Writing . . . I be gots a few thought.
Now a couple of months out from my Viable Paradise experience, I’m still focused on my writing. I probably should not have done NaNoWriMo this year and concentrated on selling stuff I have, but I had the writing bug. I need to rest this year’s novel for a while longer as I’m in the middle of editing last year’s NaNoWriMo. That’s the novel I will send out with my search for an agent.
Like everything else I do that’s writing-related, my expectations are fairly low, but nothing happens if one does not at least try. My other focus will be cleaning up and sending out the four short stories I wrote in September.
I also came to a realization regarding critiques and feedback. I need to find readers who have no aspirations of writing. Them be difficult to find (I’m lucky in that regard as most of my few readers are not aspiring writers, but it would be nice if I could find a few more). Not to disparage other writers, but my belief is that most writers often can’t “just read” a story.
Mind you, I’m a writer, but when I read I try to read as a non-writer. That means I’m not consciously rating craft, just the story. For instance, when I read books by famous writers, I’m not analyzing what they did. I’m just enjoying the story. Were I to review a book, I would review it the same way I review a movie. Meaning, I’m not specifically conscious of the cinematography, lighting, and acting. Sure, those form the background, but I’m focused on the story and action. That’s what matters in a movie for me, and that’s what — again, for me — matters in a book.
The feedback I got from the instructors at VP was minimal, and taking it all at face value, it told me two things . . . keep writing and submit, submit, submit.
Speaking of writing, I mentioned before that I had submitted two pieces to the Writer Unboxed monthly contest. I also predicted I was not going to win. This is not a defeatist attitude on my part; I’ve followed the contest, and I never agreed the chosen monthly winning stories were the best of the lot (even excluding my own amazing work). That tells me the judges operate at a much higher level than I do; so high that I can’t hope to comprehend the reasons for their choices.
It stands to reason, then, that since I write what I like, what I write will never be in the winning wheelhouse.
I had stopped submitting and would not have submitted were it not for this:
You see, the Viable Paradise XIX class fell into two camps. One, the Unicorn Lovers, maintains Unicorns are gentle and magical creatures. The other camp, the one I fall into, maintains they are vicious, filthy beasts that should be hunted down.
After some fun banter, the above graphic was sent to me by one of them there Unicorn Lovers. It was a threat, you see. She threatened to send these tough guys around when I mentioned my intention of opening up a Unicorn Glue factory.
I responded with this graphic and ad.
Disperser Industries have secured a steady supply of exceptionally strong Unicorns and is now looking for investors interested in fast and dramatic profit opportunities.
Secure a silent partnership or become a co-owner by contributing to the expansion of our processing facilities located at [REDACTED].
By investing now, you are automatically guaranteed a share of the profits from our proposed line of genuine Unicorn Horn accessories (keychains, cufflinks, neckwear, earrings, and our limited run of bracelets made from only the choicest horns).
Please send checks to [REDACTED]. No Bitcoins accepted (I may believe in Unicorns, but I’m not completely crazy).
It only seemed fit, then, that I should respond to the WU contest’s photo prompt with a couple of Unicorn Stories.
This was the photo prompt for the contest . . .
Here is the first of two submission (250 words maximum):
Copyright 2015, E. J. D’alise
The investment opportunity was unique and lucrative. Still, I was concerned about the supply chain.
“How do you score Blue Unicorn blood? They are impossible to hunt, and even harder to bring down,” I asked holding up the glass of multicolored and swirling elixir.
” I advertise,” he said, “and they come here to stop me.”
“Are you nuts? People don’t take kindly to Unicorn Hunters. They don’t know Unicorns are evil bastards. All they see are the rainbows.”
“Relax,” Stephen said, “I only advertise to Fantasy writers and at writing conventions as a writing aid.”
“Oh, smart . . . but, how do you bring them down?” I asked.
“Easy,” Stephen answered. “Blue Unicorns come here to take me out, and I drain them before they can do anything.”
“What do you mean? How do you drain a Blue Unicorn?”
“I got the idea watching Firefly. Did you know, a full-grown unicorn can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems?
“It’s dangerous, but I let them chase me down that hallway. It progressively narrows, and they get stuck. I then use a hollowed Unicorn horn attached to a hose and a small block V8 for suction, and voila’, drained unicorn.”
I looked at the glass of elixir. Convinced, I handed over my seed money and raised the glass.
“To healthy profits,” I toasted.
As a full partner, I got a free glass a week and as much Blue Unicorn glue as I wanted.
~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~
Here is the second submission (250 words maximum):
Cure for Writer’s Block
Copyright 2015, E. J. D’alise
Gina knocked on the door, then looked around. No one else was in the alley.
An eye-level slider opened and Gina saw the most beautiful dark eyes she had ever seen.
“Yes?” the man asked.
“Carla sent me,” Gina answered.
The slide closed and Gina heard the sound of bolts being unlocked. The door opened and Gina stepped over the threshold, into the darkness. She heard the door slam shut behind her, and only then did the lights switch on. The silver lights, few and poorly spaced, gave the room a spectral appearance.
The man was suddenly in front of Gina, holding up a glass filled with a multicolor swirling liquid.
“Two-hundred-fifty dollars per glass,” he said.
“How . . . how do I know it’s the real thing?”
The man lost his smile and put the glass down. He motioned for Gina to follow him. They negotiated the turns of a shadowy hallway, the silver light guiding them. He stopped at a glass panel and pointed to the other side.
Gina looked through the glass at the Blue Unicorns locked in individual stalls. They seemed fierce, strong. One snorted and the steam from its nostrils resembled smoke, dissipating slowly as it rose.
Gina nodded, and the man produced another glass.
“This will help me write, yes?” She asked as she grabbed the cash from her purse.
“Yes,” he answered.
Handing over the money, Gina grabbed the glass and gulped the liquid down. Unicorn urine tasted surprisingly sweet.
~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~
The next post will contain Chapter 20 of the 2015 NaNoWriMo work-in-progress and it will go up immediately after this post goes live. As I said, it’s password protected.
Please, don’t just ask for a password just to make me feel good. Unless you intend to read it, don’t ask. I will not feel hurt, I will not cry myself to sleep, I will not hate anyone who chooses not to read my effort. I will, however, get a little miffed if I get asked for passwords by a bunch of people and then only my usual four or five readers actually read the stuff.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would mean something to me.
If you wish to know more, please read below.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.