Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Few Random Notes of Possible Interest

I'd like to mention just a few things before delving deep into the writing hole for a while. First of all, I'm bone tired of being behind on all of my deadlines, and remember fondly that (nearly) one whole year in Vermont when I was actually ahead on all of my deadlines. So I have decided to take a fairly radical step in correcting that.

Starting today (as soon as I finish this note, in fact) I'm going to embark on a 30 scripts in 30 days writing marathon. In the past I've been able to complete a single comic book script in a day, without killing myself. Now I'm going to see if I can do it for many days in a row.

Blame Matthew Sturges for this ridiculous stunt. He so inspired me with his 100k words in one month triumph that I simply had to try something comparable. It really was a triumph too, in every sense of the ancient tradition. Matt rode into Rome on a gilded chariot. He wore a crown of laurels, which he continues to wear every day while writing. He had an honored slave riding in the chariot with him, whispering in his ear: "Remember, all glory is fleeting."

I want that too. Especially the slave, because my house needs lots of cleaning and the yard is looking a bit ragged.

But take note that, although this is a silly stunt, it's not a contest or a competition. We've done writing contests to death in this blog and we aren't doing that any more -- not now that we've finally succeeded in recasting this blog into what I'd wanted it to be all along: a never-ending convention panel discussion about the art and craft and joys and horrors of the writing profession. So no one else among the Tick Tock Men and Woman will be joining in. In fact, they are forbidden to take part, or do anything but cheer or jeer (or comment) from the sidelines. So there.

And, in order not to derail the conversation here, I will not be posting updates here. I will do that via Twitter. So follow me there, if you are at all interested in keeping up. I imagine this sort of like the Jerry Lewis Telethon, where half of the fun of watching it each year was in watching Jerry slowly melt down as the event wore on. You can watch as my Twitter posts slowly get less cogent and more deranged over the coming month or so.

I say "month or so" rather than the precise 30 days because I have written in a few strategic days off into the schedule for this damned fool stunt -- for holidays and friendship maintenance and such. So really it's more of a 30 scripts before the new year thing, but that doesn't have the same sort of poetry in it, does it?

But on each actual work day I do plan on completing an entire comic script. That's the part that makes this a bit more than just a "I plan to work harder for a while" sort of event, which really has no pizazz at all.

Okay, on to other things.

The New York Times Holiday Gift Guide for Graphic Novels has come out, and out of the eleven books listed, two of them are Fables books. Yes, I am bragging. Yes, I know how unseemly it is to do so. But since the universe decided long ago that I don't get to be Jennifer Connelly's favored play toy, I need something to cling to. You can go here and see what I'm talking about.

I bought books.

I recently purchased our own Daryl Gregory's Pandemonium for the second time, because I lost the first one while I was only half-way through it. It worked out well though, because I was able to get Daryl to sign the second copy and he wrote a wonderful (and woefully undeserved) dedication to me in it, which was made doubly gracious when the story turned out to be so wonderful. I didn't see the twist coming, Daryl, but in hindsight it's the only way it could have happened. Lovely job.

I just picked up Never After, an anthology of fantasy stories by Laurell K Hamilton (who must be the designated heavy hitter, because her name appears about three times as large as any of the other authors), Yasmine Galenorn, Sharon Shinn and our very own Marjorie M Liu. I haven't read it yet, but I'm starting with Marjorie's tale, which is called The Tangleroot Palace. So I hope these stories don't have to be read in order.

I bought Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, by David Benedictus, who does a reasonable job of following the genius of AA Milne, and by Mark Burgess who illustrates the new book in the style of Earnest H Shepard. But I have one BIG complaint. The credits read: Decorations by Mark Burgess. Decorations? Seriously? Were you trying to be whimsical, or glib, or what? In point of fact, by designating these terrific illustrations as mere decorations, you were being dismissive and insulting. And I'm talking about insults in the ancient tradition, where spilled blood is needed to correct the matter, else the wonderful Clockwork mechanisms of the Heavens and the Earth will be forever after misaligned. How dare you assholes do that! Mark Burgess, if you need a second when you demand redress, I'm your man. I've many good blades, if swords are called for, and guns if it's to be pistols.

And to my everlasting shame and embarrassment, I bought Richard Castle's new book, Heat Wave. Yes that Richard Castle. It even has his picture on the back. As you will note by the material above, I am perfectly willing to go along with a good literary stunt. Judging solely by the first page, this story may not suck.

I'm off to start my first script in the marathon. I'll post here from time to time, but it's likely not to be too often. In the meantime, the other eight will have far too much to say to inform and enlighten you.


  1. Best of luck! As awesome as I think you are, I'm not joining Twitter to read your updates. :P

  2. Twitter IS evil.

    See, I would have thought that a more sane approach would have been a five in five approach where you bang out a script a day on the weekdays, but you take weekends off to rest and cheat up a little.

    You are not one for half measures.

    And God help me, I think I ordered that Heat Wave book.

    Good luck.

  3. Matt, of course you're proud.

    Torturing Willingham is a joy.

  4. Something tells me that toward the end of this marathon, a character named "Sturges" will meet a very violent end. Good luck, Bud.

  5. No, but a character named Sturges does get married to a character named Smeddy. Ha!

  6. Holy cow. Here I am struggling to keep going on one measly novel. You guys aren't Roman conquerors, you're testosterone-charged, steroid-chugging, keyboard-pounding freaks. I'm going to go huddle in a corner now.

  7. Bill -

    Good luck in your quest.

    You might want to check out

    "The Pied Piper of Mucus: Sandy Hawkins’s simple Lung Flute cleans sick lungs"

  8. Go forth, brave warrior. Conquer and pillage those heathen words. Vex the enemies who attempt to thwart you. Heap hell upon adverbs.

    (and thank you for picking up Never After...that was very kind of you)