I had a lot of fun drawing and coloring Hichristy, goddess of fire, for the next chapter of “The Cull Sow Queen.” While I finish up this next chapter, I wanted to tell you… you will be able to have a copy—an actual copy of your own—of this entire novel by year’s end. Wow, that was so cool to say. Err… write. Type?
In the Randitty newsletter, I announced that “The Cull Sow Queen” (CSQ) is going to be my first—wow, I am really excited to actually get this out in the open, it’s soo weird to be doing this—my first published novel. Ever. I mean, like… I’ve been working on my horse novel for… I don’t really think I should tell anyone exactly how long it’s been. Well, let’s say I’ve been dreaming of it since the 80s (by the power of Grayskull, I can tell you it’s truly, truly outrageous, and more valiant than Swifty, a warrior princess and all their powers combined…) and I’ve been working on it since I finished college. Since that project is my magnum opus in so many ways, and I do, desperately, need to be published soon, for my own sanity, CSQ is going to be the lighter writing project that I am sure I can actually finish this year.
I will publish a new chapter of the Cull Sow Queen, aka piggy queen weekly (or as close to that as I can get) while I also juggle my horse novel manuscript and other writing projects. So the fun, the very best part of this is, as you read, as you enjoy how the story about the angry woman who raised a hog-riding army and decided to call herself a pig-queen progresses, you are actually also seeing the creation of a novel. Since I really appreciate Ann Lamott’s take on first novels and first drafts (you should read her writer’s guide “Bird by Bird”), I’ve got no problem telling you that CSQ, while tough and compelling, while outrageous and daring, while packed full of random pig facts and barbecue jokes (didn’t know I was going to try for that, did ya?), this story is growing up as well and I’m practicing my storytelling as I go, so it’ll be a bit like a “shitty first draft.” (Again, a la Ann Lamott.) This means that, I’m going to give it my best, but these blogged chapters are not actually going to be word-for-word, the final text of the novel I intend to fully develop and offer online for you guys to buy and keep a copy of at the end of 2017.
I can tell you already that there are some chapters I’d like to add and re-do, and I’m even imagining a far stronger opening for the novel that sinks teeth right into the action…
Things like that are harder to see when you’re blogging. Drastic structural edits aren’t easily managed when you’re trying to create pithy blog posts week-by-week, publishing as you go within a short time frame and no do-overs. At that, I honestly, and I’m being completely up front with you though I probably shouldn’t, believe that blogging is absolutely not the way to build a novel, or complex stories.
Novel’s don’t… blog. They take their time, they build up tension. In a novel, you can spend a paragraph or two or three explaining why a tendril of a sprig of a branch of a tree, drifting in the morning light in such a way during a misty sprinkle on the second story of a rainforest where hummingbirds rival at dawn… you see? By the time I’ve done all that, most people’s lunch breaks are over and they don’t have time to finish. Or, they’ve already clicked back over to Instagram. Though my own favorite procrastination tool of all time is searching for AMVs to my favorite songs/video games on YouTube… Have you seen “I’m the Boss” by Big Bad Bosses yet? Totally obsessed with them. Anyway, back to writing this blog post…
So! Enjoy the ride. It’ll be like one of those cool old fashioned wooden rollercoasters that yank you all over the place and chatter your teeth before the excellent drop. And I’m sure I will love the process too. I’m very pleased with this plan for CSQ. I’ll keep posting new chapters of the piggy queen novel-in-progress until the start of summer. Then, when summer starts, I’m going to shift over to another story idea that I have (something about fashion disasters and spywork… more on that later). After that, the next time you see our resident piggy queen, she’ll be putting on that last bit of lipstick and donning her pearls (I think this one swine-lady can manage getting after those) for one final teaser before the book is available for you to buy, own and keep forever and ever. I do plan to illustrate the book too, so that’ll be another fun challenge.
Thanks again to everyone for reading Randitty and for being so encouraging. Finding the time for something you care about so much, outside of your normal routine, giving up your free time for it— that is never easy, and sticking to that is even tougher, as I’m sure a lot of you other dreamers out there know. And therein also lies the irony of my having a fiction blog whilst I realize they may not be the most effective—I desperately need my little writer’s soap box, guys. Everybody has to start somewhere.
The next chapter of CSQ will be published in the coming week. And then, you’ll get to see more of the beautiful fire goddess Hichristy. Also very important: Love her hair.