Sunday, June 3, 2012

Stories, Snickbuzzards, and Sanity: A Writerly Ramble

Greetings and hallucinations!

I haven't blogged in some time, so I figured I'd say SOMETHING on here. I'll subject you to a short update and then ramble for a bit. Do your best to finish the post: but if you can't, I don't blame you. ^_^

Firstly, my writing! Tornado C is coming along sloooowwwwlllyyyy. I'm still working on the outline. If I really stuck to it and got the outline done, I could be starting it this week, but other circumstances have temporarily supplanted it.

What circumstances? The further progression of my science fiction stories, which I just call "Will Vullerman" stories, after the protagonist. In addition to In Stasis and The Reality Ring, I've been working on a sci-fi/thriller/murder mystery sequel to the stories called The Thirteenth Call. Working synopsis is below:


They were a perfectly normal American family newly arrived in Europe. But for the last six nights, at seven o'clock sharp, they've gotten the same phone call with the same threatening message. Will Vullerman, asked by a friend to help this family, arrives on the scene. But he's not prepared for the sinister plot that's slowly tightening the noose around this family. He has to find out who's calling, and why, before it's too late...before the thirteenth call.


Plotwise, I'm really enjoying this story. Plenty of suspense and twists and turns, I can assure you. And my sisters have called it "scary" thus far, which is a new direction for me.

The Thirteenth Call has proved to be a fairly large task, however. The first two Will Vullerman stories were about 6.5k, and The Thirteenth Call is at 8.5k and is likely going to end up somewhere past ten thousand. For this reason, I'm splitting it into two parts. Part One is finished at 6.7k, and Part Two is progressing. I've been procrastinating a lot, though: I need to sit down and finish it!

And that's about it in the writing department. How's writing coming for you all? With school out, you ought to be writing more: and if you aren't, that's not good. If your writing habits have not increased with the onset of summer, I'll send Danton Brownbarr over to deal with you. ;)

What else? Well, Andrew Peterson is awesome, but he has been for some time now. Observe:


"What's a snickbuzzard?" Paddy asked.

"I don't know," Lennry said, "but they sound mean."

"Aye," Podo said. "They are. Terrible mean. Razor sharp beaks. Talons like daggers. And the worst part?"

"Yes, yes?" Lennry and Paddy said.

Podo sipped his bean brew and raised a bushy eyebrow. "Bellybutton."

—The Monster In The Hollows, Book Three of the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson



On another note, I've been devouring Sherlock Holmes stories. I've read all three story collections and most of the novellas. They're awesome. I must admit, however, that I wished that Doyle really had ended the stories with Holmes's death. The way Memoirs ended was perfect, poetic, and utterly epic. Moriarty tops my top five villains list.

Chesterton quotes have been swirling around my head again. Sometimes history repeats itself: and in this case, when I reread Chesterton, I repeat quotes I've already said before. Here's some to chew on:

"I am the man who with utmost daring discovered what had been discovered before."

"The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand."

"As we have taken the circle as the symbol of reason and madness, we may very well take the cross as the symbol at once of mystery and of health. Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its for arms for ever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its centre it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound."

"The man who is most likely to ruin the place he loves is exactly the man who loves it with a reason. The man who will improve the place is the man who loves it without a reason."

"We think the cat superior because we have (or most of us have) a particular philosophy to the effect that life is better than death. But if the mouse were a German pessimist mouse, he might not think that the cat had beaten him at all. He might think that he had beaten the cat by getting to the grave first. Or he might feel that he had actually inflicted a frightful punishment on the cat by keeping him alive."

"All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget."

—all from Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

I love that last quote especially. :)

And also, we got a monkey. Yes, yes we did. You read that correctly:

We got a monkey.

His name is Bobby.

He's high maintenance.

BUT - all in all a fun pet.

He has orange eyes, brown-grey underfur with yellowy tips and a white nose. And his tail's longer than his body, which is a bit smaller than a full-grown cat. If he's on the ground, you can lean down and extend your arm, and he'll clamber up and make himself comfortable in the crook of your arm.

Bobby also enjoys relieving himself on your shirt, which is not so fun.

But you can't have everything. ^_^

How are you all doing? Any news worth telling me? Any good Christian speculative fiction books coming out soon? What do YOU think of monkeys?

Let me know. :)  


Eruantien Nenharma said...

Great post as always, Jake! Your Will Vullerman stories sound really cool!

My writing is...going slowly. XP But I have an excuse! I don't get summer break! XD
I'm working on a fantasy novel that I hope to finish by August; it has a plot, but it's too complicated and I haven't quite figured out how to tell people about it yet.
And this summer, with my free time, I'm also going to try and make a short film with my friends. So less time for writing, I guess... >.> Bad Eru.

Ira Starsinger said...

Yes, the Will Vullerman stories sound epic!
Chesterton has some pretty cool quotes, there are a few pinned up in some of the class rooms around my school.

I'd turned my attention away from the screen to talk to my sister, then I glanced back and saw:
We got a monkey
I looked away, then I'm like: 'hang on!' my head went flying back to face the screen to confirm what I'd read.
Wow, I'm insanely jealous of you, it sounds so cute...except maybe the relieving itself on you part.

My writing, uh, came to a stop, my USB which I've got it all saven on has stopped working. So I'm going to have to start over, which I don't really mind. There were only a few things which I am really annoyed about losing.
Well, I'd better get to work on it now.

God Bless.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot said...

Your book sounds really good! I love mysteries and that sounds like such a good idea!!!!

Hm, writing over the summer...I would love to 8-D But I'm publishing my book this fall, so it is taking all my time to get ready for it. I write a little though

Clair~ said...

I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories as well. I didn't like Moriarty however, because we never got to find out just how he was this supposedly mastermind criminal who was smarter even than Holmes -- we are just told that he is. It bothered me the whole time.
Plus, I'm of the opinion that my favourite stories should go on forever and ever. So I was glad that he kept writing and 'resurrected' Holmes.

I muchly enjoyed those quotes. I wrote them down and I'm going to ruminate on them for a while. They put me in a thoughtful mood.

Hannah Joy said...

Great post!! :-) This post made me very happy.

Your stories sound amazing. I seriously don't know how you do it with short stories--I always hit a wall with how to end them and how to keep them below 10,000 words. :-P

And yes, Andrew Peterson has been epic for some time now. Have you listened to any of his music? I know it may not be your style, but it is REALLY good. His songs are so well written! And his new CD that is coming out this August, Light for the Lost Boy, sounds SO GOOD as for what I have heard so far.

As for my writing, it's going quite badly. I'm juggling ideas for two novels, and they're colliding into one big writer's block. I really want to get back into it, but Inspiration has been avoiding me and Procrastination has been on my back for a long time. *sigh*

That's hilarious about your monkey. My brothers are totally enamored with monkeys--although we don't have a real one, which they bemoan nearly every day. They have to make do with stuffed monkeys. :-)

Anyway, GREAT post! Those Chesterton quotes were awe-some!

Anonymous said...

Random, but are you doing Camp NaNo?


Anonymous said...

I guess this comment is really late, but I didn't see this post before. I just thought I'd tell you that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't want to resurrect Sherlock Holmes. He killed Holmes off because he thought that the Holmes books were interfering with his other work. The only reason he resurrected Holmes was because the public demanded it. If Conan Doyle didn't resurrect Holmes, he would probably have been attacked by a hoard of Victorians with, um, walking sticks and spats? (Okay, that wasn't very original...but you get the idea.) But seriously, the public literally went into mourning for the death of Holmes. Conan Doyle tried to appease them by writing The Hound of the Baskervilles (which is set before the death of Holmes), but it wasn't enough, and he had resurrect Holmes entirely. I agree with you pretty much, though; Holmes' death was an excellent, though sad, ending for the books. Although The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear are both REALLY good.

~Anonymous Sherlock Holmes Fan