This is only a little spring cleaning…we’re just sorting through, identifying, and getting rid of the things that no longer serve us…it’s only painful if you fight it.
By the time you read this, the last of the old school downtown dive bars will be ground into dust. (That’s a lie, but let’s perpetuate it so we can keep the last two, or three, secret.) I don’t have many stories from this place. I’ve been here precisely three times. These are what remains of my memories of it:
This was the one place in Denver I remember feeling overwhelmed by cigarette smoke. It was like a smack to the face when you opened the door. The place still smells like that. I miss second hand smoke.
During the day it was the business lunch crowd, but not for the suits. Clerks, temps, tellers and the like could sneak in an afternoon beer in order to keep from opening their wrists back at their desks.
At night, the crowd was friendly enough, but felt like it could boil over into a mob at the smallest provocation. And they seem to take their cues from the ownership and staff behind the bar. The bookie and the drug dealer that held down stools there would leave at the start of happy hour. It wasn’t worth the trouble.
In the end, that’s the best way I can sum up Shelby’s.
It wasn’t worth the trouble.
First, Jukepop Serials went live this weekend and it looks good. They’ve published the first four installments of my pulp novel, Son, and I hope to have the next episode ready by the 1st of October.
Even though by the time you read it I’ve written and re-written it four or five times, I still look at this story as a first draft. Most of that is because I’m putting a lot of this together on the fly. There’s a 10 chapter outline, and so far the fifth installment brings us to the open of chapter two, but there’s a good chunk of information that I’m figuring out as I write it.
For example, the story was originally conceived to take place in the late 90’s. Because of the time and effort required to research and maintain fidelity to the time period I threw that element out. As we’ll see in the fith installment, one of the main characters is already experiencing a disorienting shift because of the passage of time. I don’t want to confuse things by creating that same kind of dissonance for the reader.
What this ultimately means is that sometime in the future I plan on re-writing the whole thing over again. At least twice. Who am I kidding, another four or five times, minimum. Good luck future me, You’ve got your work cut out for you.
Second…well I was going to launch into some meandering essay about where ideas come from, but that will have to wait for another time, I’ve got a 5 o’clock wake up tomorrow.
Status: Shelved. I’m not able to give this the time and energy that it needs. A classic example of my reach exceeding my grasp. Yet, I spent most of last year working on it, so bits and pieces may find their way into other work. Waste not, want not…and other clichés.
2. Son, Chapter 2. The continuing story of Del, Nightrain, Mountain and John Burrey as their paths converge towards a conflict that will determine who controls the future of Denver’s Five Points.
Disposition: 3,000 words, approximately 70% rough draft, and excellent art work to go with it.
Status: Fallow. I’ve neglected this for too long.
3. A Second Burn Sizzle Bleed Book. Five people tell their stories of falling in and out of each other’s beds, and sometimes falling in love. Maybe.
Disposition: 2,000 words, mostly character sketches.
Status: Ready and waiting. I thought I was done with these characters. Apparently, I’ve got a few more things to say.
4. A Second John Burrey book. John investigates the death of a childhood friend, and takes in the dog she left behind.
Disposition: 2,000 words.
Status: In progress.
5. Spec Horror Script. Two characters and a mythological monster. There’s more but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
Status: Just an idea that won’t let me go.
Clearly, I have too many things to do, and not enough time to do them. It took me three days just to write this post.