Monday, October 30, 2017

Certain Death, Small Chance of Success

15 years ago I started my first novel with hopes and a great deal of trepidation. three years later I managed to produce a pile of absolute shit.  but I was absolutely determined to do this and so I produced a second pile of shit and then a third book that was actually pretty good and a fourth book that I can't do anything with it because I wrote it with somebody who won't talk to me anymore, and then it's pretty good fifth book and then A sixth book that none of you have had a chance to read except for my mother and my wife. 

I have had professionals at World con tell me that I should actually give up science fiction writing and still produce book 6 as a result of national novel writing month two years ago.  since then I've had my worst fears confirmed it a physical way by the complete the lack of sales at the Decatur Book Festival.  I know for a fact that I am terrible at self marketing and that I just don't do a good job of selling my books.

any intelligent person would have already given up by now but the truth is that I promised myself I would do seven of these things and this is the last one I'm going to do.  right now I'm unemployed and not of the most high morale for a lot of reasons I sense it looks like my books will never actually have any measure of success and I'm going to be in a cycle of chronic employment and unemployment for the remainder of my days.

but there is such a thing as honor and I'm going to honor the past 15 years of myself in those years because I set a goal and I'm going to complete it or at least I'm going to do a damn good job of trying it so for a third time on Wednesday I will be starting National novel writing month again attempting to write Fruitloop and Frankenstein.

Here's Fun Storming The Castle.

Its likely to be the last time.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Our Story So Far

Personal stuff you don't care about, backstory that is largely irrelevant, lore of the fae that might get you killed ever saying it out loud, sharp and ironic political commentary that is only glossed over and a return to unsuccessful short stories no one ever cares about.

Followed by Potatoes and Pecans.

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Preparations for Nanowrimo - Fruitloop and Frankenstein

So far preparations go well.  In case you were unaware, this is a big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least is that this will be #7 of my most important remaining Bucket List to write seven novels before I die.  

(#3 and #5 are on sale, #4 is in limbo with its cowriter not contacting me, #1 and #2 are kinna crap and #6 is still being edited)  I did a different genre for each so far (Space Opera, Action Thriller, Horror/Super Hero, Cyberpunk, Steam Punk, Urban Fantasy) and am now trying a seventh, Paranormal Romance.  Our heroes of the novel, Frankenstein (technically Frankenstein III) and Fruitloop are going well.  I am prepping notes and have the basics of the plot outlined.

Right now, I have a series of exercises that are in the Fantasy Fiction Formala by Deborah Chester to work out, and hope to have them done by Nov 1. 

Here's hoping.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Woman With The Eyeball at the End of Her Finger

Hi there, I'm Rhombus Ticks. I wanted to tell you the story of my grandmother that she told me about what happened to her when she was a little girl, about the Woman with the Eyeball on her Finger. You must be careful what you wish for.

The old country in Louisiana is neither old, nor a country in the cosmic scale of things; certainly for a Fae or anywhere in the old world. But it is very old for this country, and the most remote of areas have things that were brought by the Huguenots fleeing persecution in France. Pound for Pound, 17th century France had more Fae interaction than any time or place on Terra except Germany and Ireland. So you can imagine that there some lingering bits and flotsam that came here.

The night sky was full of stars and bright was the moon as the young girl wished on the falling star. She was always so curious and no one would let her stay for anything. So she wished for an eye on the end of her finger, so she could see around corners. The sky flashed a brilliant shade of pink and gold and suddenly she realized it was the northern lights. She had seen that on Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer. How was she to know how impossibly south they were? But there they were just the same.

There was a sharp prickling on her finger and this was no enchanted needle putting sleeping beauty to sleep. The pain was a short gift compared to the itching. It started out like a bug bite at first but then it kept lingering and lingering. She couldn't even sleep, and on through the next day it persisted. There were no lesions, no marks on the skin. No matter how many times she showed it to her parents asking them to take her to the doctor, they looked at it and told her she was being a hypochondriac. She was in a daze at school the first day. Exhaustion took her to sleep some the second night but she only got a few hours sleep and was still a zombie the next day. The itching would not stop. Itch a scritch a scritch a scritchy scratch. She slowly went a little bit bonkers, losing sleep and getting grouchy to all her friends. Even her pets started to drive her a little crazy so she kept them in one room in the house so she could keep an eye on them. Itch a scritch a scritch a scritchy scratch. She started rubbing it against the desk to make it feel better. It only helped a little bit at a time. It started to feel swolen but when anyone looked at it, they said they saw nothing. Finally, the lack of sleep made them take her to the doctor, who gave her some sugar pills and sent her home. It didn't help at all. Itch a scritch a scritch a scritchy scratch.

She woke up in the morning and panicked because her vision was blurred but as she started to flail her hands around in panic she made herself even more sick. As she slowed down a bit and closed her eyes, she realized she could still see! She had an eye on the end of her finger! She had an EYE on the end of her finger! She had an EYE. on the end. of. her. finger! She laughed hysterically and giggled and cried and accidentally poked herself in the finger eye as she rolled about in fits. "Ow!" She was not happy.

Grandma was so happy that she raced down the stairs and told great grandma who finally flipped her lid. She grabbed the little girl by the hair, dragged her around the house clockwise three times and then counterclockwise three times and then tossed her in the empty bath tub. "Now stay there until you can stop playing prison warden to all the animals in the house!"

The little girl lay there in the bathtub, shivering with delight and horror, determined to do her mother proud and stop herding the animals into the guest room. She didn't need to. She could watch them all the time now...with the eye on her fingeR!

She watched the animals for days; leaving school sometimes in the middle of the day much to the alarm of her teachers. She had always been such a good student with a sharp mind that they could not fathom her rebellion and they dare not tell her mother for fear of what she or the little girl's sisters might do to punish. And what started with the animals extended to the family. Grandma understood that the impulse to control the animals was a mirror from her sister's impulse to control the people. Father and Mother humored her, but all the other children obeyed from fear. Sister wanted all to be in order, and now, from around corners, hidden in shadowed halls, my grandmother as a little girl saw it all.

And the world was never the same.

She began to hear things, things that let her know her family were not quite normal. These are memories I had forgotten until now, the stories my grandmother told me, that were told to her, about the old country. About Carcosa. But the things she heard were not about that. I am sure that she heard a lot of things, but all she remembers hearing was the horrible things they said and thought about her that she had never known before. She was not well liked by anyone but her mother and even then, her mother had grown very cross with her because of the itch.

The world was not a very nice place. In fact, it was a terrible place, not some place she wanted to be at all. So she turned from the world and went away from it as far as she could, which for a 9 year old girl was not very far at all. So she did what any smart girl would do. She went farther and farther back into her mind, hiding from all of the evil things around her, running as far and as fast as she could. Grandmother hid in her dolls and her talking animals and her mysteries where the bad guys were always caught and good always prevailed. And everything was good….for a while.

The eye on her finger started to show her other worlds than the one she was used to; the dead, the fae, unreal worlds such as Mana and Gaia and even hints of Earth. Earth was the worst of all; its terrible banality and the shocking cruelty of Earthlings one to another was more than she could bear. It slowly began to drive her mad, more than all of the whispers of tentacles and flutes and fish scales could ever do. But she bore it well, and coped by keeping the animals in the guest room except for a single hour where she let them roll around on the lawn in the sunlight, which they loved.

She took up gardening, which she did until she was almost 70. She became quite good at it, building high walls to keep the cats inside when they were rolling about, and high enough fences that she could resist the temptation to poke her finger above the fence and spy at the neighboors. So many plants; both vegetables you could eat and flowers that you could smell. It was a wonderful place until she couldn’t care for it any more and the snakes and weeds and trash started to clog up the beautiful work that she had done.

I always loved the gloves she wore all the time. She eventually told me about the eye on her finger and she never showed it to me until she died. I wasn’t the one to wash and annoint her body, but during the wake I did go up to her gloved hand in the casket to see if the eye was really there. I still don’t know. There were calous marks on her finger with a tattoo of a closed eye lid. It felt like a finger when I moved my finger tip over it.

But I will tell you this. As I moved away, I heard a very faint sound, and as I returned to my seat I could not help but think that I was being watched. In truth in fact, that feeling never really went away. Even now, I wonder if somewhere in some world I cannot see, the eye on the end of her finger is there, watching me, listening, learning my secrets. Hello Grandma. I miss you.