Novel edit’s finished.

Time for a bonfire.

Going Through the Motions

This last edit’s almost said and done, I’ve picked at this thing way too often this time around, dug at it with a pen while relatively awake and sober.

Didn’t like this sentence. Or that one. That scene needs to get re-written. Until my hands and my brain cramp. I think I’m trying to re-invent… Well, I’d say the wheel but that would imply some kind of baseline functionality. If it’s a wheel I’m re-inventing it’s one of the square ones, prototype Who-The-Fuck-Knows B.C., back when some heavy-browed club-swinger needed to haul a chunk of dead mammoth back to his cave before a fly off with it. No. One fly. It’s back in the day. Flies were fucking huge. Fucking. Huge.

I might have taken that metaphor past its prime.

So, times like this, I end up wool-gathering through past times somebody’s actually wanted to publish my work. The only stuff that still exists in a findable way is for Thuglit. I wrote a weird New York tale that’s pretty close to my novel for a publishing company that shit the bed four months after releasing the eBook, I think I made like twenty bucks, and I wrote a steampunk thing about a watchmaker’s apprentice investigating a killer for Steampunk Tales, which has also shit the bed.

So we’re back to Thuglit. And I found this story of mine in an archive that’s a little off the beaten track. For once when reading previously published work, I don’t fucking hate it. It’s called Someplace Else.

Take a look if you’re inclined, it’s too long to post here.

Update 07/14/13

I went through the manuscript with a pen, blacking out entire lines and writing notes that later read like cryptic notes left by a mentally ill ex. I’m going through it now and it’s an interesting exercise in faith and trust to just make the changes as I’ve written them or scratched them out.

I don’t know if I’m making it better.

The idea is to clean the manuscript of the lazy sort of writing that I find infuriating, stripping out the non-essential and leaving behind only the passages and sentences that I intended to have those extra words because they added something. It wasn’t just the stuttering fingers of a storyteller afraid that readers won’t understand exactly what he meant, or that he paid no attention to how a story was delivered. Not satisfied with killing my darlings, I’ve decapitated them and stuck their heads on poles around my desk as a warning to others.

I hope that I created beauty instead of rather a lot of boring horseshit.

It’s been interesting working in spite of this cacophony in my head, and none of it cheers.

I don’t think I know what good writing is anymore, but I am making slow progress.

When the last piece of paper with its black lines and handwritten notes is gone through it will be ready to send back. Or rather I’ll finally have exhausted myself and I’ll be ready not to look at it for a while.

And then…

Well, then whatever happens next will happen. It has a way to doing that.

When Pigeon Was a Thief of Songs

"Pigeon, you thieving prick!" Peacock screamed.

Well. He wanted to scream, but all that came out was a sprinkle of whispers and some coughing. Somebody had stolen Peacock’s song.

Pigeon had a habit of this sorta shit. He made off with Crow and Magpie’s songs, a neat trick considering how clever those two are, but Pigeon is so soft and stupid-looking that folks forget to take him serious. He returned Crow and Magpie’s songs, but on his way he dropped them in the dirt and stepped on them a few times. Could have been spite, could have been clumsiness. They used to be sweet and now they’re… Well, you know.

Normally, something like this happens to somebody like Peacock and nobody gives a shit. He can’t even fly, right? But Peacock is the bimbo diva of the bird world. Being pretty and arrogant’s what got him permanently grounded in the first place. He made such a fucking nuisance of himself that Eagle noticed and got involved. Then the other raptors got in on the action, all of them sitting around sharpening their talons. Pretty soon Pigeon was on everybody’s menu.

Eagle put out the word: Pigeon, give back Peacock’s voice so he stops wheezing around all over the place and we’ll let you live. Pigeon’s not suicidal so he comes out with Peacock’s song, but some last-minute reluctance turns it into a tugging match. When Peacock gets the song back it’s stretched out and warped.

And Peacock goes birdshit.

His song is now the most annoying thing ever heard, and Eagle’s cowering, actually cowering, with his wings covering his head. The Crow, Magpie and Raven are laughing and wincing. Eagle shouts for everybody to shut the fuck up, but Peacock won’t be silenced, Peacock wants retribution.

Eagle grabs Pigeon and blunts his throat, screams out his ears. Now Pigeon’s partially deaf and his coo is just a little thing. While Pigeon is staggering around trying to get his shit together, Eagle banishes him to the city. That’s why, to this day, pigeons always roost in such tight groups. Their song’s have about as much power as a strong fart and they’re stone deaf.

It was a tainted victory for Peacock. Pretty as he is, nobody can stand to talk to him for long, not with a song like that.

Brooklyn, you’re a striking lady tonight.