Part Ninety Eight of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.
Monthly Archives: January 2013
Sometimes, a bit of information offered can be enlightening in ways the person providing it hadn’t realized.
Case in point: Aaron Williams at Do Gooder Press (home of Nodwick, Full Frontal Nerdity, and PS 238) posted a set of links back on the 23rd which he found of interest and wanted to share with everyone. One of these links he offered was from Edge.org, prompted largely by a poster on the site making reference to a T-shirt Aaron designed.
This is of course a perfectly good reason to offer a link; I’ve even tooted my horn from time to time, too. Okay, a few times I’d toot like Dizzy Gillespie at Newport; there, ego mortate sum, already…
But back to the main point, which was the body of the refered-to post: Edge.org’s annutal question, “What Should We Be Worried About?” As it so happens, the contributors has a lot to worry about; some of them covered the same ground in their shared worries, though it was hardly monotonous when two contributors would
run in panic from express their common concerns about a phenomenon.
And there were quite a few issues brought up. All those concerns; all those troubles to be wary of…
All those writing prompts…
Oh, yeah; if we look at inspiration as a commodity, this page was the Comstock Load of “a-ha!” moments for me. There’s a lot of good material here to work with and to start on a few pieces, some bits that may be worth a few good executables if I don’t get lazy and I actually run with these like the 49ers ground game.
And if they do actually lead to some paying markets off of these, then I need to reach out to Aaron and offer him a large unit of whatever consumables he’d be interested in; hey, it’s the least I could do…
Part Ninety Seven of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.
Part Ninety Six of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO in now up, and may be read here.
I’m having problems believing it’s been five years since the first novel went live, and with it, this blog as well.
Five years? I’ve been online longer that Firefly was on the air? Longer than The Addams Family? Longer than both the original Star Trek and the animated one combined? Longer than Gordon Brown was PM? Longer than John F. Kennedy’s presidency? Longer than Mikhail Gorbachev was in charge of the USSR? Longer than it took you to read this stupid paragraph…?
Like a lot of programs and habits, the blog found a purpose outside of what it was expected to do and just filled that gap on its own without much oversight. When I started Going On The Account, it was meant as support for Raging Gail, to let everyone know that a new piece had been published, and give people updates as to how the book was coming along. Truth to tell, while I did state that I was going to publish two chapters a week, there was always the fear that I’d slack off on the schedule, and so I thought that the blog could be the means of giving people
a good excuse an explanation as to why a piece was going to be late. And indeed, while I was in Vegas in February of ’08, I did give people word of my connectivity issues and pumped oxygen into the novel very early on, at a time when any delay could have destroyed what audience was forming for it.
And the blog might have stayed very utilitarian, had I not wanted to share my thoughts when I heard Gary Gygax had died, on March 6th of ’08. That was the first instance of the blog going outside of what was envisaged, and put it on its way to a more autonomous existence, no longer merely tethered to the novel.
April 15th of ’08, and on a day usually fraught with bad associations, that was the day I started sharing news about the Modern Age of Piracy. That first post was… not stellar, truth to tell, and I might have missed the story entirely had not Cheryl Mortensen from the Rooftop Sessions days not flagged that for me. The funny thing is, there was a certain synchronicity between the pirates in this novel and the ones off Somalia; the crew and prizes for both started to grow at about the same time, and their high water marks and waning were in step as well.
The first real delving for Going On The Account away from just being the in-house organ / PR flack for the operation came when I discussed Dr. Horrible on July 16th of 2008. That was really the start of the blog as its own separate project, over and above and outside just being a supplement for the current novel. Yes, there’s still a lot of support for the main online fiction done here, but as I look back over the last five years, I have t acknowledge that there’s more going on here than I was willing to consider.
No, I’m not going to dissect every damn post from the last five years; this is a reflection, not an autopsy…
I will do one last pull for the clip reel, though; I think it was the Blogtober challenge that made me really consciously appreciate Going On The Account more fully as its own separate work. As I mentioned above, this blog has outlasted a few other performances out there, including Raging Gail herself. And when Red Jenny and the Pirates of Buffalo also comes to its last page this year-
Oh don’t look at me like that. Yes, this novel is online, but it is still a novel, which means like any novel it must have an end. Otherwise it’ll spiral out of control and become even more incoherent than Varney the Vampire, and that is something you just do not want to ever see happen…
Anyways, the end of Jenny. When Jenny comes to the end of that book (don’t read that much into that statement), then Going On The Account will continue on, outliving that in addition to everything else before it. And when the third shared work comes up, whatever that might be, then Going On The Account will try and drum up support for that; for as independent as the blog has become, it still has a promotional job to do, y’know?
I try not to get overly self-congratulatory, as I become a first class bastard when I get a whiff of hubris. But, I am going to allow myself a little pride on being here for five years, still having something to say after all this time, not all of it boiling down to “Please read desperate little me.” And I have to thank you, readers of past and present, for being willing to give this a few moments of your time to read. I can’t begin to thank you properly for looking in on this, and for being willing to let me linger here for so long.
And who knows, when I’m ready to do my tin post in 2018, I might even have something quotable to say…
I don’t have much I can add beyond what Steve Almond states about narrators in this piece from the TIMES. The lack of ability to find someone you can trust to tell you a story is probably the main identifier of literature from our modern time; whether this applies to the writers of same as well, I leave that for you to decide…
So if you can trace with some precision a story getting mucked up and inflated in the telling, can you extrapolate from that the likelihood of a tale diminishing into nothing? And if you can determine that, what can you discover when you reverse engineer the chance of a story being likely?
It’s interesting what a live cannon can make you consider…
Yes, a live cannon; yesterday, they discovered in Central Park a cannon that still had ball and powder in its barrel. There was a piece that had been given to the park soon after the Civil War ended that had been capped and put on display through 1996, when it was removed to keep it safe from vandals. After sitting there for 16 years, the Central Park Conservancy finally got around to refurbing it, and while they were cleaning it, they discovered in the barrel the shot (which just rolled out when they tipped the piece forward) and 28 ounces of black powder that they NYPD removed and set off at the bomb range.
The reporter covering the story and the piece about the incident in the Times claimed the gun was recovered from the HMS Hussar, a British frigate that sank off the Bronx in 1781 during the Revolution. As she was a sixth rate Mermaid-class frigate that was armed with four three-pounders on her quarterdeck, and the fact that in the footage from WCBS we see that the shot and barrel of the piece clearly belong to a three-pounder, it’s a logical assumption that the piece was from the Hussar.
Small problem, though: As far as we knew, the HMS Hussar is still at the bottom of the East River. Where a few treasure hunters would like to send an expedition…
Supposedly, on her last voyage in 1781, the Hussar was en route from New York with the payroll for British troops trying to hold onto the colonies, when she fell victim to the Hell Gate, the same dangerous nautical feature that would claim among other vessels the General Slocum. It’s still treacherous today, so you can imagine how much luck was afforded a full-rigged frigate with a foolhardy captain at her helm.
She didn’t make it, and was lost, supposedly with millions of dollars of gold aboard her (as well as 80 American POWs in her hold). She became the obsession of treasure hunters who wanted to recover her; one effort was discussed in 1936, and another expedition was noted in 1985. There’s an account of a serious search back in 2002 that relates some of the other failed efforts to raise her, starting back during Jefferson’s presidency. You might be tempted to say that there’s enough discussions of this lost ship to fill a book, and in fact there was a book published in 2007 about the hunt for the Hussar.
The thing of it is, according to all of these accounts, the Hussar was lost when she went down off the Bronx, which means that three-pounder in Central Park could not have been from her decks.
But the story of the Hussar isn’t telling us anything so much through what it says as it does by coloring everything that comes within hailing distance of it. The fact that whether there actually is a British vessel carrying enough gold to make any seadog feel blessed to just look at it is not as important as the thought that there might be such a vessel under the silt of the East River. It’s the same deep drive that draws people to look for William Kidd’s treasure in this area, the idea that there must be something out there because it’s too depressing to imagine that there isn’t anything to look for.
But is it possible to deduce that it might not be the Hussar’s treasure, or even Kidd’s, that’s driving us to keep thinking about it? Might there have been another haul, one that either had been remembered by less die-hards keeping it as well recalled as the Hussar’s, or else was better known in circles that didn’t discuss their business in the open, a different treasure that’s on everyone’s minds? Perhaps one accumulated by a crew under a letter of marque?
If we can accept the possibility as stated before that we can never know the full history of a culture that stayed silent, then there may really be a pirate treasure somewhere under water close to where I sit that haunts the subconscious, maybe one with millions in gold seized by a pirate lost to history, the crew under this man (or woman?) sitting on enough loot to purchase a colony from any crowned head outright before their ship was lost to the silt.
And how likely is it that this grand booty is sitting silently out there at the edge of our consciousness, just beyond the reach of hard reality?
Oh, about as likely that a three-pounder could sit in Central Park with a live charge ready to spark for over a hundred years…