For the past six months or so I’ve been putting work into Fade to Black – my second novel which is technically my first. In many ways, it’s better than my debut novel. To me, at least.
(Far from Ordinary is on SALE on Amazon – check it out!)
But in many ways, it’s not. It has evolved and changed over the years – much like me. The thoughts and opinions I had about the world have evolved. I’m glad that they have, don’t get me wrong – changing means growing, and that’s always a good thing.
Unless it refers to my belly. That can go back to 2011 Mike.
One of the most common questions I get as an author is people asking about the next one. Which, selfishly, inflates my delicate author ego because if they’re asking, they like it right? So I tell them about Fade to Black, and the inevitable follow-up is WHY.
How is it that I released Far from Ordinary before Fade to Black? Well, Far from Ordinary was my first real foray into the world of professional auteuring (pronounced oh-toor-ing). It was an opportunity for me to develop my craft and write using an idea instead of a concept.
What if you come across a body? What would you do? Where would you go? The idea for Far from Ordinary originated from a game of cards played on New Years, circa 2017 or so. Around that time, anyway. I had the idea in my head for a long time before I ever put pen to paper.
So when I started writing full-time, it was so much easier for me to take a story where I had an idea and four thousand words and turn it into a novel, instead of taking a concept and thirty thousand.
The same things that are making it a pain in the ass to edit – continuity, ideas, themes – are probably the same things that will make it different, and that’s a good thing. Back then, I was maybe writing once every couple of months, usually after one too many glasses of the poison of the evening.
Any writer worth their salt will tell you that if you don’t write consistently – every day if you can help it, but at LEAST every week – you’ll lose the thread of the story. You won’t be able to get in the heads of the characters in a way that would do justice to the story. You don’t know where they would go next, and if you don’t know what they’re going to do next, how are you supposed to write about it?
I still remember the Great Writer’s Block of 2014-15. I was stuck. The ideas just weren’t flowing, so the story stopped. That lasted for about a year and a half before I picked it up again, and I never really got back in the swing until after Far from Ordinary was done.
There was a time when I thought that I would never finish it. You see, it’s incredibly satisfying to put “The End” at the end of a novel as a writer. This is mostly traditional, probably fueled more by Hollywood television shows and movies which show writers capping off their Magnum Opus with that great flourish “The End.”
Now, do me a favor. Go to your bookshelf (and PLEASE tell me you have a bookshelf) and pull out a book. Any book. Flip to the last page. Do you see “The End.”
I will almost guarantee you that it doesn’t say that.
But that’s what brings me to today’s point, and the title of this blog. The end is now in sight for me, 9 years and 75 000 words and countless re-writes later. I mean that it’s done done, not the done which happens after the first draft is finished when there’s a mountain of rewrites and spelling mistakes.
It feels good.
Super Spike and Low Expectations
This past weekend was the annual Super Spike volleyball tournament and for the fifth year in a row Talk to Me Goose has been there. For those of you that might be unfamiliar with Manitoban volleyball tourneys, it’s basically the party of the summer.
You play your obligatory three games (more, if you’re unlucky enough to win) and then you go enjoy some live music and no more than two cold beverages.
This year was no different, except that it was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit out, and the mustache was more glorious than ever.
Mustache? I hear you thinking. That’s right. For one sublime weekend, yours truly sports a fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip. It’s a source of admiration and hi-fives for the guys who see me. It’s also silent (or not-so-silent in some cases) disgust from any and all females in my life. And a few strangers, too.
We had an all-star team for good times. Maybe not for volleyball, but who cares about that in a volleyball tournament anyway?!
Headlining the concert which capped off the last day was none other than Mr. Kardinal Offishall – one of the greatest rappers that Canada has ever produced, behind Drake. Despite this illustrious fact, I was underwhelmed at the prospect of listening to him perform.
I. Was. Wrong.
I have to give mad props to K.O. He put on one hell of a show, and I knew way more songs than I thought I would. But that’s how things sometimes go, right?
You go in expecting the moon, you’re going to be disappointed. You go in expecting dirt, you’ll see the dirt.
You go in with no expectations other than to have a good time, and it’s not tough to be blown away by a stellar performer.
Arrivederci, Superspike. It’s probably for the best – if I did that festival kind of life every weekend I’d be broke pretty quickly.
Now I’ve got to go shave a mustache.
What did we learn this week?
- There’s a reason I don’t go clean-shaven very often. I look like I just lost 6 years. Hashtag baby Mike
- A novel is never truly finished, but it gets to the point when enough is enough
- People don’t know who Goose is. WATCH TOP GUN, PEOPLE! That’s your homework for this week
- This was going to be the year that I avoided burning at Superspike. I was sorely mistaken in that assumption
- You might look more dignified with a mustache, but you should probably also stay away from parks, candy, and panel-door vans
P.S: Here are some pics from “The Shavening” – you’re welcome