What I’m working on today…

Here’s what’s going on today. Working on a new book called “They Live On My Shower Stall Wall.” Our shower stall walls are patterned to look like marble. Some time ago I saw a face in the random marks, then another, then dozens.

In two days, we’re having the bath redone as a walk-in shower and those panels are going to go. So, I’ve been photographing them in order to capture all those wonderful faces and creatures and such before they are gone.

Couldn’t quite get the lighting right, but last night, getting up to use the facility at 1:00 am, everything looked just right with the bathroom light. Apparently, trying to do it with daylight coming in the window just wasn’t working, even with supplimental (because of the shadows).

So, there I was in the dead of night, snapping away high res pics of all the key panels and close shots of some of the more wonderful images hiding in them.

Which means that today, instead of having to spend it all trying to capture the walls before they are torn down tomorrow, I can write this instead, with an eye toward the book..

Here’s a sample pic from what I’m planning on…

How to keep on creating when no one knows you are there

So here’s the thing… Reaching 70 years old next month and thinking that after a lifetime of seeking some recognition for my work as an artist in many media, and finding somewhere between none and scant little, how can I keep on going?

But I already have the answer. You put yourself out there as if you had a hundred million followers or fans. You treat each new work as an act of raw creation, thrusting it into the world with every fiber of your being to make it real, to make it shine, to give it life.

Destruction of you soul lies down the path of adjusting the intensity of your output to the size of your expected audience. Don’t do art to gain an audience and don’t underplay your best effort even if your audience is absent.

Feel the power of projecting your vision into the ether, splash the biggest ripple you can into a pond, whether calm or beset with the ripples of others. Forget competition, ignore obscurity, eschew anonymnity, and split your heart open until your blazing light bursts forth to illuminate the room with fire, whether there’s anyone else there or not.

Art is made by the totality of your commitment to the work. Throw everything you have into everything you create no matter if anyone sees it or not. Because it was never about the effect you have on others, but the effect you have on yourself.

Only by totally embracing the process can you evolve as a spirit approaching ever closer to that unattainable state where your inner and outer realities merge and you transcend the dissonance of existence.

How I Wrote Man Made | Preface

Man Made is a science fiction thriller based on the premise that in the course of a single day, everything manufactured by the hand of man vanishes from the earth as a mysterious and inexplicable “line of dissolution” moves westward around the globe starting from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich and then returning to the same point from the east twenty four hours later.

As it has evolved, the story moved beyond being a simple nail-biter to encompass social satire, political commentary, cutting-edge science, philosophical exploration, gripping human drama, sardonic humor, spiritual issues, and all in what ultimately became an action-driven travelog across the planet.

I’ve been working on this project for a couple of years now.  Originally I had planned it as a single book but as the story grew to explore how people prepared, how governments and societies reacted, and the cultural and psychological effects of such a devastating event, each successive chapter got longer until I realized it might ultimately be more than a thousand pages in length and take years to complete.

I didn’t want to wait that long to share what I think is a truly intriguing idea, so I decided to release each of the chapters as a book unto itself – basically an installment in a series with an overarching theme.

So far, I’ve published six slim volumes ranging in length from long short stories (something of an oxymoron) to novelettes.  Each one advances the events through one hour of time so that when all  twenty four planned volumes are assembled, the final book will cover one day of story time.

In format, each of the twenty four books is made up of about a dozen short scenarios that explore different aspects of the story as it progresses that hour.  From time to time I publish these sequentially as episodes in The Event Series in order to share the fun things the story covers and also to generate interest in the books.

Every episode has required extensive research into areas I previously knew little or nothing about.  And each has been a creative wrestling match between me and a story that will not follow directions and insists on going its own way (often to my joy and surprise).

Yet even after two years and hundreds of pages, it did not occur to me until just this morning that I would very much like to share what has gone into this project so far, and to document the development of all the new material the Muse continues to provide.

Being a teacher of creative writing and story structure for the past third of a century, it also strikes me that aspiring authors might find it worthwhile to see the process behind the finished work.

To this end, I offer this record of the creative path I’ve taken and continue to tread as I strive to finish the twenty four volumes that complete the narrative of this world I’ve created.