I’ve just updated the “Entry by Entry” section under Telling Tales, which now links to the current set of stories (arbitrarily named as “volume II,” seeing as I’ll be releasing volume I in a few months). As of today, I’ve got about 3 weeks of stories written out in front of me, which is useful for a number of reasons. I’ve gone through about a two week stretch of not knowing how to continue the story, and to have the buffer in place so that I can give myself some room has been fantastic.
On the other hand, it seems that the solution to writer’s block was mostly to sit down and write. Hard to say if the research pushed me on, the time to noodle, or the eventual, self-inflicted butt-kicking. The important thing is that it’s moving again. A heads-up – so far this section of stories (particularly chapter 2) is a bit darker than the stories in volume I. This is partially by design – as I progress and get farther along, I’d like for the stories to pull out some of the less child-friendly elements of fairy tales. The actual torturing described by the Grimms or the loosely described sex from A Thousand and One Nights is a long, long way off – this stuff right now is a lot more creepy than gory, but unlike the Bartender’s story (It Sees in Time), this atmosphere is more sustained and without the campfire-joke payoff at the end. I don’t think it’s anything that’s inappropriate for kids, but it’s definitely a darker mood and that’s worth noting.
Over the next week or so I’ll be getting the final illustrations for both self-publication projects. The folk tales have the working title of Polite Fictions – Fairy Tales, Exaggerations, and Other Simple Stories for Long, Cold Nights Amidst Questionable Company. “Polite Fictions” for short. I’m getting some positive, some negative feedback on that. Anyone feel like weighing in, I’d appreciate any explained input.
The second is a satire of A Christmas Carol. Because it’s different than most of what I’m writing, I’ll be publishing it under a pseudonym – obviously not to hide (since I’m talking about it here), but because author names are more or less the equivalent of branding and people don’t like to be startled by buying one thing and expecting the same from the next purchase and not getting it. Still looking at October-ish for both of those.
And, as lately, back to carpentry.
Incidentally, here’s a story about a clever little business plan covered by the New York Times for when you hear stories about self-publishing phenom John Locke and how great he is.