My Dear Friends,
I owe you an update, so here goes.
Picture the pressure building underneath a volcano over decades and decades. And then it explodes. Or, an analogy more up my alley, picture Jed Clampett shooting wild game for food somewhere in the Appalachias. All it takes is a bullet piercing the ground, and the next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire. All that crude oil was just waiting to be released: it couldn’t wait to ooze out once that needle punctured the surface of the bubble holding it back.
And that is the silly analogy I am using to explain my situation.
I have never been more satisfied and more pleased with myself. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be unhappy again. The bubble holding back the volcanic magma and the crude oil is a symbol of decades of frustration. That frustration has now been breached. Now that I have crossed the bridge, gone through that doorway, I can never go back. I can never return to that place of frustration and dissatisfaction with myself; I can never return to my unhappy former predicament. My creativity has been unleashed. This is one genie I would never want back in the bottle: I couldn’t return it even if I wanted to.
In mid-September on one of my nighttime drives, the inspiration for a movie script appeared. I have begun seeing images and story ideas in visual form. Writing the book helps me with the movie, and seeing visual images and hearing sounds from the movie helps me with the book.
It so happens, like is often the case, the book and the movie are a matched set. They are twins, a combination product.
As you would expect, the book and the movie are not identical. The movie contains imagery and sounds and visual cues and glimpses not easily expressed on the printed page. The book contains story content, descriptions, background material, and explanatory pieces above and beyond what you could squeeze into a 2-hour movie.
As I told Julia recently, the book isn’t on the freeway yet, and the movie script hasn’t even made it out of the garage. Who cares. Given the level of pent-up energy and desire over many long years, the speed at which these two productions are developing leaves no risk of procrastination and certainly no room for boredom.
Not a day goes by without advancing these creative products.
At this point, I have enough of a storyline for the book and movie that I am beginning to sense the completed products. A title and a cover are coming dimly into view. The cover of the book will have common elements with the markings on the Object in the Basement. For the time being, those details will remain a mystery for all of you. But when you first see the book cover, those visual cues will foreshadow events in the book.
I have my first working title. This morning I was gifted with a very raw and rough first draft. Now it’s going through development: it is being crafted.
Academias Magnus Libri, Delphis Universalis et Biblios Vitum
The Object in the Basement and the Manual for Life
The subtitle is the name for the first story in the series. The book might just be titled The Academy.
Now for the disappointing news:
You will not be seeing written story material as it is created. That phase of this project appears to have ended. The story is too damn good to release before it’s finished. Frankly I can’t let this out before the entire book is complete.
It will be worth the wait.
Needless to say all of you will first be getting a proof copy, so that you can give me feedback if it pleases you, and later a free advance copy of both the book and the movie script. The proof copy will be for proofing, i.e. for editing and feedback, that’s the final manuscript including blemishes and mistakes. The advance copy will be the official first edition, shipped to you at the time the book is ready for release to the world.
If things go well, meaning if there is sufficient support and encouragement from the world, then additional steps might happen. Given a welcome reception, I have every intention of producing a very limited, an extra, fine edition, the kind of quality you only find in bookstores that specialize in rare books. A super fine quality edition. The hardback edition will be decent quality, but not in the same league as this special edition.
In case of high demand and excitement, there will likely also be a graphic novel edition at some point. Graphic novel is the current euphemism for what used to be called a comic book. I have an idea for how I want that to look, but obviously an artist costs money, so that expense will not happen unless the demand and interest are considerable. For reasons that I do not fully understand, but which are probably related to access in the world, a graphic novel edition has been under consideration for quite some time. If I were to speculate, I believe the purpose of a graphic novel edition is for access by people for whom a book isn’t ideal.
The primary fuel that drives me, and has driven me for a long time, is access. I want this material to have access as wide as possible. I believe this material is ground-breaking, trend-setting, and so access as widely as possible to the 4 corners of the earth has been driving this engine. Access to everyone on the planet has also driven the choice of characters. Notice the characters who have appeared so far, representing as many cultures as is prudent to include. [a brief Character Analysis in a separate post]
Eventually the Manual for Life, what in the U.S. is termed the Field Manual, can be translated into any language and rendered suitable for every culture in the world. But I am ahead of myself, that is story material in the Book.
To whet your appetite, here is a short list of story titles in case The Academy (or Life: A Field Manual) ever goes to a book series or a TV series or movie sequels. Each of these episodes or stories has a very specific theme attached.
Book #1 and Movie:
The Academy: The Object in the Basement and the Manual for Life
Later Stories / Episodes (if it ever comes to that):
• The Object in the Basement (by now it will be named, once the original book is out there) Reveals Itself Even More
• Thoth and The Tower of Babel
• The Ur Nile
• The Ancient Power Stations and Bermuda Triangle
• The Enigma of Spaceship Moon
• Faculty Member mini-biography episodes (The Life of Pythagoras, The Life of St. Germain, others)
• The Golden Age Financial System
• Jerusalem and the Jewel of Abraham
• The Empress and the Tiger (the story of the pandemic)
• Carlos Graduates (reaches Level 5)
• Nehanda Graduates (reaches Level 5), Nehanda Attains 5th Degree status