Update November 6, 2020: The Man Who Escaped from Hell and Remnants

While I am still working on editing Shadows and Stars, sometimes I want to take a break and work on something else, particularly if I feel I need to get something published while working on Shadows and Stars. Sometimes I write a short story when in these moods. Lately, I have gone back to writing a poem now and then.

Having completed Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night…which contains my early poetry, I am thinking I should write a sequel, which I am calling for now Remnants (of a Life). It will basically be my reflections on life and getting older and a few poems that weren’t suitable for Nocturne. I may throw in some short prose. I hope to have around a 100 poems to include in it. Currently, I have about 7-10. I may publish a few in small magazines before publishing them in a collection.

Some years back, I started on a horror novel called The Man Who Escaped from Hell. I alternated working on it and what is now Shadows and Stars and other works for several years. In the winter of 2018, when I was living in Chaco Canyon (an isolated and remote spot in the New Mexican desert), I endeavored to spend my time writing on The Man Who Escaped from Hell, but was becoming overwhelmed with it while coming up with a lot of ideas for Shadows and Stars. I decided to focus on Shadows and Stars, which I have been doing since then.

One of my concepts of cover art for The Man Who Escaped from Hell using an alternate title.

My wife loved the ideas behind The Man Who… and kept urging me to finish it. She said that if I didn’t publish it while still alive, she would publish it after I was gone. That started some wheels turning in my head.

The protagonist’s name is Jake Brody. I went through several arguments with myself over whether to write The Man Who… in first or third person, sometimes going through the current draft and changing it from one person to the other. I finally settled on the first person, as it would make things more personal and dramatic. I kept writing down ideas and notes but was having a difficult time making a cohesive narrative out of them. Somewhere along the line, probably stimulated by my wife’s statement, I came up with the idea of publishing the novel in a very rough pre-first-draft form. So long as I kept a perceptible storyline, I could keep the entire work in finished pieces, rough pieces, and notes. Then, if I did die before finishing it completely, my wife could go ahead and publish it as a finished work. I adapted the plot to account for this. In the novel, Jake has been working on an autobiography/confession of sorts, but dies before completing it. The reader learns this in the foreword, so I am not spoiling the novel by saying that. In fact, the foreword is by a fictional friend of Jake’s named Malcolm Flynn, who explains that this is Jake’s draft autobiography he was writing when he died and that was found among his papers. Now that I am thinking of it, Jake may will this draft and a few other things to Malcolm.

So, yesterday I was thinking that maybe I should just go ahead and publish The Man Who… as it stands now. However, there would be a few plot holes. Now, I am thinking that if I come up with something to fill those holes, I may go ahead and publish it. It also needs a little more editing for grammar, spelling, and conciseness.

We will see which I publish first. It’s sort of a race at this point. You will be reading more about The Man Who…in the coming weeks as I have learned that I need to start publicizing a book from the get-go. I will probably be posting a few cover ideas and other illustrations as they occur to me.

Let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe.

Hasta luego.

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