I Fucked Up

So, last year, my wife and I decided to do a Book Bingo Challenge. We did 25 different categories that ranged from “Owned, Never Read” to “Should Have Read in High School” to “Translated from Another Language”. On some of them, we played fast and loose with the title categories (I’m looking at you “Relationship Book”), while others were more literal. 

The ones I had the most fun with were the categories I could use to read something I want, to have an excuse to finally read a specific book that was in my TBR pile. This year, my Book Bingo is more personalized. There are 25 different categories. Some of them are specific books (I’m finally reading The Shining), some are writers I have wanted to read for a while, a few are extremely broad in scope (a Presidential Biography, History, and Occult to name a few). 

Where I screwed myself is in deciding to read James Clavell’s Asian Saga. 

Chronologically, the first book is Shogun. I’ve read the book before, so I know what to expect. And I know that I’m in for 5,000 pages of only Clavell. What just occurred to me is that if the other books are anything like Shogun, I am in for a serious case of Literary Blue Balls. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Shogun, it is the story of an Englishman living in Fuedal Japan. Based on the life of William Adams, this 1,200 page novel details the lives of the main character, John Blackthorne, but several Japanese and Portuguese characters as well. It is richly detailed, allowing the reader to feel as though they are right alongside each character. We feel everything Blackthorne feels, including his isolation, and we are right there with Toranaga as he maneuvers his way to become Shogun. After 1,200 pages of build up, the story conclude in  two paragraphs.

So, I repeat, if the other books are anything like this, I’m going to have Literary Blue Balls. 

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Cool Nerd News

Baby Dinosaur’s 99 Million-Year-Old Tail, Encased In Amber, Surfaces In Myanmar http://n.pr/2hcwpAk

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Cast Your Vote

Election Day has descended upon the United States once again. The polls will open in just a few minutes, and by the end of the day, we will have a new POTUS. 

Equally important is the Down Ballot. This will decide who has control of Congress for the next few years. But tthere are also the local matters, things that will effect you directly. For instance, where I live, there is a question about improving the a bus lines. To do so costs money, and it also means a raise in taxes. That it amounts to an increase of $0.25 for every $100 of earned income is up to the individual voter if that cost is too much. 

Before you had to work today, educate yourself, at the very least, on the local matters. Then do cast your ballot. 

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The Death of a Novel

Writing a book is a monumental task. To reach the end goal takes dedication. It doesn’t matter if it is the first book you’ve written, or the 100th: to stick to one story is a commitment on par with marriage. Not many people have the stamina to pull it off.

Often, though, writing the book proves easier than what follows. Sure, you can publish the book, warts and all, and let the fates decide, but why? Writing is an art. Imagine if this painting by Leonardo were in its roughest form. It may be recognizable, but it wouldn’t be the work of art adored by millions. Unfortunately, that is the position I am finding myself in at this very moment.

The truth is, I made a mistake with my first novel. The centerpiece, what everything works toward, is someone’s death. I took inspiration from a tragedy that occurred my senior year of high school. While writing the book was cathartic, I am finding myself avoiding revisions. Not because I don’t want people to read it, I do. Three other people, one of whom I sought approval before beginning revisions (I’ll talk about all of this in the future), have read Mad World. But despite receiving permission, I have decided Mad World is a book for my eyes only. It was a story that I needed out of me so I could move on.

So what to do? Move on.

Currently, I am revising a book I have sub-titled The Completely Factual Account of a Fictional Character, researching for a novel set during the aftermath of World War II, writing a horror novel, and outlining a fantasy novel. Which of these makes it to the finish-line first is anyone’s guess at this point. While, again, Factual/Fictional is largely inspired by my own life, I made the conscious decision to write something considerably lighter in tone. Hell, it took Herman Wouk nearly thirty years before he could finally tell what he calls “The Main Task”. If Mad World is never published, so be it. What matters is that I am writing. Every day, words are added.

Until next time,

J.B.K.

 

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