Category Archives: webcomic

Monday musings 3/21


grovesm

Photo by Ian Sidlow

Monday. Edit/rewrite sorta day. The NIGHTMARE GROVE collection opens with the story “Ink,” which was cribbed from the CRAZYTOWN collection since it was originally set in Oak Grove and only recently moved to Tuxtown.

So I have to fix the references (for the most part-there are connections between the two collections) and there are a couple of scenes that could work more smoothly.
“Ink” is based on one of my more successful stories, “Parchment” in its original incarnation. It was published in three languages, and in seven separate magazines/ezines, and also kindled a fabulous audio reading by the redoubtable Morgan Scorpion (Parchment).
“Ink” makes the process of transposition clearer and ramps up the body-horror and psych-horror.
There is a sequel, which will be part of CRAZYTOWN, perhaps with some input from the inestimable Frederick J. Mayer. That’s getting processed after “Ink” and “stars” Nate Jenkins, who had previously appeared in the BROWN JENKINS series of stories and in “Pnakotic Reaction”.

crazytown

Art by Candra Hope

I’m reworking the text for the CRAZYTOWN cover. It looks like there may be a few things to add. Maybe a blurb or two, and the ToC has been monkeyed with. This is a copy of the original art, which is just beautiful, with the rot beneath the surface admirably depicted. Also in the current pipeline are the novella Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth, which is as gonzo as gonzo gets, a weird/bizarro treatment of the themes of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth and the preoccupations and subtext of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I do plan to run that one by Nick Mamatas and Brian Keene before it hits the stacks. They should be amused, as the authors of The Damned Highway, which has some of those ideas embedded within its pages.
FALII…

fin

Art by Will Jacques

Unfortunately, the graphic novel version of this story never got off the ground. But this version should knock everyone’s socks off.

Also in the 2016 pipeline is BETROTHED TO YOG-SOTHOTH, a Barbara Cartland meets Tom Tryon sorta version of the Dunwich Horror, with a lot of Lavinia’s biography filled in. The novel was inspired by a piece of art from someone at deviantart that doesn’t answer their email, and so that picture won’t be on the front cover. Instead, I have this evocative art:

yog

Art by JB Lee

Those are the four books I have planned for this year. They’re all in the finalizing stages — the i’s have been crossed and the tees dotted. Walpurgisnacht and the 4th of July, All-Hallow’s Eve, and Xmas are the projected release dates.

They’ll all be under my Planet Moderan imprint, and will be available in both ebook and treebook incarnations. I’m going to revive BEFORE CRAZYTOWN instead of sticking its stories into NIGHTMARE GROVE. That’s getting done this week too.

blogospherical


Or House of Blog or somesuch.
Here’s the list of creations:
Modblog, the domain version, which won’t be incorporating any of the content from this blog (officially the son of the son of modblog in my private nomenclature). That’ll have the basic daily rants and screeds and fluff, and update posts like this one. I’m committed to daily posting and may well crosspost between the three blogging platforms-blogger, wordpress, and my domain. It depends on how much I have to say each day.
I’m planning at the very least to do a lot more reviews-books and cds more so than movies, which I don’t watch much, and more sports content. Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks specifically. I get a lot of the Cub games on WGN, and the Bears have a few national games. The Hawks are rarely on tv, and the 160 bucks for a season’s worth of streaming is ridiculous. But I digress…next on the list is :

Fallen Earring, the eventual home for the edited first draft of the nanonovel. This version is radically different from the versions previously posted. The delivery system is all that I kept-otherwise it’s a complete rewrite and is causing retrocon ripples throughout my little pocket universe.
You’ll notice that the design is a little different…in that the background is the same gif that I made most of the old buttons from. I think it looks pretty good in that context, and I’ve chopped up the colored-pencil drawing some and used it for a header graphic as well as the “book cover”.

WordWorld, where I’m planning to post a good variety of my written work. That will include the revised versions as well as some first and second drafts as I wish to discuss the genesis of some of the pieces.
The content will change from time to time as I add and subtract pieces, depending on which segment of the overall continuity they’re slotted into at the moment.
The design has my usual starfield background and a bunch of desk tools, including the requisite cuppa joe.

Fear and Loathing In Innsmouth. This webcomic (including a portion that is envisioned as a graphic novel) will be starting around the New Year.
The greenish color scheme indicates the relation to the Letters from Outside anthology, due to start appearing around the same time.

There are also a couple of things I’m not prepared to unveil as yet. It seems that I found the key to my lethargy after all as my O2 converter experienced complete fail at @2 am, causing my dearest to be awakened and the on-call tech to be summoned. It had been sounding like a garbage truck in the driveway for most of the afternoon and night, and finally gave up the ghost.
Fortunately I had one last portable tank on hand and D put that together while I made the call. The whole process was handled very professionally, and Jose was here within the hour to change out the unit. I’d have to say that the old converter was probably failing for a while, and that’s why I was feeling so run-down that I was literally huffing and puffing just from getting up to go into the kitchen. Burning plastic fumes, air instead of straight oxygen, a combination of the two, those are likely culprits.
I’m feeling much better. My gigantic migraine has just about gone away. D has gone to work dspite having just a couple hours’ sleep, though she’s gonna go home early if allowed. Last Friday was pretty slow, or so I was led to understand. Let’s hope today is likewise. We could use the money but she has to be exhausted.

the Post-Fail Fail


Yep, that’s when you really know things are going wrong, when you are so full of fail that it spills out and makes a mess.
I failed to write a word for nanowrimo. I was tired, etc. I slacked, and what’s worse, I’m not real sorry. I basically took a day off, failed to do much at all. I was far advanced in my slothness. I was able to stir myself and prepare simple burgers for dinner but that’s about it.
Being tired makes me less able to process the oxygen I need. The less able to process, the less energy I have. Vicious cycle. I need sleep, but I’m in sleep/fail mode again. I haven’t had this long of a stretch of it since I lived in Rochester and was still slinging burgers for a “living”.
The most effort I had in me was to configure some of the widgets for my brand-damn spanking new website, which I’m working on as much as possible between the myriad of other projects I have running. The security stuff and like that, those things can’t wait. I’ll throw the urls up here soon, but not just yet.
There’s cool stuff coming up. I’ll just say that. The old pro gloss.
I just wish I had the energy to get it done quicker. There’s so much I want to do, but I keep coming around to this lack of energy.
Some of you may not know that I was sick earlier this year. I came down with pneumonia, and it went bad. Bad enough that I’m on oxygen, nine months after I first went to the hospital.
Kind of an inhale fail.
Anyway, I’m still feeling the effects of that illness. I almost didn’t make it–I’m thankful that I did, of course, but things can get frustrating.
I do have just over 10k done of the nanonovel, so I’m not so far behind, and I’m still keeping up with nablopomo. Just about finished with the music piece and voiceover I was due to turn in last week (my most abject apologies, S/D). It took three days for it to be quiet enough in here to consider recording voice and for me to have enough wind to do a good job of it. Some days are bad air days.
More later. 

Happy Birthday To Me and A General Checkpoint


Today is my 50th birthday. Or rather, the fiftieth anniversary of my birth. A lot of significance is attached to the years with zeroes…I don’t know why, but I do feel that this one is significant, if only because I almost didn’t have this one.
It’s been a sucky year overall-the good points are far outweighed by the bad, but we’ll come out of it all smelling pretty good. My long illness and recuperation will be the means by which I can switch horses and start on a new career path (or paths), and I’m all about getting creative with that.
It’s been difficult to get myself into a productive schedule-my insomnia has kicked in again, and the constant state of enervation keeps my energy level pretty low.. I can lie in bed and close my eyes to my heart’s content, but morpheus never overtakes me. My mind just keeps running and running, fueled apparently by some odd combination of cabin fever and artistic inspiration. I spend the endless waking moments planning, making to-do lists and plot skeletons or partial skeletons, knitting the threads that will relate those bones to other bones, playing in my mental ipod the pithy lead guitar and melody lines that will break my songs free of their formulae, and haunting the forums.
Yesterday it was made public that myself and another forum moderator were elevated to the role of global mod. A nice lady was told that she is now moderator of the Lounge and Debate sections. While I wouldn’t wish that role on anyone, I’ll be happy to help steer those conversations in the directions dictated by the site’s bylaws. There have been a couple of mentor appointments made recently, and all of them seem to be working out.
I have a couple of projects running there, some goals to shoot for. I’ve developed more patience this year, probably (okay, almost certainly) the result of my hospitalization. When you can’t move and have to depend on other (and rather busy) people to obtain food, water, and basic creature comforts like a urinal or bedpan, you learn to wait.
I’ve also developed a desire to finish things. I’m a killer starter of projects-I understand perfectly my dear lady’s knitter project list. I love most of my things so much that I don’t want to end them and keep starting new ones so that I don’t have to.
This can lead to aberrations like the 627,448 words of Carcosa (my 2009 NaNoNovel) that I typed up between November ’09 and January ’11, most of which are completely useless for anything other than cannibalization but were fun to do anyway. That monstrosity grew from the 1999 short story I of the Storm, which had the unique twist of the narrator undergoing transdimensional personality transplant and liking it immensely. I still like the general idea and did a buttload of worldbuilding for it, so I may try it again. That might be a good place for one of my patented themed-short-story groups.
The collection Blue Easter is going along quite well. I’m rewriting all of the principal pieces-“Green”, and “Parchment”, the original “Blue Easter” novella recast and repurposed, all of those fragments and linkpieces and thinkpieces, and am including the never-public rewrite of “Ghoul Picnic” entitled “The Whispering Trees”, and a couple more shorts that I’ll sandbag for now.
The webcomic/graphic novel Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth, which runs concurrent with that collection (it was originally intended to be part of it but has developed into a companion piece in terms of chronology), is underway at long last. I’ve done some of the character sketching and will be debuting that either around Xmas or just after the first of the year.
Those are virtual locks for completion in the next six months, and are on the front burners, along with the blognovel Fallen Earring. That’s going to be appearing on my website proper after nanowrimo. I’ve decided to do a complete rewrite, from scratch, and am doing it as my nanonovel. As soon as I can apply a decent edit, I’m going to put it up in sections. “It” being the version I’m happier with afterward. I’d like to put that novel to bed and get on with the next one in the series, Vermilion Dawn, which I’ve decided not to do for Nano this year.
I think four finished novels is a good goal to shoot for. It’d be great to post a year from now and say that I had achieved that goal, plus the musical projects. Hell, it’d be a great year.
Aforementioned musical projects: Suite Indigo, Warm Worlds and Otherwise, Cyberpunk Honkytonk are the titles of the three cds I’m planning to issue. Each will have material remastered for inclusion, new tracks/new instrumental parts, and probably new cover art. I’ll probably distribute them through reverbnation unless something striking catches my eye. They’ll all be available after the first of the year-might stagger the releases from month to month.
I’m finishing up another promotional video project. This time I’m doing voiceover as well as backtrack. Good practice for when I put my own videos together, something I’ve been mulling over for quite some time.
Here are a couple of the projects I’ve been associated with:

One of these days I’m going to try scoring my own pieces. I still have in mind to do the narrative of “Ghost Tracks” as a podcast, spoken over the music that inspired the story. I’d just have to figure out exactly how much time it takes to read the story put loud and go from there. That could easily make the front burner for a minute since it would be quickly accomplished.

That’s all for now. Lotta stuff since I haven’t been posting much lately. Thanks for reading!