Imprint of My Soul

It might come as a foreign idea to some that your work can be as intimate as your soul. Artists generally know that, but sometimes I think those are the only people who do. It takes a special person to come along and not only appreciate such a statement, but to also add their own expression to that original vision, that soul-print if you will.

When I began writing Prizm: Dominatrix of Sulan back in 2006, I had no idea that this work would become so special to me. I had no idea that it would, in effect, capture a piece of me. I had been given various advice along the way, such as distancing oneself from the completed project in order to dispassionately market it, and so on.

I tried that and failed.

I had already received multiple rejections on the novel from traditional publishers, but unlike other manuscripts something in me wouldn’t let this one go. I can’t really explain it. I don’t really get it. This novel, this story became so much more than a book I wrote. It became so much more than a flight of fantasy, it became a mission.

But still, I had to move on. I gave over the rights in the main to stop myself from obsessing over it. You know, clear the air, get some space. I felt relief for a time, but when I saw that my vision, that imprint of my soul was, well, handled without the utmost of care, I couldn’t help but take offense. It hurt because the mission was so much more important than that. It hurt because it wasn’t my vision anymore.

I think any artist has to try and live up to the original concept that inspired him to touch paint brush to canvas, pen to paper or digital object to screen. Any artist has to try and make the vision real, do it justice, keep the integrity true while trying to stay commercial. Not an easy task, any of it.

So, my vision wasn’t being seen. Prizm was about to get swept under a rug. But then, this is Prizm: Dominatrix of Sulan we are talking about here, let’s not fool ourselves, with a title like that this work has no intention of lying under rugs. I made a decision. A pivotal one. I decided that the only way to make my vision real, to make the intention stick was to do it myself, and by God, I am the only one who can. 

You see, crazy as it sounds, split personality as it is, I do believe and on some level just plain know that the characters of this book sought me out because they knew I would carry their message. They thought it that important. And so I wrote this thing, letting it pour out of me like some wild proclamation from another world, letting the characters take control and tell the thing the way they wanted to, the way they were meant to. 

And when it was done, I still didn’t know exactly what I had. Still don’t. Still trying to wrap my wits around what exactly it is. But I have this much today, I have a piece of the puzzle in sharp focus now for all the world to see at a glance. Taking matters into my own hands has brought me together with a very gifted artist, Amalia Chitulescu and do you know, she got the visual.

I mean, she saw the world and gave it expression. She brought out the aesthetic as only she could. 

I am happy today because I can show a piece of the world now, a real piece. Edits from the re-writes are being done now too and the re-launching pad is being built and it’s being done right, but I’ve got the show piece now and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Thank you Amy so much.

And thank you early readers of this work. Ron, Heather, Amber, Piers. Thank you to anyone and everyone who has ever given Prizm a chance because I don’t think it has ever really let any of them go either, at least not for very long. 

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New Cop Hero

Jake Gyllenhall is my new hero. 

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No, really he is. The brooding detective in Prisoners. His performance, in my opinion, stole the show. I actually went to see Hugh Jackman’s performance and was basically captivated by Gyllenhaal’s. Now, I don’t use those words lightly–hero, captivated. I don’t normally talk like that.

I put this movie up there with Silence of the Lambs. It was that good with incredible characters and a richly complex and perfectly woven plot. I was so happy when I saw the high ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, because this was one movie where the preview had me, but I won’t go if Tomatoes splats it.  

Anyway, I’m not going to summarize the plot. I don’t see the point. I will summarize Jake Gyllenhaal’s Detective Loki performance though. 

Riveting.

Let me delve. Here is the neo-archetype. The new cop hero, part street punk, part forensics genius and expert clue hunter and most importantly, here is the younger generation’s exemplar attuned to the criminally insane just enough to understand them, just enough to know them, and just enough to be haunted by them and the ugly things they do.

Brooding, soft-spoken, marked, perhaps, by the signs of a life begun on the streets and passionate about one thing: his job.  

I would see this movie again just for that. 

They should make more movies with this Detective Loki played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

I feel safer already. 

 

How We Dream

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When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set out to write his book entitled The Coming of the Fairies he called on the world’s then foremost experts in the discipline of fairy spotting, fifteen year old Elsie Wright and her cousin Francis Griffiths.

Elsie and Francis had hooked the interest of both the scientific and lay worlds with their photographs, the first being Francis posing with a gnome. The second saw Francis with a host of pixies playing music in the forest. Well, when the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes requested yet another photo they could do nothing other than oblige and marched off into the woods. And do you know, once again they were able to catch glimpses of the fey folk and photograph them?

However, on this occasion the Little People appeared transparent, as if fading from view.

Ah, said the girls, they would no longer be allowed to take photos of the wee folk, for reasons unknown to mortal minds.

Fifty seven years passed and still the mystery had not been plumbed. The scientific community was stymied. Photographic experts simply could not figure it out. Hard to believe nowadays, but back then such technology had never even been envisioned. Had these two young ladies really had such encounters? Must be, for photos do not lie.

The girls now women, held the assertion all those years that those photos and their encounters with the Little Folk of the English country side were true.

It wasn’t until 1977 that writer, Fred Gettings , found the evidence he needed, Princess Mary’s Gift Book wherein lay the hand drawn pictures that corresponded exactly with the fairy procession in those pictures from 1917.

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Well, Elsie had been a consummate painter after all and…not until 1982 did both women admit to the whole of it being a hoax.

How much we want to believe in such things. Is life really that dull without such fantasy?

Or, perhaps such fancies stem from our forgotten, but past history that while long dead for centuries, yet begs us to remember how it once was,  and perhaps, how it will be again.

Getting More Done with Monk Magic

I’ve had to take a break from blogging. Many reasons, so many. A move for one, from Los Angeles to Seattle. Sweet! Oh, but the rains haven’t come yet and so I am waiting to melt once they do. Seattleites are like that, they just love to tell you how much rain they endure on an annual basis. They wear it like a black eye, proud and winsome. 

Well, we shall see. I’ve got my rain gear, snorkel, galoshes. Waiting, waiting for the great deluge. 

Another reason, I have done a full-on re-write of my novel Prizm. I had to. I know you’re not supposed to do that, I know you’re supposed to “never look back” but I had to do it. Well, you see it all started over the cover. I don’t like the cover it has right now so I thought I would see about what I could do about that. Then I thought, well, if I’m doing a new cover, might as well fix up some of them typos I knew were in there and then…all up hill from there. Got into it and my Gad, couldn’t resist. Had to re-write. Well, I’m damn glad I did because the product is so much better. I mean, night and day if you ask me. Not the story, the story was all there, always all there. Just the writing, use of English. I just hadn’t had the technical skill to bring it off before but now, I think I got it. I mean, I think I managed to do the work justice. I think now I have at least approximated the vision. 

I am also having a new cover done. Using 99 Designs to do it and so far so very good. I am getting some really great renderings and I am very happy that the new cover will also do the work justice. Very important, covers. I also restored the full title because, it just wasn’t the same. Prizm. You know, what is that? So, I restored it. Prizm: Dominatrix of Sulan, Book One of the Jen Cycle. 

It introduces the second one, which will be called Prizm: Liberator of Sulan, Book Two and so on. Anyway, it will be up in a couple weeks, I think, at the most. New cover and new improved all the way around. 

Let’s see, more reasons for not blogging. Sleeping. Reading (China Mieville you never cease to amaze! Anne Rice, if you ever read this, let it be known I shall sit at the foot of the master to learn what crumbs of knowledge thou mightest cast at me! Yeah, she’s one of favorites. Oh, yeah, Roger Zelazny, Terry Goodkind, Brandon Sanderson. The list grows. 

Oh, another reason, I am going great guns on Thomas Hunter. I am currently describing it thusly: Harry Dresden meets Corwin of Amber at the Vatican to fight Cthulu. Though, I am searching for something less bombastic. Any ideas, let me know. Excited about that one and considering just going straight into the next book. You know, strike while the iron is hot and all. Better maybe to do it while its still so fresh in the brain. 

Let’s see, let’s see. Oh, yes, I did a reading of Demon of Montreal at a coffee shop here in Seattle and while I would chalk the whole experience up to “practice” and “an exercise in NOT promoting to see who comes anyway” I did find that my voice is oddly perfect for the piece and so have decided to do the audio book. Yes, I am really looking forward to that. My friend Paul M. in Minnesota is hooking me with some really great pricing on a real honest to goodness recording studio complete with pro-tools. So, just after Thanksgiving…somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I will have an audio book out. Demon in audio just in time for Santie Clause. 

What else, what else…well, that kind of brings me to the name of this blog post. I have a word. One word. This is how we can a) get more done b) solve crimes c) save lives and d) have our doppelgangers too. One word: bilocation. 

Yes, bilocation. It’s so easy, I have no idea why I never thought of it before. 

Actually, this is monk magic. For some reason and I have no idea why, monks, devout monks of a certain faith have had attributed to them such strange powers, like levitation and bilocation. The famous Padre Pio apparently bilocated on many many occasions, meaning appeared in body in two or more places at the same time. His body mind you, not his spirit that is a very important part of bilocation. Its not spiritual its physical. Padre Pio of course saved people from imminent destruction and guided people through near death experiences and what not.  

Levitation is another one. One priest in particular…hang on let me check my sources…St. Joseph of Copertino Italy in 1600 something, used to have wild, spastic episodes of uncontrolled levitation whereby he would bounce around the chapel, bumping into things and breaking things. Yes, he termed it “my giddiness” of all things. I guess he was so filled with religious ecstasy that he just couldn’t help himself from flying. 

Well,  I don’t know about you, but all that sounds like a pretty good way to a) get more done–doppelgangers in the flesh can do actual work presumably and b) get there faster. 

I’m going to try that with writing. After all, its working great for Patterson.