Thursday, December 8, 2016

...about done.

E-mail from my publisher, Alfie Dog Fiction, informs that Wayne Paige has completed his narration of Between Times, book two of the Drum Trilogy. It should be released in a few days.

If you enjoyed Wayne's reading of The Summer Boy (book one), you will like his take on Between Times even better. You can hear a sample of The Summer Boy Audible edition and find out how to obtain a free full download here


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A novel approach...


By nature, I am a short story writer. The fact that I have three novels in print to a single collection of stories is the fault of my publisher, who is convinced, regardless of any evidence, that there is more of a market for novels than for little stories.

Short stories own my heart, but most of my writing day is generally spent working on a novel. I've never enrolled in a writer's program, or attended a writers' workshop. I don't claim to know how it should be done. I've been fortunate to have a fine editor, who doesn't know everything, but knows better than me about a lot of things, and so I've been delivered from many of the ignominious failures and hilarious errors untaught novice writers fall prey to. When people ask (and rarely someone does) how I go about writing a novel, the best I can tell them is how I'm tackling the present project.

The Summer Boy, my first novel, was written in order from start to finish. It was purely gift, a beginner's mercy. I had not the slightest notion when I began how it might turn out, but every day when I sat down to write, there was the next part. I just copied it down. Editor didn't like the end and it required several re-writes to appease her. The final version left the door open for a sequel.

Between Times gave my boy room to grow up and find love and lose it, lose himself and find his life. I knew most of the middle when I started, and wrote that, then could see the end and wrote it. By the time I finished with the ending, I knew the beginning and wrote that last.

Enough loose ends dangled from the first two books to require a third to resolve and complete a trilogy. Laurel Falls came together like a quilt. I wrote little scenes as they appeared to me, with little sense of exactly how they related, then laid them out like squares for a quilt and moved them around until I could discern a pattern. Editor allowed me the unlawful liberties essential for the book to survive, but although it is my favorite novel of the three, in hindsight, I wish I had insisted on a couple of small trangressions more.

A fourth novel is in progress. I thought I should get my act together on this one and prepared a grown-up outline. Writing to this outline proved a bit much like coloring between the lines, and after about fifty pages, the lines were all infiltrated or obliterated. I'm back to being a quilt maker now and Belief, if that title sticks, is starting to intrigue me. If it is fun for the writer, it might be fun for the reader.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

If at first...

Fortified by cheap generic drugs and tightly focused radiation, I fired off my monthly short story submission.
Two years ago, my publisher turned down a story that I still like a lot. I pulled it out of the reject stack and changed two words, which I think improves the story considerably, and submitted it to the New Yorker.
They don't bother with rejection notices, so I'll have no surprise if not a pleasant one.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Until...

Last I saw of him, Schroeder was having coffee with Ray Gentle and Jimmy Turnipseed in Jimmy's diner. They had just rescued him from getting run over by a bus after he fell flat on the wet street outside. This novel I'm writing is finally starting to get interesting. 

A project doesn't really intrigue me until I don't know what happens next. Then I have to keep writing in order to find out how the story turns out.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

...from here.

Most of my writing life to date has been invested in the Drum Trilogy, three novels tracing the convoluted wanderings and returns of Benjamin Drum and his friends. Other than a little book of short stories, Dark on the Mountain, this is all I have to show for the last six years.

That would be enough to live down, but from here I'm headed off into another novel, not about Ben at all. With luck, you might be seeing Belief late next year. I'm not certain yet how it will wind up, but it is a mystery involving religion and murder.

 Somewhere out there beyond, should I last long enough to gather it in, is another book of short stories. You can find out all about my books here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Carpe Diem...

So we got our blue back
After the blessed rain,
But no train on our track,
We'll not see that again,
Some things come back around,
Some are forever past,
We remember how they sound,
Regret they couldn't last,
But nothing stays the same,
Time wears us all away,
And there's only us to blame
If we don't seize our day.


Friday, December 2, 2016

always...

The world is always unraveling.
Maker is always weaving it 
into something new.