punch him in the face.
"Oh, hey, Harold!" Eddie said. "Where’s Kumar?"
Daniel gritted his teeth. “Fucking your mother,” he said, and Eddie just let out a laugh like a baked donkey.