Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Let's just scoot right past the part about me neglecting my blog and give you an update.

I am hip-deep in prose, my friends, hip-deep. I assure you that my idleness on the Rumba is in no way indicative of literary turpitude. The opposite is true: I've been in literary frenzy, a jaundiced spider, all limbs and hunger, spinning verbal webs in hopes of catching a reader's attention six months from now. Or twelve, if I keep hitting bumps in the road.

And there have been bumps. I guess you could say I had writer's block--but I've never liked that term. I didn't have trouble with the writing part, it's just that what ended up on the page was shit. This inevitably turned to wallowing and then sniping at myself. Thankfully, I had a few short stories to edit and send out, so rather than flogging myself, I turned to those. Maybe I'll get a bite. I'll tell you if I do.

My main project, however, is a novel. And it is progressing. I tried to keep it small and contained, but as always, it keeps growing. A description would be difficult, since that inevitably leads to a comparison with other novels, which is really just a comparison with other authors, and that, to paraphrase the Desiderata, can only lead to vanity or bitterness

If a promo person put a gun to my head and demanded an answer, I guess I'd describe it as the love-child of Joss Whedon and Patrick O'Brien, with Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman for godparents.

Said fictitious publicist would probably pull the trigger at that, and rightly so.

Here's a little taste of what I've been working on (with certain names expunged to reduce the spoiler-effect):

           A shrill whistle cut him off. With deep water beneath them, Nauv was mustering all hands for the funeral. She looked half a corpse herself, though she still managed to stand straight and speak in a clear voice.
            Tybalt apparently accorded dead men the same respect as live women, for he wore his shore clothes now, the ones with delicate lace at the chin and wrists. Heelah had the same thought, donning a torc of silver for the occasion. It contrasted with her dark scales nicely. The rest of the crew did not change. Reynard wouldn't have had to anyway, given his preference for black.
            Yonn removed his hat and nudged Zalira to do the same. She pulled it off quickly, smiling with embarrassment. She still wasn't used to men's clothes or the etiquette that came with them, but thankfully, no one seemed to notice.
            After the usual platitudes were spoken, a few men came forward and said some nice things about -------, who was apparently an amiable drunk that had never picked a fight in his life. Mostly, though, the crew just shuffled awkwardly and tried not to look each other in the eye. When there was nothing left to say, Nauv commended his body to the deep and they dropped him in with a splash. As the black water swallowed him there were murmurs among the crew, hushed words that sounded like a prayer.
            Yonn glanced around quickly--the wizarding lords hated religion in all its forms--but at that moment the musketeers stepped to the side and discharged their guns with a roar.
            The smoke lingered in the air for a heartbeat then vanished.

            Nauv did not formally dismiss them; she just put on her hat and went back to the quarterdeck. No one commented on the captain's absence, but Zalira could see from their eyes that every jack there had noticed.

As you can tell, my priority right now is to work on additional fiction, so the blog is really just going to serve as a place for me to post the occasional update on progress. Hope you don't mind and even if you do, have a happy new year anyway.

-Christopher Beats