Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why I should never read fiction when writing anything at all ...

“It can’t be like this,” I say, turning away.

“We’re only on the third page.”

“I know. But this story — this novel? — it feels too much like a book the author is reading, in tone if not in content. We can’t be allowed to exist.”

“But this isn’t that book. This was never that book. We existed before the author read that book!”

“Even so. This version of the story is starting to echo the novel he is reading. It is a matter of principle.”

“But I don’t want to die, brother.”

“We’ll exist. The story will find a new form. Some day.”

“I don’t. Want to die.”

“It is a matter of principle.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ah, revising novels...

It turned out I had considered re-writing Higher Ground briefly last year, to the tone of about 8 pages of notes on characters and the setting. Which apparently had involved changing the names of all the characters, a truly ridiculous amount of detail for the setting. Seriously, brain: what possibly use could notes on the education system of the Kingdom possibly have for a novel involving 2 brothers ending up on another world? And, alas, all the setting and character notes tossed out the baby with the bathwater, as it were.

I believe I was attempting a clean start to the novel by altering even the relationship between the brothers but one reader who had liked the first version intimated, half of why the novel worked was because of the idea of the younger brother rescuing the older. So I'm basically deleting all that as useless and building notes from the original idea, though I think I will not even attempt to include some things that didn't make even the original version of the story.

For example, I had notes on a 'species' called the Krisk, as follows:
"Krisk: What the coat hanger people call themselves, or perhaps the sound they make when parts of their body rub together. Their language is very hard for others to understand and since most people who meet them are more concerned with not being shredded and hung on various hangers little is known about them at all except that they’re very scary. "

... so, yeah, somehow I never did use that at all in the 2004 version. And won't in any other, for some reason.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mental Rummagings

I am no longer a fan of epic fantasy: reading bucketloads of it in high school turned me off of them, to the point that trying to read one about 7 years ago by an author I liked proved impossible. On the other hand, most everything I've written for the past few years has been set in the modern world, or at least a recognizable facsimile thereof. I am hoping to do sci-fi for nanowrimo this year, but sci-fi is just -- at heart -- extrapolating on the present.

The crappier the present, more dystopic (or, in reacting to all that, utopic) the sci-fi settings are for that period. The novel is set in the future, but it is also a meditation of privacy and cameras and a big-brother/ID tagging society, so the core of it is set in present worries and concerns. Fair enough: a novel without relevance isn't one anyone would want to read.

And yet it feels like a long-term rut, in a lot of ways, and I find my mind straying back to fantasy worlds that never-were and considering settings and character ideas for such a story again. Part of me wants to revise an old novel from 2004 about two brothers who end up on another world and whose goal is to get home, the one brother worried about rent and his car being towed because most 'travel to another world' novels tend to ignore issues like that and it royally bugged me. On the flip side, while the novel I write now would be a lot better I am not sure I'd be saying anything new to add to the concept. The other idea involves the stereotypical 'prince sets off on quest' from the POV of the prince's manservant wondering how the hell the King and Guard and so forth are letting this happen and would lead the prince and servant to realizing how little power the throne really has and such.

I may write one of those. I may not. Hell, I could end up doing one of them for nano given my brain. It would be a fun change at least.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We only have one word for sorry
But I don't think its enough.
You loved me once, perhaps as much
As I thought I loved you:
I saw the signs but can ignore
As well as I can see.

There is none so blind as the foolish ones
Who pluck out their own eyes.

I thought that love would see us through,
That faith would be enough.
Yours was weaker (or mine too deep):
You saw that it would end.

I’m jealous that you saw that truth,
I hate you for breaking us up.
Only now do I see that I always
Hated you as I loved you
In equal measure.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love Lost

I wait now, surrounded by silence,
Looking for the pause between breaths;
Desperate to understand, in words left behind
Or half spoken: silent gestures
My only clues.
I listen for the spaces that lie between
Saying and meaning, motion and confusion.

Perhaps you thought I replaced meaning with words
When I said I loved you.
I should have seen the hints in your hesitancy,
The recalled touch, that too long stare.

You told me I knew you better than anyone:
It was because of that I didn't see as deeply as I could.
Even though it’s now too late
I'm listening to you and not to love
Or who I thought you were.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Knives pound into the brain,
Needles stab into the heart:
You speak, and words rush out
Seeking their pound of flesh.

I reach for my own weapons --
Sarcasm, humour, wit:
Ripostes stabbing back into you,
I will your heart to bleed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Falling Into Another

The first word I pronounced was -- your name.
So frail a thing, seemingly too simple
To bridge the gaps it does, the loneliness.
I needed you as a friend, each smile warming me;
A welcome I have done so little to deserve.
I could pull myself together and say I love you
But those words are too easy to say
And mean too much to be said so casually.
In order to be able to fall into love
You must believe you are worth being loved.
I only know that I care for you
So much that it frightens me sometimes.
If love is willing to surrender to you, I am.
If love is finding someone who needs you
As much as you need them, I can.
If love means just being friends, I will.
I only know that every moment I spend alone
I wish I could share with you.
I only know that if this is what love is
I wish I’d met you long ago.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Love

Lips and hands meet
As we touch, bridging the gaps.
Words whisper lies, but hands speak truth.
You reach for me as I to you:
Darkness invaded by a touch, a caress.
In the shadows no one is false.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Their hands grope within darkness
As shadows conceal;
Faces burn with quiet shame
As passions congeal.

Hands reach slowly for the light,
Bodies hide away --
Fear shatters the twinned embrace
As light brings forth day.

Walls rise between shared feelings
-- Two bitter smiles then --
Eyes saying what words dare not:
"We will meet again."

Saturday, September 08, 2012


I was digging through files and found a series of poems on love and loss written in 2000-2001. With one exception (the last) they weren't intended as a series or done in order. Presenting them without editing or comment.

Our friendship can survive the test of years
By only asking of it what I'll give.
Make no promises and none can be broken.
Only give what you would receive,
Ask nothing you doubt I'd give you.

If no one tries to scale or break them,
We can ignore the walls.
If you don't try to climb over them
And I guard my speech with gilded tongue,
None will trespass -- if we don’t look
For each others weaknesses and flaws
We can force ourselves to pretend.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This. So much this...:

Writing requires discipline, but disciplined writers are not necessarily prolific. Most good work gets produced over time, sometimes many years, allowing the writer to grow with the material, to allow his world, his command over craft, and his psychological maturity to coalesce at just the right moment to produce something of value. This process often involves dreadful periods of not writing, or, worse, periods of writing very badly, embarrassingly badly. As time passes in a writing life, the writer learns not to fear these arid periods. The words come back eventually. That's the real discipline: to train the mind and heart into believing that words come back. 
Be willing to wait. In the meantime, write when you don't feel like it. If you can't write, read.
- Monica Wood, "The Pocket Muse"
Good for entire weeks in which nothing moves and prose feels dead on the page. Like a whole long weekend on one attempted story that only died each time I tried to work on it.

facebook & google+ status updates part XV (August 2012)

"I used to have so much wisdom."
"Then you got married?"
"No. Then I had to cite my sources. Damn the internet."

Everyone pretended not to notice when the stunt doubles killed them and replaced them; they did their own acts and were cheaper than the actors had been.

Imagine a world where superheroes just do children's parties and nothing else ...

"Perfection is only something to flee from, ever and always: it is the most terrible lie in the entire world."

He laughs. "The thing is, we never do the right thing when we're afraid. And religion is all about fear."

The Detective was fired for the final time when Google finally made the police redundant.

People going around in mime outfits because the know the secret truth of words. Having freed their thoughts, they paint their faces like checkerboards to be free of colour: the secret rulers of the unseen worlds.

Saying you don't love me
Is a lot of things, but not
a 404 error.

Putin: Russian poutine, with is poutine made without curd.

CSI Survivor: every cast member of every series, one island. Every member voted off becoming a mysterious death for the others to solve.

"You have to hate to change; if you don't hate your life enough you'll never find the will to change it."

"Imagine what this world'd be like if it was the best of all possible worlds. Imagine it was perfect."
"That's nothing, man. You wanna be scared? Imagine it's perfect already."

"People are set in their ways; we must unsettle them."
"But a mousse that doesn't set isn't any good at all."
"You have your metaphor, I have mine."

They said: "Jesus died for your sins!"
And I said: "Hey! Haven't you ever heard of spoilers? Way to ruin it, jerk."

Little known facts about Buddha:
* He uses the 'fat Buddha' statues as the before pictures in publicity photos.
* Buddha made sure history would remember he had blue eyes so artists wouldn't draw him in clothing that clashed with them.
* He has started a new-age religion called 'I Can't Believe It's Not Buddha'.
* Had he known of it, chocolate would have been the fifth Noble Truth.

What I learned the hard way: I discovered time travel solely so I could go back and troll myself.

Live long enough and you run out of things to hate.

He wrote something sweet and saccharine, desperate for people to love it, only to realize he could never beat Family Circus in how people prefer sweetness to truth.

"You know all that spam you get? Some if it even seems clever, and here's the reason: failed writers. All of them. They tried, and couldn't, so now they write all the spam messages the world sees."

Consider this a very witty post.

Presenting ... the Soul-Eater Diet Plan! No calories at all since it doesn't exist! (A soul, that is, not calories. Those are real. Too real.)

I opened a novel I'm working on solely to change the candy a character eats from M&Ms to Smarties as it made for better symbolism.

"Hello," he lied, rough music in his voice.

My prediction for the Hobbit movie:
They'll change the dwaves names, to make them accessible to the modern audience: Sleepy, Grumpy, Bashful ....

Novel idea:
The Hardy Boys and the Case of the Yellow Sign

"All you have to offer is your bitterness: why would I want that? Do you enjoy believing yourself to be helpless?"

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Rogue Dreams Glossary

Glossary of Terms
No man means all he says, yet few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is vicious.
- Henry Adams
Common term for Artificial General Intelligence; none exist any longer.
A class of people who can modify generic AutoMake outputs into novel designs.
Autmatic Makers, nanotech devices that create basic clothing and food at need; businesses have specialized ones.
having cybernetic body parts.
Like a MedDoc, these are basic programs that can analyze simple problems and issues with a pleasing visual interface.
Global one set as 6 months/year, with 6 day weeks and 60 days in a month. Holidays exist at the ends of each month as needed.
The Census Network, a government body.
Term for one of the 1000 cities that exist in the world. Each boasts a population of ~10 million.
The people artists steal from. Original designers, often programmers of Makers as well.
Lowest-order of citizens, compromised of ne'er-do-wells and prisoners along with clones. They monitor the global camera system and examine specific citizens 24/7 or situations System flags as suspicion to see if they are actually suspicious.
'Cities' that exist under the City-States in the ruins they are built on top of. Population and amounts are largely guesswork.
Any citizen elected for government office in a City-State.
Terrorists who try to alter System.
The people who fix and repair things; work for WorldGov and make sure the world functions.
Slang term for AutoMake.
Any body-modification, from altered skin tone, different eyes or movable tattoos.
the magnetic train system used for almost all travel in and between City-States.
A government organization.
WorldGov army, exists to defend the moon base, mars and earth from possible alien attacks.
machines inside the body. Intelligent ones are highly illegal.
Police officers; they often respond to Watcher notes about crimes and investigate problems in person.
WorldGov career politicians, often with short actual careers. Social science fits into this along with diplomacy.
Those who program System; often City-State level workers designed to make System operate at maximum efficiency within their City.
Catch-all term for the people who design all the tech that keeps the world working.
Civil servants, employees of WorldGov.
Short for System, aka the internet
Prolonged use of the internet via virtual inteface.
The global computer network.
Virtual-Education, the education software that teaches everyone how to be human.
low-ranking job; assigned to watch Drones and decide is incidents Drones have flagged are worthy of police attention.
Slang term for any generic citizen holding a job.
The global governing body. Consists of Politicians, Police, Scientists, Military and Maintenance.

* Both these terms see very wide use and consequently tend to be confused and misused.