Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weirdness Rules the Writing Life

Festival Madness  has advanced to the second round of Amazon's ABNA contest, which is a first for me, after three tries.  Two years ago I was dumb-founded when World of Mirrors didn't go anywhere.  Last year, my great pitch for Promiscuous Mode didn't make it.  I almost didn't submit this year, but in a fit of white heat wrote an over-the-top pitch for Festival Madness.  This year I made the cut.  For now, that is good enough.  Promiscuous Mode is with an agent.  Whether he will take it on is anybody's guess, but at least somebody is reading the manuscript. 

That leaves World of Mirrors, which has a huge problem, in that it has now become a  historical mystery of technology. This is likely a genre whose time has not yet come.  I could do a story within a story like I did for the published Shadow Warriors,  I even have an idea, Of course, then the word count, so excruciatingly pared down) goes up again.  I'm thinking of publishing it online scene by scene in a new blog with photos of the scenes and historical commentary.  

That would be like, well, work.  Worthwhile?  Dunno.  As things stand now, I don't think it's publishable.  The moment has passed.  That's the thing with writing about technology. 

In the meantime, I've been slaving over another short story.  Man, are they ever hard.   It will be a submission to an anthology, and therefore has to have a crime and some other stuff.  I have decided not to solve the crime.  Since, with the exception of the crime, the story is based on some more or less true experiences, it was fun to write.  A good, i.e. exciting and interesting experience can be endlessly milked.  

My WIP, In Flight, is languishing on the computer but I did write two scenes this month, and once the short story is put to bed, I can return to it and  finish before summer.  This has also  been a fun novel and when I go to Reno this spring I can get the final details.  We made a trip to Woods Hole and the boat show for the short story, and again, I find myself writing about technology.  Just can't help it.  Everything revolves around technology now. 

My next work, the 1928 California novel, thank heavens has no technology, well, just the invention of waxed paper and the new Los Angeles city hall.  Not much.  Of course the research is humongous, but I don't have to worry that 1928 Southern California is going to change while I'm writing.  Actually, writing  a historical novel is scary.  I am wondering if it will be literary.  Maybe a little.

Last night I cooked up a steak and potato soup from a recent Gourmet.  Couldn't seem to get enough salt and pepper added.  Finally, at the table, we did.  Leftovers for today, too.  
Steak and Vegetable Soup 
Add some extra seasoning like smoked paprika; we found the soup a little bland.  It was filling and of course all the veggies are good for you.  I chopped up some leftover cabbage fine instead of using the kale.   You could easily double the garlic.   

One of my (few) short stories is going to be nominated for an award.  This is totally unexpected and a great honor.    Sometimes characters just arrived in your head and start talking to you, or else they have been standing around the periphery for ages and step into the spotlight. 

There is no doubt about it.  Writing is weird, but then the inside of one's head is weird.
After all, I've got two women on the run, conflictd drug lord, a crack whore, a pimp and a flapper churing around in my head.  And I manage to live a pretty normal, some would say boring life. 

Nope, not really. 


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