This Canada Day weekend, do your country a solid and fly the Maple Leaf high* and proud. The more you do, the more you reclaim the flag from being the rudely adopted symbol of a loud, pompous and obnoxiously triumphalist religious minority**. A minority which clearly suffered a collective nervous breakdown in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges (not that they were a particularly charming lot prior to that). If defecating on people’s lawns over something as utterly trivial as a vaccine now constitutes the Lord’s work, then the Lord*** should seriously consider professional help.
* In any sense(s) of the word you deem fit.😉🌿🔥
** Misogynist to boot. We all know what happened last week.
*** By this I mean his followers, of course. Fictional characters generally don’t need psychiatrists, unless it’s a Tony Soprano sort of deal where the protagonist’s therapy sessions are part of the plot.
I have so far made three attempts to compose a work of fiction. Four, if you count that one I worked on for a couple of weeks in 2013 and then quickly abandoned. All of them were set either on another planet or in some kind of alternate reality, and I didn’t finish any of them. This particular genre is evidently a lot more difficult to write in than most people realize. It helps to adhere to a few guidelines of some type or another.
In addition to Kurt Vonnegut’s ever-useful eight rules of short story writing which I elaborated on earlier, I’d like to add two other rules of my own that I’m presently applying to my fourth (fifth?) literary attempt. The more practical writing experience I get, the more I realize how important these guidelines are. Especially in the speculative fiction genres, where the temptation is always there to go nuts with the worldbuilding.
My next literary project is shaping up to be a rehashing of my previous work in progress, but from a very different angle. I’ve already got an idea as to the general narrative trajectory of the first several chapters; banging out a rough skeleton of that sounds like a swell NaNoWriMo project. The finished product most certainly won’t be called SILVER BROWN, hence the reason why the title of this site had to change. A new mascot was in order as well. For the first three years of its existence, this site’s visual branding was centered around the image of the Aardvark…
However, this mascot was a character from my previous work in progress — a Big Brother-like entity who I can’t see being part of the new book, outside of maybe one or two passing mentions uttered by gushing admirers. So I ditched him.
The Aardvark glyph was something I doodled up one afternoon about five years ago, on some app-within-a-website that allowed anyone with the knowhow (and those willing to acquire same from the school of hard knocks) to create their own vector graphics in a cloud-based environment. A website that doesn’t exist anymore, I’m pretty sure of it. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles of a professional-grade program; the whole point of it all was that it be easy enough for complete novices to get their hands dirty learning the basics of the art. As a poor man’s Adobe Illustrator, it fit the bill for me just fine at the time. But with the rich man’s Adobe Illustrator, you can really go nuts…
I initially started working on this graphic with the idea that it would be a visual representation of all five senses expressed as a single entity, but somewhere along the way it ended up taking on a life of its own. Looking like the result of a discreet encounter Grimace once had with Miss Piggy in a pet cemetery of the damned, located in the same eldritch Cthulhuvian alternate universe that begat antivaxxers and pumpkin spice. Utterly horrifying, but in a way that’s kind of the point. I might actually use this entity as a character in the new book. It would make a smashing corporate executive.
There’s no name for this thing yet. I just call it The Entity. I imagine its true name unpronounceable by human vocal chords; the closest approximation would cast a spell if uttered aloud, summoning an ever-agitated fireant colony to materialize in the speaker’s butthole. During certain times of the year, I might depict it wearing festive hats.