Saturday, 6 December 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) novel -- sixty-seven thousand words - Hecate-inspired audio noise terror

while I have a week off work, while I'm no longer driving buses around Oxford, I challenged myself to finish this third novel in the War World series: namely Kumiko. During the week, I had several spells of jog-solving. I'd be out on one of my daily 4, 5, 6 mile jogs and suddenly, I'm juggling 4, 5, 6 Kumiko loggerheads with C2S or Cracking Creative Solutions, LOL. And it was a juggling act itself to get back home with all these ideas/solutions intact. Admittedly, one or two of them didn't make it into the story but they led onto actual novel content. It was kinda like 'dreaming whilst running'. Very strange.

The musical inspiration for this final push of typing-in was Hecate's Ascension Chamber, Hecate at the Seven Gates and The Magick of Female Ejaculation CDs, a ritualistic triumvirate that has inspired and energised my writing mind since I first heard them when I was working at Rebellion in 2009. I'll actually be writing a collaborative novel with Hecate (aka Rachael Kozak) in 2016 titled "Vemonist", the first chapter of which my co-writer has already titled Snake Knives and Razor Eyes. So somebody's probably gonna end up getting hurt, somewhere down the line.

Kumiko's come a long way since my last update - come a long way in terms of word count which is now 67,000 words and looking like a worthy conclusion to the War World series despite its kinda left-field opening premise and kinky ethnological stance i.e. the eponymous faun-Kumiko herself. The origins of War World and how mankind can ever hope to logically escape were coming together in a way that was both interesting and organic, and this is from the writer. Half way through this final rewrite though I realised that I'd double-attributed one of the essential narrative threads and had to go back in and reassign ownership of it to one or the other of the characters.

In fact, I nearly broke the book, right there in the last week. But I think I've salvaged it, and in a non-arbitrary fashion. It wasn't so much a coin-toss as a considered move on the Great Chess Board of story writing. I didn't have to fill out a tedious and expensive PAF or Patent Application Form to do it, either.

Kumiko's due for simultaneous release some time in (later) 2015, once I've finished Reaper (that's free planet #3).

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) - truly stunning excerpt from a seriously crazy-mad novel

The current total comprises 46,000 words total consisting of 33,000 words of eight chapter plus 13,000 words of extra notes.

And if you're at all interested, here's a paragraph or two to illustrate the 'feel' of the book as it currently stands, an excerpt that shocked and stunned my co-writer of the BoyFistGirlSuck (erotic horror for the certifiably insane) horror-porn short story collection, Alex Severin - so it's not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. You ready?

First of all, there were the Pre-flight Checks. 
Yes, it was just like flying a small aircraft across restricted airspace. She hung there, floated there, was held there in her intense stress-position'd torture space. She was like an over-tightened drum skin at this point. Her bones were regulation-plus-one distance from the cartilage that lubricated them. She was stretched out to her fullest extent. No way could she become any long-lost human wife of girlfriend at this level of body torque. 
The limb of the concealed Glimpser (whom she was yet to meet) had penetrated her primary centre. Internally, yes, but on a terminal level. She died straight away, or it seemed like she did. Maybe she forgot to let the sorrow of her own loss flow through her. Maybe she just didn't even notice. Either way, it was like she died, then un-died. It's very hard to explain how the dimensions of a Chain Dancing faun work. And let's not forget, that's what Kumiko was. 
She blinked out. 
If you were looking right at her you'd say it was a here-today gone-tomorrow kind of moment, being rammed to death by the Death Chrome Flog-dildo Sex Engine. Her head back like the most ferocious orgasm was biting the shit out of her g-spot. Like she'd internally ruptured and would later pull fat handfuls of come out of her lovehole and shove it into her face like Royal Jelly. Like she'd been shat on by the biggest flapping-eared elephant, an arseful of buzzing flies each carrying mange or tsetse or bubonic plague. There are just too many sick and twisted adjectives to apply, like a fat handful of lube, to the utter gore-show of the Engining experience. 
Relax, concentrate on the factual content.

I don't know. I really don't know where this is going to go, or end. But I do think Reaper (free planet #3) needs the back end of Kumiko-content adding to it. I say 'adding to it' because I don't think the Kumiko story (as it's developing) won't contain all the notes or already noted narrative material I want or wanted to include. It's like it's branched off from the many branching potentials of the narrative threads I'd laid down over a brief brainstorming period early last year.

I can migrate a lot of these options into the Reaper novel, very easily. But then I'd have TWO unfinishable novels. Maybe that's my cross to bear -- I usually find a way out of troubles like this. Patience, and writing. That's the answer.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) - forty thousand words - first draft

Well, I guess it's time for another writer update of the Kumiko (war world #3) novel.

Firstly, my (planned) completion of the Reaper (free planet #3) novel went out of the window, and it's still on hold, until I've gone a little further with the (supremely weird and invigorating) Kumiko novel.

Something's happened to the motivational & structural direction of the proposed Kumiko novel and this is an essential tying off of the bleeding arteries in the whole IS THIS A WAR WORLD OR IS THIS A FREE PLANET? issue. I'm going to come out and say it, "You'll not like where Kumiko is going, where the Tandem/Watcher prequels didn't go," in fact, you'll be hyper-disappointed that it turned out this way. But it has to be like this, for a reason.

To show what a dogma-dictated-to species you are, to show how you'll sacrifice your sons and daughters to facilitate the arbitrary ruleset of the War-mongers and the Profit-makers. Only by ruining your expectations of this crucial third wheel in the Tandem/Watcher-inspired trilogy will you see where it all could have gone, had mankind had a spine. Had 'humanity' not been a slave race of dogma-riddle'd sheople.

Secondly, "It all depends on the number of arms a Tandem shares."

Standing total: forty thousand words, and more than a third of that is still 'crib notes' so I have no idea how big it's going to be. I suspect about 69,000 - 100,000 words but who knows? It could all fall apart or I could die before it's finished. Fate's such a cunt like that.

DAYS LATER POST-JOGGING UPDATE: jogging, for me, is a great way to resolve problems, it's very much like the rhythm of dreaming. Left, right, left, right, breath. With dreaming this left-right is the movement of the eyes and the chauffeuring of the dreaming content across the Corpus Callosum or Brain Divide. With jogging, it's the simple act of Staying Alive i.e. Not Dying.

I got some good imagery to do with the White Cat Chamber or Bleeding Room and also a co-conspirator or on-board stowaway who liberates humanity from the enslavement of Space Travel. It'll all make sense eventually.

coming in late 2015...
New total: forty-two thousand words -- still have no idea how long Kumiko will be or whether it has the legs to sustain. To the end. To liberate Free Planet's third part. It's all gotta gel, tie together. Across all worlds. I'm definitely thinking about brining out the Full Trilogies in 2015, once this third part has been published.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Excerpt from a future chapter of the Kumiko (war world #3) novel I've yet to write

Kumiko (war world #3) novel: spontaneous excerpt from a future chapter I've yet to fully transcribe. This is at the point in the war world novel where Kumiko starts to see that all her life on Faedon might have just been at the behest of 'some other kindred spirit' or 'some other driving force' and not really under her control. Like all us war world soldiers, Kumiko's not much more than a pawn in a game. And she's not happy, realising that. Therefore, vengeance is on its way.

  I don't feel real any more.
  This thing, this body, this brain, this personality, this 'me'. It doesn't feel like mine, any more.
  I'm a trained lab animal, a monkey without fur, a nothing entity with transferable skills that lead me to obscene conclusions about 'your world' and it's not your fault - it's all my fault for not seeing it earlier in 'my life'. I suspect I could have saved more of you from yourselves. I hope I could have been there for you, when you erupted from your chrysalis, into real-ness. Into space.
  I'm the everyman, the everytime, the everyday; I can be useful, helpful, compassionate, jolly, infantile, mature and sick, and insane, and not worth knowing. Or I can save you all. I can split every atom or heal any hole or wound or rupture or damage. Like a tool to fix a breakage or a pill to cure an ill. But I'll never be me. Me - you have no idea what 'me' is, do you? Think of ghosts of former selves we've never known, meshing together momentarily to satisfy either side of an equation. That's all we are, ghosts on one side of the divide looking in on the unimaginable sum.
  I'll never be that class of thing that really knows itself. I'll never be self-sentient, because NONE OF US ARE. We're all constructs of our upbringing, shards of someone else's work, little fragments of a thousand broken holograms of a million former lives and cultures and influences and non-logic. Il-logic. Part of the mind-game, random conglomerations of fate. Cogs within a million machines, nothing more than not-who-we-think-we-are. Lost, in some dark place. Un-us. Un-me. Un-real.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) novel - man, it was sooooooooo oooooooobvious.

of course, of course, that was how it should have ended.

It's not written (of course) yet, but I have just flashed the colourful and graphic ending and the narrative/character denouement to the Kumiko (war world #3) novel and fortunately/luckily it also helps tie up some of the issues I was having with Reaper (free planet #3).

Basically, you have to see the six books of both the War World and the Free Planet trilogies converging. Books one of each trilogy at the ends, then books two closer in, finally books 3 soft-merging in the middle almost (but not essentially) dependant upon each other. A shared denouement of sorts but still two original parts three and two distinct (and truly insane) trilogies.

I know I've talked about this soft-merging before when I was discussing about waiting to finish Reaper until some Kumiko issues were ironed out, so this was kinda planned (in a way) but I'm really glad to have come to this conclusion in this 'working hard through it' way. And it REALLY WORKS, believe me.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Mozart's Requiem is the CD of Kumiko (war world #3) - Sir Neville Marriner - Herbert Von Karajan and Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos

as Ruichi Sakamoto's THREE became the official writing theme song of Liberator (free planet #2), so Mozart's Requiem has become the official writing theme song of Kumiko (war world #3).

It's been playing, unintentionally for the first few thousand words of Kumiko, then definitely intentionally every real re-engineered chapter since I had the 'dream about the content', the dream after the dream, the download from the heavens, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem by Neville Marriner and the boys, the HMV Classics edition (pictured above) has been playing during every recent writing session.

Track list:

Requiem in D minor Edith Mathis soprano | Grace Bumbry alto
George Shirley tenor | Marius Rintzier bass
New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
Rafael Frubeck de Burgos

Ave verum corpus
Singeverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wein
Philharmonia Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan

Exultate, jubilate
Barbara Hendricks soprano
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner

Basically, whenever this music is on, I'm probably writing some more of the Kumiko (war world #3) novel, I'm self-entraining to produce written output. Isn't it sick?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Tom Hardy - Ivan Locke - the Kumiko (war world #3) journey

I saw it last night, the film Locke with Tom Hardy centre stage, and I knew, I just knew, that this is where my novel KUMIKO (war world #3) needed to go...

A driver, driving.
An engine, engineering.
A task's been given, a right turn's been taken, and the whole of her world has been trashed, literally torn to bits, in favour of this new journey, this forced slog through the snow, this odyssey.

Ivan Locke, it's a quiet little nothing of a film that could have so easily been relegated to stage play or radio play, and it would have worked, but then the cameraman was amazing, and the way the film was shot over seven nights while travelling, actually travelling the trip from A to B that our humble hero Ivan Locke takes, and the supporting cast were actually THERE, every night with him, phoning in their piece live,  every night, every take shared by the whole cast and crew even though only one man is in the driving seat having to sort it all out and cope with his life falling apart around his ears.

The onerous, ponderous, odious task.

And I knew where the Kumiko novel had to go -- on a wonderful crazy journey -- with Kumiko strapped in for the long haul while all these people gather round her and argue with her and love her and hate her and join forces with unlikely allies and take amazing turns of story. I've got the first four chapters done, dusted. They're about 4,500 words each, and that makes me happy. And finally... finally, there'll be a birth scene just like in the film.

But it'll be an abortion ... or at least an already happened scene ... and all'll seem lost. Nothing will add up. But it'll not be lost, and everything will (eventually) add up. There'll be a rhyme and reason for it all, not matter how grim it gets. Trust me, I'm a liar and a thief of other people's genius.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Kumiko novel - weird weekend of work - rewrite rewrite rewrite


I don't think I've ever felt compelled to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite the start of a novel more than I've rewritten the start of Kumiko (war world #3).

I wondered, at first, if I hadn't started this novel a little too early; like I hadn't left enough time since the publication of the last one. But then I always think that. I always worry that I haven't given a novel enough time to percolate in the noggin before giving it the benefit of doc'ing.

I mean, it's been a good cathartic exercise in patience vs creativity. I've pushed myself in ways I wouldn't have thought possible. I've really stretched both the character and the scenario that (hopefully) leads to the rest of the book 'writing itself' as they often do. I'm also much happier with the level and intensity of War World revelations - I have to remember to 'slow burner' this third book. Don't reveal all just yet, keep some revelations back for the finales of act two and three. It's coming out at about four A4 10-point pages per chapter i.e. 4,000+ words per chapter.

Kumiko (war world #3) is currently only at 24,000 words but it's not all chapter content. I'm barely on chapter four. Most of what will become the novel is still notes. There are lots of notes. Many of which will be jettisoned during the write-up, editing, repolishing phase. I'm not doing this for you, dear sweet hapless mass-market reader. I'm not engineering the start of this novel so that you'll find it easier to understand. I'm doing it so that the victims receive the punishment they deserve from the despots of War World. I'm doing it so that IT'S DONE RIGHT.

I haven't added much in the way of new brand paragraphs or acres of text but it must be at least twenty or thirty times that I've restarted, rewritten, added to, taken away from, amended, deleted, rejigged, retitled, tidied old ideas into new narrative form, moved chapters around, moved paragraph groupings around, increased allegiances, hidden secrets for later revelation, remotivated the start of this book etc. in the last week... it's been a proper job of writing. Hard slog. Man work. I think I have it, now, the right mix of honesty and sleight of hand.

A FEW DAYS LATER UPDATE: okay, I now have the first four chapters of Kumiko (word total 18,000) and the rest of the document so far is another 7,000 words of notes to finish this third novel. I like where this book is going. Why? Because I don't have control over it. Not really. I'm mostly riding the wild waves of this story. And it really is a wild, wild story.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Last night, I begged for an answer to this new Kumiko (war world #3) conundrum

so, for the last few days, I've been rubbing my raw nose bone against the wailing wall of writer's block.

Well, not exactly writer's block, I've been having little ideas and contributing peripherally to the content of what the KUMIKO book might become. But not really getting on with the writing of the story and exploration of the characters and their motivation in this (hopefully) final War World novel.

So, last night, I gave my Dreaming Self an ultimatum, "Please give me an answer to this new Kumiko narrative direction I've given myself."

I'm not regretting restarting the book. There's NO WAY that old version could have got to the point it needs to get to in the series if I'd have carried on. It needed to be restarted. And I have the story-in-flux version of where this story needs to go. I have details. But I don't really have the story I can type into the document.

Last night, I demanded or begged to my pre-sleep self for some sort of resolution on this novel's new direction. I didn't get it. I didn't get the dream or series of dreams that I could write down verbatim and turn into solid story structure, as I have done at the start of other novels I've written.

However, today, I've been 'seeing' massive scenes that have been missing from the book thus far. I'm walking around. I'm doing different things. I'm shopping. I've been having to dash back to the keyboard from wherever I find myself and type in these vast scenes. And they fit. They're adding to and making sense of where I need this story to go. It's a first for me. I'm seeing a book taking place. A waking dream is taking place, and I'm just typing while the visions last. It's a very strange process but it's a timely arrival of real content, real character, real narrative.

Current total 20,000 words and powering on.

DAY LATER UPDATE: this gets even funnier (weirder) this morning, for the five or ten minutes that it took me to wake up before 0655 hours, I had a lovely dream that added to the Kumiko space-opera surrealist-mystery novel. It's like 'my dreaming mind' was reading yesterday's post about The Waking Dream, got jealous, and decided to pester me with its own brand of visual creativity before I de-bed'd. Thanks Dreaming Mind, that was some crackin' content. Can you do any better Conscious Mind? This could be a fun few days...


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Kumiko novel - first draft quandary - have to rewrite Kumiko the character...

I'm about 12,000 words into the first draft of the Kumiko (war world #3) novel, that's 6,500 words of chapter text and 5,500 words of notes and potential narrative direction.

I'm writing away, as you do, you know, not really worrying about story just yet, simply writing to character, fleshing out the basic sketch, and Kumiko (this novel's central character) keeps talking about Millgate and Lorien and G3 and all the stuff in Watcher (war world #2) and I just realised something...


She can't know these people yet, that doesn't make sense. She'll have to be interfacing with the worlds of G3 and Millgate and Lorien (especially as the author of the Dierdre Openhouse novel herself) for the first time, devoid of all narrative involvement at this stage. I mean, it makes it more difficult for me, the writer, but who said this shit was supposed to be easy?

Having decided this, it certainly gives the end of Watcher more poignancy, unfortunately, it means I have to go back into this third war world novel and start again as a new draft where Kumiko doesn't know anything about War World or G3 or even Millgate (or Lorien), Kumiko's a key part of the G3/War World narrative, we understand that, but we don't understand why she does what she does at the end of Watcher or what her role is in the Grand Chess Game.

She'll have to be doing it for purely romantic/misguided/as-yet-unresolved reasons; she'll have to be ENSNARED or SEDUCED then BETRAYED for this book to make any sense.

DAY LATER UPDATE: woke up from yesterday's re-assessment and I'm like... wow, is that what's needed? And, yes, I think it is. Though it pains me to do this. I'll have to restart KUMIKO and do it right this time, it has to be about misplaced loyalties, nothing else will suffice. Sigh... rolls up sleeves. Onward.

WEEK OR SO LATER UPDATE: so, I've worked out how I can get the most from this new-narrative direction forced upon the Kumiko novel. It's not so much that I've given in to it, it's just that now's the time to start exploring the world of Kumiko as the mourning period for the initial content has passed.

Currently say on 17,000 words of text, all useful, all imperative.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) cover art by Masao Kinoshita

it is with great delight that I received (this morning) kind permission from Japanese artist/sculptor Masao Kinoshita to use an image of his sculpture Maenad as the cover art of my forthcoming novel Kumiko (war world #3).

Kumiko is, of course, the eponymous heroine in this novel about saving the universe from the ravages of the G3 or Galactic Gambling Game. During the course of the novel, Kumiko goes through some mind-bending changes and I wanted such a cover image to convey just HOW STRANGE these (internal and external) changes might be.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: just had a lovely long jog in the sun, out in the fields in the middle of nowhere, my t-shirt round my waist, tucked into my shorts, and 'received' about a page's worth of NOTES for where the narrative of Kumiko might go. Those of you who read my Planet of the Owls (originally published Silverthought Press NY 2008) will be glad to see the return of the Parliament of Death Angels.

AUGUST 5th UPDATE: kinda getting into the writing of this novel now. I'm currently 4,800 words into it. That's a full first chapter. I also have 4,800 words of itemised notes, that's structure and narrative, to flesh out. Just let me get on with it, okay.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Kumiko (war world #3) - David Mayer big cat sculpture - Galactic Gambling Game

this particular image has distinct and pre-defined relevance to the WAR WORLD story via the Virago Matching Ceremony or VMC mentioned in the preceding novels Tandem (war world #1) and Watcher (war world #2) but what does it have to do with the Kumiko (war world #3) story? Here's a hint:

G3 == GALACTIC Gambling Game.

Well, you'll have to wait and read, suffice to say, "It might be the opening point for the Kumiko story. The conclusion to the War World trilogy." Confused? I hope 'intrigued' is a more apt descriptor.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

KUMIKO (war world #3) comes first, then Reaper (free planet #3)

inspirational image only
it's the only way it can be.
KUMIKO (war world #3) has become the lighthouse on the foggy beach of Free Planet.
What does this statement-of-intent even mean, what are the implications, what happens next?
Well, first of all, Reaper (free planet #3) is put on hold. It was going to be the next project in the pipeline but it just cannot be. The Free Planet trilogy has become too intertwined with its 'evil twin' the War World trilogy and their inter-dependence has shown its hand now with this Forced Postponement(?) of the final book in one series while the final book in another series supplies potential narrative content for it.

I have pages more notes, chapter beginnings, for Reaper FP3 but the major narrative turnaround of both series (trilogies) will take place in Kumiko WW3. I just know this, it's evident from the arcs. I have a two-page linear timeline snapshot of where Kumiko will go as a story which, as always with the way I write, is open to change but I feel that the reason FOR Free Planet is in the resolution of War World. We might even discover that G3 refers to the Galactic Gambling Game...

Kinda weird, but I'm sure it'll all make sense if I just say this, "I can't write Reaper FP3 until Kumiko WW3 has been written."

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

KUMIKO nearly shelved, then an inspiration...

permission to use?
I nearly shelved plans to write KUMIKO (the third in the G3-whistleblower series after Tandem and Watcher) last night.
I had it in my head that all's I had to do was re-issue both novels spliced together as one, Watcher THEN Tandem, as one book and the story would be told. One half leading (almost) seemlessly into the other.
But then I 'forgot' that what happens at the very end of first book in the series TANDEM i.e. the last chapter, is 'directly relevant' to what happens through second book in the series WATCHER i.e. The Mucon Invasion, and will be an excellent turnaround (again) of the whole G3-whistleblower narrative arc. Phew, that was exhausting. In fact, it's even more complicated than that, and those who've read the last-but-one i.e. Military, chapter of Liberator (free planet #2) will realise how mischievous and cunning my Mucon-merge is going to get.
It's all sorts of on, KUMIKO will be written, sooner rather than later, as I have 'no compelling writer-thrust' to get into Free Planet book 3 (REAPER) even though there are 'ideas on paper', and come Summer I might be hammering the KUMIKO novel out in a few months. Unless I 'change my mind again' like I did with my promise of parallel-writing both Watcher and Reaper.
NB: on the 'cover' front, I still haven't received back Permission To Use this image of a Japanese doll from the Japanese site that was agent'ing that artist's work. I may (reluctantly) have to think of something else for the cover, something more SPACE OPERA-Y...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Press Release - KUMIKO by Mike Philbin - third G3 Whistleblower novel

not finished cover art

Kumiko will be the third novel in the G3 Whistleblower Series after Tandem and Watcher.
I don't want to say too much about it at this point, because "Kumiko" is a 'suppposed lost' peripheral character in Watcher (G3 book2) which is currently being written. Suffice to say, "The universe is not at all what we (normal, humans) think it is, and Kumiko's the kinda sharing person who'll be only too keen to tell everyone about it."
I'll probably start writing it some time late in 2015, once Watcher and Reaper (Free Planet #3) are out...