Work in Progress: The Steppencow

I’ve been doing Spring cleaning in my place and that means I often find something interesting.  In this case, I found a stash of computer print outs of drafts of stories I lost in the Russian Virus Attack and Hard Drive Wipe of 2006.  I just had to share the outline of one of them today.  I’m in one of those moods.  😉

The Steppencow

Barry Ballovitch through of himself as the Steppencow, was a yak of the steppes.  This was a secret he kept to himself.

He had set aside his personal desires to find a good, solid job.  He worked as a clerk in the Department, for the Company.

Once he had settled into his job to support his family he felt content.  Two decades passed.  After such a long period of service, he began to feel the desire to break free from the constraints of his comfortable life.

Barry took his life savings, bought a Sil limousine and toured the Country.  He stayed out late, danced and drank in clubs.

In the middle of the eastern country, among the waves of grass, Barry left his luxury car and bought a horse and carriage.  He rode it into the sky, into the setting sun.

It’s Hesse with a dash of Kafka and Thorne Smith.  😉


Review Schedule and Policy Update

I have recently been reading some good books, but I haven’t finished them yet.  I do intend to review them.  My Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone review wasn’t all that positive.  I find it easier to write a review which points out the flaws in a work than write a positive review.  My positive reviews can be summed up as:  It had cool stuff in it.  When I write a negative review, I am more engaged in the material and more engaged in how it is flawed than I am with a review of a book I liked.

Also, a fairly common response of mine to reading a book which I actively loathed is the desire to write a savagely satirical pastiche of the piece.  I feel it is the least I can do in response to an author committing a written atrocity.

Of the books I have read all the way through this year, a dozen of them, I haven’t read one bad book.  I hope to review them all eventually.

Murph World: A sarcastic satirical post apocalyptic setting

I created Murph World back in 1981, as a setting for Dungeons & Dragons.  Unfortunately, the rules weren’t robust enough to support the kind of setting and characters I wanted to create.  It was a “demented Dungeons & Dragons concept album”, to quote a Playboy review of some obscure heavy metal work.

I set it aside until the late Eighties, when I got the itch to write fiction again.  I didn’t refine it until a few years later, on a walk to the library during the early  Nineties.  That’s when I described the three major characters of the setting and began to write about them.  They were Yorkirk of Mullin’bone, his sidekick Meteor Mellow and their friend Orange Zunigia.  I was inspired to do it in part because I read Cerebus by Dave Sim and he created those kinds of characters.

I didn’t get back to them again until early April of last year.  I had learned that of the death of someone who attempted to be my writing mentor on AOL, author A.C. Crispin.  She tried her best to teach me how to write according to her methods, and failed.  I already had a voice and a methodology.  They were just like nothing she’d ever seen before.  To get to the point, I was feeling low, so I decided to pick up my spirits and honor her memory by revising and expanding Murph World one more time.

This particular post is about one of the supporting characters, the Acolyte and Ward of Bishop Turpin of the Tine, the major religious figure in the setting.  Her name is Flossy.  Flossy the Sexually Explicit Cat Girl.  I blame Douglas Adams for that one.  There is irony in her name.  She is not sexually explicit in any way.  She is charismatic.  People respond to her as if she were sexually explicit.