2.23.2009

Something Wicked and 9 Curzon Place

I've always been fascinated by carnivorous plants. There are numerous varieties of these clever suckers, and a variety of different trapping mechanisms. You got your snap traps, your bladder traps, your pitfall traps and your flypaper traps, among others.

It's a remarkable notion to think of these bullies of the floral world snacking on insects. Talk about payback.

About a year ago, I was listening to AM talk radio while jogging on Atlantic Beach. I was tuned to the Jim Rome Show, where the listeners have kept a running joke about Cass Elliot choking on a ham sandwich alive for years. I wanted to look more closely into Cass's story, so I came home and did a little research. Well, Cass died of congestive heart failure while on tour in England. There was a ham sandwich next to her bed, but it had nothing to do with her death. She perished in Flat 12 in the apartment building located at 9 Curzon Place in London.

Looking into her death a little further revealed a strange coincidence. Keith Moon, the legendary drummer of The Who, later overdosed in the same flat. I read a bunch of articles about these artists and the wheels up there cranked into motion.

I started to think about how, maybe, some places are kind of like those carnivorous pitcher plants. How some places might secrete a chemical, luring prey ever closer before engulfing them, trapping them inside forever.

And what if one of these places liked rock music? Well, with Cass Elliot and Keith Moon, 9 Curzon Place was well on its way to building a hell of a band.

I put my energy into writing a story that would tie all of these ideas together. I polished it and sent it to editor Joe Vaz at Something Wicked, a great magazine out of Cape Town, South Africa. Joe liked the story and the piece is now available in both print and PDF formats at the SW website. You can also pick up a copy at numerous outlets in New York City and at selected bookstores throughout the United States. I purchased SW #7 through Fictionwise and was very pleased with the finished product, but the hard copy is a full-color glossy magazine and is really the coolest reading experience, if you can wait on the international shipping.

Here's a direct link to SW #9.

I'm thankful to Joe for accepting this story, and I hope you'll send me an e-mail or comment here on the blog to let me know what you thought of it.

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