Monthly Archives: January 2009

Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Tenth

Part the One Hundred Tenth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Dancing at the End of a Rope Sooner

The latest off the coast of Somalia:  There may soon be an agreement on holding trials for captured pirates

 

This here if implemented will have a far greater impact than all the ships doing interdiction in the Indian Ocean.  Even with vessels from the US, NATO, Russia, China, India and Japan providing protection (which one could consider a real  ‘Coalition of the Willing’), without the means of applying justice to captured crews, there was no means to keep these buccaneers from returning to the Sweet Trade the minute they left custody.  Only through taking them off the seas long term will this matter come under control.

 

 

 

And if you’re asking, “Why does this guy have pirates as the heroes in his novel, yet seem to want to see real life pirates brought to justice?”  well, I’m ready to discuss the matter if asked…

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Going on the Account: Book Reader’s Oakum

The Washington Post  is folding their stand-alone book review section into other parts of the paper.  Seems we’re all going to have to go to word of mouth from now on, especially as Publishers Row is now realizing that ‘doing it for yourself’ is not anything to look down on…

 

Frankly, with books migrating to an online environment and become downloads, the loss of such outlets is inevitable.  As the canon becomes more democratic, so too will the means of discussing books.  I’m not sure the Web Fiction Guide  or (the sadly late) Pages Unbound  are going to displace the New York Times Sunday Book Review  section anytime soon, although the recommendations given by Amazon could hasten its demise by the end of next decade.

 

What might have happened had John Updike been starting his career now, as opposed to ending it, one can only guess…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Ninth

Part the One Hundred Ninth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Just Now Seeing Shore…

I was refered to an article on TIME.com regarding modern publishing.  The article had some interesting observations, albeit a bit behind the curve as is the wont of news magazines.  Still, there were some interesting bits, offered here:

“Self-publishing has gone from being the last resort of the desperate and talentless to something more like out-of-town tryouts for theater or the farm system in baseball. It’s the last ripple of the Web 2.0 vibe finally washing up on publishing’s remote shores…  We’ll see more novels doled out episodically, on the model of TV series or, for that matter, the serial novels of the 19th century. ”

 

Wow, imagine the time when THAT will happen…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Eighth

Part the One Hundred Eighth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Seventh

Part the One Hundred Seventh is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Well-Traveled Waters

According to io9, there’s a column in Fantasy Magazine  about the future of short fiction, especially regarding availability via online sources.  There’s a lot of good points to read there, especially about the need to offer updates on a more frequent schedule than prints mags have in the past, maybe daily, like 365 Tomorrows does.

 

Or, maybe, twice a week, say…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Sixth

Part the One Hundred Sixth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: A Year Before the Mast

January 15th:  The first anniversary of RAGING GAIL.  I wish I’d something more profound to offer here, but I spent most of my mojo on my Patrick McGoohan tribute.  Maybe next year…

 

Yes, I said ‘next year’ above.  This novel is only coming to you at 550 words or so per installment, and even at twice a week that’s still less words over time than you’d get reading a newspaper or visiting a blog a few times a week. 

 

Why is each burst so tiny?” you ask.  Well, in theory, putting the parts in such small bits should make it easier for readers who might be enjoying the work via a mobile device, like an iPhone or Black Berry, to follow along in real time.  So far I haven’t gotten any complaints from any of these readers; not a lot of comments either, though, so if you’re part of this audience, please let me know how this is working out.

 

I want to thank everyone who’s been there from the very start, keeping up along with the work as it progresses.  And I want to also thank the readers coming in during the course of the run who discovered the novel and stayed.  A few words of appreciation too to the folks that came and left for at least giving it a chance; yeah, they may be missing this, but it was still nice that they were here for even a brief spell.

 

Again, my thanks for being here, and hopefully we’ll all be well met come next January 15th.

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Going on the Account: Sewing Closed the Weighted Hammock

By now, most of you have heard that Patrick McGoohan has passed away.  It may seem strange to note the passing of this actor/director/writer in the midst of a tale about pirates; then again, between the remake of JAMAICA INN, THE PHANTOM and TREASURE PLANET, there’s more than enough justification to be offered here for this…

 

How McGoohan earns mention here is through his work on the series he was best known for, THE PRISONER.  If you’ve never seen this series, I do highly recommend it.  (And if you’re in the the US, you can currently watch all episodes of this series online at AMCtv.com.)    What deserves mention here, though, is how the series came about.

 

By 1966, McGoohan had finished three years of staring in the spy series DANGER MAN, playing a secret agent/adventurer very much in the mode of James Bond and Simon Templar.  These two roles in fact would be offered to McGoohan in large part thanks to DANGER MAN, which probably convinced him that he was in danger of having his career being tied to a very limited number of options.

 

And in fact, tragic typecasting stared him in the face, as he found his next big offer that year to be… a fourth go round with the series.  Some people, faced with their lives closing in around them, go into suicidal spirals, or worse still psychic petrification, allowing circumstances to get the better of them and accepting smaller horizons.

 

McGoohan’s response, however, was brilliant:  He counter-proposed a project to take his fate in a different direction.  He pitched to Lew Grade at ITV a new series, one where he’d still play a spy (who suggested his DANGER MAN character without naming him, thereby losing creative and editorial control of the project) who resigns from his job, and for his troubles is then kidnapped by shadowy jailers intent on breaking him to find out why.  And along the way, the project went from being a straightforward spy-in-danger story to a rich allegorical tale concerning the individual and his place in society, a society just learning to grasp and use the tools of the Information Age for its own ends.

 

And as he got into the project, he stretched out his creative muscles, becoming a writer and director for many episodes, as well as executive producer for the series.  Ironic or laden with meaning, his production shingle read, “Everyman Films;” take of that what you wish…

 

And through this, an act of refusing to allow others to define him, he helped inspire legions.  Much like the pirates of the period in this novel, he dared to challenge the established order and make his fate his own.  And he further inspired by example, by seizing the means to define himself and presenting his own vision, a dictum well appreciated in this harbor.

As for others inspired by McGoohan, the tribute page at io9.comis bringing out a lot of outpourings on the man’s work and how it touched them.  There’s a lot of comments regarding THE PRISONER, of course, which all said even without the wide breadth of work he’d done from THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA through ICE STATION ZEBRA and both runs of COLUMBO, is not a bad thing to be remembered for.

 

Patrick McGoohan:  Never a Number, a Free Man to the end…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Fifth

Part the One Hundred Fifth is now up, and may be read here.

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