Oddly Enough, I Write Long

IT’S VERY HARD, IF NOT impossible for me to write short. Which is why I type myself as a novelist — a specialist in a long form. In fact, a longer form — an epic series, which is what the Baby Troll Chronicles are.

When I first set out to blog, I thought to establish two weblog sites — one, called BabyTrollBlog, which was to be the working journal of my writing on the Chronicles, and a second, called A Jaundiced Eye, which was to contain my rantings about politics.

In the decade-and-a-half since, my online presence has morphed — as has not everyone’s? — into Pinterest boards, Facebook posts and comments, and … not very much blogging.

But the desire, the need for the outlet has not diminished. Instead, what has taken place is ALL of my writing has suffered (to the point where none of the Dolly stories have moved very forward), and what I do write daily is distilled down to bilious spews on Facebook.

But my inability to write short has stifled me further. I never finish a thought, let alone edit one into coherence. Like tonight. I want to go to bed. I’m dog tired and sore and need to get moving in the morning. It will take me hours to get down the spare notions that have popped into my mind in recent hours. And, yet, I know I will not have the time to make them so. I need to change. Maybe disciplining myself to write it down, cut it short as time allows — or demands — is the answer. And, who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to fly. Maybe I might along the way down learn to express complex thoughts with greater brevity.

Maybe I can hope to post her more frequently, given the resolve to write something — anything — every day, without regard to subject matter. Maybe it will get easier for me to write short.

Call for Readviewers

HAD A REVIEWER RETURN The High T Shebang unread. The objection: the sex. Apparently, there are adults uninterested or even put off by graphic sex scenes in novels. Who knew? It’s a thing, I’m told. But, hey, you take something previously known only to a small-ish circle of fans and give it to a wider audience, you gotta make allowances for differing tastes. When earlier drafts and versions of the Apocrypha appeared on fan fiction Web sites, the stories were accompanied by a disclaimer — usually in a left sidebar it went something like this:

Since this is written by a fan of a TV show which bears a strong sexual subtext and is written for fans of that show — fans who are more-than-ordinarily interested in sex (and who isn’t interested in sex?*), there is a more-than-ordinary amount of sex — both maintext and subtext — even graphic and explicit sex. But never gratuitous.

Please God, never gratuitous.

(*I got my answer.)

Apparently, some people find any amount of sex gratuitous and will avoid books like the plague which have sex in them. Color me surprised. I expected to be dinged for the sex in The High T Shebang, but never to find it a total drug on sales. Well. Apparently, I was wrong. And no matter how many people find Dolly charming and her adventures (out of the bedroom) of interest, only about 100 people in the whole world found them so enough to overcome the sex.

Go figure.

So. This fall, perhaps in time for a second anniversary special edition, I will be releasing a new edition, re-written to tone down the sex. Considerably.


Shouldn’t Talk About Un-published

HELL, UNWRITTEN stories, but I was just listening to this tune and realized — I think I’ve come to this realization before, that it’s entirely apposite to the stories.

In Geppetto’s Log (Ten-fifteen years old, only seen by critters on OWW, never finished, but a complete story nonetheless.), Drummond (not yet Dolly’s lover), falls in love with Witchlet — a new Thaumismus Doctor on his Executive Action Team at HeyAye. It happens somewhat like you’re supposed to imagine it happened in the song. So, here. Enjoy this. Wish for me to get to and finish Geppetto’s Log

It Happens in the Deeps of the Evening

WHEN I’M DOZING on the couch, the TV half-heard intrudes on my half-dreams. Something jars me awake. I reach for the nearest Moleskine — they’re scattered all over the house, each with a G2 pen clipped to its cover. And I start writing notes. I don’t dare work on actual text this way — my stories would lose all cohesion. The best I can do is maintain the notes, trying to ensure that the last thing in any notebook is the most recent work in that location. Dates become irrelevant. Unless I enter them in a central location — such as the Evernote base — they’ll become an inchoate mass, no better than random thoughts. My task as a writer is to bring order to all this. To make a sensible story. As somebody-you’d-know put it, the difference between fact and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.

Yeah. Right.

Gods Above and Below!

BUT I HATE PEOPLE! I just wasted a halfhour reading the comments to a reader review of Emma Bull’s The War for the Oaks and a more vicious, middle-school bunch of bratty, hate-filled shits you could not hope to find. I refuse to let that batch of fuck wits ruin one of my favorite novels for me!

But I want to take a nap, now, so I won’t go on.

All of the Traditions Surrounding

THE NEW YEAR IMPINGE in my mind like Scandinavian houses. A vast architectural Ikea of emotional reactions to the concept of New Year’s Day.

Done the summation of the year prior. Two words: it sucked. Next? For the year to come, what do I want? What do I intend to do to achieve what I want?

  • Finish The Origin Protocols It occurs to me this evening that my intent of wrapping TOP around The High T Shebang is singularly nebulous, the deviel being in the details. (What it is about the phoneme “iel” that signifies a spiritual being — angel or devil? Need to research that.) I may end up with merely inserting a page with the legend: “The events immediately following are narrated in the novel, The High T Shebang, by the same author and published by Dreamflower Works.” And another: “We return you now to the current narrative.” Either that, or I’ll have to split TOP into two volumes to make it volumes 1 and 3 and THTS volume 2 of a trilogy. The problem is that the three volumes would have little other than coincidence — that they take place seriatim — to tie them together.
  • Bring The High T Shebang out in a trade paperback, so that there’s another binding in addition to the eback.
  • Bring The High T Shebang out in wider markets than just Amazon worldwide. Draft 2 Digital and CreateSpace for that.
  • Mount a Book Bub promotion for both The High T Shebang and The Origin Protocols as appropriate.
  • Learn (finally) how to use Poser.
  • Work on my drawing chops. Improve the level of illustration I use on my book covers.

There should be more. I may add more.

The Concept of “Wild”

CONTENT I FIRST ENCOUNTERED on a television series called Bracken’s World (should I be surprised that a 1960s TV show that ran 1½ seasons has a Wikipedia entry which, almost tv-tropes-like, ends with a meta-reference to the series Mad Men?)… refers to content that is not synchronous to the content in the mainstream of a presentation. In radio, a wild sound track might include overheard conversation, or pre-recorded announcements. In television, wild sound is recorded asynchronously from that recorded during a camera shot. A voice-over, for example, or an off-set effect, such as a gunshot. In literature, a wild scene might be one that, while it may or may not fit in the plot structure of the larger work, does not fall in train with the scenes or chapters which might come before or after it in as-written sequence. Case in point:

Who Knows Where This Goes?

Mitchell Cary Drummond

Drummond marched out of the elevator, taking his first step while the door was still [opening withdrawing, receding sucking back in]. He threw the door of Marduk’s outer office back so it crashed against the nearest chair inside the waiting room. A frekun ang Guard trooper, stationed at a desk against the far wall, leapt to his feet. He recognized Drummond and held out a preventory hand.

“Dr. Drummond! Sir! You shouldn’t…”

Before he lost his nerve, Drummond pushed by the other man and kicked open the door to the inner office. Without pause, he fired a shot from his service pistol in the general direction of the God behind the desk and brandished the razor-edged cavalry sabre he’d snatched up along the way with a whistling flourish.

“You sonuvabitch!” he shouted at Marduk. “I’m going to make you pay for this!”

“What are you talking about? Mitchell! Put that down!”

His first shot had gone wide. There was still a wisp of smoke rising from the hole it had made in the paneling behind Marduk’s left shoulder.

“Say your prayers, motherfucker!”

From the outer office, Drummond could hear the voice of the guardsman calling for backup.

“And what, pray tell, have I done to occasion this fiery retribution?”

“You exposed Dolly to these thugs when you hired them to kidnap her off the road. Now one of them has gone all serial-killer psycho-stalker and taken her from our loft. And terrified my Brownie near to death!”


Who indeed…?

The Mental Jumble

I DEDICATE SO MUCH of my energy to my career that I have very little “me” time to do the kinds of projects that interest me. I’ve been working on cabinetwork for my home office since 2006, now. I’ve been meaning to redo the trim around doors and windows in the bathroom for a couple of years at least. I’ve been working on the shed in the back yard for six months. I’ve been trying to improve my drawing chops since I first started to blog, all because I wanted to have a neat cartoon character design drawing of Dolly to act as the masthead figure for BabyTrollBlog (and, I guess for this blog, too.

What usually happens is that I have to moosh all my vacation days together in a little-used part of the year (the year-end holiday weeks are pretty empty) and plan (if inchoate desire to do something could be called a plan) to get all these things done in that time frame.

I usually end up with a confusion of things to do and none of them get done. Right now, for example, I’m about 20,000 words behind on the novel. To show you how badly I’m doing, as of ten minutes ago, as I write, I just got finished witwh a half-hour writing session in which I got 1,200 words on the screen. In a half-hour. That’s a wph rate of 2,400. Which means I could get 5,000 words done in a little over two hours. Easy peasey. But shit doesn’t happen. Or goes wrong (IWC, shit DOES happen, so there you are). And I get nothing done in a day. Well, I get plenty done, but it’s not the stuff I meant to do.

For example, I’m reading a pair of books I’ve been meaning to read for a while, Steal Like an Artist! and Show Your Work!, by Austin Kleon, which are about the creative process and being an artist for a living. I’m finding myself enjoying them immensely, and finding a great deal of blog fodder in them and wondering if I dwell on them too much, would it come across as obsessive and monomaniacal? But, really, I could be perfectly happy just writing little scenes from Dolly fiction, and reading books like these.

But this is altogether too much like an actual journal entry — incomplete and desultory — and not at all like a blog post, so I’m stopping here and going to bed. G’Night y’all.