Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence!”
~ Many attributations
View from the Blimp
I have used that quote extensively over the past couple of decades or so, and have tried with some success to instill it in my children. In researching the author, I was very much surprised to find it attributed to everyone from “Anonymous” through Vince Lombardi to Jessica Guidobono, who neither I nor Wikipedia have ever heard of. Regardless, somebody said it, and it is profound.
So, why open with this quote, and why, for that matter, open with View from the Blimp? I believe the reasons will reveal themselves as I press forward.
I have noticed a little issue I’ve been having since the end of May: I’ve hardly written anything! Analysis of this issue points up an interesting coincidence: At the beginning of June I put this blog on a three-day schedule, that is, a post has been prepped and offered every three days like clockwork. Now I have to ask whether that is an actual coincidence, or an example of cause and effect. The only way I can see to determine that is by experiment, so commencing immediately, I will be putting this blog on a four-day schedule, and we’ll see how that affects my writing, or if it does at all. The experiment will proceed through the end of August, and based on what I find between now and then, there may or may not be further changes.
The point of all this? While I hope it is apparent through content, I try to provide quality work, to create something that has value as entertainment and as enlightenment; I try my best, in short, to make you think. Producing any quality product takes time, and an hour I spend assembling this blog is an hour I don’t have to work on The Darklighters, so we’ll see if the four-day schedule returns some quality writing time to my pool. Wish me luck!
Featured Site of the Week
The featured site this week is that of an Australian steampunk author who calls herself Cogpunk Steamscribe. A note to the sleuths out there: The name on her books is Lynne Lumsden Green. Regardless, she is, like so many of us, a struggling indie who cherishes each small victory, and she blogs about the many aspects of being an author on today’s playing field, from acceptances and rejections to the Victorians’ fascination with ferns. Well-spoken, well-mannered, and an insightful blogger as well, this is another site that is very much worth a read.
Since we last talked, I’ve encountered a tremendously insightful blog that the sort of young and novice writers that are my target audience would benefit from tremendously. It is titled simply Roger Floyd’s Blog, and concerns itself with myriad aspects of the writing Craft in concise, easy to follow articles that deal with a single subject at a time. He doesn’t waste column inches nor even his header with showy artwork, but names his subject, and launches straight into the nitty-gritty. He has been at it since May of 2010, which if my estimate is right would put him at around 300 articles, and if his recent work is a representative sample of the quality, this blog must amount to a college course in creative writing. I don’t know how to state the case any more strongly than that. If you want discussions to make you give serious thought to the way you’re doing things, here they are.
The Reserve by Jordan Greene. Cooper Bay has dreamed his whole life of acting. So when his brother Nick surprises him with a leading role in a B-horror movie, Cooper can’t say no. The only catch is the team’s filming location is off-limits to the public. Yet, that doesn’t sway film director, Luca Sanchez. He’s set on trespassing North Brother Island, an abandoned isle in the middle of New York City set aside as an avian reserve for a bird that no longer graces its shores. Ready to make a movie, Cooper and his new film mates cross the East River to shoot their scenes among the restricted island’s decaying ruins. But a day into production fellow actor, Riley Cannon, goes missing, leaving only a smear of blood on a nearby tree. Cooper swears he heard something in the woods before Riley went missing, but no one believes him. Once the screams begin to rise, Cooper wishes he had never signed up for this real life horror story. 99¢ on Kindle.
The Nautilus Legacy by Lewis Crow. The stunning revelation that his father became none other than the infamous Captain Nemo shakes a young man’s world to its foundation. This fictional memoir recounts his life after a tragic war destroys his family and nearly kills him. Learning the truth about his father years later compels him to make a difficult choice: will he keep his comfortable but unspectacular middle-class Victorian existence or forsake everything to continue Nemo’s work of exploring the seas and aiding the oppressed? Researched to be true to the spirit of Verne’s source novels (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mysterious Island) and his original ideas, The Nautilus Legacy moves from Europe to America to the depths of the sea and beyond. In addition to its literary and adventure themes, it is also the very personal story of an insecure man who struggles with the life of his father and their unfinished relationship. $4.95 on Kindle.
Arrows of Desire by Geoffrey Household. It has been seven hundred years since the United Kingdom was destroyed. In the aftermath of a global cataclysm, the peoples of Europe banded together under a single flag, but the English refused to go along. Their resistance was rewarded with a genocide that wiped out half the population. The survivors resettled in North Africa, and Britain was declared uninhabitable. To celebrate the year 3000, the island is repopulated, to be ruled according to Federation law. But there are those in the underground determined to begin old battles anew. A barbarian king rides in the forests, drinking beer and promising to resist the Federation at all costs. In the new capital, a student takes a shot at the High Commissioner, nearly killing him with an ancient weapon known as a rifle. After seven centuries of silence, the British are ready to rise again. $7.99 on Kindle.
Left Foot Forward by the Littmus Steampunk Band. This is, as you’ve probably gathered, a music album, and you may wonder why I’m featuring it on a writing blog. Well, one of the songs, The Gadgeteer, was written by an old friend of ours, Karen J. Carlisle, and is based on a character in The Illusioneer, which means she can now add songwriter to artist, photographer, and author on her resume. You can snap it up for $1.50 right here.
And that’s 30 for today. Join me Sunday when I’m sure I’ll have thought of something or other to waste bandwidth on. Until then, read well, and write better!