Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicanonautica: Shakycam Shots of a Writer’s Life

A critic once described my style as “shakycam” -- as in low-budget documentaries shot with hand-held cameras in close, dangerous quarters. It wasn’t intended as a compliment, but does describe what I do as well as how I write.

I know I have a writing career because, like Frankenstein’s monster, it has taken on a life of its own. I keep losing track of it. I have to check my blog to make sure. Keeping up with it gets shakycam.

Take these items from my to-do list:

I’ve been (with the help of my wife) getting my novel Smoking Mirror Blues ready to become an ebook. We finally got through the final go-over and sent it off to the formatter. Tezcatlipoca willing, it may be available around Día de los Muertos.

That done, I started the tedious task of scanning my novel High Aztech -- like Cortez on Jupiter, it was written back in the Ninteen-Hundreds on an ancient mechanism called a typewriter. Not only that, but because of the Españahuatl slang, I’m probably the only human being on the planet who can do the necessary proofreading. I’m in for some fun times in the next few months!

I’m also working on a science fiction short story and a novel about bullfighting. The short story may end up as part of the novel in the end, but it actually creates more work for me.

I’ve decided to put my fantasy novel about the preColumbian ball game aside for a while because, if you haven’t guessed, I’m kind of busy. And I can’t let that cam get too shaky.

And I finally got a chance to do a collection of my short fiction. This is going to one desmadre of a project! It will include works from the typewriter era that will have to be scanned, and will be a twisted thirty-year journey through the strange things that grew in my mind, and the strange places where they got published. Trying to read it in one sitting will probably cause hallucinations and brain damage. 

Imagine what putting together that document will be like!

When going over my list of published stories, I realized that there were some that will have to go in other volumes. “The Frankenstein Penis” and its sequel have a still-growing number of true stories connected to them.  Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars, and Victor Theremin, the science fiction writer who has lost track of where science fiction ends and his life begins, also demand their own books.

And after crossing a few things off my to-do list, I remembered something I had to add to it. Better get to work.

Ernest Hogan really is doing all that stuff. Being a Chicano makes it more complicated and exciting. It’s also very shakycam.


RudyG said...

Suerte, 'Nesto. I'm in my own Closet of Discarded Dreams and everything coming at my face is blocking the view. So, I commiserate,


It's overwhelming, but in a good way. The world seems to have finally realized that Chicano writers exist and are worth reading.