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Is it burnout? Is it that I'm 40? Is it that I'm a dad? - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
Is it burnout? Is it that I'm 40? Is it that I'm a dad?
I've been writing a lot but I haven't been releasing as much as I'd want to. I mean, I have Sterlings, which if I ever finished fiddling I'd be able to post and at the rate of one every two weeks I'd have an entire year's worth of material. And I've been having fun writing in my own private universes, but still...

It's not enough to just show people having sex. I've been looking at the shards of stories that I have lying around and decided that the ones that lack verve for me lack theme and adventure. They're not boldly going anywhere I haven't gone before. In many cases, I look at the story and can't decide "What am I trying to say with this story?" I don't have themes for them and that's the weak point. There's no moral to the story.

The recent observation someone made about my "melancholy phase" has struck a chord. My characters have hit a wall in their existences, living with a universe that's widing down and nothing more to their lives than what they've got before their eyes. The promise of something "more" is a very powerful incentive for human beings. Even if there's no real evidence for whatever that "more" is, it's still powerful.

The best-selling books that never appear on the NYT Bestseller lists are the Left Behind series. I mean, if it weren't for the NYT's lefty biases those books would never leave the top ten: more volumes in the LB series have sold than all of Harry Potter! That's a hell of an audience for any author to reach. And unlike erotica fans, these people are already primed to make donations.

This morning I started out on a new arc in the Journal Entries, one in which Shardik and Aaden decide that they've both found Jesus and although they're good friends, they can't do those abominable acts anymore. A long multi-episode subarc where Ken and P'nyssa debate whether or not their relationship consists of bestiality (if David Weber can do it and keep his fanbase, so can I), and finally a big finale thirty episodes or so down the line when the Rapture comes along and only the AIs notice because large chunks of shared substrate where "The weird AIs" used to hang out are suddenly left vacant and hollow.

Tags:
Current Mood: mischievous mischievous
Current Music: Princess Superstar, I Like It A Lot

18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
orcaarrow From: orcaarrow Date: April 1st, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
You had me going until I got to the part where your characters were arguing over finding Jesus. (BTW: he's behind the curtains) What a great gag!
elfs From: elfs Date: April 1st, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Look in your heart and find Jesus."

"I did. I... it was horrible. There he was. He was... I... My inner child. My poor inner child. He'll never trust another man as long as he lives. He'll be in therapy for years. The reconstructive surgery was expensive and he'll have to sit on one of those ring pillows for at least eight months."
acelightning From: acelightning Date: April 1st, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
"...he was behind the sofa the whole time."

valarltd From: valarltd Date: April 1st, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was with you until the last para.

But I love the Rapture only taking AIs
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

(if David Weber can do it and keep his fanbase, so can I)


...

 
 
Which book are you referring to? I did some searching, but nothing immediately obvious came up.

Thanks,

Bryan.

kengr From: kengr Date: April 1st, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

The Council Wars series.

There will be Dragons and the sequels.

One of the female characters is stuck morphed into a horse form. Maybe centaur, it's been a while.

Anyway, she winds up involved with a stallion.

voidrandom From: voidrandom Date: April 1st, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

Minor Nit: Those are by John Ringo, not David Weber
kengr From: kengr Date: April 1st, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

Minor Nit: Those are by John Ringo, not David Weber

Ok, then color me puzzled as well.

elfs From: elfs Date: April 1st, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

Although Kengr's response is interesting (and hey, another book for me to seek out when I hit the used book store this afternoon) I was actually referring to Weber's long, drawn out dialogues among his characters that never really seem to go anywhere but are chock full of political points Weber wants to make with his audience.
kengr From: kengr Date: April 1st, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

Ah, from context it appeared that the Weber reference was tied to the bestiality reference.

And you can download most of the Council Wars series:

http://www.webscription.net/c-42-council-wars.aspx

You can get book 1 for free here:
http://www.baen.com/library/

"There Will Be Dragons"

The following three are on the CD you can download here:

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/11-UntotheBreachCD/
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 1st, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Guess I don't read enough of Weber's work...

Thanks for the clarification, Elf. I thought I'd missed something. Then again, when I read War of Honor I could have nodded off, skipped entire sections and never noticed... that one seemed to drag on forever.

   ____________________

 
Kengr: Thanks much for your suggestion, that sounds like something I'm going to have to tack onto my reading list. (Especially considering my appreciation for the Journal Entries.) And the links to their 'free distribution' version is certainly appreciated -- where I'm stuck I don't have a decent bookstore. "Instant" gratification is addictive!

Bryan.

ladyerin From: ladyerin Date: April 1st, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
This morning I started out on a new arc in the Journal Entries, one in which Shardik and Aaden decide that they've both found Jesus

All I could think, when I read that, was dear lord, please tell me this is an aprifools joke.

;-) and it was....for a moment, I thought you had gone off your rocker.


~E
bbw_seska From: bbw_seska Date: April 1st, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dammit I always fall for the april fools :X
Good one though, really scared me there :|
drhoz From: drhoz Date: April 2nd, 2007 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
heeheeheee *thumbs up*
mundens From: mundens Date: April 2nd, 2007 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I don't know, I think it could be an interesting series of tales... it could also be bloody hilarious as well! Especially as a musical!

*sings* "Best ee al it ee! Best ee al it ee! P'nyssa and me!"

The idea of AI's left after the Rapture is actually quite a good one as a jump off point to whole pile of potentially interesting stories, though most such stories could probably just as easily be told with some other device taking away large chunks of the population randomly.
elfs From: elfs Date: April 15th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I was young and stupid, one of the things I started working on was The Journal Entries 3000: The Rock Opera. While there are a few stories that have been lost to time and the relentless advance of technology that I regret, such as the original version of Steel Shells and another called Lost Sheep, the fact that those lyrics are on old Amiga floppies that have probably decayed so badly they're unrecoverable, should I even find me a machine that can read them, does not bother me at all.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 2nd, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Left Behind

I suspect I already know the answer, but I don't want to look it up for myself because it would be hard to verify:

The bit about Left Behind outselling everything else was part of the joke, right? Right?
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 2nd, 2007 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Leaving me wanting more.

I must say that I am willing to read anything you wirte, not becasue you will always be good, but becasue even when you are not at your best you have things to say that I enjoy being exposed to and thinking about.

Having said that, I would love to see you go back and tell teh story of pendor and terra and how they met for real, first person and up close. "Movie Night" was good, but I would love to see more in the lines of "Geographic" and "Embassy Tales".

The one thing I have always liked about your world is that it is so complex that even a small comment form a secondary character can open up whole new world ("This is an FTS farm", "Feed the Stars?", "I grew up here.").

Face 40 and enjoy it. I think once you move past this your writting will move with you and you will find a deeper voice, but what do I knoew, I am just a fan.

MPK
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