I’ve got the cookbook, so I don’t need an online recipe to help my wife make dinner, but just in case, here’s Julia Child’s recipe for quiche lorraine on WGBH for reference or if anybody gets hungry.
#nowplaying What Happens Next by Joe Satriani: a solid batch of instrumental Satch boogies that will take repeated listens to fully appreciate.
Given time I think it’ll grow on me, but at the moment I think Unstoppable Momentum (2013) was Joe Satriani’s last excellent album. This one, like Shockwave Supernova (2015), is good but not at the same level as his classics.
Of course, if I want The Extremist (1992) or Surfing with the Alien (1987) I know exactly where to find them.
Reiji Yoshida reports that in Tokyo, 1 out of every 8 young women celebrating their coming of age in Japanese culture are not Japanese citizens. It must feel strange to work hard to fit into a given society and culture, but not be acknowledged as part of that society or culture or be counted as a citizen.
Not that the USA is consistently better in this regard, but we are long overdue for a national discussion on what it even means to be an American. It won’t be pretty.
Fans of The Rebel Branch Initiate’s Guide to the Alchemist’s Council need not fret. I’ll have it back up tonight.
The BNR Metal Pages was once of the first websites I discovered when I first got online back in 1996, and they’re still around over 20 years later. If you’ve just gotten your first taste of heavy metal, you’ll discover lots of new bands here. And if you’re long past your golden age of leather, you’ll find lots of memories.
Some of you may have noticed that my website looks different again. No doubt you’re sick of the endless changes, but it truly was time for a fresh start. I don’t blame you, but there’s a reason I’ve been messing around with my website instead of just writing Shattered Guardian.
Incidentally, for readers expecting me to write a novel called Blackened Phoenix: I’ve changed the title. The old title kept making me hungry, and I wanted the novel’s title to focus on Morgan’s struggles rather than on organizational issues.
What is My Major Malfunction?
With that said, one might reasonably ask what’s taking so damned long with Shattered Guardian. After all, I published Silent Clarion back in October 2016, a little over a year ago. I published Without Bloodshed way back in November 2013. Am I just dicking around?
Maybe. It’s more complicated than that, though I don’t expect anybody to sympathize.
For starters, I live with a form of depression called dysthymia that basically makes adulting harder. Drugs don’t help, and neither does therapy. I’ve tried both.
Despite my dysthymia, I still manage to take care of business. I still have my day job as a software developer. I’m still happily married to my wife of thirteen years, Catherine Gatt. We bought a house in June 2017, mere weeks after I took Catherine to Paris to celebrate her 40th birthday.
It’s not like I haven’t been writing, either. I’ve got almost a dozen different first chapters for Shattered Guardian, but I’m not happy with any of them. Worse, I’m not sure how best to continue should I just say “screw it” and pick one, because I have as many outlines as I do first chapters and none of them are satisfactory, either.
It’s like that old song “Flaming Telepaths” goes:
Is it any wonder that my mind’s on fire
Imprisoned by the thought of what to do?
Blue Öyster Cult
Why is a Sequel Harder? I Managed a Prequel
Why is this the case? I think it’s because while you can read Without Bloodshed as a stand-alone work, the events of that novel have repercussions that must affect the subsequent novels, and I haven’t figured out how to deal with them yet.
However, I think there’s a deeper problem at work. I think the well has run dry.
The question is what I’m going to do about it. To start with, I’m shelving Shattered Guardian for now. Instead, I want to focus on fleshing out the setting and characters; I suspect that I don’t understand them nearly as well as I thought I did, and certainly not well enough to write the novels I want to write.
Instead, I’m going to take the winter off and spend it reading. I can’t take a season of rest away from my day job, but instead of trying to force Shattered Guardian as I have been, I’m going to leave it alone. It’ll be there when I’m ready, and hopefully a quiet winter spent whittling my to-be-read pile will help me refill that well.
I’m also going to spend time writing small posts about how the world of Starbreaker works as well as posts about the characters. I hope you’ll read and share them.
Is That All? Of Course Not
I also have a couple of non-Starbreaker projects I’d like to deal with.
- I’d like to finish The Rebel Branch Initiate’s Guide to the Alchemists’ Council, a commentary on Canadian author Cynthea Masson’s literary fantasy, The Alchemists’ Council. She has a sequel coming out called The Flaw in the Stone, and it might be nice to catch up with the first novel before the second one drops if I’m going to keep up the RBIG.
- I think a comprehensive series of Unix for Writers articles might be worth doing. I’ve seen quite a few writers struggle because they think they need a top-of-the-line machine with the latest version of Windows and the latest version of Microsoft Word, but can’t afford to pay for it, and
many of them would be perfectly fine with a refurbished laptop manufactured 5-10 years ago if they knew how to install a BSD or GNU/Linux and use free software.
- I’d like to do something a little more constructive with my tendency to rant, and contain all of my rants within a collection of essays called Everything Considered Harmful.
- The rights to Without Bloodshed have reverted to me, and I think I would like to post the original 2013 text online for all to read.
Time for a Fresh Start
To that end, I’ll be redesigning and rebuilding this blog. Some content will move. Some content will go away. I hope you’ll stick around. In any case, once I get WordPress working properly I have no intention of breaking it and trying something new just because it’s shiny. I wasted enough time on that nonsense, and it’s time to get serious.
I could use your help. Since I’m going to commit to using WordPress to manage my web presence for the long haul, I’d love it if you registered with your names (pseudonyms are OK) and email addresses, and left comments on my posts whenever you have time.
If you’d rather not comment, thanks for reading anyway.