28
May
09

Grinning White Teeth is done

That is, my novel Grinning White Teeth, is complete on it’s second draft. Query letters have been sent out to various agents around New York, and the clock is on for returns. Typically, established writers will tell you “It’s a 1 in 12 success ratio” with agents. So, here’s hoping that it is picked up.

In the meantime, I have been plotting and outlining a new novel, based on the beautiful world of Windsor McKay’s “Little Nemo In Slumberland/In The Land of Wonderful Dreams”. It has been in the public domain for some time now, and I’m excited as hell to work on it. Depending on how it works I’ll be looking to either go the traditional route, or possibly take it in a GNU direction (which has, for various reasons, fascinated the hell out of me.)

Geen was handed, the other day, a micro rewrite of the Child Ballad “Twa Corbies” for his upcoming art book, Cheap Vodka. (I love the name. I had been kicking it around like an old can for years before unknowingly handing it to him.) I anticipate it will be posted here when it’s complete. We’ve also considered continuing to adapt child ballads for a submission to Zuda.com. However, the prose script can be seen below. I used it as an exercise to play with an idea I’d had during the writing of Grinning White Teeth. It wasn’t as prevelant in the novel, however it should be up front and center when reading this:

The Three Ravens –

In the valley down the river, in the low light of a pink sunset, on a crooked and dry husk of a tree, sat three Ravens. They had watched as the two armies clashed, and they had watched as the solider fought bravely, and they had watched as he was run through. The Ravens waited as the battle receded, the victors moved in pursuit of the defeated, and the solider was left to die with the day.

The first said to the others, “We should not have waited, my friends. We have lost too many meals to the heat.” The second said to the others, “We should follow the armies. The wounded will be freshly dead as they travel.” The third said to the others, “I stake my claim here.”

Below them, below the dry and dead tree, in the tall blood soaked grass of the valley, sat the soldier’s three animals. The hawk, the falcon, and the dog. They waited by their master, waiting until the day died, waiting until their master followed soon after.

The hawk said to the others, “He is lost to us. We should look for food.” The falcon said to the others, “He is lost to us. We should look for shelter.” The dog said to the others, “He is lost to us, let us look for a new master.”

The soldier lay in the tall grass, in the valley, under the crooked tree, and passed as did the sun. Next to him, the hawk, the falcon, and the dog began to mourn their master, and above him, the three ravens grew restless.

The first said to the others “We have waited too long.” He crooked his head to the third, and flew off to find other food. The second turned to the third and said “The wounded have surely now died, watch as our brothers follow the armies.” He crooked his head and joined the murder flying above them. The third sat stoically watching the soldier. “I stake my claim here.”

The hawk watched as the sun fell behind the far mountains, and watched as the the field mice began to scurry along the ground, and left to hunt. The falcon felt the temperature dip, and the winds picked up, and flew off to find shelter. The dog saw, in the distance, a lamp light flicker in the dark, and left to find a new master.

Above the knight, in the dry and crooked tree, in the valley covered in the dead, sat the third raven, who had yet to eat.

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Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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