“And on your left… a whole lot of nothin’”

Hello fellow travelers. This is your resident blogger speaking.

It appears as if we’ve just burned through our first (rather) substantial quiet period here on our outward journey. Call it a void, the Big Empty, or a whole lot of nothing.. it seems I’ve succumbed to that which plagues even the greatest amongst us.

But fear not; Outwardbounder is not without her helmsman.

Yes I know, it may look as if this ship’s been hurtling blind and trackless.. But I’ve prepared my barrel-full of excuses. It’s practically bubbling over-

I’ve been below deck (that’s my last nautical metaphor, I promise), seeing to some ‘real life’ duties that puts food on the table and keeps an internet connection humming. You know – general long term welfare type stuff. I’ve recently taken a new job and have just got over that baby-giraffe-wobbly period where it seems I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. 10 hour days have seemingly cut into my fanciful side.

But no longer!

I’m actually cranking out a rough draft of this very post here on the first break o’ the day. This ship cannot be stopped! (Damn)

In the meantime, I’ve had one helluva backlog in creativity. It’s like a dam that’s sectioned off all of my creative juices. As you can see from all of these awkward and particularly forced metaphors.. I gotta tear that sonofabitch down!

It’s high time that I let you guys know that Outwardbounder is alive and kicking, and there are actually some pretty cool undertakings in the works.

First off: Peer reviews! I’ve found it my good fortune to be reading some very cool works by some writer friends of mine. I’ve gone over their stuff at some length and have always been impressed. I love being a part of this step in the process, and am so grateful that they’ve sought out my input.

Check these guys out here and here. You wont be disappointed.

This is a perfect way to get my head back in the game. I’m completely open to other such reviews as well, if you’re so inclined. I would be happy to post them on this humble blog as well… if… if you’re so inclined. Hit me up.

Second off: That creative backlog, I mentioned. It’s overwhelming. The stuff has been ricocheting between my cerebral hemispheres for far too long. You know you should start getting that stuff on paper after you’ve started your 4th, 5th or 17th story outline. A man can only take so much brainstorming before it has some kind of permanent effect.

I’ve got one about a time traveler that projects himself to the end of the universe; one momentous slice at a time.

A guy’s family reunion with a long lost Neanderthal.

Human intelligence seen from a ruthless cephalopod’s POV.

An alien hive-mind cloud whose idea of greeting involves skewering, impaling, and piercing.

One with universe hopping the long way around – i.e, waiting for a habitable universe to evolve up around you.

And most importantly, dinosaurs that might not be dinosaurs but probably are because they’re awesome enough to be actual dinosaurs.

 —

–As you might imagine, my daydreaming and actual-dreaming have been pretty hectic lately.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. For those of you that find such things agreeable; Outwardbounder will be experiencing a concerted effort by her captain to make a comeback. My presence on twitter has been spiking again, and I’ve devoted some time to Pinterest in a means to kickstart that ever-elusive artistic muse.

Check them both out. They’re full of creative, interesting people. And they’re a good way to ruminate on imaginative subjects. That’s the service I strive to provide, after all.

I’ve also got my mind on beginning a proper youtube page, with possible video accompaniment for these blog posts. DeviantART seems like a good idea for my cartoony doodling skills as well. Any content is good content, right?

Once again: Thanks for sticking around, if you did. Many welcomes to those first-timers. Much love to all you guys. Kick back, check out a story or poem or two; on me. There’s bound to be more incoming not far on that galactic horizon.

The Next Big Thing

With National-Novel-Writing-Month drawing to a close, many writers have their attention locked securely on current projects. Those masochistic enough to succeed with their 50,000 have my sincerest — congratulations. I’m very proud of you guys. Witnessing your progress over the month has been more than a little inspiring. You all deserve a round in celebration: alcohol or applause, your choice.

I found this the perfect time to strike out with my own round of The Next Big Thing. I’d love to learn a little more about what you guys have in store for the future. This is, after all, when things start getting interesting. Edits upon edits, peer reviews. Shining stories are hammered out of the laborious molds you’ve crafted in November.

What better time than the present?

I wasn’t brave enough to undertake the rigors of Na-No-Wri-Mo this year; but in true writerly style, I’ve got my own ongoing project knocking around. I need to put something up here in order to get the ball rolling after all.

So lets see what we’ve got.

1.)    What is the working title of your next book/short story/project?

Yoan ex Novo.

2.)    Where did the idea come from for the book?

Sparks of inspiration trace back well into my childhood. I could try to pin it down to some philosophical fascination I have with the unknowable and the fathomless depths of time… but it’s more likely that I’ve always had a thing for monsters. I always found myself identifying with the stop-motion beasts or poorly hidden men in furry suits. They were my protagonists. They captured my imagination. The original germ of the idea arose a long time ago. I’d always wondered how different things might be if beings like them were running the show.

3.)    What genre does your book fall under?

Solid Science Fiction, if you wanted to paint with heavy brushstrokes. Probably Anthropological SF if you wanted detail.

4.)    What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

What was that I said about guys in suits earlier? I would probably have a seizure if an effects company like Jim Henson Studio or Stan Winston Studio to tackle some creatures portrayed in the story. Though knowing how far motion capture has come, I’d absolutely love if Andy Serkis were involved in any kind of iteration. Gotta have your pipe dreams, you know?

5.)    Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve always imagined Yoan being picked up by an agent, but as I am currently amid the throng of the unpublished, it shall remain in the aforementioned pipe dream category. I do have goals for future self-publishing schemes as well.

6.)    What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A human consciousness from the 21st century is cloned by the next dominant species of a future earth. Bonus sentence: shenanigans ensue.

7.)    How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

How can I answer this without sounding more like an amateur? I can’t? Oh. Well – I’ll tell you when it’s finished.

8.)    What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Yoan ex Novo would draw its strongest parallel with Jurassic Park. I’d go as far as to say that it’s a parabolic retelling. The ‘once rulers’ of the planet find themselves miraculously resurrected only to butt heads with the new head honchos; though it isn’t meant to be a Crichtonian cautionary tale about scientific hubris. Yoan aims to ask more questions than it answers. Who has the intrinsic ‘right to exist’ in a situation like that, etc?

I’d also compare it to William Golding’s The Inheritors, as it chiefly features a nonhuman intelligence and its means of coping with a very human threat.

9.)    Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Once again, I can’t really narrow it down to a singular cause. Not one person in particular inspired me to buckle down and pull my head out of the clouds. There’s an amalgam of motivation, from my love of sweeping Attenborough documentaries to deeply paranoid Science Fiction about the human condition. Ultimately, it’s a story that I’ve kept bottled up for so long, I feel a bit guilty keeping it out of the sunlight.

 

10.)     What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s an adventurous coming of age story about a single person who becomes the focal point that decides the fate of two terrestrial alien cultures. It’s got giant talking neo-monkeys and imprinting corvids that could ace an IQ test. There’s love, genocide, extinction and climate change – long-spanning and epic travails seen through a modern day lens.

I’ll nominate a couple very talented writers to take it from here. Chris J. Randolph, Jeff Ellis, and Scott Zachary (whose teasers for a post-apocalyptic thriller look plain awesome). These are three guys we all need to read a lot more of.

Keep writing everyone. Never stop creating.