Ouroboros Is Broken

And some days the Novel eats you.

Writing the First Novel, DOGS, was easy. It was exhausting, but it was easy. Editing it has been a slow uphill slog. I blamed this, for the better part of a year, on two things. The first was that I am busy writing a Second and Better kind of Novel, for lack of a better title we’ll call it SINNER.

The second reason is that when I wrote DOGS I pounded out its ridiculous mass of words in just over 2 months. So it is a sloppy, messy manuscript with armfuls of tense problems, punctuation fuckups, and even some horrible pieces of writing- I was purging the story from myself, not crafting something to be proud of.

Now, a year and some change later, my dear friend CP insists that DOGS actually is something to be proud of; he feels it is an above-average mass market paperback sci-fi shooter… and that makes me happy, that I have a fan. And not just in a “aw, he’s yer buddy, of course he gives good feedback” kinda way, but in that he is actually a Fan of the Story and the Writing, not just of Me… you know what I mean?

Anyways, someday I hope to finish editing DOGS and throw together a synopsis and a logline and prepare to paper the bathroom with rejection slips or something.

Then there is SINNER. I finished the first draft of SINNER on February 6th of 2009. Not that long ago! Knowing full well that the SINNER’s story is barely even begun, I took a brief writing vacation (as in I didn’t write) and then dove into SINNER 2- the tales of adventure just kept bubbling along, why not fill some pages with them? The fact of the matter is, I could conceivably write about the world of SINNER and it’s inhabitants for the rest of my life. What is more, I think it’s actually a good book. I feel like I’ve tapped into something special with SINNER and it feels like a good something, something a little different- eh, maybe not, I don’t really know what is out there to compare it too- but something with a unique voice, definitely.

Regardless, this book too, needs to be edited. And therein lays the rub, the pain, and maybe even the source of this semi-crippling malaise that has been looming over me for the past I don’t know how long…

I hate editing. I just have the hardest damn time doing it! I resent all those writers who complain about the Writing but seem to adore the Editing, the “I love to have written,” people. WTF, y’all? It drives me nuts. I’m staring at the story that has been writ large, and I’m almost incapable of pulling myself OUT of the story to actually edit it!

It is very hard to get into the right mind space to edit a manuscript on a semi-busy loading dock. It is even harder in a hectic home. These are the two places I have in my life. I feel trapped by my own productivity or the lack thereof in this particular case. I resent my Words: they keep coming; the SINNERverse keeps expanding in my head. SINNER 2 is maybe a quarter done- if SINNER 2 will be approximately the same word count as SINNER 1. And the “Notes” file I have for the overarching series isn’t exactly small either.

Am I alienating you, dear fellow writers, by bitching about my productivity? If so, I am really sorry. But the fact of the matter is, I appear to be the literary equivalent of an untrained militia-man: I’m all Spray and Pray. I feel like I just empty the full clip on fully-automatic and hope a few rounds strike home, rather than someone who carefully crafts each sentence and paragraph; the literary equivalent of a veteran sharpshooter.

So maybe I’m just a chronic underachiever. If I never edit these manuscripts, I’ll never have to write synopses and send out query letters and deal with rejection or agent-hunting or… that is just fucking great, I can hide behind my hatred/fear of editing and fail by lack of trying.

Whatever it is, it’s fucking frustrating.

A Shadow Underneath

Somedays the bear eats you.

I’ve never eaten bear, but I’ve always remembered the part in Prince Caspian where those kids wrap bear meat around an apple and roast it. That sounds pretty good, really.

I haven’t had a lot to say lately, here or on any of the “social networking” websites I sometimes natter on at. Why is that?

It isn’t “block”, because I have been getting writing done. It’s just sort of a… creative inertia? The ideas are there, they still come pouring out when I sit down and apply my fingers to the keyboard- the words are there too, thankfully…

I’m just going through some sort of spring-fevered “meh” period. I still love you all, I just haven’t had anything that I felt terribly compelled to share.

ow shit my ow

What a week it’s been. I just haven’t been able to get my speed up this week, with sleep, writing, or much of anything. I have no idea how I’ve been as a dad, partner, husband, or guy who cleans the dishes- let alone at work. It’s just been… a great big heaping bowl of “meh”. With low energy.

Today was supposed to be the New Start, the recharge day, and I kinda want to quit. After a Very Good night’s sleep (with Sam staying in his own bed until 6, nursing for five minutes and then coming off to find me) followed by a dash of writing this AM, so I was ready for a New Week.

Bettie had a thing to go to late morning, so after making her and Sam breakfast, I took Sam for a walk to our bank to get some cash- for various reasons, neither of us have a working ATM Card (and no, we aren’t the “Hipster Grifter”, for one thing we hate everybody too much to pretend to like them and get their $$$)- regardless…

It was a sweaty walk and Sam didn’t feel like doing it on his feet, but rather on Dad’s back. So Dad, being me, carries him- and wishes he’d brought the stroller. Some miles and gallons of sweat later we’re back at home, but my back has gone out- or is hovering on the verge of going out- Sam is exhausted, redfaced and sweaty and is asking to use the bathroom- and Bettie is out driving around, looking for us.

I know I am King Luddite and all, but fine, fine. I did not wish for a magical cell phone to harness my spouse in. I just hoped she’d find us and get to her Thing on time (I think she did, I hope she did).

Find us she does, just as I’m realizing that I’m developing blisters, and off she goes. Sam uses the john and the day continues on- everyone is where they should be.

Except for Sam, who very sweetly asks to play his video game a bit earlier than we usually let him… but, you know what? It’s Saturday. And I am having trouble bending over at the waist, so rather than try and entice him to play with me, I set him up with the wii controllers, Lego Batman, and his bowl of popcorn.

So he’s happily chilling up there, I lay down on my back and borrow my wife’s laptop to get some writing done.

I also do a few chores around the house that don’t involve bending at the waist- so all is good, AND I feel semi-accomplished.

Other than the back pain, all is well.

Then, while carrying my darling son a glass of water, I stub my toe. I stub my toes a lot. But this time I manage to (Nova, don’t read this part) shave a chunk of skin off my little toe (Nova, you can read again)

How, you may ask, did I manage to do this? On the edge of the goddamn laundry cart, which lives in our living room waiting for a time when we put clothes away. It hates me, and I being a gentleman return the favor.

Anyhow, there is some bellowing, some one-legged hopping, some Tim Roth impersonating (“Llaary? It hurts real bad Larry,”), and finally I manage to FIND the goddamn medical kit (hidden under a pile of swimming suits, Bettie’s sexy dress, and some diapers that we have no current use for)

Clean off and bandage the hideous wound…

As I finish, I say calmly and out loud: “Goddamnit Sam, this hurts a lot, and your dad could use a little sympathy…”

And what happens? I hear the Danny Elfman theme pause as Sam surely puts down the controller…. and then I hear him stuff a mouthful of popcorn in. He crunches down, the game un-pauses…

Yeah. I think I’d like a beer, please.

Ah well. At least I managed to get about a page written.

Has it Been So Long, Oh Lord?

For those of you who aren’t aware, I’m branching out and returning to the world of performing for a one-shot event. Granted, I’ll be playing myself (or at least a version thereof) but then, that is what I’ve always kind of done…

What AM I blathering on about? I’ve been chosen by the obviously pretty out-there BeTheBoy and Slackmistress to be the guest co-host for this week’s episode of their web talk series, BeTheMarriage.

Anyhow, the why and how is a long and complicated story involving less larceny and threats than you’d expect from me- but the long point is thusly: I’m going to be “on” for approximately an hour + on Saturday the 11th from like 8pm (PST) till we go dark.

And I honestly don’t remember the last time I performed. You’d think, living in LA, that some friend or enemy would have cajoled me into popping up in their short film or take a part in a reading- but no, no, nothing of that sort.

On the one hand: WTF, friends and enemies, have you heard my voice? Haven’t you-

Ahem. Excuse me. Deep breathing.

Look, the utter lack of taste and/or the absolute Envy and Fear that I invoke in my so-called “friends” and “enemies” is besides the point here.

The point is: for a guy who used to perform constantly, it’s sort of a weird realization that it’s something I haven’t done for over ten years. Ten years? That is like, a long time.

A long time.

Huh. Jesus. I’d better, uh, I’d better- wow, is that sweat on my palms? I’d better call Nina and see if there is a script or something I- whoops! I just, heh, I just knocked that over, whatever it … I gotta, I gotta go and… I dunno, I gotta prepare or something… I mean, I got, I got… people watch this thing? Jesus…

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The Midnight Alphabet – B

B is for…

Babalon and Black Cat Bone. For Bagh Nakh and Bloodworm. For Bohemian Grove. For Bewitching. For Beast.

Balthazar and his kind are seldom seen outside of the darkest corners of the deepest forests. Their pelts range from black to grey and most colors in between, with those colors being shades of brown. Balthazar can speak, after a fashion, though whether the rest of his kin share this gift is unknown at this time. The Beast of Gévaudan has been denied by Balthazar as being a relation. Balthazar’s legs bend the wrong way, and though people do often mistake it for wolves; it is not: wolves do no have horns.

B is for Batsto. A river called Batsto runs through the south-central Pine Barrens of New Jersey. A village called Batsto is on the banks of that river. An iron-works made use of the rich bog ore deposits during the Revolutionary War. A peculiar blue-green glass was blown in Batsto by an artisan during the mid 1800s. By the late 1980s Batsto was a ghost town. During the early 1990s Batsto was restored as a historic site. The last known pieces of Batsto glass are in private collections.

Bog Hags are actually sexless, in that they have no genitalia. Most Bog Hags possess long stringy hair and narrow faces, and so they are viewed as feminine- hence the “hag” appellation. The ankle-length funerary shrouds, dress-like in some lights, probably add to this misunderstanding. But make no mistake, Bog Hags are without sex. It is not known how Bog Hags reproduce or are created, only that they want to eat you.

Black Dogs have been chronicled as either symbols of protection or portents of doom since 856 AD in the Annales Franoram. Appearing throughout human history every since, including the infamous attack on a church in Bongay England in1577. In more recent visitations, these abnormally large and muscular beasts that tend to appear on dark and lonely roads late at night have been known to protect or herald young children and pregnant women away from danger. One can only assume their troubled history may reflect the state of the world… any conjecture that Balthazar’s kind are related to or in league with the Black Dogs is pure speculation.

Then there is Belasco. About him, the less said the Better.