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Funny what changes in a week.

Firstly there some stuff that I can't talk about because it may sublimate right from dry ice blocks to insubstantial mist in the sunlight. Maybe it's something. Maybe it's nothing. It at least came across my path earlier this week and it'd be nice for it to become a thing more than just a promise of a thing.

Secondly, in terms of HAZELAND, it looks like the next stage will be ASPHALT TONGUES, a collection of short stories all within the setting and (ahem) continuity of HAZELAND. I know. Continuity is a dirty word. When it comes to continuity in comics, I'm not a huge freak about it. I think of it more as honoring the work of the other creators who worked on the characters before you did and staying honest to that (even if that means making some changes.) So for me, this is more a matter of making the setting more concrete and being able to carve out some facets that become important later but would just be a major distraction dropped into a novel or series of novels. So I guess I get to have my cake and maybe eat it too.

Or I'm just crazy and doing nothing but putting in a c-c-c-c-combo breaker right in the middle of things only getting rolling. Maybe. Wouldn't be the first time. Hell, I tried to do it with STRANGEWAYS and only succeeded in killing the entire project mostly dead.

That said, I'd always planned to do ASPHALT TONGUES at some point. Plotted out most of the stories last year and wrote the first of them. Have to go back and re-evaluate now, figure out which of the stories I'd planned actually feed into the larger setup and storylines to follow. Of course, I still have to make the rest of things make sense should *nobody* read these stories and just continue along in the larger series of novels. Yeah, that's not terrifying at all.

Oddly, the first story I wrote is probably not going to make it into the final collection. And I seriously doubt it's one that F&SF will want to print, so that's uh, dead work. Unless there's someone out there writing a series of city-based fantastic weird crime and such. I know. I wish there was an easier shorthand for this stuff. People like shorthand and nicknames. Makes for easy identifiers, just wave the readers in.

Anyways, with that one out, I've got eight other candidates. Oh and STARS ARE MADE OF US, which takes place along the same time as QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS and has some tangential connection, but is gonna be way too long to put in this collection (it's some 120 pages before edits and an actual ending.) We've talked about this, right? By the time I get to writing, I've got a decent idea how things roll out and are paced and edits aren't usually major structural things. Not that I write great short stories, which more often than not can lean on structural for lack of a better word but not putatively offered "trickery." Seriously, I'm not mad. Trickery and magic is what fiction is made of. You're tricking the reader into thinking that an experience has just happened. They assemble it in their heads. That's the best magic. Don't be ashamed of having tricks in your repertoire. If you don't, then it's "Happy New Year, losers!" as Herzog said.

So yeah, have to find a place for that, too. But I've got seven stories and around 80k of space to play with. Should be a good time. Hoping to get one of these done per week, at least the drafting.

I'd like to say MY DROWNING CHORUS is guaranteed for a spring release, but I can't. Certainly by summer sometime. Maybe springtime.

Then if nothing else interrupts, I'll be able to start on MIRROR WOLVES, ENIGMA LENS and THE GLASS DIAMOND of a piece. Heck, I might even finish them all before too long into next year. But who knows what's gonna run up in the headlights before this happens?

Currently listening to a ton of international darkwave via this guy:

I should probably tell you about how he kinda singlehandedly changed what was going into QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS with a single video compilation back in 2016. But I'll save that for another time. But folks like him are where I'm picking up recommendations for a lot of new music that I go out and pay for on Bandcamp.

Currently reading DESERT ORACLE by Ken Layne, compiled from the 'zine and radio show of the same name. It's like NIGHT VALE but real, dig?

Currently not doing too much else in the actual world besides waiting for my creeping thyme seeds to show up so I can use them to make the backyard less of an eyesore. I know. Nothing but pure excitement here.

Until next time.


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