Saturday, April 5, 2014

a new wordpress blog for some of the stuff I've been writing

Hi folks, click on the link below to see where I've been sharing recent sketches and rough drafts of things I'm writing (mostly 'poems'):

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen (Hack, Reflectivist, Shape-shifter)

(photo by Flannery O'Kafka)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Farewell to Genius

'Writers form themselves into the pyramid we see in all areas of human talent and human creativity.  At the bottom are the bad ones.  Above them is a group which is slightly smaller but still large and welcoming; these are the competent writers. [...] The next level is much smaller.  These are the really good writers.  Above them - above all of us - are the Shakespeares, the Faulkners, the Yeatses, Shaws, and Eudora Weltys. They are geniuses, divine accidents, gifted in a way which is beyond our ability to understand, let alone attain.'

-Stephen King, On Writing (2000)

I have spent the first half of my life rather blithely (and ridiculously - yes, I see that now) assuming I was a member of the final tier:  in with the geniuses.  It's mortifying to admit, but it's the naked truth.  I have actually been assuming that's just the sort I am by birth and that I haven't given notice to the world of this fact only because I just can't be bothered to really try.  I spun out lyrics in several bands for the better part of two decades and considered myself a gifted under-achiever.  Now that I'm really, really trying to write fiction (what I've assumed I was put here to do since I was a little kid), I know better.  I am not a genius.  I am not even in with the 'really good writers'.  I do have a gift and capacity for writing.  I am competent.  The sober self-assessment stops there.

King says his book is premised on the idea that competent writers can, with much effort, be trained to be good writers (even though good writers can never be trained to be great).  I consider myself on that training programme and no more.

Farewell to genius.  You were one of my more pleasant and comforting delusions and I will miss you.  But good riddance too.  For here's hoping you'll hold me back no longer from what I can really, by grace, achieve in this short bewildering life.

Monday, January 28, 2013

There Is A Giant Psychic Spider In The Attic That Wants To Eat Your Children

The above is the name of a story idea I began to sketch out recently.  I had originally shared that sketch here on this blog (a few paragraphs).  Now I've retracted the excerpt.  In fact, I've deleted from this blog almost all the posts that were 'sneak peaks' of fiction and poetry that I was working on.  As real work and real publication look more like a possibility, I can see how shoddy a first draft or sketch of a story idea can look, especially coming from an as yet unpublished author.  Or hack, to be more precise.  So I'm not sharing that stuff anymore.  

My first-ever published short story is due to see the light of day this August with the publication of Issue 21 of 'Fungi: The Magazine of Weird Fiction & Fantasy'.  That issue will also include the first-ever publication of my non-fiction writing.  The magazine is due to be released at the NecronomiCon in Providence, Rhode Island (home of H. P. Lovecraft).  Since my family and I will be back in the States this summer, I'm going to try to make it to the convention if I can.  But we'll see.

The short story is called 'The Floating Man: An Ambi-Comic Thanophany' (and yes, I meant to spell that last word that way).  One of the popular-level non-fiction articles is about a 'theology of darkness' and the other is about the roots and offshoots of Lovecraftian horror and the possibility of writing a Theistic Weird Fiction.  (Both of the non-fiction pieces turned into beasts at over 10,000 words each.  Apologies to editors who didn't know what they were in for when asking me to write them!)

In this past week I have been working on a sort of companion piece to 'The Floating Man' called, appropriately enough, 'The Floating Woman'.  The two short stories form something of a thematic diptych.  I have finished the first draft of this latter story and am trying to polish it off over the next week or so in order to meet a submission deadline.  I've been graciously offered, through contacts and acquaintances, the opportunity of having a story included in an anthology of new ghost stories (small press, I believe).  I don't know if they'll accept 'The Floating Woman' for the anthology or not.  But that will be its first place of submission.

There.  That's better, I think.  I should just share about what I'm writing and not share what I'm writing.  For now.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Theophilus Theologue Episode 2

Title: Prolegomena for Boys and Girls part 2

Some things we chat about this time round:

'Prolegomena' or 'first theology'

A bit of recommended reading for those interested in historical theology

The main point discussed is: if theologising makes me like a cosmonaut plying the dark starways in awe and wonder, then what comes next? Where does such astronautical theology lead?

Books referenced:
Proslogion by Anselm

The Story of Christian Theology by Roger Olson

The Twilight of Atheism by Alister McGrath

31 Songs by Nick Hornby

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Theophilus Theologue Episode 1

Here's the first episode of a new theology podcast I've been doing.  Enjoy!

You can follow the podcast on Facebook at Theophilus Theologue.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Voice of the Mysterons and Blaster the Rocket Man - available to the world!