I don’t like to get too deep into my personal life on this blog, but this is a writing update and some personal issues have affected my productivity. This was a bad month at baseline, enough to hamper my work. To treat this, my doctor doubled my medication. This higher dose screwed with my brain to the point that fiction writing is all but impossible. Writing this short blog post alone took over a week.
As such, little was accomplished this month. Hence, I’ve merged the Writing Update with What I Read.
Last month, I had resolved to find a call for submissions and write something for it. I chose an anthology of medical horror and outlined a story. To be honest, it was one of my better outlines: strong characters, building dread, a dash of humor. If I could pull it off, I could have a chance at acceptance.
But of course, as you read above, the process of writing it was a whole new matter. I pecked at my keyboard for a week, writing a total of 800-ish words by the seventh day, every sentence a battle. The prose itself was full of clumsy, wooden, ugly sentences. The characters were of the flimsiest cardboard and the plot read like a disjointed bullet list.
I had taken a wonderful outline and butchered it into a stinking pile of offal. Well, maybe not that bad. I haven’t given up on the story. It’ll be the first thing I write when I feel like myself once more. (I’m telling myself WHEN not IF.)
Generica is still at the editor, but it’s not like I could do anything with it if I had it. I hope the editor is just busy, but I have this invasive thought that the novella is so dreadful that he can’t stand to read it. Such is my mind these days.
What I Read
Reading has also proved difficult. Not only is it harder to process what I read, I also lack the mental stamina to read for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Nevertheless, I found a couple good books. These allowed me to escape my reality if even for a bit.
Before I get into the books, I wanted to address something in my last What I Read: the review of Necroscope III: The Source. Looking back on it, I was unnecessarily cruel in my description of the book. I write these blurbs right after I finish the book and at the time, I was frustrated and wrote it out of anger. I try to maintain a positive atmosphere here, so I apologize for that negativity. Fortunately, I doubt an author as big as Brian Lumley will ever see a tiny blog like mine.
The Outsider by Stephen King
This novel is the perfect marriage of the crime and horror genres. I’ve said here before that I’m not a fan of detective protagonists, but I could easily overlook that as this addicting story pulled me along. A man has been accused of a gruesome murder, only he was miles away in another town at the time of the crime. Even with witnesses, DNA, and fingerprints, doubt creeps into Detective Ralph Anderson’s mind. And the truth is even darker than he imagined. The Outsider might be the most readable book I’ve ever read, and I needed that.
Dragonlance: The Legend of Huma by Richard A. Knaak
Some of my longtime readers may remember my impulsive purchase of 81 Dragonlance novels. When looking for my next book, I tried one of them out. Back in my turbulent teens and early twenties, media tie-in novels were my go-to when feeling bad. They have no pretension, nothing overwrought, just fun stories to get lost in. This particular volume of the Dragonlance saga was supposed to be one of the best, and I can attest to that. This high fantasy adventure full of knights, mages, and dragons was exactly what I needed.
I hope to write a blog post about tie-in novels when I’m doing better. It’s a subject that has always fascinated me.
Sorry for the gloomy post. It was therapeutic to use the medium I was struggling with to voice my thoughts.