The Never-Ending Christmas Carol of Foreverness

Maybe I’m Scroogy myself, but I never paid much attention to this holiday perennial until a few years ago. It just seemed like one of those canned tunes or fake snow or whatever…just another decoration from a dusty old box.

But I am forced to say, the older I get, the more it seems like something close to a perfect story. Not my favorite by any means, and no longer groundbreaking (if it ever really was), but in terms of tried-and-true narrative structure, characterization, message, moral, pretty much any criteria you choose…it’s just really, really good. I can now see why it’s a classic.

Dickens strikes me as a great example of someone who didn’t overthink writing. Plot and character … repeat … he made it look so easy. Which is not to say he was a terribly writerly writer … just that he pushed the caveman fireside buttons pretty darned well. A Christmas Carol has a universal resonance. It is poignant. Perhaps you need to get old yourself before you start to get that.

Sure, it’s gotten a bit Groundhog Day-like, running as it does on a nonstop cycle, but still…I’ll take it over most of the saccharine schlock this season produces. I enjoy seeing different interpretations of it. You can really play up the simple grumpy old guy bit, or you can focus on the social aspects … there are a lot of possible directions in it.

And that, my friends, is as holidayish as I’m likely to get here. A happy season, every one.

Cover reveal! ‘Evertime,’ by William C. Reichard

Here it is–a first look for my supporters–the working print cover for Evertime, a futuristic tale of love and unemployment with some serious twists.

Evertime: The Iteration of the Martingale by William C. Reichard

Obviously a different direction from my last book. Thoughts welcomed!

Coming soon!

Evertime: The Iteration of the Martingale

Sagan, bred to be mercenary muscle for inhuman environments, has always been a survivor, but after a mission goes almost impossibly wrong, his number may finally be up. And what’s worse, he’s now out of work, too. A producer of hypnotically boring custom videos for the super rich and her shadowy network of friends offer him a way out, but can he shed everything that’s made him who he is and accept a new way to live? And can he do it in time?
Aliens, video games, Emily Dickinson Easter eggs, spicy foods, age-old philosophical headscratchers, and maybe even some strange romance are just a few of the landmarks of Evertime, from the author of the “slippery, artful, and mythic piece of prose” that was This Album Full of Angles (or Smashwords).

Quotes: Setting your writing by a star

Many times, the projects I’ve begun don’t feel “real” until I’ve found a quote that acts like a pole star for the work, a kind of spirit that I keep turning back to. I like the feeling of linkage to other literature. How can other writing not be in our ears as we work?

This Album Full of Angles (or Smashwords) had several:

[T]hey are not a talkative people, and are fond of expressing themselves in enigmas, so that the hearer has to divine the most part of what they would say.

—Diodorus

I never know what people are talking about in a joint like this.

—Captain Harry Morgan, “The Breaking Point”

[U]nforeseen factors operate in the evolution of immortality.

—Thomas Hardy, “The Return of the Native”

Evertime has one that I particularly like from Goethe’s Prometheus. I think you’ll like it. (The book’s almost done, I swear!)

And the work I’m trying to get a handle on now found its guiding quote this week, from Virginia Woolf’s fantastic Orlando:

Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?

That’s the kind of quote you could write toward forever, don’t you think? It’s not that it’s exactly what I’m trying to write; it’s that it provides a jumping-off point.

How about you? Do you like to write with a quote in mind? Any favorite works that quote others?

Thanks as always for reading.