Friday, August 28, 2009

Why I don't write epic fantasy: thoughts

For lack of anything useful to post (unless one wants many versions of some short stories :p), some genre thoughts. I don't mind reading epic fantasy -- up to a point. Series that go on forever bug me as a reader, so I thought about why and the answer proved quite simple: they're about world building.

World-building isn't bad (I've done it often enough myself) but if one is doing a series focused on one character or the typical Small Band, how many novels do you really need to tell their story? Not to show off your world or research of languages, but to tell the actual story. In most cases, I would lay down money that you actually don't need more than, say, a trilogy. There are exceptions -- always those -- but what end is it serving?

To me, the world is the framework. And it is important: you can't have a house without one. The materials matter. But after you build it, whatever is put inside, bought, decorates it and so forth is what is important. It's one reason I like writing modern fantasy: the framework is often there already, so I can focus more on the story proper.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


"Danny may not make hurricane strength: forecasters"

His parents will be very sad.That is all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On dreams

I don't normally recall dreams, and those I do seldom make all that much sense. Last night's was just fun since I "woke" in an alternate version of my apartment and other places I've lived (as well as a kitchen I've never had*. I had a shower in the dream, figuring that would wake me up, and -- when that failed, and things got even stranger** -- logging on to a 4" compute in a sewing room. Which ran DOS 5.0. I still managed to contact people, one of ehich said: "Go outside" before the computer stopped working.

Which was the neat part: I'd been all "this is a dream, I can access the net and modern programs even if it is on DOS" all the while knowing I shouldn't be able to. Which led to the dream 'realizing' that and locking me out. Eventually I went outside to run into someone who had apparently made fun of me when I was six, and I now knew what he looked like so I could ask for an apology. Without, you know, getting his name or any idea what he did.

* The kitchen was all stainless steel appliances, counter tops etc and was "serial killer clean"
** My father as 50 lb overweight, coming in to fix the linen closet and casually noting a bees nest in it along with the a solid arm (and voice) of someone named Myra.

Here is a map of it, too:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some older poetry

Been busy, so here is some older poetry (from 2004):

The universe is a balloon.

The universe is a balloon.
If we are lucky, it is a balloon animal.
Everything runs down. Entropy runs rampant.
The heat-death of the universe the final hot flash.
Watch the balloon. Breath, and it blows.
Let go, to fly where it may.
Created, it is already dying.
Set free, it may come back to Him, in worship.
And awe. And fear.
Who would create something that is dying
from the moment of its making?
Or does it have no worth, if it does not end,
is not let go to burn out and up and bright?
Perhaps. But analogy only takes us so far.

The universe was made by God, masturbating.
A lonely child in a bathroom scrawled with Enochian graffiti.
Each day a second, ripples of sperm falling into water.
The death and rebirth of the universe nothing
but a toilet flushing, water returning.
Over and over.
God never knew what He'd done.

And life? Spreading entropy far and wide,
energy burning up, trying to hold the death back
but no one can give and never take
and never hope for reward. And so
it is that life in the universe is nothing
more than a way to bring about the end.
Seven days creating? Ah! how long, then, to destroy?

The Suicide Boy

      For Goth Poetry Nite

They told us he came back
as a ghost, long after
Our class had gone out
to be devoured by the cruel world.

They hear him in the bathroom, sobbing:
saying no one loves him, no one

And he doesn't believe in God
or souls, and sobs insults
at people who offer experiential evidence
and show him a mirror.

Sometimes, Carrie style, a light bulb breaks
as he tries in vain to put his make up on,
hands floating through the too real world.

Monday, August 03, 2009

nanowrimo 2009

There were plans this year for it. I have forgotten what they were. (One of them turned into an abortive novel in several drafts.) What it shall be now is thanks to a prompt on a writing forum I'm a member of: YA fantasy dealing with separation & divorce. Which led me to think about Thomas The Rhymer, his missing seven years from the world and what that would do to his wife and kids left behind -- along with the fae child he fathers in his 3 nights in Elfland.

I don't know much about it yet -- I have no clue who the antagonist shall be (I'm half-certain there won't be one per se), but I have the cosmology done and 5 characters named in 2 days.

Janet & Thomas were easy, sine I lifted them from the poem. The demon girl Roh came about in the shower this morning and Pam, an older daughter of Janet's, popped into my head yesterday. Roh is odd, not a female name and simple, basic. Like demons in a lot of ways: she is one thing, a single note of a song. Pam can be short for Pamela and struck me as a very sensible name, which will be at odds with what she has done.

For the two male MCs, I knew one has to be Irish-ish (the fae) and be able to have a nickname. Thomas's son, no nickname and preferably English. Beyond that I went for the low end of the alphabet, random letters to start the names and emerged with Declan and Harris. Both work, so shall work on setting and plot at some point too...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

music meme

The challenge: Put your MP3 player thingy on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results.

And the result:

After the guns are silent
Where do we go from here;
When you're sad and when you're lonely?

I like a man who wears a lab coat when he works.
There are kids, lots of kids, who put the law inside a circle
Lost boys and golden girls.

Oh helen, you're a felon
All my books lay on the table

Angelina's got more kids:
He was just one more name in the story.

I'm hiding in the corner:
Sane men don't go mad all on their own -- oh no no.
What is evil? What is love?
We're the things that go bump in the night that you can't see.

If I could be a superhero
I sing the praise of honored wars of glory and of kings
Cultivate your hunger before you idealize.

Find me
I'm a man without a soul...Honey, yeah
If you're gonna get your heart broke, you better do it just right.