huh, again

Well, this is exciting. I broke down my writing career into a little more than three dozen book ideas, plus another dozen or so comic ideas, and like a lot of writers, a few hundred short story ideas. All in all, by the time I was done brainstorming, I had almost two thousand ideas.

Anyway, for the first part, while I was writing The Mungk, I thought I’d take a crack at a half-dozen other smaller things while I was at it, and you know what? As of today, three of the four things I’ve sent out have been published (or will be shortly, which is cool). The fourth is a comic book whose artist is yet to be found (well, technically, he was found – a friend of mine whose style was perfect for it, but we’ve been out of touch for while. I miss him, to be honest. I meant it to be a one-off, a showcase issue to show I can write and he can draw, by giving lots of different looks to create, intended as a one-and-done, intentionally light and self-contained. It was more punchline than plot, which was fine. It had an internal logic.)

Anyway, someday on the comic, I hope, even if I have to do it myself, like so many of my indie heroes. (Unlike my indie heroes, I don’t draw often, so let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that, since you know. Not great.)

There’s another “super-secret” project that’s really just freewriting around a very loose idea, to be published for free online, more of an audience builder/test subject type thing, but we’ll see. It won’t be officially published anywhere save as a self-published, online deal.

But still. Exciting. And kudos to the editors, particularly Tom Ball at Fleas On The Dog and Matthew Sorrento at Retreats From Oblivion. Great editing means addition from subtraction and they’ve both done a hell of a job with my short little pieces. Good on them for being better able to see what I could not. We get so close to these things that we lose perspective sometimes. Having someone who can see through it and strip the fat from it, even in a piece of flash fiction like The Ineffable Hat, is much appreciated.

I’ve read enough articles about writers railing against bad editors to wonder what it was really like. Not being from the publishing world, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these guys have proven how valuable a good editor is. I suspect there might be more than a little ego at play in those articles I read; some loss of perspective or inability to step outside oneself and see the bigger picture. While I’m sure bad editors do exist, from what I’ve been exposed to, the feedback has been more liberating than off-putting.

I continuously push myself to open up my world, no matter how miserable that can be at times, so anything that forces me to set ego aside and look at something with fresh eyes is invaluable.

I look forward to sharing the new thing, when it comes out.

the ineffable hat

“This hat is ineffable,” he said.

She had to agree. The way it contoured his head, at once enlarging and somehow, amplifying his cranium, struck her as near impossible. Unexplainable.

“Might I try it?” she asked.

He agreed, but only on the terms that she have a hat of her own. There was a flash as the man spun in a wild, enthusiastic gambol. Light emanated from atop his head. She held up her hands to shield her eyes and something dropped into her lap – a brand new hat. She picked the newly formed hat up in her hands and examined it closely, before placing it on her head. There was something wonderful about the hat, at once masterfully complex and wonderfully benign.

The hat was indeed ineffable, she decided, faceted as it was to astutely represent the whole of the deftly transcendent and the undeniably simple. How like life, she thought, as the man bounded away, hat both askew and not askew – a multifarious and crystalline explosion, reflected and refracted in impossible planes and colours through infinite refinement, on simplistic foundations. She adjusted the hat on her head. A passerby smiled at her.

“Nice hat.”

“Yes,” she returned the smile. “It’s ineffable.”