|JCP News • Issue 2 • February 2008
Beautiful, Mysterious and Bizarre: Erotica by Jordan Castillo Price
TEN THINGS I DO LIKE ABOUT VALENTINE'S DAY:
1. Chocolate. Everywhere.
2. Those cheesy little cards that kids give out in school. I think adults should give them out, too.
3. Store displays full of red, pink, silver and hearts
4. Getting a message you've never seen before on a conversation heart
5. A local, annual chocolate bake-off
6. An excuse to go out to dinner
7. Fun blog posts and valentine related story snippets
8. A cheerful holiday in the middle of a dreary, snow-covered month
9. You don't have to travel across the country to spend it with your family. A card or email will suffice.
10. Day-after half-priced candy!
Jordan on the Web
From Zero Hour
"What did you do to me?" Ernest tried to sit up. The room spun some more. He pressed has hand into the sofa and forced himself upright. He shivered. There was definitely something wrong with the temperature-control.
"I told you to brace yourself."
"That wasn’t coffee. It was something else--a drug."
"What do you think caffeine is? A food group?"
Well, well, well. Its Valentine's Day! I'll have to confess that I'm not a big aficianado of the holiday. If you're single, it's just too emotionally loaded and can easily lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. If you're in a long-term relationship, it's apt to be another one of those, "Gawd, I've got to come up with something for us to do again?" moments. And of course there's the theory that Hallmark created the holiday to make people buy cards.
At the very least, Valentine's Day is a good excuse to enjoy yourself, either by going somewhere special, making a great dinner, or just eating some chocolate. Just keep in mind that we should never need excuses to remind ourselves how fabulous we are!
I've had a lot of positive response to the journal entries that I posted last month. I started journaling about what I was writing as a way to keep my word count high. It seemed that working out some of my mental knots longhand helped clear the way for better productivity at the keyboard.
I've stopped journaling every night as a way to wring more wordcount out of myself. Instead, I feel drawn to it now just as a way to talk to myself about what's going on in the writing process.
Here are a couple of things I journaled about Zero Hour:
Funny how often I write the wrong word when I write longhand! I believe the last line I wrote took a morbid turn and I did indeed delete it. The story is about Ernest's mortality, but I want to make sure he just glosses it over until it gets closer and closer to his last days and he has to start thinking hard about what he's going to do.
Yeah, my Will character just hopped into a scene and did whatever he damn well pleased despite my notes and intentions. I complain about it, but I secretly LOVE IT when my characters just do whatever the heck they want.
I'm always happy to change the plot to fit.
I'd intended Zero Hour to be a long short story, maybe 10k words, but it's going way beyond that. Novella length? It's looking that way. I want to have the whole story posted within the year, so I'll just start putting up two chapters at a time when I see how many there turns out to be.
There's a lot of world-building that has to happen in SF, and unless you want to be a super lazy writer and throw something in like, "As you know, Will, we all live in PODs now...." you've got to include scenes that demonstrate the workings of your world.
And evidently that gets lengthy!
Zero Hour - Chapter 2
Will waved Ernest's question away with a dismissive flick of his hand. He'd draped himself over his side of the coffee bar with a slouch so pronounced that it looked as if his POD's posture-correcting function had been disabled long ago."Nah. That's just Deaconist propaganda they circulate to stop you from putting stuff in your mouth. Besides, what've you got to lose by trying? You've only got, what, how many days left?"
"Thirty. I mean...twenty nine. I guess. I mean...it's my first day."
"And you chose my humble little shop for your inaugural outing? I'm flattered."
Ernest looked up at the LCD, tucked his hair behind his ear and tried to read the price list. He was too flustered to make anything of it. He stared, and he read, and he stared some more. Will wiped a perfectly clean spot on the corner with a spotless cloth, concentrating on it much harder than he needed to.
"You can tell?” Ernest blurted out.
Will looked at Ernest. His eyebrows shot up.
"I mean, uh...I didn't think I'd look retired quite so soon." Ernest glanced over at the white-haired retiree with the book and the intravenous bag, wondering if maybe the old man had stopped breathing during their conversation.
"No, of course not. I figured you were probably somewhere in the first week."
Ernest could see the gleam of the retiree's scalp through his hair. How long had he been retired? Twenty-five days? Twenty?
"But you could definitely tell just by looking at me. That I'm retired, I mean."
"Look. I read body language. That's what I do. I've got a customer service job, and I interact with people all day long. You've got the look of someone fresh out of his POD. That's all. Don't go reading something into it that I didn't say."
Email me at jordan (at) psycop (dot) com
JCP News • Jordan Castillo Price • PO Box 153 • Barneveld, WI 53507