I've just returned from several days in seclusion in the Smokey Mountains. My express purpose was to jump start Book IV in the Chronicles of Fu Xi . In that aspect, my mission was successful. The manuscript is now 30,000 words long, and the writing is coming easy. I could have written more, but I hiked and I slept and I might have had a few adult beverages, too. Like I said, mission accomplished.
On the way up there and back I listened to Ready Player Two on audiobook. I must say, I was disappointed. Earnest Cline was an amazing writer, and Ready Player One was a masterpiece. I think he got lost on his second novel. By "lost", I mean "Woke." He pretty much emasculated his main character, giving more story time to a diverse set of secondary characters, who occasionally spouted the required Woke mantras scattered conspicuously about the plot to let the reader know the author "gets it". It detracted from the plot, and didn't jive with how the characters spoke or acted in the first book. When the characters started attack Lord of the Rings because it lacked "representation", I'd had enough. You don't go after LOTR on one page and then exploit it to carry your crappy plot on the next page. Here's one, quit riding the skirts of the genius creators of the last half century, while simultaneously disparaging their work. Come up with something out of whole cloth and move on. Everything Woke turns to shit, especially literature. Woke is an extinction-level event of the mind.
On a happier note, I started a new book on recommendation from my wife - "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" by Cathleen McCarron. So far, so good. I'll let you know how it turns out.
On the side I'm working on two stand-alone manuscripts. One takes place during the 90s and is about of Vietnam War vets looking to recapture the glory of their youth. The other is literary fiction set in South Alabama in present times. I don't like Southern literary fiction, because it's depressing, pretentious, focuses on the worst aspects of the South, and seems to play up to every stereotype Yankees have about the South. I want to write a southern literary fiction novel that reflects the south I see and live in now. I want to write about real people facing real struggles. Oh, and aliens. There has to be aliens in the book. It can still be literary fiction with aliens in it, right? Literary aliens.
Day job has been busy, and been eating into my writing time. That's life. Gotta put food on the table and a roof over my kids heads. Still waiting for those breakthrough book sales so I can quit my job (Any day now). Regardless, it just means I'm going to have to get more efficient with my writing time. With that said, Photography Phridays is going away. I don't have time to blog twice a week. I'll keep showcasing my photography, but from time to time on the Monday edition.
I'm looking forward to a speaking engagement tomorrow at a local book club. I'll let you all know how that goes next week.
That's all for now, see you next week. And now a photo that has nothing to do with anything I just wrote about, but I took it on my vacation and its cool.
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