Never To See A Horse So Thoroughly Beaten

I’m putting my fine behind back out there. No, no, John and I are getting along just fine. I mean I need to try the open mic circuit again.

There’s a wide range of options out there, I just need to remember that distance wasn’t an object for me when I lived in a state that wasn’t so friendly to pedestrians, so it shouldn’t be a problem for me now.

Getting myself out there has it’s rewards. Some of them aren’t worth the risk and others have benefits akin to finding the rare, expensive mushrooms in the pile of piggy poo. And that’s what I need to do: I need to get up to my arms in piggy poo.

Song Title Stories ~ A Writing Challenge

Breakfast on Pluto

“What do you think, boys?” she turned her head to see her children, all boys, buried in their social media and video games. Two of them were on the cusp of manhood and one was barely out of diapers. “Excuse me? Am I interrupting?”

Only the youngest had the sense to look up. The other two were in danger of receiving a mild electrical shock. She didn’t care if it was technically child abuse. Those laws only applied on Earth.

The oldest paused his game. The second oldest, prompted by the youngest, met her inquisitive gaze.

“Do you want to stop here for our picnic?”

The boys looked out the window and saw the lonely planet floating beneath them. One indifferent shrug, a mumble of an agreement, and a nod was the best she could expect. Only the youngest, barely out of diapers, expressed a latent thought, “Is it a planet again?”

Fever Pitched

I don’t know of a single writer who bragged about writing when they were ill. I spent most of Sunday fighting a cold and all of Monday yesterday sleeping off the worst of it. The whole time I was thinking of Lily James in Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies and wondering how Julian Fellows might have proceeded if he were to create a similar mashup with Downton Abbey.

Well, I’m no stranger to using Downton Abbey in my down moments, so stick around. What you see may shock you. (Or not, but “shock” gets a lot of search engine hits)

Shut Up And Write Twenty-Three More

Michael Connelly didn’t write this line. I believe it was Andrew Marlowe but if I’m wrong, someone please tell me in the comments section. But he delivered it in the aforementioned poker scene and it is something that came to mind when I was arguing with a writer who only had his first book available on Amazon for the past three years.

The line goes like this and can be viewed here:

“You know what I did when I wrote my first book? I shut up and wrote twenty-three more.”

The person I argued with has a book available on Amazon. Self-Published, it was posted four years ago. I won’t list the title here, because I found this author to be a bit high on himself. His only claim to fame was a blogger who compared him to Stephen King and Lee Child.

I’ve been compared to authors before. A good friend said a vampire story I wrote reminded him of HP Lovecraft. After reading my first Nicodemus Dean book, another friend said it called to mind the works of Raymond Chandler and PG Wodehouse. Another story I wrote was compared to Agatha Christie.

I was flattered and grateful for the comparisons. I don’t brag about them, because the difference between me and those authors is that 99% of the world knows who they are. The reason is that they kept writing and didn’t allow the praise or the glamour to distract them.

This up and coming author wrote the first book in a trilogy and the next parts are not yet available. He posted on a thread how he couldn’t believe that his book went lower on the rankings, because his book beat a Stephen King novel as best seller. Yeah, I’m sure Stephen King is holding his pet box tortoise in fear and weeping into the century old whiskey that he can afford now.

It’s okay to be confident. It’s okay to even brag with your poker buddies over success and to occasionally haze an author who is for all intents and purposes, a neophyte. But if you’ve only written one book in your life and your name isn’t Harper Lee, your success is not going to be measured by one book and a couple of favorable comparisons.

Shut up and write twenty-three more books.

(By the way, Mollie, if you’re reading this, I’m taking my own advice. I’ll be writing the third book of the Nicodemus Dean series soon)

Castle Season 3 Poker Game #AllTwoOfYou

I’m rarely surprised, or disappointed. But when I checked the Tearjerkers section of the TV Tropes page for Castle, I was amazed that this scene wasn’t included on that page.

Richard Castle is the fictional TV novelist who is also the titular character. In seasons one and two, the fictional author has a regular poker game with the not so fictional authors James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and the man that every American child who watched late night television has seen in this bumper.

Stephen J. Cannell passed away sometime between seasons 2 and 3. So in season 3, when the poker game scene pops up it involves Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, but when a new poker buddy takes a seat, Connelly, Lehane and Castle quickly discourage him.

The scene speaks for itself. What does not speak for itself is TVtropes. Whoever has editing powers had better include this scene and quick, or I’ll write about this in a future novel…

The Poker Scene

 

Me at Twelve and Fifteen… in case you were wondering

Special thanks to my aunt Ceil, who makes the best corned beef and cabbage in the North Eastern portion of the US.

Me at Twelve.jpg

I still miss that sweater. This photo was taken months before my very first literary scandal which some would say I lost. The blood on the walls of Catamount Elementary tell a different story…

Me at fifteen.jpg

Here you see one of the many victims of MAUHS. Somehow, I managed to escape and it was during this time that my writing was the most prolific.

 

Corrina Chapman, my New, New Best Friend

The Corrina Chapman mysteries are written by the same author who created the insatiable Phryne Fisher. There’s a bit of confusion regarding the copyright notice on the first book, Heavenly Pleasures, but it still counts as a Come Lately review. I’ll explain this soon.

Unlike Phryne, Corrina lives in the very modern Melbourne, Australia. A former accountant turned baker, Corrina is unashamed of her body and proud of her success. Her constant companion is Horatio, her cat, and two additional cats known as The Mouse Patrol, who keeps her bakery free of vermin in exchange for treats.

Her bakery, Earthly Delights, is in the same building as her apartment, a Roman inspired structure that was spared from urban renewal known as Insula. Each of the apartments are named for Greek or Roman deities that correspond with the characters. For example, Corrina lives in Hebe, named for the “waitress” of the gods. Apropos since Corrina keeps a shop where she sells her bread to the working stiffs of Melbourne. She doesn’t have to, she just likes to see people enjoying her life’s work.

Initially, I checked this series out because I wanted to see Kerry Greenwood’s more iconic Phryne Fisher series wasn’t just a fluke. I’m not one who judges the success of an author by whether their books make it to screen and just because I haven’t heard of Corrina, doesn’t mean she isn’t as compelling as the Lady Detective. I flew through the first book, Earthly Delights and am now in the middle of Heavenly Pleasures. First and foremost I love that Corrina is a fat character. By fat I mean, she’s also an XXL (like yours truly) and the fast paced nature of her work ensures that she has a healthy appetite. The second thing I love is that Corrina is not someone who goes out of her way to find problems. They find their way to her in a way that never seems forced, and these things effect her in such a way that it makes her involvement seem not only believable, but you’d less of her if she didn’t get involved.

So far, the other thing I like is that Kerry Greenwood doesn’t stick to the murder=mystery pattern that I’ve criticized other authors for. A death might happen in the story and a murderer may be involved but it’s secondary to the main plot (so far). Corrina has more than enough on her own plate (sorry) that she doesn’t get in the way of the cops, who are quite competent at their own jobs, thank you very much.

As to my question about the copyright, there’s a bit of confusion there. It tells me that the date for this book’s copyright is 1992. This doesn’t make sense, since Earthly Delights alone has enough Buffy references to qualify as a TVTropes entry and the pop culture references are also as recent as the late 90’s, early 00’s.

My theory has to do with the fact that the American copyright is 2006. So I wonder if Greenwood wrote this book a lot so one rand either it was published in 1992, or she had the copyright secured before she actually started writing it. I also don’t know how much Australian copyright laws differ from American ones, nor do I know a heck of a lot about American copyright laws, so all of this confusion could be the result of my own crippling ignorance.

It’s one mystery I’ll eagerly solve when and if I get the chance to ask my new favorite author.