galdr, avoided poli, ‘shrooms & cereal, erm, serials

©2022 Michael Raven

So yeah. Update time, I expect.

If you’ve been wondering at my radio silence with the book and all, it is because I really am hoping that Amazon is fixing the pricing on the book, which seems to be in the works, kinda, sorta. I checked today and galdr is still listed at about $4 USD higher than all other sellers. HOWEVER, there is a “not in stock, sold by Amazon” listing that showed up under other options at the correct price (as opposed to the seller being “The Book Depository”, a UK-based subsidiary of Amazon). We were told that the listing corrections would happen on Fridays, so… fingers crossed this is fixed and I can be a little more pushy about the book (but not too pushy, if you know me). If you are interested, the lulu option is a great way for getting the book at the intended price.

I’m largely avoiding politics because the world has gone batshit crazy, but I can’t help but wonder why we have a number of Russian apologists in our government, and why these medieval-level of barbaric atrocities are even happening. Then, I remember that it’s best if I put my head down and stay out of all the discussions if I want to keep my blood pressure within tolerable limits so I can last just a while longer without a vein bursting on my forehead and splattering everyone within a certain distance with the last of my lifeblood.

I saw a cool article in the Guardian about how they think that ‘shrooms might have as many as fifty “words” (signals) in their communications. I was like, dhurr, but it is nice to see other people realizing this kind of stuff. The plant people will be happy to know we are thinking of them.

I was toying around with a format that was how I originally cut my teeth on long-form fiction. Prior to about 1999, I was writing exclusively poetry and short fiction (on infrequent occasions). In the process of getting a new ISP after having a fallout with the more common providers at the time, I hooked up with a local provider who had personal webpages as part of their service. It’s how I started blogging (before blog software existed), by posting about once or twice a week to the main page and doing all my own linkings as I pushed the older posts to a repository set of pages. Tedious, in comparison to today’s method of blogging, but I didn’t know any different (Blogger was a godsend when it launched).

Anyway, up until then, most of my stories were less than twenty printed pages (more often, less than five). I got this bug up my ass to take a short intro to a story I’d never pursued, called Drifter: a love story and posting that intro online just for shits and giggles. I received feedback, which was rare as hell back in those Wild West days of the internets: “Dude. What happens next?”

Hell if I knew!

But I wasn’t above making some crap up on the fly. So, that Friday night, I posted something else that I called Chapter 2. More feedback, generally positive. So I did a third chapter. And a fourth. And, before I knew it, every Friday had become “Drifter Chapter night.” I had turned a leftover two-page intro into a serialized novel.

Near the end, I had about 200 printed pages of story and had painted myself firmly into a very unescapable corner. Anything I did would look like the deus ex machina that it totally would have been. I had soap-opera’d myself so completely I gave up. I thought it was great literature (it wasn’t) at the time, and had grand plans to go back and fix all of the terrible plot holes and give myself an escape valve, but it really was, apart from a few decent scenes, a hot steaming turd of a tale. The general plot still has promise, but OMFG in a wicker basket — it was AWFUL in retrospect.

Anyway, long story for a short thing —

I’ve toyed with going back to something serialized for some time now. I’ve gotten a whole helluva lot more writing under my belt since then and I think it might be fun to go back to that format.

So, tonight, I did myself up another one of those test pieces I write on occasion to see if something has the right feels for playing a little further. I honestly don’t know where it is going to go, so I can’t really say much about the plot — I’m kind of pantsing this one completely just for the giggles of it all. I’ll give it a gander with a fresh head over the next day or three and see if I want to share it (whether or not I want to pursue it as a serialized bit of something something). Not sure it would have an audience.

Basic premise so far:

  • Futuristic sprawl city something along the lines of Blade Runner meets Akira meets Shadowrun with a late 1880s fashion sense and a city built above the old. Rich and upper-middle class in upper part of the city, the less fortunate under them and “The Forgotten” scratch-to-get-by in the undercity. Surface living is for chumps with a deathwish. Most people think the idea of something besides city is preposterous. And maybe the Spawl is so vast, such notions are preposterous.
  • Three-person team of “alchemists” or something (undecided exactly how I want to think of them, but imagine Nikola Tesla inspired occultists) who dabble in old occult because someone has to… because… well, bad things are finding their way through the cracks like cockroaches.
  • A young kid who gets mixed up in this because they have knowledge the team doesn’t.

Busy busy busy. I have gotten tense about Knives in the Side of the Dawn, so anxious that I was getting writers block about that story. This is likely because I was taking it too serious, which is why this serialized stuff may be more successful (as long as I don’t plot it out too far in advance, because then it is serious). So, I have to give that one a rest. I’m sure no tears will spilled over that news.

Well, it is off to read a bit, something I rarely do anymore because I can’t find books that grab me in the way that they have in the past. One remedy for that seems to be graphic novels, so I picked up a Comixology Unlimited sub and I am reading that way. For those who disagree that it is reading, you’ve probably been reading the wrong ones.

Anyway… Off I go. Good evening, folks and see you on the other side.

2 thoughts on “galdr, avoided poli, ‘shrooms & cereal, erm, serials

    1. Ha! We’ll see once you observe my ham-fisted attempts at writing cyber-retro-gaslight-future-history-speculative serial fiction (see, I can make up genres like the best of them).


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