The Rom-Com, the Big Deal, and the Rest.

Life without working on The HooseCows is just a little too quiet. Starting to miss wondering how Hank James and Mickey Danz see the world. If there is one character from the book I’d love to bring back, it is Mickey Danz. I think he has a lot more to say.

I have short story projects to kick around for a few weeks, but I’m going to need to make a commitment to a bigger project. Unfortunately, all of them want my time.

Whatever I end up committing to I will likely stick with until its finished — at least six months. If I pick poorly, I’m stuck punching in to slog away in misery. If I pick right, it’s like checking into good daydreams and thunderstorms of inspiration. No pressure, of course.

Here are my potential dance partners:Somethin' Spooky

1) The Rom-Com. This book has the benefit of already being written and lightly edited. It’s mostly about love and growing up, but it somehow pulls off enough of the spooky stuff (and enough serious dramatic material) to feel like something I wrote. Downside: More sentence level editing. I’m burned out on that for the moment. This book will find a way to market soon, though, because I think people would pay to read it.

2) The Byron novel. At the beginning of baseball season, I started another online novel. It was a supernatural Midwestern take on Byron’s life in exile. I dug the tone and characters, but the pacing started to drag after six chapters and I got lost in the middle of it. Now, I can’t decide if it’s a novella or a novel. Downside: Just not feeling it right now. This can change quickly, however.

3) The Mangled Media Jamboree. This idea is intriguing, and whenever I pitch it to people their eyes light up. Without giving anything away, it involves finding a lot of different angles on telling the traditional campfire ghost story. Downside: Lots of prep work and maintenance. Techie skill sets I don’t possess. This is one that needs a team effort.

4) Thurgood the Teen Mummy. Ah, Thurgood. I started posting this as a Twilight spoof on Facebook. People seem to like it, and I get a sadistic pleasure in writing it. I have some ideas for packaging it and have made some plans for how it could get finished. Downside: Hard to stretch out the story without becoming too obnoxious, even for my standards.

5) THE BIG PROJECT. The best way I have of explaining this project? I’ve kept tabs on the deepest scares and fears from long nights and bad days. I’ve poured them into a tortured character. When I think of this project, I think of sadness and fear without easy resolution. It makes ME a little uncomfortable, so there’s something worth talking about there. Downside: This character needs a plot, setting, and conflict. There’s still a lot left to prep.

Not sure which of these belles I’ll take to the ball. I’d ask for advice, but we all know I’m not going to listen to outside advice. I just hope one of them starts lookin’ pretty good to me soon . . .

 

– Axel

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The HooseCows Are On The Road!

After finishing my final tinkering, I have submitted The HooseCows for publication. I might wait up to 16 weeks for a response, so I’ll now be working on a few short stories and one larger project I’ve been considering.

During these last few days of editing, I’ve remembered a lot of why I wrote The HooseCows in the first place. Beyond the baseball, it’s a Midwestern Gothic. There are monsters everywhere, and most of them are not supernatural. Most of them are even likeable. They’re just lost in their own spiraling thoughts.

Rural Iowa is filled with open spaces and free time. Because of this, my Midwestern Monsters are constantly at odds with their own minds and desires. I think Hank James biggest problem is he has too much time to think and analyze about what’s going on around him. After all, baseball gives him time to think and analyze, too. I can relate to having too much time to think while looking at endless amounts of flat land all around me.

But it’s time to move on. You’ll notice The HooseCows is no longer online at http://www.cfcows.com. It’s time for it to move on to professional publication. Besides, the version you read there has been revised and perfected. I’d much rather share the improved version with you at a later date. Cfcows.com will remain to distribute information about the book’s future publication.

Enjoy your day. Don’t think too much.

-Axel

Final Countdown, Final Scene.

With under 30 pages left to edit, I will finish the final revision of The HooseCows tonight. Thanks to Rachel and Jeris, who did an amazing job of taking my last draft and cleaning up a lot of sentence-level writing mistakes. No thanks to Bootsy the cat for sitting on the pages I was trying to look at and playing with the rubber band I use to hold the pages together.

At the suggestion of friend Jeff, I’m adding another scene to the first third of the book. It’ll improve the tone and character development of the whole book, which I’m excited about.

There’s something special about the FINAL SCENE in the FINAL DRAFT. Basically, it’s me saying goodbye to years of writing The HooseCows and, hopefully, the scene itself saying hello when readers come across it in the pages of the novel. I want it to stand up and acquit itself nicely, so I’m going to have to pick the appropriate mood music and make this sucker happen.

– Axel

Still Editing

On the golf course, you drive for show and putt for dough. With writing, the first draft is the drive and editing is your short game.

The HooseCows is so close to being ready for publishers, but sending it off right now would be like sending James Bond out in sweats and a sleeveless tank top. Some things must simply be done right.

Mostly, I find myself backhanding unnecessary commas and clarifying constipated sentences. Each trim dresses up the final product. The end goal is for an editor to read The HooseCows and forget about everything except the story of Hank James and his love for the game.

Which makes me sound extremely noble. It’s truly how I think, but it ain’t how I feel. I FEEL like throwing my computer out a window, setting all drafts on fire, screaming along with songs from Ice Cube’s The Predator album, and dressing up like I was in The Misfits.

Going to have to hold off on that, though. I’m finally over halfway done with the editing the book, so I guess I oughta stay focused and finish what I started.

Update over. Very sleepy. The BEAST DEMANDS EDITING!

– Axel

Movie Reviews! Only the Choicest Cuts!

I’m currently writing movie reviews for Slasher Studios. I try to pick movies, excellent or awful, that more people need to know about for a crazy scene, an amazing performance, or something so ridiculous it has to be seen to be believed.

Slasher Studios is a fun place. Check out their fun short film “Teddy” or order one of their newer films. I recommend listening to their podcast. It introduced me to the gang as I drove around the city between appointments. Each episode of their podcast is like sitting in a living room with friends, arguing over a pile of VHS tapes and laughing. If you’ve missed that — as I have — start listening to the show today!

Just turn down your car radio during the opening scream of the show. Very loud, that scream.

And if you’ve missed my reviews, here are some handy links to what you’ve missed:

Blood Games

Saturday the 14th Strikes Back

Shakma

Dreamaniac

Split Second

— Axel