Chapters Three and Four of SILVER BROWN will be gradually revealed to the good citizens of Planet Earth via Facebook over the course of these next few weeks, for the benefit of the fine folks at home who didn’t catch the initial showing of these chapters on Twitter way back in July.
I’ll always tweet new chapters before using them to toilet paper Mr. Zuckerberg’s lawn, but in some ways Facebook is a more suitable medium for this sort of thing. It’s slightly more conducive to in-depth leisurely reading and archiving images and memories for the long term. Twitter operates in a very different manner – it was designed to cater to our inner goldfish. Anything more than ten minutes old is as stale as last week’s leftover doughnuts. A typical tweet gets a reaction like this:
There’s always a few that will be liked and retweeted:
If it’s something about a massacre or a racist or homophobic comment some politician tweeted years ago that their rivals dug up in order to use it against them in their smear campaigning, the reaction will more like this:
This strain is called Island Pink. It’s a sativa-dominant hybrid with about forty percent kush. The buds are small but very hairy, with a faintly purplish and decidedly odorous toke packed with magically delicious wonder-working power.
This is one of those strains that will glue you to the couch. Even if you’re a seasoned veteran of the holy ganja, such as yours truly. But at the same time, it’s a highly cerebral high. The number of new ideas for the book that came flooding into my brain after two rips of this herb was just staggering. All in all, I quite enjoyed this smoke. I was at peace with the universe. Hardly ever paranoid. There were split-second hallucinations of strange extra-dimensional vermiform creatures at high enough doses, but I was spiritually enlightened enough to recognize those creatures as manifestations of sunyata.
Some of you might be wondering what this (or my previous blog post) has to do with the book. Well, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, SILVER BROWN was largely conceptualized and written by Our Lady of 420. She writes through me. I am merely Her medium. I also do quite a bit of writing whilst not under the influence of anything, except maybe my mandatory morning dosage of two cups of good strong coffee. But when I do, I will usually at some point run it past Mother Ganja, seeking Her wise counsel on how the prose could be improved. She always has something to say.
I’ve had exchanges with many a fellow scribe on Twitter that went something like this…
The reactions I get to such a suggestion range from curious amusement to unfettered moral outrage. It’s the thought processes of the latter folk I particularly can’t fathom. I’m one of those people that needs to be awed. Awe is the spinach that fuels my literary Popeye. Verily, she is my muse. Sometimes awe is in tragically short supply in a man’s day-to-day existence, but fortunately Mother Nature has blessed us with a remedy for awe deficiency in the form of the genus Cannabis. It’s not the only remedy, I’ll admit. Far from it. But I’ve fully explored all of The Man’s “socially acceptable” suggested alternatives, and at the end of the day I’d rather just hit the bong and be done with it. I spent twelve years of my life working for a literal psychopath who notoriously went insane and stabbed a dude, so I think I’m entitled to at least one bad habit.
Expanding on the whole awe thing, writing about some band I’m into is an awe-accumulating thing as well. When I am awed, I gain new perspectives on SILVER BROWN that I am suddenly eager to start implementing.
“Chapters are like turds. Some of them just gush out of you, but others require a lot of ass-straining.”
Speaking of which, all the meticulous editing I’ve been doing on Act One of SILVER BROWN is now complete. When Chapters Sixteen and Seventeen finally came together, the rest of it came to me so easily. Chapters are like turds. Some of them just gush out of you, but others require a lot of ass-straining. The first act has a cliffhanger ending with a Big Reveal. Some people will probably need barf bags, like they did with The Exorcist. But even those people will probably still love it.
J.K. Rowling once said in an interview something to the effect of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire being a particularly agonizing book for her to write. One of its chapters had to be rewritten a whopping thirteen times; there was a recurring plot hole that needed a baker’s dozen attempts to get rid of. Chapter Sixteen of SILVER BROWN didn’t have to go through that many rewrites, but it was pretty agonizing. For starters, it’s now Chapter Seventeen; I had to chop off its head and make the head Sixteen. The editing work this chapter and its severed head needed had more to do with cutting away superfluous elements and finding balance in the story than resolving any plot holes, though. But at long last, these chapters are complete. I might do a few more tweaks here and there to make Crocus Acadia even more unnerving than she already is, but all the main organs are functioning at least. They could survive if they hatched tomorrow. But they won’t hatch just yet. Maybe during Yuletide.
A couple of the characters I’ll be introducing to the audience at this point in the story had to undergo a few nips and tucks during the overall editing process, most notably Crocus Acadia. In the earlier drafts, she was a character clearly in the antagonistic category, one that was always quick to throw the book at Florys for every perceived transgression against the Lodge. Now she’s more of an Osiris-like entity. Not necessarily a villain. Attentively listening to all sides of an argument with equal impartiality before issuing a judgement upon a mortal soul, but never hesitant to fling you like a booger into the waiting sulfuric maw of a ravenous demon if your beating heart should tip the scales unfavourably against the feather of truth. She also sits upon a throne composed of fire – an idea which didn’t exist in the earlier drafts. Fire doesn’t hurt her. She’s a witch. A learned and experienced witch at that. You don’t get to be Vizier-Queen of any Lodge without being learned and experienced.