Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Book Release - Tall Pauley

I have finally published Tall Pauley on Kindle and through Smashwords, which is now distributing to all other e-reader retailers such as Kobo, Sony, iBooks, etc.  I tried my hand at illustrating this one as well.  If you don't have an e-reader, you can get a PDF version at Smashwords.com.
 
By the end of 2013 you should be able to see it published in paperback through Lulu.com which also distributes to Amazon.com
 
Audio books are now well within my reach and it is my hope to get Tall Pauley and other books you may have heard me read from into this format in 2014.  If you would like to be apprised of the release of my audio books and other new releases, please feel free to sign up through my account at Mail Chimp.  Mail Chimp is a simple e-mail distribution service used by thousands of people and businesses.  I promise to only send you new release notices and you can always unsubscribe.
 
Have a wonderful, happy, joyful holiday season.  
Merry Christmas!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tall Pauley Finished!

I finally finished my second novel now entitled Tall Pauley.  In previous posts it was entitled Saint Pauley, but under the influence of my first readers, I changed the name.  And I think it is a much better fit.  If you want to read portions of the final version, you can go to Authonomy.com.  I have posted the first 12 chapters there.  You can give feedback to what you read there as well.  So, when I say the book is "finished" what I really mean is that I am letting it breath before I attempt to publish it.

The last few weeks of a book are some of the most grueling things to deal with.  I have to approach it as a job and that there are certain things that must be done to get it as close to complete as possible.  No matter how many times I read it, there always seems to be something that could be better and there are always typos! 

But a long time ago I learned some important things about art.  I am a visual artist as well as a writer, although coming to terms with myself as a writer took far longer!  In those early days of being a college art student I over-painted and over-drew many pieces.  Some of those things an eraser could take care of, others required being repainted, and yet others just were not worth any more time and effort.  But, each piece taught be something new.  I learned to see each piece as a step in the right direction--no matter how awful or wonderful it had come out.  And here is what I learned in that process.  All art is a process.  It is a beautiful, magnificent, hard-won battle to create and re-create something from my imagination. 

There is something else I learned as well.  And that is that art in its "final" form is never perfect.  I still look at some of my paintings and drawings and think of how that part could be different, or that color could have been deeper, or . . . That could go on ad infinitum! But to truly let it be what it is, one part of the process, I have to let it be what it is. I have to leave it alone standing on its own merits, permitting the viewer to think and say about it what they will.  Only when I got to this point could I enjoy my own art and not over-draw or over-paint it into ugly muddiness.

Because of those early lessons in visual art, I found it easy to translate that into the art of writing fiction.  With my first fictional love being short stories, this process is a far easier thing than that of a novel.  I used to wonder why authors would only publish one book a year.  Now I know!  The love and care and feeding and revising and editing and adding and subtracting--this is the stuff of writing.  And then I have to let it go!  I have to let it go to stand on its own merits.  I also need to let it go so that I can continue to improve.  If I stay in that one novel, what opportunities would I miss by taking on a new subject or a new point of view?  I don't ever want to miss an opportunity to explore and create more. So I will let Tall Pauley rest and move on to another adventure in art.

M.R. Hyde  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Another Post from "a Misspent god"

I'm working diligently on this story and trying to finish my second novel now titled Tall Pauley (instead of Saint Pauley)--thanks to my first readers.  The final drafts of both of these represent some serious toiling with words. There is much to do, much to do.  But I love it.

I thought that I had better post something, though, to help me push forward.  So, here's a bit more from a chapter entitled "The Metalworker."

__________________________________________



I wandered for several more cycles of the sun. I wandered in and out of villages and towns observing the work and the ways of the lower ones. Often I would hear the names of the gods invoked in prayer, cursing or woven into conversations such as this. "I was plowing the field three days ago when it rained, Gersemi be praised.”  It seemed everywhere I went they praised or invoked the names of a myriad of gods.  There were times I shook my head in disbelief. 

One time in particular, I must tell you, I was sitting near a fountain. Many lower ones milled around me. I overheard one sitting close by saying, "Honor be to Ogmios!" I cannot recall the context in which it was said, but I scoffed at his name. I thought I had done this under my breath, but the man who spoke heard me say this. He turned on me and cried out his displeasure, which gathered quite a large crowd. He leapt to his feet and cried out, "This man has no respect for Ogmios!" To which I cried out, unfortunately, "I have no respect for any of your gods!" This was not the thing to say, no matter how true it was to my thoughts. Within a very short time I was being drug out of the town and stones were being collected of which they intended to hurl at me.  Do they not understand that the very stones they picked up were the same stones that have fallen from the mountains? How one stone could be used as a weapon, another a part of the wall, another considered rubbish to be thrown out on the field and yet another to be a god is completely beyond my understanding! 

At the moment that I was to feel the true effects of stone against flesh, I sensed some of my old powers return. Perhaps this happened because I was nearing the end of my trial period.  For whatever reason I was able to loose myself and ran from their midst. I ran for half of the day then became somewhat hungry. I would need sustenance for only a short while more.

On the outskirts of another small town I saw a small alcove with a small figure of a god tucked inside.  It was surrounded by dead and freshly picked flowers. There was an odd smell of decay and sweetness. What lay at the base of the alcove was the real find! There was quite a large pile of fruit and nuts. I took small bites of these at first, and finding them delicious, soon ate my fill, decimating the large pile of fruit. I left only pits and stems for the worshipers to discover. After all, they might enjoy some proof that what they gave to a god was indeed gladly received of a god. I believe I was fortunate that no one found me there. I imagine they would have picked up more stones to teach me proper respect for their tiny statue.

I wandered the streets for a time, exploring their marketplace. Soon after, I entered a shop that was very well kept. Inside were small and large images made of what I learned was silver, a precious material considered to be of great value. I recognized some of the images as similar to what the stonemason had been carving. This was a shop filled with the images of gods. I almost laughed out loud at their large eyes, protruding lips and strange clothing. It was apparent that the imaginations of the lower ones were quite crude.

A big voice behind me interrupted my reflections on this matter. I turned to see a rather large man. His eyes danced with the prospect of the exchange of coins for gods. His wide mouth was filled with teeth as white as snow. It reminded me somewhat of my father's smile, broad but without great brushes of ridicule.

Copyright M.R. Hyde 2013


Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Releases

Greetings, readers. I wanted to let you know that I am making a way for you to get notifications when I release a new book.  You won't get many of notifications, perhaps one or two a year. And you will get first run at my newest publications.

I'm working through an online marketing tool called Mail Chimp, which promises to never release your information to anyone but me.  And I promise not to abuse this service because I just want you to know about any new books and free books I publish.  So, it's as simple as going to this link. http://eepurl.com/BpBwD

This link will also always be available on the blog main page for access at any time.

Typically I publish the ebook version first and then a paperback via Lulu.com.  Lulu is now also distributing directly to Amazon.com.  If you are an Amazon/Kindle addict you will be able to get everything in one spot. Of course these are available at many other fine ebook retailers as well including Apple devices, Sony Reader or Barnes & Noble Nook. 

I'm planning on releasing Saint Pauley sometime later this year and have another volume of short stories I'm trying to finish up.  This second short story collection will include the very popular "Pockets" story.  

Thank you for being a part of my writing world and loving words as much as I do!

Keep reading!

M.R. Hyde


Saturday, July 13, 2013

"a Misspent god" Continues

I was back again last night at the CSWRS. Thanks to Mandy Solomon for her good leadership and bringing us wonderful writers to broaden our local horizons!

So, here is what I read aloud last night in the continuing saga of "a Misspent god."  Frankly, this story is not easy to write. It does not seem difficult because of the first-person perspective nor because of the content.  Rather, it is difficult to write because I want to be so very careful in building the plot to a phenomenal point of conflict.  Carefully, carefully I trod toward a resolution by which I am completely intrigued.

The Crone

I found a plateau nearby strangely vacant of vegetation and sufficiently flat enough for me to lay out full length.  Tiny deer fled from the nearby rocks as my shadow darkened their habitat.  Because the crone had ignored my calls I lay down and watched the clouds.  Presently a hawk flew overhead and I reached up and gently tapped its tail feathers and laughed when it careened through the air screaming at me to leave it alone.  Soon it flew out of my reach and I went to sleep in the hot sun.

The next thing I recall was the ground trembling.  I woke in a shadow—the shadow of my father walking toward me.  I did not know how I should or could react.  I was at his mercy as I lay there. The earth ceased trembling as he stopped near my side.  I blinked up at his aspect.  The sun crowned his head with its brilliance. This is what he said to me.  “Helgeror tells me you bested her at the library.”  There was a groundswell of challenge in his voice, but I did not respond.  “I would test you now in this matter.  However, your mother has told me she has sent you to the crone for a journey to the lower realms.  So, I shall test you later.”  And with that, and not waiting for any response from me, he turned and walked off of the plateau and into his chariot, a great cloud of dust in his wake.  I hated him even more then and determined that I would never permit him to test me.  I felt my feet slip off the edge of the plateau and realized that I had grown even taller as he spoke to me.  I was glad for this, for I had hoped that someday he might fear me as much as I feared him.  Then I slept again.

The crone woke me in the obscurity of twilight.  She stood by my ear which was as tall as she.  Her voice was gentle, but her aspect with harsh.  She had been legendary for her beauty.  But now her legend was made of other things.  She woke me with these words:  “So, this the son of Ogmios and Ernmos.  You have come at your mother’s bidding.  What does she want of me?”  I stretched and the plateau trembled.  I was in no particular hurry, so I sat up slowly.  The crone was behind me then and she had to shout up at me.  “You will have to lay back down, boy, if you want to speak with me!”  At this I reached around behind me and grabbed her in my fist.  I swung her up near my face.  “Or,” I declared to her in a small clap of thunder, “you will come to me!”

She was unimpressed and her eyes were as dark as midnight.  She closed them slowly and her aspect grew larger in my eyes.  In the next moment I realized that she was not growing, rather I was becoming smaller.  Soon my grip around her was strained and I could no longer hold on to her.  She laughed at me and cried out with delight, “How small do you wish to be, little god?  How small?!”  I only called out to her when I saw her ankle bones at the bottom of her tattered skirt.  Then everything stopped.  She leaned over and one dark, black eye blinked in my face.  Her breath was hot and heavy like a summer’s day at the seashore and it reeked of garlic.
 
She told me three things.  The first was that by sunrise I would be the size of a man of the lower realms.  The second was that I would remain in that form for only six turns of the sun.  And, finally, I was to have no powers except that of the lower ones.  I protested loudly, especially on that last measure.  But, she laughed and said that my father had made this so.  Then with a blink of that terrible eye she was gone.

Copyright M.R. Hyde July 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

More from "a Misspent god"

I had a wonderful time back at the Colorado Springs Writers Reading Series last night.  There were many middle-school students there braving perhaps their first public reading.  It was great to be back after a long absence.

I read from my story about a god in a pantheon of gods who refuses to use his power.  Here is the selection I read last night.

War with Helgeror

One morning in the library I was lolling around and strolled onto the veranda from the third floor. The clouds had lifted and the sea stretched out magnificently before me. I stared into the long and bright horizon aware of nothing more than its beauty. A voice startled me. I turned to see Helgeror emerging from a shadowy corner. She spoke softly, but with her usual gravity. "What are you thinking about, dear brother?" she asked of me. I will never forget this question, for her words were rich with the pathways of deceit. I told her that I was thinking of nothing but beauty. "Do you not think of war?" she asked quite pointedly. War. I did not understand the need to bring up such a topic. But she pressed on. "War," she said to me, "is an important part of being a god." I chose to listen if only to learn the ways of my enemy. Helgeror turned toward the ocean and moved nearer the edge of the veranda. She soliloquized on the value of war, its place in the realm, its purpose in maintaining godly hierarchy and its necessity for containing the lower realms. I listened with curiosity and loathing. Mother and Gersemi never spoke this way. When Helgeror was finished she turned to me and said, "It is time you learned war. Father has sent me to teach you." Father! This was the first I knew he even thought of me. Helgeror approached me rapidly, turned my arm behind my back and threw me to the ground. "This is war," she hissed as she pressed her knee into the small of my back and leaned over near my ear. Her long braid coiled around my head as a viper. I did not struggle against her. There was more to learn. She rasped her next words into my ear. "You shall know war from me, brother."

What happened next was exhilarating and terrifying. I felt every fiber of my being course with new strength. I had a new and full understanding that Helgeror could never defeat me and that I could annihilate her. I leapt to my feet and faced her only to realize that I had grown a league taller than her in that instant. She backed away swiftly, but not swiftly enough. I bent down and grabbed her by one leg, pulled her up into the air and then slammed her against the marble floor. Her braid smacked against the veranda wall and then I heard a terrible sound. The marble cracked beneath her and the ground began to tremble. I could hear the books in the library falling from their shelves. And then I saw it. It was only for an instant. Helgeror was afraid of me. She did not linger in that moment though and struggled to get up, roaring in defiance. But I pinned her legs against the marble. As the ground continued to shake, a great fissure split open beneath her head. Her braid swiftly began to slither toward it, but she grabbed it and swung it at me wildly. I wrapped it around my hand and held her fast by braid and leg. Then I spoke to her and this is what I said. "I will have no war with you." It was as simple as that. But then I began to tremble. She felt it and began to laugh a terrible, mocking laugh. I pulled her up and set her on the flattest part of the now broken veranda. I towered over her taller than I ever thought possible. Helgeror cackled and then she said to me, "I will war with you, my brother. If not by strength, then by cunning." Another laugh dominated hers. I turned to see my father looking on from another mountaintop. His face was fierce with pride. His teeth flashed in the sunlight. I looked down in the valley and could see lower ones running for shelter, covering their heads as they ran and rocks tumbling down the mountainside. I looked my father in the eye and then turned my back on his laughter, walking to the next mountain, sullen and dazed by my own power.

Mother told me that she sensed my change of mood very soon. She had been to the library not long after my first war and watched from a safe and hidden corner as Helgeror re-braided her hair with her feet swinging over the edge of the new crevasse. Mother told me once that she loved Helgeror, but I did not believe her when she said it. It seemed more like respect and fear but not love, not the kind of love I felt from our mother.

Copyright M.R. Hyde 2013


Friday, April 12, 2013

New Story Start: the Misspent god

Ever since I read Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis I've been ruminating on a story about a god or a king or a queen or someone with incredible power.  And I'm still intrigued and challenged to write something in first-person.  I took a mythology course in High School that has stuck with me, am fascinated by Norse mythology and love the movie Thor (of all the superhero movies, one of the most Shakespearean --Thank you, Mr. Branagh).  So, it just seems like the natural next step to take up the subject in earnest.  Enter stage left:  Oldenvort.  Here is the beginning of what may be a short story, a long short story or another novel.  Who knows how far it will go?  This is what I love about writing fiction! (And yes, the missed caps are intentional.)

the Misspent god



I died on the third floor of the library, facing west—wonderful, oceanic west, with the sea sparkling as I had forgotten that it could.  Shall I tell you how I came to such a place of death?  It comes to mind that the beginning would be a good place to start, although I am far more intrigued by the ending of things than their beginnings.  Where I now reside has no beginning and no end. But, I do think that you may need a beginning.  However, the middle of things tends to be much more dramatic than the beginning or the end—ah, I diverge as I am prone to do. 

The beginning was full of my unthrottled cries and my mother’s heavy and newly unburdened sleep.  The midwives, I was told repeatedly, were nearly as exhausted as my mother.  So, few words were spoken as they cleaned my flailing body.  “This one will be great in the midst,” said one midwife to the other.  A wink and a nod were the only other two parts of the weary conversation.

Bound, but this time in coarse cloth and not my mother’s fleshy belly, I fought as Prometheus to loose myself from the woven fetters. Soon, through much writhing and wrestling, I freed myself with such zeal that the golden cradle that held me tipped to one side and I rolled free of its clutches. Having rolled several times, I then lay beneath a large, rustic table obscured by shadow and hidden from any searching eye. You may find it incredible that I neither cried out nor suffered any pangs of hunger and that I recall this event in its entirety. I was born a god, remember everything and have suffered much from both.

For seventeen cycles of the sun I lay there silently beneath the table. I remember feet the better part of that time. The feet of the nurse-maids, filthy and rough, the boots of the guards, stolid and polished, the loose and scuffed shoes of the conscripts searching for me, and the boots of my father. These were great boots with bronze scales reflecting any light by day or night. The leather soles were as thick as my leg and the straps were as wide as my hand. The ground shook as he walked and all souls quaked at his entrance.

I believe this was the first time I hated him. I could hear the trembling in their voices as he questioned and accused. And I comprehended his power that could bend the heavens and the earth to his will. In my infancy, in my beginning, I vowed that I would not wield that power. And thus my journey began—a journey of diminishment. It was a journey solely designed to dismantle the power of my father’s voice. I am Oldenveldort and this is my tale.

Copyright M.R. Hyde 2013