In this post, I wrote that new content will premiere the first Wednesday of every month. Well, the first Wednesday of February came over a week early. The latest episode of Mysterious Music is being released sooner than its planned February 3 date because some of the content will potentially be competing with other outlets, so I decided to get things out as soon as possible. Competitiveness is a rarity for me, but this was an instance in which I wanted to beat others to the punch. It’s titled “Odds & Ends”, and covers just that; miscellaneous albums, bands and songs that didn’t quite fit the other categories featured in previous episodes of Mysterious Music. Click here to watch.
First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying healthy. I try to avoid talking too much about COVID-19 because you just can’t go anywhere (not that you should be going places) without hearing about it; but then again, it’s a very real problem and has had an affect on some of these updates.
More important than any hinders COVID-19 has had to the release of my upcoming work is that my loved ones (some of whom are high-risk) and I have remained in good health through all of this. I hope this message finds you all well, too; and, if not, I sincerely wish you and/or your loved ones the thoughts and strength to rebound from all of this.
Despite the optimism of my first two paragraphs, I admit the introduction of this post is grim. So, I might as well get the bad news out of the way, before moving on to the good news.
The bad news: Whispering of the Autumn Leaves has made no progress in getting published. There was a publisher interested, but when COVID-19 hit, they were forced to pushback their 2020 and 2021 releases. This would push the publication of Whispering of the Autumn Leaves to 2022. A lot of things could happen between now and then, so commitment from either party wouldn’t make sense at this juncture. As I’ve stated before, the novel itself has been completed, and careful instructions have been given to a select few, should anything happens to me before it gets published.
Now, the good news: Aaron Calafato’s podcast of non-fiction vignettes, 7 Minute Stories, will be featuring a short-story read and written by me, called “Rooster”. It will premiere on April 30. In the meantime, Aaron has a lot of fun stories of all different genres, including “The Yellow Bird”, which was featured on NPR. So, regardless of my appearance on the podcast, I highly recommend you navigate over to the one and only 7 Minute Stories podcast.
Last but not least, the fifth episode of Mysterious Music will be released the first weekend of May 2020 (either the 2nd or 3rd). What began as a two-part examination of trends between songs which are unidentified versus tunes whose artist/band have since been located, has since sprouted into an ongoing series of all different types of mysterious music. I thank you for all of the interest and your eagerness to get involved in the quest to solve these songs.
So, despite the state of the world, it’s a time for creativity, inspiration and reflection. I hope I’m doing my part in keeping us connected and reminding you that better times are ahead. Stay safe and thanks again for everything.
It’s been over 10 months since a website update. I think that’s the longest www.cwschultz.com has gone since its launch back in October 2011. Oh, that’s another thing, Happy 5 Years to the website! If all continues to go well, I look forward to another five years with updates on a more frequent basis.
While the updates have been scarce lately, this shouldn’t imply that I haven’t been hard at work. Sure, there’s been a few distractions. Mainly, Snowpuff, the Wife and I have gone from renting an overpriced 650 square foot apartment in the University District to practically stealing (though we legally bought it) the perfect home in West Seattle. And yes, this is great news, but those of you who’ve spent a lot of time in both the University District and West Seattle will understand that it is necessary to just take some time and acclimate.
But even with the change from U-District to Dub-Sea, I refused to allow the creativity to rust. Most of late-2015 and early-2016 was dedicated to promoting my fourth book, A Book About a Film, which received the most promotion out of all my publications, and I’m happy to say was met with very kind words from the folks patient enough to push through it.
Mid-2016, was the start of a fifth novel inspired by the Voynich manuscript, which failed after about four weeks of work and has since been scrapped. But that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen. Keep in mind, I’ve been known to salvage unrealized projects before. Let’s not forget that Yeval was originally a screenplay that was eventually scrapped mainly due to length (having added the internal monologue and elements of transgressive fiction afterwards, when I realized I’d get more attention and satisfaction out of the story being more of an ugly art piece rather than dark entertainment, though I secretly wanted it to be both); and Echo with Laughter was a script rejected by a director/friend/producer for being too “on the nose”, but I ended up turning it into a short-story and Sirens Call Publications published it as The Stairwell. And then, of course, there’s A Book About a Film, that got several false starts between 2010–2014. So, if this Voynich manuscript idea sounds appealing to you, never say never.
But even though that particular “fifth novel” didn’t work out doesn’t mean there’s not another fifth novel in the works. In fact, that’s my main motivation for posting this today. Two chapters and a prologue have been completed, and while this is not deep enough to the point of no return, I’ve written over 17,000 words of internal notes; so, I technically have half a novel’s worth down, so I do think it’s a bit far to turn back. Plus, this was the story I’ve been wanting to write for several years, but have forced myself to hold off. Maybe that’s why the Voynich manuscript idea didn’t work out; maybe I’m simply far more passionate about this current idea than the Voynich one.
So what’s this big passionate idea I have? Isn’t it better to keep you in suspense? No? Well, I respectfully disagree, but I’ll compromise and share some details wit-cha. I’m going back to the first-person narrative. I know, I know, there are a lot of limitations, but I think it’s best for the story. So far, I’ve written four books, my first two in the first-person (Yeval and The Pack) and my most recent two in the third person omniscient (Jill, very omniscient; and A Book About a Film); I’m digging back into the style of my early days of publication, already almost 10 years ago, of first person narration. But like with every new story I write, I want to do it differently. Instead of having one main character narrating the story (props to Randy Mulray and Siggy Farris), I’m going to have several different characters tell their story, which takes place during the buildup of a great war (with an obvious war-is-not-great moral, but I’ll try not to be cliché about it); a writing style that first got my attention when reading Chuck Palahniuk‘s Snuff.
As for when you’ll get to read this work all depends on how long it takes me to write it, which in turn depends on how long it is. I’ve been pretty accurate with my release date estimations but have a tendency to overestimate my word count during the writing process. Right now, it looks like I’m on track to meet my one-novel-every-three-years average (so late-2018), with a likely length of 125,000 words. Before finishing the first chapter, I thought all my ideas would result in a read far more dense, like 300,000 words; but, like with my other books, when I get the ideas on paper, I like to keep things tight. I don’t like a moment of boredom, or a single word to go to waste. An editor for Jill once told me I had so much going on so quickly—a statement I couldn’t deny, originally planning to divide the story into 2–4 separate books—but I refused the suggestion to fluff my material. Reading takes time and it’s very easy to get bored. A reader should be entertained from the first word to the last; and there should be things underneath the surface, between the lines, so the reader is motivated to come back and discover something that wasn’t there the first time. So, will this fifth novel that’s gone from 300,000 words down to 125,000 words perhaps go lower? I doubt it, because unlike Jill, which was a beginning, middle and an end that I thought could be so expansive that I’d have to divide it up; this fifth novel is a beginning, middle and end to the start of a great war. Will I want to write about the war itself and the aftermath of it? Maybe, but that would be two different books. And while I’ve said before that I generally find sequels unnecessary, a sequel(s) to novel #5 might be necessary.
But here’s a critical thing: I don’t want to be that writer who just publishes book after book, as if it’s the size of the bibliography that counts instead of the actual stories. While I don’t think of my work in terms of good or bad (that’s the reader’s job, not the writer’s), my books mean a lot to me and I intend that each of them continue to count for something. A day won’t come when I do this strictly for money or the size of my bibliography or to stay relevant, etc. I write because it makes me happy; sometimes it’s therapeutic, other times I simply just want to write. If the day comes when I stop loving it, I won’t force some piece of tripe into the world. Like I said, reading is hard. It takes time and patience. To present to the world a story so insincere is, to me, a writer’s greatest crime.
I’m not saying I’ve published masterpieces. Again, it’s up to the reader to decide good or bad, not the writer. I fully admit that the grammar Nazis would have a field day with me. But only someone who has absolutely no creative backbone could think that something not printed through those huge publishing houses (most of which have at least a couple of errors of their own) could be free of any grammar issues. There’s a difference between presentable and quality. One is polished, the other may be something that’s tarnished; but many times, the latter has more heart. And despite any shortcomings I have as a writer (like shamelessly starting sentences with “and” and “but”), my work always comes from the heart. And while the criticizers say some pretty funny things, it’s those that enjoyed my books and write me about it who make this all worthwhile. Chef Ben Shewry once told himself after he received one of his first compliments, “[I]f there’s one table that likes it, there will be others.” I don’t see why the same doesn’t go for books.
So even though I write because I love it, it’s the kind words of those who took the time to send me compliments that keeps me going. And, with that said, I’ll get back to writing.
Author Eden Baylee has a very cool blog which features lots of talented authors and excellent new releases. This week she features Schultz’s recently released A Book About a Film, which is the second time he has appeared on Baylee’s site—he was first interviewed by her shortly after Jill’s release. If you are a lit buff, check out her site and titles.
In celebration of A Book About a Film‘s release, all three of C. W. Schultz’s previous novels will be free on e-book for five days each.
Because the author strongly advises that A Book About a Film be read in print, an e-book giveaway will not be available for his fourth book. However, there will be hardcover and paperback giveaways at Goodreads the rest of the year.
www.cwschultz.com has had another makeover! I think the last time the website was updated was back in September 2012 in preparation for the release of Watch and Jill. Well, we’re sticking with the trend of remodeling when an exciting release is approaching, with A Book About a Film coming out sometime in 2015!
Take a stroll through the site and stay tuned for updates on A Book About a Film!
You have probably seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going around the internet lately to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. C. W. Schultz was challenged and he accepted:
www.cwschultz.com had itself a minor makeover. Perhaps some of the most noticeable changes are the consistency in the font sizes and font styles—sometimes, simpler is better. Please browse and enjoy!
“Finally did it. I created a Twitter account. When you finally use it is when you see what all the hype is about.”
Follow C. W. Schultz on Twitter.