Okay, well…let’s get to today’s business.
As I’ve written here previously, I’m currently taking a short break from working on “Unanimity,” because a horror story—one that had begun with only a vague notion and image—abruptly crystallized in my head, just in time for October, and I decided that I must write that story. It’s now well underway, roughly twelve pages long, so far. I’m quite excited about it, and hopefully some of you will be, as well, when it’s finished. It will be ready well in time for Halloween (barring the unforeseen, which, curiously, rhymes with Halloween).
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my intention to create an audio file of me reading some of my writing, as I did with the article, “The Idolatry of the American Flag.” The audio on that has its issues—I think I was too close to the mic when I recorded it, so you can hear me smacking my lips and spitting and whatnot. Who knows, maybe some people enjoy that, and were grateful to hear an audio file that had it. If you’re such a person: “You’re welcome.”
For everyone else, however, I am learning, practicing, and experimenting, and I expect steadily, if not swiftly, to improve. In fact, I’ve already begun to read aloud my short story, “Prometheus and Chiron,” which, despite what you might think (reasonably enough), neither contains nor refers to either of those two mythological figures, and in fact, takes place in the modern world. I know, I know, it’s a pretentious, misleading title. That’s what I do. Nay, that’s who I am.
In any case, the plan remains to use that story as my first fiction audio, but even as I started playing with it, I learned an interesting fact: when one begins to read one’s works aloud, one encounters bits of prose that, while perfectly acceptable on the printed page, must be wrung off the tongue awkwardly when spoken. This inspired me to go through the entire story doing some additional editing and rewriting, which is a rewarding experience in its own right. I suspect that no writer is ever perfectly satisfied with all the details of any tale that he or she has written—or perhaps I’m atypical in this—and one of the great advantages of putting stories up on my blog is that I can still improve them after the fact. Once they’re out in the wide world in books and other venues, it becomes both much more mortifying and much more laborious to fix them.
To make a long story slightly longer, the point is that I am going to do that recording of “Prometheus and Chiron,” and I will release it here, on this blog, rather than on Iterations of Zero, simply because the latter is not about fiction, whereas this site is. I’m pretty excited about the process, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to me read my own fiction. I may be an egotist, but I don’t think that anyone else could do a better job than I can at that task—at least, not anyone else who wouldn’t cost a lot of money. I’m pretty sure that Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen would blow me away, but they both spend most of their time reading that Shakespeare guy, just because he’s from the same country as they. It’s blatant nationalistic favoritism, and I’m shocked that the Social Justice Police haven’t made any noises about such things.
Once I make that recording and place it on this site, I beseech you to give me feedback, even if it’s just to say, “Hey, I listened to it,” or “Your voice sounds stupid.” I would just love to hear from you in some form.
Even if you don’t get back to me, though, I intend next (probably) to read “I for one welcome our new computer overlords,” and to upload that audio, though I think I would probably read that story in two parts. I already know right where I’d split it. But I may also do a bit of reading of the first draft of the beginning of “Unanimity,” sort of as a teaser, and that might come before the next short story. We’ll have to see.
I’m also going to make more videos here and there, though those tend to require a bit more guts on my part, because I’m not all that pleased to see my mug on the screen. They can be fun, however, and there are certain subjects that simply lend themselves to the format. Rants, in general, are often worthy of the full, holistic experience of the ranter (or is that rantor?).
Speaking of ranting, I think that I’ve probably said enough about the few subjects I wanted to cover today. The audio is coming, my new short story is going swimmingly, and my video projects loom, while behind them, unabated in its potency, lies “Unanimity.” And I already know which book I mean to write after that, though I suppose I might change my mind.
Life may not always be good, but at least it’s interesting.