A title came me way last summer, after an experience in the real world: Gypsy Black. Unfortunately so did a thumbnail for a US TV series just a couple of weeks ago, also called [something] Black, forget what exactly. This might mean a change in title. Then again, maybe not. The Rareified Atmosphere has been hovering around for about 4 or 5 years now and is top of the bucket list, but conditions have to be right spiritually for that to take place. The title came from a memorable cinema bad guy speech by Michael Gambon in Layer Cake (2004). This is a condition of psyche rather than somewhere up in the sky. After finishing current bits and bobs, something else that would also be nice came just yesterday, with the title being finalised earlier: In Spectre Station. This one has already been whispered to me and is screaming to butt in ahead of anything else.
Bear in mind that a general rule is to start everything as a short story because that takes care of the ending. Expansion and bloat can come later. Some of my happiest results art-wise have started life as something else entirely. It would have been inconceivable to plan for what I eventually ended up with. Absolutely inconceivable. Rotate a collage 180 degrees and it evolves into something else, for example. Soon enough you’ve forgotten your original starting point and are striving for starlight instead of moonshine. This method was to become common practice in sculpture. The industry term buzzword is calling winging it.
My latest theory writing wise is to cram any short story ideas into the present novel. This has worked fantastically well so far. It’s not on to be effectively jumping ship for timeouts to write exciting shorts then truckin’ back on with a dreary novel. Smudge in the short and spice up the book is what I say. A bibliography is clutter. Don't judge writers by the length of their Other Titles list. If you have enough cover art to decorate the spare bedroom then you need to slow down and start thinking about giving your head a wobble. Shelf space is a double-edged sword. Sure you have more chance of being discovered, but you also have more chance of your discoverers missing your best work. It may be a non-perishable skill, but so is striking a soccer ball. You can’t net a bar ‘n’ down every time. Even Tony Yeboah only managed it twice.
Enough of fussing thru short collections. It’s time to devour novels again now, like in the beginning. No forgettable hardback doorstops though. Christ. Save them for boshing rat kebab house flyer delivery men over the head with.