Monday, March 23, 2015

A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

My daughter is due to be born any day now, so I'm actually writing this some time in advance, just in case. I've actually written quite a few of next month's actual posts already, too, as I suspect I'm going to be pretty busy for the next little while.

So what could possibly be so important to talk about that I had to make sure I got this theme in ahead of my child's birth? Sweet f*ck all, honestly. I'm going to introduce, over the course of 26 days in April (minus Sundays, of course, cause God told us to play video games on Sunday... I think, I admit it's been awhile since I've been to Sunday school), 26 amazing, incredible characters that will mean absolutely nothing to you.

That's right! My 2015 A-to-Z Blog Challenge theme is...


I'm not talking about amazing historical figures that got left out of the textbooks, or interesting fictional characters from little-known books that you should have read. Oh no, these are 26 characters from my own unpublished stories, so that's why there's no way in hell you have ever heard of any of them. There's no way you could have heard of them, unless you're creeping around in my basement when I'm not home.

You see, I've written about this before, but there's a closet under the stairs in my house (usually written as The Closet) that is stuffed with boxes of manuscripts and scribbled story ideas that I've been working on for some 20 years. Some are printed, some are scrawled by hand, some are stored on digital media for which I no longer have drives to read. In many cases there are multiple, slightly different copies. All of them are covered with dust and cat hair (I share The Closet with our cat, you see). Over the past year I've been taking a few of them out, dusting them off, fiddling with them here and there, hoping quietly that one day - soon - I'll get around to self-publishing these things digitally so the world can read them (or not, most likely not).

I went through a phase in my early twenties when I tried to get a few stories and novels published by legitimate publishers. All I have to show for that is another box in The Closet stuffed with rejection letters. I don't necessarily thing my writing was bad, but I know I still had a lot to learn and perhaps I didn't choose the right places to contact at the right time. I don't want to go through that again right now, which is why I'm going to try the self-publishing route.

Why am I telling you about characters that haven't appeared yet in print? Maybe I'm hoping you'll see something you like, so you'll pick up a story or a book when it (eventually) becomes available. Maybe I'm just tired of sitting on all these ideas, and want to get them out there so a few people (and I assume very few) will actually see them and I won't be alone in The Closet anymore.

It's dusty in here. And lonely. And I'm really, really allergic to cat hair.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Moonshot by Brian Floca (or Why the Moon Landing Makes Me Sad)

"High above
there is the Moon,
cold and quiet,
no air, no life,
but glowing in the sky."
- Brian Floca, Moonshot

This morning I read my son "Moonshot" by Brian Floca and I found myself strangely choked up by it. It's not the first time I've gotten emotional over a children's book, but usually it's because of something like Robert Munsch's "Love You Forever" or creepy-ass-looking Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" - you know, really sappy, heavy-handed stuff that manipulates you into the feels. But "Moonshot" hit me in a different place, a primordial, instinctive place that was stirred by the inexorable and resourceful power of the human spirit. Or maybe I was just really tired, since my son had awakened me up at quarter past five.

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