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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Excerpt 7/18/17 "The Owl from Oblivion"

"The Owl from Oblivion", 196,233 words adoption

Anashivalia deeply imbibes the narcotic vapors of her books, preparing to defend her British composure against the emotional onslaught of the uncivilized brutality perpetrated upon the boy she wishes was her son—instead of Stefan—a boy of exceptional kindness and civility, one in need of a parental haven, unlike Stefan’s dragging of his parentage behind him like a burdensome ball and chain shackle. Syon is dirty and unkempt, shivering uncontrollably from extended exposure to the morning cold.  She quickly descends the stairs, grabs her keys from behind the register, and unlocks the front door. The boy enters the store and she locks the door behind him. “Syon, how long have you been standing out there?”

“Oh, just a little while,” he says whimsically, with a big smile meant to hide the pain he is feeling. 

“So you have been out there for at least an hour. What happened this time? It seems your mother turned you out without breakfast or even making sure you were presentable.” 

Anashivalia picks a stack of books up off the large worktables, sorting them onto the bookstore shelves while dreaming of Syon being her son, working in the bookstore with her.

“She didn’t feel inclined to get out of bed this morning. Besides, I love matching my dear friend Ty.”

“Ty has a certain allowance, due to not having a proper mother.”

“Neither do I,” mumbles Syon. 

Anashivalia examines Syon’s expression. She detects that his cheerfulness is a deception. “Did your mother give you grief about your hair?”

“She screamed at me for half an hour and then tried to scrub it out with dish soap.”

“Just shampoo should have taken it out. I ensured it wasn’t permanent hair color.”

“Um…” He pauses. “During chemistry lesson-time yesterday, Stefan explained how he turned it into a permanent dye. That way, he said, I could always be his son. He said I needed a new father.” A few tears drop from Syon’s eye.

Anashivalia puts a pile of books down on the table and walks over to Syon. She lifts up some of his hair to reveal bloody sores on his scalp. She gives him a tight hug. He sniffles and moans slightly. Anashivalia kisses him on his cheek and breaks their embrace. “All right, turn around and let me see.”

Syon turns his back towards her and lifts his shirt up. “Leonard thrashed me to get my insanity out of me and put some real brains in me. He said maybe I would start acting like a man and not embarrass them in front of their friends.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book excerpt from July 14th

"The Owl from Oblivion", 195,567 words

Excerpt from 7/14/17.

Jenny and Theo2 chuckle again.

“Sanctimonious assholes,” thinks Tyco. “And you, Jenny, are the biggest sucker for just glossing over my murder of that little boy from the Sun Gods. It is just so convenient for you. You never have thought about how that act might have changed me. Shit, I don’t even trust myself now. Man, Ty knows. You separate him from me and there’s no telling what I might do. 

“I loved that Sun God kid. He was so noble, worrying what would happen to me, ready to sacrifice himself for the good of everyone. Either you chicken-shits didn’t bother to get the Guardian to show you what transpired or if you watched it, you are bigger fools than I thought. Perhaps the latter since you foolishly walked into Anashivalia’s web of deceit, ready to have your minds sucked dry by her spidery entanglements.”

“I sense, Ty, that you would make an excellent member of the council one day,” says Theo2. “In the future, Earth will need a representative on the council. You never know, you might get to serve in that way when you are older.”

“I will never get to serve then because I will never be older than eight or bigger,” says Ty in his tiny, timid voice.

“Well perhaps, Ty, you can teach the council, or the Federation for that matter, about immortal children who remain young forever. We have no experience with how their minds work or how much responsibility their maturity or lack thereof would allow them to accept. I suspect your trip to the Federation will give us some of that knowledge.”

“There you go, Ty,” says Elof2. “You are safe from dissection.” Ty squeaks like a little mouse on the ‘dissection’ word. “Instead, they will just endlessly interrogate you.”

Theo2 crosses his arms. “I don’t understand why you heap such ridicule on us. Will we have to endure this in all dealings with you?” Theo2 purses his lips.

“Shit Theo2,” thinks Tyco in his morose twelve-year-old psyche. “I can see your pathetically little, ringed, Federation space station with my jaunt tunnel right now. I could jaunt there, activate my shield, blow a hole in the side of the space station with the beam from my palm, and watch all you hollow-skulls—all the ruling council members—explode in the vacuum of space. Then I could just jaunt home. 

“Geez, after hearing about our ability to jaunt without a boost in power from the Guardian… and seeing what I did to that kid… that poor Sun God kid… didn’t you want to like… interview  me or something to see if I was some kind of evil being. Man I sure would like to know. Maybe I wouldn’t use my shield. I deserve to die for what I did to that kid. 

"He squealed so much… I wonder if I would have time to scream before my Sun God instilled power source exploded. I wonder if I would beg like he did for someone to end my pain. I wonder what it feels like to hurt that bad, you know, like when you are going to die and nothing can stop it. 

"Would my parents be happy, freed from worrying about their weird son with his dangerous talents… the very talents the Maya of the past feared?” He mentally chuckles in a melancholy, sad way, regretting the potential loss of the bit of normalcy in his life his parents give. “At least my dad, the professor, wouldn’t have to worry about me being smarter than he is.” For the first time in his life, Tyco has admitted to himself the implications of the changes to his body.

Book Excerpt July 10th

"The Owl from Oblivion", 194,554 words

Book Excerpt posted on Twitter July 10th.

Jenny materializes on the matter-transport pad, holding a hollow hexagonal shaped, crystalline vessel. She runs over to Theo’s ashes, kneels down, unscrews the vessel’s lid, and frantically brushes and scoops the dust from Theo into the vessel. Stefan stands up and Tova2 walks over, standing beside him, pulling him close to her side. He reciprocates.

Tova2 whispers in his ear, “Not now, my love. We are still performing our royal duties.” They both begin to look down at Jenny as she frantically works. She carefully screws the cap onto the vessel and then realizes everyone is watching her. She stands up tentatively, cuddling the vessel tightly.

“You do realize that I will be giving him back to you free of cancer and certain vulnerabilities he had before,” says Stefan softly.

“Schillerenes’ folly, Atreyeu. You are so daft.”

“It’s Stefan now, and why do you cuddle a vessel full of salt and carbon?”

“Because this was Theo, my Theo, the kind man who saved me, was a father to me, and who I swore I would protect his entire life. It was my debt to him for loving me so strongly despite… despite… despite me being abandoned, thrown away in a desert… he loved me and cherished me anyway… even though I was thrown away like reproductive garbage. I loved him with all my heart and filled the lonely void he had.”

“But you will be able to continue to love him and I am sure he will love you,” says a troubled Tova2. 

“You and Dad never understood… never. You abandoned me like all the other children you made, with never a thought.”

“But it is our way, right Atreyeu?” Tova2 says with tears in her eyes, turning toward Stefan.

“You will never understand, Atreyeu, never. Theo needed me. And I needed to repay him—a debt I could never give him enough to repay. Now I will never be able to repay him. He will never need me again—never need my protection, my physical care, my love, and my affection. You have freed him from his physical limitations and now, I am a burden that prevents him from truly exploring who he has become.”

She collapses in tears, hugging the crystalline vessel tightly.

Book Excerpt June 27th

"The Owl from Oblivion", 189,655 words

Book excerpt from June 27th posted on twitter.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

This Week at a Publishing Startup: Decisions

This week in a #publishing startup: a week of decisions. Doing the calculations, I found out that to make the potentially 480pg illustrated 8x10 hardcover Series 2 "The Owl from Oblivion" economically feasible to sell, I would have to have a 5000 book print run with 1900 books being received by people contributing $60 to my planned Kickstarter. That's a big #Kickstarter. I'm sure the book will be worth it but communicating that to a prospective donor in a way that will motivate enough people to go that far will be an immense marketing problem. It won't be the biggest book Kickstarter ever, so that will be good. Anyway that's a marketing problem that will have to be solved in the future. The decision this week is who is going to print this book and how would I receive the books. The interesting thing is that China is gone as a possible printer. China printers do not want to risk the Trump irrational response so they have chosen not to play. They have raised shipping costs and printing costs to high levels to cover the perceived risk. Here's irony for you: "The US is too risky a country to be a good customer." One went so far as to think it was okay just to dump an ocean shipping container on my doorstep. Ha ha ha, too funny. So I confined my search to North American offset book printers and finally found two that offered economically viable prices. They both seem to be very good printers that will do a very high quality print job, which is important since many pages are illustrated. This search was very hard. Most American presses print books at outrageous prices, especially a fine color collectable book like this one will be. They like to print cheaply made books on crappy paper in black and white.  I guess that's what the masses still want to buy. Read and discard, not keep as a treasured item. When you are starting a company in a place with some of the highest real estate prices in the world, receiving 12 42"x42" pallets weighing 1750lbs each is no easy matter. But I believe I have that problem solved. The hardest problem though will be to convince you to show up to the Kickstarter and convince you to donate and receive this beautiful book as a gift.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Plans for the Final Release of The Owl from Oblivion

The plans for the final "The Owl from Oblivion" book seems to be cementing around a large 8x10 (children's picture book size) book with illustrations throughout. The book is not a children's picture book but an in depth novel that will be in somewhat of a #literary #fiction style with detailed characterizations. The novel will be long. The list price for bookstores will be $30.99 I think. What I wonder is if people will pay $30.99 for the novel. With the book being large, illustrated format, it needs that price. The book will be printed on heavy glossy paper on an offset press, not a POD self-publishing press. So it should look great! The final two professional edits and the initial 4000 book printrun will be paid for by a Kickstarter. For a $55 donation, people will get a signed copy of the final book. I'll need 1900 people to donate to the Kickstarter. I think that is going to be really tough to achieve. Hopefully, as the Kickstarter gets closer, I can motivate people to sign up. The prequel, "The Sophistan Children of Earth" will follow after "The Owl from Oblivion" launch. I think it will be in the same 8x10 format, but we'll have to see how "The Owl from Oblivion" does. Feel free to comment and tell me what you think of these plans.