Every now and again I take a run at a couple of stories that I drafted but never quite came together. One of these is the gods – a collection of stories that I put together but that never quite gelled as a single unit.
There’s a mood in there that I’m still trying to tease out. I’ve tried it a couple of times and never been satisfied, and so always withdrew it from publication.
Now that I’m letting Gun Jesus marinate for a couple of months, I thought I’d give it another look. The text is done – though it could do with an edit, obvs. – it’s more that the structure doesn’t quite work.
I’ve posted less on here in the last couple of months than at any time over the last twelve years. Been busy. Sort of.
I drafted Hurley, but am not sure if I even want to do a second draft. It’s got potential but I haven’t really got a buzz for it. We’ll see. The follow-up to Jago is due next year. I’m working on the third book at the same time.
I think I might revisit the gods which is something I abandoned as a bad job a few years ago, but it works, I only need to find the correct shape.
I began working on a project called the gods some time ago but it split into two different things, one a collection of micro stories and the other a longer contemplation on the idea of immortality.
the collection of stories is still called the gods and is on kindle but the longer piece, the long light, was lost in translation. I went back to it a couple of weeks ago to look at the structure, and a thought struck me so I decided to follow that and it looks like it might be working out. The title came to me while I was musing as I stood in the queue in MaccyDs, waiting for my second coffee of the morning.
Lucas is going to create a cover for me for a different project, so I might ask her to do one for this too.
I enjoy mythology, especially Greek and Norse, and the character of Grendel has always intrigued me. I’ve always thought him not as a troll, but as a man. If Beowulf is the good king then Grendel is the tyrant, and he does the evil that men can do.
I have a novel called Grendel which is based on the premise of a woman falling in love with a man who is quite normal apart from his tendency toward multiple murders, a man who lives with the ghosts of his crimes and who, in his own way, is quite vulnerable.
And now I’m redrafting a story in which a character called Wyatt literally is Grendel. Or he was, a long time ago, and now he’s just an ordinary man. It’s part of my series of stories that go under the umbrella title of the gods which is a contemplation of the lives of the immortals.
Having a few days of forced do-nothingness due to a pulled back muscle I decided to revisit my short story collection the gods.
The stories are based on the premise that the deities and characters of myth and legend are still with us – that they are living quietly, dealing with the mundane things we all deal with – love, desire and duty and other things everyone experiences.
Or maybe it’s just that the deities’ experiences are the universal.
Either way works for me.
Anyhow, I pulled the stories from kindle a while back because I was also working on a long-form story with the same title and premise. More of that later, but in the meantime the gods is back on kindle.
Got back from a day out with Wilson, fed the cat, checked I hadn’t been burgled, and found I had an email from Rapunzel saying she’d put my new stories on the site; well some of them are new, and there are a couple of rewritten ones too.
Not having an editor, or anyone to bounce my stories off, I always feel that they’re a draft or two short of completed, but that’s how it goes. I might edit them again in the future but I’ll leave it for a good while before I do – get some distance between me and them.
I’ll know if they’re any good when I look at them again, but at the moment I’m word blind.
Only got to work on the gods now, and then I’m done for the year. But not today; I’m going to sit out the back and drink wine for the rest of the day.
Rapunzel has posted a couple of new stories for me. They’re just essays, calisthenics, I guess, to get me warmed up for my summer of writing. I’m going to try and finish the gods. I want to know what happens with Astel, a character who hasn’t even appeared yet, though she’s featured in the short story Aphrodite. When I think of Astel, how she looks, how she dances, the shape of her hips against her skirts, her caramel skin, I just smile and go, yeah, she’ll do.
People who don’t get my stories say they lack plot, or they don’t really get the point, or the conclusion is missing or something. What they want is an answer. They want a punchline. A moral. They want fucking adverbs. But I like feelings; I like moments; I enjoy those clouded insights; the economy of fragments.
I love how we try to connect and usually we get it wrong and then sometimes we get it right. So that’s what I write about.
All my stories can be summed up in one word – wha?