Apocalypse

I’m in love with Apocalypse. Not Apocalypse as it’s first definition, “complete final destruction of the world.” Just the idea of a huge, catastrophic change. The world as it becomes something new with pieces of something old. Not any Apocalypse in particular, either. All of them.

Give me plague or some other depopulation bomb, that’s what I want to think about, and read about, and talk about, and write about.

I wrote a (horrible) short story years ago about a future in which domestic cats took over and became the dominant species. Humans live in little highly defended camps and hunt cats for food while the cats are hunting them. Laughable? Yes. But I eat that kind of idea up.

My longest work, The Tiger? After the Apocalypse. So far that the main character doesn’t even know the world was different from how it is in her present. I love that idea.

My collaborative work, Return to the Sea? Apocalypse. Humanity needs to retreat to an underwater complex when the surface becomes uninhabitable.

Give me normal people out of their normal contexts. What better way to see what we are and how we relate to our world than to take us out of it and see what happens?

From my favorite authors? Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan, and Cat’s Cradle. The Stand, by Stephen King. Give me more of that. I love that.

I’ve been working on a little series of short shorts. Just little pieces from an after-the-end world. Everyone in the world except for a relatively microscopic amount of people disappeared in the middle of the night. Just poof. Gone. The remaining people don’t know why anyone was taken, or why they were left behind. They don’t know anything. They’re just there, in a now-empty world. I love that idea.

Do you love Apocalypse as much as I do? What I’ve got so far is here.

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Catch in the Flesh (so to speak)

My beloved friend Megan is a graphic design major at CSU Chico. Now, I’ve seen some of the things that graphic design majors have to do–my friend Ryan Wunn, with whom I’m collaborating on FRaHGRttS, was one, and I’ve seen some of his school projects.

One of the projects Megan had to do was to design a book. Ryan had to do this also, but I believe he just made the cover design. Megan’s class had do pretty much everything associated with constructing a book, apart from actually writing the content. I’ve seen the workshop. I’m talking cover design, pressing, and even gluing and sewing the damned thing together. Ryan did an excellent design for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I guess using books that are in public domain is the norm).

Megan, Goddess that she is, asked if she could use Catch.

It’s funny that she asked. Did she expect that there was any possibility I’d say no?

I know that many authors have printed versions of their self-published works, and that’s nice. But this is one of only two hand-crafted hardcovers of Catch. They’re the only two that will ever be made with this particular format.

Fran Thoughts and Telling Instead of Showing

Show, don’t tell. Show, don’t tell. That’s the mantra that most writers write by. The Reader wants to feel like he or she is in the story. The Reader wants to be an invisible voyeur, but still have intimate relationships with the characters.

What I’m wondering is, can I write a story that tells instead of showing, and still end up with something people want to read?

That’s what I was trying to do when I wrote Francis Rhododendron and Humanity’s Great Return to the Sea. I didn’t want to use embellished prose. I didn’t want to go out of my way to try to “insert” the reader into the action. I wanted to say what was happening, and why. I wanted to zoom out a bit and just observe, maybe with a sarcastic or cynical spin to give it the necessary impact.

I decided to rely on the story itself to hold interest. I wanted the events to speak for themselves.

With any luck, FRaHGRttS will read like a humorous fictional history lesson.

I suppose it also bears repeating that this is the novella that my friend is illustrating, and that we’re going to release in (extremely short) episodes.

But still, I have doubts. Might just be jitters because every day is a day closer to the release (even though we haven’t even really settled on a date yet).

But I’m hoping that someone will care to opine. I’d like to know if anyone else thinks it’s possible to have a story that tells instead of showing, but is still enjoyable.