Pulpy Brilliance


Wednesday, June 3, 2020. “Come the Spring of 1914, all his creative juices flowed into his magnum opus, The Messiah of the Cylinder, an answering cry against H. G. Wells’ When the Sleeper Wakes” (wikipedia.org, “Victor Rousseau Emanuel”).

Wow. Is this not an amazingly compelling illustration? – it’s enough to inspire an entire novel even today! Published by Victor Rousseau Emanuel as a magazine serial in Everybody’s in 1917 https://www.fantasyillustrated.net/product/4390/Everybodys-Magazine-1917-June-Messiah-of-the-Cylinder-Part-One-Victor-Rousseau then as a novel illustrated by Joseph Clement Coll. https://www.lwcurrey.com/pages/books/108346/victor-rousseau-victor-rousseau-emanuel/the-messiah-of-the-cylinder. $2,000 for this edition of the novel, yikes, and a version for $1,487 on abebooks https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30262960304&searchurl=sortby%3D1%26tn%3Dthe%2Bmessiah%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bcylinder&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title1. Regardless, I need to track this story down and read it, just to see how it compares with the image. If you’ve read it, let me know where you found it and what you think of it.

Meanwhile, a day off from the home improvement store. Hence, a sliver of time and mental space to write, at least here in the journal. And I’m determined to bang away at the editing of Time Crime 2 (TC2). When I can manage at least two pages of editing in a day I feel better, just as when I can manage two pages a day of a first draft.

Readers who haven’t poked around the website may be interested to know that I have indeed  already written the first drafts of Book 2 and Book 3 and I’m fifty pages into Book 4. It goes without saying, then, that the Time Crime tetralogy as it stands (I have a sense that there may be a Book 5) has been many years in the making. The DOP describes it all – the story of composing each draft, the self-editing struggles and the fraught years and tears (as I like to refer to it all) of seeking first a traditional publisher then discovering the welcoming world of indie authorship. Finally, in the case of TC1, came the thrilling experiences of working with a professional editor and book designer.

And now I’m engaged in the equally challenging adventure of bringing the novel home, as it were, to its readers and my tribe. For I believe in it; I believe in the mythology of it. Of course every writer believes in their writing, as they should – how else to endure the exile? – but that the novel seems to be getting some traction in the U.S. and the U.K this past week or so – another sale yesterday! – is a magic feeling, there is no other way to describe it. Thank you so much, then, to all of you who have risked your hard-earned cash on a copy of the book. And if you happen to be waiting on winning the giveaway, I wish you the best of luck.

*Note that winners will be receiving a paperback shipped directly to their address from the Amazon-KDP print-on-demand facility in their region thereby eliminating me having to receive the books and re-address them to you. In other words, I will order an author copy and have it shipped directly to the address you provide.

Again, we don’t write for fame and fortune – statistically there isn’t any! – rather, we write to have the experience of being properly alive and then, just as much, to somehow, someday, be read, to connect, to share in whatever way we can manage the dream of life, which is the mythology of life.

What, then, of Mr. Z., Vixy, Herman Neutic, Professor Wilhelm and Captain Chase? What of the Molemen and the Mothmen? Well, the adventure continues. Meanwhile, it helps to have a strategy and a plan, though we all know the nature of plans is to go awry. But here it is, come what may:

  • The audiobook version of TC1, as I’ve said, is contracted with a narrator by way of Findaway Voices – with publication anticipated in August.
  • TC2, as a stretch goal, is projected to be published on January 31, 2021 – exactly a year following that of the first book.
  • The Day of Pigs (DOP) blog will continue to contain both a current and vintage post (historical entries from the first eight volumes).
  • Whether anyone cares about ordering a copy of TC1 via carnegieolson.com remains an open question – the convenience of ordering via the big online retailers seems obvious -and I maintain my skepticism regarding the advice from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) that a so-called commerce-capable website is essential, at least for an emerging author like myself, but I’m keen to finish the job, provide the option to folks and see what happens. That, and perhaps I can offer to sell copies (I especially adore the hardcover) of the first edition, first state printing (complete with a handful of typos and things that were resolved in the first edition, second state) that I have on hand, signed too, if anyone would like. Along with a collector card to be used, perhaps, as a bookmark. Or even a free book cover poster (a framed version appears behind me in my Amazon Author Central video)? Who knows, we’ll see what I can cook up. Below is the business card, which may also be described as the first ever collector card for novels – extra thick with gilt-edge and a thumbnail synopsis on the back, very cool!
Time Crime paperbacks & hardcovers – first edition, first state.
The extra-thick, gilt collector cards.

I’ll wait until the Goodreads giveaway is over before I decide what to do with the novels – I have 8 paperbacks and 5 hardcovers – and the cards, likewise. Stay tuned…!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012. I had a pound of beef shoulder in the freezer so I’m braising it with a riff on the jewish brisket recipe (I added a zinfandel deglaze) in my classy sapphire blue Staub braiser. I’m serving it with a riff on gratin dauphinois (I added white sweet potatoes).

My braised beef shoulder with gratin dauphinois, circa October, 2012.

Thursday, November 01, 2012.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve. It is the pious slave-breeder devoting the proceeds of every tenth slave to buy a Sunday’s liberty for the rest. Some show their kindness to the poor by employing them in their kitchens. Would they not be kinder if they employed themselves there? You boast of spending a tenth part of your income in charity; maybe you should spend the nine tenths so, and [be] done with it.”[1]

For the record, this captures the problem of zcob and from what I can tell, the food business in general; maybe all business. Of course employing people at less-than-living wages isn’t a problem isolated to food service, but I’m not going off on a global economy rant because like Thoreau, I think it’s all about getting your own shit together versus spending time worrying about somebody else’s shit. Only then, through “all who by their lives and works are a blessing to mankind”[2] are we going advance the good in the world.

[1] Thoreau, Henry David, Walden…p.54.

[2] Ibid., p.55.