Summer Break

I will be posting nothing for the next two months. Instead, I am happy to announce that four projects will be semi-completed:

I. [Boxed Up Visions]

“[Boxed Up Visions]” is a collection of thirteen short stories I wrote from ages fifteen to sixteen. I admire them fondly, but not for their quality. They are the best I could do at those ages. I left one in “Do Comedies End with Weddings? No! They End with Steve Buscemi.” as a joke. It was written as a comedy and, darn it all, it is funny. But it is so, so bad. I am more proud of others, like “Your Room, Our Womb” and “The Same Fire That Keeps Us Alive”. That, in my opinion, is the best of the bunch. There is one from the perspective of a five year old who stays hiding in a cave, “A Secret Place,” but it is only a mild success. My earlier short stories relied heavily on metaphor, repeated phrases, obscurity, and vivid but vague mental images. There are two stories written by a guest author, the Mighty Talon of Ashurbibi. He has since fallen asleep.

[Boxed Up Visions] is more of a farewell than anything else. Goodbye, visions.

The front cover, I hope, will be the image of a man in a blue suit with a brown tie. His head is a white cube.

II. Day by Day I; falling, dying, rising 

“Day by Day I” is a collection of multiple essays and book-ended by two poems (never before released!!! WOW!). Many of them have been on the blog, but many of them have also not been read. And that is a shame, quite frankly, because I love a lot of these. I wrote some of them when I was fifteen-sixteen (The Age of Metaphor, Progressive Rock Influence, and Existential Angst), but those will be brought up to speed with a more modern seventeen-eighteen edit (The Age of Proverbial Prose and Setting). Unlike [Boxed Up Visions], it has no table of contents. It follows a linear path from satiric and pagan romance (exemplified in the only poem I ever wrote in fifteen-sixteen that was good), to the search for satisfaction and community, to contentment and devotion in the midst of suffering (seen in the only poem that I ever wrote in seventeen-eighteen, called “Before Sleep”).

In many ways, “Day by Day I” is a discussion between Man, his fictional wife, and God. The Man and his wife spend the entire day in bed, waking, reminiscing, thinking, discussing, wondering, and finally falling asleep.

I take “Day by Day I” seriously, but not too seriously. If I did, I would leave too much room for myself. It needs two light revisions before the linear theme is clear, but I like how it looks.

The front cover, I hope, will be the image of a dark sun (the moon, maybe?) on the lower left corner and a bright vegetable sun in the top right corner. Also, if I haven’t mentioned it, all books will have no titles on the front. Only the images. And the books will be pure white.

These are home-brewed things and I am having fun. I can do whatever I want.

III. Spring; The Cycle is Ending

     Oh, Spring! I am not sure what to even do or think about this monster. It exists, but I need finish birthing it. It is a mammoth and uncomfortable mess. It looks in the mirror and gets confused. The main character, Abraham Whitely, does that often. Sometimes he looks in the mirror and tries to make himself cry. He is an emotional guy, but he has been through a lot. As a little kid, he was haunted by a host of demons and some talk-less girl.

And I didn’t even mention the amount of women he has been with! I should just go ahead and call him “Israel”.

“Spring” is my first and – currently – only novel. It is what got me interested in writing in the first place. It scares me. I keep it far enough from me, so I can laugh at it. I keep it close enough to me, so I can pet it. It is…

Ah, well, to be honest it is not finished yet. I am going to do that this Summer, the second draft anyway. It only has four chapters, but they vary drastically in size. The sizes are based on word counts, but I am just too shy to share that with you now. Let it be said, it is novel length but it is not Ulysses length. Okay? Okay.

The four chapters are the four seasons; Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. I have capitalized seasons in my writing ever since.

“Spring”, in many ways, has influenced me. I started it as a personal challenge and I figured that I would not finish it. Well, the finish line is almost in sight. I vividly remember all the occasions when I wrote the separate parts. There is his vision of the crow, then the talk-less girl at the playground. There is the scene of his parents telling him that the whole family is going on vacation. There is the birth scene – which has been revised about fifteen times and it is only two paragraphs long. There is the scene when he is in California, at the toll booth, telling his parents what he had done. He also gets evicted. Adrasta leaves him (I need to change that name, seriously. I am not sure what I was thinking. I told myself that she is Greek, but that makes no sense, because Adrasta is a Middle Eastern demon). He finds the other girl who eats him alive (essentially). He remarks on his love of old things. He tries to save his Mom from hundreds of miles away.

And, suddenly, the perspective breaks apart. God has something to say in the matter and so does his father, his mother, and his future wife, Lucy (I seriously need to change that name, too. Who am I, Charles Dickens?).

The longest chapter – by far – is Summer. It is nearly one half of the book. That chapter is finished and so is Fall. I have started on Winter, but it is turbulent waters. Spring frightens me, but I take hope in the old journal-entry trick. You will see.

The front cover, I hope, will be the image of one cherry blossom tree.

IV. Neat Fiction

“Neat Fiction” is a collection of short stories. While “[Boxed Up Visions]” is from fifteen-sixteen, “Neat fiction” is from seventeen-eighteen. Not only do I like the stories better, the stories are better that I like. There will be more of them, some will be longer, some shorter. Some are finished, some are unfinished. They are wilder, shakier, solid…er. Here are some titles:

“Warn Them to Live and Dance into the Darkest Night”

“Fly, Timmy, Fly!”

“Hess Lewis”

“Aster and the Diamond Ruff”

“Rejoice, o Manly Queen!”

“The Epic of a Child’s Mess”

The collection was founded on the loose idea that advertisements are the most vivacious art form of our age. It is the Age of Adz. The way I figured it was that our lives need their own commercial breaks – so turn on a short story!

The front cover, I hope, will be of a 50’s brown television with three tan oblong legs, a gold lining, and a bubble screen with the faces of old men tearing out of it.

_____

After all of this, I will begin work on “Caught in the Whirlwind” (yes!) and finish work on the “Reformed Monastic Rule”. These are both uncharted territory, but I am thrilled out of my mind to finish Spring and Neat Fiction and begin on the next projects.

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