Back in the Saddle


This picture was taken during the filming of the Mongoliad trailer. There was an entire section of the script that revolved around Joe Brassey and I in the office, typing and thinking. Eventually, we’d go upstairs and hit each other with swords. The hitting each other with swords bit is the only part that stayed in the final cut. Because, well, apparently Joe and I are even more awkward on camera than Neal.

Anyway, I was poking around at this morning in an effort to find a way to track word count metrics, and realized I needed a profile picture. Something with me and a laptop in my “office,” AKA the comfy chair. I had to go back nearly two years to find evidence of me actually writing. That should tell you something.

But, yes, there was writing this morning. And yesterday too. Must have something to do with the fact that I finalized four books in the Fall schedule last week, and got cover art for those same books all taken care of. One of the big milestones in the first months of Resurrection House is in the can. I have books. They have covers. There are manuscripts in place. I suppose I can take a bit of time to myself and see if I remember how to do this writing thing.

That, and three books are starting to bang against the insides of my head. HERE BE MONSTERS, ANGEL TONGUE, and something I’m calling EVERGREEN. I’m going to try to finish two of the three this year. Maybe all three. We’ll see how it goes. I had two of the three on my list last year too. We see how well that turned out.

Kicking And Screaming


I managed a whole 1000 words of new fiction today. I’ve been doing so much editing over the last six months that I’ve started to feel invisible, working as a silent partner with other writers. Today, working on some fresh stuff, I found it hard to remember my own voice. Well, the voice I needed for the content. It came back eventually, but man, those writing muscles do atrophy quickly. Need to keep up a proper regime, after all.

On the e-publishing front, I stumbled upon Jeff and Ann Vandermeer’s new e-book imprint, Cheeky Frawg. Slightly silly name aside, they seem to have nailed the basic fundamentals of the new publishing frontier: lots of content, new and reprinted work; ace design that is both arresting and simplistic–very necessary when your storefront is the web; and a certain amount of irreverence.

Check out their 2011 publishing schedule.

Trust the Vandermeers to be at the forefront of the new paradigm.

I’m watching the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tonight. The film makes it abundantly clear that Larsson’s novel has at least three major storylines running through it. The film ditches a couple of the interesting side-notes (Mikael’s relationship with Erika, the cover story of him writing a book about the Vangers) in an effort to streamline things, but the film still blows through a lot of the subtlety of the novel. It’s a film that will probably seem even more archly foreign if you haven’t read the books, as you will keep wondering what it is that you’re missing (at lot, as it turns out). It’ll be interesting to see how Steven Zaillian adapts the novel. He’s got an impressive track record, so I’m pretty confident he’ll reduce it to something watchable. Which isn’t to say that the Swedish version isn’t; having read the novel, the film makes sense. I’m not sure it would if I hadn’t.

Writing Pulp


In crawling the Internet over the last few days, I’ve stumbled upon Michael Moorcocks’s discussion on how to write a book in three days as well as Lester Dent’s Master Plot Outline.

I have a soft spot for the pulps. I read a metric ton of them when I was a kid, and I still get distracted in the used bookstores when I stumble across a stack of them (especially some of those lurid covers). They were (and still are, really) throw-away fiction. The sort of thing that was meant to be read in an afternoon, and written in a not much longer span of time. They tend to either be tightly tied to their structure (Dent’s outline), or go off into the weeds (ala Moorcock’s model). I think you have a lot of opportunity in the pulps to come up with really weird shit. You’re not trying to change the world; you’re trying to entertain someone for an afternoon. And pay your bills.

I know the romance market shows no sign of slowing down, and they’ve got their own rigid structure that works for them. I suppose it can be argued that boys don’t read much anymore. They’re all off playing video games (like Three Rings’ Spiral Knights, for example).

But after a few years of playing video games, I find they lack the energy of the pulps. Of course, if I could figure out a way to put the pulps into video games, I’d be able to change the world, but that would require people wanting to read, wouldn’t it?

It’s always something.

Still, I’m thinking about pulps.

Two-thirds of the way through The Mongoliad


Chapter 34: “Munokhoi’s Folly” of The Monogliad came out this week. I think we’re a bit beyond thirty-four weeks into this project, and we’ve got just under twenty more chapters to go, according to projections that are probably very out of date. I ran the statistics today and we’ve clocked in just over 300K on this serial project so far.

In about nine months.

No wonder my brain hurts.