Of Novels & Beginnings

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m really growing to like both the tactical beginning of the first novel I’m working on and the strategic beginning of this planned six novel project. The tactical beginning is strong because it opens with a huge question — why is this person in this situation?

What I imagine the protagonist of the first three novels in this six novel project looks like as I write.

It’s take me a very long time to stumble across this specific beginning and it could definitely still change. But, for the time being, I’m pleased with what I’ve managed to come up with. It is kind of embarrassing how many months I wasted with various other versions of this novel. And I like to think, at least, that if I had a wife or girlfriend maybe the process would have been sped up considerably.

Meanwhile, the strategic beginning is cool because there’s a lot — A LOT — of room for growing and development. I easily have six total novels I can map out if I try to sell this first novel, set 25 years ago. Everything is pretty sorted out in my mind, I just have to knock out the remaining five novels in the series (and beyond.)

Of course, a lot could go wrong. And they say if you’re querying your first novel, you need to be working on something else while you’re doing it. I’m not getting any younger and I really need to put up or shut up one way or another.

But, in general, the whole experience continues to a lot of fun — if a lot of hard work.

Zendaya, Call Your Agent (Maybe…One Day…Eventually)


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m just about to enter the third act of the first draft of the first novel in what is projected to be a five novel project. And occasionally, I will stop myself with the realization that I’ve come up with a damn good concept.

And at the core of this concept is an American interpretation of the Lisbeth Salander trope. In my imagination, as I write these five novels, the person who would play my take on the Lisbeth Salander trope would be Zendaya.

But it’s not a one-to-one comparison for various structural reasons. Yet my dream is each one of the books will build your interest in a character that looks a lot like Zendaya and invokes the same type of affinity as Lisbeth Salander. At least, that’s my goal.

I want these five novel project to be an old brown shoe for the existing audience of Stieg Larsson. But I have to note that I’m, by nature, not nearly as dark as he is in his writing. Yet I am really working hard to flesh out the characters and to make them people who are, if nothing else, interesting enough that you want to spend enough time with them to finish five ~100,000 word novels.

Because these novels deal with decades of events, you get to see on the page as it happens why my heroine in the later novels — the one I imagine looks like Zendaya — is so fucked up. That’s what makes these project so different than Larsson’s stuff — the backstory isn’t back story.

But, I have to admit, that this is a massive, massive project.

A lot could go wrong. And as I keep saying, I have no idea what I’m doing. So, it could be that I’m writing such crap that no matter amount of re-writing will get me close to being good enough to sell any of this.

But, in the end, all I got is my dream. Just getting a positive reception from anyone that might read the second draft of the first book. The idea that I would not only sell these novels, but they would be popular enough that Zendaya would play the central character would be beyond a life long dream come true.

And, what’s more, there is another character in the series that I imagine being played by Olivia Munn as an AmeriAsian version of the Mare of Easttown trope. In fact, that’s the core of the project — the relationship between an Olivia Munn type person and a Zendaya type person.

Anyway. I have a huge amount of work to do. The key thing is for me is to simply get the first book in the project done.

Feeling Pretty Good About The Latest Iteration Of The Outline For The First Novel In This 5 Thriller Series


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m feeling just about ready to start writing again on this first novel. The plot now has a nice symmetry to it and the ending both wraps up the story and gives a nice lead-in to the beginning of the next novel.

While I continue my pause in writing, I’m going to try to sketch out the plots of the other four novels as best I can. At the moment, most of the novels have a beginning and an end, but not much in the middle. The last two novels are the most thought out, but they also have way too much plot and i have to figure out a way to pare all that plot back some.

But I’m feeling a lot of hope because of how well the first novel’s plot is beginning to shape up. I have it in me to flesh out the other novels’ plots, I just have to be patient and believe in myself.

As I keep saying, the emotional core of these novels is one woman’s love for a young woman who grows up to be my personal interpolation of the Lisbeth Salander trope. You get to see, over the course of a series of novels, the major events that lead up to the motives of the young woman in the last two novels. I find the whole project very compelling.

At the moment, the woman at the heart of this project looks a lot like Olivia Munn in my imagination, while the young woman who grows up to be my personal hot take on the Lisbeth Salander trope looks a lot like Zendaya. But I’m really just daydreaming at this point. I’m a very visual person and if the learning curve for screenwriting wasn’t so difficult, I probably would have gone into screenwriting instead of novel writing.

Yet, of course, I’m not going to live forever. I really need to get something done. I can’t just keep daydreaming about finishing these five novels, I’m going to have to actually do it soon enough. Otherwise, I’ll just be a dude who died of a broken heart over a failed magazine for expats in Seoul.

And I simply refuse for that to be what people think of me, if I have it within my power to do so.

I really need to get back to work writing .And, yet, I also want to use this pause in my writing to psyche myself up and do some of the reading I’ve neglected to do over the course of this project’s existance.

At the moment, I have a lot of hope. But the clock is ticking.

Olivia Munn, Call Your Agent (Maybe, Eventually?)



by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Feeling rather sheepish about this. Rather than talking about this change, I should keep it to myself. But, alas, I have no friends and no one likes me — and I’m 100% extroverted! — so, lulz, here we are.

So, the newest version of this first novel in what I hope will be a five novel series has me go back to what I had before — a female protagonist who in my imagination looks a lot like Olivia Munn. I really need to stop doing this. I really need to, like, finish the first novel so I can, if nothing else, try to get to the next step in the process — have beta readers.

But here I am, starting all over again.

And, yet, at least I’m starting from scratch for a reason. I hope to do some reading — and development — before I start writing again so when I do I’m going to knock what I do write out of the park.

That, at least is the vision.

And, yada, yada, yada, I sell the novel or novels, the series a huge success and Olivia Munn plays the heroine of these first few novels in the series. You gotta dream, man. Dreaming is free.

Thriller Novel Series Development Silliness: Casting Maggie Q Or Olivia Munn As ‘The Heart’ Of This Series


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

It is the height of foolishness and self-indulgence to cast characters in any hypothetical movie adaptation of a novel you’re working on — especially if you’re just an aspiring novelist like me and don’t have anything finished to show people.

But I need to let off some steam. Things are going really well at the moment with this first novel in what I hope is a 5 (3 + 2) series of books and, lulz, no one cares what I say anyway.

Anyway, the point is, as I’ve written before, the character who I see as the “heart” of this overall project could be played very well by Olivia Munn. She’s about the right age and looks pretty much exactly how I see the character in my imagination as I write her.

I have noticed another woman who could play the character, however. Maggie Q. She, too, is very close to what I imagine the character who is the “heart” of this series looking like.

Remember, these project has ballooned into a multi-generational saga. These two women wouldn’t be playing my equivalent of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, but rather someone who cares deeply for that character. Though, I will note there is ANOTHER character that Maggie Q probably would be better suited as in the series — a love interest for the hero of two of the books.

My interpretation of the Lisbeth Salander trope would be, in my dreams of a movie, portrayed by Zendaya.

Book 1: Imagine ‘Mare Of Easttown’ Staring Olivia Munn


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The first book in this projected five book series is beginning to coalesce. And, as they say, it’s a dumb thing to talk about who might play this or that character in any movie adaptation of a novel you’re working on. But absolutely no one listens to me or cares, so let’s daydream a little bit.

I mean, really, who’s even reading this beyond stalkers, haters and random people who happen to stumble across this obscure Website?

So, anyway, it’s occurred to me that Olivia Munn would be perfect to play the heroine of any movie adaptation of this first novel. She’s the right age and jibes with what I imagine the character looks like in my mind. She would have to learn a Southern accent if she decided to play the part, though. Wink.

The first few novels in this series owe a huge thematic debt to Mare of Easttown. That’s the work that I think about the most as I write these first two books and to a lesser extent the third book. But it’s thematic, not a one-to-one. The Mare of Easttown is something of a stepping off point for a story that is similar, but set in a much smaller (Southern) town than Easttown.

But Munn — mixed with someone else — is who I think of when I write this heroine. And, yet, I’m really being delusional. I’m a middle aged man that can come off as an Internet crank, so there’s a good chance nothing will happen at all when I try to sell these novels.

I going to keep the faith, though. I believe in myself. Keep the faith.

The Anna Marie Tendler – Kacey Musgraves – Olivia Munn Imbroglio Plot Thickens


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

At the moment, I’m kind of living my life in oblivion. I could walk off the face of the earth right now and it would take a few days for anyone to notice what had happened — this is actually quite literal at the moment. Anyway, because of this, it’s the little things that make me sit up and take notice.

And one of those little things is a serious uptick in people interested in my brief post about the connection between Anna Marie Tendler and Kacey Musgraves. And by connection, I mean Olivia Munn. I really like all the women involved in this clusterfuck and I struggle to understand exactly what happened.

But what I do know is Kacey Musgraves’ latest album, “star-crossed” is about her divorce to Ruston Kelly who was banging Olivia Munn at just about the same time Musgraves’ heart wrenching album was being produced. So, there is a direct link between the two women — Olivia Munn.

The thing about Munn is — I have no idea how much of a homewrecker she is and how much of an opportunist she is. Did John Mulaney cheat with Munn while he was with Tendler, or was it more everything was falling apart by that point and Munn was nothing more than an opportunist?

That’s something that’s something that has yet to be determined.

Anyway, the rest why I’m getting an uptick in traffic — I think — is Musgraves commented on Tendler’s latest Instagram post and people are searching the Internet curious about why this happened.

I think that’s what’s going on.

It’s all very interesting, to say the least.

‘Rooms in the First House’ #Pop #Rock #Lyrics Inspired By The Name Of Anna Marie Tendler’s Art Showing



I’m just letting off some steam when it comes to this. I need to buy a guitar and actually try to see if I can write lyrics that might, in some way actually be preformed. But I want to buy a nice Nikon camera instead, so, this is just me screwing around. It’s a quick creative fix.

Rooms in the First House
lyrics by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

this home was once my heart
now I just don’t know where to start
I dart from room to room
the rooms in the first house
the rooms in the first house
the rooms in the first house

I feel lost
and cast about in these rooms
thinking of how we used to laugh
and how all I can do now is cry
at all the lies I was told
they’re a sight to behold

the rooms in the first house
bloom with my tears now
when will it all end I cry
is there nothing left to say
but I have to live with my grief
in the
in the
rooms in the first house
rooms in the first house
rooms in the first house

(bridge)
give me a second to clear my thoughts
the second time is the charm
or maybe the third
will you come back to play pretend
I just don’t know
will this grief fade
maybe if I get laid

but for now I reside in the
rooms in the first house
rooms in the first house
rooms in the first house

Never Underestimate The Power of Great Art Generated From Agony: Anna Marie Tendler Is Winning The Parasocial Fan War


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The dark, personal art that Anna Marie Tendler is generating from her obvious agony over her break up with John Mulaney is devastating. It’s jarring it’s so good. The only time I did anything similar — to date — is the various creative things I started generating after Annie Shapiro brought back ROKon Magazine without me in late summer 2007.

What happened, when, with these two?

But, let me be clear, there was a LOT going on with me at this particular time. Something about the initial collapse of ROKon Magazine did a serious number on me mentally and emotionally to the point where I was non-functioning. All I did was go to work and listen to Radiohead all day. So, given how great her version of the magazine was, it was kind of like I left the keys in an idling car and she just had the spunk to do something with it while I was on the side of the road staring out into space.

One thing I will note is — I would like a tick-tok on the specific events (from a neutral observer ) as to when Munn started dating Mulaney. Usually, when someone goes through a break up, you at least wait a little bit before you swing through for a booty call. But, from what I can tell, Munn was on Mulaney’s doorstep with flowers and that tight ass of hers the moment she knew he was separated.

Anyway, the point is — while I’m still very empathetic to Mulaney’s situation, given how Olivia Munn kind of swooped in as soon as possible — the whole thing is just icky. Though, unlike some very opinionated people on Tik-Tok, I think he did the right thing by going on Late Night to talk about what happened. It was better to slice that particular boil ASAP, rather than have the mystery linger in the public’s mind.

I hope someone is keeping a close eye on Ms. Tendler. Severe grief is almost like a drug in its own way. It definitely changes your self-perception, no matter what. But she’s tough, I’m sure she can bounce back a lot quicker than me. It’s been over 10 years and I’m still rattled by the failure of ROKon Magazine.

Annie Shapiro

‘Dinner In March:’ #Pop #Rock #Ballad #Lyrics Inspired By Anna Marie Tendler’s Art


I feel so bad for Ms. Tendler. Because of what happened between me and the late Annie Shapiro in Seoul, I can, in my mind and heart, kind of square the circle of what is going on between she and her ex-husband and his new baby mama. I can see in my mind, in three dimensions what’s going on in this tragedy. Anyway, I’m very inspired by her devastating photography and, hence, here are some lyrics. I don’t know anything about music. From my point of view, this is just a quick hit of creativity that elevates my serotonin. I would also like to note that Prince is an amazing lyricists. I used Nothing Compares 2 U as a guide as to how to write these lyrics and it was TOUGH!

Dinner In March
lyrics by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner
Please give credit if you produce or perform

hang my head in shame
wondering if I’m being way too lame
dinner is set
time marches on like a drumb
it’s just me now I’m afraid
for this
dinner in march

I eat my dinner alone now
at any time of day
I can start it at noon
and zoom right through
or day drink myself into
a state of disgrace

while the wine flows I whine
to myself about what could have been
was I good enough (for you)
was I too good (for you)
how could I have changed it all
for the better, for the better

(bridge)
april will come
you’ll be by my side
or not
I’m going to have to let it slide
while I eat my dinner in march alone

dinner in march
dinner in march
dinner in march
dinner in march
dinner in march