Tag Archives: the Bicycle-Wheel Genius

Saturday Is Art Day… Again

I draw things as illustrations to stories. Take, for example, the protagonist and hero of Catch a Falling Star.

Dorin Dobbs is boy from Iowa. That tells you some terrible things about him right there.

He was ten in 1990.

He hated girls.

He met some pretty green-skinned girls from outer space, amphibianoid frog-girls with fins on their heads. He danced with them to Mickey Mouse Club music while he was their prisoner on a sectet base on the planet Mars. They were dancing naked in the nutrient bath that all Telleron tadpoles use daily.

Brekka and Menolly are two of the Telleron frog girls with fins on their heads. They love Earth music in the 1990’s. They are background characters in Catch a Falling Star. They are main characters in the book Stardusters and Space Lizards, where they help Davalon and Tanith to conquer the dying planet of Galtorr Prime after the Telleron invasion of Earth failed in the previous book.

Tanith and Davalon (the Telleron boy in front)
Sizzahl of Galtorr Prime, Ecologist and Lizard Girl

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Galtorr Prime is undergoing drastic climate change and environmental collapse and ends up being saved by superior Telleron technology and the lizard-girl heroine, Sizzahl, who has a plan for fixing the atmosphere and saving fundamental eco-systems. Of course, this is all science fiction-y stuff based entirely on fantasy and imagination and has nothing to do with the real world we now live in.

Millis, transformed from pet rabbit to near-human

Of course, not all characters I illustrate are people or aliens.

Millis, Tommy Bircher’s pet rabbit, is an ordinary albino bunny who eats a piece of alien technology that evolves him into a talking, walking-on-two-legs, near-human form.

He becomes the chef (who cooks only vegetable dishes) for Norwall, Iowa’s own mad scientist, Orben Wallace, in the book The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.

Orben Wallace, and his favorite bicycle, The Happiness Machine

I think I have now given out far more spoilers for stories than I have any right to do. But the thing about character illustrations is that your get to know the characters at a glance. And to know them is to love them.

Leave a comment

Filed under aliens, artwork, characters, illustrations, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney

Oopsie! I Did It Again

51dT-itXFxL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

I have published yet another book.

This book is now available on Amazon as both a paperback and as a Kindle e-book.

It is a story that I have lived with for a very long time.

It is about friendship.

It is about the challenges of friendship.

It is about friendship surviving over time even when bizarre circumstances try to get in the way.

It’s main character is a scientist/inventor, and he’s laser-focused on science, but a bit lost in the world of people.  So it is also about science and technology, both the good things and the terrible things about them.

Millis 2

It is also, hopefully, a funny story.  One of the main characters, Millis, is a pet rabbit that in a lab accident is transformed into a walking, talking rabbit-man.  He proves to be a loyal friend and a very good vegetarian chef.

Now I know you might argue that rabbits shouldn’t become people.  That is probably a very bad idea for a serious science fiction story.  But I would argue right back that this is intended to be a humorous story, the opposite of a serious science fiction story.  So it is not science fiction, but, rather, science funny.

And good science fiction probably shouldn’t have too many evil alien robots in it… or man-eating chinchillas, or self-aware computers, or ray guns that can change girls into boys and boys into girls, or invading alien frog people from another star system… and this book has all that.  So don’t think of it as good science fiction.  Think of it as good science funny.

Those of you who are the guardians of literature and culture in this world, before you condemn and burn this book, buy a copy and read it, to see how bad the thing you hate really is.  And I hope that you will then be so outraged that you buy up a million copies of it to burn in a huge bonfire to protest the existence of this book.  In fact, buy two million copies.  Wouldn’t that make a marvelous book burning?  Book burners everywhere would talk about it for years to come.  Just saying…

Anyway, the deed is done.  And now let the consequences happen however they will.

2 Comments

Filed under announcement, humor, novel, Paffooney

The Joys of Editing Yourself

HD-Blue-Sky-Orben-1024x648

I am now in the final phase of publishing The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.  I am merely waiting for Amazon to object to whatever ridiculously minute formatting error I may still have going.  And I once again had to publish without benefit of a beta reader or an editor of any kind.  You learn things about yourself that you really don’t want to know.

What I have learned;

  • I can’t depend on my wife to be a beta reader and comment on my work.  She tried once and told me, “Your writing is like dog poop.  It is full of weird stuff, smells bad, and is impossible to get off your shoe once you step in it.”  To be honest, I ironed out that metaphor just a bit.  She was actually quibbling about my proofreading style and basically ignored all the content of the story.  That’s the way English teachers are about prose.
  • I can too easily fall into the habit of introducing characters on a fashion model runway.  The first time the character enters the narrative I tend to give a head to toe rundown of how they look, what they are wearing, and how they have done their hair.  I know better than that, but I still do it.
  • I… use… ellipsis… marks… toooo… much…!
  • My creative spellings tend to drive the spellchecker insane.  In this novel I had trouble over the spellings of blogwopping, interbwap, and dillywhacking.  To be fair two of those words are from the language of the Tellerons, a space-faring race of frog people who happen to ineptly invade the earth.  (Oh, and the other is a euphemism  used by young boys for something very private.  Don’t tell anybody about that one.)
  •  Time travel plots can be laboriously difficult to follow through mobius-strip-like  contortions of time, space, and history.
  • Sometimes my jokes are not funny.  Seriously… that can be a problem.
  • And my characters often act on weird impulses and do things for no rhyme or reason… or rhythm either for that matter… see what I mean about ellipsis marks?  Of course, one can always explain that that is exactly how people really are.  I myself never do that.  There is always a rhyme to be snatched from the ether in the very nick of time… randomly.
  • And at the end of the novel, when I am tying up the loose ends of the plot in a Gordian Knot, I have strings left over.  Maybe enough to knit a shirt with.  So I end up picking them up and starting another novel with them.
  • It is basically heck to be a divergent thinker.  You try to make a list of things, and by the time you get to number 9, you have forgotten what the list was about, and you even forgot to number things, so you have to go back to the first one and count.  Now what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah.  I edited the book all by myself.  And now it’s done.  Time to start a new novel and make all the same mistakes over again.

Leave a comment

Filed under commentary, feeling sorry for myself, foolishness, humor, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, work in progress, writing

Made-Up People

Orben 1.jpg

I often get criticized for talking to people who are basically invisible, probably imaginary, and definitely not real people, no matter what else they may be.

The unfinished cover picture is from the novel The Bicycle-Wheel Genius which I just finished the final rewrite and edit for.  All of the characters in that book are fictional.    Even though some of them strongly resemble the real people who inspired me to create them, they are fictional people doing fictional and sometimes impossible things.  And yet, they are all people who I have lived with as walking, talking, fictional people for many years.  Most of those people have been talking to me since the 1970’s.  I know some of them far better than any of the real people who are a part of my life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These, of course, are only a few of my imaginary friends.  Some I spend time with a lot.  Some I haven’t seen or heard from in quite a while.  And I do know they are not real people.  Mandy is a cartoon panda bear, and Anneliese is a living gingerbread cookie.  I do understand I made these people up in my stupid little head.

But it seems to me that the people in the world around us are really no less imaginary, ephemeral, and unreal.  Look at the current Presidentumb of the Disunited States.  He is an evil cartoon James Bond villain if there ever was one.

Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

People in the real world create an imaginary person in their own stupid little heads, and pretend real hard that that imaginary person is really them in real life.  And of course, nobody sees anybody else in the same way that they see themselves.  Everybody thinks they are a somebody who is different from anybody else who thinks they are a somebody too, and really they are telling themselves, and each other, lies about who somebody really is, and it is all very confusing, and if you can follow this sentence, you must be a far better reader than I am a writer, because none of it really makes sense to me.  I think everybody is imaginary in some sense of the word.

Millis 2

So, if you happen to see me talking to a big white rabbit-man who used to be a pet white rabbit, but got changed into a rabbit-man through futuristic genetic science and metal carrots, don’t panic and call the police.  I am just talking to another fictional character from a book I just finished writing.  And why are you looking inside my head, anyway?  There’s an awful lot of personal stuff going on in there.  Of course, you only see that because I wrote about it in this essay.  So it is not an invasion of privacy.  It is just me writing down stuff I probably should keep in my own stupid little head.  My bad.

11 Comments

Filed under characters, colored pencil, commentary, goofy thoughts, humor, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, rabbit people, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Finishing the Wheels of Stone (I finished my novel…Yay!)

MillisI finished a novel today.  I reached Canto One Hundred and Eighteen (I inexplicably call chapters cantos and pretend that they are really parts of an epic poem or story-song).  I put an ending on the story I have been working on since the Summer of 2012.  Now, it probably is not obvious to you, especially if you are a writer who takes a rough draft and reworks, rewrites, revises, and does several other things to it that start with re-.  I don’t work that way.  I build a story with stone blocks, and am loathe to take foundation stones out of it once I’ve constructed the castle in the air.  So this story, Blue and Mike in colorThe Bicycle-Wheel Genius, starts with gossip in a post office, and ends with tears and laughter at a wake for a beloved character whom I never expected to die when I started the story.  It can no longer be changed.  Like any stone structure, all I can do now is polish the surface.  So, I am elated.  The worst of the birth pangs are over.  Have you ever tried to pass a stone castle?  Painful is a total understatement.  And I have to say, I love this story now with a passion, even though when I reread it out loud to polish it, it is going to tear my heart out all over again.  But it is done, and the celebrations must now begin!

 DSCN7060

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized