In terms of big news, there isn’t any, and that’s the norm .
I wrote my second story for the Codex’s Flash, Saviour of the Universe contest, and it’s getting incredibly varied reviews, which I consider a good thing. Some hate it and some love it, and it’s better to be loved by a few than liked by many. Love sells books. Like picks them up and puts them back. Plus the idea could turn into a novel down the line. I’d like to get two series going at once.
I’m nearly finished with a new story called “If It’s Not Your Mother,” which is taken from an old commercial whose subsequent line was, “It must be Howard Johnson’s.” It’s set in a bath station, which is a future type of motel. In the world of drone vehicles, people won’t need to spend the night somewhere because their vehicles will take them where they want to go overnight while they sleep inside. They will, however, need a place to bathe, freshen up and have breakfast (figuring that vehicles still won’t have bathrooms and showers like RVs). Hence, the bath station, where rooms can be rented for a few hours. They don’t even have beds. The story itself just gets weird and bitter after that.
I tend to alternate weird and bitter stories with more upbeat, generous stories, which will serve me well when I have to write the third flash story for the contest. Upbeat seems to be more marketable too nowadays.
I did get a request today from Qwillery to do a blogpost and interview for The Dragon Round, which is very exciting. I think I’ll write on what it’s like to write a first novel middle early late-ish in life. The site’s very good, and the guest posts set the bar pretty high. I particularly like this one, Writing Movies by Clay and Susan Griffith, given that the movement in the big fight in the first chapter of The Dragon Round is modeled on the big fight at the end of The Avengers (I love long tracking shots the Copa scene in Goodfellas and the entirety of Russian Ark). It occured to me, also, while reading it that an interesting way to distinguish characters in a book is whether they’d be played by movie stars or by actors, as William Goldman distinguishes them in Adventures in the Screen Trade.
As for The Dragon Tower I’ve been plugging away at the first outline for the second part of the book. I have to stop being distracted by writing stories. I also have to stop falling asleep on the train home from NY. I’m losing a half-hour of prime writing time.