Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Would Be a Simple Joy?

I'm thinking, what would a simple, fulfilling, reassuring joy be? What would be wonderful while at the same time be completing? Is it possible to be happy - is it possible to be sad? What is it that we crave which spurs us on to such questions? I do not know. I hope and pray to come closer to the answers as I explore this amazing life and build on my creative writing. Isn't it marvelous to contemplate such matters and to hope, against all reasonable odds, to come-up with some semblance of an answer? To think, perchance to dream, ay, there is the possibility... stay imaginative, my friend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tide Diving-Ahead

I'm still mid-book re-editing TD. I mentioned in my 11/17/10 post how some parts flow easily while others are struggles. I just flipped from a harder segment to a flowing one, so hopefully I'll pick up speed, at least for a while. The hardest part is deciding what to do with those hard segments. They are hard for some reason, maybe because they don't fit of don't work and should be cut-out. I worked for two hours on one paragraph last week - diminishing returns I am certain, but there it was.
My task of creating another 'everyman' character and showing what can logically become of his is coming together satisfactorily. In Anon Time (AT), a very different time travel novel, the everyman finds he is anything but average. In TD, the lead crumbles right before he decays - poor guy!
In other writer-crap news, I have tried internet ads for AT and The Innerglow Effect. My first salvo was "modestly" successful. Maybe I recouped my cost. But one has to learn somehow and the night, as it were, is still young.
In terms of podcasting, I did a voice for the great Renee Chambliss which she says will be out soon, but otherwise the only podcasting I'm doing is the casting of TD in my head. I have most major roles cast, and even lined-up Myke Bartlett for the John Lennon role. The casting is a fun aspect, trying to match voices with characters. I feel like a 14-year old girl deciding on a prom date. I need to clarify that is the ONLY way, manner, or form in which I feel like a 14 yo girl - so don't start searching the internet for really embarrassing photos of yours truly. Some times, you guys can be a real challenge up with to put - did you know that?
So, to infinity and just slightly beyond.......... me

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just To Be Clear

On the Daily Show yesterday John Stewart reported on two phonie blogs. Both were blogs allegedly by lesbian women, one in Syria or something, the other blind with twins. Both blogs are posted by men living in America. Way messed-up. I suspect, however, the internet is writhe with such misrepresentations, lies, and idiots.

FOR THE RECORD - I AM CRAIG, A BORING, AGING, MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD GUY WITH NO SUPER POWERS OR SECRETS ANYONE WOULD EVER WANT TO HEAR. What you see ( or in this case read) is what you get. I'm really kind of sorry about that, I mean for you. I'm dull, hard to put-up-with at times, and for all I know I have bad breath. Man, I think I need a drink...

I read blogs and forums whee authors like me rant about all their sales, thousands upon thousands, and I think I don't believe them. The lesbian thing confirms my predilection to doubt what is stated.

Anyhow, TD is re-vamping well, I really like how it's turning-out. I will keep you posted.....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Short Story World

I have never been a big short story (ss) fan. The inherent brevity of the format leads to pressured expectations, and there is a need to 'hit'em hard' with the ending. I like the leisurely pace of the novel-form. It's like comparing knitting a scarf to weaving a tapestry. That said, ss is popular. I listen to a lot of podcast/audiobooks. There is, unfortunately, a dearth of good one's available on the web or my library. So I recently started following Clark's World http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/
They post text and podcast forms of ss from noted authors. After listening to several, I am left with my initial impression. The ss format is too limited. Between these podcasts and other I've recently heard, there exists an ineloquence which I have trouble with. Logical errors are left in, plot elements are dumped-in, or characters are not developed. The point of the ss is not the process, but the end. The poker game is not the object of the author's energies, just the moment when you throw your winning hand down in front of your opponent and say, "How you like them apples?" To put it more, hahum, crudely, the ss is not about the chatting with your date, the meal, the dancing, or the foreplay, it only focuses on the orgasm. Not the the latter is not worth a modicum of focus, mine you, it's just that the former is really wonderful, too. ; )
The more I read ss's, the more I get the impression the author had a great idea - maybe 2 - and either could not, or did not care to invest the time and energy to write a proper novel. I cannot rinse the taste of artistic laziness out of my mouth. I realize saying that will be offensive to some, but, hey, this is my blog - right?
So, authors out there, do us all a favor and write great stuff - and take the time to flesh the story out properly. Remember always... Craig is watching........

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Just the Way I Pass MY Spare Time

I think a lot. Seems a natural thing to do. I have a head, brain material crammed in there, neurons pulsing, etc. So what else would I do but think? Don't say 'relax'. That's not me. My motto is 'There Will Be Plenty of Time to Relax When We're Dead'. So, anyway, I write fiction - you knew that. I write fiction which is not mainstream. I think what I write is excellent, but many might not get-it. I tell a tale, writing a story which begins at a point, develops credibly, and ends where it needs to. Some might ding-me for not jumping in and whipping up action, hooking the reader. This I may do in the future, but not now. Anyway (yes, there is a point in here), if I write something which takes a lot of time and not too many people ever read it, am I wasting my time? This is an important question, and most creators ask it, be they authors, musicians, painter, what ever. I don't even mean "how do you measure success?". I just mean waste my time. I mean, I pound away for hours, and maybe it's not so good and maybe I could better spend time doing something else.
Ask a thorny question, and I'll give you a thornless answer! Some people go fishing. They buy a boat and a bunch of 'stuff', haul-ass to Whoknowswhere, sit in rain being eaten by bugs, and what? They catch a fish. Around here, it might be a trout. I can drive 10 minutes to Safeway and buy a [reasonably] fresh trout, whole or filleted. So, is the fisherman wasting his time? I love my SF Giants baseball team - have since 1960. If I were to sit for 3 hours watching the full game on TV, and I am thrilled or distraught, what do I tangibly have the next morning when I wake? Am I a better, richer, more complex person?
Nope. Watching a sporting event is like drinking water - after it's consumed it is over and there is no real benefit. Going fishing is a waste of time, for most people. But, hopefully, it is not a waste for the angler. What does he take from the investment of his efforts? Smelly fingers and a fish just like the one I bought? We all grant him that he 'enjoyed' himself, relaxed, and was not a lunatic.
The best way I say it is by taking the example of knitting. Millions of women knit. At least here in the US, no one needs knitted products. Most knitting is not that skilled. Most women gift their knitting because A) they must get rid of it, and B) no one will purchase it. But, they are creative and happy and so am I writing fiction - my way.
Thank you - I feel much better.
Go Giants!
Go Craig! [to work, that is]

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Short Story

I sent my short story off to Glimmer Train for the open competition [http://www.glimmertrain.com/index.html]. Though I said they had the 'exclusive', I have posted the story as a link to my blog. Look to the right and click on the man jumping in cold water. This links to my website. Just above the Uncle Sam poster is the link to the story. Click The Bike Crash Life and enjoy. I really like it. Straight literary, no speculative fiction - simple boy meets girl.

Okay, There, I Said It

In case you didn't know, and why you should is not apparent, I am a big Dr Who fan. No, I'm not big - my fandom is. I mean, yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that's really another subject altogether. Back to topic. Each time the actor portraying the Doctor changes, it is jarring. I acclimatize slowly, and always end up liking the new one just fine. So, likewise, I have come to like the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith. He's a bit too manic, but I like him. What I have come not to like so much is the series itself. This upsets me, fundamentally.
Over the decades of the series, there have been great runs, and embarrassing runs, phenomenal episodes, and episodes best forgotten. The New series, beginning with Eccleston and transitioning to Tennant has been no exception, but the series has been, as a whole, wonderful. But I am finding I either cannot finish, or simply forget to watch, the latest, post-Davies episodes. At first I chalked-it-up to not liking Matt, but I have come to see it is the writing and especially the directing which is killing the franchise. The Steven Moffat Era is unsatisfactory. His story selection is questionable. The biggest damage he wrecks however is in the pace/content aspect. Each episode is more frenetic and disjointed than the last. More and more content is crammed-in such that continuity is as impossible as viewer buy-in and continued up-putting with.
I watch an old episode, say on dvd, and I see a story unfold, characters interact, crises come and pass, and I see The Doctor. In the Moffat Era, these elements are lost, and so is the essense of Who itself. The plot is not crafted into a tale worth telling, but it is digitized down to tiny segments which can be pumped-into the viewer's head at max-over load speed. It's like dinner. I like the European style. You and close friends sit for hours, chatting, sipping, and slowly consuming delectable foods. The meal is both a task and a reward. Moffat's episodes are cram-down a feeding tube and inject the Ensure in ASAHP, rip that damn tube out because we need it for the next dupe right now - and off the New Dr Who Team goes, to inflict needless damage to yet another loyal fan's gastrointestinal tract.
I hope and pray that Doctor Who survives the new assault. I hope the series is resilient enough to endure. It has proven itself to be a warrior, but even John Wayne on film could only take so much. I hope the series is wise enough to see the folly of its ways before it is too late. My darkest fear is that the series will die another, and this time a fatal, corporate death, and be lost forever - which is a long long time.