I Have So Much Writing To Do

by Shelt Garner

I have a number scenes I have to totally rewrite because I forked the alpha release of the third draft of this novel. But, the issue is — this novel is getting much, much better.

The only concern I have is how long it’s going to be. I think, if I’m lucky, that it will be no longer than maybe 140,000. But there is a chance it could be as much as 160,000 which would put it about where most of Stieg Larsson’s original works are.

Oh, Jesus

by Shelt Garner

I was accused of “optimism bias” on Twitter by someone who should know better simply because I believe it’s within the realm of possibility that Trump might be deposed.


I just can’t believe that if Trump does all the fucking bullshit that he is planning that the entire country is just going to shrug and let him do it. Really? Someone thinks that?

I know that, in general, Americans are pretty laid back, but if Trump starts to literally round up 20 million people and to go after his political rivals in a direct way… SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE IS GOING TO NOTICE.

I simply refuse to believe that Trump could go full tyrant and there wouldn’t be consequences of some sort. The US is too decentralized, too big, too diverse and has too much a tradition of democracy for Trump to go full tyrant without there being an effort to depose him.

But, who knows. It hasn’t happened yet.

An Issue Of Verisimilitude

by Shelt Garner

If I ever needed a clear sign that, in general, no one takes me seriously, it’s my overall failure to get anyone from my past life with the press industry to answer my call for help about something. (I finally got one person, but that’s really not very many given how many people I reached out to.)

The issue is, I really want to make the situation I’ve come up with for my heroine — that she owns both a strip club (where she occasionally strips to relax) and an alternative weekly — as real as possible. Like, how would that REALLY work out, especially in mid-1990s Richmond, VA?

I’m WELL AWARE that because of human nature and the needs of marketing, that there is a real risk that this novel would be reduced down to two tropes being fused together — “hooker (or sex worker) with a heart of gold” and “sexy slutty assassin” solves a murder mystery.

I think about this even more given how many men my heroine beds in the first act for the purposes of the plot. All the sexxy time is not gratuitous and definitely serves the overall plot. And, in general, I don’t even really show the spicy stuff that much. I do show it some, but it’s hopefully not so much that people get turned off.

And, what’s more, I’ve cut back the sex in the second act. I don’t know, but I think that best practices for storytelling is you delay sexxy time as much as possible. But, lulz, I never do anything the right way.

But the story is getting much, much better in general. I’m really pleased. But I have to prepare for people to attack me for how much sexxy time there is in the novel. While I’m very sex-positive and don’t see my heroine’s sexual activity as “slutty” I’m afraid there will be some people who think I’m replicating Debby Does Dallas with how my heroine seems to have so much sex on the fly.

Ugh. Anyway. Wish me luck.

I Keep Daydreaming About A Return To Asia

by Shelt Garner

For some reason, I find myself daydreaming about a return to Asia. I was thinking if that became possible that I would land in Tokyo, stay a night, then head to South Korea to visit for about a week. I would go Seoul – Incheon — Ansan then head south on the KTX to see Busan.

2004 me

I would then head to Southeast Asia for a week before heading home.

I’m sure the fucking Internet has ruined everything to the point that such a trip just wouldn’t be what it might have been a decade ago. And, of course, enough South Koreans remember me that I’m SURE I would run into at least one of them while I was in country and they would all but demand that I stay in South Korea for this or that job that think I would be perfect for.

Ugh. I guess that would be a good problem to have, though.

And, yet, at the moment, the only way I would have the funds for such a thing would be if I stuck the landing on the novel, sold it and it had enough success that I could travel to Asia. But even under the absolute best of conditions, that would be probably a few years from now.

So, I could be in my mid-50s before I could return to Seoul. And it would just be very, very, very, very creepy for me to party with people just out of college once I got there. I hate that. But that’s my reality now.

Now That Stephen Colbert Has Mentioned The Federal Stand Off With Texas, We Lurch Forward

by Shelt Garner

One thing that has kept the lingering standoff between the Feds and Texas at a low, inconspicuous simmer is it really hasn’t caught the attention of the national press. Yes, Fox News and the rest of the outrage-fueled MAGA media have been all over it, but, in general, the center-Left MSM has been rather meh about it all.

There’s a chance that may change — last night, Stephen Colbert devoted a sizable chunk of his monologue to the stand off, going so far as to mention that the whole thing might cause another civil war.

Now that we’ve reached that milestone, we need to think about what happens next. I think it’s possible that Seth Meyers might devote his Closer Look feature to the stand off, which will add to the political momentum for Biden to do something about the situation.

But I think the key thing to think about is the immigration deal that’s ping-ponging around Congress at the moment. Once that deal is officially dead, then the Biden will be in the clear to escalate the situation with Texas by, say, Federalizing the Texas National Guard.

So, we’re not out of the woods yet. Add to all of this the looming possibility of another major regional war, this time in the Middle East, and….oh boy. I think we need to hunker down and maybe have a bug out bag handy in case the absolute worst happens.

I’m A Survivor

by Shelt Garner

These days, I often find myself thinking the unthinkable. Namely, what am I going to do if, well, the world ends. Now, obviously “the world ends” is something of a spectrum ranging from simply becoming a domestic political refugee to something far more severe like living through the aftermath of a DPRK H-bomb attack on DC or NYC.

I keep thinking about food. I keep wondering how I will eat in such a situation. I can’t cook and I can’t hunt. And while I have a downlow survivalist relative who wants to camp out in the middle of the woods armed — he lives in the wrong place. AND, he kind of misses the point — the state is going to be involved in any collapse of the US and, as such, I need to head to a safe Blue state should the worst happen.

In general, if the worst happens, I’m going to grab a few essentials and head north. First to Richmond than maybe see if I can get to NYC. Now, obviously, I’m working on the assumption that I won’t be alone leaving. I probably won’t even be able to leave until some sort of infrastructure exists that will allow me to live until I find succor somewhere safe.

But I do think a lot about this. I just don’t know how things are going to work out going forward.

We Live In Surreal Times

by Shelt Garner

Everything is so dumb. And one of the dumbest things to happen in a long time — and that’s saying something — is how MAGA is absolutely determined to attack Taylor Swift, to make her the focus of the culture wars.

Insane. Totally, completely insane.

All I can think of is that maybe that think that because of what she looks like — and her background in country — that she’s something of a “traitor” to the MAGA cause. So much so, that they totally ignore how popular she is and how the base of her support is liberal white women, not a group known to be swayed by the ranting of malignant ding-dong Trump.

I fear this is yet another example of how the greatest nation the world has ever seen could very well collapse into chaos because of…vibes. It could be that just because we don’t like each other that the US will implode into revolution and civil war a lot sooner than you might think.

I continue to worry about what might happen as part of the 2024 presidential silly season. It will be interesting to see what happens when we meet a Moment of Truth when Federal elected officials have to decide if they’re going to jump ship to some rebel forces.

Anyway. At the moment, that’s kind of bonkers to even speculate. But the point remains — leave Tay-Tay alone.

I Need To Work Seriously On An Additional Novel

by Shelt Garner

I keep expecting to see a headline about some movie or novel that steals a creative march on my novel. And, yet, this novel is so personal and specific that while that is very possible….it’s not probable?

Add to how old I feel and how I know no matter how much success I might be able to get because of this novel — I’m still old and will never be “young in NYC.” It’s enough to give one pause for thought.

But I can’t think like that.

I have to have hope. I have to think about if I do manage to garner any success because of this novel that I will still be alive and be able to have some sort of kooky fun — even if any attempt at such fun with a smoking hot 24-year-old will be looked down upon as….creepy.

All of that is just a daydream at this point. I still haven’t finished the novel. I need to buckle down and get this baby done — and also start to develop some sort of back up plan in case the worst happens. I have three solid scifi novels that I want to work on.

It’s just a matter of pulling my self away from the main task at hand every once in a while to the point that I can do that.

It’s a lot of work.

The Release Of The Apple Vision Pro as The Long-Awaited ‘Vibe Shift’

by Shelt Garner

We may finally lurch into a new era if people feel comfortable wearing the Apple Vision Pro in public. The moment that happens, then the usual dynamics of capitalism will kick in and, before you know it, the headsets will start to be leaner and sleeker to the point that there will be a Before and an After.

But that’s all very speculative at the moment.

A lot could go wrong. It could be that a Second American Civil War / WW3 might break out. It could be that the Apple Vision Pro is all hype and, in the end, no one will want one and, as such, we will punt the dream of a vibe shift down the road another few years.

But the combination of VR / AR, robotics and AI all coming to a head at the same time is definitely the makings of a vibe shift in the near, near future. No one, especially me, can predict the future, so, lulz.

Who knows.

Another Fork Of My Novel

by Shelt Garner

Things are going really well with this alpha release of the third draft of my first novel but for one thing — I’ve so forked the beginning of the novel that it’s forcing my hand when it comes to re-writing things.

My novel is meant to be an old brown shoe for readers of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

My hope was that I could just EDIT what I’ve already written of the new first act. But today it’s clear that while I’ve significantly improved the novel by re-writing the very beginning — simply editing what I’ve already written just isn’t going to cut it.

I’m going to have to do an extensive rewrite, as well.

I think I can handle this. It’s just re-writing rather than editing is going to slow me down a great deal. But it’s worth it because the end product is going to be so much better. I’m really beginning to get to the point where the novel is sufficiently professional that I could be within shouting distance of sticking the landing when it comes to querying later this year.

That is, of course, unless a Second American Civil War / WW3 breaks out between now and then. But I can’t think like that. I have to believe. And I feel as though if I just keep my eyes on the prize — and maybe don’t get drunk so much — that I can actually wrap this novel up around late April like I have been planning to for some time now.