Monday, April 27, 2020

Pierwalker Log: April 27, 2020

Writing start: n/a
Finish: n/a.
Total new words (est.): 0
Edited (est.): 0
Tasks

1. Failure: Completed!

The sixth novel in Melody and the Pier to Forever is finally out in the world!

Of all the novels in this saga, this was without question the most difficult to write. It took four years to complete due to plot and pacing issues, grammar issues out the wazoo, perspective and point-of-view issues; as well as the need to do a ton of research--tall ships, crews of tall ships, sailing terminology, nautical terminology, as well as researching prior novels to make sure terms, plots, and timelines all lined up ...

... and on and on. And on.

At one point I took the lion's share of an entire year to go through eleven chapters a bunch of times to get them right, which I was only partially successful at doing. When I got the chance to write something, oftentimes what came out was only a couple hundred words, if that. The project crawled at a snail's pace so long and so often that I despaired many times that I wouldn't complete it. I went through several very stark, very dark periods of depression, believing I had lost the thread of the entire plot.

But I hadn't.

Some things just aren't going to come along at the speed you want them to. They'll grow--they'll evolve--in their own sweet time, and your job is to just let that happen and keep your interfering self out of its way. That was the big lesson for me here. To let the book grow as it wanted--and to have faith that all would turn out in the end.

Faith. That's what this book is all about, really. Venturing into the unknown, working in the dark there, and hoping that your efforts pan out in the end.

We all live in the real world--at least those of us who didn't vote for Trump--and so we must acknowledge that many times our efforts don't come to fruition, that they ultimately fail.

But does that mean the faith and the hard work you put into maintaining it were in vain? You may disagree with me, but I don't think they ever are, provided they are approached in the spirit of innocence and with an integral heart.

The warship in this novel is named Failure. You may think that ludicrous--what navy, after all, would actually name one of its warships Failure? The reason it was, as you'll find out, is entirely apt and appropriate. As for me, I've been labeled a failure my entire life: I never got rich; I have never owned real estate or a home; I've never paid on a mortgage; never got comfortable being a cog in a radically immoral and evil economic system; never got swept up in the consumerist/suburbanist ideology. My so-called family and so-called friends abandoned me; I had to start my life over in California at the age of 40, when most people are settling down and killing off their souls for good and forever. I am penniless and without a retirement; I am not a social being, an extrovert, a "people person."

If I got the chance to name a warship, and then to captain it, I'd damn well christen it Failure as well. Not because I am one, but as a double-barreled fuck you to all who believe I am, when in fact I am the stingiest, most tenacious survivor I've ever known. Just like the good warship and its crew in this novel. Like that ship and its crew, I'd wear that moniker as a badge of motherfuckin' honor.

The true failures, in reality, are those who gave up who they are, who destroyed their souls, to fit in. That's everybody I ever knew in Colorado, and 99% of the rest of you.

It is why I maintain that my work isn't for the crowd, the masses, the herd, but for the very, very few: those who see that being labeled a failure by the crowd, the masses, the herd is, more often than not, a true badge of honor, and to wear it proudly, to wear it loudly, to make them morally and mortally uncomfortable: to hold that badge up as a mirror, one that they haven't the courage to look into, because to do so would rightly reflect that label right back at them, where it belongs.

I fought and fought and fought with this project, from the moment I began it to yesterday evening when I finally published it. In the end, I believe, it was myself I was fighting with, not the story. I have done a lot of growing up in the four years it took to complete it. A lot of very painful growing up. I had to come to the final realization that forty years of my life were spent with false people doing false things, trying to become just like them, trying to earn their approval, trying to earn their love and respect, when they were absolutely not worth a single iota of my time, my respect, my attention, my friendship, or my love.

I also grew up with respect to my writing career. The truth is, I'll never be a famous or even a known author. I'll never make more money than a bare pittance, if even that. (I haven't made a single dollar this year, five months in.) Does that make me a failure? To most of you, I'm sure it does. But you would be wrong, and your labeling of me would reflect your general ignorance with respect to the publishing industry, now in a state of collapse, as well as blogging, advertising, and so on in this cruel and vicious age.

So go right ahead and let fly. I'm good with it.

I'm going to keep on writing, keep on struggling, keep on listening to that soul within me and the stories it wants to tell. God willing, I'll get to tell them.

That's all that really matters, whether or not they are ever read by anyone, whether or not the world labels me a failure. Given its state, given that it is burning up, given that it is dying, that ecosystems are collapsing, that democracies are vanishing daily, those willing participants responsible aren't those I'd give two shits on a shingle about in any case. They are, in the end, the true failures; and if there are such things are future historians, I'm certain that's how they'll see them as well. That too is apt and appropriate.

2. Book Three Melody: Off till 5/7

3. Laurie: Off

4. Conversations With God: Off till 5/12

5. Fractalverse: Volume Six: Off

6. Dread Pirate Roberts 2: Off

7. The White City (Slum): Off

8. Firefly: Slingshot: Off

Transcribing Montaigne: Off


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