Hello. Good morning. It’s Thursday, and so, whether anyone asked for it or not—whether anyone wants it or not—it’s time for my weekly blog post.
I can only apologize.
So far, this week has been marginally better than last week for me, which may not be saying very much, but at least it is better by some measures. I got quite a bit of writing done this Monday through Wednesday on the train; I’ve been using my laptop, not my phone to do it, despite my thoughts that I just might stick with the former device. Still, on each of those three days, I wrote roughly 2100 words in the morning, which is more than twice as many as I wrote last Friday, which was a very difficult day, continuing the pattern of the days that had preceded it.
Anyway, The Dark Fairy and the Desperado is moving along well. Though we have not met the Dark Fairy yet, we have met the Desperado. He is the first person we encounter, and he is soon to be sent to meet his fellow title character. It won’t be a friendly encounter, I’m afraid, but if things all went easily, where would be the fun? A story without the exchange of fireballs and bullets between protagonists can hardly be called a story at all.
I also remembered to post the next part of Outlaw’s Mind here this week, unlike last week, so to those of you who were pining for it, you’re welcome. I tried to put in a “continue reading” tab, so that it wouldn’t take up as much screen space for scrolling purposes if you’re trying to go back to further entries, but I’m not sure I succeeded. I didn’t try very hard to check, and I haven’t yet gone back to insert any in earlier posts. Have I but world enough and time, I mean to do so.
I’ve considered perhaps interspersing some posting of parts of The Dark Fairy and the Desperado here, perhaps alternating with Outlaw’s Mind, perhaps posting them on another day of the week. Let me know what you think, if you have any interest in the question at all. It’s not a horror story, but is instead a trans-universal fantasy adventure, so be prepared. I want to (and so I hereby do) remind everyone that these are stories in early draft form*, so they won’t be as polished and streamlined as something that’s been formally published would be.
In this, unfortunately, they may bear all too much resemblance to all too many of at least the online versions of publications from Scientific American to the various major newspapers, all of which seem to have fallen into the editorial hands of the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert, and many of the writers of which seem to have learned their trade via Twitter-mediated coursework. Honestly, the state of much of the publishing industry is terribly dispiriting to note.
More than once within the last few months, in mainstream-published books about arguably serious subject matter, I’ve encountered the words “free reign” used instead of “free rein”. That latter is an expression related to horseback riding, in which one essentially releases control of the horse to allow it to go where it will, presumably at high speed, but with outcomes that may be difficult to predict, and this is the source of the metaphor. The former is…I don’t know, perhaps a reference to some form of particularly liberal monarchial regime**.
But, as they say, I digress. I’m prone to do so often and grievously. The point I meant to make was simply that I wouldn’t want you to mistake the form in which I might share parts of a story here for the way they might appear in “officially” published form, in case anyone were to consider buying one of my books.
One other thing I did at the end of last week was to record a video of me playing guitar and singing the David Bowie song, A Space Oddity. I had downloaded the chords to the song from a site of which I am a member, and they sounded so good to me when I played them, even though they weren’t particularly difficult chords, that I couldn’t resist making a video. I’ll embed it here, for anyone who is interested. I make no promises regarding the quality of the playing or the singing; I just liked singing and playing the song.
And I think that’s pretty much what I have to share this week. I hope you’ve all been feeling and doing better than I have been, and I do mean “all”. I’ve been having a truly rough time, though at least I’ve kept on writing, and I don’t want any of you to feel like I do, no matter what Peter Frampton might say. I would seriously like you to share (in the comments here, not on Facebook or Twitter, which I tend not to spend much time on for the sake of my already alarmingly tenuous mental health) whether you would be interested in reading sections of The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, and if so whether you would mind if I alternated them with Outlaw’s Mind, or if you would prefer to have me share them in another slot during the week.
Otherwise, as always, please try to be kind to each other and to yourselves, because goodness knows I’m not likely to do it.
*It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that they are first drafts, because I always reread what I’ve written the previous day before starting on any new writing, and I edit as I do so. Often, I’ll have reread a portion and edited it more than once in this process, depending on how much I wrote the preceding day.
**A regime, by the way, is related to the rule of a person or dynasty over a nation, or something analogous. A regimen is a “prescribed course of medical treatment, way of life, or diet for the promotion or restoration of health”, and related usages. The words are obviously related, so it’s not such a big deal to conflate them***, but it is a bit sloppy, and—of course—it irritates me far beyond its level of importance. One follows an exercise regimen, not an exercise regime, unless one is ruled over/governed by one’s workout routine in a more or less literal sense****.
*** “Reign”, on the other hand, comes from Latin via Old French and Middle English and so on, while “rein” is apparently derived from Old Norse, so though they are homophones, they are not closely related words.
****A “diet” is more complicated, since it can refer to a legislative body, thus making things ever more confusing, though I doubt that many people confuse regime with regimen for that specific reason. There’s even a famous historical “Diet of Worms”, which had nothing to do with the eating habits of annelids, but instead referred to a body convened to address the heresy of Martin Luther. Though I love it dearly, English is often muddled and can be confusing. It’s both a technically “degenerate” code and also often not a very specific one. Maybe I shouldn’t get so worked up by people mistaking a horseback metaphor for one related to monarchy and similar governmental situations.