Tag Archives: series

a not so distant future where one struggles for gasoline

Finished Kharma Part 12 revisions.

Working on two short story revisions this week (MiLK and White Elephant in the Blue Room). Both are just about 5k words so that’s different lately.

Tried to find some markets to submit to and failed. Nothing in my pay rate.

As planned for June, I want to get in another short, flash or longer, before starting Kharma part 13 but I’m not sure what to write. Horror isn’t my thing, so that’s out. I could do a sci-fi/YA but it has theme setting I already used in other stories but a different plot. I don’t want to repeat myself.

Maybe something will pop into my head that will make it different enough for me to jump into it. For now I can just open my tiny notebook on Monday and pick anyone of the ideas and use one of those. Spontaneously write without a net. Maybe a crime story or a contemporary YA story will have to do.

Over the weekend I compromised my ego. The local vintage theatre was screening the greatest sequel of all time, The Road Warrior. Words can’t describe how important a film this is to me and my childhood. It’s a work of art. And a chance to see it on a 50 ft screen? When will I get another.

But for my wife’s birthday/mother’s day present I had given her tickets to see Kings of Leon that night at the PNC. I had bought the tickets back in February and the movie wasn’t announced until a few weeks ago. How was I to know the conflict. Of course I had to take my wife to the concert. You know how much these tickets cost me? Right side orchestra, row O?

Plus the context. My wife, a big fan of the group, won tickets to see them at the PNC 5 or 6 years ago. The week of the show they canceled and refunded due to health reasons. A band like this only does big venues, festivals. I’ve been stalking their homepage trying to find out when they would come back to Jersey. And they finally did.

My wife had a good time. She danced all night. I snapped some good pictures for her. She’s still shaking from the experience.

But still, I imagine myself in that seat in the theatre, looking up at that huge screen, in a not so distant future where one struggles for gasoline.

Oh, the car crashes.

Sorry.  No talking bugs or anuses.

Just about done with 3rd part of Kharma part 12 revisions. Nothing much to say. I must sound like a broken record. Writing about writing is not very exciting. Not like the movie Naked Lunch. Sorry.  No talking bugs or anuses. No spies. No Interpol. No drug taking. My life is boring. The words in the story are exciting. To me anyway. Maybe to you. I’ll have to wait and see.

Been stalling on my Italian lessons over at Duolingo. I think it’s from all the revisions I’ve been doing lately. They wear me out and take so long and then I have other stuff and I just can’t force myself to do it. I think when I get back into witing 4 pages a day of a draft I’ll get back into the Italian lessons again. It was a good system. What I learned is still in my head…sort of. It pops up in my writing. I’ve meshed it in with names and such.

If all goes at planned I can start a new short in June, one that’s been burning in my head the last few weeks, and then a new Kharma, also burning, soon after that.

Been reading this collection of Tim Burton essays about his films. Some deep analytical stuff. Before this I’ve only read his own POV of his work. Interesting to get a subjective stance other than my own.

What I love about Burton’s work, what I connect with, is his exploration of duality. I’ve talked about this in previous posts. What we show people and what we hide. The perfect example of this is in Batman Returns, the uses of masks and what we hide; real freaks verses created freaks. So many people need to wear a mask to be who they are. While people like me (and you) act the way we do naturally without the mask and suffer for it, ending up dead and carried out by emperor penguins. :-p

What I’m taking from this collection (I’m only halfway through it) is how his films are broken down into 2 plot styles:

  1. Hero story. The hero who never changes ventures into a foreign world and changes others.
  2. The artists/storyteller, how they find the means to create and execute their voice.

There may be more one or two more. I can’t fit all his films into these two structures.

The essayists also bring up society, family, sexism, capitalism, and colonialism. Funny to recall all the people in my life who have put down Tim Burton’s films and yet these people have given them such critical thought.

But let’s break that criticism with more Stain Boy, episode 4

Even years from now they may mesh

More work on third chunk of Kharma part 12.

Ideas/threads to carry over into future stories pop up in my head as I edit along. I write them down in my little book for later. Bits for the next story or even the third or tenth story down.

Can’t stress enough to a new writers how important it is to carry a tiny note/sketch book. Things pop into you head at any time. For me it’s when my brain relaxes or is distracted, in meditative states. Listening to music, watching movies, reading, showering, or by water. Like David Lynch says, You gotta grab them. Write them down even if they’re not perfect. You never know what they can be later. Even years from now they may mesh with something else that could pop up later. 1+1=3

Went over final proof before publication on short story for Unwinnable Magazine. Yes, that was the short that I did many revisions on. “You Are Disturbing The Peaceful Mood I Am In” should be out in their May issue soon.

Oddly the editor wants me to send him an invoice for payment so he can remember to pay me. Which is fine and honest of him. Sometimes these editors forget to pay. Sometimes they never pay. So I will do that.

I discovered that Thomas the Tank Engine will release a new character with autism this summer which is cool. Then I thought, shit. Not for the character. For the fact that the vaccine people out there will put it down like they put down Sesame Street and their autistic character. How it’s bad to normalize, create acceptance and enlightment for autism, how parents shouldn’t be okay with their children being defective, and okay with doctors and the pharmaceutical companies making them that way.

Grrrr, poxy fuckers.

No. I’m not going to get into it.

Thomas is good. Thomas is good for autistic kids too with those big expressive faces. My son loved watching Thomas. God, the little bastard ran tracks through out the apartment and sped ten trains at a time. I had no place to walk with out tripping and stepping on them. We had all the DVDs and I had to watch that Alec Baldwin movie. I did like watching the episodes with George Carlin in them, though.

Still have the tracks and trains in storage. I should bring them out for my daughter to play with. She’s gonna be 4 this summer, she’s just about right for them.

Anyway, here is episode 3 of Stain Boy:

people have more business than they need than to be annoyed by a bunch of weirdos

Started the 3rd block of Kharma part 12, pages 80 – 120 today. Should be done with it on Friday. Don’t plan on doing any writing on Thurs. Have to see my son get an award at school and then take my wife to work.

Finished the second draft of the short story over the week end. Waiting to hear back from editor.

Next part of the day we took our son to this pediatric dentist to look at his bad tooth. When we got there the two nurses, who soon became witches, told us that our insurance wont cover the visit. But we got them, ABA Pediatrics, from our insurance company. Yes, but your son is 10. We only work on kids 5 and under.

What the fuck?

Mind you my wife called them and verified all this. So we spent the next hour in the dentist office with the insurance company trying to get around it, to get an exception, to get the dentist their money, and almost did. The insurance company faxed over some papers to ABA Pediatrics and the witch wouldn’t touch it. The blond chick who’s accent I couldn’t place stood five feet away from it like it was the plague and said she will not fill it out. They made good witches. Had clipped, irritated voices when talking to us. Even had a kid screaming for thirty minutes in the back like he was having all his teeth pulled out.

In the end we left with nothing but the fax. I went back to the general practitioner dentist to have them fill it out so we can take it to another pediatric dentist.

Just so frustrating dealing with insurance companies and receptionist/nurses, having people act like they hate you doesn’t make it much easier. Funny, in this case the insurance people were the nice ones. I don’t know. I guess some people have more business than they need than to be annoyed by a bunch of weirdos.

My son’s not in pain, so that’s good. If he is we could just take him to the ER in Newark and get it done today but it is my wife’s birthday is today. I don’t think that would have been a fun time for her. Instead I took her to South House on Newark Ave and filled her with chili and wine.

Saw that actor Powers Booth and author William Hjortsberg died in the last 48 hours. Just crazy. Two more factors of my youth.

To cheer you up, I leave you episode 2 of Stain Boy:

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.