Thursday, December 31, 2015

What did I accomplish in 2015?

I wrote very little in 2015.

This is in large part because of how 2014 ended, and how 2015 began.  I don't want to rehash, as I don't want people caring about me just because they're feeling sympathetic, but here we go in a nutshell:

My mother went into a nursing home last November, and I was almost too busy working on a manuscript to realize how big a moment that was.  Then she died in March, and I've been working my way toward finding it acceptable to write again ever since.

I've put so much pressure on myself to find some measure of success as a writer, so much emphasis on finding someone to help me make it a paying career, that it's really become something of a mania in my life.  But the truth is, some things really are more important.  Life itself, for instance.

Slowly, I started working on projects again.  Lately I've been reconsidering my potential future in comics (which has been a potential future for about a decade now).  Just before Christmas I found out I'd lost another contest.  I let it bother me until finally, I accepted the idea of perspective again. 

If it's not going to happen, fine.

What's bothered me so much about the writers blogging community is that everyone seems to think success is out there right here and now, and they support each other so blindly they never even stop for a second to think that it really isn't, and if it isn't that it's not the end of the world. 

But in July, I met someone new.  Brand new.  My sister's bouncing new daughter.  Between her birth and my mother's death, my life has been on a completely different roller coaster these past few years.  I returned home to Maine to help my mother, and it became a full witness to the end of her life.  Now I'm living in Virginia, helping my sister raise her daughter.  Three years ago, I would never have imagined any of that.  Three years ago, and two years ago, and a year ago, I still thought of my life in one way.  Now, it's become something else.

Some people shudder at the phrase, "art for art's sake."  And my pursuit of it has made my journey incredibly difficult over the years.  Now it means something else, too.  See you next week to discuss that.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Barbarian Translation - The Trojan War release

Mouldwarp Press Presents #3 Barbarian Translation - The Trojan War has now been released. 

To give you a refresher course on it, this is, as the title suggests, the third volume in my Mouldwarp Press Presents anthology series, and yes, it features variations on the classic tale of the Trojan War.  Featured is my WriteClubCo colleague Christy Wiabel, who also had a story in the first volume, Project Mayhem, and a new story from me.

I'm particularly excited to present this story, because I love the Trojan War (clearly), and I've been wanting to tell a version of the Troilus & Cressida romance for years.  Plus, I recently came up with a shiny new storytelling device, the character of Miss Simon, who will probably be the narrator for a number of novels I will be writing in the future.  This was her pilot episode, so to speak, her secret origin.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My third anthology is being processed...

The third Mouldwarp Press Presents anthology has been submitted to CreateSpace and will be available shortly.  After the relative flood of submissions to the first volume, I haven't had nearly as much luck with subsequent ones.  This will be the second consecutive one to feature two stories, with one of them being mine.  The good news is that both of them featured return contributors from the first volume, and Barbarian Translation - The Trojan War will feature a story from one of my good friends from WriteClubCo, Christy Wiabel, one of those genuinely good people that're so hard to find. 

MPP exists at all because I wanted to make good with my own past experiences with anthology startups.  If there's another volume, I'll attempt to finally publish stories meant for the aborted effort that was the direct genesis for this venture.  If that doesn't happen, I'm more than happy with the results I've had.  Mouldwarp Press is a fake publishing company.  On the surface, it operates much the way indy publishers tend to, existing as a vehicle for the originating writer's own work, plus anthologies that feature more of their work, and a few of their friends as well (and assorted stragglers gullible enough to sign up for such schemes).  (That's been my experience, anyway.)  The truth is, "Mouldwarp Press" is a label I've been slapping on books I publish via CreateSpace and Kindle, and the Mouldwarp Press Presents anthologies have been of the same kind.

I don't know if I originally believed that they might become something more, but the fact is they didn't.  I'm truly sorry if anyone got involved with them believing otherwise.  Being a writer is not an easy calling.  And it is a calling.  The journey is the best part, the process of writing itself.  The destination?  More than in any other activity you might pursue, the destination is an open question all the way to the end.  Because, there is no end.  The history of storytelling is replete with examples.

Somewhere along the course of my journey, I ended up blogging in a community that didn't always seem to share my goals.  My passion?  Sure.  But the expectations were something else.  This post is not an admission of defeat, concession, or apology (except for the one above).  It's an acknowledgment, without judgment (hey, sometimes even I can get around to that), that sometimes all things aren't equal because they aren't.

What this is saying is that for once, I will say something here and feel comfortable knowing that it might be the last thing someone reads about my journey.  I'm switching gears.  I've always got projects in the pipeline, things I want to accomplish, but this is an end to what can sometimes feel like a competition.  I didn't come here, I didn't start this, to convince you to like me.  If you're reading this at all, thank you.

There's always more...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Creative Differences

Something that's long bothered me is the concept of creative differences. 

You hear about it all the time in the entertainment business, between the people making the movie, the TV, the music we love.  But that's not the one I'm going to talk about.  No, what concerns me today is the creative differences of the audience.

Not in the sense of having different tastes, mind you.  When something is very popular, you find out how quickly someone will put their individual preferences aside.  Oh, sure, there are the people who hate the very popular things, because some people thrive on being contrarian.

No, creative differences from the audience in that some people thrive on inserting themselves into the creative process, question the decisions that were (or are being) made.

This concerns me because there's a difference between questioning creative choices and recognizing that the creators in question just aren't very good.  And for whatever reason, more often than not, we seem to demonize those who make different creative choices rather than those who just aren't very good.

In fact, more often than not we actually encourage people who aren't very good, because they reflect our own insecurities, our need to believe in ourselves.  Which is the same reason we feel free to question creative choices, rather than allow ourselves to think about them.

Critical thought is probably the hardest thing to teach.  In school we're constantly taught from books that have already been deemed classics, and teachers painstakingly walk through creative choices as if they are inherently impeccable.  You may remember how you yourself reacted to these classics. 

It would probably be more helpful to start with a book that the whole class, teacher included, has to decide on together.  It would be the first model for what we would hopefully be doing for a lifetime.  Because I think at the moment we're sadly deficient.  We don't know how, we don't try, and we assume that because we have an opinion we're right and cannot be contradicted, just so long as it fits whatever agenda we're peddling.

Far too often we identify the choir first and then begin preaching to it.  But it's not the audience that matters.  You don't need affirmation.  What you need is integrity.  It's not integrity that leads you to tearing apart creative choices. 

When something fails people all of a sudden find it easy to analyze what went wrong.  When something succeeds it's just assumed that everything went right.  Failure is considered an amalgam of terrible choices.  Success and failure are not the arbiters of imagination.  If one element succeeds spectacularly, it can lift otherwise mediocre material.  It equally bothers me when someone says one element did succeed but otherwise couldn't rescue everything around it, because that's the essence of most successes.  People rally around elements far more often than they do for complete mastery.

Because, again, because of the intimidation factor.  To me, it's ridiculous.  I hate the idea of feeling comfortable with mediocrity, especially the kind that has few if any redeeming qualities.  I've been guilty of this in the past.  I know what it's like to want to say something's good just because it's the easy way out, so I conform to the general consensus.

It's an impossible order.  No matter what I write here, you will continue to think the way you always thought.  The thought process is the hardest thing anyone could ever hope to change about themselves.  A lot of the other traits that carry us through life are about impulses that can be rechanneled, whether we're aware of how they work or otherwise, or letting something be nourished that was previously neglected.  But thought is exactly as it developed, sometimes completely out of our control, from early on in our lives.

It's helpful, however, to at least begin to acknowledge failings.  And to try and curb, perhaps, impulses that are not in our best interests.  You think for yourself, but it's useful to remember how your thoughts influence others. 

Anyway, next time you react to a TV show or a movie, try and think about the creative choices as something you don't need to question.  Think about those choices.  They aren't reflections of your own choices.  We tend to gravitate to things that reflect the way we think.  Underlying poor quality shouldn't be among those reflections.  Rather, the things that challenge us, inspire us...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG November 2015

Technically I've more or less completely broken from the blogging community (except pesky Pat Dilloway), so linking this post to the Insecure Writers Support Group might be wrong, even though this is the traditional first Wednesday of the month to check in. Pretty sure even the omnipresent Alex Cavanaugh finally quick checking in on me. 

All the same, I've been getting back into the swing of blogging, whether people are reading me or not, and continue to wonder what it is about me that seems to set me so much apart.  A month or so back, I watched True Grit with my father.  No, not the John Wayne version, but the Coen one.

Both of which are based on a book, by the way.  My dad's a big John Wayne fan.  I thought he'd get a kick out of seeing the new version.  Afterward, I asked him what he thought.  His main reaction was that, all things considered, the story was more or less how he remembered it.

You've got to know, as far as I'm concerned there are huge differences between the two movies.  I grew up watching John Wayne because of my dad, so I'd seen his version as a kid, but that was the last time.  So by the time I saw Jeff Bridges assume the role of Rooster Cogburn, I was seeing the story with fresh eyes.  I was riveted.  I haven't seen all of the Coens' movies, but I've long admired their skill as filmmakers.  They're very much part of the generation that has helped, so far as I'm concerned, make film the truly dynamic art form it has long waited to become.

Which is to say, I believe films as a whole are today better than they have ever been.  Film is that rare art form born in the modern age.  We've seen the whole development unfold before us.  Although there have been artful contributors throughout its history, the whole of it has really come together in recent years.  It's less and less possible to see the seams.

Which is to say, it's always worth retelling a familiar story.  It always was, mind you.  That's how storytelling began, even when it was merely a matter of preserving a memory.  Stories inevitably change in the retelling.  It's more probable than not (sorry, Patriots fans!) that Homer's version of the Trojan War differs wildly from how it originally unfolded.

My greatest sin as a writer is allowing people to say around me, constantly, the fallacy everyone accepts as fact: that Hollywood has nothing new to say, that remakes and sequels dominate the box office because there's no originality.  Every single time I should be vigorously arguing this point.  Because every single time, these movies are saying something new, even when they're hinging on something you already know.

Because the story changes every time, changes in how it's told, in story and in style.  John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn is similar to  Jeff Bridges' mostly in that they both have eye patches.  I know Wayne won an Oscar for his performance, but there's no question who put more work into their version, and who had better filmmakers around them.  Or at least there shouldn't be.

Except there are those who don't see the difference.  I've long had a problem understanding that.  People view things differently.  This is something everyone knows in theory, but in practice very few of us take this into account.  Usually, we take such distinctions only in whether we love it or hate it. 

But that's just not good enough.  Part of what drove me away was getting into a dispute I simply walked away from.  The person in question brought up something that had happened here on this blog, that I had to go back and reference myself just to see if I understood what had happened.  Turns out I might have been misinterpreting something that had been said, but there wasn't any clarification at the time, and really, there's no point.  That's the sort of problem that would lead to someone hating something, and someone else loving it.  The truth is somewhere in-between, as it usually is.

When I blog, I tend to write about the things I love, and often, it seems, I love things that have garnered otherwise poor reactions.  This tends to put me on the defensive.  What people crave, rather, is a certain uniformity, or, certainly, not being contradicted.  That's why most comments on blogs are people agreeing with whatever was originally said.  Well.

I can do nothing for you, son.

Friday, October 30, 2015


One of the few good things I experienced last March was family coming back together.  Among other things, that meant seeing the full families from the New Jersey/Pennsylvania wing of the family again, which was the first time in about a decade. 

Cousins who were always just a little older than us also started their own families earlier.  It was their weddings and their births that helped mitigate a series of funerals we attended growing up.  These were always our favorite relatives.  Little did I realize that the little girls I was about to meet again held within their number a writer.

It was a subsequent follow-up visit on my part where I was really introduced to the Writer-in-the-Family (we'll call her Wit).  On the previous occasion, Wit's mother had briefly talked about this connection, but it was a different story talking about it in more depth.  Soon I was referring to this as talking shop. 

I didn't realize until Wit how much I'd wanted someone in the family to talk shop with.  My mother, and my older sister, loved to read my stories, but it's different when there's someone else actually writing. 

It's not as if I want to guide Wit's writing future.  Talking with Wit's mother, and then briefly with Wit herself, it felt good to talk about my perspective.  I know I've done it hear, but again, it's different, even in the context of my Colorado writing group, or in school.  Maybe it's just because socially I've always been a reluctant participant, but I've rarely felt comfortable merely expressing myself (again, Internet experience may vary).

The more I've thought about Wit, about the things we could discuss in future conversation, the more I've wondered what kind of writer I really am, forgetting about whatever or however Wit currently considers herself. 

When I was her age, I frittered away a lot of my creative energy.  I didn't start writing seriously until high school, and even then only for school projects.  Someone like Stephen King, who obviously went on to great success, didn't have nearly that kind of hesitation.

I'm thinking of King again, not because of all those coincidental similarities I like to bring up every now and then, which any number of other people share with the Maine native who continues to publish bestseller after bestseller (lately almost as prolifically as James Patterson!), but because I recently read a collection from Spider Robinson, and it reminded me all over again that King came from a specific generation, an identifiable one (Robinson is certainly a part of it), and it makes me wonder if I'm part of one (other than the Indy publishing era), or have I so thoroughly disconnected from any wider community that the very reason I struggle is because of, well, myself.

Robinson made his name as both a writer and as a critic.  His instincts are perfectly obvious in both capacities.  When he wrote to the publisher who would give him his fist assignment as a critic, he outlined the differences between a critic and a reviewer.  (For the record, Robinson would prefer the title of reviewer.)  His response was the classic debate over art versus accessibility. 

Now, I've long been a member of the art school.  Accessibility, to me, is a matter of what the Internet might call tropes, easily identifiable elements and themes that unite for your basic storytelling.  I've been a reader all my life.  Even if my writing doesn't necessarily reflect it, I know storytelling.  That's not what I'm interested in.  I'm the art guy because I like how the story is told.  For instance, when you boil Calvin & Hobbes down to its essence, you have a kid who's constantly misbehaving.  Isn't that basically Dennis the Menace?  Yet no comic strip reader of the past thirty years would ever confuse the two.  Why?  Because of the style.

Literally, Calvin and Hobbes was a comic strip of style, of art, of how.  When I talked to Wit's mother, we discussed Wit's approach to storytelling, and I brought up how knowing the ending is integral to the whole story.  This was something we readily agreed on.  I also mentioned the need for Wit to find her own voice.  Voice is everything.  Again, Calvin's voice is wildly different from Dennis's.

It's the shape of a story that interests me.  If the writer knows what they're doing, it'll show, no matter if there are mistakes made along the way.  Someone like Robinson obsesses over the mistakes.  Everyone does that, to material they hate, or don't trust, or haven't been preconditioned, at any rate, to love.  Robinson grew up reading classic science fiction, in an environment that nurtured his devotion to the form, if not the craft.  To him, the form was all about conforming, adhering to preconceptions, or merely being a writer (Heinlein) that he greatly admired.

And we're all prone to be bias to someone we already love.  The problem is, if you even consider being critical, will you become too critical, or will you simply see the wiggly lines in between the structures the writer has honed over the years?

I constantly think back to Star Trek, because it's the first thing I learned extensively, outside of school, and how little fans tend to be critical of, say, the original series, but couldn't be more critical of the later ones, especially the increasingly less popular later series, Voyager and Enterprise.  Culturally, we assume anything that isn't popular is either totally deserving of its poor reputation, or something we can rally around (hence making a new cult following) and hope its reputation will change in time.  (Conversely, and perhaps increasingly so, we're skeptical of popular things, too.)

The fact that I kept on liking Star Trek while it became easier for others to start, well, hating it, produced an interesting phenomenon.  Eventually I started thinking of Star Trek very much in the terms Robinson did his beloved science fiction.  I began to compare similar stories and weigh their relative worth.

The difference, I hope, is that I didn't let precedence (Robinson placed a premium on Heinlein, at least in part, because he considered Heinlein the father of modern sci-fi) get in the way.  It was the storytelling itself, the how of it, the craft, the voice.

Sometimes it's a matter of being able to handle having multiple voices.  Sometimes people merely choose the one they want to focus on and ignore the rest.  (It's hard to argue this to those people.  They always dispute that.)  And if not ignore, then do the whole hate-watch thing.  Except I've learned there are a lot of great voices out there.  I've found that a lot of them are more or less undiscovered.

But they're out there all the same.  And as a writer, it behooves me to have a voice, too.  Regardless of when the next time I talk shop with Wit happens to be, I'm glad I've imparted that already.  To me, it's easily the most important advice possible.  Yeah, success is great, which is what accessibility makes relatively easy to achieve.  But I don't want success.  Or, just success.  I want my writing to mean something. 

The very fact that Wit is already writing for her own interests, that encourages me.  I originally wanted to, given another conversation, encourage her to start submitting early.  I thought that was the difference I could make, if she wants to be a full-time writer some day.  But that's not really what's most important to me.  That's something I've realized, recently. 

I'm glad Wit has a mother who's interested in her writing, too.  Looking back, that's something I'm incredibly grateful for, something of immeasurable value, regardless of whether my mother was a perfect or ideal audience.  She wanted to read, to understand me.  My writing is my voice.  With a little encouragement, Wit is ahead of me already.  If that's all I'll ever really know about her writing, it's already enough.  It's enough. 

Having a Writer-in-the-Family is a very good thing.  Not because I have a chance to mold her to my interests, but because knowing she's there, and maybe even her knowing I'm here, is its own validation.  Writers are a curious breed.  Getting published, today, is just a part of being a writer.  For me, being a writer doesn't mean anything unless I've got something to say.  Like Robinson, there are plenty of people who disagree, who revel in being a part of something they themselves have admired.  But it's not the form, but the art that interests me.  I think Wit understands that.  And maybe, that's someone else who understands me.

To me, that's writing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG May 2015: It's Not You, It's Me...

The Insecure Writers Support Group meets digitally every month, and by "meets" I mean bloggers who write visit each other's blogs and offer support (hence "support" in the title).

I haven't been participating much lately.  I also haven't been writing lately.  Last November I began writing a new book, but I stopped the day my mother was transported to a nursing home, and I was so busy writing I actually thought writing was the more important thing happening at that time.  It wasn't.  My mother passed away a month ago.  I'm still not ready to tackle the book again.

I'm not saying anything in the preceding paragraph to trick you into feeling enough sympathy for me, to transform you as if by magic into a faithful and unquestioning follower and reader of me, buy my books, write glowing reviews...

In fact, reviews are exactly the topic, and also the reason why I'm not sure I should really continue writing on this particular blog.  I launched this one (I have many others, alas) in 2012 to help support and promote a series of self-published releases.  I learned very quickly that one does not get readership this way.  There is a way to get readers from blogging, but I am not someone who can do the necessary things to get those readers.  I am a nonconformist.  My life is a struggle of expectations because long ago I departed the beaten path, and the poem never explained how difficult that path really is.  (Darn you, Robert Frost!)

Reviews among bloggers has been the subject of heated controversy among two particular bloggers I've known for several years now.  I won't regurgitate the controversy here.  Suffice to say, but I've decided to write about it at all, here, because it's very relevant to how I struggle to view my own life as a writer.

Here's my favorite literary anecdote, by the way: Herman Melville was a hugely popular writer.  Until he published Moby-Dick.  Regardless of how you personally feel about Moby-Dick's literary merits, the fact remains that decades after Meville's death it finally came to be considered a classic, one of the defining works of American fiction.  Critics and readers at the time thought it was a hot mess.  They didn't understand at all what he'd been attempting to do.  (I've talked about this before.  Pat thinks it's absurd for me to even suggest comparing myself to Melville.  But still.)

I personally think it's absurd that Moby-Dick ruined Melville's career.  I think it's perfectly illustrative of everything anyone needs to know about reviews, about readership.  In the end, none of that matters.  Books that are hugely popular today can and will be completely forgotten tomorrow.  For some writers, that's perfectly okay.  For me, I'm not writing for short-term fame.  I want to write stories that are remembered a hundred years from now.  That is in fact ridiculous hubris.  There's absolutely no way to guarantee something like that.  But that's my goal.  I want to write something timeless.  Even if it never happens, even if I'm never read, seriously, at all...I still derive personal satisfaction from the act of writing, from tackling the challenge.  And I've struggled to accept that, too.

I have developed an allergy to writing that is easily identifiable as the writer writing for the mere act of writing, because they wanted to write, not because they had something they thought would be read in a hundred years.  For me, that's nonsense.  That's the kind of stuff I will never be able to review with even a glimmer of serious consideration.  I used to try.  I used to try and find the bright spots in mediocre writing.  But then I decided, why read that stuff at all?  I know what it is.  It's not for me.  And I know what is.  I know what I like.  Fishing can be fun.  But it can also be cause for great, completely unnecessary, misery.  I see no reason to afflict myself.  (I mean, if someone paid me to be a submissions reader...)

And so, that's what I'm writing about today, why this blog seems like kind of a bad idea in 2015, rather than the good idea it seemed in 2012.  Even if people do care what I have to say, the expectation is that I will do what everyone else does, even if someone says No no no! Absolutely not!, because it's what everyone does.  And the IWSG is clearly, specifically, intended to offer support no matter what.  Even if we're encouraging bad writers.

There's the notion that if it makes you happy, you should do it (as long as it's not something destructive).  And you should, but you should also have perspective.  Not everything should be read by others.  Write, if you feel compelled to, but if you have the inkling that your writing doesn't have an absolute redeeming quality (many bestsellers have terrible writing, but an absolutely killer hook), then...keep it to yourself.  I am not insulting you.  But I'm trying to be realistic.

Some people will be insulted by this sentiment no matter what.  As I said, my impression of the community of bloggers I've come to know, and again I don't mean to insult any of you, is that support is a blanket you throw over anything.  You encourage people to read without discrimination, without regard to the quality or intent of the material.  Yes, it's someone's dream, but dreams are sometimes illusions.  Actually, they're always delusions, the mind's way of processing something that otherwise is hard to understand, and the result is just as often equally incomprehensible.  Dreams improve the world, yes, but they can also harm it.

Yes, I just said that.  Eugenics, for instance.  It astonishes me that people still don't get that, even though the Nazis proved how horrible it really is.  There were many people who were never identified as Nazis who fully supported eugenics.  Captain America is a creation of eugenics, and absolutely no one gets that.  Yes, he's an admirable character all told, but the idea of him is absolutely horrifying.  He's the genetic perfection Hitler dreamed of, other than smarting from Germany's thrashing in WWI, his failed art career, being saddled with a stupid mustache, what have you...

And the fact that people on the whole don't get what Captain America ultimately is...This is what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about a perspective that may sound cool to share, but when absolutely no one gets it...I appreciate well-wishers.  I really do.  I'm grateful for everyone who has ever stopped by and enjoyed what I had to say.  But, if no one gets what I'm saying...

So this is a breakup.  I will still post when I release something.  This comes with no expectation for anyone to buy it.  I have not made any sales from this anyway.  Doesn't matter (see above).  This is not about security, and not about the existence or lack of support.  This is about a perspective that really has no room for what this is otherwise intended to be.

One more anecdote, and this time my personal interpretation: Shakespeare today is considered more or less a mythical figure.  Shakespeare is not believed to be Shakespeare.  This idea has always seemed insane to me.  As far as I'm concerned, the historical Shakespeare makes perfect sense.  Here was a guy who found himself in a position to write about his experiences in a context other people understood.  He melded his experiences, his perspective, into a whole tradition, and found favor in the Elizabethan court.  In fact, he connected so well to the Elizabethan era that after it ended, he was probably dismissed as some hack who did nothing but suck up to the prior royal regime.  But then something remarkable happened.  Someone remembered him.  They put together the Folio.  They helped him transcend his time.  His words became preserved, and the more people kept them alive, the more he was recognized for the extraordinary achievement he'd made in his lifetime.  But the fact remains, in his lifetime Shakespeare probably wasn't considered a literary god.  And that's why the historical record of his existence is so spotty.  Because he was just a man.  But a brilliant man all the same.  And it's easier today to recognize that than it was then.

Students find it difficult to read Shakespeare today, but there's no one arguing (loudly) that he's not worth reading, worth preserving.  Melville is recognized, today, for the work that in his day was roundly dismissed.  So, does it matter, what people thought of Shakespeare, how Melville was ruined?  In their lifetime, it absolutely did.  Melville became a night watchman.  The most brilliant writer of his day.  He should have been able to retire comfortably.  And many writers end like that.  Hart Crane committed suicide.  I never forgot that, either.  (Well, maybe, in his case, there were factors involved other than how much people appreciated him.  Writers are above and beyond anything else, capricious creatures.  Don't forget that.)  But for future generations, it doesn't.

We're so often caught up, understandably, in the present, that we forget about tomorrow.  Things change.  Yes, an opinion offered loudly enough and shared enough can leave a pretty convincing impression.  But impressions change, too.

So here's my impression for you, today: Reviews don't matter.  They just don't.  It doesn't matter what you think!  I'm not being rude.  Just finding perspective.  That's the greatest thing anyone could ever find, anyway...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Metatron released

via Amazon
For those of you who don't follow Scouring Monk (where I'm once again doing A-to-Z), you may have missed the string of posts I've done about the passing of my mother last week (the majority of them being various YouTube videos concerning songs important to her, presented without comment).  The reason I've released Metatron now is because this is the book I was working on when she was first diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2010.  She was always my most eager reader.  Of all my tricky novels, this is by far the trickiest, insofar as it is basically straight biblical.  There have been a number of mainstream successes in this genre, and one of my favorites authors (David Maine) has written virtually all his books (none of which are necessarily religious, much like Metatron) in it, but I don't know, my confidence isn't what it once was in terms of my writing having a good shot at finding a significant audience (making this a somewhat IWSG post as well), so I shelved any notion of finding a publisher for it a few years back.  This is another shoddy self-release.

Metatron ("voice of god") concerns Adam and Eve, as well as their children Cain and Abel, their stumbling steps in and out of the Garden of Eden as they attempt to reconcile their relationship with God to the rest of humanity as it presents itself along various journeys.  This is well-trod territory, but I hope I've found a few new paths to travel.

Paperback and e-book versions, as always, available.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Song Remains the Same release

The second volume from my Mouldwarp Press Presents anthology series has been released, in paperback and Kindle editions.

Included is the first publication of my Tim Laflamme stories, a character also featured in my In the Land of Pangaea manuscript and The Pond War project, who will also be the focus of two short tales to be included in the WriteClubCo anthology to appear at some future date.

The other story is from David Perlmutter, who previously contributed to "Project Mayhem," the first volume in the series.  Perlmutter is incredibly prolific and has landed an incredible number of stories in various anthologies.  

The Submissions page has been updated with information about the next anthology, "Barbarian Translation," which focuses on variations of The Iliad.
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