December 6, 2011
Maybe Hemingway re-wrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms seventeen or thirty-seven times, I don’t know, but I know the torment when a piece of writing is not right. I’m sure he felt mighty good about having almost finished a novel he knew would be widely read, but also that he would feel mighty bad to think he had written an ending to it that was less than his best. At this point I know that my second novel, Blues Pizza, is not my best (indeed, it is my worst). So I feel compelled to fix it. I’m not sure I can and, as a matter of fact, I can’t seem to fix the first two paragraphs of to fit my best standard. If I can’t fix the first two chapters, the whole novel will be forever laid to rest. R.I.T. (Rest In Turmoil). But for now, I’m taking another chance at giving the novel another chance. I’ve cut 12,000 words and made plans to re-arrange all the rest, but first I’m going to re-imagine and re-write those first two chapters if it kills me (or rather, if it kills the novel). I think I’ve re-written the first two paragraphs about thirty-seven times. That’s not quite enough, but it may be close.
There’s a certain satisfaction in playing a blues song well. To crawl into the back-story of the lyrics, to feel the passion there, and then to translate that into notes that fit feels good. It may also hurt, but it’s a good hurt when the played blues liberates the source of my real blues. It’s worth working for, I’d say. Onward.
November 17, 2011
A mashup is, of course, the putting together (or mashing) of separate elements to create a whole unique piece of art. The term is usually used in music and was pioneered by Hip Hop which uses it extensively. Has it ever been done successfully with a novel? Will I try to achieve that?
I’ve got two projects: 1. a once-finished novel that is “trunked” or out of circulation, and 2. An early work-in-progress, WIP, with two new characters but no structure. Novel 1, I’ve found is a mess because when I indulgently tried to insert the character of my Ex into the narrative and when the 3rd person POV of the novel tried to read her mind . . . it failed. The best I could do at the time was take out all that material (12k words), but now I’ve got a story like a 3-legged table. My proposal would be to create a mashup by inserting a new character from the WIP in its place. I’ve never done anything this radical before. I’m not sure how inserting new material into an older narrative would work. It’s not a traditional mashup, if there is such a thing, but it would be a challenge. It’s a method to consider.
October 6, 2010
Richard Eoin Nash has got some interesting ideas about bringing the Internet towards traditional publishing and vice versa. His new publishing company, Cursor, he calls “a portfolio of niche social publishing communities.” The first imprint of Cursor is called Red Lemonade and his first list is three novels to be published in Spring, 2011. Check out his blog at: http://www.rnash.com/
September 29, 2010
My story, “Late Night Waitress,” is related to my novel, Blues Pizza. It made the rough draft but got left on the cutting room floor . . . to be picked up and then recycled into its own character study. It is available in PDF form at the Wilderness House Literary Review website: http://tinyurl.com/2enhzwn
August 9, 2010
My short story, Late Night Waitress, has been accepted by Wilderness House Literary Review for September. Julia Carlson, the fiction editor, asked for a bio and said I ought to include the info about the music that relates to the story. This story evolved from a ejected chapter from my novel, Blues Pizza. I hope to publish the novel with the songs on CD so readers can listen and read. The story is built around a songwriter who’s in New York for a session gig and who also has written a song for the band in cutting the record. The actual song, Choosers, is a song I’ve written and recorded. I just put it up on YouTube.