Let’s catch up.
1. I’m working on STRANGEWAYS again, and to that end, I’m reposting at least the first chapters of MURDER MOON and THE THIRSTY. I may repost the whole thing because I can hardly see it making sales any worse at this point. Updates Tuesday-Friday with some kind of bonus post Friday. Why not Mondays? Because Mondays are actual blog post days, like today. Here’s the magic URL: http://highway-62.com/strangeways. Reminder that both volumes are available in their entirety at: http://highway62.bigcartel.com. You say you like independent creators, right? Well okay then.
2. Got a story placed last week. Since there isn’t a contract yet, I won’t say where. This is always good news. I will say that it’s in a genre/setting I’ve never worked before, and one that might even be a surprise. The secret content of the story, however, is really not.
3. If you think that writing a science fiction and horror crossover story is a good idea, you’re well wrong (unless you’re trying to sell it as Lovecraftian/cosmic horror.) One of the best things I’ve written is a horror story with a science fiction conceit at its core. Or maybe it’s a science fiction story with a horror conceit. Either way, it adds up to a “this isn’t what we’re looking for” so far. So I find this all terribly amusing. Genre purity is the hill that lots of people choose to die on, and instead of pushing things a little further one way or another, it’s all very much circle the wagons. This, unfortunately, is the kind of conservatism that gets bred in austerity. Gotta hold onto what we have. Can’t expand, so we fight that rearguard action.
4. Came to the realization last week that I’d been functioning at diminished capacity for a very long time due to outside forces, with which you are probably familiar if you’ve read along for any length of time. Now this isn’t to say that this magical reckoning has cured me and I’m up to 100% on everything, look out world. It’s to say that I’ve allowed myself a realization which I hadn’t before. This isn’t magic. This isn’t a lovely little redemption story where a switch is thrown and boom, everything is right again. It’s a brick upon which a foundation gets built is all.
5. Looking at retooling my proposal for THE FUTURE AMERICA to do a series of three one-shot issues (likely double-size but for a not-double price.) Loose plots in place for all of these now, working out page beats/story turns and then to script out the first one. Comics writing is funny because of that rhythm of the page thing (the big trick being to not overload the page.) But, once you have the basic beats down, it’s just a matter of illuminating them in the script, so it’s both slower and faster than prose writing. Anyways, hope to have preliminaries out of the way shortly and then work up a sample based on this new track. And if you’ve been following along, these stories would take place before “Benign Neglect” that being the first storyline as planned. Tentative titles in place are NIGHT EAGLES, CRIMEBOT 3000 and THE SHOE. Toné Akron is central in all three, but the cast orbiting him will be familiar as well.
Ran across a few things online that prompted the following. Bear with me.
I firmly believe that people should write the stories that they want written, that they themselves want to see out in the world. If these stories are that important to you, I believe that you can and will do this. Expecting someone else to pick up that torch, or worse, *demanding* that they do on your behalf isn’t a constructive path. This is not to say that critique is to be abandoned. But to think that another writer will articulate your vision is just a path to heartbreak. Go write what you want. The only person stopping you is yourself. You’ll be happier, assuming that happiness can be created by filling what you see as an artistic/aesthetic void in the world. If you think something isn’t being addressed, then by all means, address it (but also, by all means, make it into a story and not a diatribe or a screed.)
Now if your source of upset is that stories like this aren’t more popular? Well, get in line. If your source of upset is that you can’t make a living writing this sort of thing? Well, I’ll repeat myself (and note that I am not making a living at this either.) If you note that it’s hard work, I’ll nod my head and say “Yeah, now keep going.”
But I believe, unshakably so, that you’ll feel better if you do. A lot better than hammering on someone else’s work because it’s not what you wanted. If it isn’t, then physician, heal thyself.
And you’re right. This isn’t success advice. I would not be so presumptuous as to offer anything like that. I’m in no position to. But I can tell you with stone certainty that the only way you’ll get the stories you want in the world is to do them yourself. Don’t accept any perceived notions of the privilege of talent being a requirement. Talent is largely bunk. Effort counts for far, far more than talent ever will (and if you’d seen my writing when I started out, you’d know this to be true.)