Facing Horntooth

I’m entering a threshold period.

For April, I’ll take a short story writing vacation from my novel work and spend Camp Nanowrimo on my short story anthology again. I’m hoping to really get it out and published this time. If you haven’t checked out the awesome cover, you can on my recent Albert Einstein: Chrononaut blog post.

In the back of my head all April long, I know that I’ll have a stressor building about my novel project Horntooth’s Farm.

That stressor is having to return in May and finally face Horntooth directly as a character.

You see, in the past few months I’ve written much of the intro chapters leading up to Horntooth, and much of the post climactic resolution material after Horntooth, but I feel like I’ve been dodging the ‘nose deep, eye to eye with Horntooth’ material.

First off I know that it’s because he is very dark, and very insane, and very vile. I’ve worked up to his coming out of the character Rex Horn, but I have not faced his darkness yet.

Second, I know that it’s because I want to get him right. Even though Russ is the main character of the novel, Russ is nothing without Horntooth. Horntooth is essentially the primary reason you care about Russ. I have to write Horntooth in such a way that the reader’s subconscious is constantly screaming, “Please, oh please Russ, get away from that guy! You have to survive or I will throw this book across the room!” 🙂

May might be a little dark and broody for me. 🙂 I know I have to develop that place I need to go to get to the mindset that I can write him to full effect.

I’ll keep y’all posted on how this develops,

Joshua

ALBERT EINSTEIN: CHRONONAUT

Hey Everybody,

Here’s my first post for the short story I’m beginning with this April. I have the loose story together, but it’s the big story in the book and the title story, so even though I’ve sorta got some together already, I want to start with this one.

Here’s the skinny on this awesome project:

Albert Einstein: Chrononaut is a novella, my target word count for this project is at least 16,000 to 20,000 words. Just because I feel that there is enough concept and content in this short to stretch it to the 75-100 page length.

This short falls in the same genre as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer and Pride, Prejudice & Zombies. It imagines a scenario in which Einstein’s theory of relativity and later work is actually an attempt by Einstein to safeguard the world from a nightmare scenario called “Fallen Future”. His efforts are put in place to prevent time travel from becoming a possibility.

You see, the good Doctor actually invented time travel many years before in Nazi occupied Europe. In this story, Einstein is cast as a sort of time traveling Indiana Jones who protects us from a future where time, fate, and human freedom are controlled by a generation of Nazi’s who try to control everything from a distant “Fallen Future.”

Einstein is only aided by a mysterious figure who calls himself “The Patriot”. Together they have to work together to close off the divergent time spectrum, destroy the Nazi’s Time Net, Prevent the “Fallen Future”, and somehow return Einstein safely back to occupied Europe like nothing ever happened.

I’m super stoked about this novella! I hope you all can read it soon. I’ll keep you posted with updates through the early parts of April. Until then, Godspeed Cybernauts!

Oh and here’s the full cover, just in case the feature image gets cut short:

ALBERT EINSTEIN_ CHRONONAUT

When do you Give Up on a Submission?

I have a submission in limbo. Like an astronaut who’s transmission has gone to static on the dark side of the moon, or a sailboat that is days late to port, I wait, not knowing if my patience is in vain, or if suddenly the empty static will contain a voice or if I will see a faint specter of sails on the distant horizon. This is my dilemma.

1st, I need to know if I’m being naive?

2nd, should I just withdraw and move on?

Here’s the scenario:

I sent out a round of submissions back in November of last year. Most of the publications that I submitted to have a clear “three months and no word means it’s a no” policy. While some have a direct approach of emailing a form letter style rejection.

I guess I need to take a moment to explain that I don’t mind getting rejections. Yea, it sucks, but I’m developing a tolerance to it, growing my thick skin in other words.

All I ask is that a publication be clear on what signals a rejection from them and then adhere to that mantra when the time comes.

This brings me to my current pickle. One of the publications I submitted to last November has my story hung up in a limbo of sorts.

The have their own submissions system in which you create a fillable form for your short story. Attaching your submission at the end with a body text which acts as your query letter. You complete the process with a username and password.

As soon as you hit submit, your profile is created, your story uploaded and a little field next to your story title says ‘received’. Their website clearly states that this is the field to watch. It will be updated with either, rejected or accepted in the future.

Now we fast forward a bit. I waited patiently for 3 months, nothing changed, and I started to wonder.

At 3.5 months I worried a bit. Through some website digging I read that I could kindly email the submissions editor as to the status of my submission if it had surpassed 3 months.

I did so and heard nothing back, nor did the submission status field change on my profile.  😦

At four months I emailed once more and copied the original submission destination to my email just in case one was preferable over the other.

Nothing…

Now today I’m stuck in a sort of quandary,

Do I politely wait six months?

Do I email every couple of days till I get a response?

Do I withdraw and resubmit thinking they somehow overlooked it?

I don’t want to give up on it if there’s still a chance that they are just backlogged. I just thought my status queries would get through to someone who would simply say,

“Chill Dude, we’ll get to it.”

Does anyone have advice on this?

America Once Beautiful

America Once Beautiful
By: Joshua David

America Once Beautiful,
To where has all your beauty gone?

Your eyes have wrinkles from weariness and fatigue,
When will you find peace?

Your chin and mouth have the creases of a constant frown,
Why are you so sorrowful?

Your cheeks bear the rosey hue of a glutton, and there is an unhealthy sheen to your skin,
Why do you not take better care?

Your brow line is gouged with a knotted scowl,
Who has wronged you so?

You’ve developed a smoker’s cough, sticky fingers and a blind eye,
Can you not see this?

And your men America, you sure know how to pick them.
They aren’t good to you America.

You allow them to abuse you America, they are scarring you. You let them do things to you that you are uncomfortable with.
You always think that somehow these evil things you allow them to do will make them love you.

Afterall, that’s all you really want. Love… but they have no real love for you America.
They use you, taking what they want, taking what they desire of you, and then they leave.

You deserve much better America! Someone who will take care of you, love you, someone who will make you feel young again.

Perhaps instead of facing your age and your issues and making the changes that would help, you think “I’ll just hide them…”

You keep adding make-up, trying to cover the wrinkles and scars, trying to hide the pits and blemishes.

But deep down you know you’re not fooling anyone. Your people know the truth.
They know, no matter how hard you try to hide it, that you have not aged well.

And they know, deep down that you are not doing well.
You may say, “Yes, but look at other things. My stocks are up, my unemployment down, Industry is thriving! Capitalism is thriving!”

But your people know better,
We see you and know that behind the make-up and eye shadow,
There is something very wrong.
Behind the fake smile and coy speech,
there is a troubled spirit, a disgenuine heart.

Make-up cannot hide your history of violence, your perpetuation of anger.
Your nips and tucks of recent do not detract from what you’ve done to yourself, what you’ve become

You have clogged your spacious skies, and polluted your shining seas, paved down your fruited plain and razed your amber waves.

You are at the verge of destroying yourself America, and I care too much for you to let you fade.

America Once Beautiful, I love you despite your age,
Hide it no more I say!

I see past your wrinkles and scars,
Conseal them no more I say!

You have a flawed history, but who doesn’t, let us learn from it and together carve out a bright and glorious future!
Today is the day to make it all right again!

We must regain your freedom, and rekindle your brotherhood!
Bring back nobleness to your success, and self control to your soul!

Oh God, your soul!
At the very least, America, take care of that!
Find a love for God again and restore yourself once more.
Find the grace you once had before it is too late!

Do not linger in the falseness and shadow till you are at death’s door, and then try to run back. By then, I fear it may be too late.

I care about you too much America, to see you waste your life trying to fill the void in your heart where your faith once was. It is futile, and arrogant, costly and wasteful. God is not a lie!

You know better than that and you are better than that, America…
Be the you you once were, America the Beautiful.

My April Camp Nanowrimo Project: Short Stories!

Hey Everybody! Hope you all are doing great. I’m loving the good Spring weather we’re having down here in Texas. It’s just bad for allergies!:)

My blogging goal for this April is to not fall off the radar like I’ve done in previous Nanowrimo months. So I have a plan to blog short discussions on the short stories I’m writing as I start them throughout the month.

Here’s a list of the working titles for each:

The Odd Life of Misses Porter or The Final Affairs of Master Wexford

The Last Light of Planet Earth

The Wanderer Volume 1: The Storm

Kingdom of Darkness

A Brief Word on Hypersleep Studies Volume 1: Chiliagon

Albert Einstein: Chrononaut

One Soul In The Sea

The Boy With Dragon Wings Volume 1: The Boy Who Would Become a Hero

The Pygmies

Three Seconds in Time or The Polymorphism of Julia Brighton

I have several that I’ve written and several ideas that I have little more than an idea for. I’m going to try and tackle the unwritten ones first and then if I finish those I’ll spend the rest of the month editing the completed ones.

All together I really want to carve a lot of new ground this next month. This month’s goal (March) was to complete the full outline of my novel project Horntooth’s Farm just in case I get chosen as a finalist in the contest I entered it in. I’m happy to say that I’m almost completely done with it and the process has led to a lot of new scenes, twists and emotional grounding.

But I’m ready to jump into April and my short stories. So I’m hoping to close out this month with a successful outline and start next month with a Nanowrimo driven, short story writing fever. 🙂

How about you all? I’d love to hear more about your projects or if you’re thinking of participating in Camp Nanowrimo this April.

“I Am The Writer” by Joshua David

This poem/prose is meant to be an encouragement for those on the fence about participating in Camp Nanowrimo this April, or any Nanowrimo event for that matter. Post any questions you may have in the comments and I’ll try to answer them ASAP. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

I AM THE WRITER

By: Joshua David

I am parasitic. I feed off the world around me, absorbing sensations, breathing in sights and sounds, and consuming the possibilities and what if’s of my environment.

After I feed, I digest in quiet stillness within my mind. I could be anywhere, but not there when I digest.

I have stared at the flickering lamppost of an ominous alley or out into the glossy blue pond of upside-down trees and digested the stories within.

Then when digestion is done, I assimilate, translate, and convert this new source of energy into words. Whether on paper, or in digital universe, these words slowly begin to change into a story.

They transcend from what once was into what may yet be. The story is ever evolving into something more. Something beyond me and greater than I alone could ever be.

This cycle of intaking, processing, and pouring out is something as natural as breathing to me and it is a part of me whether I like it or not so I tend, for my own sake, to treat it as a gift.

If I want to pursue success at this gift, I must hone it into a keen skill which uplifts, enlightens, and entertains others or else I risk trapping these stories in the seclusion of my own mind and spirit.

In many ways I must become the story. I become the land and the people. I am the boy, I am the girl, I am the killer and the hero, I am the tree and the forest, the drop of rain and the waterfall.

I am the butterfly outside a cancer patient’s hospital window which brings hope, and also the tornado which rips down the protagonist’s childhood home.

I am the orphan, the outcast, the oppressed, the obscene, the vile, the wretched and corrupt.

As the story, I see over it and around it, under it and between it, but also through it; for I have crafted it and know it’s intimate makeup.

My characters depress me when they are depressed, and bring joy to me when they are elated. I am proud to have them exist within me, but prouder still when I am able to express them out into the story.

It is like breathing life into their existence, and putting their world into motion.

A writer’s words are their breath, and the story, their heartbeat. The meaning of it all is their life.

I am the writer, and so are you.

Go forth Writer…

Speak worlds, write life, craft existence between darkness and light…

Forge the boundaries between good and evil…

Spin the web of life and death into something magic and eternal…

Become the story you were meant to be…

Be brave, and be the writer.

My Plans for Camp Nanowrimo

Hello Everybody,

I hope you’re all doing spectacular today! I just wanted to drop this message to announce that I will be participating in Camp Nano this April. If you’ve ready my blogs on camp before, then you know how I view all that Nanowrimo has to offer. Essentially I almost always come up short of my goal, but I look back and know that it works as a tool for producing writing that would not have existed otherwise.

So I think my goal will again be the lighter 40,000 words as opposed to the 50K during the full blown Nanowrimo. 40k helps me to focus, not so much on the number of words, but what I need to write. I haven’t set my project yet. I’ve been revising a couple of shorts and working on a new one. Last year I completed 40,000 for a short story compilation, so I think this year I might try to finish that with a few new stories.

It will be a good break from my Novel Horntooth’s Farm. I really hope that this April, I can get back into my writing routine. Lack of a routine is the one thing that I feel  has prevented me from pushing anything new out in awhile. If I can get back into the swing of taking the time to write again, then you may see several new things from me this year.

Hope you all are excited for camp! If you haven’t done a Nanowrimo event yet, I definitely encourage you to try this April.