Sunday, February 12, 2012

Notes from the Cave

"It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

That opening sentence from Orwell's "1984" would be perfectly appropriate at this moment, except that it's not April.

The Spawn are across the street, and the Mate is shopping with a friend.  That means Yours Truly gets to sit at home and watch Lost, read, and do a little blogging.

If you follow me on Twitter (@BScottChristmas), you may have noticed that I have started getting involved in the so-called "Indie Writer" crowd.  Twitter is a HUGE medium for independent authors, and they all follow each other and retweet each other all the time.  Some of these writers seem to be on Twitter all day long, seven days a week, sending out tweet after tweet after tweet, often times repeating the exact same thing (an advertisement for their book, for instance).  Many of them never tweet anything that is not related to Indie book publishing and writing.  It's as if they eat, sleep, drink, and breathe Indie publishing.  

To be honest, I find it a bit annoying, and somewhat creepy.  Like this underworld subculture of mostly unsuccessful writers that no one knows about.  

I'm not trying to be mean - I'm one of them after all! - but the obsessive way some of them (and I emphasize, it's only SOME) use Twitter to self-promote is a bit of a put-off.  There is at least one guy who I un-followed simply because I got sick of seeing the same self-promoting tweets over and over and over again - dozens of times a day. my regular followers, sorry for the occasional book-related retweet or for the occasional tweet promoting my own books.  I like the Indie writers community, and I appreciate it that it's there as a resource for me, but I try not to overdo it or abuse it.  


This past week at work was, in all honestly, probably the most stressful week I've had since I've been an X-ray tech.  Very, very busy all week, everyone frazzled and stressed out, and that stress just emanates around the group and becomes a vicious cycle.  It was not fun, at all.  It did, however, make Happy Hour on Friday night especially fun, and we had a very good turn out.  My birthday, as many of you know, was last Wednesday, and while I am not too thrilled about 37, at least it's not 40.  :) 

I am making slow progress on what is set to be my first novel published on Amazon.  As my good friends and family will know, I have written five novels over the years, but have not yet published any of them.  It took me a while to decide which one to publish, and now that I have made the decision, I have to essentially re-write the whole thing. 

The title of the book (which MIGHT be changed) is The Pyrate Chronicles.  This was the first novel I ever completed.  I started writing it after being inspired by a dream in the summer of 1995 - the summer after my Sophomore year of college.  I wrote the first half of the book that summer, then set it aside during my Junior year of school.  The following summer - 1996 - I returned to it and completed it.  It was a big accomplishment, of course, but the book itself was not very good.  

I did a mild rewrite of the book in 1997, and then a much more thorough rewrite about 1998.  Even then, it wasn't particularly good, and I decided to finally put it aside and move on to other things.  I have always regarded it with an almost paternal affection, not just because it was my first literary offspring, but also because it was hopelessly flawed, but still an important stepping stone in my development. 

So here I am now, 17-some years down the road since I wrote the novel's first line, and I have decided to resurrect it with a complete rewrite and release it as my first published novel.  As the title implies, it is a pirate tale, and I hope to make it a sort of action/adventure story with a strong sense of historical setting and historical integrity.  It's not going to be supernatural, like Pirates of the Caribbean, and it also won't be a totally romanticized story - like Treasure Island - of a pirate world that never really existed.  

It is set in Europe in the late 17th century, and the central character is an English sailor turned pirate who haunts the Mediterranean Sea and has a bit of a Robin Hood streak.  He is joined by his lover, a woman who was sold into white slavery on the Barbary Coast as a child, but was rescued by a Dutch privateer and raised on his ship.  Taking a cue from my recent obsession with the TV show "Lost," I intend to fill the book with flashbacks, slowly revealing the back story of the various main characters as the novel progresses.

I will, of course, keep you filled in on my progress :) 

I was very happy yesterday to see the UK Wildcats pull out a tough road win against Vanderbilt - one of the hardest teams to beat on their own floor.  I hate to sound silly, but I really do think this particular Kentucky team is one of the very best UK teams in a very, very long time.  They seem to be peaking at just the right time, and they are playing really good basketball right now.  The "favorite" team of the last few years has NOT managed to go on to win a national championship.  I think UK is the clear "favorite" right now, so I hope that they will break the streak.  They seem to be standing out from the pack right now, in a way that I have not seen teams do for the last few years - which is why, I think, that no "favorite" has won a championship.  There has been quite a bit of parity in college basketball in recent years, but I feel like Kentucky is really stretching out ahead right now.  We'll see how it progresses.  

I feel like there is more I should talk about, but I can't really think of anything at the moment.  I hope to get back to work soon on part III of my political party history.  Don't die from anticipation, please.  

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