Monday, February 13, 2017

Saucerland - Selection III

I just added the last selection from "The Far Shores of Saucerland." These three, nonconsecutive excerpts should give you a enough of a sense of the work. I don't want to give it all away, after all.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Saucerland - Selection II

I added a second excerpt from Saucerland to that page today. I'll be adding more over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Saucerland

Over the next few weeks I will post selections from my current project "The Far Shores of Saucerland." It is my first (though I suspect not my last) attempt at long form, narrative poetry. That's a clunky description but it's the best I've got. It's not epic poetry because that, if I remember my college classes accurately, refers to a specific rhyming form. I was definitely inspired by The Iliad, The Aeneid and a handful of other long form, narrative poems that I've read over the years. If you haven't read Toby Barlow's "Sharp Teeth" do yourself a favor and go and do that now.

I've done a few editing passes on Saucerland and have it out to a couple of beta readers now. I aim to publish it in a month or so. Click on the Saucerland link under Pages to the right to read the selections.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Pages

Today I added a couple of pages about "Monsters of Utopia." One page is a description and notes and the other pages is three selections from the book.

Below I have added the notes section for those who want to take a quick look at them.

Notes:

I was working on one project, a story that started in a South American jungle (ayahuasca, shamanism, giant snakes, etc.) then moved north into the U.S., when I came up with the idea of a specific type of VR device. The more I wrote scenes with the VR device, the more my thoughting and plotting turned from the that project to what became Monsters. I ended up mixing in the concept of "Imaginal Creatures," a touch of the "third man" phenomena experienced by mountain climbers and other people who find themselves alone in very hazardous conditions and a twist or two from various fairytales. What came out of that literary fricassee is Monsters.

I'd been playing around with writing a "modern day fairy tale" for a while by then and Monsters took on that flair to such an extent that I ended up subtitling it "a fairy tale manifesto." Perhaps the most obvious (to me, at least) fairy tale aspect in Monsters is the character of Sebastian. He doesn't arrive until later in the story but when he does make his appearance, it's hard to ignore. I named the main character of my next book, "The Far Shores of Saucerland (not yet published)," Sebastian as I so loved writing his speeches/diatribes. His tone and word choice inspired me to push my limits even further with Saucerland which is written in a loose free verse.

When people ask me (it happens sometimes) what I enjoy most about writing, I tell them about how it fascinates me the way these characters which nominally I've created start to take on lives of their own. The surprising changes they insist on me making even though I started out with an entirely different plan in mind are both inspiring and maddening. As I write this, I've just realized my resisting this dynamic is what has been causing me such difficulty with Time Swerve Terminal (see previous blog posts for more info). I need to go back to those characters and let them tell me what I should do with that story.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tidying up the Past Year

MONSTERS
Here is the new link and new cover for Monsters of Utopia. Long story short, I had it up for a while with another cover and for various reasons took it down, massaged the book a little, added a new cover and now it's available again.

https://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Utopia-fairy-tale-manifesto-ebook/dp/B01MXX81UA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1486140243&sr=8-2&keywords=monsters+of+utopia


TIME SWERVE
I am still working on "Time Swerve Terminal." As I stated in my last post, it will either end up being my best work or my worst. I'm compelled to write this story but still have not found the way to wrap it all up. As such, it sits in limbo - for now.

NEW PROJECT
In the next couple of days, I will post a selection (or two, or ten) from my latest work "The Far Shores of Saucerland." Saucerland is different than my other works as it is written in free verse, my first ever attempt at long form narrative poetry. Inspired by my love for The Iliad, The Aeneid and other classic epics, I've put my mind to a modern story of alien invasion and its aftermath. I've had a couple of beta readers give me feedback so far and am in the midst of heavy editing. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Time Swerve....again

Since I've finished "Monsters of Utopia," I've gone back to look over all the other writing I did in the past couple of years. If you look at the publishing dates on my books, you'll see that "Hold Still the Sky" came out in December of 2013. I haven't published anything since then until Monsters. It did not take me two years to write Monsters. I started a book (see earlier posts) that I eventually called (after a few working titles) "Time Swerve Terminal."

After finishing the rough draft of Time Swerve, I sent it to my beta readers. They were confused by it. And that's putting it nicely. I took in their feedback (without too much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair) and reworked it and reworked it and reworked it. I reworked the book so much it became a different book and I put Time Swerve aside (just for a while I told myself). Then the book that came out of Time Swerve turned into a different book and that book turned into yet another book which turned out in the end to be "Monsters of Utopia."

So, after taking a few deep breaths I opened up the Time Swerve files again. I was pleasantly surprised. In my mind, Time Swerve had become this ugly mess of a narrative. Good, solid ideas but poor narrative flow. Jumping from one context to another without enough linkage to carry the reader along. And all that turned out to be true.

But what is also true is that there are sections of Time Swerve that are damn good. I know. Of course, I would say that. I wrote it after all. But, seriously. There are some good parts to Time Swerve. So I once again (into the breach) am reworking Time Swerve and hope to have it out in the next couple of months.

It will either be the worst book I've written or the best (fingers crossed).

----

Monsters is now available in a print version, too. Here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Utopia-fairy-tale-manifesto/dp/1530643945

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Monsters and other things

For my latest book, I've chosen to work with bookbaby.com. My newest title, "Monsters of Utopia" is now available on amazon.

Here's the link:
http://www.amazon.com/Monsters-Utopia-Fairy-Tale-Manifesto-ebook/dp/B01CIRJU44

Here's the cover:

I'm over 50K words into my next project. The working title is Doppelgänger. If the past is any guide to the future, the title will be different by the time I'm ready to publish. The story is set in the near future where America has been attacked by bombs and a plague. Society is geared around defending itself against terrorists. The latest attack blew off the head of the Statue of Liberty. The powers that be have a suspect in custody but he claims it was his doppelgänger that committed the crime.

Doppelgänger is very much a work in progress and I am sure the story will go through many changes  before I publish it. That's the process after all. Write, re-write, re-re-write, throw out a bunch of stuff, start over with the good parts, write, re-write, re-re-write...

I'll let you know when Monsters is listed on the other ebook stores.