Archive for the ‘Shameless Self-Promotion’ category

Readin’ and ‘Ritin’ (But No ‘Rithmetic)

October 15, 2009

Hello There! Yes, I know there’s been some serious blog fade around here lately, but I am still alive and kicking, Thanks Be To God! I believe I’m finally over the consarned, goshdarned, !@#$%^&* medical problems that (sometimes literally) cramped my style for much of the summer. Now that I’m feeling more or less normal (whatever that is), I’m beginning to think again about serious questions, such as what I can do to support myself. I’m receiving disability payments and have some savings, but I’d like to be generating income as well as spending it.

Before I got sick, I was thinking about doing some fiction writing, resuming work on a project I had laid aside awhile back. I am slowly getting back into that. I’m a great one for thinking about writing, but not so hot on actually doing it. I have a pretty fierce inner critic who tells me that writing fiction is a waste of time and a way of avoiding reality (I think he’s related to my Scottish Calvinist ancestors). However, when I can get him to shut up, I read and listen to other people’s fiction. I’ve listened to two podcast versions of Treasure Island in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, and am currently reading Michael Flynn’s excellent medieval Catholic science fiction novel Eifelheim and Phil and Kaja Foglio’s “gaslamp fantasy comic” Girl Genius.

As if that weren’t enough, I’m also listening to a  series of podcasts on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. In his introductory episode, the host of these podcasts, a professor of medieval literature, cites an essay of Tolkien’s, “On Fairy Stories,” that I just can’t wait to read for myself. In it Tolkien argues that the urge to create imaginary worlds in fiction is a natural human desire since humans are made in the image and likeness of a God who is Himself a creator of worlds. Furthermore, the desire to create magical or fantastic worlds in which extraordinary things happen is not an escape from reality or a denial of reality but a reminder to humans that our world contains spiritual realities that go beyond what we can see or prove in ordinary day to day sense experience.

A Christian justification for writing speculative or fantastic fiction could be hugely liberating and could open up a whole new world of creativity for me. I have to ask myself, “Why shouldn’t I try to create my own fictional worlds, worlds that could be every bit as exciting as the worlds I am currently visiting as a reader? Why shouldn’t I find out if readers will enjoy visiting these worlds as much as I enjoyed creating them?

I am not suggesting that I will drop everything and try to become the next J. R. R. Tolkien, or the next J. K. Rowling, or even the next Stan Lee. I know that trying to make a living writing fiction is a long shot even under the best of circumstances. Most manuscripts are never published, most published books are never reviewed, and most reviewed books never sell millions of copies. Every author I’ve ever read who has written about the craft of writing, however, explains that real authors never write solely for the money. They write because there are stories that authors would like to tell, want to tell, and need to tell.

What I am suggesting is that I am going to see what stories I can tell, and see who else might like to read them. I’ll probably never make a dime, but I might possibly make a few bucks and might even make millions, although I consider this last possibility highly unlikely. I just hope the journey will be fun. When I think about the situation in this light, the question becomes not so much, “What am I going to do to support myself?” as, “What can I do to keep the lights on and groceries in the fridge while I write?” The second is a far more interesting question than the first.

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My 15 Minutes of Fame

May 21, 2009

Well, Good Golly, Miss Molly! I’m almost famous.

It seems my recent review of Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen has come to the attention of some bloggers I really respect, including John C. Wright, Mark Shea, and some other folks who have asked me to be a guest blogger at ModernConservative.com

Recently, John C. Wright, author of science fiction, master of obscure pop culture references, moral philosopher of the blogosphere, and recent Catholic convert, blogged about how much he hated the film version of Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta. In the comments I mentioned that I had a very similar reaction to Watchmen and included the link to my review in my comment.

Then, I’ll be darned if Mr. Wright didn’t actually read the review, quoting it approvingly and at length in a post on his own website. He was particularly impressed with the way in which I was able to cite a pop culture icon of yesteryear, The Shadow, and the great Catholic apologist G. K. Chesterton, in the same essay. Mr. Wright observed:

My comment: Anyone who mentions both Chesterton and The Shadow in the same paragraph has won my favor, and therefore shall be made one of my ministers and granted way-cool ninja-jedi Mind Control powers, once my dirigible planet enters the solar system from the transplutonian darkness. Perhaps I will make him master of Australia, and wed him to my beautiful but evil daughter, Princess Aura.

To which I replied:

You are far too gracious, O Mighty One! I’d settle for the flight powers of the Hawkmen and a ride in your dirigible planet. I’m sure your beautiful but evil daughter Princess Aura is a swell gal, in an evil sort of way, but she’s not gonna, like, murder me in my sleep or anything, is she? Just askin’.

This exchange, in turn, came to the attention of Mark Shea, who is, in my humble opinion, the dean of the Catholic blogosphere. He wrote that my essay was “full of wisdom and insight.” Imagine! Mark Shea said that something written by li’l ol’ me was “full of wisdom and insight.” I’m all tingly. Usually the stuff I write around here is definitely full of . . . something . . . but it ain’t wisdom and insight!

In the comments to a subsequent post, I received an invitation from one David Marcoe to be a guest blogger for the Modern Conservative website. We corresponded at length, and I am still waiting for final word as to whether they would like me to blog for them. I may include my e-mail to them as a future post.

Stay tuned.

More Shameless Self-Promotion

February 21, 2008

In the hopes that I might get more reader feedback in response to my Shadow/Superman fan fiction story Shadows of Steel, I posted it on the FanFiction.net archive site. To go directly to my story, you can click this link, or you can go to the FanFiction.net main page, click on the “Movies” link, scroll through the list of movies until you find “Shadow,” and click on it. Since my story is the most recent Shadow story posted, it will be at the top of the list. You can also find the story on my personal website.Hope you enjoy it!

"Shadows of Steel" Now Available!

January 25, 2008
Fans of Old-Time Radio
Fans of Pulp Fiction
Fans of Classic Comics
Ladies and Gentlemen . . .

Your Attention Please . . .

Thrilling Tales, the online pulp magazine
and
It’s All Straw, the blog

Proudly Present . . .

Shadows of Steel: A Shadow/Superman Adventure

This is an all-new adventure in the classic style featuring two of the greatest heroes from The Golden Age of comics, pulp fiction, and old-time radio: Superman and The Shadow:

It is 1938. Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, has been kidnapped. Margo Lane appeals to her sister Lois Lane for help in finding Lamont, unaware that the old flame who has re-entered her life is at the center of the kidnap plot! Only the Man of Steel can save the Master of Darkness, and only the two heroes together can save a nation on the brink of war! Don’t miss all the action in Shadows of Steel!

I had the basic idea for this story years ago when I realized the simple, blindingly obvious fact that Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane, and The Shadow’s girlfriend, Margo Lane, had the same last name. What if Lois and Margo Lane were related? Would that bring the two men, the two superheroes in their lives together? Of course it would! This story was the result. I’ve been working on it over a year now, and it’s finally here! Do go read it and tell me what you think. Tell your friends, your relations, and complete strangers if necessary, about this story if you think they would like it. Since it involves two copyrighted and licensed characters, I can’t possibly publish it via conventional means without being sued down to my last nickel for copyright infringement. So, like millions of other fan fiction or “fanfic” writers, I’m putting it up on the Web absolutely free for you good people to read and, I hope, to enjoy. Please send me feedback at: “niallmor at earthlink dot net,” only replace the dot and the at as appropriate. (You know the drill). Cheerio!