Monday, March 28, 2011

Starting Pistol


And we're off. 12 Stories High is off to the races. Intense work was done over the weekend to go over all edits, the application of edits. We're looking good. This after noon, around 2 o'clock, the final interior of the book was given to the printers. A final proof was ordered, and all will be well for approval for the distributors to update their catalogs with the new volume of 12 Stories High: The Imaginative Thru a Black Mind. I'm in the middle of working on a re-lease commercial. Completely threw out the script for the one I was working on. Is starting to look completely different.

A journey at an end, and a new one coming right on its heels. Not just talking about the next writing project, or the next release (2 Enlighten The G.O.D.Z.), but a major business over haul for Ancient-Art-Facts. A lot of planning was done over the weekend while the editors were hard at work to make sure 12 Stories High was spotless. The company's new direction can, for the moment, only be described as 'maturing', much like my writing. The company too has to fit its output. More on this as it develops.

Until then, stay tuned.

b write black (most likely with the announcement of 12 Stories High's re-release)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gun Jump

Got a little ahead of ourselves. There will be one more go through for 12 Stories High this weekend. One last sweep. A final approval, and then it's off to the printer for the final time.

Stick 'em up punk!

b write black

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

12 Story High Rise

All commercials have been updated, but not uploaded. The book has been sifted through to see if there needed any cleanup on the application (and there did, plus some re-edits, and of course, looking through those as well. We have this book looking good.

I'll say this, we might not have caught everything--hopefully the major typos and glaring edits have been scooped up and tossed away for good, but the book looks and reads amazing. Its flow is exactly as it should have been so long ago.

Much like A Company of Moors, this book too is a release. The core 4 are in effect. I feel like we're getting to the real stuff when it comes to the stories I want to tell, and the pretentious 'deeper meanings' I want to showcase. This go around for 12 Stories didn't leave me as exhausted as when I originally wrote the book between '05 and '06. I didn't have to compose original stories, convert stories from finished and unfinished screenplays, short films, or re-work old short stories and characters and themes. There was just the edit. At first, it seemed daunting, especially when I hit the first story. I tried to edit it from an actual copy of the book. That didn't go well at all. I had to go back into the actual document and damn near re-write the story. Did that for all of them. When the flow of the stories were intelligible and readable, and all the upfront angry, nigger-militant tone and voice was [somewhat] removed, the stories became tolerable, even from my point-of-view.

But, I was never really bogged down with having literary-schizophrenia. When I first wrote these stories, putting them together within this compilation, there was no time to pause or sleep. And I wrote loooong hours into the night and early morning, only to rest and jump 'write' back into it. Then I edited. That also doesn't include the eight other stories I wrote that didn't make the cut, or the stories I composed as outlines and notes that I spent time on, but did not pursue. Some of those stories will make their way into other works. Then came editing, which we all know, with my tired eyes, and just me, didn't do all that well. That goodness for little-to-no promotion.

The next release up should come between October and December of this year . 2 Enlighten the G.O.D.Z.

[EDIT: I am well aware that the teasers say 'August'. Everything has been pushed back because 12 Stories did not come in February, but April]

All elements for Ray Cosico to use for a cover have been in his hands for a while. We talked on the phone a couple times just recently. Ray should have a rough draft within a month or two (or three). I'll probably a couple more glances at the interior before deciding that it is in its final phase. Of course, I will begin writing a new project (as I have spoken about, all the notes and things) come late April or mid-May.

Maybe even June 1st.

Again, like A Company of Moors, I'm diggin' the fact I have some breathing time.

Writing is always an adventure.

b write black

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For the most part, on this new project, I have the chronology, and I've definitely have the mood and tone of the piece. It fluxes between mystical-magical, noire, and even a hint of a Western, not in the sense that it takes place in the Old West, or even in America's South West--but a sense that some of the characters carry themselves like old school gunslingers. Badass, without being cliche.

The main character has been fun to shape. One of the things I liked about going back to 12 Stories High is that it put me in the focus of centering on one character, something I haven't concentrated on since composing 12 Stories High initially between '05 and '06. The Ronin Poetz and 2 Enlighten The G.O.D.Z., even further back. Although, clearly, the main character for Code-47 (Keith Joseph) is the focus, I still view it as an ensemble because its written in the same aspects of a heist film. The concentration is not always on Keith, but also on the other crew members and their specialties. And A Company of Moors has at least 20,000 characters, each of which gets his or her own focus. Hey, it's a historical epic that has twice the amount of words (220,000+) than a traditional epic novel (110,000).

At first, the main character started off as someone determined for revenge. The revenge aspect has been taken away. Too cliche. The determination remains, but its now just to find answers, all the answers to a a lot of questions. Plot. There was also a time where this character was supposed to be completely insane, haunted by the ideas in his head (songs. He's a musician; a trumpet player). This was thought of while I was in the middle of A Company of Moors and completely stressed-the-fuck out about finishing the book. The haunting remains, but it doesn't stick. Way too 'artistic' self-indulgent. I've re-worked the idea for it not to be overly melodramatic. The main character is no longer insane; he's become more inviting to the strangeness around him. Until he has to assist in blowing off someone's head. That's a little disturbing.

Instead of having this dominant quirk as a personality, I've tried to make him just human. A lot of the characters I've come up with can be summed up in a word or two, even though, in my opinion (humble as it is not...joke) they are round characters. Al-Jeheuty: Negotiator. Keith Joseph: Trickster. Maa Kheru: Warrior. Bo Yusuf: Soldier. Mehit: Realist and organizer. Lawrence Forsythe: cynical realist. Aludra: Innocence lost. Sesen: the romantic daydreamer...ect.

But I did look back to A Company of Moors and focus on the character Nasir. This new character will probably less naive, and less to prove himself that he's naive. His determination for answers push his naivety aside. He understands he doesn't know, but he's determined to understand his new environment.

It's gonna be a helluva fairy tale. With guns and brutal murder. Like the old school fairy tales.

b write black.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Hope

I've gathered all the notes for the new project. Old notes. They're probably five to ten years old. At one time, this project was supposed to be a short movie. Part of a script was put together, written around 2000, 2001, and revisited fall of 2004. I got as far as the first 30 pages, 35. It's now notes. I don't think I'll use any of the dialogue. It's kinda hokey, and because it was intended for a visual project (short film or  graphic novel) there's a lot of exposition. I'm still debating on a couple subplots that pop up within these first 30 pages. Sickness. Health. Death. Living. Easy, non-emotional things. I do think they'll be toned down, though. Again, don't want to make things hokey.

With all the notes that I've gathered I feel like George Lucas after he was done filming A New Hope. I got a bunch of 'raw footage' (the notes) but it's all sloppy, disjointed. It's a heap, and it looks scary. But I think I can handle it. I just finished the renovation of the 12 Stories. I just need to take a deep breath, and then I need to take a broad sweep of all the notes. I keep looking at the pacing of the 'script'. I've written a little bit of the opening scene in prose. Not much has changed. It's just about an open field, 1953, the South, which particular state, not too sure yet. But our heroes are driving from New Orleans, heading north to Harlem, New York. Originally, it was just a city with no name. Somewhere that could be anywhere. Ultimately, over the years, I started to understand that the city would be New York City. Harlem.

Also, there is something very special that needs to be written parallel to the main story and incorporated into the entire story, a la "The Story of the Nine (or Five) Black Bastards" from A Company of Moors. This is definitely where the exploded mess of notes exist. The main story, for the most part, has been hacked out and outlined. Now the story running parallel has to be straightened out. And I've had this story on the back burner for just the same amount of time.

I'm killing two birds with one stone.

The budget for this book is 250 pgs.  So, of course, that means it'll be 1000 pages long.

b write black.

Editing Job: Application II

All edits have been applied, finished yesterday, early morning. The rest of the time for this weekend will be spent on making sure that all edits have been applied properly. A first run through of this was done yesterday afternoon, but it's never a bad idea to make a second run through.

12 Stories High looks and feels amazing in its current read. The stories are in their finished, and most complete form. The stories resonate like individual tracks on an album, but compliment one another as a whole in this book of 'short' stories. As I've said before, there is an unofficial trilogy within the book, holding the theme of resurrecting the 'black woman'. The metaphors of the story a far more striking than anything that has been written within contemporary books dealing with black women's issues. These stories already existed in the book (obviously), but as I continued to reference them as carrying the same theme, I decided the stories should be labeled as such. The other stories are now carried by the characters and the stories. The tone is also defined by these two elements, no longer by my biased judgment and emotions.

12 Stories High fits perfectly within the literary pantheon of my other works, and makes a clear case for the future works. My works will be varied in genre, and hopefully I can keep focused to make them strong. I'm confident that my current works are honed to the best of my craft, and that my future works will be even stronger. Muahahahahahahaha!

I mean, c'mon. No writer wakes up and says, "I'm gonna write something completely terrible for my next project."

Not even people that write 'Urban' Fiction.

b write black.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Editing Job: Application

The proof is not positive, but it ain't negative either. A few errors to correct, and as of now I'm on the final story, having sifted through the books pages rigorously over the last two weeks. It's safe to say this is the final edit. All that is left, besides the final story, is the application process. Then, a quick review, and a push for availability.

I'm excited to have the 'core four' be out and on sale for the public. Still being flooded with e-mails. The teaser trailers for the book will be re-done to display "AVAILABLE NOW...ect" information, and a final release trailer will be put together. April 1st most likely will be the release date. No April foolin'. Three weeks is more than enough time for the final phase of the book, and the preparation for promotion to all outlets, on and offline.

The stories run very smooth. This enormous effort of editing has given the stories the individual personalities they were supposed to have, composed like an album...Prince-like. Every song different from the last, even if the theme remains the same, the presentation varies. Kinda like part of an answer I gave in an interview with Miss Tiffany A. Flowers. You can read the interview here. I had fun with that one.

The delayed release for 12 Stories High has also delayed the release for 2 Enlighten the G.O.D.Z., the second epic poem. It has gone from July to possibly October. In the meantime, I've continued to tighten up the notes for the next project. It is not Book One of a larger project, it will suffice as the larger story's prologue. I hope to begin writing around April 21st. There are a few things that need to be solidified for the plot and flow, but characters, backstory, connections, are for the most part operating at 95%. It's gonna be a helluva ride.

b write black