Saturday, February 22, 2014

Works in Progress

Having finally decided that I am, by profession, a Writer, I've sorted through the mess of ideas for projects I'd had on hold the past several months and decided on a few definite "working projects."  Who knows how all this will play out in the end, but presently this is how I am proceeding --

(1) A novel based on the general outline I posted here a few weeks ago. As I now conceive it, it should be a novel in two parts; "Part I" will essentially be a crime novel, while "Part II" will be a sort of philosophical novel, much of which will be the protagonist's reflection on his actions in the first part.

(2) A monograph on the subject of Deception.  This will largely be a study of the theme in the fiction of Dashiell Hammett, but will also explore the phenomenon of con artistry, the theory of deception held by James Jesus Angleton (the first Chief of Counterintelligence at CIA), with some T. S. Eliot and Sun-tzu thrown in.

(3) A science fiction tale about one who genetically engineers the granddaddy long-leg (which, having only "pierced sucking mouthparts," cannot bite) to bite, and uses this seemingly harmless arachnid as a weapon to perform some kind of assassination.  My grandfather, who is for all intents and purposes an entomologist, claims that the granddaddy long-leg is the most venomous spider in the world -- enough venom to knock out a cow -- but is harmless because it cannot bite. We're going to do a bit of research on this before I proceed, however, because apparently this is some sort of "urban legend" which has been "debunked" by MythBusters; but my grandfather still maintains that it's true.  So, yeah, have to do some digging first. (In any case, there are certainly many stories out there whose premise is merely an urban legend.)

(4) A submission of poems to my alma mater's literary journal, Five Points.

(5) And perhaps something concerning an idea that I had just this evening relating to the concept of "asylum."  I'm thinking either a poem or a short story.  I'm just now only toying with the idea, but besides the common parlance definition of "asylum" as a place where the insane are committed, the word has much richer connotations; it essentially means "a place of refuge"; hence the term can be used as a pun which connotes, yes, a clinic for the insane, but also any kind of hospital, or a monastery, or a place of "retreat," or, of course, "political asylum."

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