Category Archives: Books/Literature

The New 2021 Novel Update #9

A few days back (you can read it here) I offered my last update on my latest novel and wrote:

This current draft is a very serious one

It occurs to me this line needs a little explanation.

After all, each time I sit behind my computer and stare into the monitor with whatever current draft of whatever novel I’m currently working on… am I not taking the work seriously?

Yes, yes I am.

But there are times when one is simply fishing around for ideas, where you have a general notion of where you want to go but are searching around for the proper way to get there.

I can’t tell you the number of times I sit in front of that computer and sit there… and sit there…

…and nothing seems to come of it. I may move the proverbial ball a few inches forward -I usually do- but truthfully the end result might be almost negligible and I feel like Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill. Yeah, I’ll eventually get there and the boulder rolls back down the hill and I’m back to the start with that new novel, searching for a new and interesting path to take that boulder up that hill.

The current draft of the book is a serious one because I see the path now to the top of this particular hill, where in earlier drafts that path might not have been so terribly well defined.

Or, to put it another way, the novel’s skeleton is complete and I’m moving on from coming up with the story proper and feel like I’m about to move more solidly into the revision phase, where its not so much what I’m presenting, story-wise, but how I’m presenting it.

It will still take time, of course, and I’m not quite there, but the boulder is getting that much closer to the top of the hill.

The New 2021 Novel Update #8

It’s 8:30 pm, the first of October 2021 and I’m sitting here before the computer having finished another day’s bit of work entering new revisions into my Word copy of my latest novel.

For those keeping track, this is the 3rd draft of the book and, as of today, I’ve reached the halfway point in this particular revision process. The word count is just shy of 90,000 words, 195 pages single spaced 10 point.

I was hoping the book would be done before the end of this year but I’m coming to the realization this looks unlikely, and that depresses me.

Not that I needed much more to feel that way.

The fact is that after what happened to my parents at Champlain Towers, I’ve been not only overwhelmed -along with my siblings- in getting their affairs in order, but also working extra hard at the family business. This past week I’ve had to run it alone and coming home, I’m fucking exhausted.

Still, I’m determined to get through these very tough times. Whenever I can, I’ll find time to move the revision process forward, just as I’ve done today.

This current draft is a very serious one. I have all the general details of the story set up and I’m making sure that there is a logical flow to the work that makes sense. I do feel once this is done, the novel will be very close to being finished but will still need some polishing, which may take me through the end of the year.

Anyway, I’ll soldier on.

This novel will get done!

The New 2021 Novel Update #7

Two days ago, on Thursday the 2nd of September, I finished the read-through and red-ink revision of Draft #3 of my 2021 Novel (no spoilers yet regarding its title) and begun typing those changes/revisions into the computer.

I’m very happy with the book but, given the events that have happened to me, there’s a great melancholy to reading through the book. There are things that occur in it which… I dunno. It’s almost like when I started this book and finished up the first draft and as I worked through the second draft I had -unknowingly- a premonition of the things that would happen to me.

Mind you, I don’t believe in psychics, I don’t believe in most of that supernatural stuff, but I have read studies I don’t entirely comprehend regarding the nature of time and there are some who feel it isn’t quite the linear process we tend to feel it is.

Do we sometimes get a hint of things to come? Can the future affect our present?

Again, based on some of the stuff I wrote I wonder.

Regardless, I’ll soldier on. I truly hope to finish up this book and release it by later this year or, at worst, early next.

It’s another good one, if I do say so myself.

Coronavirus Diaries 39 & Other Things…

So I just checked my blog entries and was shocked to find its been two weeks since I last posted.

Where the hell has the time gone?

First though: Sorry for the dearth of posts. Given the situation regarding the passing of my parents at Champlain Towers, I’ve spent so much time dealing with the family business while going to lawyers and banks to deal with what my parents left behind.

Truthfully it feels like I’ve not had a chance to properly grieve yet, given how each day is filled to the brim, it seems with things we need to take care of… and what’s to still come.

On top of all this, I’ve tried to find time to keep writing, and hopefully I’ll soon make it through the 2nd draft read through of my new novel.

Concerning COVID, I’ve noticed that more people are taking the virus, and the need to vaccinate, seriously. I suppose the news of the Delta variant has finally made at least some of those who foolishly felt the vaccine was unnecessary or that the virus’ potency was overblown into finally realizing that, yes, you can die from it, regardless of your obnoxiously strongly held political beliefs.

Over the weekend we had another somewhat prominent conservative, this one a radio host, by the name of Phil Valentine, died at the age of 61 and after a month of dealing with COVID. Once he realized how serious the situation was, he reportedly changed his views on the vaccine.

Too late for him, it turned out.

But if you think everyone who has a close brush with death suddenly turns, you’d be wrong.

Newsweek had the story of Maine GOP Representative Chris Johansen attending an anti-vaccination rally days after his wife died from COVID.

Un-freaking-believable.

Even worse, it appears he had COVID -though he seems to now deny it- and may well have given the virus to his late wife.

Anyway, the good news is that vaccination numbers are up, so at least there’s that. We have reached the point where we want as many people as possible vaccinated so that we can head off any new variant of COVID which could potentially render the vaccines irrelevant.

If that should happen, we would quite literally be back to square one.

Needless to say, this would be the absolute worst possible scenario.

Get vaccinated, people. Let’s move forward instead of back.

The New 2021 Novel Update #6

Please forgive me the lag between postings.

Either Thursday or Friday of last week -I can’t remember too well!- I finished the 2nd draft of my new 2021 Novel and I’m very, very happy with it.

It still has a little ways to go before I feel it can be released, perhaps another three or so Drafts, but like my previous novel, Terminus Island, it feels like I’m much further along with the story versus some of my other novels. Those novels, as I mentioned before, required up to 12 Drafts before I felt they were good to go.

I suspect this one might take between 6-8 Drafts, if that many.

Despite all the major stuff my family and I have gone through these past couple of months, I’m cautiously optimistic I may find the time to finish off this book and release it by later this year.

No promises, mind you -I don’t want to curse myself!- but if things work out, it might just happen!

The New Novel Update #5

Remember my optimism I could get the new novel done by later this year, provided I didn’t hit any speed bumps along the way?

Welp…

I kinda have hit a speed bump… my own creative thoughts!

Suddenly the book is looking like a considerably… longer work.

And much more intriguing…!

Let’s see what happens.

It’s still within the realm of possibility I finish it up for later this year but then again I might have really set myself a big task here!

I’ll say no more… other than I’m excited where this is heading!

Too Much Free Time…?

In this year of COVID its been interesting to see the various ways people have tried to make money.

I’ve watched as certain stocks have risen, sometimes to seemingly ridiculous highs, and then there’s Cryptocurrency, which I still don’t understand…

One of the weirder things to rise is the NFT, or Non-Fungible Tokens market.

This one I really didn’t understand, though for a while there it seemed to be something plenty of companies were talking about.

If I understand this correctly (and please forgive me if I’m horribly off!), NFTs were a way for people to “buy” and therefore “own” a digital image or video.

The first time I heard about NFTs to any great degree it involved one time Wonder Woman artist Jose Delbo who made himself quite a mint on selling his images.

Here’s an interesting article about this particular artist and his sales. It was originally posted on kryptobia.com…

Who can sell a Wonder Woman NFT? The artist or DC Comics?

The upshot is that publisher DC Comics, who owns the character of Wonder Woman, grew concerned over Mr. Delbo’s NFT success -he reportedly earned something like 2 million dollars selling his Wonder Woman images!- and essentially brought the hammer down and forbid artists from selling their images via NFTs.

However, that was then and this is now.

According to the below article by Luke Plunkett and presented on kotaku.com, it would appear…

The NFT market has collapsed, Oh No

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.

The fact of the matter is -and again, I may be totally misunderstanding NFTs- it seems to me NFTs were a hopeless cause.

I mean, buying a digital image may make you its “owner”, but what’s to stop these images or movies from appearing online anyway?

I mean, even if you own it, what does it matter? Can you profit off of it? I suppose you could if you found someone else who wanted to buy it, but that seemed like a limited thing.

Perhaps others are beginning to realize this as well and maybe that’s why the NFT market seems to be collapsing, at least according to the article above.

It’s a curse of the internet, truly. So much digital content is so readily available and one wonders how this will shake out in the future, whether with NFTs or not.

As it stands, we already have musical artists who have trouble getting money for their new music, especially given how easy it is to pirate individual songs via MP3s.

Its even easier to post full comic books online and, even though I’m far from the most well known author out there, I nonetheless have found my books available in questionable websites for “free” download.

Its infuriating, certainly.

The world keeps changing, I suppose and I hope that in the future there does appear some way for artists -including me- can keep their projects theirs.

The New Novel Update #4

I’m posting this today because it occurs to me I should present this at this time.

I’m going to be vague about certain things, but bear with me. Eventually, perhaps several months down the road, it will make sense.

I began my new novel, according to my notes, on 9/30/2020.

By 5/12/21 I had the first draft finished and began the second.

These dates are important, at least for me, to remember.

Why?

Well… I can’t go into it because doing so would spoil the novel and essentially make it pointless to continue working on it.

As much as I’m enjoying writing this novel, there are forces outside my control which have made me for the very first time I can remember consider giving up on a work after spending so much time (some eight months!!) devoted to it.

However, after giving it a lot of thought this past week, I’ve decided to go ahead and finish it up. I’m roughly 2/3rds or so into the second draft and feel the book is worth continuing despite these reservations.

I’ll explain it all in the book itself, I promise, and I’m sorry for being so vague.

If nothing else, its important for me to set this marker down on this particular date.

Again, my apologies for being so vague!

The New 2021 Novel Update #3

Don’t have a ton to update at this moment yet, nonetheless, enough to warrant this post.

Basically I’m still at the novel’s first act, rewriting/revising the material as I’m going along.

What is very fascinating about going over something you’ve written already is that you start adding stuff to it and, often, it proves to be exactly what’s needed and probably should have been there to begin with.

I can’t get into details as that would be SPOILERY and, also, we’re so early into the writing of this book that even if I did state what I’ve come up with, its possible things might change in the later parts of the book and/or in a future draft.

Having said that, I’m very pleased with what I’m doing here.

I just hope I can get it done well before the end of the year and release it!

I’m genuinely excited about what its about and feel it works wonderfully with these bizarre times.

I’ll say no more!

The New 2021 Novel UPdate #2

I’ve begun the process of putting the revisions I wrote in red ink on the first draft of my new novel and, so far, things are going pretty well.

As somewhat expected, I’ve begun to think of things to add to the book and, while I’m still in the opening act (page 18 of the single spaced, 10 point writing) I’ve already added one new segment and am about to add another.

It works, I feel, to help explain things that come later on in the book.

Of course, I’m being deliberately vague here and, who knows, maybe as I get into future drafts I cut down on some of that stuff because I figure out a better way of presenting it or get it presented later in the book without needing to elaborate at the beginning.

Am I making any sense?

I’ve grappled with metaphors to explain the writing process and the one that feels most apt is that writing a book is like doing an oil painting.

You start with some rough image you create on your canvas, perhaps in charcoal, then you add the broad brushstrokes to delineate the colors you’ll feature in your piece.

With oil, you can paint over an area, again and again, and merge colors to your heart’s content.

What starts out as a very rough work over time becomes refined and elaborate. Toward the end, you’re adding in those last flourishes/details.

I’m at the beginning still, but feel like I have a solid foundation to build up from.

We’ll see how it goes!