Recently, I’ve been trying to breathe new life into an old script of mine, Tears Of A Clown. For the uninitiated, I wrote it when I lived in Hollywood 1n 1999. Wow! That’s 18 years ago. Since then it’s become an ebook and paperpback novella, audiobook, and “screenplay based on the novella.” Tonight, I edited the first draft of 155 pages to its current 115 pages second draft and released it on InkTip for all the world to see. Hopefully, I’ll get a bite, get paid and, um, retire in style. I’ve always like Tears Of A Clown. Yeah, it was written to be a commercial sell, but what can I say? It’s time I ventured back into movie making, right? I’m way overdue.
Hi, all. Trivial matter, this. I mean, looking at everything else going on around the world – threat of hydrogen testing by the North Koreans in the Pacific, hurricanes and earthquakes coming out of the woodwork, daily protests in the streets, drugs and crime always in the news…me finally getting a break from writing is absolutely inconsequential in the scheme to things. This is not earth shattering, but it matters to me.
My virtual book tour for “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven” has just one more week to go. I’m done putting the finishing touches on “Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories,” and last but not least, think I’ve finished rewriting the novelette, nee short story, “The Black Cumin Cure.” Of all the prose I’ve ever agonized about in my life, it was this one, hands down.
I first wrote “The Black Cumin Cure” for a sci-fi/horror magazine about three years ago. It failed. I reworked it, sent it to another publisher, and they also passed on it. Thinking the third time the charm, I restructured it and sent it in to a third online magazine publisher. They weren’t interested. Consequently, I let the work die a slow, painful death.
About four months ago, I had another look at it, tweaked it a little, and sent it off. It failed. Subsequent tweaks also failed to get it published. The difference this time around is the publishers all gave me reasons why my work was lacking. Interestingly, some of the critique appeared to contradict the other, making me think me think my work wasn’t what they wanted, not that it was lacking in the grammatical arena. In any case, “Black Cumin” went from a 3,500 word short story to an 8,200 word novelette. I sent it off yesterday to five publishers for consideration. At this point though, even if all five reject it, I’m still going to go ahead and publish as is. It’ll be the third story in “Obey.” The book has 11 stories, so obviously, its ranking at No. 3 is pretty high.
Why did “The Black Cumin Cure” have such a lengthy development arc? It’s sci-fi meets horror, but my original intention was that the horror was the strong parts and the sci-fi, well, not so much. I suppose in this age of technology, I can’t afford to skimp over technical details which, to be fair, I did. The publishers saw through my laziness, though, and call me on it. Drats. I’d hoped they wouldn’t have noticed. Sci-fi is very hard to write. The research I did for “Murder in Rock & Roll Heaven,” itself being mystery/sci-fi, caused me weeks of mental aches and pains. I’m not sure if another horror/sci-fi short of mine, “The Vented Chamber” is a success. If not, my biggest takeaway from all this is this – leave sci-fi writing to William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Larry Niven, John Scalzi, Stephen King, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis or whoever’s writing sci-fi these days.
I published the novella “Tears of a Clown” this morning on Amazon. “Tears” used to be a horror screenplay; it still is, but I’ve since fleshed it out and turned it into a novella. I wrote this when I was in Hollywood. I think it was the 4th or 5th script I’d written. The story came together pretty quickly and the screenplay took 4 days to write. Of course, it’s went through several renditions over the years. I hope the book doesn’t give anyone nightmares.
Speaking of which – I had another one last night; not as bad as last week’s, but still annoying. It’s kinda funny I’d have them, given how long I’ve been homeless in the street. Anyway, it is what it is. I think it’ll be the last piece of fiction I’ll write for a while. I have a few ideas for my next book but I don’t know how feasible they are. Chances are I’ll eat my words and go back to fiction if I don’t accumulate enough material for the non-fiction material.
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I don’t even know why it was invented, presumably just to torture Aspies. I just hate “not knowing” and being in limbo about something. It drives me crazy and forces my brain to think of a way out, any way out. Where I temporarily live they won’t tell me how much time I have left there. It could be 6 months, it could be tomorrow. The uncertainty is bringing me to the point where I just wanna go, “Fuck it. I’m moving back to my car tonight.” Man, this black and white business sure can bog me down, and I know it, yet the grayness of uncertainty tortures me to death, ruins my sleep, upsets my day and sucks the happiness out of me. No wonder I’ve been looking at a lot of extremely violent Asian & German horror films lately. They just fit my mood.