Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Guns of August

Those who know me even a little bit know that summer is probably my least favorite time of year.  Or summertime in Mississippi, to be precise.  Typically it's blistering hot and oppressively humid:  basically, weather such as one might experience in, oh, the Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), or maybe the Deccan plateau.  And it has indeed been typical.

Now I have my first month among the Unemployed behind me.  It has not been an unproductive month.  Finally, after several rather bleak writing seasons, I have been able to crack my writer's block, and am well into the next chapter of The Woodreeve's Tale, "The Battle of Brimness Ford," which, as it indicates, is all about a battle.  No, really:  from beginning-to-end fighting.  I've never done that before, not even in my only finished novel, which had action enough, but little of that kind.  It is not too hard.  It helps to have appropriate music at hand to listen to.  Rather odd, I must admit, writing medieval-style (or, more appropriately, Dark Ages-style) combat involving monsters, to music by Moby and the Crystal Method.  Works for me, though.

That's really what everything boils down to for me nowadays:  Whatever Works.  The Woody Allen film of the same name sucked majorly, but the message was wonderfully precise and succinct -- more than I can say for much of my writing.  Without a full-time job, I am (as I predicted in an earlier post) looking to cobble together an income from disparate sources.  This is not too hard, in the literal sense.  What is difficult is telling people -- mainly family, and the occasional friend (usually of the second degree or lower) -- what I'm doing to make a living.  I really am not making a living right now; it's all the wife's income, with only my little unemployment check every week.  But I'm getting there.

Towards that end -- "getting there" -- I am going to be self-publishing some of my work through Amazon soon, hopefully this month.  First will be a short collection of short fiction, which I hope to make available through either Kindle or Amazon's print-on-demand service.  I am not sure how it will all go down, but I hope to get my name out there, anyway.  Following that will be my finished novel, the chapters  and images of which must all be put together into one document -- no easy task.  Well, easy, maybe, but very time-consuming.  I hope to have it ready sometime in September.

All this is with the hope that I can turn my new-found time at home into the career I've always wanted:  published author.  I don't believe I will make the "big time," as my Uncle Mike says, but I hope to have my work put out there.  The fact that someone, somewhere could read my words, will be incredibly satisfying in and of itself.  Whatever money may come in will be a welcome aside.  I am under no illusions about the latter; most novelists I know of cannot make a living at their trade.  And yet... and yet... they go on doing it, anyway.  You are who you are, whether or not you get paid well for being so.

Of course, the world may end before I can get my work into print.  "What the hell," though, you know?  I never was one to sit around and wait for something good (or bad) to happen.  Try and fail?  Sure, all the time.  I've failed so many times, and at so many things, it'd be funny, if it... well, wasn't.  But I keep at it, anyway, just shy of the point of what could be called the definition of "madness."

August promises to be its usual wretched self.  But September, and autumn, is closer with each passing day.  Who knows what tidings the North Wind will bring then?

I hope it proves a welcome guest.  Wassail, friends. 

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"