I wanted to take a moment to bring you up to speed on my current scribbling endeavors and tentative plans for the future. I’m always pleasantly surprised and grateful when I look at this site’s analytics and see people are still visiting its pages and downloading its literature PDFs despite my frequent absences. As you may know, I prefer only to post when I have something of substance to say, or a project to release. This will be a rare exception.
Reception of my initial release for 2021, Dinosaur: A Dystopian Story, has been encouraging to say the least. If you haven’t already read it you can find it for free right here. A few close friends have told me it’s the best thing I’ve ever done; acquaintances have occasionally responded with mystification; and one long-distance friend may never speak to me again over it. I do like an eclectic reaction.
My most recent editing client’s new book will release next month. I will absolutely be posting about that here.
Musicto has kindly allowed me to create several custom playlists for them, which can be heard here.
As for writing, I am into a novel that is very different from anything I’ve done before, in that it might actually have some commercial (as opposed to purely literary) appeal. A comparison with Gregory Maguire’s Wicked would not be too far off–irreverent reimagining is the name of the game. I can’t wait to tell you the full story of this book, but I won’t, partly because the book itself and the story of its creation are not even close to being over. Suffice it to say I feel I am currently doing my absolute best to make all of you proud and to make the best of this opportunity.
What else? Google will probably have a quantum computer by 2030 (bye-bye all encryption?). So that’ll be fun.
Until the next one,
C.S. Lewis once said “I was with book, as woman is with child,” and writing this story has helped me understand his sentiment. While I have certainly experienced an urgency to churn out a final draft before, this project was accompanied by what I can only describe as mortal dread. There was no logical reason to ask such a morbid question, but ask it I did: will I live to finish it–and what if I don’t?! This was also the first time that I was truly able to confess to a confidant, “My characters are saying things I didn’t expect them to say.” I have heard other, better authors describe a similar mid-draft realization that they are no longer in control…Let us hope it portends the same for me.
I hope–and frankly expect–never to experience such literary dread again, because, while I undoubtedly have much room to grow in terms of writing purely entertaining stories, this is likely the most meaningful story that I can muster. On the surface, it is about a near-future, wherein a One-World Leader visits the last person alive who dares to oppose her. But, much like an iceberg, its heaviest mass lies below, in the barbs these mortal enemies trade and the ramifications of their divergent beliefs. I have often thought that fiction writers are merely philosophers who are afraid to be boring, and this piece at least proves it in my case.
I am also pleased to offer two forwards, one by the ambitious sci-fi project VivaEllipsis.com, and the other by my dear friend Professor Hoheisel. I should also add that this work–like most valuable things on Earth–was forged somewhat in tragedy. The person to whom it is dedicated, an esteemed Doctor both of medicine and of philosophy, passed away shortly after reading it. It was he who told me I was capable of, and ought to tackle these subjects, and so I did. Indeed, the last communication I ever had with him was to the effect that he was pleased by the dedication, and looked forward to discussing it in depth. I hope to hold him to that, one day.
I just received my first manuscript rejection from a New York literary agent.
I’m relieved to have this mandatory hazing ritual out of the way. Strangely, I feel more like “a real writer” now than any minor successes have ever caused. Perhaps I am consoled by a small sense of pride that this didn’t emotionally phase me. The juvenile phase of self-righteous indignation whenever someone calls “my baby” ugly has come and gone, thank God. (If fact, for a rejection it was quite civil).
I know that I’m happy with what I wrote; I know it can make some money for myself and some press; and I know there isn’t an agent or press on Earth who’s going to tell me “it’s perfect as it is; we’ll print it at once!”
There is an eerie peace to be had in knowing that it is now beyond my strength to alter without the aid of a professional editor. In some metaphysical sense, the process is already over. I just have to keep submitting.