This week’s words:
Thanks for reading!
TL;DR: I am writing, or furiously attempting to write, two novels in 20 days, and posting all first draft copy as well as daily notes and occasional essays to cobblerandbard.com. Come stop by.
Hi all. I’m a little late with this, mostly due to frantically getting things up and running the past few days, but I have things to say! And a place to say them! So I’m running out of excuses for not getting them said.
I have a new author site. I haven’t decided the division of labor between the sites yet; as I imagine it, Cobbler & Bard will be pretty business-focused, the Pulchrifex Papers will continue to aggregate random non-writing-related stuff that grabs my interest, and if C&B takes off then PP will probably slowly die. Further bulletins as events warrant.
For those of you who do follow this site in any measure out of interest in my fiction, you should know that NOT ONLY will C&B be hosting that stuff in general in future, BUT ALSO I have a huge writing and meta-writing initiative that I’m posting up there RIGHT NOW, and will be through all of January. This is surely the place to start—so surely, in fact, that it’s sort of mind-croggling that there isn’t a permalink to that somewhere on the blog page, ah well another thing to do oh god.
And I am now officially way over my allotment of social media time for the day. So I do sincerely hope to see you over at C&B, and please share and comment if you like what I’m doing.
The Fraggles sing a song called “Workin’”:
Wake up in the morning.
Get yourself to work.
Fraggles never fool around.
Fraggles never shirk.
Their duty’s always waiting.
And duty must be done.
There’s Ping-Pong games that must be played
and songs that must be sung.
On The Muppet Show, the young and annoyingly earnest Scooter gets to have his way—because his uncle owns the theater. Kermit, in order to put on his show, must keep him happy. Scooter suggests a number with a dancing poodle.
Kermit says, “It sounds, said the frog, displaying his artistic judgment, sappy.”
Scooter mentions his uncle.
Kermit adapts: “It sounds, said the frog, displaying his will to survive, wonderful.”
Ibid. (I’ve just discovered the “your Kindle highlights” page on Amazon — can you tell?)
[Henson:] I didn’t call him a frog.
[Interviewer:] Right, he was just Kermit the thing.
[Henson:] Yeah, all the characters in those days were abstract because that was part of the principle I was working under.… I still like very much the abstract characters and some of those abstract characters I still feel are slightly more pure. If you take a character and you call him a frog, or like Rowlf, our dog, call him a dog, you immediately give the audience a handle. You’re assisting the audience to understand; you’re giving them a bridge or an access. And if you don’t give them that, if you keep it more abstract, it’s almost more pure. It’s a cooler thing. It’s a difference of a sort of warmth and cool.… [I]n terms of going commercial and going broad audience, you want to reach the audience as much as possible, and you need those bridges.
Quoted in MAKE ART MAKE MONEY, Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
A few things brewing in the short fiction arena, though nothing along the lines of “sold a story somewhere” —
This is mostly to remind myself that things are happening in my creative sphere, despite my constant nagging feeling like nothing is getting done.
Oh, right, here’s the first paragraph of “Sack of the Summer Palace”:
The Rafters of the World are justly and unjustly famed for many things. The mandarins of the Orchid Court praise the refinements of poetry, strategy, and agriculture that have draped our dry and craggy lands with the rich silk of a flourishing society; the lamas of the White Way praise the favor of the deities that brought us the great prayer-engines of the Iron Harvest, whose secrets are like oysters, sweet to the persistent mind and lacerating to the hasty; the half-civilized zealots of the River whisper in fear of our deadly snakes, which they describe in terms that violate the precepts of physics and physiology, and croon with longing at the merest mention of our unremarkable goats. But even the albino barbarians, who betimes blow in on the spars of shattered ships or stumble arrow-pierced across our border with the Grass, are clear on one thing: Ua is not a warm realm. Warm days there are, aye, and warm regions, especially in the south of Degyen where the tableland begins its kowtow to the sea; but the kingdom’s fame is for chill cliffs, tree-deep avalanches, bears and tigers with fur enough to hide a brace of Therku lumberjacks and warm their lunchpails.