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.
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.
Haven’t been writing anything new lately. I still have two pages of that crime story I started many weeks ago that I want to finish. I’m pretty sure I can finish it in Dec before I start the new novel in January. Pretty sure.
I have finished up editing that longer sci-fi short story Orange Flecks and sent it out to a market. Got two other sci-fis waiting to hear back from, plus a handful of other markets that are taking forever to respond. Pony express. So there’s that.
Been working more as a publisher lately than as a writer so it’s not like I haven’t been productive. Did the holiday sale (all miki novels on sale thru holidays) and publishing a new short story every month. Been consistent the last three months. Just uploaded Decembers story early, Peanut Shells, so expect that in the next few days.
So yeah, I should be able to finish that crime short for the year.
Been also researching the new novel. Lots of reading on 1920 and 1960. Funny how I picked those years. Seems they both had similar social upheaval. Some cosmic force must have been tainting my subconscious. I don’t know. Or maybe not. Just hope I can make a good story out of it.
Speaking of reading, I finished this monster of a story called Facing the Other Way: the story of 4AD. You know the British record label with the amazing art design that started in 1980 by Ivo. Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coyle, Cocteau Twins to Throwing Muses, Lush, Pixies, Breeders, and on.
Like I said, a monster of a book chock full of POV/quotes, but so worth it. The writer not only delves into Ivo and the staff’s head, but also into the designer, Vaughn, and the band’s stories, which I found interesting since a lot of my favorites were in there. I’m a big Pixie, Throwing Muses, and Lush head, and even through I read a lot of books and press about them, this one gave me even more.
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?
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.
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.
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
Timmy Valentine Trilogy
Matthew Corbett Series
Book of the Art
You get the picture.