Friday, February 09, 2007


Last couple days have been pretty busy just maintaining a level of schoolwork and job and whatnot.

Got a response back from Mort. He left me with a list of other names that I should look into when doing my research for "Jack".

This task of reading up on American folklore seems a little daunting to me. I wish I had a semester with no classes so that I could focus my energy entirely on researching and preparing to write this book, and then spend a summer just working my ass off and getting as much done as I can. Oh well. With train rides and plane flights abounding over the next month and a half I should have time to work alot on everything that I need to, maybe read a book or so that I've taken from the library on American folklore.

Still digging my way through the Journal of American Folklore! There is a lot of stuff there.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sent an email today to Mort Castle, my Historical Fiction Research/Writing teacher, and also Story In Graphic Form teacher, to get the contact information of a grad student who was in one of his classes last semester. This student had done a lot of research on hobos and hobo towns in preperation for a novel he was doing as his grad-student project.

One of the parts of the Jack story follows his exploit with the (currently) named hobo King, Cole (an obvious reference to Old King Cole from the mother goose rhyme). Chances are that his name is going to change before the end of this due to some plot reworkings that I am thinking about right now.

I decided that the scope that I was shooting for with looking at world mythology is a little too grand, and just downright overwhelming. So in light of my skills, and this being my first novel that I plan on writing rewriting and submitting I've decided to limit myself to American folk lore, and legends, including native american, and the colonial american on down. I have found a wealth of information with which to touch on. Everything from Pecos Bill to the Roswell Aliens can easily be fit in this grand Jack tale. And so the research begins.

Firstly I found this great journal, "The Journal of American Folklore," which has over a century's worth of publications, essays and critical analyses that I can draw on, so for the next few weeks I am going to bury myself in that and any other information and try to carve out a bit more of this world view, which in turn I think will help to better define the story that I want to tell.

I need to look up whatever I can find on Hobo's, on the Route 66 Roadtrips, and any other American odysseys that I can find. I need to look up information on Folk Heroes, maybe some child protective service laws (but that seems a little less important in light of the fact that this is supposed to have a gritty fairy tale like feel). I want to sit down and read Stephen King's "On Writing, which I think is sitting on my shelf at home, so I'll be able to pick it up in a week or so, when I go home to visit my dad.

I'm going to keep a pretty rigid bibliography of what I've done, for future writing, or for any other writers who want this. So on Sunday of each week I'll post a new blog with links, or sources, or whatever, laced with comments about what I've found.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Genisis (Because that's what happened in the Beginning)

So here's the deal...

I've been running a blog on my life and pursuits over at chitowndint for a little bit now, and have been struggling nearly endlessly to find a reason to post something. So, inspired by the writers, and my need for a grade in some of my fiction classes, I've decided to keep a blog solely focused on my writing, and on my pursuit of writing.

So chances are the majority of this is going to be daily posts of me complaining about life knuckling in and me valuing sleep over writing, or whatever, but here it is. Hopefully it'll get interesting...

For starters I'm going to focus my post on the novel that I want to take from start to completion over the course of the year or so.

"Jack: Boy Of The Field" is the current placeholder for this idea that I've been kicking around, and slowly fleshing out. Below is given what I would assume would be a pre-written-novel pitch that I could make.

Jack: Boy of the Field is a novel about a young boy's odyssey across America, heading west like so many before him. It is a story that is both a road novel, and a fantastical voyage (though the line between the two is very vague) steeped in the lore of the land. Jack, who is an obvious throw back to the legendary giant killers of germanic myth, eventually translated into the Appalachian folk tales, is a boy who is forced into a foster home after his widowed mother is unable to maintain the family farm. Through a twist of luck or accident he is able to make his escape into the Appalachians, where he begins his journey. Meant to be gigantic in its scope, crossing the entire US, the story is going to maintain its focus on a young boy forced into manhood for his first time, and faced with many fantastical wonders both the imaginary and the real, and finding the true beauty of what America really is.

I guess when I look at it, the idea and the intensity of what I am proclaiming seems a little...well just a little daunting, so who knows. Just stick with me gentle reader and we shall see what wonders come to pass.

From the windy city,