Hello, good morning, and all that jazz. It’s Thursday again, and so it’s time for another edition of my weekly blog post. Sound drums and trumpets; farewell sour annoy! For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. And so on.
It’s the second Thursday of the month, but there will be no new entry for “My Heroes Have Always Been Villains,” a loss which I’ve clearly not gotten over, a loss for which I shall wreak a bloody and terrible vengeance upon those responsible! And since, as far as I can tell, I am the only one responsible for it, I shall be taking my vengeance upon me, it would seem. This is nothing new.
I’m all but finished with the last run-through of In the Shade. In fact, barring the unforeseen, it should be complete by tomorrow morning. I spoke last week of considering just publishing the story here, on this blog, probably serially, since it’s a bit long for a single post*. I think I will instead publish it in my collection of short stories, Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities, as planned. I haven’t yet truly begun working on the cover design for the collection. The basic concept is clear in my head, but the execution will probably involve some fiddling**, as it almost always does. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but since I haven’t really gotten started on it yet, that may mean the book itself won’t come out for a bit.
I also need to decide on the order of the book, which I’m sure I mentioned before. It’s long since been determined that House Guest will be the first story, and In the Shade will be the final one, but the specific order of the others is a bit up in the air. I do plan to put Solitaire somewhere in the middle, surrounded immediately by comparatively light fare, since that story is extremely dark.
I don’t know where I’m going to find this “comparatively light” fare, though.
Returning to the notion of sharing stories on this blog: it has occurred to me that it might be nice to share at least some “teasers” of some of my work here, possibly starting quite soon. I wouldn’t be doing this on Thursdays, since I want to reserve this day every week for my random walk-in blog posts, as usual. But maybe on Saturdays, or on Mondays, or something like that, I could post a section from one of my stories, perhaps starting with a bit of House Guest, and then a teaser of the opening of In the Shade. This would, hopefully, whet my readers’ appetites, and perhaps encourage them to seek out and purchase one or more of my books. From there, I might post teasers from older works, or perhaps even eventually serialize full stories.
Though it would, in a sense, be giving away some of my work for free, it might actually work out the other way. I neither have advertisers on this blog, nor do I have a Patreon account, either for this or for IoZ or for my YouTube channel or whatnot. So, as part of sharing such work, I would suggest that if people like the stories and want to support me, they can just buy a copy of the book The e-book versions are quite cheap, and I keep most of that payment, such as it is, which cannot be said for the paperback versions (though I love those, personally, for what are probably obvious reasons to any fellow book lovers).
I guess in a pinch, if people want to support me, they can even listen to my original songs, on Spotify, or YouTube Music, or iTunes, or whatnot. I make a tiny amount of money every time someone plays one of my songs on any of those venues, though nothing like the amount I get if someone buys even an e-book short story. Of course, playing a song takes less time than reading a story. A long song is maybe six minutes or so, whereas a long “short story” can be sixty pages…and a long novel might be so big it has to be broken into two or more volumes.
I would very much like to be able to make at least something of a living through my writing, whether through my books and short stories or through this blog, or both, but it’s not why I do any of it. Staying alive has not usually been my dearest priority, even if I sometimes use the song as my ringtone***.
What I would like much more is for people to read my stories (and to a lesser extent listen to my songs), and to give me feedback, if possible, especially when they like them. In most matters, I’m indifferent to compliments; I usually don’t agree with them, being by far my own most dedicated and spiteful critic. But my stories are another matter. I would really like to know if and when my stories touch people (even inappropriately), when readers like the plots or the characters or any other things about them. I like my own stories, quite a lot, but I’m a peculiar person, so maybe no one else does or ever will. If they do, I would very much like to hear from them.
With that in mind, I think I will post a teaser first of House Guest, possibly tomorrow or Saturday, so be on the lookout. From then, I may continue the process as I described above, especially if it looks like it’s reasonably well-received. Then, I may go on to serialize some of my earlier works just to try to get more people to read them. Or who knows, maybe I’ll serialize something like The Dark Fairy and the Desperado here on my website. I conceived of that as a manga originally, so doing it as a serial on my blog, in parallel with other writings that would be available for purchase, might be interesting. I’ll think about it. I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
*That’s quite an understatement.
**I suppose that’s the way Nero would have liked to carry out executions.
***An idea I picked up from Jim Moriarty (of Sherlock fame), whose attitude toward the song’s title subject matter is much like mine.