Random notes

I am chipping away at Reason to Be, hoping to find the novel that already existed in the big block of words. Copy editing is hard, especially when it’s your own work.

For whatever reason, I’m following a traditional path with this novel — looking for a literary agent who’s willing to represent me and my work to the traditional publishing establishment. I recognize that I’m at a significant disadvantage with this. I don’t attend writers conferences. I don’t even participate much in online writers forums. I’m not a good self promoter, and I never have been. Still, I guess the only way to learn how to do some things is by doing them, so this is what I’m doing now. If it doesn’t work, I’ll move on to something else. I lose nothing by trying is what I’m thinking.

Autumn is fast approaching, which means Halloween is coming soon — my favorite time of the year. In honor of that, I’m planning to self publish my novella Graven Angel. Some of you may remember that, a couple of years ago, I wrote a fictional blog for a couple months entitled Last Night I had a Dream. I’ve adapted that into a novella, and I think it’s something that lends itself pretty well to self publishing. If nothing else, it will be a learning experience on how to self publish and how to promote your work. We’ll see how it goes.

Stephanie and I, along with our friend Cayle, will be attending the Kansas City Irish Music Festival this coming weekend. I’ve enjoyed Celtic music for quite a while, although I wouldn’t say I’m a serious fan — I’ve never been all that big a music buff, I have to admit. Still, in spite of my long-standing aversion to being in the same place with more than five people, this sounds like fun.

Reading wise, I’m looking for something that engages my imagination. I’m finally getting around to reading Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. In a lot of ways, the world Miéville created sounds a lot like the world I started to develop in my series Imaginary Atlas, something I’ve been meaning to get back to.

It’s pretty fascinating to me that fantasy literature is evolving from using pseudo-medieval settings to pseudo-Victorian, industrial-revolution era settings. I can’t help but imagine that this is, to some degree, a reaction to contemporary technology and the culture growing up around it.

There was a cartoon I ran across a while back — I wish I could find it — that compared how activities used to be conducted in ye olden days — 20 years ago — with how they’re done today. The first panel featured a stick-figure engaging in some sort of activity, while the second panel featured stick-figure-man sitting staring into a computer monitor. Ah, here it is.

I’ve also found a new mystery series to follow. Back in the ‘90s, I went on a mystery binge for a while. My favorite series was Lawrence Sanders’s Archy McNally books, but then Sanders had the nerve to go and die on me. I’ve been looking for a replacement series ever since. I found Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole books, which I enjoyed a lot until the characters seemed to stop aging, rather like characters in comic books. Even though the first book was published in the late ‘80s, Elvis and his buddy Joe Pike are still in their late 30s. For some reason, that just bugs me.

The new series I’ve found is by David Handler, his Berger and Mitry series. The central characters are rather an odd couple — Berger is New York film critic who relocates to Dorset, Connecticut, after his wife dies and Mitry is a Connecticut State Police trooper. The series is pretty light, but light is what I was looking for. We’ll see how it goes.

As autumn is closing in, as I mentioned, I’ve also been looking for some good horror to read. I’m giving Joe Hill’s debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, a try. Joe Hill, as you may know, is the pen name of Joseph King, son of legendary horror author Stephen King and Tabitha King, no slouch in the horror genre, herself. So far, the book is a fast read. It’s pretty dark and quite spare, which is all right, although I prefer my horror with a lot more substance, usually. In a lot of ways, it reads more like a short story than a novel.

I’m looking through my various notes and plans to determine what writing project I should start on next. Stephanie has suggested that I get back to working on Incandescent, so I’m considering that seriously. I’m also considering getting back to the fantasy novel I was working on when the bug to redo Reason to Be took over. Honestly, I have a lot of ideas floating around but none that have grabbed me by the lapels and screamed, “Write me! Write me!” in my face. Which is probably good, because you know how contrary I can be. “Hey, I won’t be told what to do by a writing project! You can just wait until I get around to you.”

I may have some news to share pretty soon. Or not. We’ll see.

Take care, all.


Photo by Jason Rogers

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