Well, not really, but I wanted to start with something dramatic. Things are continuing pretty much as they've always done, which is either thanks to determinism, eternal recurrence or laziness, who knows.
Actually, I've not been too lazy - I spent December in Puerto Rico, then came back to Colombia, so I've been out and about seeing and doing cool stuff. I'll actually have another AWOUND THE WORLD WITH WAYNE done about Puerto Rico probably next week, so you can all eyeball the things I eyeballed, from the comfort of your bedroom/study/secret lab/wherever you read this.
I'm currently waiting to hear about more teaching work (the more observant of you will recall I've been working as an English teacher here in Colombia the last year) so to fill my time, I've been working on a few creative endeavours. Mainly music, but I'm also going to try and make a concerted effort with my writing again, if I can. But first, the MUSIC! -->
|Alternate Version cover art by Grebo Gray|
Since I'm using a service called Distrokid to get my music all over the Internet, I figured it'd be daft not to take advantage of this, so I've also recently released the Alternate Version of VERSUS SATAN. It has different cover art, and the first, middle and end tracks are also exclusive to this release (though you can purchase them separately if you want to go a little nuts and compile your own version of the album. What a time to be alive!). This can be heard HERE and HERE and, again, basically everywhere on the internet by this point.
And lastly, I uploaded my 2014 album to the same places. It's called THE CARDBOARD DEAD BOY ELECTRIC RESURRECTION INSTRUCTION MANUAL, and athough I don't think it's as focused as my new stuff, has its merits. This is also on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, etc etc etc.
I'm currently working on a more jazz beats-flavoured bunch of CDB songs, for a four track EP that'll see the light of day at some point this year. I also like the idea of doing the CDB version of pop music and calling the release PLAYS ALL THE HITS, but we'll see if this idea pans out.
Alongside all this, I'm also trying my hand at more straighforward techno, under the name THE UNIVERSE IS DYING. It shares a fair bit of DNA with CDB but minus the jazz, glitches and noise. I'm keeping it dark though, with this quote forming the 'mission statement', if you will:
"...we have learned our own insignificance, and that amongst the infinite number of stars, each supporting their own system of inhabited planets, our earth occupies an infinitesimally small portion, and the destruction of it would make no difference whatever..."
- John F. Blake, Astronomical Myths, 1877.
I've been making videos for each song, too, as an additional little creative challenge. You can give these an eyeball by click the band name!
And now, the WRITING! -->
I haven't had anything new published since November 2014 :'( but I did use 2015-2016 to write and polish a novel called A WRETCHED PLACE. It's influenced by Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy (which is EXCELLENT) and Sophocles' Theban plays. It has a slightly weird structure, that follows a woman, her husband (who narrates his sections), an (unwitting?) agent of chaos and a sinister preacher (the best kind!) as their paths cross along fractured timelines in a world now in the grip of monstrous gods. I've subbed it to a few publishers already, and some of them requested the full manuscript, but so far no luck landing an actual contract.
Today, however, I started tweaking my first novel (which also had a lot of publishers request a full manuscript and nearly found a home in a couple of places) THIS VILLAGE NEVER DREAMS. It is/was initially a cyclic/episodic novel in which a PI, Jack Green, starts to unravel an insane conspiracy to bring ancient gods back to Earth. I thought it wouldn't really work as a single, typical narrative since it covers ten months to a year in his life, as it slowly goes down the toilet thanks to encountering monsters/cults etc.
BUT, now I think I might be able to do it. I'm going to try and break it into MONTHS instead of typical chapters, and weave the various cases together so that, for instance, he starts one as another is ongoing (at the moment, events and people are referenced/completed between stories, but they're still "this happened and then this happened"). It's going to require a lot of work and narrative/structural wizardry, I reckon, but I think I need to get back into my old writing discipline of doing at least a few hours a day. Plus, at least I have the whole damn thing already written - I just need to reshape it, so I'm confident this is achievable.
The aim is to then (re)send this off to publishers, but a tiny part of me is considering self-publishing. A ton of my writer chums self-publish and seem to do alright from it, but the issue I have is a) finding an actual publisher still feels like legitimacy and b) you need to have a decent network/marketing plan in mind if you're going to handle all this yourself.
Now, I have no qualms about, effectively, self-publishing my music. Partly because this doesn't take me as long to write and partly because there are, as stated above, services and ways to get your music on the most platforms possible (and therefore decent pay from sales). I don't know if there are any such services for writers, other than manually uploading it to all the various self-publishing sites.
I've also been considering, as a kind of 'test-run', releasing a collection of short stories - all previously published, but now out of contract. I need to tweak them, and ideally want to include at least a couple of new stories, but one of those stories is wildly out of control and doesn't want to end. I pride myself on being the sort of person who doesn't say something unless he intends to do it, so I should probably put my money where my mouth is and actually get this done haha.
ANYWAY. This has been a bumper update, so that should tide you over for a while. Speaking of 'tide', can you believe we all live in a world where kids are eating laundry detergent? I probably put stuff I shouldn't have in my mouth when I was a baby, but I had the self-awareness of a baby then so it's expected. Kids these days, good grief.
Let me leave you with what it literally filling my ears as I type this right now: