Honestly, I’m Not The Martian
I’m sitting here, in my pajamas, on the computer with free time on my hands while reading how The Martian got published and listening to YouTube. I almost hear the familiar sound of the cuckoo clock from a previous life. With a debut novel expected out next year with a legitimate publishing company, there’s no need to alienate myself from the publishing world and try to disprove the real truth.
There’s a ticking clock sound coming from my mind as I’m feverishly exploring through the Internet to delete traces of Lionheart Leaks. I’m cancelling plans to self-publish my second novel and at least giving the debut a rocky shot at success. The idea was not entirely awful and Lionheart Leaks remains entirely unique, especially through process and delivering the plot outline on The Lionheart Sound Network’s YouTube Channel. Never enough. I’m a novelist and Beyond The Blue Kite is not enough for me.
I’m not going to spew silly information from Wikipedia or WikLleaks, or call myself Richard Weber, and announce that I’m changing my last name, and re-discovering the Arctic, or making a valiantly ridiculous attempt at becoming the founding father of DikiLeaks. The fact is there was a man known as Richard who would become king of England in 1183 and known as Lion Heart claiming rights to exploits in the Third Crusade. Sure, it might sound like ancient history, but it’s indisputable facts from world politics. Absolute power is classic; and it's kind of neat in its corruption and great evil-lution over time.
Great. So what's Lionheart Leaks all about? Everyone can hear you scream in radio. Lionheart Leaks is a series of POV sections or installments from employees in the media industry. It’s the deliriously exciting start to a mission from a group of twenty-something underachievers struggling in life. They’re paid to work in radio for Lionheart Incorporated, a new media company. While working for this very ambitious and corrupt company, the employees form fast friendships before learning they have been duped by the owner. After a friend dies, employees secretly form Lionheart Leaks and they get back at the founders of Lionheart, but their plan gets rudely sabotaged. It’s alternative history meets dark fiction.
This is my current work in progress removed from the Internet and highly confidential. I’m re-working the novella into a full-length novel continuing to explore the pros and cons in the history of radio.
The best writers are old. It’s just a fact of life. Don’t try to rock the boat. It’s just the way life rolls. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra got me hooked on Tchaikovsky at a young age. Upon locking myself in the basement writing wildly unique volumes of ideas from Geropolis to Tales From The Foot worth nothing, I would listen to classical overtures blasting through my Paradigm speakers before bicycling to work to make pizzas at Little Caesars. But when I wasn't working, I was blasting the sound like I didn't give a rat's ass because only the 1812 Overture mattered. Sometimes, it wasn't loud enough and I'd crank it impossibly louder. The speakers were sold to me at a ridiculously high price and I was listening to crazy music, but I was taking pity on myself after hitting rock bottom and suffering through my worst year in school. Didn’t imagine life could get much worse. But then I got out of the pizza business, and other part-time jobs, and went back to school. Almost got into locksmithing, but that's a different story. I eventually got a real job, turned old, and everything turned professional. It didn’t get worse, but it got much, much more boring. My job line-editing slowly progressed over years. Five or six years ago, I had to see an ear doctor because listening to very loud music was causing progressive hearing loss.
Dr. Thong was pretty hot. The sexy ear doctor greeted me wearing tight clothing and a smile. Melting at the sight of her revealing outfit, it was hard not to focus on her body, and all I wanted to do was tell her a story and entertain her. Before the end of the first appointment, she explained how much she loved science fiction. My happy life writing dark fiction turned more complicated; and I would have to impress the smoking hot doctor at the follow-up appointment with a story different from what I’d usually write. Not really wanting to write sci-fi, I'd dream of touching her bubble butt and long legs, and it inspired me to write. And I would write, and I would write like a genius possessed with Spock-like ears.
My next appointment with sexy Dr. Thong was embarrassing. I would tell her a story after months of writing. I told her about how I created a parallel world known as Planet Concuckodore where fun-loving, happy Concuckodorians could only communicate verbally through laughter. The Concuckodorians were a lot like humans. They could read and write with language arts and numbers, but could only laugh when making conversation. The greatest speeches on Concuckodore were spoken in laughter. She just nodded her head and almost looked interested, until I couldn’t stop laughing hearing myself describe a gone-wrong comical sci-fi story about a Concuckodorian who died after a heart-stopping fit of laughter on a hot air balloon ride. I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. Wrapped with my own paranoia and riddled with anxiety and guilt for telling a stupid story, I was determined not to let her know I’d worked on the story for a long time. She raised her skirt a little higher, then reclined back in her chair a little more, showing a little more leg after the appointment was over. There was nothing but my reputation to worry about. She was done testing my hearing and I had barely passed, but she didn’t give me another appointment and explained how my behaviour was inappropriate. I wasn’t laughing. I turned red from embarrassment and thanked her for the appointment. It was one of many last times I'd make a fool of myself. It was a humiliating and humbling learning experience as a writer. Separating health and work turned into a valuable lesson and actually sound advice to give to anyone.
Years passed, and I got married; and my happy life was happier and my dark stories turned darker. A few more different embarrassments pitching Beyond The Blue Kite and I would become an author. I started writing and acting like an author and attended conferences. Really getting my head into the game, I submitted a short story starter last month to the Ontario Writers’ Conference, but it was untitled. To finish it off and make it complete, I’d re-write it and give it a new title. WOW, I'm weird.
EXCERPT FROM THE ANXIETY-RIDDLED TREE
"Um, what are you doing?" The apple tree reached out and talked to me with a deep, heavy, angry voice.
I stepped back. Trees weren't supposed to talk. Hating apple-picking, I wanted to just walk away, but this tree was sort of cool. He didn't seem happy I was picking his best apples and probably wanted me to get lost, but I'd never heard a talking tree before. "I need to pick a full bushel for my aunt,” I said.
“Um, I don't think so.” The tree got more upset the more I tried to pick more good apples.
“Just a few more and then I’ll be happy to go.” I stared up at the giant tree.
“No!” He threw rotten apples at me with his branches extending out.
“What’s your problem?”
“Um, never you mind.”
“I bet you're anxious for me to leave you alone because you’re selfish and just want to keep your good apples all to yourself,” I said. "Isn't that right?" I was onto the tree.
“You’re damn right.” The tree started throwing more apples my way until one steroid-infused apple hit me in the head and it actually hurt. I started running away.
A couple weeks later, I wrote a song about the experience. I didn’t write any musical notes, but I wrote lyrics minced with mad feelings sounding crazy heavy.