Completely winging it this time, no firm grasp of where I am going, but let's see. Yeah, okay, take my hand, it won't hurt...
Now that The Dark is Light Enough for Me is out--have you bought your copy yet? Have you at least checked the Amazon, B&N and OmniLit pages and "like"d it there? What? Sure, a bigger sample: go to Amazon.com and there's the Look Inside feature. There you have the Whole First Story, "Black Wings," a tempting teaser, with the beginning section of the second story, the title story, which is a really tempting teaser. Check em out, buy the book, and realize I never knew I had to be such a promotion whore but...it's kind of fun and, anyway, where were we?--it's time for me to remember it's not the only writing I have...as well as I need to lock in with the writing at hand.
There's so much more in progress.
What? Oh, yeah, that was probably the most ridiculously long dash-to-dash aside I've ever written. Like I said, winging it...
How about a recap, which kind of serves as a reminder to myself of what I need to work on for, well, let's say the rest of the year.
First of all, while in Rome for three months, I spent about 6-7 weeks of that time writing the first draft of a novel. Now, when I got there, I had another novel I was beginning to work on, but that one needs more research, which was how I expected to spend the time. So, walking through Hadrian's Villa amidst the amazing architecture--then again, what architecture isn't amazing in Rome?--something struck me that had nothing to do with the visual beauty. Something was making itself known to me aurally: the cicadas. What a symphony, dissonant and all-enveloping, chittering unmercifully. Many would have been annoyed. Me, no no no. I love sound, have said it numerous times here. What they did, this insect din, was inspire me.
I started taking notes, something was in motion. I met the characters, then had them altered by offhand conversations, one of the writer's best modes of creativity: listening to the world with our mind's wide open. Anyway, a first draft was written, some of it almost fully formed, some of it in need of much work, some hole to fill in as well. About 51,000 words. I expect another few thousand on the way, heck, it will probably end up being about the same length as my first two novels, right in the 60,000 word range.
It's tentatively called, "The Mantra of Metamorphosis."
All because of a stroll through Roman history and our sonic accompaniment. All so unexpected, yet now, knowing the first draft and knowing where it should end up, it was a gift. A welcomed gift, the muse was generous.
Besides that, I have at least one shorter piece, a long short story or a novelette, that I need to finish, with a specific market in mind. A weird fiction piece called, "The Alternative Translation." A truly devious and, again, weird piece of work. This one makes me smile like a mad scientist every time I get back to it.
There's also poetry. That's what I have messed with today. Wrote this one Bukowski-esque one while on vacation in Torre Alfina, north of Rome--yes, being anywhere in Italy with the woman I love is quite inspiring--so today typed it up, tweaked and shaped it and sent it off asap to meet a deadline, which different time zones may have nullified, but it was good to just do it and get it done. Now. Worked a couple more into shape, too.
Yeah, it's what I do, this writing gig.
And most of all, please check out the new collection, this time not mentioned as an aside, but headlining its own paragraph. The Dark is Light Enough for Me. There's even two five-star reviews on Amazon.com so far--thanks to those readers! Twelve stories, 67,000 words, $3.99, that's about 33 cents per story, man, what a deal!
So, there's the brief recap and I didn't even note the next story to be published, in Grave Demand magazine. I'll save that for next time. For now, here's a shot Alessandra took of Antinous' head floating in the pool (Canopus), at Hadrian's Villa. Rather surreal, most intriguing.