What’s Going On?

Today’s post will be an update of the things going on in the writing world of Rusty  Rhoad. As Jerry Lee Lewis would say, “There’s a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

FIRST: The Adventures of Sir Kay. I will begin posting chapters TOMORROW, and continue on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until it’s done. The critical read and notes for rewrite are completed, as is the rewrite of Chapter 1. Tell all your friends.

Sir Kay will also be getting a real title soon. I think he’s due, don’t you? After bumbling along all these months on a makeshift title. My latest candidate (not the final choice, just my favorite so far) is: Kaffka, the almost-Holy Grail, and a Woman that Reads: The Quests of Sir Kay.

Strange Bedfellows #3 copySECOND: Strange Bedfellows has a release date: March 5th. Yikes! That’s next week! I’ve done a lot to get ready, but there’s still plenty more to do.

*** IF YOU HAVE READ STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, please post a review on Amazon shortly after it is released. Early reviews are important in how a book a touted, listed, etc.

I’ve ordered new business cards with both novels on them. Got word today they’ve shipped, so I should have them in time to hand out at the party this time. Party, crap. Add that to the list of things to do. Hey, if you get a book published, you should have a party. No excuses.

business cardTHIRD: I have made a decision that my next project will be to rework/update Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail. That novel has holy grail 1been sitting around far too long. I will be starting the critical read (the latest critical read–there have already been a half dozen) as soon as I press the “Publish” button for this blog.

FOURTH: Avalon, South Carolina (that is the final title, although the “South Carolina” will be in a smaller font) will be released this summer. Rick, Sabrina, and Chai are ready for their 15 minutes of fame.

FIFTH: Return from Avalon (and Points West) should be coming out in paperback within the next month. That means I can sign copies, make guest appearances, and all that stuff.

As part of the promotion package for Strange Bedfellows, Return from Avalon (and Points West) will be offered for free for 3 days next month. I’ll let you know, although all of you should already have a copy.

SIXTH: The combination of all those things means I’m going to have to get my web page up and running. I’ve have rustyrhoad.com reserved for more than a year now, but didn’t think it would add anything of value until I had two books out. So that moves way up the priority list.

throw up in your mouthSEVENTH: I have finally accepted the fact that I’m going to have to have a presence on Twitter (pardon me while I go get some water; I just threw up in my mouth a little bit). I still don’t get it. But I had some working sessions on building a web presence with somebody who knew a whole lot more about it than I do and, yes, Twitter is the next step.

I’m going to try to get by on 5 hours a week on social media, but frankly, I’m not optimistic.

So there’s a lot going on. But writing is still my first priority (if you’re a writer, it damn well better be).

See you with Sir Kay, installment one tomorrow.

Jerry Lee Lewis2For your entertainment, here’s a video of Jerry Lee Lewis at age 22 (1957), perfoming Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

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My Experiences with S.C. Islands

Yesterday’s post about characters that live in your subconscious drew quite a spirited discussion.  So today I’m going to post about another “character” from my subconscious: the island itself.

In the novel that I’m down the home stretch writing, **Avalon, S.C., Rick Whittaker becomes obsessed with an island just off the South Carolina coast.  As a boy, I too was what you might call “obsessed” with islands out in the South Carolina intercoastal waterway.  There was just something mysterious and compelling about islands.  A couple were inhabited, but most weren’t.  They were just little dots of land out there, calling to me.

Your typical island, if it was large enough, had solid growths of oak and pine trees.  Most were surrounded by marsh, so at high tide you could easily get there; at low, you had to either find a break in the marsh or muck your way though mud flats and oyster beds to get there.  Lots of birds, not too much else.

And they always seemed to have mysterious names.  Huntington, Bari Tari, Big Savage and Little Savage.  Not to mention Daufuskie Island of Pat Conroy fame.  I fished off the shores of Daufuskie but never actually explored it — it was too far for old, flat-bottom wooden bateau my father had built, with its underpowered 7.5hp Evenrude outboard motor.

But I explored the others.  Starting around age 10 and continuing on until the excitement of girls displaced the thrill of exploration.  Our boat stayed tied out in the water, so I would get it to shore (which depending on the tide might involve a swim), lug the motor, gas can, oars, and whatever else I’d packed for the day down the muddy “beach” and load them, and take off for the island de jour.

The most intriguing was Bull Island, which was one of the larger islands.  Rumor had it that there were buffalo on it, imported long before by its eccentric owner.  I never saw one, but I did frequently spot the small herd of jackasses that lived out there.

I don’t think I am vicariously reliving my past through Rick, but the lure and mystery of the islands of my youth definitely play a part in how the island of Avalon, S.C. has become a major character in the novel.

The island as an archetype is alive and well in my subconscious.

wooden boat 2