The ideas for my next book have fallen into place and I am thrilled to announce that I have begun working on a new novel this week. I estimate it will take twelve to eighteen months to complete the book. it is great to be hammering away on a project again after five years. If I am able to properly transcribe what I have in my mind, it should make for an interesting read.
“Above all else, art is one of humanity’s highest callings. It is a higher thing than politics or economics. It marks the total expression of the creativity and freedom of the human spirit and is also one of the few paths through which mankind can transcend its earthly circumstances and approach the Divine. This is the essence that makes art eternal.”
This is taken from my novel, The City of Earthly Desire. The passage appears heavily underlined in a fictional book about art that the protagonist, Reinhardt Drixler, finds in one of the art supply cases he stumbles across in his attic. The underlined passage and the art supply cases inspire Reinhardt to become a painter, and the message the passage contains guides him through his life as an artist. I included this in the novel because it succinctly summarizes what I believe the essence of art to be as well as the supreme role of art and its ultimate possibilities.
For as long as I can remember, I have approached my writing from this perspective. Even at a young age I recognized that writing was a means through which I could rise above ordinary limitations, move beyond physical needs and realities, and begin to approach or, at the very least, begin to contemplate higher, yet tangible, realities of being. This was primarily what made writing an engaging and fascinating activity when I was a child, and it continues to be my main motivation now.
I accept that this belief strikes most people, most writers among them, as pretentious drivel or psuedo-spiritual codswallop; so be it.
Writers bitch a lot about being writers and about writing.
This is understandable and, more often than not, forgivable. After all, there is much to bitch about. Writing is tough; getting readers to buy and read your material, even tougher.
Having said this, I can't understand writers who do nothing but whine and moan about the misery of writing. I just don't get it. If hardship, toil, and misery is all you experience when you are writing, you are doing it wrong, and you should seriously begin to question whether you should be doing it at all.
Gut instinct and remaining true to myself.
I first began writing at around the age of ten or eleven and it has given my life meaning and pleasure ever since. Though I harbour faint ambitions of making it big, I am under no illusions about how difficult it actually is, and perhaps always was, to make it big as a writer. Thus, my motivation for writing is driven by something deeper than the chance of mere success (whatever that term means).
I have come to the realization that writing, for me, is primarily a metaphysical act - a means through which I attempt to make sense of Being, a method through which I try to address ontological and ethical issues. Naturally, I welcome and strive to create possibilities to have others read my work, but my gut instinct tells me that I should remain faithful to the nature of what I am doing and not sully the waters by reaching into areas that extend beyond the realm of writing with the fleeting hope that such efforts might yield a wider readership, attention, fame, etc. I have entertained options of utilizing social media and perhaps dipping into YouTube, but I am convinced such ventures would not only yield minimally tangible results, but might also corrupt the pleasure and meaning I get from writing itself. Part of me is terrified by the unlikely possibility that an expanded platform might yield success because, as far as I can tell, success in writing has not always been beneficial to writers!
Put succinctly, I have decided that I want to focus on being a writer, nothing more. I have no desire to become a witty wag on Twitter, another face in the ocean of faces on YouTube, or post images of myself on Instagram or whatever they call it. I don't want to brand myself and all of the rest of that marketing baloney. I would rather reserve that time for the writing itself and maintain a presence on sites more or less dedicated to books and writing. If any increased success is to come, it will have to originate from there.
At least, that is what my gut is telling me. And I have learned that ignoring what my gut tells me rarely leads me places I truly wish to be.
I have permanently lowered the price for the Kindle edition of The City of Earthly Desire to 0.99 cents or its rough equivalent on all Amazon sites.
So much great literature is available for nothing or next to nothing that I no longer thought it prudent to charge five or six dollars for my ebook. I do not expect the lower price to increase sales in any significant way, but I hope it might prompt a handful of potential readers to give the book a try.
I have not written a blog post for months. This is not because of laziness or apathy. Truth is, I have spent the last five or six months thinking deeply about whether or not I should attempt to increase my internet platform in an effort to widen my readership and, hopefully, gain more sales and recognition.
I began exploring the idea of increasing my platform as far back as January and have wrestled with the notion for months, but I have come to the realization that I am not interested in this pursuit at all. I understand this contradicts most conventional wisdom regarding marketing, branding, and social media. Even though my efforts and web presence to date have yielded little in terms of sales and recognition, I will continue to limit my internet presence to this site and the few book-related sites that feature or sell my work, such as Goodreads, Amazon, Library Thing, etc.
I will delve into the some of the reasons for this decision in future posts.
A good response to that idiotic ABC of Racist Europe kid's book I stumbled across a short while ago and the rest of the nonsense that floods the world today.
This so-called children's book created by radical activist/artist Daniela Ortiz perfectly epitomizes why I find the left so utterly reprehensible. Dressed-up as a criticism of the colonialism and kind of kids' books Europeans used to produce, the book is propagandistic to the core. Nevertheless, the philosophy it espouses is essentially a condensed version of the left's philosophical and ideological views concerning Europe and anything European. Attend most humanities courses at any western university and you will essentially encounter what is contained within the pages of this book fortified with lots of words like "centric, critical, spaces, violence, etc."
Some samples from the book:
From what I have encountered thus far, it seems to me that nearly all leftist /post-modernist thought can essentially be boiled down to the following resentful dictum which, oddly enough, is the main point of this little children's book as well:
White males and the civilization they created are sole source of all the evil and oppression in the world.
Which leads to only one palatable conclusion:
If you want to destroy evil and oppression, you must destroy white males and the civilization they built.
The letter Z captures what the final solution is:
According to Ms. Ortiz, Europeans are irredeemable and their perceived sins are unforgivable; hence, the only place for them is a human zoo. What exactly is a human zoo? A jail? Concentration camp springs to mind. Seems like the world would be heaven if only Europe and Europeans gave up all the stuff they stole and simply ceased to exist.
Now all of this would not bother me too much if it were not divisive and saturated in utter resentment. Of course, if we want a glimpse where this kind of thinking often leads, one need only look at at a few examples taken from the pages of history where a similar line of thinking was applied to different groups who were blamed as the root of all the world's ills:
Be wary of those who promise and preach in the name of freedom; they may only want to liberate you into an abyss.
Author of The City of Earthly Desire. I am following the white stag to wherever it will lead me . . .
Blogs of Interest