The garage for me has always been an extension of where I am as a person. It isn't as much of an OCD thing as it is a reflection of time and effort spent - divided between the tangible world and the endless worlds I design and write in my brainpan. Right now I would have to say that I'm out of balance, with things stacked up here and boxes waiting to be sorted there both inside and out. I think once I get the junkit folks to help clean out the trash aspects of the garage and then get the rest recycled or off to goodwill as they should, then I can start to plan out for the future. To figure out what to do with that space, how to fill it in, how to find what's lost and to fix what's broken. Too many people died back to back some ten years ago - and moving their stuff through the conduits of mourning became something that I got very good at. But when faced with my own stuff, my own clutter instead of somebody else's, it takes a different mind-set to address it. Always tomorrow, never today. Always next month, not this weekend.
But it stops here. While I'm not hoarding newspapers or anything like that, the garage can probably be cleaned out with a few hours of work and a bit of foresight. Then it can be used as a staging area for the rest of the house, for the other things that my wife and I will shuttle about in the effort to make space and order within the limited amounts of time our new lives allow. Nine years is the longest time I have lived in a house since I was a kid, nine years under one roof - it just seems unbelievable. But I suspect we may be in this house for much longer than this, so better to make the space now, to pave the way for new memories, new experiences. Ultimately we will need space for new stories that will either live on paper or in the brainpans of writers trying to figure out exactly what to do with a fifty pound box of scaffold nails, three fake Christmas trees and a metal chandelier from the turn of the century . : )
Where did the idea for your WIP come from?
I recently found an old manuscript of mine, and one of the secondary characters just needed to be broken out of that story and given her own fresh take on the world. Add to that a new angle on the traditional vampire story and it all came together nicely.
What genre does your WIP fall under?
Which actors would you chose to play the characters in a movie rendition?
I'll have that answer by the end of the book, but I'm not there yet.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your WIP?
Tortured firebug arsonist hunts an organization of energy-sucking vampires in a near-future Los Vegas.
Is your WIP due for publication or represented?
I'll do the normal query round with this book, and publish it on the Kindle in early 2014 if I don't get any takers.
How long did it take you to write?
Draft is due January 31st, 2013, but I expect to have it worked out and ready for beta-readers much sooner than that.
What other works in your genre would you compare it to?
Nothing actually comes to mind, as this is a very difficult kind of protagonist, and a very different kind of enemy for her overcome. There's elements of procedural in this, which gives the book it's own special kind of flavor.
Which authors inspired you to write this WIP?
Touch of Poppy Z. Brite, light touch of Stephen King.
What else might pique our interest in this WIP?
My own version of a Scooby-gang, a band of failing-yet-exuberant ghost-hunters who get drug into a war with vampires that they had no idea existed.
'The Voice' involves a total of four judges who have been in the music industry for quite a while - Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. What makes the show unusual is that when the judges are choosing their team members in the initial blind rounds, they have to listen to their voices, back turned, in chairs turned away from the singer without any clues about who they are, what they're about, or what they look like, save for the sounds of the song they're hearing and whatever clues they can discern from the power and character of the contestant's singing voice.
I'll admit my bias - in watching bits and pieces of other reality talent shows in the past, they've often felt more to me like a fictionalized glamour contests with a Hunger Games overtones. While I'm actually fond of Hunger Games, I'm not a big fan of the shows. But this, the opening "blind" section of 'The Voice' really, really works for me. The fact that the judges are judging the merit of the performer's work and building their competing teams purely off of opening impressions - off of the 'work' rather than the person - that to me is really damned interesting.
Especially as it's quite a lot like sending out a batch of new novel queries and sample pages to a group of industry agents and editors and wondering who's going to write back... Not to mention the hope and thrill about wondering whether you're going to get the shot to send on more pages, more chapters, or even a full manuscript to a industry veteran who's curious about what you can do with your... writer's voice. ;)
But until this weekend at Norwescon, until I got to sit through a host of panels crewed by a lot of damned smart and witty writers of every stripe and flavor, I never imagined that the learning curves, methods and gnosis for both of my utterly opposite endeavors would start to cross, to merge to achieve a kind of symbiosis. That the two different skill sets required to run both of my conflicting passions would one day start to coalesce together, that they would start to build and riff off of the other, to share methods and patterns in an identifiable way.
For those of you that know me, that know how I think, it's so shocking that I don't even have a catch-phrase or quick title to describe it.
It just is. And that's kind of awe-inspiring all by itself.
Now, don't get me wrong - I haven't found the secret, I don't have any magical juju, and I'm not chugging down the grape Kool-Aid. I'm not published yet, and I'm not a lead designer yet either, and I'm not letting my head get ahead of me. But I see now that the strength and determination I've put towards these twin passions over the last five years is really starting to come together, and that when I really learn to combine the two skill sets into one whole, I bet I'm going to feel even braver and stronger than I am right now - and I'll be even more ready to chase the world.
- It's about having the faith in myself and the chutzpah to keep going forward, to not settle for low-hanging fruit against all storm, wind, weather and adversity.
- It's about recognizing the value and financial validity of the self-publishing path, and knowing now with absolutism, to success or ruin, that the self-publishing path isn't for me.
- It's about looking back five years to when I was just learning my craft - hell, back ten years when I didn't have anything but spit and passion - and imagining what my life is going to be like if I just keep writing more books and designing more games like I have been? It's about shooting for the long game and gambling that I'll get there.
Life is short.
Life is uncertain.
But you just have to go for it and see what happens -- 1,000 words at a time.
I think that's the rub. The faith that there is going to be a tomorrow. It's about the faith that I'm going to keep bolstering my skills and am just going to keep working for all kinds of opportunities to come - the ones I'll find, the ones I'll make, and the ones that find me.
Let's talk writing. You game?
California Adventure, down on the piers, at the end of a dark and stormy night. On our first night it was raining sideways in the park, hard enough that it drove just about everybody out. By 10:30 the rain had let up and the park was... abandoned. We walked right up into rides without another soul in sight - it was like we had the place all to ourselves...