Category Archives: novel writing

Stupid Sunday

When you spend most of your time writing and thinking with the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head and the hourglass of your life looking more and more like the sands of time are running out, you are tempted to take the curves too fast and make extremely stupid mistakes that make your brain crash into a brick wall of stupidity.  You are stuck in a stupor of stupidity that must somehow un-stupid you with downtime and do-nothing brainless activity.  I won’t try to explain what I did wrong, because, after all, I am still stupid at the moment and don’t really know what I did wrong.

A Hermione Harry-Potter doll which is my birthday present. 

I bought myself a doll yesterday.  I spent some of my birthday money on it.  My octogenarian mother sends me birthday money every year to remind me how many years beyond sixty I have aged, especially now that, after more than twenty years spent not celebrating birthdays as a nominal Jehovah’s Witness, I am now no longer associated with prohibitions from God due to the arbitrary rules of religion.  It was a stupid act based on the fact that I have been avoiding wasting money on my doll-collecting hoarding disorder for a matter of months.  It could be like an alcoholic taking a drink after months of being sober.  But the doll is pretty in a magical sort of way and provides me with someone else to talk to when I am brooding about being stupid. 

It may seem like, since I am writing this while still stupid, that I am saying that being stupid is, by definition, a bad thing.  If I am saying that, it is only because I am currently stupid.

If you look at the smiles on the faces of the gentleman with the brown cap and Scraggles the mouser, you can easily see that being happy is a simple thing.  And it is the province of simple people, not complicated and extremely smart people.  I can testify from hard experience that being too smart is a barrier to being simply happy.  So, I benefit emotionally from being stupid this Sunday.

As to being stupid today and what caused it, well, it may have something to do with the fact that I am currently editing The Baby Werewolf, the most complex and potentially controversial novel I have ever written.  Horror stories often mine and expose the author’s own traumas and fundamental fears.  And I am trying to publish it as the fourth novel I have published in 2018.  Is that biting off more than I can chew with my old teeth?  I don’t know the answer.  I am currently pretty stupid.

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Filed under action figures, autobiography, collecting, doll collecting, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, novel writing, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Closing In On It

I am reaching the point that I am almost ready to self-publish another novel.  I am only 30 pages away from having Recipes for Gingerbread Children fully edited and formatted.

Do you know that feeling of dread you get when you go back to a completed manuscript that you have left in the cooler for a bit?  You don’t?  Is it because you have never done that?  Or because you have never dreaded it?  I was terrified that, as good and wonderful as I thought the story was when I wrote it, the impression was a false one based on self-delusion and narcissism.  I dreamed in my nightmare about re-reading it and realizing it was total garbage and a total re-write would be necessary.

Well, I was worried about nothing.  On rereading it, I discovered that the things I was sure I had messed up on were executed well.  The story was precisely the way it was supposed to be after mulling it over and plotting for more than twenty years.  The structure I built it on still seems to work beautifully, and the key themes are still present for the reader to interpret as he or she sees fit.

There is nudity, violence, and horror in this book, but not done in a way that leaves the wrong message in a young reader’s mind.  In fact, it answers questions about life that, as a former school teacher, I strongly believe are on young people’s minds.  It has characters who are nudists and want others to become nudists too.  It has stories about Nazis and concentration camps.  It also has fairy tales that are almost as gruesome as those of the Brothers Grimm.  

The main character and focus of the story is an old German woman who is a Holocaust survivor, a story-teller, and a baker of gingerbread. The character is based on an old woman who lived in our little town when I was a boy.  But though the character is inspired by a real person, the real Old German Lady was not a nudist, nor, as far as I know, a storyteller.  So, most of what you learn about Gretel Stein in this story is really about a story-teller who is me.  I promise, however, that I did not wear a dress at any point while researching for this book. 

It will be a story about fairies fighting to have a place in the modern world though they have shrunken in importance to the size of mice and insects.  It is about finding the courage within yourself necessary to survive a terrible thing like the Holocaust.  It is about self-sacrifice.  It is about love.  It is also about baking cookies and telling stories.  There’s a werewolf in it.  There are also two twin sisters in it who are nudists and spend a lot of the story naked.  It is about standing up for yourself and becoming the hero of your own story.

And the most exciting thing for me is, soon this book will be available from Amazon.

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Filed under fairies, humor, novel writing, Paffooney