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Listening to myths

A lot of my writing has an accompanying sound track. Actually, a lot of my writing has accompanying soundtracks, interesting actors, beautiful sets, expensive costumes, and epic cg. I type, and things explode in slow motion, it’s _awesome_. Well, it’s awesome to me anyways. Gaiman is right again, no one can see the world inside my head.

So I keep my worlds the back of my brain, where they belong, but Mythica occupied enough brain-space that it constantly spills over. Every now and again, I have to vent a bit of it, or it’ll flood surrounding ideas. Okay, fine, it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing, but ideas have to be answered from time to time, wise or not.

That’s why you get to know about Mythica’s soundrtrack, aren’t you lucky?

“Am I crazy?” she asked the empty sidewalk. In her head, she watched the dragon land. The images juxtaposed: the camera, her own memory, and the beltway below. Many perspectives of the same event.

“Am I crazy?” She repeated, angrier this time. She thought of her arguments with Brian. She remembered showing him the tape. She’d been so relieved when he saw the dragon too, and so angry when he couldn’t remember. She remembered the fight they had when he refused to watch the tape anymore. She looked again at the rushing traffic. The ground rumbled with the force of it, the momentum of normality, all those people living their lives.

“Then I’m crazy.” She pulled the phone out of her pocket and redialed the number.

Josie

The fat man wasn’t even a man at all, something distinctly cold-blooded and unholy writhed and coiled beneath his clothing, no eyes watched her behind his leather mask.

The thing in the coat stared at her, empty mask unblinking. All Reaper could do was nod at him and smile. The only alternative would be to cow herself within her own Cathedral. He stared all the same, watching her with the same abstract fascination reserved for bugs under glass.

PD

Bach walked out of the restaurant once more. What was he this time? Blond and pale? A beautiful bald black man? He checked his reflection in a truck’s mirror. Still himself. He could hardly recognize the man who stared back; but even under all the changes, his face was still in there somewhere. Still a dark skinned boy with thick black hair, younger and prettier than he’d ever been before he’d started sinning.

He lit a cigarette with an idle flick of his fingers and strolled back to his car. The number of trucks at the stop had increased, and he found himself walking the artificial canyons of freight. Idly, he fingered a silver cross under his shirt, reciting a psalm in his head as he tried to distract himself from the incident.

“Lost control again.” He mumbled. “Stupid boy lost control. Brings nothing but shame, nothing but shame.”

Bach

“You allow nothing,” the archangels sneered back. The rebuke struck her ears and her heart with the same force. Reaper nearly fell from the bench as she clutched her chest against the Archangel’s disapproval. “Your dedication is admirable, but you are a servant of the Throne. You act in the interests of the Throne, or you have no place within the Host. Do you intend to question the Throne’s work?”

Reaper gasped for air as her heart refused to beat. Finally, she managed to croak out a reply, “No. Of course not!”

The Archangels smiled, and reaper slumped under the sudden relief from strangulation. “Your strength of will strengthens the Host, Reaper, but it weakens your resolve. The Throne has need of you, and you shall rise to the occasion.”

The Reaper’s Right Hand

“Josie, this is Trent Chesapeake. Trent, meet Josie Kimmond, thorn in my side.”

Trent gave PD a quizzical look, then turned to Josie. “PD I’m hurt, I thought I was your only thorn. Pleased to meet you Josie.”

Josie inclined her head slightly in a nod of acknowledgment. “Pleased to meet you too.” She thought about shaking Trent’s hand, but couldn’t quite decide weather he actually had one. A verdant wilderness, vast, deep, and old beyond reckoning, was sitting beside her and drinking a beer. She knew she was looking at a person, but she knew she was also looking at a place. Her mind couldn’t seem to make Trent be one or the other.

Trent

She was tall, tall and pale, with slightly Asian features. She wore jeans and a t-shirt, her blade still drawn, and still aflame. Instinct alone propelled Reaper to her feet. She reached to her right, and closed her fingers around empty space. From this nothing, she pulled her own sword. It joined the world in a wisp of smoke. Her motions were faster than thought, as automatic as a heartbeat. The steel moved of its own accord, and the two blades met in a vast clash of metal and fire. It was only then that Reaper noticed her opponent’s wings, vast as her own and a deep burgundy.

Cherise

  • Furious Angels, by Rob Dougan
    Amazon Link
    Rob Dougan - Furious Angels - Furious Angels
  • Angels with Dirty Faces, by Sum 41
    Amazon Link
    Sum 41 - Chuck - Angels With Dirty Faces
  • Feathers, by Kidneythieves
    No amazon link, No iTunes Link… Where’d this song go?

I have no illusions about Mythica. A good book is hard to put down, and it’s obvious that mythica’s been set aside more than a few times. Don’t feel bad if you’re a beta and reading this, I’m not trying to guilt you, I’m just being honest. A good book gets people talking, mythica didn’t do that, and the lack of feedback is equally valuable feedback in and of itself. However, the realities of lame writing haven’t tarnished the awesome within my own head, and I wanted to share a bit of it before putting the project to bed for a while.

To make myself feel better, I remember  Tobias Buckell’s advice, you have to write a million words of crap before you get to the good stuff. I don’t know if it’s true, but I plan to keep writing until something shines.

P.S. – If you’d like to hear the soundtrack without having to buy it piecemeal, get in touch with me.

Creative Work ,

3 Comments to “Listening to myths”

  1. I genuinely am excited about it – and excited that, as of this week, I’m not longer working bloody 14-hour days and should actually get to FINISH IT. I promise.

    (Also, awesome new layout for the site.)

  2. What is this Mythica, and can I still find it? Obviously, you’re currently working on Darkened Heart, which is how I got here; I’ll follow that anyway, but the bits of this one you have here are also intriguing. Apparently it didn’t go well, but if it wasn’t completely removed from wherever I wouldn’t mind having a look. 🙂

    • Mythica is the draft manuscript for a novel that I completed in 2008. I sent it out to a small handful of beta-readers: Friends and acquaintances who’d agreed to read the draft and provide critiques. The only problem is, no one’s been able to finish the book. It’s too easy to put down. Going back through the draft, it’s clear that vast stretches of it are truly awful.

      Even though I can see a lot of those flaws now, I have no present plans to rehash the manuscript. I’ll probably pick it up again “some day”, but I’ve plenty of work to occupy my brain. I posted this article as a mental exercise; A chance to stop an relax from a harder project, but sadly it doesn’t have much value when divested from the original work. It wound up here because Sunkenlibrary remained completely unread for quite some time, so it hardly mattered what I posted.

      Even though I’m pretty critical of Mythica now, I’m glad for the experience it leant me. It was an excellent chance to improve, and to learn a great deal about the difficulties of long-form fiction. I’m inclined to agree with Tobias Buckell’s “Million Words of Crap” theory, from It’s all just a draft. To put it succinctly, you have to write a million words of crap before your writing gets good enough to sell.

      Storytelling is like any other learned skill. There is no natural “gift” for story telling, you just have to keep hammering away until you get it right. Darkened Heart is part of that. Webcomics have a long history of starting mediocre and becoming brilliant. The need to put something out on a regular basis makes you a better storyteller.

      The only question is, have I passed my millionth word? I guess we’ll see.

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