What I Write
They rose to their feet, shouting: fistfights breaking out all everywhere, women and men tangled in their outrage. The weakest fled the roar of the voices, and the music became nearly inaudible; for a brief, mere instant — less than half of an hour — the elite of what many considered the planet’s most important cultural metropolis were reduced to savages, unthinking beasts seizing one another by the throats, their riot a pagan dance that secretly would rage on through the century, occulted by their modish fashions, their careful eyes, and their serious looks.
Is this where to begin? With the things we know to really have happened that long-ago night in Paris? I cannot be sure: my mind is too ruined by years of high school kids butchering melodies, slashing out rancidly off-key harmonies on their cheap violas and cellos, all as if in revenge against parents who forbade them the electric guitar, the drum kit, the dream of groupies and stoned hotel orgies. These children have ruined my ear, have sapped my heart of the love I once felt for conducting, for hearing youth joined together in music-making.
Yet, ruined as I am, I am still remain a musician, and every musician can tell you how much this decision matters — this choosing of where to begin. Is it within the pages of the score? That final, intricate manuscript is crucial, those staves laid out in black ink against the blank whiteness of the paper — paper, a thing of civilization in itself. Those pages, crisscrossed by perfect, orderly lines, and the jagged themes cutting across them…
From “The Rite,” collected in Bibliotheca Fantastica, edited by Don Pizarro (Dagan Books, 2013).
|What I Write||
Last year, I drafted from almost scratch almost 200,ooo words of a novel set in Georgian London, featuring brewers, distillers, mollies, alchemists, criminals, and the Navy. Earlier this year, while gathering reader feedback on it, I also expanded an old novelette into a longer novella, and realized it was most of a novel.
Finally, I drafted an RPG adventure, and it needs a final edit before being sent in for publication.
This summer, my goal is to:
1. Rework the first half of that Gin Craze Era book, into a single novel (first ina series, perhaps). There’s some editing but also rewriting of parts that will be necessary.
2. Finish expanding that novelette into a short novel.
Of course, I’m teaching a summer class, and there’s a medical condition my kid is dealing with, but I’m going to commit to working on things during the week, at least, as much as I can.
A complete list is here:
I’ll update this box with more info when I have time.
My Write-a-thon Goals
My goals are to:
1. Rework enough of the long novel to extract a 100,000ish word novel from it.
2. Finish expanding that novella into a short novel.
3. Get the RPG adventure I’ve written as a freelancer sent in.
Well, I’d like to help raise funds, but I rarely get sponsored much. We’ll see?
So, I’ve spent a few days this week whipping that RPG adventure into shape. I added about 2,000 words and cut about 3,000. I’ll be giving it a last once-over this afternoon or evening and sending it in.
Next up: the novella expansion, I think. It’ll be tough: my son’s getting surgery next week, and I’m teaching a summer class. But I’ll do what I can.