On That General Flynn ‘Exoneration’

by Shelt Garner

Mike Flynn is a traitor. But the fact that he’s likely going to be “exonerates” very, very soon is a testament not to his innocence but how powerful House Trump has become.

Autocrats never lose.

So, either Trump pardons Flynn or Bill Barr simply works his magic again and he’s a free man without a pardon. All the conditions are there for either one of those scenarios to happen very, very soon.

Why Trump and his fellow treasonous travelers have such a huge boner to “vindicating” Flynn is all very, very curious. But they’re going to “own the moment” on the Flynn front and crow about it because it gives them something to talk about other than Trump’s horrific handling of the COVID19 pandemic. That’s pretty much all the Right lives for now — anything they can talk about other than COVID19.


It’s stuff like this that lends credence to my belief we’re going to all assume Trump will lose in the fall and somehow we wake up in 2022 and he’s still in office, telling us how desperately we need a Constructional Convention to “balance the budget.”

The center-Left in the United States is historically weak all around and the dystopia is here. We’re not thing more than a Russian-style “managed democracy.” By the end of Trump’s second term, protests will be outlawed and any opposition to Trump in the media will be gutted through a variety of means.

If you oppose Trump and have the means to leave the country now, I suggest you do so. It’s only going to get far, far worse in the coming days.

I’m Kind Of Obsessed With Character Development In My Novel Right Now

by Shelt Garner

I’m doing a lot of reading about how to develop fictional characters right now. And, I say again, anyone who demanded I “just write” 18 months ago can eat shit and fuck off. I’m on the cusp of producing a story that’s really great relative to my writing ability and if I had followed that advice when people kept telling me to do that, I would have simply have embarrassed myself.

I know at least one of the people who said that simply wanted to be my Col. Tom Parker and fuck with my mind. I’m SO GLAD I have gotten rid of gaslighting people like that. Fuck those people. It’s been over a year and I’m still furious. No one tells me they “know me better than I know myself” without there being consequences.

Anyway. I’m cramming about character right now. I’m going to try to read up on the subject as much as I can. I have canon and plot, but not much character. I hope to change that very, very soon. The story on a tactical level is, at last, beginning to stabilize. It’s either stabilizing or I’m just so tired of throwing everything in the air on a regular basis that I’m finally willing to write something, anything to be able to say I’ve finished a first draft.

You can’t edit a blank page, as they say.

I think one of the reasons why I’m reading so much is it’s a measurable metric. I’m actually moving towards my goal by reading as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

House Trump & The Rise of ‘Ivanka I’

by Shelt Garner

As best I can tell, Trump is going is going to replace Mike Pence with Ivanka. I say this for a number of pretty obvious reasons:

Trump has a problem with women voters
What better way to squeeze out every possible female vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida but with a female VP. Everyone is so focused on Nikki Haley that they are missing how conspicuous Ivanka is right now. He’s definitely thinking about naming her his veep going into the fall, is all I gotta say.

Ivanka is a “threefer”
Not only is Ivanka Jewish, she’s a woman AND a Trump. So, it would be, in a sense, the ultimate troll. The base would accept her because of her last name. The liberal establishment — a group the approval of which Trump craves — would not know what to do with this news at first. Trump and MAGA would get to “own the moment” on a macro level the likes of which they’ve not been able to for some time.

So, while I have long thought Trump would pick either Don Jr. or someone like Steve King to give himself a second term insurance policy, Ivanka would help so much getting him past the Electoral College finish line that, lulz, so what.

And, in a sense, she would still be an anti-impeachment insurance policy because she’s so vacuous that seeing her ascend to the presidency because, say, Trump only got a second term by bribing Electors in a rather brazen fashion, would give Congress pause for thought.

What’s more, in Trump’s addled mind, the idea that her become POTUS would likely give him a boner for two reasons — he wants to fuck her, anyway AND she would likely do such a horrific job that we wouldn’t have a female president for 30 or 40 years because of how bad a job she did.

Buckle up.

Mulling My Protagonist’s Character Flaws

by Shelt Garner

I am not perfect. In fact, I’ve alienated a huge swath of people over the course of my lifetime for a wide-array of reasons, ranging from my politics, to being drunk all the time (Seoul) to turning into a raging asshole after the failure of my version of ROKon Magazine.

So I have a lot of different character flaws to choose from for my protagonist. I think I have come up with a few pretty big flaws that are reasonably easy to overcome. I like the idea that he self-medicates via booze and we see him gradually overcome that problem with the help of a good woman.

Or something.

Something like that.

The thing about booze as his character flaw is how loaded that is. In The Girl On The Train, a woman’s alcoholism is pretty much what makes the story a dark thriller. Meanwhile, my drunk hero is comical, larger-than-life and erratic. It’s that last bit that I can focus on. If I really play up how erratic his drinking makes him, then that would be a reason why he stopped drinking at the behest of a woman he’s beginning a relationship with.

What’s interesting about all of this is the conventions of storytelling dictate what I can do on this matter. While for me, my hero being a good-natured drunk is interesting and fun, for a lot of readers they would want there to be some consequences for such behavior.

I got burned with a novel I tried to write that was pretty much just an angry rant on my part about how aggrieved I felt about what happened to me in Seoul. Everyone hated the characters, even though they were based directly on people and events that happened in Seoul while I was there. So, I am very self-conscious about making my characters likable.

I am reading a lot about the best practices of novel writing, so there’s that. In a sense, however, I have to get over myself and just do the best I can. I want to make my first draft as good as possible. But I have to accept that it will still be a first draft, no matter how hard I try. Add to that there’s a fair share of people who know me directly who actively want me to fail so they can laugh at me and, well, lulz.

Thinking About Starting a YouTube Channel Devoted To Storytelling

by Shelt Garner

I have the equipment to do a YouTube channel, but, to date, I haven’t thought up what it would be used for. But given how many videos I’ve done about the novel I’m working on — and how much reading on the subject I’m beginning to do — I think maybe that’s the answer: do a YouTube channel on storytelling.

So, I think over the course of the next few days I’m going to begin to plot out my next move. I would have to give some thought to what the best practices are on the matter. YouTube people are pretty brutal — more so than even Periscope people — so I would have to be very careful so as not to make a fool out of myself. I do that all the time, anyway, no reason to make the situation worse.

But I definitely have a lot to say on the subject. The only thing that’s changed is I’m beginning to read so much that I’m accidentally turning myself into a self-taught expert on the subject. Or, I will be by the time I finish reading on the books on storytelling I’ve bought over the last few months.

Anyway, I love to talk and a YouTube channel seems to be perfect for filling up a little extra time. One thing slowing me down is figuring out what best practices for the channel would be. How long should each episode be, extra.

One thing I have to do, however, is speed up the process of actually wrapping up development on the novel I’m working on. I’m getting nervous it’ll be three years from now and I’ll STILL not be done with it.

This is not A Confederacy Of Dunces. It’s not literary in any way. It’s not like my sister can take up the drive to get it published after my death and finally succeed 11 years later.

This needs to be published now — or never.

V-log: Some Thoughts on Hugh Hefner, Playboy & The Protagonist Of The #Novel I’m #Writing

Some thoughts.

V-Log: Idle Rambling About Character Development in The #Novel I’m Working On

Some thoughts on character in the novel I’m developing.

‘Autocrats Always Win’ #Trump #Resist

by Shelt Garner

It is a liberal fever dream that Trump is ever leaving office for any political reason. If he ever leaves office, it will be because he’s finally grown so absolute erratic that MoscowMitch, at last, signals it’s time for him to go.

Otherwise, lulz.

I would go so far as to suggest that it won’t be until Trump bungles a war with the DPRK and is directly to blame for, say, Alabama being vaporized and turned into a post-nuclear hellscape that he leaves office. Trump is going to do whatever necessary to win re-election.

Then he will call a Constitutional Convention. He will be America’s Brezhnev for the next 10 years or so until some other member of House Trump finally ascends to power. Sometime around 2060, AOC will lead an armed popular revolt against House Trump and rule via a junta until things get sorted out.

I honestly don’t see any other endgame. It’s not like Trump’s going to let himself lose in a free-and-fair election. The only votes that matter are the Electoral College votes. He got away with bribing Stormy Daniels. The center-Left in the United States is so weak, he will get away with do something like that again, only in a far more brazen manner.

I’m going to die in an ICE camp. All I got to defend myself at this point is a novel I’m developing.

Maybe it’ll be a success so I can leave the country before ICE puts a bullet in the back of my head.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge & The #Novel I’m Developing & #Writing — I Think We All Know a ‘#Fleabag’

by Shelt Garner

One of the thing I’m really focused on right now is developing character. I have canon and plot, but squat when it comes to character. I am struggling to figure out the motivation of individual characters.

I’ve decided to think back to my time in Seoul’s expat scene in the 2006-2008 time frame. I met a number of pretty colorful people at that time — one of them being myself — and I’m using my extremely romanticized memory of these people as the basis of a number of the novel’s central characters.

One of those central characters is based on a very unique woman I knew in Seoul named Annie Shapiro. She’s tragically dead now, but in life, she dramatically changed my life.

We all know a Fleabag.

Ms. Shapiro was my Fleabag.

In fact, I would go so far as to say if Ms. Waller-Bridge wanted a follow-up to Fleabag, she should do a novel based on the life of Annie Shapiro. The two women kind of look a like, though Shapiro was younger than Waller-Bridge when she died.

Anyway, I’m inspired by what I remember of Shapiro as the basis of my heroine’s character. Shapiro was both my Fleabag and my manic pixie dream girl. So, my heroine is very much in the Fleabag – manic pixie dreamgirl spectrum if you shoved her into a vat of Lisbeth Salander. I like the idea that my heroine, but for events out of her control, would be a focused manic pixie dreamgirl with a very dark side.

The reason why Shapiro was so crucial in my life was she introduced me to a world I would otherwise never have experience. Of course, my actual life in that world was a complete disaster. It was all my fault. But I have all these memories from my time in Seoul that I can tap into.

I’m really focused on character, character, character. I don’t have forever, so I hope to start writing again around May 1st. But I’m going to think a lot in advance of that.

But the key thing is I really find a lot of inspiration in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s honesty with Fleabag.

On #Writing A #Thriller That Is An Allegory Of The #Trump Era

By Shelt Garner

I have been working on this novel for some time now. It’s totally consumed my life to the exclusion of all other creative endeavors. This is good on a number of different levels because, well, I was wasting a lot of my time and energy on a number of scattershot ideas. But now I have my creative life focused on one thing and one thing only — figuring out canon, plot and character.

Plot and canon are pretty much figured out. But character continues to a major issue. I have to figure out what motivates these characters to do what I need them to do. The point of this novel is it’s a thriller that allows me to run around an allegory of the Trump era in an entertaining fashion. I don’t want it to be preachy like, say Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. I want it to be a sly rumination on the Trump era that is also something of a tentpole.

I will be the first to admit that sense I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m drafting off Stieg Larsson’s work. He has inspired and influenced me a great deal. But as I become a better storyteller, I find myself flexing my own creative muscles and using what he did as more of a stepping off point than anything else.

I hope to spend the next few days thinking out some crucial character details. I also am going to map out as much as possible the plot in a treatment of some sort. One thing I can’t do is continue to spin my wheels. I need to take a results-oriented, holistic approach to writing a novel. This business of simply doing development in a vocal manner for months has got to end.

It’s time to finally put up or shut up.

I have written at least 200,000 words over the last 18 months of development. I wrote 100,000 words then realized what I wrote was so horrible it didn’t deserve to be finished. But given that I’ve split the story into two novels, it is also now effectively my first draft. That is pretty cool.

Anyway, I know that if, like, anyone liked me, I probably would not have been spinning my wheels for as long as long as I have. But I’ve been working in a vacuum for much of this development and so I have no idea if anything I’ve written is any good.

Things are slowly changing on that front, however, which is pretty cool. Hopefully by the time I finish a professional-grade first draft in a few months, I’ll be able to find someone to read it all for me and ask, “What happens next?”