When On the Third Draft…

Like the delicate wing flap of the dainty butterfly, every manuscript edit, regardless how slight and seemingly insignificant…

Continue reading “When On the Third Draft…”

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NEW RELEASE

LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter

I’m happy to announce the release of my fifth book, a short story collection entitled: LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter.

Within the collection, there are 30 stories new and old. Some are short in length as are traditional short stories, and some are shorter in length, as are the more contemporary flash fiction stories. Some were written as recently as this past winter; others, as long ago as the early ’90s. Many have been published previously on my website and other places, but there are several new stories that have not yet been released until now.

Continue reading “NEW RELEASE”

THE FIX: A Short Story

Here’s a look at the book cover and a brief excerpt (it’s about the only parsing of the story I could find to share here that wasn’t filled completely with vulgar language – hey, the story involves sailors…what can I say?) of a story about fear, passion, and unrequited desire that I just added to my short story collection. I hope you enjoy it.

ADULT CONTENT
 

The Fix

The lieutenant commander looked out across the water and focused in on one of the many dhows making its way through the harbor. Its wooden hull was long and its beam narrow. Its single lateen sail was full, even with the slack wind. Its two-man crew looked like haunting, seafaring wraiths through the heat rays shimmering off the water… [CONTINUE READING]

 
 

Yes, that #shortfilm of mine is still a thing…

LEAVE, A Short FilmIt’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since we wrapped up production out in West Hollywood on my short film LEAVE, which was adapted from my short story of the same name.

That, my friends, was a good time, indeed.

Time sure does go fast…

And, frustratingly enough, it, concurrently, goes so frakkin’ (any BSG/Caprica fans out there?) slow when one’s breath is bated in anticipation, such as mine is for the film’s completion.

Movie making is not as easy as it looks from the theater seats, that’s for sure.

Continue reading “Yes, that #shortfilm of mine is still a thing…”

Transformation of a G

Transformation of a G

He kicks off the covers and reveals the body of a mid-sized, thin but muscularly defined, mid-twenties, African-American male. He does some cat-like stretching and then concludes his ritual with some aggressive eye-rubbing underneath the pillow. While doing so, he seems to notice something strange about his hands.

He holds them over his head and looks up at them from under the pillow. He flips them over and inspects both sides of them as if he’s never seen them before. He sits up on his elbows and looks down at his bare upper torso. He sees the scars of five bullet holes and an assortment of tattoos littered across his brown abdomen. The most prominent tattoo, “Thug Life,” arches across the muscle-ripped gut…

Continue reading→

LEAVE IS LIVE! | PLEASE DONATE & SHARE

This is it, my friends. The moment I’ve been waiting for where things finally begin to get real for me.

And by real I mean from now until the end of the filming of LEAVE at the end of October, it looks like it’s going to be one mad rush of new and exciting experiences.

Awesome.

I would like to introduce you to the cast and crew of LEAVE. For now, you may see them and everything LEAVE is about here >> LEAVE: A Short Film.

After things slow down, I will introduce them to you personally here.

I would also like to thank all the good folks who donated to my website campaign here. Please check out the list and try to support them as awesomely as you support me. That campaign has officially ended and all donations will now be managed through IndieGoGo. I will use the funds raised here to get me across the country. I’m so grateful for the support.

I will introduce my final website donor to you, Author Anna Kopp, on Friday, October 14, 2016. Her work looks amazing. Stay tuned!

Today, I am heading on an anniversary getaway to New England with my lovely and loving wife. Shortly after I return I will get on the road again with my sons and drive cross-country to LA for the filming LEAVE.

I’ve decided to fire up my barely-used Instagram account and, beginning today as I head to the hood of some of my favorite authors, I will be photo-blogging my journey along the way and during the filming. Please follow along if you’d like (icon on the sidebar). I would love to have your company.

Cool?

Ice cold!

LEAVE: A Short Film

 
 
LEAVE, A Short Film

The book’s always better than the movie…

Right?

That’s the rule, right?

Books rule over movies.

Always.

Before I got involved with this whole short film thing, I always would get indignant after watching yet another failed movie adaptation of a book I liked. And I would always wonder to myself why in the heck could they never get it write/right.

Until on a whim I decided to try my hand at adapting my short story LEAVE into a screenplay.

Right away I realized that this was going to be no easy feat.

Introspection and contemplation that serve a short story or a novel so well is basically useless in a screenplay where just about everything must be represented as action and dialogue so it can be seen and heard by the audience.

Of course LEAVE as a short story is mostly introspection and contemplation by the protagonist so right off the bat the whole structure would have to change in order to be able to show his shift of character from beginning to end.

To do this, new scenes had to be invented and new characters had to be developed and within the first writing of the story of LEAVE as a screenplay, it was already hugely different from the story of LEAVE the short story. And that was only by my own efforts.

After I showed it to an actor friend for his feedback, from his guidance it went from 33 pages down to fifteen. And yes, to whittle it down that much there had to be a significant change in story and tempo.

But really, the biggest changes to the story didn’t occur until once the screenplay was accepted by a studio and a director was found and she got ahold of it… and then several of the lead actors got ahold of it…

Talk about feedback overload. It took much effort and persuasion to maintain it as a story I recognized.

And, while we are scheduled to begin filming in two months, we haven’t yet cast the lead actor so I can only wonder what changes still might occur to it.

But you know what… the story as it is now as a near fully developed screenplay is really not that far from what it is as a short story.

It is just different.

And much, much better in my opinion.

Still, I guarantee it if you read the short story and then see the film, you will be significantly surprised by the differences that there are between the two.

I just hope you are not significantly disappointed.

But I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be because we have an awesome crew and the cast is going to be first rate and impressive.

And I can also guarantee that from now on whenever I watch a movie that has been poorly adapted from a book that I like I will certainly be less critical and more understanding of the differences between the two and the winding and somewhat weary course that had to be traveled to get the story to the screen.

Because now I know.

And now I have only one rule regarding movies and books.

Both of them do.

Rule, that is…

 


Have you heard about our private Facebook Writers & Readers Group?

 
 

WRITE EDIT WRITE: Flash Fiction by Author Pam Schloesser-Canepa

WEW Facebook Ad-1200x299
Last week I announced that we were starting a private Facebook group for Writers and Readers called WRITE EDIT WRITE. Well I am happy to say that we have had a great response to the announcement and our group includes a growing host of active and creative members. And while we’re still getting situated and figuring things out, we have held our very first WEW CHALLENGE, a challenge where members were asked to post a 250-word or less flash fiction or flash essay. I am again happy to say we had a fantastic response, with the following selection being representative of the fine writing being exhibited by all.

To read all the submissions, visit here.
To learn more about the private group, visit here.

Please check out the writing and stop by the authors’ websites to show them your support.

Write on!



THE POST OFFICE BOX
by Pam Schloesser-Canepa
pamelascanepa.wordpress.com

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.

Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.

To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.

Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.

“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.

“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.

Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.

With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.


A Mid-Term Thank You To All Who Support #IndieFilms

Seeing that we will begin filming sometime in early July, I would say we are about half-way through our campaign to raise the seed funds, so to speak, for the larger Indiegogo campaign that will raise the major funds needed to produce LEAVE, a short film based upon a screenplay I wrote.

So, to celebrate our mid-term point, I would like to thank everyone who has donated thus far in the campaign. You can see the list of all donors here.

I would especially like to thank the following for both donating and choosing a Reward Package that has allowed and will allow me to share and promote their work here at RELATING TO HUMANS, via my newsletter, and throughout my social networks.

“REWARD PACKAGE” PROMOTIONS
IN SUPPORT OF MY MOVIE


PROMOTIONS COMING SOON

PLEASANT STREET
geletilari.wordpress.com
HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD
$25 REWARD PACKAGE

TIMOTHY G. HUGUENIN
tghuguenin.com
$25 REWARD PACKAGE


PAST PROMOTIONS

SHERRIE CRONIN
46ascending.org
INSPIRATION IN THE WORST OF PLACES
$25 REWARD PACKAGE

PAMELA SCHLOESSER CANEPA
pamelascanepa.wordpress.com
ENTERTAINING THE WHAT-IFS
$10 REWARD PACKAGE

VIVIAN BIRO
vivianbiro.com
MY APRIL FOOLS’ DAY JOKE
$25 REWARD PACKAGE



I Encourage You to Please Support Those Who Support My Efforts to Make Independent Films by Visiting Their Websites and Buying and Reviewing Their Books or other Promoted Products. Thank You for Helping Me to Thank Them.

DONOR LIST
DONATE

 
LEAVE: A Short Film

 
 

Write What You Know, You Know…

They say, Write what you know…

And in response I say, Okay…

So when I began in earnest to write stuff for people to read way back in the early Nineties – what a great decade that was – about all I knew about life outside of my personal life which I didn’t and still don’t have the guts yet to truly explore, was all pretty much navy-related.

Hence, the stories I wrote at the time were all pretty much, well… navy-related.

And therein lies the primary challenge I have when it comes to convincing and conniving folks who look a lot like you to read my writing… and now, to support a film based upon my writing: that even though the stories may be navy-related, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are stories just about the navy.

Some of you, many of you, are probably new to this site so understandably there may be a few things about me that you just aren’t aware of:

Like, even though my undergraduate degree is in English – which probably explains my nerd obsession with arranging and amalgamating morphemes into new and creative and interesting ways for you to read stuff, my graduate degree is in a completely unrelated field (well, maybe it’s a little related) of Human Relations – which probably explains my obsession with trying to understand why it is you think and behave the crazy and unpredictable way you do.

To satisfy my morpheme amalgamating obsession, I began to write; to satisfy my relating-to-humans obsession, I took a few years off from my primary career field in the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) while in the navy, to become a certified Equal Opportunity Advisor, where I spent much of my time providing counseling and training in diversity management.

And it is this relating to humans-related stuff that I would like to think is what my stories, while even though they may be set in a navy-related world, are all really about…

Like, as explored in my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, how do our perceptions and stereotypes influence our decisions when confronted with situations like homophobia and harassment and abuse?

 

Or, as explored in the short story and soon to be short film LEAVE, what was the environment really like for that courageous female sailor who took that first assignment to a warship with an all-male crew?

 

While these stories are set on navy ships during the Nineties, it is my belief their underlying themes and messages are relevant even, and especially, today.

Just recently Congress has authorized women to serve in all combat-related duties, not just some of them like back in the Nineties.

Right now there are courageous, pioneering females all throughout the US military – and throughout society in general – who are opening doors that have previously always been closed to them, and setting off on a course that clears the way for many more courageous females to forever follow.

So, yeah, we writers have always been told to Write what you know…

Just as you readers have always been told to Never judge a book by its cover…

Especially mine.
 

Open Books Open Minds…

www.facebook.com/leavethemovie

 
 

While waiting impatiently yet steadfastly for my #shortfilm funding campaign to begin…

I invite you to pass the time checking out the short film funding campaign for a good friend of mine, Jeffrey Stackhouse.

Jeffrey – an award-winning screenwriter and all around talented/good guy – and the rest of his cast and crew, have just launched a fundraising campaign to produce “I Am The Doorway,” a ‪‎film adaption of a Stephen King short story that is endorsed and encouraged by King, himself.

Already there is discussion that Jeff’s film has the makings to be the best cinematic adaptation of King’s work yet.

If you’re a fan of King, ‎horror, independent film-making, or all of the above, please check out Jeff’s work and support him – monetarily and/or socially – if you are able by clicking here.

Thanks, all.
—–
P.s. – In facebook’s never-ending effort to make money (nothing wrong with that, btw) they make it very hard for public pages to be seen unless they pay to promote their posts. It gets very expensive so please share this as both an act of kindness and as an easy, inexpensive way to support The Arts.

Here’s their pitch video from the film’s director:


To sign up to be notified when the funding campaign for my short film begins, please click here.

 
 

So, I’m Going To Make A Movie… UPDATE #1

As you may already know, a short film is going to be made of a screenplay I adapted from LEAVE, one of my short, dramatic stories about what it may have been like for the first females sailors assigned to warships back in the Nineties.

It probably isn’t much of a spoiler to say that in both the story’s and the film’s interpretation, it is quite a challenge for those courageous women, seeing how the all-male crew of the ship they’re reporting to would rather go to war than have their ship be invaded by female sailors.

Indeed.

So… I’ll be going out to Los Angeles in April to begin work on the production, but first we have a small detail of raising the funds.

Yes, I’m looking at you…

We plan to film on the battleship USS Iowa, which is now a museum ship out in LA. Unfortunately, even though the Iowa staff are willing to significantly cut the price because I’m an old salt of a retired sailor, it still costs a pretty penny nonetheless. And there of course will be other production costs to factor in, as well.

We’ll be kicking off an Indigogo campaign to raise the funds at the beginning of March but I just wanted to give you all a heads up that we now have a “Coming Soon” page where you can sign up to stay informed on project updates and be advised when the campaign is live.

Our vision for the film is to:

Create a Cinematic Work of Art that both Entertains and Promotes a Discussion for Positive Change

 
Needless to say, your support of our efforts, not just through donations, but also through your outreach to all your family and friends on our behalf, will be key in helping us turn our vision into a reality.

We’ll be introducing our award-winning cast [it’s not 100% yet but if cast assignments firm up as it looks like they will we are going to have a stellar cast] and highly accomplished crew very soon so please check it out and join our team at:

www.indiegogo.com/projects/leave/coming_soon


Okay, I have taken off my PT Barnum wannabe Promoter’s Hat and have now put on my wannabe highly esteemed and influential Author’s Hat…

First off, I would like to report that building a campaign to raise the funds to produce a short film is taking a lot of my very limited brain power.

We have decided to go with Indigogo to raise our funds instead of Kickstarter. The main reason for this decision is that you get to keep the funds you raise with Indigogo even if you do not meet your goal. With Kickstarter it’s all or nothing – if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get the dough. Indigogo does however/of course, charge higher percentages for their service and transfer fees.

So once our funding site was decided, one of the first challenges I had to confront was the “tag line,” one of the first blocks that has to be filled out when building the pitch for the campaign.

One of the toughest things for me to do as a writer is to condense big meaning, metaphorical concepts with a lot of words into a synopsis of a paragraph or two. Having to condense down even further into a tag line that allows only 100 characters, such as Indigogo’s, is close to self-inflicted murder.

Fortunately, I had already gone through the painful process of coming up with a logline, which was needed for pitching the screenplay.

A sailor’s desire to be with his sick mother is complicated by the unwanted influx of his ship’s first female sailors and a looming war

But the problem is that logline is 133 characters and Indigogo’s “tag line” only allows for 100 characters. So, after more painful paring, this is what I came up with:

A sailor can’t be with his sick mother due to an influx of despised female sailors and a looming war

With war looming and despised females sailors arriving, a sailor strives to be with his dying mother

I’m still not 100% loving it but my head hurts after all that editing out and then having second thoughts and editing in and then having third thoughts and editing out again and on and on…

But, it’ll do for now as I now have to continue on with the rest of the pitch development which, hopefully, won’t hurt my head quite as much.

Stay tuned! The campaign will be kicking off at the beginning of the month.

TTFN and Write On! my friends.
 

Coming Soon!
For details, click here

 
Article updated to reflect new tag line and that cast assignments are close but not yet completely firm

 
 

I was going to review Hemingway’s A MOVEABLE FEAST, but…

…I am knee deep (I’m pretty tall dude so that’s pretty darn deep) into so much stuff* — stuff being formatting my two latest books HOW NOT TO DIE and SHORT VERSES & OTHER CURSES into print editions; setting up the logistics for the film adaptation of my short story “Leave” (fundraiser announcement soon – that’s right, I’m looking at you); adapting my novel THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR into a screenplay (so that I’ll have it to shop around when I go out to LA to work on “Leave”); and of course the latest WIP — that I’v given up on it.

If it matters, I do feel quite guilty about it…

In fact, I feel quite guilty about not publishing much at all around here lately.

Publish or perish, an all that…

But, as a consolation for my quitting on this review, I recently read this interesting read from the Paris Review, which kind of (but far from exactly) reflects my thoughts on my relationship with Hemingway, and I offer it as a very nice, if not nicer, substitute.

In addition to discussing things such as my relationship with the Big Papa, I also had good intention (and we all know what the path to hell is paved with) to compare and contrast Hemingway’s view of Fitzgerald and Paris in the Twenties as found in his memoir with the beat up protagonist in Fitzgerald’s short story (perhaps a view similar to one he had of himself) “Babylon Revisited” (one of the best short stories ever put to paper).

I probably would have giddily gushed a bit about Woody’s “Midnight In Paris,” too…

However, because of all the stuff presented above and the nice PR essay, I lost my head of steam for it all and this is as far as I got/am getting with it…


The Romance versus the Reality of Hemingway’s Paris of the “Lost Generation”

BOOK | NON-FICTION | MEMOIR
A MOVEABLE FEAST
by Ernest Hemingway

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

Ernest Hemingway
If you want to see what I think Hemingway and other authors would like as clowns, click here.

 

The memoir >>

The short story >>

~~~~

Rating System:
★ = Unreadable
★ ★ = Poor Read
★ ★ ★ = Average Read
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Read

That’s it. That’s alls I gots…

Pretty lame, I know; but what can say other than that the offer I presented in my “Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle?” post still stands. I’m still looking for good reviews to read, and perhaps reblog, that illustrate your reading and critiquing strategy… a bonus now for me would be ones that discuss Hemingway and/or Fitzgerald.

Can a brother get a link or two to a review, or what?


 

*Isn’t it funny how I’m always whining about how much I have to do, yet I somehow still found the time to promote inform you about all the stuff I have to do? Weird.

 
 

A Turkey Tale by Mark Twain

#happythanksgivingmyfriends
 

Mark Twain

HUNTING THE DECEITFUL TURKEY
Mark Twain

When I was a boy my uncle and his big boys hunted with the rifle, the youngest boy Fred and I with a shotgun–a small single-barrelled shotgun which was properly suited to our size and strength; it was not much heavier than a broom. We carried it turn about, half an hour at a time. I was not able to hit anything with it, but I liked to try. Fred and I hunted feathered small game, the others hunted deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, and such things. My uncle and the big boys were good shots. They killed hawks and wild geese and such like on the wing; and they didn’t wound or kill squirrels, they stunned them. When the dogs treed a squirrel, the squirrel would scamper aloft and run out on a limb and flatten himself along it, hoping to make himself invisible in that way– and not quite succeeding. You could see his wee little ears sticking up. You couldn’t see his nose, but you knew where it was. Then the hunter, despising a “rest” for his rifle, stood up and took offhand aim at the limb and sent a bullet into it immediately under the squirrel’s nose, and down tumbled the animal, unwounded, but unconscious; the dogs gave him a shake and he was dead. Sometimes when the distance was great and the wind not accurately allowed for, the bullet would hit the squirrel’s head; the dogs could do as they pleased with that one–the hunter’s pride was hurt, and he wouldn’t allow it to go into the gamebag.

In the first faint gray of the dawn the stately wild turkeys would be stalking around in great flocks, and ready to be sociable and answer invitations to come and converse with other excursionists of their kind. The hunter concealed himself and imitated the turkey-call by sucking the air through the leg-bone of a turkey which had previously answered a call like that and lived only just long enough to regret it. There is nothing that furnishes a perfect turkey-call except that bone. Another of Nature’s treacheries, you see. She is full of them; half the time she doesn’t know which she likes best–to betray her chid or protect it. In the case of the turkey she is badly mixed: she gives it a bone to be used in getting it into trouble, and she also furnishes it with a trick for getting itself out of the trouble again. When a mamma-turkey answers an invitation and finds she has made a mistake in accepting it, she does as the mamma-partridge does–remembers a previous engagement–and goes limping and scrambling away, pretending to be very lame; and at the same time she is saying to her not-visible children, “Lie low, keep still, don’t expose yourselves; I shall be back as soon as I have beguiled this shabby swindler out of the country.”

When a person is ignorant and confiding, this immoral device can have tiresome results. I followed an ostensibly lame turkey over a considerable part of the United States one morning, because I believed in her and could not think she would deceive a mere boy, and one who was trusting her and considering her honest. I had the single-barrelled shotgun, but my idea was to catch her alive. I often got within rushing distance of her, and then made my rush; but always, just as I made my final plunge and put my hand down where her back had been, it wasn’t there; it was only two or three inches from there and I brushed the tail- feathers as I landed on my stomach–a very close call, but still not quite close enough; that is, not close enough for success, but just close enough to convince me that I could do it next time. She always waited for me, a little piece away, and let on to be resting and greatly fatigued; which was a lie, but I believed it, for I still thought her honest long after I ought to have begun to doubt her, suspecting that this was no way for a high-minded bird to be acting. I followed, and followed, and followed, making my periodical rushes, and getting up and brushing the dust off, and resuming the voyage with patient confidence; indeed, with a confidence which grew, for I could see by the change of climate and vegetation that we were getting up into the high latitudes, and as she always looked a little tireder and a little more discouraged after each rush, I judged that I was safe to win, in the end, the competition being purely a matter of staying power and the advantage lying with me from the start because she was lame.

Along in the afternoon I began to feel fatigued myself. Neither of us had had any rest since we first started on the excursion, which was upwards of ten hours before, though latterly we had paused awhile after rushes, I letting on to be thinking about something else; but neither of us sincere, and both of us waiting for the other to call game but in no real hurry about it, for indeed those little evanescent snatches of rest were very grateful to the feelings of us both; it would naturally be so, skirmishing along like that ever since dawn and not a bite in the meantime; at least for me, though sometimes as she lay on her side fanning herself with a wing and praying for strength to get out of this difficulty a grasshopper happened along whose time had come, and that was well for her, and fortunate, but I had nothing–nothing the whole day.

More than once, after I was very tired, I gave up taking her alive, and was going to shoot her, but I never did it, although it was my right, for I did not believe I could hit her; and besides, she always stopped and posed, when I raised the gun, and this made me suspicious that she knew about me and my marksmanship, and so I did not care to expose myself to remarks.

I did not get her, at all. When she got tired of the game at last, she rose from almost under my hand and flew aloft with the rush and whir of a shell and lit on the highest limb of a great tree and sat down and crossed her legs and smiled down at me, and seemed gratified to see me so astonished.

I was ashamed, and also lost; and it was while wandering the woods hunting for myself that I found a deserted log cabin and had one of the best meals there that in my life-days I have eaten. The weed-grown garden was full of ripe tomatoes, and I ate them ravenously, though I had never liked them before. Not more than two or three times since have I tasted anything that was so delicious as those tomatoes. I surfeited myself with them, and did not taste another one until I was in middle life. I can eat them now, but I do not like the look of them. I suppose we have all experienced a surfeit at one time or another. Once, in stress of circumstances, I ate part of a barrel of sardines, there being nothing else at hand, but since then I have always been able to get along without sardines.
 
#letsbethankfuleveryday
 
 

Neil Gaiman Is My Co-Pilot

Neil GaimanOkay, I’ve never been one of those hardcore Gaiman fanboys* that you see following him with blind, whole-body, fervor on twitter but I sure do have a whole lot of respect and admiration for what he’s accomplished in his life – and mine. Beginning with The Sandman series oh so long ago, Gaiman seems unable to be unsuccessful at whatever it is he does. Googlify his name and you will find that he has won so many major awards, some of them more than once, that if my mom had seen my face screw up in shock and awe after first seeing the significantly long list she would have warned me immediately that if I keep making that face someday it’s gonna stay that way.

Point being: the dude is pretty awesome.

And we can add one more awesome point to his long list of awesome points: Recently I downloaded the audiobook version of his short fiction collection Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances to one of my favoritest apps, Overdrive. And of course I find that the book is read by none other than The Man himself. And of course I find that I’ll be both god and buddha damned if he also isn’t one of the best god and buddha damned “voice performers” I have ever heard. Sheesh – what a wonderful voice he has to listen to.

 

Anyway…

I mention all of this more than slightly awkward author/guy crush worship thing of mine only because I too am now in the audiobook recording business. For, as I have mentioned here before, I am trying (key word: trying) to record a “performance” of my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor.

It is very hard, this recording stuff – you know, with the intimidating microphones, and the confusing software, and with the dogs constantly barking in the background…

But the hardest part of all is coming to the realization that I don’t have the greatest of reading voices, especially since the book is narrated from the point of view of an insecure eighteen-year-old whom I would have to guess came late to the puberty game. So me trying to read in a voice that might pass as even barely authentic to the story has been both very hilarious when hearing it during playback and even more discouraging.

So far I have managed to record an introduction to the book, as well as all the novel’s front matter whatnots that include the dedication and acknowledgment (and which have been uploaded to my app). But those I was able to read in my own voice, which may not be the most pleasant to listen to but at least I don’t have to contort my diaphragm around my voice box in order to speak with it.

So yeah, I’m still working on finding (rediscovering?) that insecure eighteen-year-old voice of mine…

It’s a tough gig, but I shan’t give up for I have a sure-fire strategy for voice recording accomplishment and success:

Each time I run into a rough spot while recording I’ll simply stop, take a deep breath, look upward to the sky in humility and veneration and ask to the Literary Gods On High…

What would Jesus Neil do?

 
*non-gender specific

 
 

At least when the robots take over they will be much quicker in rejecting one of my stories…

Robot Editor

You know, seeing how we already have robots writing poetry and composing music, I assume we will soon have robots taking over as reviewers and editors, as well.

I yearn for that day…

You see, months and months ago — essentially an eternity in our hyper-paced, brain-frazzling, tele-connected, continually-morphing-right-before-our-eyes day and age — in an effort to enhance (establish?) my writing cred, I submitted a couple short stories to various literary journals in the hope that they will get selected to be published so that when I self-publish my short story collection I can add a highfalutin aside within the book’s front matter that gives a self-congratulatory thank you to these literary journals for their wisdom and insight in selecting my work to be published.

Can ya dig?

I bet you can…

As I’m sure you suspect, I subject myself to the subjective and contrary literary values of these human reviewers and editors because, just between you and me, I (like most other self-published authors I suspect) would like to someday be an unself-published author and be recognized as a “real writer” within the old slow (really, really slow) world of traditional publishing. (A good read on the question of whether one should self-publish or not can be found here.)

But man* let me tall ya that from all the brain-scattering hyperlinking/twittering/buzzfeeding** I’m now addicted to, I’ve become a very impatient man***, which is why back in 2011, after experiencing how long it took agent after agent to reject my highly exceptional queries (that, and because back then I wasn’t sure I would be of this world too much longer) I began all this ego-degrading self-publishing and self-marketing nonsense in the first place.

And which is why now, months and months after submitting my highly exceptional short stories to these good-fortuned literary journals I am getting extremely impatient with their less than expeditious responses and am once again beginning to rethink my strategy for literary fame and wealth, all of which is causing me to consider withdrawing my submissions and just go ahead and publish the damn short story collection minus the self-congratulatory front matter aside.

Big sigh

Anyway

Off I go to my Submittable account for the third time this morning to see if the status of any of my submissions have magically changed to something other than “In-Progress.” At this point, I would celebrate even a status of “Declined” just so I can move on in certitude and vigor.

And, while I’m (over-)indulging in my self-inflicted publishing pain at Sumbittable, I invite you to indulge in a short piece of mine that was actually selected to be published by a highly respected (at least by me) though highly unknown independent publisher, and which can be found by click clicking right here.

Right on?

Yeah, write on…


 
*non-gender specific
**included for dramatic purposes only – I’ve never actually been on buzzfeed…no, really
***gender specific