As I have noted recently, after ‘finishing’ “The Mad God’s Muse”, we welcomed our new daughter into the world, and I began working a second job. It’s eaten a good two months, but now I have a bit of free time again.

Only I have forgotten how to write.

Okay, perhaps that’s a little hyperbolic, but it’s built on a kernel of truth: every time I stop for any extended period of time, it’s as if I have lost everything. The reasons vary, the causes for the stoppages. Chiefly, it’s that writing is not my day job, and so it must always give way to matters of practicality: I am a weak creature, and have become far to accustomed to luxuries such as food and shelter. My writing has yet to provide me with such extravagance as a living wage, much less the vast sums of wealth I have always envisioned as my rightful due for my genius, so I must needs program, too.

During those gaps, I forget.

I forget how to start. I forget that it was deliberate, an intentional process, not some foolish notion of being guided by a muse, of waiting for inspiration. It is art, but art, like code, does not simply come into existence. It must be crafted. It may be joy, but it is also work.

I forget the work is actually good. I remember it as drek, as half measures that desperately need editing and rewriting. I avoid it, ashamed of it, not wanting to take up what feels like an impossible task of making it even marginally acceptable. But in fact, when I finally force myself to return to it, the work is much better than I remember.

I forget that the story is still not done, or that there might be people who would hear how it ends.

I forget that the characters themselves want to live, to have their moment in the sun and be who they would, and they cannot do that without me to channel them, to dream them, talk to them, cajole them.

So, this week, having caught my breath again, it is time to remember, time to take my seat in the morning and type words, even if I throw them away later.

I’ll remember soon enough.

Still trying to shake the exhaustion. I suppose it may be some time until I feel normal again, but at least I am recovering.

As I work my way back to writing, I can’t help but consider that coding is, in many ways, every bit the creative effort of the written word. It’s another language, to be certain, but it has the same capacity for eloquence or thud.

But only in the right circumstances. In the ever more rigid world of corporate code, we have fewer and fewer options. The ‘one true way’ notion permeates everything, its adherents woefully blind to the notion that monoculture creates myopia and a dearth of creative solutions.

I just walked away from a position where the powers that be (and they were good people, just less visionary than they might have been) chose to encourage one-size-fits-all solutions, to the exclusion of myriad approaches.

All this time, and we have yet to learn the lessons of the Tower of Babel. It’s sad.

 

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

Okay, so, status report: for the last three months, I have basically dropped off the earth because I have been working my ASS off as a programmer, and have had no time for writing. Oh, and my new daughter was born right at the start of that period, too. Yeah, it’s been…busy.

Hopefully I will have a bit of time here to rethread the plot for book three soon. It’s broken now, in that one of the characters who played an important role died in book two. (Yes, it was a surprise to me as well, but it was best.)

I also really need a final editing pass on the second book. And in theory, the first book is being considered by a publisher, though in practice that may just mean it is moldering away in someone’s inbox. We’ll see.

 

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

One of my favorite people on twitter recently challenged folks to go ‘outside their comfort zone’. I proposed a redneck, ex-gay-porn star exorcist. Here’s my opening. What do you think? Finish or no?

Exorcism, like tech support, often ends up with somebody asking to escalate to a higher level. That’s how I got involved.

The B team had got themselves in a world of shit, literally. Demons have a weird sense of humor, and a good notion of what upsets your garden variety human. Nobody likes shit. So he (or it, to be technical) gave it to them. Literally.

“Jesus Fucking Christ,” I sighed as I entered the room. Father Joshua (the guy who had thrown in the towel and called me, mind you) did a double take, eyes bugged out in righteous shock, and I flipped him the bird. The ‘patient’ cackled like a loon, ripped a prodigious fart, and did a three-sixty with his head.

“Yeah, I saw that movie,” I sighed, and gestured for Joshua to take his crew and hit the showers. As they slipped outside and slammed the door, I drew back my duster and let the ‘patient’ have a good look at the Python on my hip. He was having a little trouble maintaining the “I am so wicked and I am about to eat your soul” pose. It was the wide-eyed, “Oh, shit!” look that gave him away. Definitely a B-teamer.

I flashed him a wicked grin. “New Sheriff in town, Poindexter. This can go easy or it can go hard, but one way or another, it’s eviction day.”

The demon swoll up like a tick and played badass. “Cocksucker! Motherfucker!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, as it happens, I have seen a few up close, now that you mention it. Fucked a mother or two, too, but none kin to me.” I fingered the Python, just long enough to make my point.

“Fuck you!” the demon bawled. “Shoot! I got nothing to lose!”

You know, they do this wicked laugh that chills your average exorcist to the bone. I’m pretty sure they feel the same way when I give them mine. “You sure you don’t want to escalate now? This ain’t gonna be pretty. Run along, boy, and put your daddy on the phone.”

“Rotting bag of meat! I’ll feast on your soul!”

I expected no less. There was never a demon that saw discretion as the better part of valor. “Fair warning given. Last chance. You sure you want to do this?”

“Fuck you!” Not a good sign for him. He was already repeating himself.

“It’s your funeral,” I told him, knowing that was a lie. Mortals find peace from their mistakes at some point. Demons, they have to live with it forever.

Not that I felt sorry enough for him to explain that little wrinkle.

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

Follow me on twitter and help me spread the word about the novels. @AmrathOfNihlos


 

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

I was shocked today to see one of the books I had picked as a sure winner did not make the cut. Shows what I know, eh? The whole process is hard to grasp. I have no idea if the book is doing well or is being hopelessly crushed.

 

I definitely still need all the support I can get. Please, if you have time, go here and support “The Mad God’s Muse” with your vote.

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

Here’s a small excerpt from chapter one of “The Dead God’s Due.” Let me know what you think!

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

“The Mad God’s Muse” has been on Scout for nearly 2 weeks now. It’s currently just ‘there’. It looks as if there is a pattern: the new stuff comes up, goes hot with the fresh social media assault, then settles. There’s no way to tell how well you’re doing, beyond being ‘hot’ or not, but that seems to be a function of recent activity, rather than a vote count. Presumably, one could garner every vote on amazon the first day and still fall off of the hot list a week later.

I like this program. It feels hopeful, an alternate route around gatekeepers who have become too rigid in their selection process. It feels like Napster in the 90’s, a new way of discovering media. But if you’re the type to obsess (and many writers are), it can be nerve wracking, too. The very possibility of reloading the page and hoping something has changed is a distinct change from the old ‘stuff it in a manilla envelope and forget about it until it comes back with a form rejection’.

Well, there’s nothing to be done about it anyway, and the third book is already underway. Of course, it needs some reworking. Some people who had a role to play are…no longer with us, and I have to fix that hole in the plot.

Fucking Meites! Damned troublemakers….

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

The next time you find yourself reading a post that is so mind-numbingly stupid and incomprehensible, I recommend this as a response:

 

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

You can get it here. I could really use some reviews, if you have the time.

 

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)
URI
Comment

 

Page 5 of 12« First...34567...10...Last »