Ponderings, New Scenes, and Other Quandaries

My apologies in advance, this post takes something of a shotgun-blast approach to gathering and sharing thoughts. Hey, it’s the new year, my brain is still in tatters.

  • Congratulations to good friend and critique buddy Gale Deitch, who had a short story published with literary journal The Writing Disorder. Her story is Pressing Matters, which I have not had the time to read just yet (it was only published this morning as far as I know), but am sure is excellent, as is all of Gale’s work. Give her some page views!
  • My strange penchant for talking around certain scenes has struck again when it comes to Broken Wing. I realized that in the first draft I mentioned the awkwardness of early sexual encounters between two sex addicts as they learn to truly relate in the act rather than being present-but-not-really, but I never showed it. This is akin to walking to the end of the diving board with the world watching and saying, “Nahhh, not today.” If you’re going to write about a sex addict it must encompass the whole experience, good and bad. There’s a lot of the bad and not much of the good as it stands. I decided to add the good as well, so we get some awkward – but sweet – sex in what is currently Chapter Ten.
  • Have been searching for the equivalent of an iPad when it comes to writing – something lightweight, flexible, easy to start up and use on a moment’s notice. Traditional laptops did not cut it for the interminable start-up, sheer bulk, and headache factor of Windows. Something of a holy grail for years now. Got one of these (hint: it’s a Chromebook) for Christmas and it’s fantastic. I keep the novels in Google Docs to write on the fly, but if I need a bigger set of tools, I can remote network with my desktop and get the more robust Word tool set. one of my favorite gifts of the year. If Google ever gets Docs to the same place as Office, Microsoft could be in trouble.
  • Desperately seeking books about writing that are written for someone who has gotten past the basics. I gave up on writing books last year, thinking I had outgrown them, but the truth is that I need something more tailored to where I am right now. When I comb through writing books, so many are written for beginners, which may contain tidbits that I haven’t considered/thought of, but don’t really hit some of the more advanced tricks and tools I’m looking to pick up. I’ve learned a lot of things through trial and error and critiquing and editing that belong in a book, but I can’t find one that hits that level. Any suggestions?
  • It seems the new publishing trend is here, and it’s one that I can get on board with. Psychological thrillers with lots of messy domestic implications? Anything beats the Fifty Shades stuff, but this has even more promise.
  • Post-Holiday Blues and insomnia are both the worst. Yesterday was the absolute nadir for both, but I think I’m on an upswing. At least, I hope so. Can’t take much more.
  • Being back in the office is both fantastic and terrible. Change of scenery is great, rough re-entry. I imagine that’s playing out across the country right now.
  • To the folks in the Northeast, stay safe and warm. That storm looks rough.

That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the continuing navel-gazing episode soon.

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Where Things Stand

So it’s been awhile. Well over three months, closing in on four, and I’m sure some people have questions about my silence. Maybe not many, but a few. To be perfectly honest I couldn’t have told you what the silence meant. It’s not that I didn’t feel inspired, it’s just…well, look. I sat down to write, really write, back at the end of August and I discovered something new: while I love writing, I’m not fully in love with being a writer. And I think the two things are very different.

What has this realization meant? An almost total pull-back from marketing efforts. A long, hard look at what I want to do with my career. A lot of writing, and I mean more than I’ve written in my entire life. Lots of considerations, and my mind tends to work best when I push those ideas to the subconscious and plow ahead with day-to-day life, so it’s taken some time to get here.

This isn’t a resignation letter, although I do recognize it sounds like one, especially with that ominous title. It’s more a statement of intent. I mean, first things first, did you guys know I released my third novel a few weeks back? I really did! The sequel to Corridors of the Dead, Pathways of the Dead, is out there, and I’m proud of it. Yet I’ve done zero marketing, and again it comes back to the question of why.

The truth is that my heart is no longer really in dark fiction. Oh, I plan to finish the Among the Dead series, don’t fret on that one, dearies. The first draft of City of the Dead is already halfway finished and on the backburner as I plow through the first revision of my next novel, and I know how most of Portal goes down, including the ending. It’s going to be a fun ride.

But it’s not where my heart is.

Today my heart is with a deeply flawed sex addict dentist named Dean and his struggles after his wife passes away in a tragic car accident. It’s with a woman who moves back to her small town home after 20 years in the wilderness to discover that not much has changed. It’s with a circle of friends and how one tragedy forms a fulcrum that changes their lives in a myriad of ways.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve rediscovered my love for literary fiction and want to take it “mainstream”. I’m plowing through the next book, tentatively titled Broken Wing and Rusted Drill, and plan to pitch it to literary agents once it’s done in hopes of getting a deal with a larger publisher. As I told a coworker last week, I’ve never really known how to sell books like Room 3 and Corridors of the Dead, but I know just how to sell Broken Wing and its sister titles. If a major won’t take it, I’ll scour the smaller publishers. I believe in the title and think it will place somewhere. Will it sell? Well, I hope so. No way to find out unless I try.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to self-publish the dark fiction with Qwendellonia, at least until the end of Portal. I guess it just means that my indie experiment currently has an expiration date. Maybe I’ll end up back here afterwards, who knows? But I think I’m ready to communicate with you guys again either way, in a more mature fashion. No more bullshit.

Good to see you again.

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