Creative Dispatch – August 14, 2017

Its like, news or something… but creative.

Apologies for the missed blog post last Thursday – the past seven days have been my first week on the path back to steadier income. I driving for Uber now, and I am learning the ropes while investigating a few other options. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive change so far. I like the work, I meet lots of new people, and they talk. I like to talk. When you meet new people and they like to talk, you learn about things you’d never have thought about before. I learned a couple things about recovering from addiction, what it’s like raising money for schools in West Africa, as well as the people in neighborhoods I’ve never been in before. I’ve also been drumming up a lot of old memories about places I haven’t been to in years. Then there’s the facet of a whole new way of employment – that in itself has a story brewing in my mind.

Speaking of which, let’s talk a little bit more about what’s been on my creative docket.

Creative Progress

  • Ossua: This has unfortunately stalled. I need to restructure it after reports back from my critique group. As is typical of a big idea, you need other people to show you the flaws in what you think is already concrete. It’s very much like the scientific method. In this case, if you’re going to do something extraordinary, you need to make sure you’re showing it in the best and most accessible way possible to others who do what you do. So… this could take a while. The story while interesting lacks some common things the group pointed out. So I have a lot of work ahead of me after I have figured out the way forward.
  • The Dream of the Nineties In Film: This has been a blast to write, and it’s coming to a conclusion soon. I think when it is complete, I will have the basics for a non-fiction piece that covers the nineties in film as well as my own personal experience of growing up in the decade. A lot of it has been cathartic. And a lot of it has simply been great fun. The completed work will need to be edited and then formatted (the whole format has been an evolution in progress since day one). I’ll need to add in some extra things – but that’s good. It will give new content and also show some growth hopefully. I’m not sure if it will be something I sell or provide as a portfolio piece for people who want to look at my blog writing capabilities or want an example of my ability to use InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Perhaps both on a long enough timeline.
  • New Short Story Seed: A gypsy cab driver with a slick, tech-capable ride in a cyberpunk future has an interesting night.
  • New Short Story Seed: Quantum Entanglement sheds new light on the very existence of life on earth as our sun begins to gutter out.
  • Short Story Mashups: I submitted a trunk story about societal collapse to my critique group against my better judgement last week. I liked the story when I wrote it two years ago, but when I look at it now I feel it needs something more. It turns out the group really liked it, and they noted that it dovetails with another story I submitted earlier. They’re completely right. It should have been really obvious to me, but it wasn’t. In the process, I’ve tagged at least two other stories that would also mash up to create a solid narrative. It needs more meat on the bones to become more than a novella, but it’d be worth the work as a great, Lovecraftian science horror piece. A new sticky joins my Kanban board.
  • Blog Work: I submitted an application to work for an online blogging company and also am speaking with a marketing company in Philadelphia after an interesting opportunity cropped up. Apparently, I may be able to put my storytelling ability to work for them. Hoping to learn a little more about that soon.

In Other News

I’ve been working on getting things done around the house. In addition to the usual stuff that keeps our house pest free and makes sure I don’t get arrested for public indecency, Project Retro has come out from its storage bin and awaits proper cabling. I have several of my old gaming systems lined up on a rack that was previously used to hold storage bins but has finally been cleared. I look forward to a chance to finally play Burning Rangers, as well as several of my old favorites like Xenogears or Sonic Adventures. They’ve been mothballed for a long time, so it’s good to see them out again. Once everything is set up, I shall have to celebrate with other gamers of the retro persuasion. I’m a little short on games (I’ve had to sell many) but 2nd and Charles is right around the corner.

On top of that, driving for Uber occasionally means waiting around to catch a ride. While waiting in the PHL ride share lot for the next person in queue, I had a chance to find a new author: Duane Swiercynski. Well, new to me. He has been working in crime and spy thrillers on the novel end of things for a while, and also writes a lot of capes and cowl work at Marvel. I started out with Severance Package, a tidy little story about an intelligence front company that goes incredibly pear shaped. It was Tarantino-esque in its over-the-topness. This has led me to acquire copies of further works, specifically The Blonde and Canary as well. If those go well, I may dig deeper in my quest to branch out a bit from Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror. I always felt that thriller genre stories needed more aliens, cyborgs, monsters, and ghosts. So to add them, knowing the original formulas helps. I’ve tried a little Hammett and Chandler in the past year or so. I also have some good examples in the Jonathan Maberry vein from the Joe Ledger series. The repertoire is building.

So, that’s the post for this Monday. It may take some time before I can really tackle the next phase of Dream. 1998 has a very long list of films to get to, but we’ll get there.

Promise.