Most of my best writing occurs during the “Triple R” phase: re-writing, revision and refinement. I guess you could throw rereading in there too, but that’s a given. Ah, yes, the revision phase. No matter how old the original draft was, the later draft will almost always be greatly improved.
Howdy, y’all. I am returned.
So, yeah, I’m still in revisions with a handful of old stories. I actually look forward to SMH moments when doing line-by-line revisions. What can I say, I’m easily entertained. What I find interesting about revising and refining old works is how often the Writer Me of Today vehemently disagrees with the Writer Me of Yesteryear. Writer Me of Today is a great deal more picky and often dissatisfied with many initial word choices or turns of phrase. Just as a point of distinction: The Writer Me of the 1990s had not yet read and reviewed hundreds of short stories in workshops, nor read, edited and selected for publication several dozen short stories for an online webzine, nor read, edited and selected from dozens of short stories to compile and publish an anthology. Nor had he yet been schooled by the likes of stingy wordsmiths (and personal literary idols to boot) like Elmore Leonard or Bob Thurber. In jive terms: 1990s Writer Me didn’t know shit! Even early 2000s Writer Me was just starting to get a true education in fluid, hooky prose. However, Writer Me of Yesteryear had far less demands of his time and attention. In an apples-to-apples comparison, that’s what I call an unfair advantage.
However, in regards to some of my older works, published or otherwise, I am reluctant to touch them for ‘improvements’ because some older works are special snapshots in one’s life and journey as a developing writer. For instance, there’s an old story of mine dating back to 1997 called “All Things Considered” which was finally published in 2010. Sure, I spruced it up a great deal before submitting it, but if I am being honest I know it’s still the mark of a naïve storyteller because my emotional attachment to its original essence was not something I wanted to part with. Even now as I contemplate republishing it, I am reluctant to significantly change it to improve it, short of line edits and deep proofing. It’s a peculiar situation, I know.
It has recently occurred to me that should maybe start posting excerpts of various works, whether in-progress, sitting on-deck for submission or previously published. I talk a lot about writing here (‘cuz, y’know, I’m a writer and stuff) so it’s probably high time some of it get featured here in this theater of text.
And now for the In Case You Missed It portion of the program. The previous two updates heralded the coming publication of a little crime story of mine called “Four Deep”. It was accepted back in early February by Dead Guns Press and was supposed to be published March 29th. Well, it didn’t quite make it that day, but it did finally go live on Wednesday, April 8th. Have a read, though I should caution there’s a bit of mature (or immature) language in its contents.
In non-fiction writing news, I recently changed my mind and re-activated my little blog that’s dedicated to an old favorite pastime. Yes, this is mere weeks after saying I’d simply just move that particular themed operation here for the convenience of consolidation. However, for me, the very niche nature of graphic fiction, and the love and adulation for it, demands its own space and forum in which to be revered. So, yeah, if you’re inclined you can check out Brandon Rucker’s Comic Book Fetish from time to time to see what’s got my mind going over there. I actually have more comic book-y stuff to discuss, but that’s a whole other post of its own soon enough.
And finally, since the last Rucker Report update here, on March 15th I wrote the music for the third song in my new band’s catalogue. A few weeks ago my co-guitarist B.J. Walker came over to add his embellishments to it so that we’re not both playing the same thing the whole time. I can’t wait to see how the rhythm section reacts musically to this rockin’ little number, that’s probably influenced by bands such as Refused, Fugazi and Jawbox. I’m quite stoked for band practice this coming Wednesday as we will be breaking in our new bassist. Hopefully by summer’s end I’ll have some recorded music to share, or at the very least a raw video from a rehearsal session. We should probably take a band photo soon too. And finally decide on a band name.
Well, that’s all the news that fits.
Y’all be good each other and stuff.