A Scifi Western Would Be Fun To Write

by Shelt Garner

One of my favorite movies growing up was Outland, which, as I understand it, is High Noon set in space. After about 20 years of contemplating a particular scenario, I realize that one way to give it a plot would be to have something akin to a scifi Western in the sense that it would have a lot of the elements of a traditional Western, but it would also lean heavily into scifi.

I might look into this a little bit sometime soon. I was thinking of looking up “how do you write a Western?” then use the modified tropes of a Western in this scifi story.

But I dunno. I may just keep focused on the mystery-thriller I’ve been working on for so long. I’m beginning to get a little nervous about what I’m going to do when I finally start the very-serious process of querying.

Oh boy.

I’m Just About To Enter The Second Act Of The ‘Alpha Release’ Of The Third Draft Of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

Months after I started working on the first act of the third draft of my first novel, I am at last about to enter the second act. This is important because I know this part of the story far, far better.

Though there are some structural elements to the novel I’ve had to change in the rest of the novel, things SHOULD move very, very fast now. I should be able to come out with an Alpha Release of the third draft no later than April. Then I will go through and do an edit of it so the Beta Release is actually coherent enough that I can maybe find some professional to read it and help me take it to the next level.

And, yet, I am very, very poor, so…I don’t know. Don’t know how exactly that will work out — if it will work out at all. I might just query what I have in early fall 2024 and see what happens.

Of course, now I have to take a deep breath and think seriously about querying. But I think I may punt that particular issue down the road a little bit more. I want to have a complete third draft done — even if it’s an Alpha Release — before I get too worked up about querying.

And, of course, all of this is happening in the context of the fucking Petite Singularity / Fourth Turning happening at just about the moment I want to query.

Wish me luck, I suppose.

America’s Fate Starting in Late 2024, Early 2025 Rests On State Republican Parties

by Shelt Garner

Yeah, right.

The thing too many media popinjays miss about the looming threat of a civil war in the United States is that on a state level, the Republican Party has crossed the Rubicon on the issue — at least on a rhetorical basis. So, the question of the moment is, at at state level, is the Republican Party prepared to put its money where its mouth is on the issue of secession.

Just from my discussion of my mainstream conservative Traditionalists relatives — whom I love dearly — it definitely seems as though if there was a sudden lurch towards a secession crisis that they would be prepared to follow along.

Of course, any secession crisis would be a royal clusterfuck for a number of reasons. There are a lot of Blue dots in Red States. And there are states –like Virginia — which are actually two states, one Red, one Blue, fused together who fucking hate each others guts.

So, Virginia, in particular, would likely be the site where the first actual violence of a Second American Civil War might occur. I could see there be coups and counter coups as the two sides fight over if the commonwealth is going to stay in the Union or not.

What’s more, that particular situation is easy compared to areas of the Deep South where you would have the dominate white Republican Party pushing for secession and the large African American community balking. That is a very complicated situation that, if not handled properly, could possibly lead to a historic race war.

I know, that sounds like my usual “hysterical doom shit,” but that’s what we’re facing at the moment. Once you take the idea of secession seriously, you start to come up with a lot of very, very dark scenarios.

Win Or Lose, Trump May Spark A Second American Civil War Starting in Late 2024, Early 2025

by Shelt Garner

The Republican Party is now, on a structural basis, primed and ready to start a civil war by calling up Secessionist Conventions. Now, I fear this could happen both if Trump loses or wins. It will happen if he wins if he is promptly deposed in some way — either by impeachment and conviction or by the U.S. Military — or it MAY happen if he loses.

The issue of Trump sparking a civil war by losing is really difficult to game out at this point because it is, on the face of it, very, very silly to think any such thing might happen. It just is staggering to imagine that the most powerful nation in the world might collapse into civil war because of “vibes.”

But, here we are.

And, yet, now, at the end of 2023, I still can’t tell you with any certainty that even if Trump screams bloody murder about the 2024 election being “stolen” from him that any state legislatures will listen to him.

It could be that there might be — some — politically inspired violence, but, on the whole, Trump just rants and ultimately fades into politically obscurity.

I just don’t know.

Let’s Address The Right Wing ‘Lawfare’ Talking Point

by Shelt Garner

It has become a matter of gospel within Right wing ranks that the evil liberal cabal that is out to get good (white) Christian men and women is using “lawfare” against Trump.

But, it gets worse.

Even people who don’t support Trump the person, have gotten into their noggins that this is the case. You can tell this nothing more than a fill-airtime-in-an-argument talking point when you press these people about the classified document case against Trump.

When you point out that Biden also had an investigation against him for classified documents they suddenly just wave their hand and move on to their next point. So, according to their logic, even though Trump is being investigated for something legitimate — stealing national secrets — it’s still lawfare because they think it’s neat to use the word “lawfare.”

It’s shit like this that makes me wonder if we, as a nation, will be able to survive past 2025. There is growing evidence that if Trump becomes POTUS again that we’re all in for a very, very bumpy ride. Either because about 1 million well educated wealthy liberals leave the country in a massive brain drain, or we depose Trump in some way and there’s a civil war.

Pick your poison.

Well, I Didn’t Expect That

by Shelt Garner

While I’m pretty sex positive — as the nature of my novel would show — I have to look a bit askance at the idea that there is an open prostitution market on Twitter at the moment.

Of course, I have to add the caveat that I’m seeing this solicitation by high end call girls on my For You Page. Which, of course, says something about me that I’d prefer not to dwell too much upon.

But the fact remains that that is just what is going on. Yet it seems as though this is a really high end form of prostitution. And, yet, because everything seems to be getting worse by the day, I’m sure low-rent sex workers will start to come out of the woodwork, too.

Pondering The Precipice Of Querying

by Shelt Garner

Now I’m worried that deep in the bowels of the Internet aether I’ve annoyed the liberal white women that make up most of the literary agent class, even before I’ve begun to query my first novel. All I can say is — I mean well. And I’m generally a fan of liberal white women. (Even if I do sometimes use them as a class as something of a comic foil in some of my drunk political rants.)

But what I’m NOT a fan of is being attacked for being a smelly CIS white male writing from a female POV. Or being forced to debate how many of my characters can dance on the head of the Bechdel Test pin. And I am who I am. Come what may.

I don’t MEAN to annoy anyone, but I’m not going to fake who I am. And, in general, I think literary agents will find me endearing, thoughtful and interesting — if they’re willing to give me a chance.

And, yet, who knows. I still have a few more months before I finish a stable third draft of the novel. Then there will be the struggle to find — and afford — a manuscript consultant to take the novel to the next level. And all of this will be happening in the context of a Petite Singularity / Fourth Turning in late 2024, early 2025.

So….good times?

Ugh. Am I Going To Have to Watch Saltburn?

by Shelt Garner

My Tik-Tok FYP is ablaze with people talking about Emerald Fennell’s super weird and kinky movie Saltburn. I’m all for such things in art, but…ugh…it took me forever to see Pulp Fiction — which I now love — because of some of the scenes I heard about.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become even more squeamish about uncomfortable fiction. I really hate conflict to the point that the only way I can deal with it is if I’m the one creating it for an audience. Otherwise, ugh, leave me out of it. But, here I am, seriously thinking about watching Saltburn.

Let me note that it is hard to deny that it’s movies like Saltburn that really aggravate the culture wars. I can’t even broach the subject of the movie with my conservative relatives because I can’t even begin to describe to them what it’s even about.

So. I dunno. There’s room enough in this world for all God’s chillens is all I can say. Watch Saltburn or don’t, I don’t care. But I am going to take a DEEEEP BREATH — and maybe get drunk — then I’m going sit down and watch Saltburn.

I have a feeling I’m not going to get very far.

I Don’t Have A Problem With Being ‘Woke,’ Just Don’t Come After Me For Being A Male Author Writing From A Female POV In My Novel

by Shelt Garner

I notice that someone is interested in all my ranting about the “woke cancel culture mob.” So, let me be clear — all my ranting on this subject is usually generated by booze and annoyance that I will be dinged by some hyper-woke people for being a male author writing from a female POV in my novel.

If Stieg Larsson can do that, why can’t I?

Anyway, I also know that being a drunk crank I’ve almost — certainly — done more than one thing in my personal life that will leave the hyper woke aghast. But, all I can say is the worse thing anyone ever said about me was that I’m a “delusional jerk with a good heart.”

My heroine, in my mind, looks like Corrie Yee.

So, yeah, I’m not perfect. But who is? And I generally mean well. So, I find myself wondering if all my talk about consensual kinky sex and periods in this novel will be poo-pooed by woke liberal white women because it’s ME, a smelly CIS white male, who wrote it.

Meanwhile, Emerald Fennell can go way, way off the creative beaten path and is hailed as the best thing since slice bread. It’s shit like that that causes me to rant when I’m drunk. Judge me by work, not by my gender. I GENERALLY support the media narrative about trans rights, etc, but I’m human and I have the occasional stray thought that maybe might get me in trouble with the woke Powers That Be.

I HATE this type of “woke.”

Regardless. My first novel is going well. So well, in fact, that I’m probably going to feel comfortable doing a lot more reading, watching of TV and movies and doing some writing on my “backup stories.”

I Finally Have A Stable First Act For The Third Draft Of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

Things are going so well with the first act of the third draft of my first novel that I’m seriously thinking about developing the three scifi novels I have rolling around in my mind.

I just need to stretch my legs creatively. I need to have the option of thinking about something other than this same novel. The goal is that the overall product will be better for all the things I’m working on.

I find myself thinking about querying and reading books to “comp” my book to. At the moment, all I have is pretty much just Stieg Larsson books, the originals of which are about 20 years old now.

But I think once January 1st rolls around that I’m going to get a lot of work done. Watch me say that then something happen to slow me down significantly. I’m kind of falling apart physically and I’m a little worried that Something Bad will happen big enough to force me to either pause writing or change the context a great deal.

Ugh. N+1 and all that.