Between the moment of inspiration and the publication of this novella there was only five weeks of time. It is the fastest I have ever completed a writing project for publication. Catch a Falling Star did the same complete process in a mere 36 years. Some things are just quicker than others.
This book, Cissy Moonskipper’s Travels, is a 55-page novella written for teenagers and inspired by the books, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoeand Slake’s Limbo by Felice Holman. It is a survival story about being stranded alone in space with a space ship and resources, but no way to make the space ship go anywhere and a knowledge that there are pirates out there who will looking for her to take her space ship away.
I am quite proud of this project and how it turned out. I invite you to see for yourself..
Yesterday I finished writing Cissy Moonskipper’s story. It is a 15,000-word novella. It is illustrated. And it will be book #20 written by me. 18 books more than I thought I would ever be able to write and publish.
It is, of course, science fiction. It is set in the 53rd Century AD.
It will be published in e-book and paperback forms very shortly on Amazon.
With the conclusion of Stardusters and Space Lizards, I have now completed a novel nine times. The seven titles above are the ones I am actually proud of having written. I am beginning to feel like a novelist.
I should point out that I don’t claim to be a professional novelist. I have spent a lot more money than I have earned by writing. But I am not a hobbyist. After teaching ended as the career that defined my life, writing became my life’s work. I am trying to become a published novelist. But “published” is becoming an increasingly complex idea.
Catch a Falling Star is published and available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and I-Universe, the actual publisher. I-Universe is an Indie publisher, but connected to Penguin Books, and so owned by one of the big five. Aeroquest is published by Publish America, but I could’ve copied from the encyclopedia and they would’ve bound it into a book form. I am embarrassed to even own up to having written it. Snow Babies was a contest finalist manuscript and supposed to be published by PDMI Publishing LLC, but that publisher folded after the editing was done and so it never found its way into print. Magical Miss Morgan is currently with Page Publishing, a vanity press operation that already collected their fees and don’t seem to be publishing my work. I am looking into the process of suing in case they don’t come through on a process that is already a year overdue. And I am determined to see the rest of my books in print if that is in any way possible. Who knows? Someday somebody may actually read and like my books… by which I mean somebody that I haven’t paid to read it. The last one I paid to read one wrote the review on somebody else’s book by mistake and then corrected the error by writing a fudged book report on the back cover blurb. My luck as an author is reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh’s luck as a painter.
My life is a book. I am still writing it. And I will never let go the pen while I still have life enough to hold it in my hands..
Yes, my membership card for the AANR arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon. AANR is the American Association for Nude Recreation. My membership is for two years in the South West Region.
But before you immediately unfollow me for my blazing stupidity, let me explain a bit why this nonsense is actually a good thing.
You see, I have had a very long road of avoiding becoming a real nudist. A former girlfriend introduced me to the whole idea of nudism back in the 1980’s. But, I was terrified of being naked in front of other people, mostly because as a victim of a sexual assault as a child, I had traumatic memories about nakedness, but also because my parents and grandparents had taught me to be ashamed of showing off my nakedness to anyone outside the family. And also because I was a middle-school teacher at the time and parents doubt your abilities to keep their children safe if they know you like to prance around outdoors naked.
But I find I have a certain need for nakedness in my life. It is not a sexual thing. Rather it is a sensual thing. And surprisingly, God made us to be chemically dependent on being naked at least for a portion of our lives. Going without sunlight deprives you of enough vitamin D to cause serious depression, self hatred, and even thoughts of self harm. And oxytocin is generated in the pituitary gland in response to being naked among like-minded others. It’s the chemical that makes Scotsmen more fertile than other men if they don’t wear underwear under their kilts. Now, with diabetes, arthritis, and psoriasis plaguing my old flesh, I find that being nude helps immensely. Naked under the sun dries and cools the skin to fight psoriasis plaques, balances my blood sugar quicker, and warms my aching joints.
And I think most people from childhood onwards experience a longing for the innocent freedom of being without the restraints of clothing. I admit to being more than a little obsessed with childish nudity as displayed in many of my artworks. But that does not in itself make me a pervert or a pederast. It is not a sexualized obsession. To be honest, naked children are sexually kinda icky. They don’t engender feelings of arousal, but rather an urge to parentally protect and watch over them, keeping them safe from the demons that ruined my own childhood.
You actually gain confidence and self-control by practicing social nudity with other nudists. This is something I had long suspected was true, but didn’t actually learn until I went for a day to the Bluebonnet Nudist Park North of Dallas.
And it may well be that having the membership card and using that to legitimize the stories I write about nudists and nudism is the only benefit I will get from the membership. I have a desire to go camping in a tent with other nudists, or participate in a nude bike ride in California or New Orleans. But my health keeps me from doing those things totally on my own. And my family members think I am crazy and want nothing to do with going along to help with those plans.
So, I am left being a nudist mostly by myself, and mostly for reasons of writing humorous stories about it.
But now that I finally have an official membership card, I can truthfully say, “I have now lost my long-running battle to not become nudist. Mickey now officially is one. On paper at least.
Today I took my number-two son to the airport. He is determined to see friends in California over the course of his two-and-a-half days off. So, he is traveling during a pandemic. But he has had Covid already and is probably still pretty much immune.
It left me with some thinking time on the drive home from the airport, though it cut into my actual writing time.
Work has begun on The Boy Who Rose on a Golden Wing. It is a project that will take some time.
That is a story about growing up and overcoming bipolar disorder and depression. It will be for older teens.
And I have an idea that blossomed from this old illustration. I was thinking about it while driving. I want to write a book about a talking dog. It will be targeted more for younger kids. He solves crimes on the Niland farm and in the rural Iowa town where the Niland family lives and goes to church. Of course, though the character is based mostly on Mr. Peabody from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Horatio T. Dogg is also based on my own talking dog, Jade Beyer. In the story Horatio T. Dogg, Super Sleuth, the dog actually only talks to his owner, Bobby Niland. Much in the same way that Jade only talks to me.
Dang! Just what I need. Another story idea that I need to write before I die. I will have to stay alive until I’m 125.
Today I feel drained. I finally got myself on the vaccination list. I am in the 1B priority category due to diabetes. If the number they gave me indicates the number of people in line ahead of me, there are well more than three-hundred-thousand people that have to get their vaccine before they get to me. So, after two straight days of writing almost twice as much as the usual 500 words, I fully intend to write less today. I will revisit some pictures instead.
I have really done it now. I have published my 19th book. This is the second book-length compilation of essays from this blog. This one is a little less bizarre than Laughing Blue, but it is also a little more autobiographical, which is probably worse.
I successfully got away with publishing a lot of photos in color in the e-book which made it cost $2.99. But the extra two dollars should be worth it. Especially because it has a lot of rememberries in it, and berries are fruit. Therefore, it should be viewed as a healthy part of your reading diet.