August, blessedly, is over.
Besides the heat, humidity, and histamine that’s kept me inside for most of the month, I shouldn’t complain too much. I watched my friends get married via Google Handout. The car broke down, requiring a tow and new battery. I watched Life on Mars (the UK version) and Andrea and I finally caught up on Fringe.
Life on Mars — what a fabulous idea. Now that I’ve seen both the US and original UK versions I feel like I should say something about it. I’m missing a lot of the popular culture references that might make the viewing experience of the original version a little different. The US version hooked me emotionally from the start but the ending fell flat, while the UK version started slower but had such a powerful ending. It disheartens me that the decision was made to veer so far from the original ending, when they had been so true to the source. Choosing a favorite is hard; I’m going with the US version, a decision colored perhaps because I watched it first, but with the UK ending tacked on.
I’m officially past my one year Clarionversary now. I wrote one new story and rewrote another that had been sitting post-draft. Both are submitted to anthologies, one of which was by invitation. I’ve been taking stock of my inventory of stories, as I mentioned in my last post. I have something like twenty-two short stories waiting to be rewritten, revised or trunked. I want these stories to find a home, or at least get into a form that I’m not embarrassed to put them into circulation. To that end, I’m laying down an ultimatum: no more first drafts***** until I’ve whittled away at this stack.
Also, now that those two short story deadlines have been met I can now buckle down on the novel. I wasn’t sure which novel idea to work on so I asked Andrea. She’s my first reader for everything and, while she doesn’t always share my tastes I always value her opinion. She reminded me that it really comes down to what I’m passionate about. My bookshelf is filled with the proof. Graphic novels like Preacher, Hellboy, Sandman, and Constantine. Non-fiction books about Freemasonry, the magick of Aleister Crowley, the Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide to Magick and the Occult, the dark history of Popes, the biography of Olimpia Maidalchini, advisor to and considered by some to be the true power behind Pope Innocent X, Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudon. Clearly my tastes run along a certain bent and I should run with it.
I’ve been noodling around with this idea for years. History of the Flesh, my flash fiction piece coming out in the upcoming Crimson Pact 2 anthology, is set in the same world. It’s kind of like John Constantine meets Indiana Jones and Harry Dresden. It’s dark and gritty but smart and I can’t wait to get it started.
September’s shaping up to be a good month. Plus, we’re heading to Toronto in a couple weeks to see Pearl Jam and maybe catch a baseball game. Not a bad life at all.
*****unless someone invites me to submit or market opens up that particularly interests me. Oh shiny!