All posts by mepurfield

Cities That Eat Islands: Update

I reached the end of the first draft of the first part of the trilogy, Cities That Eat Islands. I’m two weeks ahead of schedule even though I started off horribly back in January. I finished at 80,000 words in less than three months. I averaged out about 1,000 to 2,000 words a day. Some days I skipped.

Again, I did not outline the book. I had points and characters planned in my head for the last few years but it has always evolved. I’ve gone back and forth if this should be a trilogy or one large book. Due to the way this book turned out, it appears to be a trilogy.

Thoughts so far on the draft:

It feels solid. I don’t think I need to change much in plotting and character, but I still need to do another two drafts, of which I will start in a week or so, to make it readable. I’m sure small things will pop up there. Also I have one or two small scenes I need to add.

It’s not exactly how I imagined it. The characters and plot took a life of their own. I did not get to put everything I wanted to in here. But I did add much I never imagined before that surprised myself and even enriches the future parts of the trilogy.

The historical context wasn’t too intrusive in the storytelling. Many times I had to break to find out if they had or what they had in 1961 or 1921. Or check on the politics or social times that I missed on my research. The later I may have to cut out in the second draft. I don’t want it to bog down my pace and flow. I just want enough to make it sound like I know what I’m talking about.

I’m finding that I’m playing around with the trilogy tropes, which I like. I’m a big fan of them and studied them closely. I don’t want to use them primarily, but still keep them there in a familiar context just to mess with the reader’s mind. Yes that sounds confusing and I may sound like a dork and that I don’t know what I’m talking about. This may be another example of ‘not being able to explain what I want to do very well and best that you just read it to understand’.

I’m enjoying creating the mystery for the trilogy and finding the common theme that links all the characters together in the story. I hope it comes together on the second book which I hope to start this summer. Also much of the mystery pertains to the Miki Radicci series and her family since the main character is her grandmother and her great uncle. After this trilogy the Radicci series should open up greatly.

For those wondering, this book will not be released until all three are done. They will be out at the same time. I’m considering this as one big book and making sure all the threads work as a mystery so this trilogy experiment is successful. Thank you for your patience if it has sparked your interest.

shellfish-crabs02

Advertisements

Pink Hats & A Racist Transphobic March

My fave part: “It’s  white supremacy disguised as feminism. This march would not be existing if Hillary Clinton were in office. There would be no pink hats because in the mind of white liberals, all oppression would end magically by a Hillary presidency.”

via Pink Hats & A Racist Transphobic March

Not So Happy Holidays

IT’S HOW YOU SEE THINGS, NOT HOW IT REALLY IS

It’s when all your words come out in in monotone or in low volume or they don’t come out right at all. Your brain thinks the right word but the wrong word leaves your mouth. Or your mouth trips up the words. Or your brain just stops in mid thought.

And this angers people. They say, “What?” with aggravation. They want you to repeat yourself and you do but this time you take a deeper breath and you shout out what you have to say. It’s a lot of work and leaves you tired. Communicating verbally is so exhausting.

Why can’t it be easier like when you write music or stories or paint pictures…wait, no. They don’t understand those forms of communications. At least, not the deeper way you communicate through them. Or do they even care to see/read/listen to your art?

 

JOIN UP WITH THE CROWD

It’s when all the people are talking, laughing, shouting, screaming, clinking glasses, banging plates, and blasting bad music at once. Good times swirl into a into a sonic tornado that rips into your head like Pillsbury thorns and makes you want to cover your ears with a pillow or run out of the room or the house. You feel the eyes on you and can’t help but think they are wondering about you. Society states there must be something wrong with you. And there is.

You never feel this way at a concert/fest/club, standing in crowd, listening to four people you always loved playing music you never grew tired of. Maybe because you can hide your rocking/stomping/wiggling. Maybe because you can screw up the words as you sing and no one will hear you. Maybe because you’re invisible.

YOU NEED TO INTERGRATE YOURSELF

It’s when you sit in a crowded room and eat the food or stare at the television. Guests walk in and they say hi to you. You wave back. You weave through the crowd to get a drink. You say hi and smile. You climb the mountain. You socialized.

You could stop to interrupt their conversation with other people but that would be rude. It would be doubly rude to talk to them because you know what comes out of your mouth would not be proper. Your life and interests are worlds apart. You’re frank and honest.

Not because you’re a hurtful person, it’s because you are frank and honest. Illusions are wasteful. Politeness is pointless. You want to show your honest self, warts and butterflies. But that’s not how it works.

In the past you got polite laughter from them. Wide eye exchange. Mouths distracted with sipping drinks. Dying conversations. You die too and hope the Earth opens up under you. But all you can do is leave the conversation and go back to your chair. Keep eating. Try to keep still because you want to rock back and forth or bounce your leg or wiggle your fingers.

The only other option is to stand and stare while two other people talk. You nod, smile, and say, “Yep, yep,” and sip your drink.

No. Those are both horrible. Both tiring. Exhausting.

You should go back to your chair. Sit. Watch the television and wait for it’s time to leave. Take breaks to leave the house/apartment.

Or find that other freak in the room. Or maybe you should bring one with you.

I know I will.

Happy Holidays to my weirdo, freak, loser, geek, and monster brothers and sisters. And good luck.

 

 

 

Please Excuse The Explosion And Carry On With Your Day.

And research goes on. Focusing on Albert Fish. For those not in the know he was a cannibal who ate children and was caught in the 1930s. He was in his sixties when the police apprehended him. A sick fellow who always fascinated me.

For decades I was only able to find him in chapters in other books but finally found a slim pb that covers his last crime, arrest, and trial. I think someone on a bb recommended this book to me as one of the best books on Fish.

One of the villains in Cities That Eat Islands will be based on Fish, something I’ve always wanted to do in a Miki book. Maybe if the character survives this story I can still do it.

Was another terrorist attack in NYC day before yesterday. Local news covered it but social media was kind of quiet. I saw no mention of it in my Facebook feed. A young man who has been in this country for seven years made a pipe bomb and brought it to Port Authority. It went off. No one died and the young man was arrested. He was tired of Trump. An American made terrorist. Shrug. Many of us are tired of Trump. I’m surprised there aren’t more American Made Terrorists around.

I guess it’s getting so that terrorist attacks are slipping through the cracks like school shootings. In the last few weeks I read about two. One in New Mexico killed 2. The one in California killed 4.

Is this all part of not being shaken by the violent perpetrator?

We will not be terrorized.

We will not let them interfere with our lives.

Life will go on. Death and violence will not faze me.

See my smile.

Now go back to work.

Say Happy Holidays (or if you’re a fascist Merry Christmas).

Listen to Billie Christmas, pass the cranberry sauce, and pretend that sound is just thunder.

Everything Changes, The Worse Stays The Same

No new writing this week. Just don’t have the motivation. But I have been doing a lot of research. A lot on Ellis Island and the 1920s for the new book. Tentatively titled Cities That Eat Islands. I’m leaning towards a large piece, combining the prospective trilogy into one book to save time. Give myself a mountain to climb while I’m young.

Noticing a lot of the same problems with immigration in our government in 1920 that we have now. They totally cut it off immigration acceptance later, no one was allowed in. Worse than the first proposed Muslim ban earlier this year.

Racism is a little different but the same. Jews are still hated but Italians not so. Italians were treated like Mexicans back in the 1920s. Shit, Mexicans were treated like Mexicans in the 1920s. Communists and Socialists and Anarchists were still a threat back then.

Democrats and Republicans were always at odds. Snore.

I imagine the character POV will be easy to write and what the reader will connect with the most. The research has been helping with procedures, settings, and descriptions. Like I did with my last historical fiction novel (Breaking Fellini) I’ll try not to bog it down with historical references and just use it as the character does.

The pictures I’ve been finding in books and on the web are beautiful. So many maps on the web too. Robert McCammon was right; no need to go to the library anymore if you write historical fiction.