Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update Update

Well folks, it's been a while. Don't know if anyone's still hanging around to read this after being gone so long, but I'll write even if no one else ever reads it, I'm either that stubborn or stupid; you decide.

First, the good news. I am currently cancer free, which is a huge weight off my mind. The bad news is that my oncologist says that the cancer's likely to come back within the first year. Visions of IV fluids and bags of chemo drugs are still keeping me awake at night. I tell you, if it weren't for the dying part, I'd say the cure is worse than the disease. On top of that my last round of treatment resulted in a couple blood clots in my arms which migrated to my right lung. Can you say Pulmonary Embolism?

So now I'm on blood thinners for the next three months with strict instructions not to smoke or drink. That kinda kills my cancer-free celebration plans, but I suppose it could be worse.

Anyway I spent my down-time coming up with more story ideas, actually managing to write a few, and increasing the size of my rejection letter collection. I'm at about 60 now, which is pretty decent when you consider I haven't been trying to write professionally for all that long.

Most of my stories, the good ones at least, tend to be around 10,000 words long. The real kick in the teeth is that most magazines won't consider any story over 5,000 words. I tried trimming one of my stories down today. It didn't work out so well. The story is still readable, but frankly it lost all of the qualities that made it interesting, at least in my opinion. It's tough to present a meaningful story in such a short space. Practically no room to develop characters so you care about what happens to them.

The thing that gets me is that most of the short stories that I read are much longer. The shortest HP Lovecraft wrote was almost 15,000 words long. So why is there such a discrepency between what they'll print nowadays and what they printed back in the heyday of speculative and science fiction?

Anyway, moving on. I've come up with a number of other ghost stories featuring Miyamoto Musashi, the storylines atleast. Ideally I'll compile them in a book in which each story occurs at a different time in his life, showcasing how the man changed and grew. I've already researched the man's life and mentality in some detail, but I'll need to find reference material for life in Japan during the early 1600s as well as the story locations. I've got a really good one in mind which takes place in Himeji castle, where he designed its world-famous gardens. The castle is so old that I figure a few buried seals keeping long-dormant demons would be plausible, thanks to Joilene, a good friend, for the demon ideas.

I've also done a story featuring Heaven's bounty hunter. I like it, but since it pulls from Judaism rather than Christianity, most people who read it think that the portrayal of angels doesn't fit. Think "The Prophecy" set in the Old West and you won't be too far off. I've got to let it sit for a week or two before I go back and start chopping. Frankly that part is tougher than writing it. It always irks me, having to wait, leaving the story to sit. I've got about a half dozen stories sitting, and I'm champing at the bit to get at them, but for one reason or other I can't. Sons of Odin is a great example of this. People read it, they like, but something's always missing. I've decided to try to turn it into a full length novel as it shoves so much information at the reader that most of it is missed. I haven't even begun to collect research material for it yet, so I don't imagine it will be done for years to come, if ever.

I was working on scripting out a full-length novel, kind of a Dean Koontzish style supernatural murder mystery. Includes some of the local Native-American beliefs in the Orlando that only people who've lived there know. Unfortunately I've had to put that on hold for the forseeable future until I can get back to work and start making some money. I should be working on getting the bills paid right now, but the wrtiting bug has got me firmly by the lugs. It's all I can think about, all that I do, all that I am. I've got to wait on the local library to get my research material for most of my promising stories; I don't have the money to go out and buy them, and the waiting is driving me crazy...Well, crazier.

In the meantime I guess I'll just make the rest of my household nuts as I talk incessantly about my work, bouncing ideas back and forth until they want to scream.

I don't know how often I'll be updating. I've got a goodly amount of time on my hands while I recuperate, but not much more to talk about. When I'm working I may have something to talk about, but probably not the time to do so. Oh well, we'll see how things go.


Joilene said...

Good to have you back! I've been waiting to see your pen at work here again.

I'll celebrate long-distance with you about the cancer. Hurray! Boil up some flax oil for your celebratory drink, that might keep the cancer at bay.

Btw, if there's anything further I can do to help you on with your writing, just let me know. You know I may be slow, but I keep my commitments. Since you're going to try a different tack with "Sons of Odin," do you want me to keep shoving opinions at you as it stands?

So glad the demon info helped. I thought you could turn it to a good purpose.

God keep you and strengthen you,

Anonymous said...

Your Back! and I am late to the celebration. :) Good to see your still kickin'. Now, there is a lot of reading to catch up on.