I’ve been making excellent progress on my new short story, tentatively titled “Hole for a Heart.” It’s now about twenty-four pages long in draft form, and—I think—is well over halfway finished. This is good, because I want to have it ready for you all to read in time for Halloween, since it is a horror story with a good, Halloweeney feel. Fortunately, as I’ve said before, I tend to write quickly, if I just commit myself to the task. I don’t know if that ends up meaning that I write well; it’s impossible for me to be objective about my own writing, so I can only say whether I like the story or not. Thankfully, I almost always do.
I would dearly love to receive feedback from anyone who’s reading my stories and to know whether you’ve enjoyed them, but that seems a tall order with respect to fiction. If you have bought and read a book—mine or anyone else’s—I encourage you to give it a rating and a review. This is not just good for the author, it’s also good for readers who consider purchasing the books. Your reactions and opinions matter to other readers, even if you don’t convince them one way or the other.
I’ve occasionally entertained the notion of writing reviews of my own books on Amazon. These would be joking reviews, obviously, and I wouldn’t pretend it wasn’t me writing them. I just worry that doing it might seem kind of cheesy, since I’d obviously give myself high marks (because I do like my stories).
I’m reminded of Isaac Asimov, when he’d been asked to write a new “Foundation” novel and had gone back to re-read the earlier books in the series. He admitted that he found the stories engaging and entertaining, but knew that you couldn’t judge by him—he was the author, for crying out loud. I think this is an inescapable point. Obviously, I like my own stories. If I didn’t like them, I don’t think I would write them, and I certainly hope I wouldn’t publish them. They’re not like essay assignments for some seminar on Spenser and Milton, after all. I write the stories because I like the stories, and the stories want to be told.
Speaking of stories, and particularly of ones that are Halloweenish in atmosphere, I have completed the first “draft” of my voice recording of “Prometheus and Chiron.” It took a couple of days of spare time to do it. This is mainly because my spare time is grabbed from those no-man’s-moments before work and the few hours of the evening after I get home and before I go to sleep. This is also when I write my stories and blog posts. The audio shouldn’t take me long to edit, but edit it I must, and I have the software to do so. It’s been a long time since I’ve used the program, and I’m going to need to re-figure out all its tools, but soon I will have that older horror story ready for a seasonal release, and will post it on this blog.
Then, of course, work will resume at full pace on “Unanimity,” which is also proceeding well, and which should, I think, be well over halfway finished.
I’m well aware that I haven’t gotten started on my posts about my favorite villains. For that I apologize, partly to any real or imaginary person who has been waiting for those discussions, but mostly to myself. Villainy is a subject that has intrigued and delighted me for almost as long as I have been reading. I say “almost” because the very earliest stories I read did not tend to contain villains. Little golden books rarely have bad guys, unless one counts the bees that sting Mr. Bear’s nose after he tries to take their honey (and I did think of them in almost villainous light, and I certainly feared them and their real-world counterparts for quite some time).
I have also not yet made a second video to put up on my YouTube channel, though I do intend to make one. I even have a subject to discuss, one that lends itself perhaps better to that format than to the sober, written word. I’m delaying partly due to the simple constraints of time, but also because I have a hard time looking at my own pudgy visage on the screen. That’s perhaps as good an impetus as any to stop eating more than my body needs. It’s tough to fight all those many millions of years of evolution that drive one to take in as much as one is able, whenever one is able, in case food becomes scarce in the future, but it can be done, as we know. If seeing myself in video gives me the will to watch my diet, then that alone is surely worth the production.
And that should do it for today’s post. There’s no need to drone on and on endlessly, even if that is my tendency. Sometimes writing can be like eating, and it’s important to know when enough is enough. I hope you all enjoy my new story when it’s available, and my audio version of the other story, and my video when I release it. Of course, I hope you enjoy all my books, those already out and those that are forthcoming. There are so many stories; I doubt that I’ll live long enough to tell them all, and new ones keep tumbling down the road, but that’s very far from the worst thing that could happen.
Sore dewa, as they say in Japan, or in other words: