If Your Heart Could Talk I Wonder What It Would Tell Me

Good Afternoon, Mackronauts, we are go for a Sunday launch.

Okay, so I got up super early this morning and started writing fiction. Not great fiction, mind you. Good, personal fiction. Just a little divertisement from the Richard Burley mythos, as I privately think of it. I’ve been slowly extending my meandering fictionverse for Richard over the last year, and this story is like an alternate universe to the one we saw in Terminal Monday and the ones intended for the Tuesday and Wednesday books I’ve been thinking about. In point of fact, I intend to tell several such stories over the years, including a few more novels featuring versions of Richard and his friends. The one I was working on last night wasn’t one of the novels; it’s just a little short story designed to teach Richard—and by extension, me—a simple lesson about regret and hesitation.

I try not to polish these stories too much, because they’re sort of meant to unfold as my brain stumbles across them, in a nicely organic fashion. It’s not meant to be highly efficient prose; it’s meant to work the way my brain works, so folks can get into my headspace as I tell the story. If you want straight fiction, go read one of my other books. Burley stories are glimpses into my personal fictionverse, and that stuff doesn’t want to be told carefully. I don’t mean to defend laziness. I mean, Terminal Monday is over 260,000 words long, so believe me, I’m not lazy about Richard. It’s just that, even after 260K words, I couldn’t develop a more elegant set of tools than to strip down naked and dive into the pool. Sometimes I got fifty words; sometimes I got 17,000. The process was different every day. I don’t recommend writing in this fashion to everyone. It’s like a more story-driven, coherent form of stream of consciousness writing (which I’ve dabbled in over the years; it’s fun, but if you’re not playing with well-known pop culture and world events, it gets a bit masturbatory), and that kind of stunt writing can really lead to incredible steaming piles of excrement.

I exclude Terminal Monday from that category as much out of hubris as anything else, but I have reread the thing a few times over the years since I started it, mainly editing it as I went, and it held up pretty well, for my money. Still, if I hadn’t had a basic outline to guide me through the stages, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it done, and even if so, I almost certainly wouldn’t have loved it as much as I do. Structure is important to me, even when traversing the tightrope or the flying trapeze without a net.

Anyway, the story I’m writing isn’t really breaking new ground, so I’m not going to make a big production out of it. It’s just a reset/revisitation of sorts, for those who enjoy reading Richard and his misadventures, or perhaps those who have been resisting the urge to read Terminal Monday because of its heavy subject matter and huge word count. It’s also me writing Richard four years later, so it’s a bit different this time, even though it’s still recognizably the Richard formula, in miniature.

Right, it’s 2:11 and I’m at Mom’s. I started this post around noon at home, but Dawn (my agent/wife) decided to honour her promise to help out in my mother’s garden. I’ve promised to be good and do some more fiction writing, despite having already done over 2K, which is a nice word count for a guy just getting back into harness. It’s sweltering today, so I’m going to be challenged to get by without air conditioning, but I’m up to the challenge. Sadly, I have only one can of Guinness to help me through, but I’ve been known to nurse a beer for hours, if needed.

It’s gonna be an interesting day, I think. I hope everyone else has a good day. Thanks for reading.


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