My Bookshelf

Monday, September 30, 2013

I Am Benjamin's Button?

I just saw that depressing movie this morning. I can't remember if they picked up any Oscars out of all the nominations, but all those rich Hollywood moguls must have been laughing their asses off at how it punched all the wrong buttons on the have-nots in our society.

Benjamin is born with his geriatrics in reverse gear, born as a withered old man and eventually maturing into Brad Pitt. All of his relations in life flow accordingly, people going in the opposite direction of his personal evolution. Eventually the love of his life grows old and dies while he is experiencing the peaks of his self-awareness. Alternately, the world around him continues to repeat its own cycles as he stands by, unable to lend his experience to those dooming themselves to predictable failure.

Hell's bells, tell me about it. I'm sitting here experiencing an intellectual renaissance, expecting to reap the biggest harvests of my life (or die trying), and my contemporaries are dropping like flies. Guys my age don't go out at night, women my age may dislocate a hip joint by jogging a half mile, and most of the hockey players and wrestlers from my generation are in wheelchairs. I try and make connections on the field, and most people withdraw from me as a dangerous old man. I promised myself I would not become a computer nerd, a social invalid locked into the Internet environment. Well, shit, when I go outside, there's no place to go but right back here.

I felt the same way about "Interview With The Vampire" as I did with this flick. What'll happen in a hundred years (God forbid) with all this accumulated knowledge, trying to communicate with a generation as far removed intellectually from me as my cat? Will I keep writing for a society as remote from my traditions and values as a pig from Sunday?

I am Benjamin's Button.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Channeling Bangs?

So I did the retro thing after posting a review on Lester Bangs' "Psychotic Reaction" on Epinions and drank a bottle of cough syrup.

It gave me a terrible case of dysentery and has the world spinning on end. Mentally it's kinda like raft riding, I'm floating on a river of literature. I'm going from Reinaldo Arenas to Carl Jung to Ayn Rand to Paul De Man to some silly metaphysics bastard who's all about the same self-help positive thinking Joel Osteen Robert Carnegie whoever stuff that comes out of the same cereal box. I've decided 2014 is going to be my year, my ship will finally come in. My mind is expanding more rapidly than ever before (nah, it's not the cough syrup), but we'll see if my bank account catches up. It's kinda cool when you can just kick back and turn your humble abode into a think tank, get up at three in the morning and rush to the PC with this burning idea without worrying about suffering the tortures of the damned at Shithole in a couple of hours. I'm coming up with some of the most profound thoughts of my life right, hell no, it's not about Tussin CF.

Torquere/Prizm is still on my ass about Lyrica being a Stxeamtown wuss, so I turned her into an Ayn Rand objectivist superbitch overnight. I think that's how they're going to like her, but if they don't, well, I'm going to end up like the Sex Pistols at Virgin Records, getting kicked out before hitting a lick. My editing deadline is Monday and my editor's on holiday, so unless Super Lyrica can get this train back on track, there may not be a steampunk novel under the tree this Christmas.

On the other hand, Netherworld Press wrote to say that The Fury may be hitting the shelves by Halloween. I'm definitely thinking about going down to a local bookstore and see what the locals think about a hyena on the cover with a NYC backdrop. Maybe I'll knock off another bottle of cough syrup and get shot by the Independence police in front of the book store. Hm. Betcha book sales would go through the roof.

I was listening to Cuban salsa this morning because of Reinaldo Arenas, and now I'm on some blues influences of Led Zeppelin stuff (courtesy of Lester Bangs). The room is spinning and I'm having to go back and corrrect the spelling on every damn sentence. (You see? There's no three R's in 'correct'). Wrestling comes on in about an hour and it'll give me some ideas on how to pull a heel turn with one of my best characters, turning them into a dirtbag before I wake up tomorrow and realize I can't do that. John Reinhard Dizon's characters are all about integrity, redemption and saving the world, right?

Have another gulp of syrup and call me in the morning.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Watching the Inbox?

I haven't been on here for a few days, so I figured I'd check in. Unfortunately for you literary agents out there, I haven't put a gun in my mouth or swallowed one too many bottles of cough syrup, so you'll just have to wait (like I keep waiting for my ship to come in or sink on the horizon). In the meantime...

Nothing back from Tenth Street yet. Some new contact came out of the mist (like a new Station Chief in Zero Dark Thirty), asking me for a new signed contract for Destroyer with each page initialed. I wondered if that made the contract on The Standard null and void since that's not how that was done. The first guy, Jack, sounded like he didn't have a copy of it anyway. At any rate, I sent it all back, and that was the last I heard from them. It's starting to look like a Publish America non-paying gig at this point anyway, so no use crying over spilled ink.

I also got the 'first round edit' back to Netherworld for Wolf Man, and that was pretty interesting as I'd never gotten feedback from an editor before (or anyone else, for that matter). Outside of some minor tweaks, everything looked good to go except for the climax. The Wolf Man locks the bad guy in a safe where a chemical bomb just went off, and the editor thinks the hero's main squeeze and the undercover cop on the scene should have got wiped out by the fumes too. Hell, I can't do that, that's something Stephen King would have done. Maybe I'll let them get sick before someone finds a miracle cure. It's at the end of the story anyway, so again, no sense crying over spilled anthrax.  

This morning the editor from Torquere came back with the corrections on Stxeamtown, and this could get hairy. She described the heroine as a 'SUPER bland and very manic pixie dreamgirl', and though I can't belabor the point, I'm not sure how I'm going to fix all that. This is about a gang of kids who lived on a rooftop in a post-apocalyptic society, for gosh sakes. I don't know how I'm going to turn her into Bree Brooks from Nightcrawler, but...the editor's always right. I need to get this sorted out by Monday, and time's a-wastin'.

Like I told John Yodice as I put together our science project for our sixth grade class during lunch hour (due that afternoon), I work best under pressure. After all these decades, I haven't changed a bit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Into The Meatgrinder?

Today I had to report to the Dole. I showed up early and brought a novel, then sat among the unwashed masses and waited my turn to justify filing for a timeout check despite only requesting one for the third time in nearly half a century. I wonder what happened to all the rest of the money they took from me? I guess it pays for Obamacare.

At any rate, my spirit began fluttering after the third hour of wait time. I've been free from Shithole for over a month, my heart forgot what it was like to be in captivity again. It swirled in my chest like a bird in a cage. I wished I had brought the Lisinopril. I watched every other poor soul called in to plead their case. I was the very last one, and I did not blame a lack of alphabetical order, or corporate discrimination, or Sluggo, or anything else that might have happened to yank my chain. For my troubles, I was told I would have to log onto Dolenet once a week and report from now on. Things have changed since the last time, a decade ago, when I was paid for just one week. I've nothing more to complain about.

A-Argus Publishing (can you believe the name???) wants to see The Break. I haven't worked on it for nearly two years, and just sent the synopsis out on a lark. I started finishing the last two chapters, and got through one before having to set it aside for the night. It's starting to feel like the end of my rock and roll career. It was taking far more out of my spirit than I ever remembered. Now the act of writing is starting to drain my psychic energy. Maybe it's because in this work of crime noir, everybody dies. You do your best to breathe life into these characters, give them personality, a certain panache, help them resolve their conflicts...then they get blown away. Perhaps I should start writing fairy tales.

I'm going to chalk it up to a bad day at Zombieland. I'll be insulated from the Obamanation, and I'll finish the final chapter of The Break. Then I'll get back to writing about beautiful, charismatic superwomen who are out to save the world.

Nightcrawler II, anyone?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hell at Argus?

Yesterday was a dead day on the contract hunt. Apparently my connections at Netherworld and Tenth Street are off for the weekend. I have only one hundred forty active leads left on my contact list, and most are not biting (nothing new). It is becoming more obvious that I need to contact publishers directly rather than waste time with agents. Yet again, that one agent puts most of my marketing chores behind me once and forever.

Marketing has been my new job since leaving Shithole. I spend the better part of the day sending queries, blogging (to spread my name and talent around), setting up blog interviews, exchanging reviews and working on new manuscripts. It seems as if God has finally given me the chance to do what I love doing in life. All I can hope is that the dole holds out.

I think of the six years of indentured servitude at Shithole and can only feel pity for those still trapped there. A large number are very happy there. Shithole is their life. They become competent at their job, they talk to people far more intelligent than their friends and family, they learn things way beyond the scope of their personal environment. The inhuman management-worker relationship, the mindless restrictions, the duplicitous business practices of the Shithole within the reminds me of the soulless work environment in Metropolis. I lived in a state of dissonance for all that time, and if it had not been for their accelerated procedures in crushing workers' spirits, I would still endure there today.

You come in daily and say "Good morning" or "How's it going" to the friendlies. There are also humanoids who do not speak, those who hold grudges, and those who snub. The humanoid is an aberration who will not offer the time of day in an elevator, yet when plugged into a headset, becomes the most knowledgeable cyborg in the unit. One just wonders what happens when the humanoid is disturbed after work, seated with a bowl of chips in front of a TV set.

Those who hold grudges are usually provoked as a result of confrontation, most likely over boorishness as a result of interoffice communication. The brute is stressed out over having to operate far above their mental capability, and lashes out against one and all as a result. To retaliate against the brute brings the grudge, which lasts forever. Snubbery is a practice condoned in the Shithole handbook. A humanoid who has far exceeded their station in life at Shithole is entitled to act better than anyone else. It goes without saying that, if you met them outside of Shithole, you would probably dodge them as dog poop on the sidewalk. Snubbery is their preemptive measure of revenge.

At Shithole, overly friendly contact with the opposite sex is seen as a violation of Federal law. The problem here is that, in Obama's New World Order, sexual misconduct may one day be classified an act similar to showing one's privates in public. This means that one day, one might have to register themselves alongside a child molester and a man caught relieving himself in a park...just for asking a co-worker for a date. I filed grievance against my supervisor, Sluggo, for such an allegation (complimenting another supervisor on her hairdo). My grievance was ignored.

Yet there was enormous sexual tension at Shithole. Over twenty percent of management are homosexuals, and they get their jobs by being so. Women get promoted by wearing revealing clothing to work. When I realized I was on management's 'hit list', I went out of my way to let certain women know I thought they were special. Of course, there was no way to nurture any fantasies. You have two fifteen-minute breaks, and an hour lunch. Your schedules are jumbled so no one ever gets coincidental timeouts. She runs downstairs for one blessed cigarette twice a day, and I go out for lunch to walk as far away from Shithole as I can, making sure I can make it back in the allotted time. 

All I can do is watch her walk by, wearing that dress that pleases her boss, imagining what it would be like to hold her in my arms...brushing her hair away from her face...gazing into her eyes and kissing her lips...but, every one in a while she looks over. She knows I like her, that I watch her pass by. I can't see her badge, after five years I don't know her name.  

"Hi," I smile amiably. "How's it going?"   

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rise of the Nightcrawler?

I signed a contract with Black Rose Publishing to have Nightcrawler published.

Here's my initial response when informed the manuscript was being considered for publishing:

Frankly, this is one of my favorite manuscripts and it has a lot to do with the major protagonist, Sabrina Brooks. Although she seems to have everything going for her as a beautiful and intelligent woman, a CEO of a competitive chemical company and a skilled martial artist, inside she often feels like a little girl lost. She looks out at the world with wide-eyed wonder, waking up from her dream world as a spoiled rich party girl and faced with the reality of her environment. It is her fervent wish to make everything right and find the happy ending, which is both her greatest strength and weakness.

I think the marketing angle will be the women's issues that the novel addresses. Despite all her assets, she is still seen as a girl incapable of filling her father's spot as corporate CEO, gets barred from sparring at the YMCA, and is even discredited by the terrorists as a girl who could not possibly be the Nightcrawler. Yet we see her championing the abused single mothers at the Church shelter, sacrificing time and effort to right the wrong wherever possible. She may well be a topic of discussion in women's literary circles in time to come.
And, of course, there's still The Fury, the final proofs for the cover on the way to the presses. I can't wait to see how horror fans will react to that one.
They say seven is God's perfect number, and Nightcrawler was Contract #7. Hopefully these deals will combine to make the dream come true at last.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Standard - Available in Paperback!

Getting my complimentary copy of The Standard from Tenth Street definitely made my week. It was a quality product (the written content notwithstanding), and I can definitely see this item having a future. There is a major difference between reading a book online (or on a Kindle) and actually having it in your hand. I was getting antsy up to this point, but now...phase two of the marketing game begins.

This came right after I did up the blurb for The Fury...

Bridgette Celine is a private Investigator hired by a Mafia boss to keep tabs on his daughter, recently lured into a East Harlem clairvoyants' society. Bridge soon learns that the Society is a front for a murderous crack gang. Their network is empowered by a phantasmal hyena leaving death and destruction in its wake. Bridge soon finds out that this is all part of a centuries-old prophecy that reaches back to her own family roots. She comes face-to-face with her own dark heritage in uncovering a plot that may establish a Satanic kingdom in 21st century New York City.
This one should be coming out through Netherworld Books shortly. Things looks they're finally beginning to roll, and I'm hard at work to see if I can get a couple more sold before the end of the year.

Looks like Dead Man's Pond may not be so dead just yet.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Digging the Ditch?

Well, I finally finished formatting Destroyer. It took a lot of fiddling and fumbling about, especially when the margin and spacing buttons don't do what your publisher tells you they're supposed to do. I eventually backspaced and deleted all the 'white spots' that are supposedly the editor's nightmare. It took the entire day, but hopefully readers will finally be able to obtain a Kindle version of the work after all these years.

I had a very interesting dialogue with a 'successful' Publish America author, who told me they not only paid his royalties but gave him a $50 advance. I checked him out on Amazon and was not overly impressed. I'm sure his novels were quality mysteries, wait a second...

My second novel, Cyclops, was a suspense/thriller about a KKK group being investigated over a string of ritual murders. There was nothing in the novel glorifying the Klan, but they were the protagonists nonetheless. Matter of fact, the African-American detective is so cool, he could be played by Denzel Washington. Nonetheless, I don't think that Ebony or the other clerks at PA's toll-free number were very happy with me on the author's list after that.

This is one book I'd like to ransom back from PA and turn over to Tenth Street. Since you get the first fifty pages free on Amazon Kindle, I'd love to hang that laundry on the line and see how PA can justify screwing one of their best up-and-comers without even kissing me first.

On The Dole?

Well, the Lord provided for his soldiers stationed on Dead Man's Pond yesterday. The Benefit finally came in, and the mortgage and the bills got paid in one shot. Plus I ended up with spending money. I have to report to the Dole to document my job search next week. I'm going to write down the queries I made, and give up some contract info to make it look like I'm making headway. If they say it's not a legitimate job search, then I'll have to send out some resumes to local schools. I would be the best English teacher in the entirety of the Independence School District, but it's never going to happen. They wouldn't take someone my age, no matter how great my genius or how many gym teachers' asses I could kick. It's a numbers game, especially during the Great Recession and under the socialist regime.

I turned in a second proof of The Fury last night. The publisher addressed the e-mail to Richard, and it was probably why they did not chew my ass for reporting over a dozen more typos and rewordings. Well, at least they're not making me format the damn thing like Tenth Street. I don't think we'll see Destroyer until 2014 at this rate. After re-reading The Fury again, I'm pretty sure if buyers can plod through the expository chapters, they'll find themselves amidst a horror classic. I'm starting to notice a trend in my books, but I just hate novels that don't substantiate the storyline. I used to get C's at University for writing essays that did not prove my thesis statement. Hard to teach an old scholar new tricks, then re-train them again.

I called one of the interviewers from David Vause's Internet talk show, and we had a lively chat about The Standard. They've got me scheduled for next week, I hope they have a decent audience. I haven't ran my mouth on the phone for over a month since leaving Shithole, but quickly became my garrulous old self. I'm getting so tired of people blowing their own horn that I can't stand myself for doing it. Problem is, there is no tomorrow. It's now or never on Dead Man's Pond, so, Turk, you better honk...and honk...and honk. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

No Beating the Heat?

Today it hit one hundred two degrees in Independence. There was absolutely nothing to do but read and watch football. It was too damn hot to even sit in front of the PC. Jigsaw the Cat and I laid around like snakes the entire day. Moy took advantage to go Web surfing all afternoon. My creative juices dried up like spit on the sidewalk.

The Kansas City Shits (or is that Chiefs?) played in Jacksonville, and gave the Jaguars an ass-kicking of 28-2. The losing team had not scored two points in a decade, according to the TV stats, and there had never been such a score in league history. Doubtless if they had played here in Arrowhead Stadium, it wouldn't have been the same. Their lazy asses would have curled up and died in this heat.

This town deserves far better. I haven't seen such fan fervor since I left San Antonio and their adored Spurs. People paint Shits logos on the roofs of their garages here. Two of the brethren went to Church in Shits jerseys this morning. The Shithole allowed us to wear Shits jerseys on Fridays during the NFL season (well, that kinda makes sense). And so it goes. They owe these poor lemmings at least one world title. I've been here ten years and it's gone from decent to atrocious throughout that time. Perhaps this year they'll reach the semifinals. We'll see. Super Bowl? DWI's will increase 500% on that day.

On Dead Man's Pond, I was sent a Cover Art inquiry by Prizm Books for the cover of Stxeamtown (that's Streamtown with a red paintbrushed X over the R), my steampunk novel. I was thinking along the lines of an R. Crumb cartoon, with his signature industrially polluted cityscapes. They were asking me if I was thinking of writing a sequel. I would write a sequel to anything I've published. After all, they say you can't get enough of a good thing. Might as well strike while the iron's hot, they wouldn't want to wait until they have to find me with a shovel and flashlight. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bubble, Bubble, Formatting Trouble

The most interesting thing that happened on Dead Man's Pond yesterday? I got rejected in two minutes flat by Counterpoint Press. That was probably about the time it took for him to steer his Hoveround to his crumb-covered keyboard. I'm sure this is some guy working out of his bedroom, so, not to worry. It's just that my query list of agents and publishers have gotten weeded down from four hundred to one hundred fifty and dropping. Hopefully there's a lot more I haven't come across yet.

Damnation Press asked me to resend Wolf Man, and I've got a feeling that I'll be running into that old formatting bugaboo again. Tenth Street Press is also asking me to put Destroyer through the wringer, so it looks like I'm going to be doing a lot more formatting than writing next week. I'm behind on my latest installment of The Test on Wattpad, and I've been sending out queries on Momia (The Mummy) without having written Chapter One yet. That's not counting the other five manuscripts I haven't finished yet. Such is life.

Moy threw me fifty bucks today, which should allow me to go to Church for the first time in a month and make the drop. If the Benefit doesn't show up this coming week, I'll be sweating blood. What was that thing that rap baboon Fifty Cents said, Get Rich or Die Trying? Wouldn't that be a convenient option.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Eleventh Hour?

       Well, Destroyer isn't going anywhere, or at least not indie.
       Tenth Street Press sent me a contract for the ill-fated script, and now we're running into the same formatting issues as with The Standard. Essentially I'm going to have to download the entire PDF proof onto MS Word, paragraph by paragraph, and space it out so someone somewhere can get it right. Grrr. An author's work is never done.

       What was that hallowed line, 'These were the best of times, these were the worst of times'? Supposedly The Standard isn't selling either, but since it's going paperback in the near future, sales may improve. And so it goes. My hopes are riding on Generations, but that's coming out around the same time The Standard goes paperback. And so it goes. As you can see, I just got done reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five and I've got a new/old catchphrase. It beats watching my money supply go the way of food rations in a zombie movie.

      That's the best part of all this. With all this time on my hands, I'm working up seven manuscripts and reading about as many books. I told Moy I haven't read this much since my last grad course at University ten years ago. Now, at this late stage in my life, I'm learning the true value of reaading other authors. It's like watching the NHL after going back and playing ice hockey again. You get to compare little nuances to what you've been doing, and it helps you better understand why you do what you do. The downside is that it helps you remember why you stopped reading other people's work in the first place. And so it goes.

       I wouldn't have done well in prison, that's probably why God steered me clear of the yellow brick road. I would've hung myself or spent my life in solitary. That's what I'm doing now, but at least I'm under house arrest.

      On Dead Man's Road, signed with six different publishers and counting...and dying broke. Oh, that's seven if you count Publish America (Pirates Incorporated).

       And so it goes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Return of the Destroyer?

Yesterday I was informed by Black Rose Writing that Nightcrawler was under consideration. The gist of the e-mail sounded promising, and I replied in part:

"This is very exciting news. Frankly, this is one of my favorite manuscripts and it has a lot to do with the major protagonist, Sabrina Brooks. Although she seems to have everything going for her as a beautiful and intelligent woman, a CEO of a competitive chemical company and a skilled martial artist, inside she often feels like a little girl lost. She looks out at the world with wide-eyed wonder, waking up from her dream world as a spoiled rich party girl and faced with the reality of her environment. It is her fervent wish to make everything right and find the happy ending, which is both her greatest strength and weakness." 

"I think the marketing angle will be the women's issues that the novel addresses. Despite all her assets, she is still seen as a girl incapable of filling her father's spot as corporate CEO, gets barred from sparring at the YMCA, and is even discredited by the terrorists as a girl who could not possibly be the Nightcrawler. Yet we see her championing the abused single mothers at the Church shelter, sacrificing time and effort to right the wrong wherever possible. She may well be a topic of discussion in women's literary circles in time to come."
Today I submitted Destroyer to CreateSpace for re-release. I bought the rights back from Publish America and was going to shop it around, then reconsidered. I haven't tried any self-publishing yet, so why not give it a whirl? It couldn't do any worse than before, and if it made a few books maybe I can ransom another book back from PA. Anyway, here's the blurb:
Richard Mc Cain is a retired Special Forces operative whose underground activities during the Tribulation Era of American history places him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list as the mysterious Destroyer. He is called upon by his ex-wife to rescue her sister from the tragedy of a “dirty bomb” terrorist strike in Mexico City. In doing so, he is forced to rely upon the Angel Train network of Christian activists spread across the country. The network, a major target of Homeland Security, absorbs the full force of the agency’s technological arsenal as no effort is spared to seek and destroy Mc Cain. In a series of supernatural events, Mc Cain realizes that there are even greater forces at play threatening his life and that of the beautiful Isabel. It seems that only a miracle can save him, and at last he finds the answer to the ultimate question: is God truly in control?
This should be very interesting. We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The King of Sports Revisited?

Today I finalized the contract agreement to have Both Sides Now published. I made the deal with E-Treasures Publishing to have this work printed, something that's been on the back burner for over two decades. It was originally a paean to one of my childhood heroes, Hans "The Great" Mortier, but it eventually mushroomed from there. I expanded it into the social revolution of the Sixties as seen by the residents of Greenwich Village, then added the international controversy over the Berlin Wall during the Cold War for good measure. It's a lot more than a wrestling novel, and we'll be promoting it as a romantic comedy. Regardless of how it's packaged, this one has plenty of topics for discussion.

I was concerned about the stipulation that there had to be a certain number of E-books purchased before this goes to paperback. However, in my correspondence with the Company rep, it looks like this may be waived. I certainly hope so. Generation X'ers like myself, not to mention those who lived through the Sixties, aren't hardly going to be downloading anything onto Kindles that they are never going to buy. I'm running into that problem with The Standard, as one copy has yet to be printed. Internet geeks insist that E-publishing is the wave of the future, but you'll have lots of problems convincing brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries, institutions of learning, and more entities than I can name (not to mention old people in parks) that this is the case.

I believe this book will be a big favorite among wrestling fans and Sixties nostalgia buffs. Unfortunately, most of those types don't do Kindle. If this goes the way of The Standard, I'm greatly concerned that this will wind up dead in the water. I guess we'll see.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A New Day?

I missed Church again for the third week in a row. The main reason why I began going again over a year ago was to invest in the Lord's economy. Most people of Generation X have some sort of investment program to help them through their golden years. I've always known that giving the ten percent cut resulted in great blessings. Before I left Shithole, I had more than I could prudently spend. Now most of it is gone, and I have nothing to invest at this time so I don't go.

The Pastor will come looking for me, and I will tell him what happened. He prayed over me when Shithole began conspiring against me, and it took them eight months to get rid of me as a result. Now we will all just have to wait: the Pastor, Moy and I. They both believe that the Lord will deliver me eventually, and so shall I.

I continue this intellectual journey nonetheless. Right now I am reading James Joyce, Reinaldo Arenas, Ray Bradbury and Lester Bangs. I read a chapter at a time from each book, set it down and go to the next. My mind greedily absorbs ideas, concepts, information from each and tries to weave it all together in a chain. I read of how students in Joyce's Dublin commiserate in pubs away from the pouring rain, hundreds of miles and decades away from Arenas' Cuba, where that thunderstorm sweeps in and makes all things new, capable of extinguishing the bookburning flames in Bradbury's distant future, foreseen by Bangs as he predicted the demise of free thought and speech in the wake of 21st century conformity and Government repression. I synthesize it all and blend it into a new voice. It is not my voice, it is the voice of the prophets of the past. Only when they try to find a name for it, they will settle on mine.

E-Treasures is taking a hard look at Both Sides Now, and Leo Publishing is ruminating over The Triad. It is possible I will have seven publishers distributing my work: is not seven the perfect number in the Bible? And why not one? Well, a horror publisher will not touch an action/adventure novel, and one who is enthusiastic over a speculative fiction novel may not want to invest in a romantic comedy. This is why I cannot find an agent. One does not want to represent a writer whose work will eventually fall outside their area of expertise.

I suppose that is what you get from someone who reads Joyce, Arenas, Bradbury and Bangs in sequence, as if one provides a perfect segue to the next. What sense could one make of it, and who would want to try and understand its translation. Of what use could it be?

We shall see, won't we?