Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dry Run: Update 17

Okay, I'm all done.  Only, what, three months overdue?

I should feel terrible about that.  I should be ashamed it took me a long time to write "Into the Furnace," and even longer to get it all typed up.  But I'm not.

I actually feel pretty good about it.

Things take time.  I find it hard to stick to a task.  But I crossed the finish line, and even though all the other racers had long since finished their marathons, and were now at home, showered and balls-deep in significant others or strangers, I at least crossed that finish line.  And that's something.

I ought to write up a little post-mortem on "Into the Furnace," which started out as friendship and grew stronger, I only wish I had the strength to let it show.  When I began this post, I estimated that it would end up being about 35,000 words.  Now that I finally got the whole thing from my notebook (and my head) to a computer, the total looks like this:

Forty-two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-two words.  That ain't a short story.  Not even a novella.  It's a novel in my book, and if it's not quite there in yours, well, let me have this little victory.  Maybe my next one will be longer.

But as for the post-mortem, I think I'll wait on that.  Let the story sit for a month or three, then get it out, read it over, and write up an author's note for it.  Then publish the suckah.

I took a picture from the freeway on my recent road trip (actually, I took about twenty), thinking I could use it as a cover image, and that picture is this:

In the book, I describe three buttes alongside one another.  Since I took so many pictures, I figured it would be easy to combine them so there appeared to be a trio instead of a single lonely mountain.

I'm not particularly talented when it comes to photo editing, but this is a sort of test image to see how it might look:
Still, though I like the photographs a great deal, this one doesn't do much to sell the product.  Chances are, I'll have to get someone to create cover art for me, but maybe they can use my butte pics to build upon.  The problem is, there's an obvious, easy cover that would tell you all you need to know about the book, but since the revelation doesn't come until a third (or more) into the book, I really don't want to do that.  Like when a movie like E.T. or GREMLINS or ALIEN makes you wait an hour or so to see the creature, but they put it right the on the cover of the videocassette.

You know what I'm saying?

Rish Outfield, Novelist

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A couple brief ramblings

I would never be cut out for political office.  I hate pretending to be pleasant to unpleasant people, and the first time someone deliberately misinterpreted my words or took them out of context for reasons of hate . . . well, I'd start with the profane screaming, and I guess that'd be it.

Somebody recently said that "you don't get to choose whether what you say is offensive," because I'm in that evil cys-gendered patriarchal cabal of the vast majority.  And it bothered me . . . at least long enough to type this.  Now I'm over it.

I'm in between audiobook projects right now, and it's strange to have so much free time to work on my own things.  I've recorded between four and six episodes of my solo podcasts, and actually got one edited, so all I have to do is post it.  So, consider yourself warned: Rish Outfield is not quite done with podcasting just yet.

Similarly, I've been thinking (for about two years) of putting out a collection of audio recordings for sale, and made a list of everything I have ready to go.  I can't help but feel like I need some kind of unifying theme, even if it's just "stories involving children" or "stories where the third act falls apart."  I'll keep thinking.

There's a teenager at work they just hired, who is really sweet, and really good at her job.  The other night, we left work and her boyfriend was waiting for her in the parking lot.  They hadn't seen each other in, like, eight to ten hours, and he just wrapped his arms around her and held her while the rest of us old people got in our cars and drove home.  I realize the years and circumstance have made me cynical, but in watching that I had to wonder what young love might have been like, and if a couple of teenagers knew something that we grownups had forgotten . . . or never known.

Of course, those two will never use the Dewey Decimal System or go into a video store, so I guess into every life a little rain must fall.

I created a new YouTube page to upload an audiobook reading or two, figuring that if the 'Tube police take my performances down, it would affect the account I created for that purpose.  But when it asked for my email address, it recognized me as Rish Outfield, and insisted on calling the new account by that name.  I could not change it and even got my 14 year old niece to try and fix it for me, but to no avail.  I don't suppose I really even care--I intended to upload, I dunno, around a thousand Fake Sean Connery videos with that first account, and I never did.  Ah well.

In other news, only sixty-six days to Halloween.

Silver Shamrock.

There's a new manager at work who is young and handsome and so covered with tattoos that they make him wear long sleeves to hide them when anybody else is around.  He's pretty cool, and likes to talk to me about Fantasy novels whenever I see him.  Recently, he shared with me a list of the Top Ten Fantasy Series as voted by the readers of or something, and I surprised him by only having read two on the list (and one was the [friggin'] "Lord of the Rings").  I told him we ought to pick up some Brandon Sanderson, to make up for the fact that his "Way of Kings" series was number one on the list and we'd never read it.

The manager, might, however, actually read his copy.*

Yesterday, he was sharing a new list with me from his phone, and it was Ten Things To Avoid When Writing A Fantasy novel.  One of them was pretty obvious ("Don't write just a one-off novel, but a whole series of books"), one was somewhat puzzling ("Don't make up your own curse words"), and one just flat-out pissed me off ("Avoid starting your book with a prologue").  For some reason, I kept thinking of good prologues, and why whoever wrote this article had a bias against them.  There were others on the list that I scratched my head over (one was "Don't invent your own languages"), but the prologue one was the only one that made me angry.

After I told him I disagreed, the manager said that the list had been compiled by polling editors, and that one editor said, "If I see a book begins with a prologue, I won't even read the manuscript."  For some reason, that made me even angrier than if it had just been the readers of who had compiled the list.  I stewed for a while, then realized that, in all likelihood, I'm never going to write a Fantasy novel if I live to be a hundred, so again, I just let it go.

I think that's about it.

Oh, I won the Masters of the Macabre contest over at the Horror Addicts website and podcast.  It was for my story "Miss Fortune," which I had my niece and Renee Chambliss help me out on.  It was my fifth time entering the contest (sixth time on the show), and the story that came out the best in the contest's format.  You may recall that I had a distinct advantage on this one, since this year they wanted an audio drama instead of a story, and required at least two voices instead of just my own.  And I may have said on this blog that this was probably my year to win the thing.

Even so, it's nice to win something that isn't my own contest for a change.  I don't imagine it amounts to anything or will impress any of my fan, but after losing four years running, I suppose it's nice to--

Wait, no, it isn't.  Having won, I'm no longer eligible to enter the contest in the future.  And that's really too bad.  Of course, I could always enter again under a pseudonym, like Roy G. Biv or something.  Maybe the name I use when recording Erotica audiobooks.  So there's that.

Rich Oldfiend

*I was surprised to get to work the day I posted this to find out my manager bought two copies of "The Way of Kings," one for him and one for me.  It sort of touched me, like I had a friend or something.  Weird.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rish's Voice in "The Black Bird" on Journey Into...

I have to admit, when I got a message from Marshal Latham that my work on "The Black Bird" could be heard over on his podcast . . . I had no idea what he was talking about.  Had I recorded a story for him so long ago that I no longer had any memory of it?  What is this, Starship Sofa?

But going over to "Journey Into..." reminded me.  David Barr Kirtley did a sort of mash-up of "The Raven" and THE MALTESE FALCON, and Marshal had asked me if I'd voice Sam Spade.*  I'm always happy to a) help out on other podcasts, and b) try new voices, so I sent the lines over, promptly forgetting it had ever happened.  Chalk it up either to early-onset dementia, or middle age a-hole-ism, I don't know which.

Anyway, check it out over at this very link, and enjoy!


*He later had me re-voice it because I sounded so whiny and obnoxious.  I didn't dare tell him that I had somehow mistakenly voiced the character as David Spade the first time through.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rish Outcast 27: Dry Run Update

Rish talks briefly about his attempt to document writing a novella in the spring of 2015.  Wait, what's a novella again?

If you feel like downloading the audio to your hard drive, Right-click right HERE!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Do you love?

I was thinking yesterday, for no reason, really, that there's only a handful of things that I really love.  Maybe ten things, if I really, really strain myself.  Maybe only five, if we're being realistic.*

It may be too personal to go into here, though I'll give you an example.  I don't know if it's number one on the list, but it's in the top three or so, but I really love Pepsi.  I can't live without it.  I won't live without it.  Probably all five of my short list are things like that: things that you think are vices or bad or deplorable, but are the only things that make my life worth living.  Such as it is.

But I walked into a store today, and found a sixth one.

I took that picture, and it just made me feel warm inside.  Heck, looking at the picture here makes me feel warm.  That's love, right?

"Do you love?" Nona asked.

Rish Outfield

*There's a girl at work who is clinically obsessed with Robin (from DC Comics), to the point where it's actually shocking.  She loves Robin the way kids love bubbles.  To quote Paul Rudd (in KNOCKED UP), "I wish I loved anything as much as kids love bubbles."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rish Performs "The Secret To Calling Rabbits" on Far-Fetched Fables

This is a good one, folks.  A lot of times, I'm given a story to narrate for another show, and I sort of shrug whilst reading it, or sometimes I don't understand the story, and every once in a while, I'm handed something that is Not Ready For Prime Time, if you will.  But not this one.

"The Secret To Calling Rabbits" by Wendy Wagner is such a great story, I would've done it for free!

Oh, wait.

Well, I certainly would've fought to get this thing on the Dunesteef, if it had come across our door.  It's an interesting, sad tale about the last dwarf in the world, and his encounter with a little Big (human) girl.  And it's better than anything I could write, I fear.

Here is the link to the story over at Far-Fetched Fables.

Still, I'd like to think I brought something to the table with my reading.  If you don't like my voice, though, then you can listen to someone else read it at this link.  After you go eff yourself, of course.

Rish Outfield, Rabbit Caller

Friday, August 07, 2015

Rish Outcast 26: A Novel in 90 Days?

This is a show I recorded sitting in the backyard one night, talking about "Into the Furnace" and the goal Big and I made of writing a novel over the summer (2015).  There were three potential novel ideas kicking around my head, and one had to make the cut.

There may be a bit more information here than in previous conversations about it.  And maybe not.

If you care to download the audio to your hard drive, Right-click HERE, lads and lasses!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Rish's Tale "Popcorn Movies" available on Amazon and Audible

A few years back, I wrote a lengthy, semi-autobiographical story called "Popcorn Movies," about a young man who, after making a mess of his life, comes back to his small town to work in reopening a neighborhood movie theater.

I was hesitant to share this with people, since it's sort of a personal story, and since I'm always afraid to share, but here it is.  It's available to read at this link, or I've created an audio version.  That link is here:

It may not be to everyone's liking, but if it is well-received, I'm all the more likely to put out other recordings of my writing.