April was the heaviest reading load I’ve carried so far this year. Got through Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining and am half way done with Night Shift. Picked up Fletcher’s Beyond Redemption again and have been diving back into the basics of craft. The ideas aren’t hard these days, there are plenty of them. It’s the structure and voice I’m struggling with, until a bullfrog whispered in my ear yesterday–yes, a bullfrog. Lets call him Jeremiah, and he’s volunteered to narrate a new piece I’m working on. Saves me a lot of work. If you’re working on a story and a character’s voice just pops out and speaks to you, listen, record, and keep your third eye open.
Got a new flash piece in Speculative 66 (Loverboy Android) coming out tomorrow I believe. Just like “Stay of Execution,” this one began as a 250 word account of a girl desperate for the love of a machine. Again, it was an idea piece and those can be chopped down to the bare essentials sometimes. If you can take an entire novel and chop it down to 66 words you’ve got a pitch that can save you a lot of work when it comes down to summarizing each chapter in a paragraph (this will happen somewhere down the line, best to start now). “Out Here” has made the rounds and returned with a pile of great feedback, yet no takers. Some pieces, the ones you feel you really need to tell, aren’t worth letting go of, and I drew the line with “Out Here.” Set a bar for yourself that you won’t compromise. If I don’t get at least 3 cents a word, it goes in the trunk until a new market pops up.
I hear Cirsova is in the midst of recording an audio-book version of issue #5 and I hope it’s well-received. Grimdark Magazine has some huge projects in the making, along with a new website that looks amazing. Watched episode 1 of American Gods and was blown away by the production value and how they really stuck to the format of the novel. Got through 10 episodes of Vikings season 4 (the rest will have to wait until my amazon account releases them for free) and couldn’t believe the great Ragnar met his end in a pit of snakes. Took a break from Mass Effect Andromeda (a bit disappointing) and am letting the X-Box cool down until another Dark Souls installment becomes available (I doubt it).
Keep reading, and writing, and listen to your inner bullfrog.