Website

I’ve decided to make one to host all my unpublished stories. They’re just sitting there, on my hard drive, dozens of them, a few of them even decent reads! Why not put them somewhere readily available?

So, in the near future there will be a fancy new website for folks to click on and see fictional things by me.

How exciting!

Submitted ? ?

I have broken my streak of donothingness and submitted a story to Clarkesworld magazine!

This is mostly a symbolic gesture, as I am well aware that the story is not of Clarkesworld caliber, but I wanted to get my feet back in the water and do SOMETHING. And since Clarkesworld has the fastest response time (around 3 days usually) that’s the one I went with.

Once it’s rejected, I may think about putting it up here somewhere. My blog might need a bit of reformatting in order to be able to host stories better. I’ve got a lot of them which, if not amazing, area at least readable! Someone should read them!

Look forward to that, if you are interested…

Dream for the collective

I feel like my purpose is to tell stories. But what kind of purpose is that? Isn’t it just a waste of time? A self-indulgence, or enabling of others to self-indulge? I disagree (of course, I would have to.)

I propose that stories serve the same purpose to society as dreams do to individuals. They are invented scenarios that allow us to imagine ourselves in situations we’ve never been in before. They allow us to prepare for happenings that we have no way of having the experience to deal with. George Orwell dreamed of a totalitarian world of horror, and now, because of his dream of a scenario that we’ve not experienced, we may be better prepared to deal with it if it comes our way. The same can be said for any other story dreamed into the collective consciousness of society.

Your ideas are not frivolous or pointless, you are a dreamer for the world. It’s your job not to hold back, and to put every crazy idea that you can think of out there for the rest of humanity to experience.

Go for it!

The Night Manager, E01: weird sex and violent Arabs.

I haven’t watched any new TV in a while, and was attracted to this one by Hugh Laurie, and also that it was written by John Lecarre–who, although I’ve never read him, has had many good movies based on his books. I guess I’ll say spoilers, but the episodes have aired weeks ago by now, so, that should be taken for granted.

The episode begins with a glowingly good looking Tom Hiddleston pushing through a riot in Egypt during the Arab Spring. I almost gave up on the show right then, just based on the way it was shot. We have a perfectly handsome white man, glowing with color (like literally it looked like his hue was adjusted post production to make him stand out against a washed out, grey background) and surrounded by the dirty, rioting brown people. Maybe I’m being too sensitive but I though, ‘great, are we in for a ‘fear the middle east!!!’ kind of show?’

Tom enters a fancy hotel and begins directing people to get away from the windows and keeping order among the chaos. I thought at first that ‘night manager’ must be some kind of euphemism for whatever security job he really had, but no, he’s just the manager of a hotel.

Enter sexy woman. She is the mistress of a very powerful and influential person named Freddy Hamid. She flirts with Tom and then later, for no reason I can really figure out, she decides to give secret inflammatory documents to him. Tom, the manager of the hotel, is the guy she gives very valuable secret information to. Because… he’s good looking, I guess? These papers prove that Richard Roper, a CEO of something or other, is selling chemical weapons to Hamid. In this scene, we are led to believe that Sophie (the mistress) fears for her life and is giving these papers to Tom, a complete stranger, as a sort of insurance policy. Okay.. I’ll play along I guess.

Tom(I probably should call him by his character’s name, Jonathan Pine) is compelled to do the right thing, and sends the papers to a friend in the International Enforcement Agency. I’m instantly sure that this friend is crooked, and have my suspicions immediately confirmed when the next day Sophie asks Tom up to her room, where he finds her bruised and bloody. Apparently, someone warned Hamid about the documents being leaked. Gee I wonder who could have done that. Also, big surprise that the guy with the Arab name hits women. Thanks for that, TV land.

I wondered later in the show, when the mistress is inevitably killed, why Freddy didn’t kill her right away? I guess it’s because we had to have Pine rescue her temporarily, and get in bed with her in a very weird sex scene. Sophie’s face is still all messed up, and Pine is kissing her cut and bruised mouth and she’s all smiles and the lighting is all white and glowing. Very strange and one could even say off-putting tone. If they had darker lighting, rain, and tense music suggesting danger and fear–it could have been good, juxtaposing violence and sex and all that arty stuff. But having your regular sex scene in a white bed with sunlight on their backs, with all the same shots you’re used to seeing (we see Tom’s muscly shoulders from overhead, then cut to a close up of their faces, they touch noses and smile then kiss softly–oh but wait she has a gash on her lip and a giant black eye wtf??) … it was weird.

So anyway, after he’s hidden Sophie away for a while, he talks with his ‘friend’ in the enforcement agency about getting her out of the country to London. His ‘friend’ makes it clear that this is a bad idea. Hamid is very influential in London! She won’t be safe! Tell me where she is? I’m your friend, really!

Pine tells Sophie he’s not sure about getting her out of the country anymore. She throws a grumpy fit and leaves the secret place he’s hidden her away in, and goes back to the hotel, walks past him at the front desk giving him a pouty look, and goes back up to her room… where she is dead hours later.

Pine is gets a phone call from the one agent who seems to care about any of this, (Olivia Coleman) and she somehow knows that Sohpie is in danger and warns him. He runs up to the room and we get a very well acted scene from Tom. His upsetness at the dead body in the room was very real, and impactful I thought. So many shows seem to brush off violent death as something the characters must encounter every day. I felt very convinced that this death had a lot of emotional impact on the character.

When the cops show up it’s very clear they are in Hamid’s pocket, and the whole thing is swept under the rug.

FOUR YEARS LATER

Yeah, that happened.

Pine is now the night manager of a different hotel, in another country. I almost laughed a bit. It felt like he is somehow trapped in this career. The alternate world Jonathan Pine lives in is titled The Night Manager, so he must forever stay in that role, no matter what traumatic events or lengths of time have passed. He is and forever will be The Night Manager.

Anyway, Roper (Hugh Laurie) shows up to stay at the hotel and we get a series of very tense scenes with Tom trying to hide the fact that he detests the guy and Roper feeling suspicious and unsure of this new night manager he’s never met. This was by far my favorite section of the episode and has got me looking forward to future scenes with these two together.

Pine ends up stealing the SIM cards that Roper and his crew throw out with the trash, and gives them to the same investigator (Coleman) who he sent the papers to before. And they decide they are going to ‘do something’ about Roper’s evil ways together.

The questions I am left with are:

Who is Jonathan Pine? What does he want? What are his goals in life? Who does he care about? We meet him as a night manager with no persons or goals attached to his life other than ‘be a Night Manager and receive secret papers’. He seems to be a plot device. He doesn’t strike me as a real person, despite the terrific job of Tom Hiddleston to give him feelings and soul. We learn that he was a soldier, but that doesn’t really tell us much. He seems to be a ghost who’s only purpose is to move this story forward.

I like this enough to continue. A clunky start with a very strong finish, and I hope the series improves the way this episode did over time.

 

Toto or not Toto

As you may, or much more likely may not have noticed, for a bit more than two weeks I’ve been roughly inserting song lyrics into my blog posts.

Yes, I am a fan of the band Toto. No, I have nothing better to do with my time then figure out how to work lyrics into my posts.

I have been getting along with this daily blogging thing so easily, that I thought I’d make it a bit more challenging for myself. I got through most of the first three albums before I grew tired of it. So, now, I must let you know so my labor does not pass into obscurity. Is it lame? Maybe. Well, I didn’t know you were looking for more than I could ever be. I didn’t come here to change your mind, lead you on and waste your time. You know, I won’t hold you back now, even though I could be good for you. It’s a feeling I don’t belong here, you got me asking myself how I got this far. It’s just the soul that matters, and I don’t know why, we were too torn apart now it seems so senseless. Just separated by ten thousand miles, you’re not alone…

Okay, four albums now.

Okay I’m done.

 

So it begins

I have removed someone from existence and brought another into being with the flourish of my…fingers (pen would be more dramatic, but never use one). Maybe rewriting isn’t so hard after all?

One can hope…

It’s not like I’m digging for some long forgotten words or ancient melodies… I’m not working in a void, most of it is already there. If not on the page just needing to be molded, then in my head just waiting to be written.

A few months, and I’ll be done… maybe weeks…

Time is water pouring through a seive

Blink and you’re thirty. Blink again and you’re dead. I’m listening to the ticking of the hands on a clock working overtime and thinking. “I’m never going to get all of the things I want to do, done.”

If I let things sit unfinished, they will never be finished. I can’t afford to let projects languish when I could wake up tomorrow and be fifty, or dead.

So maybe I better not let this novel sit. Because who knows how long it will sit and how many other things will get in my way. I’ve got to edit edit and edit, and rewrite and plow forward to get this thing complete before I start on anything else. So yeah, that other novel I was just talking about? I think that will probably have to wait. I have very limited time and I’m not finished yet.

Let’s get it done!