Bewildering Stories

Ian Donnell Arbuckle writes...

about the history of “Goodbye, Grand Mother”

As we always say, there’s no story as bewildering as reality. The reception of Ian’s story proves us right, once again...

I’m pleased that you like the story so much. Its title has been “Good Bye, Grand Mother” for a while, but that caused some problems a couple years back when I took it to the national undergraduate literature conference in Ogden, Utah. The administrators of the conference were kind of scatterbrained and, since the reading of the pieces had been done by a completely separate body, assigned papers and stories to small groups based on titles alone. I got grouped with a young lady who had a personal essay about hating her grandmother, whom she was raised by, and with an elderly woman who had a strikingly similar personal essay about her grandmother branding her with a hot iron.

The audience had come expecting such content, as the title of my group was “Problems with Grandmothers,” or something along those lines. I got quite a few blank stares when I read my piece, and the only comment I got was, “I sure liked how some of your sentences were only one word long.” Heh.

Anyway... to make a long story longer, I guess that’s still the title: Good Bye, Grand Mother, as long as the space is there between “grand” and “mother”.

And I sure do appreciate the encouragement to send it to larger magazines; unfortunately, it has [met with determined resistance from magazine and journal editors]. I was beginning to think I was the only one who saw merit in it.

If you’d like to schedule it for the 2nd anniversary issue, it’s yours; I would be honored.


That literature conference was sheer bad luck, in more than one way. But I think the magazine and journal editors are just plain wrong. And they’ve given Bewildering Stories another chance to prove its worth. Thank you, Ian!

Copyright © 2004 by Ian Donnell Arbuckle and Bewildering Stories

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