On Osama bin Laden

It’s not that I’m going to miss Osama bin Laden or think that the world isn’t better off without him. But he was never the real problem.

The real problem is the people who taught him to think like that, and continue to teach people to think like that. And their counterparts in other cultures. Anybody have any ideas for what to do about them?

On Arrogance

Most of what I read about writing tells me that you have to pay your dues. You have to keep at it for a long time before you can expect to have any success. Even if you’re lucky enough to get something published early on, that doesn’t mean that anything you do will actually be worth reading for ten years or so.

I’ve had a couple of things published, but I certainly can’t say that I’ve put in a long apprenticeship. I’ve written all kinds of things, but it’s mostly been unsupervised online writing that didn’t put any pressure on me to get better or more polished. So where do I get off thinking I can write?

And yet I’m writing Ded & Sac, and I’m gonna publish it independently, and expect people to buy it. That’s pretty arrogant of me. Right?

Well, maybe it is. I’ve been called arrogant before. I’m arrogant enough to know that I’ve got a good idea*. I’m arrogant enough to know that I can, at least, write engagingly over short distances. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I don’t need editing. I’m not arrogant enough to think I can afford to slack off on any aspect of this story. I’m going to do this because I want to do it and I don’t want to be dependent on the judgments or procedures of the publishing industry. And if Ded & Sac isn’t good, it’s going to be in spite of everything I can think of to make it good.

So, okay, I’m arrogant. But at least I know it. And I’ve been reliably informed that knowing is half the battle.

*I know I haven’t said what the idea is yet. I’m saving that for when I’m closer to being finished.

Characters: the Hellboy family

I’ve been reading a lot of Hellboy comics recently; the library has the first ten trades and I’ve been working my way through them. I like the character of Hellboy himself, and it struck me that there are a few guys kinda like him in comics: big, strong and tough; stoic and lonely; inhuman enough to be physically unattractive; stable and down-to-earth in personality; street-slangy in speech. Here’s the list as I thought of it:

Robotman (Cliff Steele)
The Thing

Any others?

I don’t mean to accuse anybody of unoriginality in making this list. I just think it’s a powerful kind of character and no wonder it’s been made to work so often.

First Post. Welcome.

Welcome to my new website.

I’m going to use it for anything I think might be of interest, but mostly to keep everyone up to date about what I’m writing. My intention is that there will be at least a little bit of new content every day.

I’ve had other websites in the past, and nothing’s changing with them.

If I set this thing up right, anything I post on here should go up simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter; if that doesn’t work now, or doesn’t work properly now, I’ll get it working as soon as I can. Please feel free to follow along via either of those methods, or by the RSS feed; whatever you like. Discussions in the comments are welcome.