The Story of Soggy Toast....in Ten Parts...Part Nine

Part Nine: Curious Sounds from the Box

I have recently been thinking a lot about the different voices I have when writing. I imagine that this will be understandable to you other writers out there (in which I mean both professional as well as those who enjoy just to write a lot), I have been thinking about the different styles I write in, or voices, depending on what it is that I'm writing at the time. For example, this post right now. This is about as close to my regular voice (if we were to be speaking to one another) as I believe that I get in written form. Clint might argue against this, due to the fact that I'm apt to spontaneously make up voices or characters on a whim when speaking, most of which are lost when later trying to recall them, but Clint likes Bleach....which has nothing to do with what I'm writing about now.....so let's move on.
There is my "professional" writing voice, which is what I use when writing to figures of authority. Such as: "I don't believe this restraining order is just" letters, or when writing cover letters for my resume.

There is the voice in which I write my stories in, that is, the books that I'm working on or if only for the captions used under my drawings.

And there is my "street lunatic" voice....also known as Asher Willis Fim...my pseudonym I use when writing complaint letters to companies for no particular reason what so ever....or lately, for writing letters to the "Ask a Mexican" column that I find so entertaining in Denver's Westword weekly alt paper (none of which have been answered yet).

For those of you who are unaware, I currently have two blogs....that is, I post blogs from my MySpace profile as well as to my LiveJournal account. Originally, I had intended for the two to be separate from one another. My MySpace Blog was to be my regular voice of ramblings, thoughts and complaints....while my LiveJournal posts were to be more of the "works in progress" variety, somewhere between my regular voice and professional voice, and linked to my website (which, yes, is as of yet still unfinished goddamnit!). But the two have basically become one for the past year or so, due to the fact that my pursued profession (writing and illustrating) had basically been put on hold due to moving and the general feeling of being "ungrounded". So, instead of just leaving LiveJournal idle all of this time, I started just posting the same material in both. If you are reading this right now in LiveJournal, you can be sure that the same exact words are also lying in wait over in my MySpace Blog, and vice a versa.

That being said, I think it's due time to write an update on the work I've been doing, considering the fact that lately I've finally been doing a lot of writing and illustrating, feeling more grounded....or at least that I'm slowly finally landing on my feet. Granted, I'm landing on my feet now after stepping off of a twenty plus story building near two years ago, but landing on the feet nonetheless. I will refrain from writing this works in progress update in my newly acquired "landing" voice which would sound like:

"DEAR GOD THE PAIN!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF RELIGIOUS THINGS AND WHATNOT!!! I THINK MY FEMUR IS PROTRUDING FROM MY SKULL!!!!"

...because I doubt it would make for a good voice for such....that, and I plan to use it instead as my new "professional" voice from now on:

"OH DEAR SIRS FOR CHRIST'S SAKE....OR TO WHOM IT HURTS SO FUCKING BAD IT MIGHT CONCERN, I REGRET TO INFORM YOU AAAAAAAAA THAT I WILL NOT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE PAIN BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE FUNCTION BECAUSE I'M LEAKING TOO MANY VITAL FLUIDS!!!!!"

Like I said, I have been working again now that the inspiration has returned, which, albeit, is kind of strange to me seeing as my regular mode seems to be to work during the Fall and Winter months and to become lethargic in the Spring and Summer. But whatever....use the Muse when she arrives. I recently decided to put aside the two novels that I've been working on for the past two years, the Sinking Stones as well as Angel Soup, due to the fact that they have become much more involved than I originally anticipated as well as the fact that after working sporadically on them during this transient period, my thoughts regarding them have become muddled and disjointed. Better to put them away for awhile and return to them fresh later.
Instead, I started working a few weeks ago on a book titled Tonic, which is actually a complete rethinking of a previously self published work titled Meresin's Brew. I printed Meresin's Brew back in '98, and it has been a work that has always kind of bothered me, partly because I always felt that I didn't put enough time into it. I did, I admit, rush the story and drawings for it, mainly because I wanted to get it out there...and even though I got good responses over it (mostly, I think, because it actually made more sense than the book I published right before it), it's always been a thorn in my spleen.


Above is the cover in progress for the book, still to be worked on, but this is the main idea for it. The first draft is near completion. Basically, the theme is the same: the main character finds an unlabled bottle at home, and the strange events that take place afterwards and as he drinks it....but I have reworked it to include a few other characters as well as more of a reason behind the events.
I hope to start the illustrations for it in the next few months, after I move the rest of the surviving possessions to Denver. I have been toying with the thought of making the individual chapters available to download for under a dollar each, or something....mainly because it might help me to illustrate it faster. I don't know, still mulling that thought over. Hopefully after publishing it, it will cease to haunt me.

I've also been working on cover ideas for the Crying Attic...


The above is the (as of yet) winning illustrated idea for the cover, in a rough mode. I have to admit, envisioning the cover for this book has been difficult, and I'm still struggling with ideas and concepts.
The actual story is finished, after having gone through a dozen or more rewrites, as well as 90% of the illustrations (I have been promised that these things have survived the storage disaster...and I REALLY hope that is true!). I have written about this story before, so to sum up, it is basically a ghost story told in three related acts that form a written Moebius Strip.
I'm looking forward to getting it here finally so that I can finish the work on it, hopefully having the cover design figured out in that time, and start working towards finally publishing it.

Bread is a fairy tale that has been in the back of my mind for years, taking many different shapes, but staying somewhat formless. About a week or so ago, I had some fun with some leftover bread ends, a few of which as shown below:


...and for some reason that I have no explanation for, the story suddenly came together. That, for me, is one of the more exciting aspects about writing fiction, when the story works itself out. I have had this happen with several of my projects (part of why I feel ok with the idea of putting work aside for a length of time when the writing gets stale or I find that I'm stuck on a part of the narration, sometimes the blurry parts become focused when I'm not looking at them) and it's always the same feeling I get when discovering a new author or just a new book that speaks to me. In a lot of ways being a writer of your own fiction makes you also the work's first audience.
The notes and ideas that I've had for Bread have been scattered all over the place, and I'm currently in the process of reorganizing them and outlining the story. I should start writing the first draft in the coming weeks.
Due to their part in the congealing of the book, I plan to use one of the bread guys for the cover photo....a new one with a handmade mask stitched into the bread; I've also been thinking of incorporating them into the drawings for the story, like little Easter Eggs.
The story itself can best be described with it's moral (as many fairy tales are apt to have): Be Careful What You Dream. It also will be written within the rule of threes, which any of you who have read and/or studied fairy tales will know, is one of the unwritten practices when writing them. Three little Pigs...the Three Bears in Goldylocks...the Three Questions Little Red Riding Hood asks....ect.

Other than working on these books, I have been crying in the shower a lot, but I promised myself that I wouldn't write about that in my blog....so you should probably forget I said anything.

Actually, I have been toying with the idea (which has now become more of a plan) to do away with my Etsy account, due to lack of use on my part, and just starting an Ebay storefront where I'll post drawings and handmade items for sale. This won't be happening until I get my possessions from Pennsylvania and see who the survivors are. When built, the store will contain original drawings, handmade dolls and puppets I've been doing.....and preserved bread wearing masks (you THINK that I'm kidding!)

I'm also working on a post about doing what has been dubbed as the Portraits Project on an on order basis....


...but again, this is on hold for the moment until after relocating to Denver and getting a little more situated. I'll definitely explain more about this in the near future.

Lastly, I have been goofing off with photoshop....that is, I've always wanted to alter photos of people into versions of what they'd look like as my drawings. Here is an example I did quickly:


....Unfortunately, finding the right photos to do this with is a LOT harder than I thought it would be. I no longer have an account with Photos.com, which would have been great for images. So, if anyone has any leads to good free photo sites that contain head shots of people (preferably with no backgrounds), let me know.

Only one blog post to go!