Thursday, November 27, 2008

Two Magical Words

So I wrote two words last night at about 11pm, each one only three letters long.



The novel comes in at 103,500 words. It's a supernatural thriller. Am I happy with it? Yes. Absolutely. The story feels complete. The ending just. It's been a hell of a journey. My writing has improved so much since I started, so I've had to go back over the older sections and edit them. Even now I'm tempted to give it one more edit, but no, not just yet.

My next step is to get copies out to the two critics I've got lined up, who will give it a solid going over. I've told them I want, need, their honesty. Forget they know me and be brutal (but loving; I'm a delicate wee thing).

That's a spooky thing. Writing The End was kind of spooky (here's this world full of characters I know and love and hate so well, and it's time to draw the curtain on them. I didn't want to), but now I have to show someone real my novel and get them to pull it apart and tell me where/why it doesn't work, or what has to be improved.

Yeah, that's spooky.

Once my friends have given me their critiques, I'll send the manuscript to an editing agency and have a professional tidy up done, too. Or maybe I'll look at getting that done now.

Anyway, in the meantime, I need to write a synopsis and start the job of working out how to get the thing published... I want to hunt down an agent, I think.

And I've also got a head full of short stories that are demanding I write them out, so I will take a breather from novel writing for a few months and clear out my head a little. I haven't written a short story for nearly 10 months. I'm looking forward to it.

But that next novel is blazing away already and if I'm not careful, it will soon blind me from those shorts I need to write. That novel is already written; I just need to add the bits in so it works as a trilogy.

Phew, the keyboard's smokin'...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wasting time like a good time waster

The novel is grinding on; I’m midway through the climax. It’s exhilarating, daunting, and even frightening, writing the conclusion. But I’m getting there. Reckon I’m only a few weeks out from writing those magical words, The End...

Today though, today has been a day for procrastination; my study has never looked so organized, the web so thoroughly surfed, or my bookshelf so terribly raided. Still none of that sedated my urge to waste time, so I thought I’d get my More Than Meets the Eye world tour started. I’m off on a magical mystery tour of the middle earth, out looking for things that don’t exist. Reptilian Humanoids. I figure this should waste a suitable amount of time for me.

How’s this for a start? This is from the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Chapter 2, verse 10: ‘That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth.’

Could be meaning earthworms, but I don't think they have knees.

Numerous societies have reptilian beings as part of their culture; the Nagas of South Asian mythology, snake-humans that lived in an underground city; the Sarpa of Indian legends, a Reptilian race who founded civilization; the Zulu shaman of Africa, who claimed knowledge of the Chitahuri, reptilian beings who controlled the Earth; the Hopi of northern Arizona and their snake-brothers, the Sheti, who occupied underground cities in Arizona, California, Mexico and Central America. The Cherokee and other American Indian races all made mention of Reptilian races, and even Cecrops, the first King of Athens, was said to be half man, half snake.

Apparently, the Australian aborigines mention a race of Reptilian beings that lived underground and governed over men (I've heard of the Wati-kutjara, or lizard-men, but I'd have to look into this more); the Mayans spoke of the Iguana-Men, who descended from the sky to take control of their civilizations. East Asian cultures have their versions (the Japanese kappa, the Dragon Kings in Chinese mythology). Modern day encounters with reptilian humanoids are numerous, and there are tons of websites detailing some of these experiences.

Many cultures believed that these beings were the ancestors of a race of dragon-humans that once lived on a massive continent in the Pacific Ocean (Lemuria, or Mu). Vast expanses of the continent were believed to have sunk beneath the waves many many years ago after a massive natural catastrophe.

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times, dated January 29, 1934: "Lizard People's Catacomb City Hunted,” was the headline. The article explained the efforts of a Los Angeles mining engineer who believed he had uncovered a well planned underground labyrinth dating back thousands of years beneath downtown Los Angeles.

At the time of the article, the engineer and his team had drilled down two hundred and fifty feet, and planned to keep going until they reached one thousand feet.

However, the project was suddenly stopped and abandoned in the wake of the media attention generated by the article. No further excavation was allowed, and nothing had been permitted since...

So then, there're a few starting points on my merry magical mystery tour...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going under...

I've got it!

My sights have found their target and thus the fun begins. I'm a'huntin' wabbits- er, reptilians!

That's right; Reptilian Humanoids (do a Google search and you will find a whole stack of info on what they are).

See, it compliments my days spent working as a scientist by keeping my research skills fine-tuned, plus it balances my need to write fiction by letting me delve into something surreal and fantastical.

I've already written a novel based on these things, but that novel has turned into an unwritten trilogy, so this 'hunt' can also be considered necessary research.

But more than that, I'm just plain intrigued by the idea of a race of advanced humanoid reptiles living beneath the ground. Beings that have infiltrated our society, creatures that have appeared in all manner of cultures right across the world pretty much from human day dot.

So this isn't pure Crazy Doc nonsense. There is a logic behind my methodical madness. I'll start my investigation this weekend, and will post regular updates here as I find curious facts or, just imagine, sightings! Heh-heh. But don't imagine this will be wrapped up anytime soon; it's going to take a while.

Plus I've got a novel to finish! 809 Jacob - it's so, oh so close to being finished. I'm writing the ending now. And it rocks, even if I do say so myself. I just really like the story; it feels whole. It feels right. The ending formed itself and no matter how many times I rewrote one of the key scenes towards the end, I kept being led to the same conclusion. It's the natural conclusion to the story, and certainly an ending I didn't suspect half way through.

Funny how your characters take control...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

On closer inspection...

So if I wanted to hunt down a faery, goblin, vampire or werewolf, how would I go about it?

Such tasks always look insurmountable to begin with. Fortunately I've completed a PhD, and THAT looked impossible when I started too, so I have experience with the insurmountable. You just need to find a starting point, and then, with one eye on the end, start taking those baby steps. Don't think about the miles in-between.

But the biggest problem here is, do such things actually exist, or are they simply the imaginations of a superstitious, ignorant mind?

In this day and age, with the facilities so readily at our disposal, it should be possible to find out.

This world of ours is intriguing. So many, many people believe in monsters and ghosts, aliens and devils, that you have to wonder if there isn't some inkling of truth to it all. The other option is a little too frightening; life is too bland for us.

We need, crave the emotions believing in monsters gives us. The fear, wonder, excitement. The danger.

Maybe we need to believe because it makes us feel alive. It lets us appreciate our own existence more. The idea that one day we might accidentally stumble over something surreal and then we'll know there is more to the world than we're led to believe. That there is magic in the world.

So then. Where's my starting point?

I guess I need to determine what I'm going to hunt...

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Return of the Living Doc


Sounds like a coffin opening.

I wrote a story recently ('Revelations') in which two guys basically watched the end of the world happen on their TV. I love the idea, but it made me realise that I've become rather skeptical. No doubt that's a result of my science background.

I wonder how much I'd believe if a good friend told me something fantastical. My wife or dad, my brother, what if they said they had seen an alien, or had spent a day trapped in another dimension?

A lot of people I know have had strange experiences (myself included) and it's not that I don't believe them, it just that, well, I don't believe them.

I'd like to think that I'm open to the possibilities, but the thing is, the only way I'd ever accept what others told me was if I'd seen it for myself. It's not the way I really want to be but I've spent the past decade surrounded by science, by facts and figures and microscopes and chemicals; it's hard NOT to be skeptical.

Hmmm... maybe I'll put on my investigatin' hat and go investigatin'...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Box is about to open...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Black Box

The curious things you see...

We've got this picture of Hopetoun Falls hanging on the wall (copyright Ken Duncan). I like it; it's a neat photo, but...

...have a closer look midway along the far river bank...

There's a cube!

Hmm.... wonder what that is...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

On one side an Honorable Mention, on the other...

News in from Ellen Datlow, wonder editor extraordinaire...

My story The Wildflowers (Fantastic Wonder Stories, 2007) has been given an Honourable Mention in the up-coming international Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.

Cool bananas.

I told Ellen that next year, I plan on having a story in the collection...

And on the other side of the coin, an old edition of my article Muncaster's Ghosts was published instead of a new and improved version... bit of a bummer but at least the article still reads okay... This greatly annoyed me, but alas, what can you do?

To cheer me up, I poured myself a scotch and stared at a photo of the castle itself, remembering the weird sounds and strange things that happened in the haunted castle the night I stayed there.....

Actually, that was a great two weeks; I toured England and Scotland without once staying in any cities or towns. Instead, I stayed in B and B's and inns, and spent the days visiting old castles, stone circles, cairns, and of course, Loch Ness.... it was a brilliant time. I certainly saw an interesting side to the country.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Have you seen...