Saturday, July 01, 2006

Heaven's Walker

I wrote this story in, if I recall properly, late 2001. It wasn’t a bad story, though I never thought enough of it to tidy it up and publish it. Mostly, it sits on my hard drive and in a folder somewhere, and I glance at it now and then and think about doing something with it.

Perhaps you’ll enjoy it.


Heaven’s Walker

Pete Tzinski


     In the highest reaches of the tallest places in the Heavens, amidst clouds and shards of light, glistening pillars of light and knowledge, magnificant prisms of truth and love, there walked the Devil.
     God perceived and called him forth from the darkness, saying, “O, Satan! Why have you left your Hells? Have you no fires to stoke? No brimstone to whiff? No souls who have turned from me?”
     And the Devil, cackling with a mouth full of yellowy pointed teeth, exclaimed back to God, “I have all of them and more, Lord! An yet, something better too…for I have victory!”
     “Victory says the Prince of Lies!” God exclaimed as the host of angels and saints looked on. “No victory shall there be for you! But bandy your words quick, let your forked tongue spill them with haste.”
     Before him and at the base of God’s throne, the Devil conjured up the Earth, flashing images before them with blazing speed. He came down into a small gray office, stuffy and full of miserable looking people, all of them hunched over instinctively because of the low, gray ceiling. Again, the Devil cackled.
     “Look at my wit, my ultimate creation, my finest perversion! Look, your men damn themselves. For I have walked amongst them and I have spoken in the soft voice to the greedy ear, jostled the elbow that was aching to be twitched,and thus have I wrought this! They work toward damnation volumntarily. And behold, they have named it, as Adam did name the animals.”
     And the Devil’s slideshow came to show a sign in plain brown letters on the outside of a dull brown building, and the letters read Department of Motor Vehicles.
     “Behold, they sign away all they can!” The Devil said, “They rush through hoops, struggle with requirements, stress and curse and complain and do not leave! They are imprisoned, though there are no chains, nor locks on the doors! All so they can ultimately drive machiens that thunder and cough and spit out smokelike the Dragons of old! Voluntarily, O Lord!”
     And though Lucifer cackled still further in his victory, stomping cloven hoof and slapping red stomach with crimson hand, God spoke softly but surely and said, “But alas, what have you won? Has anything changed? Have I waxed or waned? Have the fires cool,the world split, the stars collided, the cities crumbled? No. And truly, I say to you, it is my servant Job, fo ryou’ve no sway upon him.”
     “No sway!” the Devil scoffed. “But has he no license?”
     “Nay!” God admonished.
     “But has he no registration?” pressed the Devil.
     “Nay!” returned God promptly.
     “But has he no proof of insurance, which is unto the spear in the side?”
     “Three times, I say thee nay!” exlcaimed God, “He has none, nor visits your Department of Motor Vehicles, nor drives your Dragon-like machinations.”
     “But the world is overrun with them! How can he not?”
     “Behold, Job, my faithful and trusted servant, who alone knows the scent of the roses, for having stopped by them.”
     And then, God showed his own images before His throne, and he depicted Job. Old, wizened, with white hair and a lined face, he was walking hand in hand with his wife. Man, standing beside Woman. She too had white hair and a lined face, but lined as his was with a smile as they walked slowly and leisurely, peacefully.
     “Walking!” scoffed the Devil again, “Rediculous! But victory is not denied me, O Lord. They are old and weak, and soon to depart that world! And then, shall my triumph not be complete?”
     “Look, look close!” God seemed to whisper and shout, all at once.
     And there, running in zig-zagging patterns around the sidewalk, the grassy lawns, the fields of flowers, and even a beach by a lake that they walked past, there darted a trio of little children, galloping about on their own feet.
     “And your triumph,” God said, “is denied.”
     And then, the Voice said no more. Gnashing his teeth fitfully, the Devil cursed the images hanging before him of Jobh and his wife and his grandchildren, unknowingly thwarting the Devil’s schemes by means of their Sunday evening post-supper stroll through town.
     The angels and saints all faded away, no longer watching.
     With nothing elft but images and failures, the Devil also ventured off to stoke his fires, to whiff his brimstone.
     Job, meanwhile, picked a yellow daisy for his wife.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Twittering.

An anecdote I’ve been meaning to share.

Some time ago, we visited a Blockbuster video rental store nearby and signed up for this dandy deal where I could just take video games out for as long as I pleased, and I had to just bring it back when I wanted another one. It was wonderful. I’d play games that I wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance to play, and then take it back and do it all over again. Games were played, thumbs were cramped, very little writing was done.
One night, a brilliant idea hits me as I walk out with game under my arm.

I says to myself, I says, “Self. What a brilliant idea. What if they did something like this, but with books! You could take books out, read them, and take them back and get more books! This is brilliant! I am wise!”

Of course, my tired and addled brain looked up from its stupor, a bit sozzled and worse for the wear, and pointed out unkindly to me that there was such a thing, which was called a library, and could I be a twit somewhere else?

…So there. That’s just in case you ever find yourself thinking, “Ye Gads, that Pete, he is the stuff of legends, his brain is so big.”



The reason I have been less than chatty here of late can be read about here. This will keep me pretty occupied as September 1st approached, after which, I’m sure I’ll be chattering away plenty. I still plan to post, mind you, but it will be sporadic. You know, as opposed to how useful and regular I normally am.

Oh, what the heck. Sometime tonight, or tomorrow afternoon, I will dig up a short story and post it here, exclusively, for your reading enjoyment. I’ve got one in mind, and it’s not terribly long, because I can’t imagine a long story would be terribly comfortable to read on this blog. Consider this my version of flowers and an “I’m sorry.” For being a bit absent. Yes?

Like that nice Churchill boy said, I shall return.

Friday, June 16, 2006

At the bottom of the sea...

It’s a bit odd, and probably terribly nerdy. I very much like my SLVR L7 phone, and I adore the amount of MP3’s I can put on it. I really like that it has a speaker built into it, and a solid enough one that I can put it in my pocket and listen to music without headphones on.
I like the camera it comes with, the fact that it comes with a video camera, with blue tooth, all that.

…but here’s the nerdy bit. The thing that actually gets me excited about my phone? It’s that I can plug it into my computer, a window pops up, I can drag my “Working Drafts” folder full of stories/novels I’m working on right now onto my phone, and then carry them with me.

(Granted, I usually carry them no farther than the laptop.)

The technology geek in me is overruled by the writer geek. Go figure.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Our Synergenic Mission Statement

     The funny thing about this blog is, when I originally started it, the point of it was that I would begin maintaining it while still an unpublished, learning author. I would continue to maintain it all the way down the path to fame and glory (because I am, if nothing else, a stubborn optimist).

     It’s a fun thought. I like that you could have people saying “He’s a god! A lord of fiction! The words seem to move on the page, and move in my very soul! It’s like he’s in my room!”

     And you, after the long internal debate about whether you want such people to notice you when you speak, are able to pipe up and say “Yes, all that, but back in 2006, did you know he wrote blog entries in his underwear? Or dropped boiling tea water on himself as he tried to balance a bowl of raman noodles on top of his cup, while opening the door, because he is only human, fiction god though he may be, and it just didn’t work.

     (I know what you’re asking. I can see the raised eyebrows. No to the first line, yes to the second one. And yes, it really did hurt. And yes, those were grown-up words I was using while hopping around in pain.)

     What I quickly realized was that if you maintain a blog around the purpose of “follow author from hack to height!” what you mostly get are blog entries like this.

     June 2, 2006: Wrote 25 words. Hate them. Am drinking heavily.

     June 5, 2006: Erased 26 words. Hate me. Want to die.

     June 7, 2006: I wrote 5,000 words of masterpiece! They’re genius! They have nothing to do with my story, but I don’t care! Happy day!

     (If you’re wondering if any of these are true, only the last one, I assure you, and even that one is fairly exaggerated. Usually, it’s more of a perplexed well, that’s interesting, I guess I can write a short story on the side really quick…than anything.)

     This isn’t really a blog entry about anything, I’m afraid. Just chatter. I haven’t done any productive writing today, because I’m very tired. This really puts a dampener in my plans to write at least 5,000 (preferably 8-10,000 words like I did yesterday) every day until I had hammered out a first draft of my novel.

     They say that writing is a craft, which I happen to agree with. It’s like carpentry. As such, they also say that you should just work at it ‘till it’s done, with no “I don’t feel like it” along the way. This is more or less true, but I bet even if the carpenter worked another full time job and had a family to look after*, he would find himself moving a little slower building that house, some days.

     Oh, I discovered Evil Editor’s blog today. It makes me really happy, and it goes on the list just below Miss Snark and Neil Gaiman. It’s given me much more practical advice than Miss Snark, however (who has more or less shown me the reaction I can expect if I write something stupid and send it to an agent, which has put the fear of God in me). It may find itself bumped up the list.

     I’m sure there’s something productive I could do—

     --There. That decides it. I just reached for my cell phone to answer a message, and in the process, I dropped my glasses, a partial manuscript, and about two dollars in loose pennies, many of which I have just discovered are covered in gum.

     (I know you type, you’re so nosey. All right, I checked. It’s Extra Watermelon flavor gum. All right?)


     * This is a blatant lie. I look after nothing. I cannot get a cup of tea through the doorway on my own. I’m proud of my ability to be fully dressed when I walk out the door. That took years. My wife runs the house like she’s running a battallion, and in gratitude, I do such things as spend an evening watching Must Love Dogs with her. That said, I still will force her to watch the first four episodes of The Flash: Complete Television Series.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Center of the Universe (a safe post to skip)

Well, I did say that there would be a second post today. This one serves as something of a warming-up before I dive in. I’m trying to write another 4,000 words, because if I can, then I’ve done 10,000 words today, and that makes me very happy.

So, my trail across the internet. I’ve always wanted to talk about it, but generally, I think it’s embarassing to talk about oneself. I figure, if I’m going to have this blog, then I’ll get this out in the open, make myself happy, and then move on.

I cut my teeth writing on the internet. It was just what I did. Some of the very earliest short stories of mine were written specifically for the internet, and I bet if you hunt hard enough, you could find them. You wouldn’t want to, it’s terrible garbage, but you could, you see. It’s interesting.

My first endeavor on the internet was a Star Trek fanfiction series called Starship Khitomer. I’m still very proud of it. I learned a lot writing it, I actually had a pretty good sized fan base, and I feel that I said some important things in there. Not always on purpose, but I did anyway. While I’ve long since stopped working on it, it ran for a solid two-and-a-half years. In 2003, my nostalgia got the best of me, and I tried to keep going on it, but it was a thing of the past, and I couldn’t keep writing it. Such is life. This, however, is the explanation for why the update on the page says 2003. In reality, I believe I stopped writing it sometime into 2001.

Star Trek: Starship Khitomer

After that, I moved on to doing original fiction, which I’d started to do on the side. I think, to this day, that series work is still the form of writing with which I’m happiest. The problem is, the older I get, the more problems I find with doing it (half of them are legal; the other half are time). Still, I enjoyed it immensely. Whenever I get nostalgic now (which is probably what is prompting this post, really) it’s things like this which I go back to:

Beyond Earth was an original universe I built and populated with a lot of stories, not all of which are easy to find. The following link was for the series I wrote for Beyond Earth, called Enforcer, and while you can see it’s by the same guy who did Khitomer in a lot of ways, I was starting to grow, starting to flex my muscles, and starting to learn. I see glimmers of better writing in there. I have a massively heavy folder with all my Beyond Earth stories (which ranged far beyond Enforcer, branching into short stories, mini-series, novels….) in it, and I occasionally happily flip through it.

This was the final incarnation of Beyond Earth: Enforcer

Beyond Earth: Enforcer

Now, the best thing I ever did was run a massive site called Edge of the Universe. It was that site, which ran from 1998, through 2003 actively, that was my pride and joy. It’s what this blogged is titled after. It went from being a small site full of my random stories to a massive, massive thing. By the time it was a massive thing, I was so harried and disorganized (because besides the assistance of a few friends, I was doing virtually all of it myself) that it sort of scattershotted all over the internet. It’s last incarnation featured a huge site full of fiction, poetry, articles, other people’s works, forums, a store, a community site, a monthly newsletter/magazine thing. It was huge. It was a mess, mostly. It was a helluva lot of fun, over the years.

It eventually condensed into a (surprisingly, still managably workable) site which I just found.

EotU

There’s other stuff out there, but for the moment, that’s what I’ve got. Most of the writing on the sites is, to put it nicely, crap. It’s old. It’s very old. It’s also fun. Every now and then, I go back and fiddled through these sites, sigh wistfully, and try to figure out a way where I could do a series once again. Like I said, it’s probably something like that inspiring this post.

My final interesting bit, though, and then I’ll go do some work.

In late 2000, a friend of mine, who was a very, very good CGI designer, was building a customized Star Trek starship. He’d been working on it very hard, and it was a very impressive model. There were a lot of very, very talented CGI designers in the Star Trek fanfiction community. While I was involved with it, the whole Trek fanfiction thing reached its height. Hardly because of me, mind you, but it reached its height nonetheless. It’s faded quite a lot since then, and it’s almost terrifying now.

When he finished the ship, and presented it to the world, he had left a surprise for me. To this day, I think it’s my proudest moment.

The U.S.S. Tzinski

Tzinski-class Starship History and stats

Right. Well, now I’m done waxing nostalgic. This is also the last sort of post like this, because at the end of it, I feel like a horrible braggart. I’m off to write and be a generally crusty menace to society who is, at the moment, having a really good cup of Darjeeling tea.

Wittering Writer

The thing about writers (and I’m not the first person to observe this) is that the quality of their day depends solely on their writing. For example, today it’s cold and dreary outside, I have to work tomorrow, I have too many bills and a wife who’s slowly getting sick.

but, I wrote 6,000 words so far in my manuscript, in the space of a couple of hours, and I intend to get more done later this afternoon after I take a bit of a break. I’m thinking I could manage a smooth 10,000 words today, which would be nice. It’s all good stuff, too. I write a pretty tight first draft, and these are so far words worth keeping.

Just like that, I’m having a good day. A euphoric day, so to speak. I’ve had a couple good cups of tea, I played with the rats a bit and the cats a bit (not at the same time, though) and I realized happily that I  have two older short stories of mine that I can re-write into things I would be proud of. They go on to the end of the list of things to do after the current manuscript is done.

Once I tidy it up a bit, by the way, I have a scene from my manuscript that I really enjoy, and really want to share, so I’ll probably post it here.

Something I’m very proud of, that I forgot to mention by the way: With a bit of MacGuyver ingenuity, I went out and bought an adapter which you put into the cassette player in an older car, and then hook into a CD discman, thus giving yourself a CD player in your car. They’ve been around forever. My wife had one when I first met her, though I couldn’t find it now.

I hooked it into the big stereo that sits on the top of my desk, in my office, and then I plugged the other end into the headphone slot on my speakers. Thus, my computer sound comes out of my big stereo. I don’t know how many watts it is anymore for sure, but I know it’s 800 or more. It was a point of some pride when I was younger. I have to be careful now, though, because if I’m playing a video game, the bass from the explosions is enough to rattle windows.

The original purpose for it was, I can now set up another stereo like this (we have two; the second one is also powerful, also my wife’s) in the living room, and then through clever use of adapters and converters, I can plug my SLVR L7 phone into it, and let my iTunes playlist blast through the house.



Neil Gaiman pointed out, while editing a volume of Sandman short stories written by various authors that he was finding stories that only needed to be 2,000 words which were 6,000 instead. He theorized that this was because people write on computers, and thus, things balloon out of control. It was why he started writing things longhand.

It’s a sound idea, and it’s one that I found to be a bit true. When I write a short story by hand, it’ll come in shorter and tighter than it would have otherwise. Today, however, when I did my 6,000 words, I did it all on the computer, because I was sort of racing myself to see how long it would take. It occurred to me that one valuable reason for writing on a computer is, you get a better rhythm going. Mostly, I was writing a scene between two characters, and the dialogue wouldn’t have flowed so comfortably on paper. It would’ve been shorter, but it wouldn’t have been as interesting, or as colorful.

So I guess they both have their values. I find that when I’m tired, I have an easier time writing on paper, whereas days like today where I’m high-strung and in writerly mode, I can hardly type fast enough to keep up. I was doing about 120 wpm this morning, and even then, my hands were shaking and I was trying to go faster, and faster. I think really, I was trying to write at the speed of a conversation.

(No wonder my arms hurt.)

I’m off for a bit. When I return, for my second post today (I think there will be too) I’m going to talk about the Pete Tzinski trail-across-the-internet. Why, I don’t know, but I’ve wanted to talk about it for ages now, I was just too abashed to do it. You’ll see.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sloth. Not Manny.

The thing about not blogging for a while is that I wind up with quite a lot of things which have occurred, and am of two minds about how much of it to post. It could warrant a trilogy of “Recap” posts, which would probably not be terribly exciting. Therefore, I think I’ll just move on and if anything comes up that addresses something which previously occurred, I shall do a beautifully segueing recap into the topic. You will all be amazed.

Today’s thought, which I will share with you before heading off to The Day Job: I am, as it stands, only 23,000 words into my manuscript for From Gray Mists, Returned. I hadn’t checked my word count until recently, and when I saw that it was so low, it alarmed me.

Story wise, this isn’t a problem. Story wise, I’ve got a great deal of story still left to tell, and I’m still expecting about 125,000 words when all is said and done. Probably more, if I do things right. So that’s not the problem. The problem is that I’ve been working on this for quite a while, and I’m not writing nearly as fast as I’d like to be.

While I was sort of gently aware of this, I wasn’t worried until last night, I got up after going to bed, because I had some notes that I had to get out of my head before I could go to sleep. One page of notes was about a short story called The Kiss That Did It* (which is buried somewhere in the Share Your Work section of the Absolute Write forums) and in that page of notes, I fixed the short story. Some people have pointed out that I shouldn’t re-work it, I should just send it out again. I’m of two minds on this subject as well, and now I have a page of notes that would allow me to comfortably turn it into a short story that I would like very much, instead of the current one.

The other page of notes was for an old novel idea that I’ve had bouncing around my head for quite a long time now, which I was just sitting on patiently. I had a solid idea for it, but there was still a spark missing that would ignite the whole thing, and I was willing to wait for it. That page of notes was that spark. Everything fell into place, and now I know exactly what sort of story it is and how to write it. I want to write it. I’m getting exctied about writing it.

Additionally, I have my six-part comic book series Dark which is waiting for me to complete this novel so that I can charge on with it.

You see what worries me, then. I have quite a lot of projects building up, all of which I’m excited about, and I’m starting to realize that if I don’t power my way through the first draft of my novel soon, I’m going to fade out on it, it’s going to rot on the page, I’m going to move, and I won’t be at all happy about it.

What am I doing about this? Well, I don’t know. I think I need someone to nag me. Barring that, I’m thinking about finding a handful of beta readers who are willing to have chunks of the story e-mailed to them every couple of days. I always wrote well for an audience, especially one that provides general feedback now and then. Barring that, I think I need to give my manuscript a hard look, give my life a hard look, and just pick a date (preferably fairly soon) on which I will plan to have reached 100,000 words.

That’s what I’ve got the moment. Now, I have to go figure out what I’ve done with both my shoes, and my tea, either of which normally take a fair amount of effort to find on their own. If you don’t hear back from me, call the police. I will have wandered off and gotten lost.

* Recently, I received a rejection letter for The Kiss That Did It, which I was expecting and wasn’t hugely worried about. I originally intended simply to shelve the story after the rejection letter came in, because I tend to dislike my writing after a few months have passed between us. However, the rejection letter contained a great deal of advice about the story, which is rare and valuable. However. The one thing that bothered me a good deal about it was how very, very strongly the editors disliked the fact that the story had a gay character in it. This bothered me. The character is passively gay, and if you’re not necessarily paying attention, you don’t notice that he’s gay, and your reading of the story isn’t remotely affected by it, I don’t think. That really bothered me.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In which the author returns from outer space

I really tried to think of something terribly cool to do, to make this a fashionable comeback to my blog. The closest thing I had to an idea was to post an entry on 6/6/06, because that's trendy…but instead, I wound up spending the day doing some good writing. So while that may not be fashionable, it is fairly in keeping with me. It's a good return.

Let's see. Well, my work in progress (which some days has a title, and some days does not) is going well. It's very well laid out in my mind, beginning middle and end. This is a bit of rarity, and certainly it never falls into place the way I'd planned it out. I was therefore delighted to discover yesterday, when I wrote the end of part one, that it ended exactly like I wanted it to. I think that's probably a real gift. You'll never get the story you have in mind down exactly, but if you're lucky, you'll get something close, or something good out of it, at least. I got what I wanted, and it was good, to boot.

Another interesting thing to note (if, that is, you're interested in my writing habits) was that as the action got faster and faster toward the end of part one, I switched from writing on the computer to writing by hand on notebooks, sprawling text across page after page of legal pads, and then typing it in when I was done. And now, as I enter into part two and the action slows back down, I find I've switched back to the computer.

This is a really good idea, and something that the writers out there (of the multitudes reading this) might consider trying. I found that as the action got faster and faster, writing by hand meant I had to slow down and very deliberately consider, rather than just getting swept away in the rush of things. And now that things have slowed down in the story, writing rapidly by computer means I keep up my intertia even though I'm providing it now, not the story. It's a wonderful counterbalance.

I had a wonderful dissertation on something Stephen King said in On Writing, which I was saving for this entry…except now, as I type, I find that I cannot quite remember it. This further contributes to my absent-minded writerly-sort image, and so I guess it's all right. Probably, it will turn up. If it doesn't, I'll re-read the book.

The work beckons, of course, because I'm having too much fun writing it to stop. Assuming I get a good bit done, I'll come back and tell you about my tea adventures. They were adventurous.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tagged, yo.

Good evening. This is a very quick post, I’m afraid, because I’m exhausted and sick and busy with all sorts of cool things. I think the problem with blogs is, by the time you have something you’re busy with that’s really cool to talk about…er…you’re too busy doing it to talk about it.

At any rate, I’ve been meme’d. This is as close as I shall ever get to “internet pop culture,” so you should all savor this post. I am in favor of being meme’d (how on earth do you suffix that?) because it does not leave a mark, and it does not smell, so it’s good in my book.

I should mention that I have been “tagged” by Dawno who has, I’m afraid, probably a more interesting blog than this one. If nothing else, it has very pretty colors.

1. First, you must visit your archives.
2. Remove the pin from the holy hand gernade, so that you may blow your enemies to smithereens, in thy mercy.
3. find the 23rd post – In this case, it was 12/24/2005, which is not all that long ago.
4. And then, you post the fifth sentence from it. And it is thus: Is THIS a NEW LEVEL for OUR AUTHOR? (And honestly, if you want to know what it’s about, scroll three posts down. It’s that small of a blog.)4. Post the sentence, likewise the instructions, into your blog. Voila!5. And this is the part where I “tag” other people, yo. Straight up in the hood, dog. In the hizzy, really. Mad caps with my homies and my peeps. All these cats, they think I’m a dog. Honest. Et cetera. (Look, with a phrase like “tag,” what did you expect from me?)So, who shall I pass this thing onto? Whom else shall be forced to make a blog entry when what they really want is a very hot cop of lemon tea with clover honey in it, and then a bath hot enough to boil pasta? Whom shall I inflict on? And how shall I do it in my own unique……………….. (idiom, sir?) Idiom!

(Yes, I did watch Monty Python. Have you noticed?)

AstonWest will, I’m afraid, be forced to post about more than drunken stupors, thanks to me. Hah-hah!

And then, because I shoot for the stars, I hereby meme Neil Gaiman, who does not, I suspect, read my blog. Nevertheless, something vaguely resembling a gauntlet has been thrown down! Except I have no gauntlets, so I’m afraid it’s actually a fountain pen. Er, and I sort of laid it gently down, rather than throwing. But nevertheless!

Remember, every cool person in the world does this. Honest. I mean, look, even I’m doing this, and I’m the “aloof but very cool once you get past the creepiness” cool person. If you send my blog link to 100,000 of your friends, YOU WILL MAKE ONE MILLION DOLLARS LEGALLY!!!!!!!!

I am going back to writing. Good night. Sleep well.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's just the bare necessities

Good evening. Well, to be completely precise, good early-morning-silly-hour-to-be-awake. Long lines like that pretty much demonstrate why we’re never completely precise.

At any rate, this is coming to you from a short break in the middle of writing, though I’m not sure if a break spent writing constitutes a break of any sort at all.

Writing! I’m jubilant just at the thought of it. I’m never motionless and I’m never not-working, because the day that I’m either of those things is the day that somenoe should probably check my pulse and call an ambulance. But for the past three weeks or so, I have not written a single word (unless you count hoards of posts over at the Absolute Write Forums, where it is entirely possible to lose yourself with ease.) When id id try to write, it came out unhappily and unpleasant, I did not like it, and I usually exited without saving.

So in the meantime,w hile not writing, I’ve been working with a good friend of mine on the development of an Massive Multiplayer Online game, and we’ve done some amazing stuff with it. The beauty of the game, which I’m hesitant to say much about, is that you can pretty much play it as you like. Got no use for storyline and all that dialogue crap, when it just gets in the way of killing? Fine. Go kill something. Do you want an immersive experience in a rich storyline? Okay, you got it. Do you just want to run a shop selling crops? You can do that. Do you want to play music and try to make a living doing it? Hey, if someone will pay you, go right ahead. It’s very, very deep and very innovative in a lot of ways (I sound like a bleedin’ press release, but please believe that I am entirely sincere) and I’m mindlessly proud of it.

(A brief plea: Are you a 2D artist? Do you know a 2D artist? Are you any sort of artist at all? Please, for Pete’s sake, e-mail me for leave me a comment. It turns out that basic 2D graphics are very wonderful, but very hard to find an artist for. I will name my first born son after the one who helps me. Unless my first born son is a daughter.)

So tonight, and yesterday, I started writing again and it’s all started working. The gears are moving, and though they’re a bit sore and rusty, they’re turning like they’re supposed to. The stuff that’s coming out is mostly good, and I’m happy with it. There’s still the nagging doubt that I’m banging on the keyboard and producing crap, but that’s just a prerequisite of being an author. The trick is not to pay it any attention, because you’re having too much fun doing what you love to notice.
Yesterday,  I hunted St. Cloud for somewhere I could buy plain dried tea leaves. The sort which you put in the bottom of a teapot, pour boiling water on, and make yourself a really wonderful cup of tea. I completely failed to find anything of the sort and mostly got myself blankly stared at when I asked people who worked in stores. Sometimes, I get led to coffee aisles followed by the blank stares. It was very exciting.

I was very happy to hear that the miners in West Virginia had been gotten out of the collapsed coal mine alive, up until the point when I heard that they were, in fact, dead all along. This is absolutely horrible, a completely needless loss of human life (though there are so very few needful ways to lose lives). It absolutely broke my heart to read about, and I am horribly sorry for the families who are enduring some of the most gut wrenching moments of their lives.

…I racked my brain for something profound to say on the matter, but being a writer offers no guarantees of profound. Sometimes, the tragedy can be too much. Sometimes, you can simply bow your head, say you’re sorry, and then pray. That’s all I have to do.

(I cannot help but wonder what those men must have thought in those hours spent in the cold and oppressive dark, deep underground. I don’t want to think about it, I don’t want to know, but I have a relentless mind. It makes me shudder.)

On a more cheerful note, because you fine folk don’t come here to be manically depressed. (“I’m too damned happy, let’s go read Pete’s blog!”) here is a News Story which pretty much explains why you should never, ever, go into the woods and find a bear and try to do the “Bare Necessities” song and dance routine. And I don’t think Simba will allow you to be king of the lions, either.

Back to work. Or bed. Back to something. Good night, fine folk.

Monday, January 02, 2006

In which The Author is fashionably late.

Well, New Year’s Day has come and pass, and I now get to spend two or three months accidentally writing “2005” on everything that is now,  in fact, 2006.

We’re six years into “The Future” at this point, you know. I have yet to see a single jetpack, a single silver mini-skirt and accompanying go-go boots, and not a single computer has been spoken to, or attempted to kick me out the airlock.

I meant to post on New Year’s Eve, honestly. I intended to do it around midnight to maintain what we might refer to as a “theme,” although I completely failed to do it. My excuse:  I was working. Mea culpa.

I was also intending to wax poetic about what I had accomplished in 2005, although the more and more I turned the list over and around in my head, the less I realized I had actually accomplished, which leads to me grumbling rather than list-making.

So what did I do? Here’s more or less what I did.

I wrote a number of short stories. Not as many as in previous years, because my output has just generally been down for the past couple of years. More notably:

“Ghost Love Score” (A ghost story I’m very fond of, which I wrote for “All Soul’s Day” which is the day that follows Halloween…except that once more, I got my holiday’s wrong. At any rate, I very much enjoyed it.)

“The Kiss That Did It” (A very silly story in which I popped a bunch of old stories into one happy little story. This was also the story which fell to my knife when I started really trying to learn how to do a better job editing. It came away much stronger for it.

“Trolls Under Bridges Eating Gods” (This is probably the story I would point to as my proudest of the year. It’s my favorite, and it’s the one I always show people when they say “You’re a writer, huh? Well, lemme see if you’re any good.* It’s about a Troll who finds himself in Norse mythology alongside Odin, Loki and the others, just in time for Ragnarok.)

“The Last of the Dandalions” (A short story I wrote about the last survivor of a nuclear assault, alone in his city, with nothing but a dandalion to keep him company. Very short, very sad, and very lacking dialogue. It was the sort of story you write very fast between other projects, and thus forget about it until you stumble across it on your hard drive.)

“A Graveyard Dialogue.” (A magnificant Halloween story, the first one that I wrote based on a picture. I sent it to the artist, who was delighted. It’s a story about a Zombie who gets lonely, gets up, and talks to the terrified fellow that the other Zombie’s are eating. Cheerful stuff.)

Novels, I did rather more work on than short stories, although I failed to accomplish anything I was satisfied with. A common ocurrence.
“The Legend of the Phoenix, book one: Kingdoms & Rebellions” (A book about a world that I painstakingly built in my head, only to switch over into writer mode and watch as my logical mind picked it all to pieces. I still finished the first book, but I grew less and less happy with it over time. Thus, it sits unedited, unread, in first draft. I occasionally think about finding some patient long-suffering soul to read it and tell me what they think, but haven’t yet.)

“The Neon God” (This was probably what took most of my time this year, and was mostly a waste. I struggled through three drafts of short stories. Readers of this blog will remember the point when I discovered that it wasn’t a short story, it was a novel. It suffered through 150 pages of a novel before it fell badly apart, which is where I’m at with it right now. The idea is sound and very wondeful, but it needs some serious work. Frustrated, I put it aside and moved on to work on….

My Current Projects

“Otherworld: From Grey Mists Returned” (This is my current project, which I’m immensely proud of. I couldn’t decide if it was going to be an online series of short stories, or a novel, or a trilogy of novels. I’m still undecided, honestly. Weigh in! What would you rather read by me?)

“Nevermore” (This is what evelopes so much of my time right now. A friend of mine, Jeremy Sto, is a wonderful and thoroughly intelligent man, one of those fine folk you meet who think the way you think and work as hard as you work. Nevermore is a video game, a Massive Multiplayer Online video game, and the way we’re going now, it could very well be one of the deepest ones you have ever played. You know. Some day. When it’s finished.)



And honestly? That was my year. I changed jobs, I wrote better than I wrote the year before, I stayed happily married to my wife, whom I love. I acquired a lot more books (at least a couple hundred more, easily) and I acquired some new pets (rats, mice, some new fish, etc.) It was a fairly good year.

Next year? I want to write more. Much, much more. I also want to force myself to actually send things out for publication, which I tend not to do. (Because the time I spend sending something out, I wind up spending writing new stuff. It’s a silly problem, but a problem.) I want to buy some more books, finish Otherworld, revisit Neon God, write some short stories that make people laugh, and cry, and otherwise just pay attention. I’m better at writing than ever before, and a year from now, I hope to be better still.

So there. I can now claim that the reason I was late in posting this is that it’s my trademark style. So Hah. I posted right on time. My time.

Those of you who believe that, please e-mail me. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’m waiting to sell you.

*If you meet the sort of people who demand to see your work and “decide if you’re any good,” be wary of their opinions. “You’re a good writer,” is okay to listen to. “You’ve got potential, but let me tell you what you’re doing wrong,” is a very lousy thing to hear, and you should run away. There are more harmful opinions in the world than good ones. At the very least, check their credentials first. Are they Stephen King? Harlan Ellison? Then you can listen. Or me. You can always listen to me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Yes Virginia, Pete can be succinct.

This is just a quick post to say that, anyone out there who happens to read this blog (bless you) have a Happy, Holly Jolly Holiday-of-your-choice, thingie. I will post before the New Year, and I’m going to try to post a round-up of what I’ve done this year. I’d be interested to see what you folk are most proud of this year, what you intend for the coming year, and what you’ve put in the eggnog.

This is the shortest post ever. Is THIS a NEW LEVEL for OUR AUTHOR? Is he in DANGER of becoming BRIEF? Is he NEARING a POINT?

Probably not. Sooner or later, you’re going to get a book-sized post from me.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. God Bless, and with Love,Your currently sappy and in-holiday-spirits author,
Pete Tzinski

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sleek Black Blog: The Return

Hola! This is just a quick-middle-of-a-busy-day post to say that yes, the blog is now presented to you in a template blogger format (although it still remains more or less in technicolor) for the time being, because the one consistent comment I get is “Yes, but where in the blankety-blank is the comments button?” So I’ve changed it to make it findable.

If I can find a more interesting one which has sane placement of buttons, I’ll do so. Otherwise, I might just modify this one into being slightly interesting. We need pictures of Alpacas!

Have fun. Merry ____________ (insert Holiday of your choice here) and have a Safe and Joyous _____________ (insert whatever you want to have safe and happy joyous of). Feel free to send me lots of _______________ (presents. Big ones.)

…and to all, a good night.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

This post was filmed before a dead studio audience

Good evening.
We here, at the blog of Pete Tzinski, Edge of the Universe, strive to provide the best and most interesting stories, anecdotes, and general complaining possible to you, our viewing audience.

Recently, however, our viewing demographic has indicated a disappointment in the astonishing lack of promotional and advertising considerations made use of within the course and contents of this, the blog of Pete Tzinski.

We here, at the blog of Pete Tzinski, Edge of the Universe, would like to apologize for this extreme oversight on our part and pledge to you, our viewing audience, that it shall be rectified properly in the future.

Thank you.
Signed,
We Here, At The Blog of Pete Tzinski, Edge of the Universe



Hey folks! It’s me. How’s everyone tonight? Good!

I’m having a good night tonight. I’ve gotten a good deal of writing done today, I’ve done some work on my web-site which will host a project that I have Not Yet Talked About, but which I will Talk About Incessantly very soon.

Web-site construction is hard work. Boy-oh-boy. It can give me a headache. But I couldn’t just give up! So I took Extra Strength Bayer which provided me with quick and effective relief of my stress and sinus-pressure migraine. It was great! I mean, granted that I always had a problem taking pills, but these went down smooth and sweet with only a few sips of Dasani Bottled Drinking Water . Just a few sips! Of course, I finished drinking the rest because I, like you, cannot resist that smooth, crisp, clean taste that I get in every bottle of affordably-priced Dasani water.

I was writing along happily in Microsoft Word when I realized that I hadn’t eaten all day. Now as we all know, regular meals are important and I didn’t want lunch to pass me by! So I made myself a delicious bowl of Hormel Chili which was the perfect mouth-watering lunch as I gave my poor writing hand a break and put down my delightful Waterman Fountain Pen for a little bit.

Anyway, eventually I went back to work. After I finished writing, I used the fast, friendly, and oh-so-easy services of Blogger to put this delightful entry online. After this, I’ll probably just do something relaxing. I don’t know. I might Watch A Movie or perhaps I’ll just Play A Video Game

Until next time, my viewing audience! Have fun!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yakkity Yakkity Yak

Have I talked at all about my wonderful trip the other day to the Twin Cities? No? Well, I shall do so, then.

It was a present for my sister, which is why you should always influence your younger sibling into liking the very same things you do. That way, you can give a gift that is entirely selfish and still have her enjoy it.

My wife, myself, and my sister all packed into the car and drove down to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis to be specific. We were going to see Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask, which I was just about giddy to find playing in the Cities. We were more or less intending to make a day out of it.

So we did. We went to Dreamhaven Books, where all my sensibilities and most of my brain made a squeaking noise and then collapsed into nothingness. If you ever find yourself in the Cities, seek ye’ out this little bookshop. My God. It’s a whole bookshop jam-packed with the sort of books I read. Sci-fi, fantasy, comic books, horror, classics, new works, magazines, indie journals….It can really hurt your brain. It’s just too damned much. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest, honest.

We staggered around there for awhile and spent way too much money (there’s just nothing to be done about that) and then we headed down a couple of blocks to the little independent movie theater that was showing Mirrormask.

I fell in love with this part of Minneapolis, I think. It was more or less the “artistic” district, if it could be called that. People were sitting around reading good books and anime comics, free copies of the Onion were being distributed everywhere. Things like that. A guy was just chilling on a street corner, playing his guitar and singing. The only problem was, he was singing so quietly, you could scarcely here him, which was too bad since he had a fine voice. It looks very run down and trashy, this part of town, but it’s just about bursting with character.

Mirrormask was amazing and wonderful and everything I expected it to be. It had Neil Gaiman’s storytelling combined with everything that Dave McKean does, which is hard to describe and impossible to ignore. Go read the positive reviews of it. Those are the ones that are right.

We went back to Dreamhaven, because it’s a bit like a drug and it’s hard to stay away. We wandered around in shock some more, spent more money, et cetera.

We also began to notice that there was an increasing number of people filling the place, most of them gothic, two of the guys in skirts most notably. Both my sister and my wife investigated and were delighted to note that it was because a gentleman named Brom was scheduled to appear and do a signing. I was interested, because I’m a sucker for signings, but I didn’t know who Brom was, so I wasn’t overly giddy.

My mistake. I have sinced looked into him, and I wish we’d hung around longer. I really honestly regret it, and I intend to track him down again. (My, does that sound creepy.)

Dinner was provided by Famous Dave’s, which was playing loud and really good Jazz and Blues over the radio. One guy at a table over from us was dancing, while his girlfriend very carefully pretended he didn’t exist.

My sister and I dared and heckled each other into trying Famous Dave’s Devil’s Spit dipping which, we gathered from the name, was going to vaporize our tongue and most of our internal organs. We both tried it…and anti-climatically discovered that it was just a tasty barbeque sauce and nothing hotter than that.

And then, we got loaded (er. On caffeine) and we went home. And that was the day. I’ve spoken before about how my wife and my sister are the best company for these outings, and they really are. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I should really be writing? Shouldn’t I? I’ve got a massive project (news to me, too) that I’m working on, that I’m going to tell all about as soon as I’ve got another spare five minutes.

Stay warm, unless you’re in a warm place, and then be cool.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

You're Thor? I'm tho thor, I can hardly thit!

There is an old saying (which I have just this morning made up) which goes “He who giveth advice, cheweth the cud.” Well, I am chewing, although it happens to be a delightful sourdough pretzel, but I will use this as justification for giving advice.

And my advice subject (drum roll) is…..

Writing journals in fiction.

I’ve seen it used as a recap, where you have your character writing a journal entry that details all the gobbledygook you need before you can delve into the story itself. I’ve seen it used to explain conflict with two characters, where you follow a dialogue scene with a journal entry (or Captain’s Log, if you like) explaining what Character A thinks about Character B.

Or even, the whole entire story is a journal entry, letter, last-will-and-testament-whatever. Seen that too. The only one I’ll forgive in this category is Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde, and only because it’s a damned amazing book and it doesn’t bang on about how it’s being told.

Look, for one thing, it’s just unrealistic. That’s my biggest problem. Have you ever written a journal entry? A blog? A lengthy post on a forum or a scribbled out page of notes detailing an event which has occurred to you in your life? Very probably you have. I do it all the time, if I think it’s interesting enough to warrant scribbling.

One thing to think about is, when writing out these occurences, we almost never slip into storytelling mode. I mean, if I tell you about a pleasant evening I had with my wife yesterday (it was quite enjoyable, incidentally), then I’m not going to say It all started around four o’ clock when she came in to see me at work. “I’ve got great news,” she said with a smile, shortly after I whacked my head on a metal shelf corner…etc.

(A minor aside: I have a very sore spot atop my head, I distrust metal shelves with corners deeply, and I said a number of bad words. Please send your pity. Also, drinks.)

No. If I’m writing a journal entry about the above, I’m going to say something like, A nice surprise yesterday: It was slow enough at my wife’s job that she didn’t have to go in, and we found ourselves with a night off we didn’t expect. A rare blessing, unlike the force with which I hit my head on an unrelenting bastard of a metal shelf…etc.

Something like that.

It’s a bit jarring when the journal suddenly shifts and turns into a story. It’s like that horrible moment in old movies when the screen goes all swimmy and we’re suddenly looking at our hero, six months earlier before The Man was after him. KnowhutImean?

It’s one thing that makes me very careful when I go into First-Person storytelling. First-Person (“I,” for those of you who are unsure, as opposed to “He.”) is tricky because you’re not just writing from inside a character’s head, recording everything around him…you’ve got to write as if you are him. You’re colored by his experiences, perhaps you get flustered and lose whole events and conversations, maybe you’re only halfway sober throughout the story. I don’t like it when the author seems to have done a general search & replace, changing “he” into “I” and calling it first-person. It’s not.

Likewise, journal entries.

So there.



*ahem*

Well, anyway, grumbling aside: The Neon God is in serious poodoo, and may be in danger of falling apart. This would be…what? The eighteenth draft to collapse? I don’t know, but it’s probably more drafts than my feeble brain can count. I’m not making any hasty decisions, I’m instead working on something else.

That something else may turn out to be a really big, really cool internet project that I’m jazzed about. I’ve been going back and forth on it for a little while now. Last night, I agonized about it to my wife (who puts up with so much of this from me, really) who finally just said, “You want to do it, or you wouldn’t be worrying about it. So do it.”

“What if it doesn’t work?” says me.

“It really doesn’t work if you don’t give it a shot,” says her.

So, I trust my wife. She’s smarter than I am, especially when the subject is me. I’m trying it.

(Notice how I’ve just used dialogue in a journal entry? A few lines, a small and self-enclosed conversation, nothing that’s really any more obvious or jarring than using italics for emphasis, for example.

Today’s required reading for you, dear reader, is the Wikipedia entry on Norton the First, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico . Pardon me if you already knew all about this guy…but I was absolutely floored when I read about him. This is one of the most interesting people…ever. I read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman issue which was about Joshua Norton, and it sent me spiraling off to look for more. I am very glad I did. Beyond interesting.

(this is not an uncommon occurrence when I read Neil Gaiman’s stuff; the man and everything that branches out from him, can populate an avid reader’s list for years at a time. Certainly this avid reader’s list.)

Edit: Oh, and a final note. That bad weather I was so happy about, in post-prior? Well, it’s not actually bad. Just sort of unruly. Actually, it’s not even that. It’s a bit obnoxious and little else. Am still waiting for the other five feet and eleven inches of snow, thank you.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A totally self-centered rant.

So, I’ve started reading the blog of Miss Snark, who is a more-or-less anonymous literary agent in New York, who has more attitude than I could whimper at, and who is by and large both right and smart, which are really tricky things to manage at the same time.

Really interesting blog. You should be not only reading it, but doing so consistently. (I have, in the past, read it sporadically; mea culpa. I am now regular.)

There’s been something I’ve noticed distantly for a few months now, and something which I noticed for pointedly recently, something which reading her blog crystalized into the sort of thought I can talk about here. Which I’m going to.

People will write to her, worried, and ask if they, as writers, should start a blog to “maintain an online presence,” or when going to writer’s conferences, they should hold doors for people, schmooze, be charming, so that they can build a list of networks. Stuff like that. All perfectly legitamite questions, none of which I’m actually attacking here, promise.

What bothers me about it, about these things in particular and just the world in general, is the very concept of doing things with an ulterior motive. I understand it, sure. I guess it’s just a foreign concept to me.

For example, this ‘yere blog you’re reading, I started because I thought it might be entertaining to have a blog into which I would occasionally natter. It didn’t occur to me that I would have a ‘web-presence,’ honestly, until very recently. I realized that’s why some writers have blogs. Admittedly, it puzzles me.

Mostly, though, what sticks in my craw is the thought of being nice to people for your own personal gain. I don’t get it. If I did, my life would probably be a lot more peaceful, but I still don’t get it. I’m a very big fan of nice.

I think probably one of the finest things you can do in the world is to make someone laugh, make them have a better day, teach them something, help them out. I like going to restuarants and grocery stores and when my wife and I go through the line, I’ll just run my mouth off to the cashier/waiter. Just some chatty, polite conversation. Maybe a smile.

I always hold the door. Sometimes, it’s annoying, because you’ll hold the door for the person behind you, and find yourself holding the door for a hold hoarde of people, very few of whom say thank you as you stand there, risking the ire of a saintly-patient wife.

I’m nice and agreeable with the people I work with. Those I like, I consider friends, those I don’t, I am at least polite with. My boss included. I always have been. You may refer to this as brown-nosing, but I would consider myself failing if I get ahead in the daily work-grind (because it takes away from my dear writing, damn it), and so really it’s not.

I’ve had long, awkward, and sometimes very stressful friendships with some really odd (always lonely) people to whom I am the best friend in the world, sometimes for no other reason than because I was the one face in the sea of gray who smiled at them. The reason they’re long is, by and large I’m too polite to say, “You’re scaring me, please go away.”

So I guess, I’m just expressing puzzlement. I can see being very nice to people and having them remember you and be helpful to you later in life. That’s fine. I guess my problem is with the concept of being nice intentionally so they’ll do that. I think you should be very nice, and then if it benefits you later on, fine.

Remember, always hold the door. Be nice. Be polite. Make someone smile. And go read Miss Snark, for Pete’s sake. It’s smart reading. More importantly, it’s fun reading.

There. How was that for the most arbitrary rant of your day, huh?

Gotta story that screams “editme, Iam;gibber ish.” And so I’m going to go edit it. Wish me luck. Give me a sword.

(oh, and it’s snowing. Yay for bad weather!)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Winter Swampland

Do you know what months we’re in right now? It’s November. That would be, by and large, one of the winter season’s months, and certainly not one of those months that gets passingly confused with July. In Minnesota, you’d think we’d know this better than anyone.

Except that this year, Minnesota seems to be a little turned around. It was November 7, then 12th, and it was more or less warm out. It was raining a great deal, along with thundering and lightning. We were living in a Winter Swampland.

And then, because we’re in Minnesota, the weather changed, just like that. Literally in the space of 12 hours, it became almost dangerously cold, and we got an inch or two of snow on the ground, when it’s not blowing violently in the harsh wind.

Go figure.

I have time for one more amusing anecdote, before I’m off and running for the day.

I am a very big fan of Neil Gaiman, as the eagle-eyed among you will have gleaned from this journal so far. However, you cannot live entirely on reading Neil Gaiman books alone. Certainly, I can’t. So, I hunted through my shelves and I looked for a new book to read.

(I have enough books that I buy in their masses, that I can look at my shelf and discover things the way you might go into a bookstore and find a cool book you didn’t know you wanted. Yesterday, I wondered if I owned anything by Roger Zelazny. I went and looked. I own the complete Chronicles of Amber, in an edition from the fifties.)

So, deciding to go for something totally different, I picked The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan. This isn’t my usual sort of book, I’ve never read her before, it’s totally at random.

So I get into the book, and really, it’s a good book. I’m enjoying it. It’s not a heavy read, but it doesn’t need to be. As I usually do, I went to her author web-site, because I am very keen on the authors of these works. If I like an author, I tend to read through that author’s library of work and then move on. I read authors, if you see what I mean.

On her web-site is a Convention report. Those are always fun, and when written by the author, they give you a good sense of what the author is like, which is what I was going for. So I click on the report, I start reading, and I get to read all about her time spent with…

…wait for it…

…Neil Gaiman.

This is not the first time this is happened. Once I realized I liked Neil Gaiman, I also realized I’d been reading his stuff for years without associating a name to it. Sure. But now, with Trudi Canavan, it’s turning into Six Degrees of Neil Gaiman.

Off running. Have fun!

Monday, November 07, 2005

In which a topic is not adhered to.

D’you know what’s wrong with the world?
Me neither. But I do know what’s wrong with my brain, which is that it spent a good deal of the past year (which was a very long year) being inert and letting the rest of me toil away on one or two small projects…and then, all of a sudden, in the past two weeks it has kicked into high gear and dumped not only two massive projects on top of my already big one, but a myriad of little projects as well.

Can we call it bi-polar creativity? I don’t know. I’m going to. It’s bi-polar creativity.

At least it conspired with fate to bring me a pretty blue fountain pen which writes nice and is much more comfortable than my other one, but does not do so well when I get up to speed and start writing fast. It’s better for notes, sketches, poems, and those occasional stories where I have more or less no idea what I’m talking about.

Abyss and Apex has not responded to my Ghost Love Score submission. It has almost practically entirely been a whole week since I sent it in! What can be wrong with them? Perhaps they are so flabbergasted at the astounding genius of the story, they are trying to formulate a reply. Surely, this is it.

(I’m kidding, incidentally; I’m sure they’re slowly going mad trudging through dozens of submissions, day-in, day-out, and may or may not have even seen my story yet. But I figured I should gripe instead of just saying the mundane, “Still no news.”)

The critics hated The Brothers Grimm, Terry Gilliam’s latest film. I read all the terrible reviews, nodded, and then went to see it with a complete lack of interest in any of the reviewer’s opinions. Much as I figured, it was a Terry Gilliam film which, being Terry Gilliam, is pretty much what he makes. It was very well done, and I enjoyed it. Having a soft spot for animals, though, meant there were a couple of scenes I vaguely cringed at. Still, a delightful film.

It proves my theory that sometimes, critics are incredibly intelligent and wise, and sometimes they’re in serious need of a proctologist. This more or less puts them firmly into the category of being “human beings,” so I’ll let it slide. (How magnanomous, no?)

I wrote a poem for Halloween (actually for Halloween, I didn’t get the wrong holiday this time) and I think it’s not half-shabby. I’m not putting it up here yet, because it possibly will have a home, but if it winds up not having anything of the sort, then you shall get to read the poem about the Bone Orchard. It will be somewhere by the end of November, if not sooner. How’s that for informative?

Right. Or rather, ‘write.’ I have half-an-hour, and I have more pages than I could write in forty-eight half-hours, so I’d better get started.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Kltpzyxm!

Yo, as they say.

So, I edited up “Ghost Love Score” and sent it out to Abyss & Apex Magazine tonight. It’s an online publication, and while I’ve seen a number of them in the past, this one honestly impressed me. The fiction caught me straight off, and when I’m tired and moving fast through the ‘net, that doesn’t always happen.

I wanted to get “Ghost Love Score” out before it rotted. I try to get my stories out quick as possible. The logner they sit around, the more I started to dislike them. They start to rot in my mind, if you will. When I wrote Trolls Under Bridges Eating Gods, it was the greatest thing I had ever turned out. That was awhile ago. Now, I’m less than thrilled at the thought of it. I suspect it’s still a fine story, worth a pride somewhere between the original love and the current dislike…but what can you do? We writers, we’re a nutty bunch.

Also, zombies are nutty too, and I can atest to this because I more or less am one. After working seven days straight, I followed with two overnight shifts, followed with two more days. I got only an hour or two of sleep during the course of the overnight shifts, so you can imagine my state of mind.

You think of lots of things, in the middle of the night when you’re scraping old dirty wax off a floor.

For example, I remembered Mr. Mxyztplk, one of Superman’s stranger enemies who confounded the man of steel time and again and could only be returned to his own dimension by saying his name backward (Klptzyxm!) I didn’t know it was bothering me until I remembered the name. this was at 4:30 am.

http://www.patfullerton.com/superman/pix/supvillains/mxyztplk1944.html

(Here: Now you can sort him out.)

I also did a lot of writing in my head, and in the slow early hours of the morning when we had nothing to do but wait for new wax to dry. Lots of notes, little scenes, ideas and themes for Neon God and my other newest novel, whose name remains elusive.

Let’s see, other random stuff….Serenity, the movie based off Joss Whedon’s Firefly series was absolutely magnificant. My God. If there was still a Star Trek empire to compete with, it would have knocked its socks off.It showed you everything that was once great about sci-fi, it reminded me why I love Babylon 5 so much, and it just made me damned happy. I will see it again. I will buy it on DVD. I will pray to the appropriate gods that Firefly is given life again on the television, or at least another movie.

Tomorrow, I’m going down to the cities to see Mirrormask, the movie by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. It’s still in limited release, but I’ve happily found a theater nearby. Am going with my wife and my sister, which is the finest company one can hope for. It also seems to be my company for Neil Gaiman events. I am not complaining.

Instead, I am nodding. V. tired. Going to bed.

Good night, world. Happy All Souls’ Day (tomorrow!)