Friday, February 13, 2015

Update on Third Edition of First Novel

As I previously announced, I am working on a third edition of Out in the Garage, which isn't significantly different, but it is an improvement on the previous editions for a number of reasons. See my previous post, Indie and Proud!, for more details on the changes.

As it stands now, I am nearly finished with this final edition; however, I am considering making a couple of additional changes, which came to light while I was working on the ones previously outlined. I am considering changing the title back to the original, pre-published title, Escapes, as it hits on one of the main themes, and might help to open up the novel to more people.

While considering changing the title, I rewrote the description, and the new description really helps to elucidate the idea that I think was previously obscured, and it, coupled with the title, might also help to explain some of the more confusing aspects of the novel. That is not to say that I give anything away, but when a reader gets to those points, it will make a lot more sense.

Out in the Garage, while a good, and definitely a unique, title, might be a little misleading, since it only seems to focus on one aspect of the novel, and doesn't really seem to encompass all of it, which Escapes does a better job of doing.

Also, I have a new book cover design that I really like, and that adds to the artistry of the whole endeavor. I also think it is better than the original design, and it incorporates the change in title and the new description, as well.

What do you think about the new title/description/cover design?

Here are the (front and back) covers:

And here is the new description:

In many ways, Lance Adamson’s whole life has been defined by escapes: his dad escaping the responsibilities of parenthood through the bottom of a bottle, Lance and his mom escaping that drunken sperm donor and moving in with Grandpa Harry, and Lance, himself, escaping the bullying at school through playing drums. When Lance is sitting at his drum set, which he learned to play by way of jazz-loving Grandpa Harry’s careful instruction, the only thing that matters is the music—everything from the world outside the garage ceases to exist for a while. Seemingly, no matter what is happening in his life, he can be free from it—as long as the euphoria lasts. However, as Lance finds out, there are some things that you cannot escape from forever, no matter how hard you try. In fact, most things catch back up with you sooner or later, and, when they do, it can really turn your life upside down. Fortunately, someone as resourceful as Lance can always find a new way to escape.

If you need something to compare them to, check out the BOOKS Page for the originals.

I am really learning towards the changes, but I haven't fully made up my mind yet. When I do, I will announce it.

300 Words A Day

When it comes to finishing the draft of a novel, the task can seem daunting. The fact that I have previously written a novel fills me with more confidence than I had the first time around, especially since I have taken lengths to correct the mistakes that I made that first time.

In that regard, I have taken a lot of time to consider what I want to say and brainstorm it out in advance. I even have an informal outline, which will give me a basis to work from and a way to keep myself on track. These are all important things, but it doesn't mean much if you don't then work towards the goal at hand, which, for me, is to write a first draft this year.

Since I work three jobs and am looking for a full-time position, and have a life besides, it is difficult to find the time to actually sit down and get busy. Even when I do, it doesn't ever seem like enough. Since I started writing this one, I have written 2,837 words, and have had a difficult time motivating myself when I do have the time, since it seems like I am barely making any progress. 

Then, last night, it hit me--one of those late night revelations. If I write at least 300 words a day, that amounts to 2,100 words a week, and if I keep it up through the rest of the year, then that adds up to 96,600 words, for a total of 99,437 words, which leaves me just 563 words short of my 100,000-word goal (for the first draft).

So, as you can see, it is all a matter of perspective. If you change your perspective enough, you can change your approach and accomplish the task that you set out to do. 100,000 words undoubtedly is a daunting goal, but 300 words a day seems very doable.

It will take discipline, but if I push myself, I can accomplish the task. After all, I did write a novel once before, and with no experience, and far less planning or knowledge about the process. Now that I have studied writing, and have some experience and a solid working plan, I feel a lot better about the whole endeavor. Now, I just have to do it.

NOTE: This blog post is 386 words (minus this note), and it took me about 20 minutes to write. When you consider that, it makes 300 words a day on my novel seem even more doable.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Flash Fiction!

The Consumers and the Consumed

Carlos paused in the middle of a crowded boardwalk to open a bottle of Coke. Much to his surprise, a genie appeared out of an explosion of foam—although no one around him seemed to notice.

“YOU HAVE AWAKEN ME FROM MY SLUMBER!” the genie thundered, folding his arms across his chest. “For that, I will grant you ONE wish!”

“Only one?” Carlos said, “I thought it was three.”

“Well,” the genie replied, shrugging, “This ain’t Disney.”

With his hand to his chin, Carlos tried to think of the one perfect wish as the bottle of Coke continued spewing out foam on the ground between them, and people walked all around them in and out of the shops and caf├ęs, going about their day, absorbed into their iPhones and Androids. Finally, after several minutes…

“I wish for…POPULARITY!”

The genie smiled and rose up to his full height, seeming to tower over Carlos.

“Your wish is my command,” he said, raising his arms in the air, twiddling his fingers in Carlos’ direction, “ABRA CADABRA!”

POOF! Carlos disappeared and in his place sat a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, which was immediately scooped up by a passing stoner, who high-fived the genie, ripped open the bag, and popped some into his mouth.

“Mhm…Best Doritos ever!” he proclaimed as he disappeared into the crowd.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Art: The Be-All and End-All for Every True Artist

What makes a person an artist, or something art, has nothing to do with awards, sales, ego, etc. 

Of course, art might bring the artist accolades, and the luckiest might even be able to make a living off of their art, but there are many artists producing art who don't get recognized, and don't make money off of their art, but they continue producing it anyway. 

For me, that's what makes a person an artist and what they do art: an artist will make their art no matter the outcome. Art is a product of self expression and passion, not greed and egotism. An artist produces art for the love of art, first and foremost. There might be other factors involved, as well, but those are secondary to the art itself.

I am not going to mention any names, because I don't want to promote those individuals more than others already have, since, I am guessing, that is why this person did what he/she did: for him/her, it's all about staying in the spotlight and making money. 

Maybe this person and the people he/she was promoting are artists. I don't know. I believe it depends on their motivation as to whether that is true or not. It seems like these people are more interested in the spectacle than they are in just producing the product. It seems like their images, and the benefits they receive from maintaining those images, come first.

If their interest was in making art, then I would like to think it would be more evident that they were not just trying to maintain their wealth and fame. After all, you shouldn't have to proclaim yourself an artist. It is something you earn, and as much as you want people to consider you it, it doesn't mean that you are or will ever be considered one.

That being said, I believe my definition of an artist, as someone who produces art for the love of producing art, is fairly universal. If you truly are an artist, people will recognize it. People will see your genuine love of making your art, and you will not have to go around proclaiming yourself an artist in order to be labeled as such.

The person this person was protesting could also be considered an artist, and, indeed, is considered one, and has been considered one, by many. I don't know that this person's status as an artist has ever been questioned, especially when you look at his/her past work, and his/her level of involvement in producing the "art" itself.

This person also tends to stay out of the spotlight (as far as I am aware, anyways), and he/she has always pushed boundaries and made decisions that seem to go beyond a desire to be famous or to maintain a level of fame since what he/she has produced has never really fallen in with what is popular in the moment, necessarily. It seems to be more about the art itself and not the artist.

When it comes down to it, of all of these individuals, who would most likely continue making "art" if the fame, money, and recognition were all taken away? I can't answer that--only they can--but those who truly would are the artists.