I am stealing some time this week to work some on the second draft. The Second draft is like the image above, to me. I have the raw material. Now it's time to carve, carve, carve.
The excerpt below is from deep in the work. 1945. Heavy sci-fi. If you are just jumping in, I am sure that you will have a lot of questions. And that is a good thing.
I will post up an article next week.
Also, I love feedback and have armor-thick skin. If you see ever see anything odd or awful in anything I write, pointing it out is both welcome and appreciated.
Amuse-toi, mon bon ami!
“We write while sleepwalking and revise when awake.”
― Marty Rubin
5.5 The Secret Shack
“I can’t do it!”
“Ok, ok, relax yeah? Let’s take a break.”
I am seated on a mahogany chair with a red velvet cushion, Moms’ vessel-egg-stone-thing in my lap. I open my eyes to an approaching flock of clouds, little puffy things: I am going to say altocumulus or altostratus. We would have to be about 15,000 feet up. It is a brilliant day, but the sky has a rusty red hue to it.
The captain’s quarters, my quarters, is lined with ribbon windows on two sides, angled out towards the ground below. The two window walls arc to a point at the bow of the craft. The furnishings are all luxurious: tables and millwork of thick wooden slabs, intricate embroideries, the plushest bed I have ever slept in, where Trib is currently curled up asleep.
Tuesdai said she couldn’t sleep in the same room as “that lunatic”, said she was a “below deck sort of girl, anyway”. She insisted on bunking with the crew and pleaded with me to go with her. But I have work to do, work that requires the assistance of a lunatic.
Behind me, Ocho paces. “So, you just need to tap in to your hate, you know? Your anger. Your Moms has already done the hard part for you. She made that vessel one of the most powerful numenistic batteries I have ever seen: enough to seed a city. You just need to taint it, yeah?” I hear him rummaging at remnants of food on the table, clinking china and silver.
“It’s like it’s pushing back against me.”
“Well, she was a good woman, that’s for sure. That egg don’t want to be poisoned, ya know? Don’t worry. Psyence is trial and error. Everyone discounts the error part. But it’s the more valuable portion – discovery is 90% error, and the other 10% is happy accident. Trust me. If we fail, we fail forward, yes? We simply try again. Find your hate, Little Scintilla.”
“And I can’t hear!” I stand up and stomp the floor. “All of those men downstairs – they’re not like the other Raydebites – Raydebaians? – whatever. I hear their thoughts loud and clear, all the time. All talking at once.”
Ocho looks at me with a look I can’t identify. He is still silent to me, hidden under that skullcap. If I didn’t know better, I would say it’s admiration – but the kind of admiration a boy has for a fantastic new toy. He asks me a question with a mouth full of sandwich, “Do you know why hexes are illegal, Little Si?”
“Rubs the Veil thin, like you said – throws the Balance off for the worse.”
“Yeahyeahyeah, that’s right. But not just that. You see – if you shoot a man, he’s hurt, or he dies.” Ocho stabs a meatball. “His family and loved ones hurt. Everyone cries. It’s a tragedy, yeah? The little soldier is gone.” Ocho flicks the ball onto a nearby divan, where its grease smears the velvet. “But then his babies grow up healthy and strong, and maybe have a good life, make more pretty babies. Life goes on. But!” Ocho picks a gravy boat up, “You put a vexy sexy hex on a man – you open the Veil, misfortune pours over him like this gravy.” Ocho pours the gravy onto a stack of saucers. “All that bad juujuu covers the poor boy up. But then . . .” The gravy fills the first saucer, and then slowly spills over onto the one below it beneath, then onto the one beneath that. “All that badness runs over onto his loved ones, his children, his children’s children. It’s an injury that keeps on and on, a cancer of the soul. Crops dry up, luck changes, life gets bad and keeps on bad, even for Folk who never did anything wrong to begin with.”
I mumble, “Sounds like Los Portales.”
Ocho smears the gravy into the table cloth and suck his finger clean, “Well, entire cities can get sick.”
“For how long?”
“Well, I guess that depends on how strong the curse is. But I’ll tell you this – if that Veil were to ever get so thin that it tore, that badness could just keep flowing through forever, like a waterhose.” He turns the large gravy boat completely upside down and the gravy pools across half the table.
Something makes me want to change the subject.
“I think the stone is stronger now than it was back in that underground court.”
“Hmm, makes sense.” Ocho takes another bite of his sandwich and sprays crumbs as he talks. “It’s not being constantly wick’d. It could very well be stronger.”
“Once we get to the Psyentists, how are we going to get in?”
Ocho points at the egg, “We have something they need. You just need to be . . . prepared.”
I slide the egg into my Gladbag and grab a coat. “I need to go clear my head.” Trib mewls sleepily when I pick her up and cram her into my coat.
I pull the heavy, inlaid door open with both hands. Ocho leans out after me. “While your out, can you have someone send some more pork?” He scratches his leather skullcap, and then disappears back into the quarters.
I pause and, through the door, hear Ocho talking to one of the voices in his head, “Ocho to Ay-Oh, requesting connection. Yes, yes. . . we’re very close, very close.”
At what age are you required to become either crazy or cruel?
I pass through the Dining Hall – twelve high-backed wooden seats around a table fit for a king. The floor is tiled with some richly-veined stone, which I suspect came from the same mountain that the dirigible was cut from. It matches the live stone overhead – the smooth underbelly of the mountain cap. The vestibule beyond has a spiral stair to the lower deck. I dread going below, where the small army of Raydebah’s most threatening men work, but it is my only path.
I descend. To the front of our craft is the bridge, a busy room just below my chamber, filled with piloting equipment and a great steering wheel like something from an old pirate story. I move towards the rear. Conversation goes immediately silent when I enter the Mess Hall, but I ignore this. I can feel their apprehension. They are oath-bound to serve me, even to die for me. But this doesn’t mean that they have to trust or like me.
I wonder if I could push one these men to throw himself from a window.
Beyond this are the bunks, a tiny shower, a restroom that the men call “the head”. I thread the tight corridors. Men step aside for me. To pass, we have to squeeze so tight that we touch. They are all “fight or flight” as I slide by.
An engineer stops me when I reach the engine room. “Restricted,” he tells me bluntly.
“The People need to pass,” I say.
“Authorized personnel only.”
We go back and forth like this for a while, before Thurlow Weed appears.
Ever since I pushed him – I don’t know – it feels like we have a bit of a connection. I found a bridge-thought with him. Also he is also utterly devoted to Tycho. He knows that I am a Taproot, so that devotion spills over on to me.
He has developed a habit of showing up just when I need him.
His bear form ducks through an open door hatch and the engineer launches into an unsolicited defense: “Engine room’s no place for,” he looks me up and down, searching for a polite word, “civilians.”
Thurlowe says nothing, but puts a meaty hand on the engineer’s chest, and gently pushes him out of my way. He looks down at me and swings the steel door aside.
The engine room is a chugging, sooty sauna. No windows here. Only catwalks and boilers, and horse-tall pistons, churning tirelessly.
I hustle through the length of the room. I don’t need any more encounters.
Three-quarters of the way down, I cut left at a bin full of black ingots. The narrow metal walk ends at a ladder that leads up into a shadowed shaft. I climb into the blackness, where no one can find me. Up and up I go, until the diffuse light from below squelches out completely. I have to pause to catch my breath. I can feel my bangs slick to my forehead. The heat of the engine room has made this shaft a chimney.
I begin again, and eventually reach the top. It is pitch black, almost too hot to breathe. The sound of my own breath comes back to me from the stone walls. Trib is writhing inside my coat and almost about to escape. I feel for the wheel that I know will be overhead, and crank it.
I fling the hatch open and dazzling light and frigid cold blast into the shaft.
I climb out, stand, and take a deep lung full of the brisk air.
I am on top of the mountain.
Trib drops to the ground and alerts at the new environment to explore.
I slide on the aviator goggles that Thurlowe provided me with a week ago. The light is blinding across the white stone landscape.
The mountaintop is not so steep that it can’t be walked; its jags are not too terribly sharp. Small pines dot the face and there is a fair a good amount of undergrowth. But mostly the cap is bare: just creamy, white feldspar. It is still and calm and chilly. This could be any mountain outside of Greenwell. This could be Graever’s Peak.
I walk to the edge, lay on my belly and peek over.
My stomach immediately drops.
The earth is terrifyingly far beneath me. We are over a desert, with great rock outcroppings: I think they are called “statues”. The statues have flat mesas on top, and they cast deep black shadows on the red dust. They fly past with surprising speed, and I realize just how fast we are really moving.
In the distance I hear the Heart of Odessa’s propellers carving through the stratosphere.
I roll over and carefully climb to my feet. “That’s enough of that then, Trib.”
I start my trek up the hill and Trib scouts ahead. We climb for a good while. I get winded at this height, and have to pause. My breath comes out in plumes of cold. The tip of my nose goes numb. Trib rocks on her haunches and then darts off after some prey in the undergrowth.
I look up and see the hint of a rusted tin roof just beyond the next little ridge. Almost there.
I push up the incline. I top the ridge and find what I have come for: A tiny, shoddy shack, nestled into a halfway flat bowl. The shack is made of salvaged boards. I can still make out the remnants of a brand on some of the planks. It has a decrepit little fence around the remnants of a small garden. Not much grows here now, just a couple of volunteer tomato plants and scrub brush. I step through a fallen in portion of the short fence.
“Waddya think?” I ask my companion. But Trib has captured a vole or chipmunk, and is gnawing his quarry.
When I open the door to the shack, a column of sunshine comes in behind me. Motes of dust swim in the light. The home is bare: it contains exactly everything that is needed and not one thing more. A pot, a pan and a ladle hang on the wall opposite me. A black, pot-bellied stove squats in one corner, its door open to reveal long-cold ash within. A Carpenter’s Way book is the only literature to be found. It sits in the chair beside the bed where the mummified lady lays.
The woman’s blouse is plain – not one adornment, but is simple, colorless cotton. Her long skirt is denim. But her skin is black-brown leather, pulled gaunt over her bones. Her mouth gapes open as if in the middle of an unflattering snore.
Trib, her meal complete, comes in, leaps to the washing bowl table, and commences to lapping the blood from her muzzle and paws.
“I miss her,” I say to Trib. My icy breath reveals small sunbeams that sneak in through gaps in the wall.
I take off a glove, take out the vessel stone and hold it to the light. It glows translucent; veins swirl within like a cat’s eye marble. Steam rises from my sweaty hot hand, curls up the face of the egg. I climb in bed next to the old mountain maid, and put the vessel stone between us. I pull a quilt over her and lay my arm over that. I snuggle close. Under the covers, one could almost mistake the maid for a sleeping person.
It’s quiet here.
“Hey Trib, I think I can find my hate now.”
Meet your new Hermione for the upcoming stage play of Harry Patter and the Cursed Child, Noma Dumezweni. Noma was born the same year I was, 1969, in Swaziland, and has won the Olivier award for her 2005 performance of Rasin in the Son.
When the perennial haters emerged from the woodwork, J. K. Rowling acknowledeged that "idiots were going to idiot".  (I personally love the word "idiot" as a verb!) She defended and praised the casting of a black woman as Hermione, citing that the character's race was never specified.
The bigger controversy may lie in the casting of Paul Thronsley as Ron Weasley. Paul is conspicuously a non-Ginger, and lacks his character's well documented red hair.
 JK Rowling tells of anger at attacks on casting of Black Hermione, The Guardian. Rebecca Radcliffe, June 5, 2016
Self-publishing is fundamentally changing the landscape of publishing. Similar to the iTune revolution of the early 2000's, the digital delivery of written content is changing the entire culture of publishing. Writers are no longer beholden to the Big Five publishing houses any longer. There has been, what I call, a great "democratization" of the writing industry. Writers can connect directly with their niche fan bases.What used to be considered a second-rate market is now viewed as a legitimate platform for legitimate authors.
In a somewhat bizarre reverse evolution, Amazon is expanding its market from its digital origins to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This has set off a bit of a turf war with Barnes & Noble. Their response is to offer shelf space to self-published authors. Authors are required to have sold at least 500 units, but are then allowed to participate in "analog" sales and in-store events. 500 units does not sound like an unachievable goal to me. I can easily envision a fledgling author hitting this number, even with a first book, and then getting possible access to shelves.
Check the full article, here: http://www.bookbusinessmag.com/post/interesting-twist-bn-sell-self-published-books/
What do you think? Is this another avenue for writers to get their work out to the masses? Or is this just another scheme for retailers to squeeze the little guy? What are the ramifications of this move?
In All Things Mysterious . . .
(or A Tale of Two Forces)
I found something in the trunk of an abandoned VW Beetle once that change my life, changed me, forever. It was summer break 1978; I must have been in 3rd grade, and the VW was one of those kind with the trunk in the front.
This was the same year that I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time. Leaving that movie, let’s just say, I had some questions. I was comforted by the fact that the adults with me had the same questions:
What the hell was that monolith thing? And what was that acid-trip ending supposed to mean?
We know that the monolith came from some unknown, far superior alien race, and that it is the instrument of our enlightenment. We know that it triggered childhood’s end for humanity. But other than that, what do we really know about the monolith, other than “My god, it’s full of stars”?
Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick didn’t hold the audience’s hand. (Which is another article for another time.) They knew what Howard Philips Lovecraft knew:
In all things mysterious, never explain.
The monolith is, by its very nature, an object of impenetrable mystery. Its technology and purpose are so far beyond us that we lack the vocabulary to grasp it. In the words of the 12th century hymn, “What language shall I borrow?” If Cark and Kubrick were to pull back the curtain, and try to show us the machinations behind the thing, it would immediately lose all of its wonder for us.
And Lovecraft, of course, used this method in his own writing. The name “Cthulhu” itself, is a guttural approximation of the cosmic entity’s real name, a word so primal and feral that it is beyond our pronunciation. Cthulhu himself is illustrated as a fearsome being, many stories tall, and so terrifying that his mere appearance drives men mad and blanches their hair white. But what exactly is Cthulhu? We are never really told. He is some ancient expression of the universe itself. But as to the particulars of his nature and why primitive cults still call to him, H. P. never tells us. How could he?
And so Cthulhu remains mysterious.
Well, don’t explain too much, anyway.
Still don’t believe me? Well, let’s have a case study, shall we? Let’s return to the time of my boyhood where I began this article. Folks were rocking the sidewalks with feathered hair and denim vests. And a lot of folks sported t-shirts or buttons with a cryptic slogan: “May the Force be with you.” It was a sort of password, an inside code. “Are you experienced?” There were folks on the inside, and those who didn’t yet know.
Can you imagine now a time before Star Wars, a time when there was a living human who was unfamiliar with the Force? Can you remember the first time you saw New Hope, what the idea of the Force meant to you then? The entire movie hinged on it! The destruction of the Death Star and the liberation of the galaxy all came down to a simple, incredible leap of faith for the hero to turn off his visor and “Use the Force”.
And what explanation were we given for the wellspring of cosmic power? What gives Jedi Knights supernatural powers? Obi Wan tells us, “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”
And that’s about it.
And guess what? We loved it. It resonated. It made sense, and we got it and it tickled a sense of wonder inside of us.
Flash forward a few decades: The re-launch of the Star Wars franchise. This is no hope-and-a-prayer risk the way Episode IV was. The fan base was by now a massive army, clamoring over each another to throw money at George Lucas. The special effects technology had caught up with the galactic settings. The characters and world were established and fertile for further development.
And . . . fans were generally disappointed.
There are a lot of reasons for this, that have been thoroughly plumbed elsewhere. But, for this conversation, compare Qui Gon’s explanation of the Force, with “Old Ben’s”. To determine Anakin’s potential, he takes a blood sample (a blood sample!) to test for something called “midichlorians”, something that sounds like it would be ideal for sanitizing my pool.
"Midi-chlorians are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force."
"They live inside of me?" the boy asked.
"In your cells." Qui-Gon paused. "We are symbionts with the midi-chlorians."
"Symbionts. Life-forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of the Force. Our midi-chlorians continually speak to us, Annie, telling us the will of the Force."
And so on . . .
A collective fan-boy groan was heard ‘round the world. And the reason is, I propose, is the Lucas simply explained too much about the nature of the Force, and in doing essentially re-defined it and squelched any sense of mystery.
So my humble advice to fellow writers is to heed Lovecraft's words, and never explain. Be impenetrable. Be unspeakably ancient. Scour the pitch black catacombs beneath the mountains where, blind salamanders swim beside slumbering gods with forgotten names. Navigate your reader forward through 42 Big Bang and Crunch rebirths to an unimaginable future. Throw ecstatic spells and don't tell us too much about why they work. Just let it your magic be magic.
So what was it that I saw in that trunk back in ‘78? Well . . . it was too amazing to put into words.
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What are some great "mysterious items" form books or movies that you love? Post it up below.
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Take a watch ofJ. J. Abram’s TED talk below, for a really fun exposition on what he calls “The Mystery Box”.
Wednesday. You deserve a bump to get you over the hump.
I just discovered this piece over the weekend, and it is gorgeous. It begs the question: Can sci-fi be literary? (The answer, of course, is "yes" - if done right.)
I am not sure that I have ever read a story with this structure. It is incredibly clever. And what person is this? Is it 2.5? The narrator is speaking in the second person, but she is referring to herself. Interesting. And don't worry, there is incredible world-building in these few paragraphs. Ms. de Bodard has a great voice, and do I detect just a whiff of Those Who Walk Away from Omelas? Power through the enigmatic first half. It picks up momentum, and delivers for both your brain and your feels.
Please stop by the author's site (button below) and sniff out her new book: The House of Shattered Wings
Bonus: If you like sci-fi elevated to literary status, and aren't afraid of a challenging read but incredibly rewarding read, I can't recommend A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller, Jr. highly enough.
I am a novice at blogging; just learning what is acceptable decorum.
I spoke with the author to let her know that I was re-posting her work. She asked me (very nicely) to please take it down. Tor.com has rights to the story.
By the way, Tor is a fantastic site for sci-fi and fantasy writing.
But you still owe it to yourself to read the piece. All you have to do is to click the button below to got to the site. Go on. Click it. CLICK IT!
Legend has it that at the old gold mine near where I live, nuggets as large as potatoes once littered the ground. One such hunk, the story goes, served as a doorstop for some time before the Reed family realized its true nature. The rest, as they say, is history.
I have found a literary nugget laying at my feet. Or to be more honest, another author has discovered it, and I have pilfered it from him.
What if I told you that you had already in your literary tool-belt a instrument whose simplicity is surpassed by it potency. You have figured out already that I am referring to "The List".
The List is exactly what you think it is, simply an outline of objects. But a collection of things can tell a story.
Consider how much the things you own paint a picture of who you are. In your refrigerator, do you have, like me, a ready-bake pizza and a protein shake? Or is yours a neatly arranged brigade of Champagne and Perrier bottles? What books would a crime lord have on her shelves? What would a conflicted scientist, working on a doomsday weapon, have in his desk drawer?
But you don't believe me yet. Here's an example, taken from the opening pages of Dancer by Colum McCann:
What was flung onstage during his first season in Paris:
ten one-hundred-franc bills held together with an elastic band;
a packet of Russian tea
a manifesto from the Front de Liberation National representing the Algerian nationalist movement, protesting the curfew imposed on Muslims after a series of car bombs in Paris;
daffodils stolen from the gardens in the Louvre causing the gardeners to work overtime from five until seven in the evening to make sure the beds weren’t further plundered;
white lilies with centimes taped to the bottom of their stems, so they were perfectly weighted to reach the stage;
so many flowers that a stagehand, Henri Long, who swept up the petals after the show, had the idea of creating a potpourri, which he sold, on subsequent evenings, to fans at the stage door;
a mink coat that sailed through the air on the twelfth night, causing the patrons in the front row to think for a moment that some flying animal was above them;
eighteen pairs of women’s underwear, a phenomenon that had never been seen in theater before, most of them discreetly wrapped in ribbons, but at least two pair that had been whipped off in a frenzy, one of which he picked up after the last curtain, delighting the stagehands by sniffing them flamboyantly;
a headshot of Yuri Gagarin, the cosmonaut, with a message at the bottom reading, Soar, Rudi, Roar!
a series of paper bombs filled with pepper;
a precious pre-Revolutionary coin thrown up by an émigré who had wrapped it in a note saying that if Rudi kept his cool, he would be as good as Najinsky if not better;
dozens of erotic Polaroids with the names and phone numbers of women scrawled on the back;
notes saying Vous etes un Traitre de la Revolution;
broken glass thrown by communist protesters, stopping the show for twenty minutes while the shards were swept up, and provoking such a fury that an emergency meeting of the Parisian Party branch we held because of the negative publicity it caused;
and on the fifteenth night, a single long-stemmed, gold-plated rose.
How much do we know about this character and his world from just this list? His name is Rudi. He is adored. He is reviled. His celebrity has made him a political chess piece. He is very likely Russian. It is a time of revolution, and an era of Polaroids - the Space Race is on. A rich portrait is already emerging.
It is spare. There is no real action to speak of. But there is potency. There is story.
Where is your character most at home? Let him or her do a 360 in the room or large, open space they are in. What unique things does he or she see?
Here is a brief paragraph of one of my characters surveying her lover's room:
Bare feet upon high-pile shag. Furniture with low, crisp profiles and canted legs. Paintings of otherworldly geometries with names like, “A Lover’s Horse” and “Tree #12”. Sun-cast prisms through as-yet unmelted cubes, relaxing into their tumblers. Literature. Books on: architecture, anthropology, politics, mathematics, mathematics, mathematics.
I don't claim to be a Colum McCann by any stretch of the imagination. But still, the reader is hopefully understanding something of the lover's character from just this inventory of his room.
I recommend giving The List a spin as an exercise. Here are some items in the backpack of a character that I am sketching on:
Two cans of bear spray
One worn copy of "The Vegetarian Buddhist"
One worn copy of "Young Tramps"
One worn copy "Gender Pioneer: Understanding your personal journey"
Six cans of Hi-Glo dog food
One mason jar containing six human fingers
One Discman CD player containing a disk of George Michael's Greatest Hits (including works with Wham!)
Granted, this piece is obviously more pulpy than the previous examples. But the point is that a story can begin to take shape from simply using The List. What can you come up with? What gold nuggets are laying at your feet?
"A steaming pile of dog diarrhea."
This is how film-maker, Mark Duplass, described his first film. He and his brother poured their hearts and souls, as well as $65,000 of their own money, into this first film. When it was all said and done, the brothers found themselves on the sofa, dejected and looking to abandon their shared dreams. Realizing that if they didn't get back on the proverbial horse immediately, Mark convinced his brother to get up at that very moment to make a film - on their iPhone.
The purpose of this blog is to share wisdom and experiences about becoming a world-class full-time author, with an army of devoted followers. Seeing as how I have neither, I am going to do what any good writer would: steal! You owe it to yourself to take a listen to Mark's story for yourself. I have included the YouTube video below. It is refreshingly frank, grounded and constructive.
A brief note about my experience with writing so far: I dabbled with a few short stories, and wrote one short novel, but was overcome early on by a sweeping, epic story in my mind. The thing took on a life of its own. I suppose this is a good thing, my creation crying out from within to be birthed, and all that. But the story swelled to Tolkien proportions. But more on that in a moment.
So Mark and his brother continue making these "micro" films, which - long-story-short - they eventually leveraged into full movie careers.
And this is the advice to young film-makers: Make a three dollar movie every weekend.
PS. These movies will suck.
But, in these piles of garbage, a gem or two will emerge, little genuine moments will peek out. Amass enough of these little gems and you have enough emotional capital for a short film worthy of being submitted to festivals. It is easy to substitute the word "film" for "story". (Films being simply another story-telling medium, after all.)
The takeaways, I think, are these: Don't be afraid to suck. Nay. Be prepared to suck. And also, get out there and pound out short works.
Oh how I wish I had encountered this advice before launching into this Brobdingnagian novel. But no regrets! I love my tale and can't imagine life without it.
There is a natural progression to becoming a great author (or sculptor, or master carpenter, or cake designer). We want to think that we will be the next J.K. Rowling, who - the myth goes - went from living in her car to, overnight, a billionaire author with a movie franchise and theme parks. But, even if completely true, JK is an outlier at the furthest right arc of the bell curve.
Writing is a job and a craft. It takes time and - maybe more importantly - lots and lots of work. The more likely path of the author is: crappy high school poetry, college campus journal, literary magazine, compilation, novel. Or something to that effect. Malcolm Gladwell claimed that it takes 10,000 hours to master a thing. I would challenge that number (90 minutes a day for 20 years!) - but point well taken.
So write. Get black on white, as they say. Get out the shovel and start the long, sweaty labor of digging down to where gold veins lie. Refine your craft on the backs of napkins and Starbucks bags. Suck. Get better. Suck a little less. Get honest and get great. And when the time is right . . . publish.
Get out there and write a three dollar story every week.
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Jes Sanders is a fledgling writer, architect, Capricorn and reformed art thief.
What Readers Are Saying
A great, sweeping work of speculative fiction reminiscent of the science worship found in Asimov's Foundation series and the historical arcs of Neal Stephenson's longer works. The author's prose is a deftly woven tapestry of words- beautifully descriptive without being forced or tedious.