This is a writer buried under piles of scrapped paper notes. This is me, after sending off The Weaponsmaker to be reformatted in ePub after I severely cut it, rewrote the opening, chased down every last typo I do sincerely hope and pray although they breed like guppies. It is now in the hands of the formatter to arrive in the world now fresh, clean of typos, superbly readable.
I am going fishing! On the Hundred and Two Mile River.
Also contracted for a new cover for Viking Bard. I tried twice with the maker of the present cover, to get him to make the figure of the bard more dynamic, and (ahem) better-looking and not so (I am groping for words here) sickly? Creepy? I think he was trying for ‘ethereal’ but it came out as somebody with a latex skin and a comatose expression.
It’s very absorbing and entertaining, much fun is had, this fooling about with covers and re-writing. What’s not so fun is the confusing, incomprehensible and frustrating Amazon advertising system. Or maybe it’s not a system but a sort of random, confusing stab at getting your book somewhere, anywhere, it can be seen and then paying for it. Lots. Paying lots. Then messing about with the new dashboard for hours trying to figure out how to see results.
At any rate, all aboard for the new Viking Bard cover! Ahoy! and so on.
Hot days and gorgeous clouds over the Missouri River valley, flights of birds heading south. Sandhill cranes, which figure in Lighthouse Island seem to want to take your heart away with them as they head south into Texas, they make the weirdest clattering noises.
Read an article about NASA being bogged down in an impenetrable bureaucracy. All us science-fiction fans hope that they are inventing new ways to build the Moon Station, to ferry explorers to Mars, to land on the moons of Jupiter but alas, it seems that the emphasis is on meetings, on rising up the ladder, being invited to the latest managerial retreat for seminars on How To Manage, on seeing that nothing gets done. It was a depressing article.
I must start in on the long road of advertising Viking Bard. It is such a chore. But I like my Bard and his misadventures, and want more people to get to know him.
What better place to be on a hot August day in the Midwest than on the shores of France in November. The Bard escapes his drunken father and shamelessly leaves his mother and sister to deal with him — cowardice perhaps but a young person has to have his own life.
And so he is off on a cold, wet and perilous adventure — our technology differs from those old times of wind and sail and wooden spoons but human nature, malgre lui, remains horribly the same.
Lots going on around here, I can smell the neighbor’s barbecue and it appears he is doing a good job. Myself and grandkids are sunburnt and smell of fish guts. I make them clean what they catch.
Viking Bard is just about ready to be uploaded. The North Sea and its airborne dragons are a far cry from American heat, hamburgers and ribs but we can view it all from a safe spot — reading in bed at night, very comfortable, while the Bard struggles with his oar in a howling storm.
This was fun to write —should have done more sailing however. But the danger of that is getting the story overloaded with sailing terms. This adventure takes place in 898 — or 897 — but our hero, the bard, never can figure out the Christian year system.
Truly weird concepts by the Russian artist Sergey Kolesov. Look him up. He does mostly very strange stuff, most of it repellent but he is very talented, very gifted. Some of his work is let us say less repellent but always with a twist, with tiny figures added in a place and size where your eyes go last when searching the details of the work, and those tiny figures often completely contradict the mood of the larger figures.
The writer. Us. Me.
I make promises to be better and then when I come to add a post I see that I have not been here since Christmas, a lazy blogger, the season all past and this white space forgotten and longing for words.
Dystopia — ! This is a wonderful painting by Filip Hodes.
MacDonalds’ in a deserted dystopia world. I am soon going to go wide with the 88.3 series which is going to be a lot of work and have even considered audible books. Work, but fun. Also a new Viking novel about to go to the formatter.
Why I love science fiction.
The desertification of the western hemisphere is very much present in the series 88.3, helping to create a dystopian effect, but it doesn’t drive the action. It happened a century before — people have learned to cope. I found a picture that reminds me of an old fallen millwall I saw in Maine last year — got to thinking how people used water not only to drink but to drive things, (mills) grind flour, float the flour down to a nearby town, sell it.
The action in the series 88.3 is driven by the mere human tendency to fall into dictatorships. Mostly people want to be left alone by the authorities to, as they say, get on with their lives. This is because getting on with your life is a profound challenge. Choosing the right mate — having children and then getting a divorce is a terrible life disaster. So there’s that. Then having children — babies will take every moment of every day. Then they start crawling. Then they become teenagers. Then your aging parents can’t see to get down the front steps and then they fall and then they need somebody 24/7 for a few weeks and an overworked child with his/her own children suddenly finds only four hours a day to sleep. Again. Like having babies. Again.
Then there’s work, making a living, trying to get to church or temple, keeping an eye on what the kids are learning, helping your neighbor get her car started…getting on with life. Somewhere in there perhaps there is time for reading, for singing, for works of the imagination. Maybe.
They just want to be left alone to get on with their lives in all those lives’ complexity and incessant demands of strength and spirit.
But people who run dictatorships are narcissists and they want to be the center of attention AT ALL TIMES. Fill out these forms for a car part! Hang the flag from your house front! Attend Great Leader’s speech or we will know you didn’t! What are you reading? That’s not approved! Into court with you, your hearing is a ten in the morning!
Narcissism is the signal definition of authoritarianism. So it is in the 88.3 series. I never defined the particular “political” strain of the cruel authorities — they all have a depressing similarity. What destroys this manic lust to spy and control in the 88.3 series is the return of water.
Meanwhile, in caverns measureless to man, water flows and we fill our imaginative cups to the brim.