Okay, well, it’s a new week, and a new month, and this is a new blog post…as is probably obvious. Last week I posted my author’s note for Son of Man, and next week I’m going to write an author’s note for If the Spirit Moves You, the last of the stories in Welcome to Paradox City to receive such a treatment. I suppose that I’ll subsequently write an author’s note each for the three short stories that have followed, and that are now available in Kindle versions (only 99 cents each, and cheap at twice the price). I did write about them each on this blog even as they took shape, but there are, nevertheless, further insights to be delivered, for those readers who are interested.
Now, though, having finished the publication of all three of my most recent short stories, I have returned to work on Unanimity. I’ve been rereading all that I’ve written of it hitherto, just to get back into the swing of the story. This is, nominally, against Stephen King’s advice in his excellent book On Writing, but I’m doing it only because I took a break to hone those short stories for publication, so I think this case merits an exception to the King’s recommendation. The rereading has been enjoyable so far, and the book is better than I occasionally felt it was while writing it. This happens to me quite a lot: the works that feel forced and inelegant while I’m writing them turn out to be much finer than I expect, and sometimes are better than those which seem to flow more readily—even inexorably—from whatever it is that produces creativity. This may make perfect sense. After all, those things in nature that come forward with great speed and power are often rougher in their original shape than more gradual phenomena and require more honing in the end. I wouldn’t imagine that this is a law of physics, but it is a phenomenon I see in my own creativity.
In addition to resuming my work on Unanimity, I’ve returned to my previous plan and begun audio recordings of my short stories. Specifically, I recorded the first draft audio of me (!) reading I for one welcome our new computer overlords last week and am now in the process of editing it. I’m extremely thankful for the amazing advances in technology that allow sound editing to be carried out on more or less any reasonable computer. I won’t say that my equipment or program is absolute state of the art, but since we’re not dealing here with a musical recording, but with an author reading aloud one of his stories, it’s more than adequate. When I think of the complex machinations the Beatles and George Martin went through to produce their ground-breaking and innovative musical effects in the sixties, my mind soars. Just imagine what a modern equivalent of Lennon and McCartney—or of Mozart—could do with the tools available in the early twenty-first century! As far as I can tell, though, we still await the next arrival of such era-defining genius.
In any case, thanks to that wonderful technology, it shouldn’t be long before the audio version of Ifowonco will be available, and when it is, I shall post it on this blog, free for those who wish to listen at their leisure. Of course, being compulsive about such things, I shall no doubt follow this with audio versions of Prometheus and Chiron and Hole for a Heart, though I’m not sure how quickly that will happen. I’ll probably eventually do audio versions for all three of the stories in Welcome to Paradox City as well. I don’t think, however, that I’ll do so for my novels, at least not in the short term. I’m a bit disappointed in this prediction, but the time scales are simply too daunting. The final recording for Ifowonco—a long short story, I’ll admit—will probably be on the order of about two hours long, and production takes much, much longer. If that length pattern holds, my novels would end up about ten times that duration, and it’s hard for me to see myself sparing the time to produce them anytime soon. It’s really too bad, because I do enjoy reading books aloud, and I expect my skills at both performance and production to improve with practice. Unfortunately, given the fact that I also need to work to make a living, recording time inevitably eats into my writing, and that is my first and major calling. I have so many books to write (and short stories, too), and my time is woefully limited. One must, it seems, prioritize, and so enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action.
Alas! Poor audio.
It is with no honest regret, though, that I’ll return to Unanimity, and thence to its younger siblings, proceeding at full throttle. Unanimity isn’t a happy story—what horror novel is?—but I’m definitely happy to write it, and will be just as happy, if not more so, for others to read it.
While you wait for that to be finished, keep your eyes peeled for my next author’s note, and keep your ears pricked up for my upcoming audio releases. As always, I thank you for reading, I welcome your feedback, and I wish you well.