The Magician's Lament

Valsa com Bashir by Nildoliveira

Valsa com Bashir by Nildoliveira

I hate to admit it, but my hour of writing a day has been severely impacted by my full time job. Long story short: we had several managers from out of town to check the store, as well as doing inventory AND the Memorial Weekend Sale. Instead of writing, I took time to download a bunch more images to help fuel my imagination.

As for The Magician, I've run into a stumbling block. It's more of a conceptual problem. As I've written the story, XAV has become less and less robotic. Now that does follow a certain bit of logic considering the opening scene is him selling his "soul" to become a magician. Now that I'm at the pivotal section of the novel, I'm left wondering if my original idea still holds power or if I need to put my own stamp on it, shrinking the idea down to something more in line with the reality I've created, rather than a nod to Lovecraft and playing off of that popular, but ultimately well-worn tropes that have been written about for almost a hundred years now. Now, that does say something about their durability even after this long, but as I approach writing it, I am starting to lean towards keeping it in the "family."

As my wife would be more than happy to tell you, I am an over-analyzer. Generally, I will talk her ear off for thirty minutes, then she'll turn to me and shrug, say, "I don't know." As a result, I'm left a lot of the time stressing out over minute details until I finally say ENOUGH and move on. My stories are hugely complex, with multiple point of views crisscrossing. Recently at OWFI 2014, I had an agent ask me where I received my training (to which I wish I had answered Chechnya) since I had such an intricate plot. That, of course, comes from Mel Odom, from years before. While I don't follow all things he taught me, I cannot deny how much of an impact he had on the way I work now.

I'm currently looking into doing a podcast in some fashion. As is, some of my favorite ones follow the three to four people, talking for hours upon hours about a specific subject. Unfortunately, writing really seems to be such a specialized interest that the only thing I've really found is stuff like the Guardian's podcast, which is truncated to draw hits to the website, whereas I believe that podcasts should sit separate, as their own beast. Recently, Garnett on Games has come along that has one man talking for two hours about games (as evidenced by the title), with occasional call ins. Also, there is Radio Free Burrito by Wil Wheaton. While it's largely defunct now, it features Wil talking about his personal life, reading short stories or articles in between playing Free Use audio clips.

What I'd like to do is a bit of a mixture of the two of those. As many of my friends and employees would say, I'm quite excitable and have strong opinions based on how stories should play out as opposed to how the movies or books, even games, are constructed. I'm also thinking about starting a weekly article about that very thing: how stories have fallen sort and what could've been done to clean them up, make them punchier.

As for what I plan to do this next week: unfortunately, my store is in a bit of disarray thanks to the events of the last week, so I'll be devoting time to it. Hopefully, I can carve out a niche in my schedule each day to write, but as I've noted, that's become harder and harder now that I've made it a goal.

I'm aware of a few short story podcasts, but I'm looking for writers talking about writing. I'd love to find more and delve into our passion.

My question for you: Do you have any good podcasts dedicated to writing?


Justin D. Herd

Justin D. Herd is a purveyor of the weird and strange. He occasionally squawks at friends and family, but does so only under the cover of night. Okay, that's not true. He squawks in full daylight. Drinking games have been built around his peculiarities, but the truth of it is this: he is a loving husband, with two wonderful dem--children. One growls at things he likes, including pretty women. The other has started to learn hand-eye coordination. Neither had made it to the tender age of three. From there, things will only get more interesting. He spends most of his writing time either at a coffee shop or sitting at one of his many desks around his house. Any other place makes it nearly impossible for him to write. He uses horror movies and rock music to help get the juices flowing. His favorite authors are Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alan Campbell, Terry Pratchett, Justin Cronin, and Patrick Rothfuss. He consumes most of his books through audiobooks, but still loves his personal library and getting lost in the printed word.