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Mimes--WTF Made You Write This?

If you've listened to Mimes, you might be wondering...WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM?

I don't normally write to prompts. It's one of the reasons I guess I'll never be part of those Iron Chef writing competitions. When I spend so much time wandering around the four series I have going, how could I possibly write something that came from someone else?

At Mile-Hi Con last year, I was having a drink with Amanda Kimmerly and Robert Stikmanz of Confabule.com. I can't remember what led to the discussion, but we were talking about traffic and clowns and what not. Rob finally stared me in the eye and dared me to write a story about mimes. Psychotic nasty mimes.

The story lay in my brain for quite some time. All sorts of crazed ideas festered and rotted. I spent time researching the history of clowns and the art of pantomime. The more I looked at things, the less sense they made. I put the story in the back of my mind and forgot about it.

When Rob and Amanda approached me about the 3000 Weeks Project, the first thing that jumped to my mind was the story about mimes. They wanted something new and original from me. And what the hell, I wanted to write a new Fiends-like tale. So I buckled down and started working on it.

I was interrupted by Scrolls, by my work on The Rider, and some really crazy weeks at work. But the story finally came around and smashed me in the head. Until I needed to find an ending... Sigh.

One fateful night, I told the Fiendmistress I was stuck. I told her the basic gist of the story and then...fireworks. "It's a Paul Cooley tale. Obviously, he's going to turn into a mime."

Bang. Boom. Cue nuclear explosion.

The story wrote itself after that. And I finished the last 2200 words in a blinding sprint. It's been years since I've felt that crazed about finishing a story. It was wonderful.

I don't write stories about zombies, or infections, or whatever you want to call it. But I loved the idea of crowds of creepy things chasing a person. Mimes is a one-off. It's not a fiends tale, really. It's more of a horror story that I've written out of love and lust for trying something new. Hopefully you enjoyed listening to it as much as I enjoyed producing it.

So do me a favor. Go visit Confabule.com and check out the rest of the artists and writers involved in the 3000 Weeks Project. Give some cash and get some good stuff. After all, inspiration comes from strange places. And Rob and Amanda are two of the most wonderfully strange people I know.

Cheers.

Fiends--Mimes

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It's Xmas time. That means it's time for me to start delivering your presents. The first is a Fiends tale called "Mimes." And no clowning around, it's pretty nasty. It's also part of the Confabule.com 3000 Weeks Project and will be included in the book of collected stories and artwork for the project.

Hope y'all enjoy.

 

This presentation is copyright 2012 by Paul Elard Cooley.

Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Visit shadowpublications.com for more free stories, essays, and reviews.

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How do you measure success?

An interesting question was posed on this week's "The Dead Robots' Society." As 2012 is currently rolling into 2013, we asked ourselves what our achievements were for the year. "Do you think you were succesful" was followed by writing, business, whatever. 

I read the question as "do you feel successful as a writer." And it made me think a bit.

Since I started releasing my fiction via podcast and then selling a hardcover and many e-books, I've made less money off my writing than I usually make in three days of contract work. And that was at my old, very expensive rate. Yes, it's all relative. I know.

So why the hell do I spend all these hours writing, podcasting, editing, conversing, and etc? Why would anyone work so damned hard for so little money?

I guess because I enjoy it.

Let me level with you. Thousands of folks have downloaded my books via podcast. The vast, and I mean vast, majority didn't purchase the hardcover of Fiends. BTW--if you're looking for signed, limited edition copy of said book, please visit my store. They didn't purchase it for one reason or another. Probably because I was charging too much money for what is essentially a collector's item. Or maybe because they didn't know if was for sale? Possibly because they simply couldn't afford it. So was all the money, time, and risk spent frivilously? Was it a failure?

How come I haven't sold millions of ebooks? Should I feel I have failed because Garaaga's Children, that I thought was a sure thing, hasn't managed to take off like a fighter jet? Was all that effort, the writing, the research, the editing, the podcasting, and etc, simply wasted? How I can possibly feel I've achieved anything less than 0 when I haven't even recouped the cost of a professional editor and artist for nearly every one of my books?

I'll be honest. I put way more effort into what I do than what I'll probably ever get out of it. At least monetarily speaking. I know this. I know the chances of me making a living at this are probably worse than purchasing that big jackpot lotto ticket.

There are better writers out there. I know several of them.  There are stories that are much more satisfying than the ones I write. I read them. There are characters, settings, and plots much more complicated than anything I can dream up. Yup, very well understood.

So what have I achieved?

I'm a writer again. It gives me pleasure. I can act in front of the microphone, bringing my characters and story to life, and it makes me happy. I'm not as popular on the podcast circuit as I once was, but I have lots of listeners. and therefore my words are reaching them. As long as I have listeners, I'll keep podcasting, because that in itself is an achivement.

It took much longer than I'd planned to write Scrolls. I can write an entire essay on why that was, but trust me, it was extremely difficult to finish. But I did it. And the comments I've received tell me I hit the mark. I count that as a great success.

I'm almost finished with the first draft of The Rider, which is my very first science fiction novella. Getting asked by Dark Øverlord Media, by the FDØ himself, in fact, to write a novel in the GFL universe was a huge achievement.

In addition, I'm now part of The Dead Robots' Society which I consider a great honor. But don't tell Justin I said that. I didn't ask to be part of the show, I was asked. Either Justin and Terry are insane, or they think I add something to the show. Yeah, I know, they're crazy.

Basically, this year has been chock full of personal achievements. Money has not been one of them and that will either come or it won't. I work hard at what I do and I'm constantly trying to improve myself. Perhaps one day I'll figure out how to make decent money doing this. Until then, I'll just keep writing, podcasting, coding, and etc.

You keep listening, I'll keep podcasting. You keep reading, I'll keep writing. There are many more stories for me to tell. Stay tuned while I bang them out.

Cheers.

Interview--Confabule And The 3000 Weeks Project

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I sat down with my friends Robert Stikmanz and Amanda Kimmerly to discuss Confabule and the 3000 Weeks Project. Rob and Amanda are creators of great fiction, poetry, and music and are probably the most artistic folks I know. In addition, they have created a new language both in speech and writing. "Dvarsh" is the key language of Rob's fantastic world chronicled in his novels.

I contiributed my new Fiends' tale, "Mimes," to the project and hope you will donate.

 

Essay-- Enter Tony Downs

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A few thoughts about Tony Downs and my most recent e-book releases "The Hunt" and "After Image".

The ebooks are available from Amazon, Smashwords, and BN.com

The Hunt:

After Image:

Music by Nine Nails from their album "The Slip." Please visit their site at NIN.com

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