Tag Archives: novels

To Miki Or Not To Miki

I planned to take three years off after Miki book 11. That’s a big chunk in a series. A lot of time to spend in a character’s head. Of course I plan to come back. I have twenty more books to write in that world and I’ll probably come up with twenty more as I’m writing those.

So far during my hiatus I spent a year writing just short stories. It was something I always wanted to do. I even sold a few.

The years is almost up and I planned to write a trilogy for the last two years involving Miki’s grandmother that takes place in the 1960s and 1920s. It would also feature her brother Enzo, Blaise Radicci, Frank Welker, and the Old Woman. Maybe some familiar bad guys. I wanted to open up the world that Miki wasn’t yet privy to but the reader was.

Trilogies are good. They make money sometimes. So my mind was content. Then I started thinking about how my work outside of Miki doesn’t sell. A double edge sword. A story with out Miki but also a trilogy.

I’m grateful that I see anything, that I’m read, that people even go to the next book, that they go to the last one that I wrote. But the non Miki books I wrote just sit there. Would a trilogy be worth it?

Maybe I should just write one large tome. 100,000 or so words. Like Clive Barker’s Imagica or Robert McCammon’s Swan Song would do. Could be fun and a challenge.

Or…

Why don’t I somehow make it more marketable. Make it a Miki book. Take the new story and book end it with a Miki story that picks up after book 11. Could work.

I don’t know. My mind is going and turning.

By January first I could have ten more possibilities for this book.

The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be different than anything I have ever written before.

 

Out now:

 

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to live and experience this fascist time

Finished 2nd short story revision and send it out to market. Hope it satisfies. If not that’s okay. Although I’m not in love with my short stories I think I did a good job and maybe someone else will buy it.

Also submitted to a second market today. It’s low pay plus copy but it’s in a slum genre I love so it gives me some street cred.

Completed 40 revised pages of Kharma novel revisions out of 151 pages. Will start the next 40 pages tomorrow. How this works for all novels is this:

After the first draft is complete I take a chunk like 40 pages a week and break it in half. I do 20 pages Monday and 20 Tues. Then on Wed I go back to the first 20 pages again Wed and again second 20 pages Thurs.

See. I just did two revisions in a week. And then I keep going with the next chunk. If I don’t get the novel right and readable after that then I might as well throw it out.

The son has teeth pain. Two culprits. After x-rays today found out that the top on we can do nothing about. The adult tooth is pushing the baby tooth out, which has a filling. He’ll have the bear it.

The bottom tooth has a broken filling and is also being pushed out by an adult tooth. He has too options. 1) Get a crown, which he had done before years ago and it broke off soon after. 2) Have the tooth pulled so the new tooth can grow out. This kid has gone through a lot in his teen years with his teeth but not much in the last few years. He’s a toughie.

Found this neat site today First 100 Day of Fascist Germany. The main page states:

During the highly contentious political climate in this country, the terms “fascism” and “Nazi Germany” have been tossed around quite freely by both sides of the political spectrum. As a response to this and in an effort to provide some clarity of what fascism in Nazi Germany actually looked like, we at the Emory University German Department initiated a research project that aims to document the first 100 days of National Socialism- from the day that Adolf Hitler was named Reichskanzler on January 30, 1933 until May 9, 1933.

Fascism has fascinated me since I was a child. I’ve been a punk all my life. I’ve fought against and questioned authority in all its forms. In a strange way I feel privileged to be alive in this Trump era, to live and experience this fascist time. Yes, it is horrible but I am proud to see so many people in the world rise against this administration, the politicians and the citizens. Wow, the citizens.

So yeah, I’ve been checking out the days and there are many similarities between Hitler’s crew and Trump’s crew. No surprises but still interesting in a historical context.

On an even sadder note, I saw that brilliant character actor Michael Parks died today. Don’t know what he died from. My guess is cancer. It has been eating all the brilliant ones. Of course Michael Parks sticks out from his work in Twin Peaks but also his recurring character Earl McGraw in Quentin Tarentino and Robert Rodriguez’s film’s From Dusk Til Dawn, Kill Bill, Planet Terror, and Death Proof; Kevin Smith’s frightening and bizarre films Red State and Tusk, and a slew of movies starting from 1965. The man was a true chameleon and at times I would see him on the screen and say to myself, “That guy looks so familiar,” and later learn that it was him. Rest in peace, brother.

They have people to answer to and I don’t

Another draft on that requested rewrite. Feels pretty good. Think just one more go through for typos and I should have it ready for resubmission and I can focus on something else.

Have two other stories, longer ones I want to polish up. Two culturally challenging ones: police shooting and child pornography/how mothers train pre-adolescent daughters to be whores. I had trouble finishing them a while back but then I was reading that book by Anne Serling and became inspired by Rod Serling’s words and I just had to finish them, you know. The man challenged the world with his writing. Not sure I could do the same with my own. I doubt I could sell them through major markets. I’ll try. I’ll hope for the best but will assume they will just be collected and I’ll sell them to the readers myself.

No stories to submit today. Have many out I still haven’t heard back on. Need some rejections or acceptances first. And no new paying markets about. But there’s a noir market opening tomorrow that I want to submit to; I have a story on the side for that.

Continued to work on the new Kharma story revisions. Nothing to complain about there. Maybe slight doubt. Sometimes I wonder if I’m understating. Do I need to spoon feed. Has the world dumbed down the reader so much that they might not catch what I’m feeding them? We live in such a saturated world, still. Books 80,000 words or more. Scary monster books that make kids not want to read in school. Hell, they even scare most of the adults. They hold your hand and brain and when something small and delicate comes along and tries to be subtle with subtext with breezy action…

No. readers are smart. The real ones. The die hards. And the ones that want to invest. Don’t me stupid.

One of the best things about the internet/digital revolution is the minimal aspect. Writers can now make a living writing smaller works. Short novels, novellas, long-short stories, or short stories; sell them individually if you want. Selling series still do well. At least for me. No one buys my other works. It’s all Miki Miki Miki. The Kharma series is still early. Maybe I can get you folks into her later too.

But yeah, the series for books can be short, even 10k words. People are so into long form storytelling. Maybe they love the compactness . They love to binge and then stop and then binge again. The soap opera. I dig a good trilogy or series.

Repairman Jack/Adversary Cycle

Sailor and Lula

Barrytown Trilogy

Timmy Valentine Trilogy

Matthew Corbett Series

Book of the Art

Abarat

You get the picture.

 

Little accomplishments help break the long depression

That horrible man we shall call a dentist stuck his needles in my gums and tongue to numb me before he pulled out my tooth. Would you believe he used a Q-tip with some minty stuff to pre-numb me in order for me not to feel the needles? Good gravy. I don’t remember those needles feeling like electric shock in my mouth. Five or more different spots! I handled it well. Called him a son of a bitch and rinsed out my mouth.

The tooth yanking was cake. I think the kid who assisted and held Mr. Thirsty was just out of Mr. Dentist School. 1, 2, 3. All done. I felt no pain but was annoyed of how he stretched out my mouth like I was in some absurd porn trying to fit five cocks inside, you know.

From sitting down to pulling out it took 20 minutes.

The next four hours at home were rough. I’m biting on gauze to stop the bleeding. Side of the face so numb I could bite my tongue off and not even know it. I got my daughter with me who I just picked up off the bus. My father-in-law and son are with me and so are ABA therapist and my daughter’s case specialist. All these people around and I’m in the next room suddenly with the chills, hungry (I hadn’t eaten in 6 hours), and mad drooling with bloody soaked that threatens to choke me if I fall asleep. I’m feeling useless.

My son, who knew this morning about the dentist, interacts with me now having no idea what’s wrong.

Here’s the catch. I’m the guy who takes care of everyone. My wife will have to take charge when she gets home from work. (don’t ask about my father-in-law) By now I should be picking up my wife, making sure my son does his home work, and then making dinner. Earlier I cheated with my daughter’s snack and gave her cereal instead of cutting her up fruit.

Don’t get my wife wrong. She wants and did take care of me and the kids when she came home. But it was hard for her. I had to talk her through it. We’re two different people from two different lives. Tomorrow will be back to normal.

But before that I finished revising and sent out that story to that mag and also sent out two other stories. So that’s 3 markets out. And I received 1 rejection today.

Submitting to magazines got me thinking about what I wrote about yesterday about groups and how I never stick with just one. In my career I’ve been accepted by various kinds of markets.

Strikingly different.

And strikingly scarce.

I lot of what I write doesn’t fit in with a market, with the market’s group. And that’s fine. I don’t want to speak to people who don’t want to listen to me.

But to the ones that do buy what I write, the feeling is awesome.

So the point I’m tying to make?

Don’t worry about rejection.

And write short stories. Even if you are writing a novel. Novels take time but short stories don’t. While you’re doing your big project you can do many short stories and, considering your goals, you can make some scratch or find exposure.

Plus, you can piss off your friends in your writer’s group who are still spending years working their novels going nowhere. Little accomplishments help break the long depression. Also, what you learn from writing the short stories will go into the craft of writing your novel. You can’t lose.