Monday, June 02, 2014

The Reason for the Silence... such as it is.

As per usual I begin with an apology - and this the most earnest of those so far: so very sorry for the abruptness and the length (!) of my silence.

I am in fact, still alive, still working, and most significantly, preparing for fatherhood.

I do suffer from chronic, low level depression which most often presents itself as a strong desire to be left alone and excessive computer gaming :\ ... yet the main reason for the sudden stop was more particularly two things:

1/ fear, as I approach the moment/scene in ECONOMOUS that motivated me to start his story in the first place; &

2/ realising that I had no idea who Miss Swift actually is (since *-SPOILERS AHEAD!-* I want to make her a main character) and not being able to proceed without her being better realised.

Well, happy day \o/, thanks to my writers' group of Michael Hawke, Ben Morton & Rikki Lambert, I have a much clearer sense of her now (and quite different she is from how I have penned her so far) so proceeding can begin again.

That said, I am currently in the thick of illustrating a growing list of picture books which have most of my creative professional attention, and what of that is left for writing I am thinking of applying to the other fruit of the WRITERS' GROUP: the continuing story of Europe, the Branden Rose, taking up where FACTOTUM left off. Excitingly (for me, at least) I have a beginning, middle and sense of the end (or a final catalysing moment to work towards), so it now simply awaits for me to take the start I have already and turn it into a finished tale.

I would like to thank you all for your persistence and Tom Wamstad for his expressed concern (which prompted me to speak up at last). I am still here, a little overwhelmed, but getting there.

For my next post I shall seek to respond to the comments from the last long ago post, so stay tuned...)


70 comments:

Emma Nicole Reinmuth said...

Life sometimes moves a bit faster than we can manage and we find ourselves neglecting thing we used to nurture everyday.

I do tune into many of my old blog haunts every so often, but I was in a bad place for awhile and since then have my own tech, net and roof over my head.

I recommend your books still. I'm excited to hear the story of the Branden Rose will come into the world soon.

Good luck, keep at it and we'll be here for you.

Ben Bryddia said...

Mazel Tov! Good to hear you shall be having a child, although I fear its name may be a bit...original for most folks' sensibilities. Nah, just giving you grief.

In any case, good to hear you're still kicking, and even better to hear you've got a lot of books you're illustrating. I'd been rather concerned about your career for a while there.

And a Europe story as well. What high expectations that will call up! A post-Rossamund Europe has a lot of decisions to make about her vocation. I'm also interested in seeing you write someone worldly-wise. Economus and Rossamund were both pretty sheltered compared to our Branden Rose.

-Ben

Anna from Sweden said...

Waiting most impatiently for more notes/books !

Ali said...

"the continuing story of Europe, the Branden Rose, taking up where FACTOTUM left off"

I am going to die, but it will be a pleasant death. I love that this is happening. I love everything about this. Give it to me.

El Grego said...

Congratulations to the missus and yourself!

And, do not fret about us; we are a patient lot and stories will come when they are ready...

A. R. Forsgren said...

Carry on, good sir! You have given us so much already. Please feel free to focus on your legacy how you see fit. I for one am content to savor fresh morsels as they arrive, and dine on the array of wonder you have so far provided.

Thank you for sharing your world, and well-a-day to you.

A.

BrokenSphere said...

I figured you had your reasons for being quiet and am so happy for you that you will be welcoming a new member of the family! Enjoy your time with us here on the blog while you still can. ;)

Whatever you need to take care of, Mr. Cornish, we got you.

Anemophagës said...

Honestly, I (and no doubt everyone else here) am just glad you're all right! Good luck with fatherhood, and write again when the restlessness of life settles down for a bit!

Alyosha said...

Best Wishes and congratulations on your fresh creative start and your new family! And condolences (if they're needed :-)) to your wife for indulging a grumpy husband.

allieoopleson said...

In all honesty, in May i googled D.M. Cornish to see if...well...to see if you were still alive. Glad to hear you are! I also battle with the bitch that is called depression. My sincere sympathies. Also, i have for children. Even bigger sympathies! Hehehe
Seriously stoked to see you're back on.

allieoopleson said...

*four. Damn Swype.

Anna from Sweden said...

The big D is not very fun to have. I´ve figured out ways to cope but sometimes it is hard. As you say: sometimes you need to be alone and to stuff that you know is fun. For me it´s genealogy and horseback-riding ;)

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old aggie said...

So happy to hear from you, Mr. Cornish! You know, I had a feeling the lull had to do with you and the missus "being in a family way." Congratulations! :-)

We fans will be happy with whatever/whenever Half Continent tales you spin, never fear. As someone else commented, we are a patient lot.

WinkTabby said...

Delighted to hear news of impending fatherhood! I'm sure the littlest Cornish will be a prime audience for some fantastic bedtime stories :)

I'm glad you're finding direction for your storytelling and also working on some illustrating. As others have said, creativity happens on its own timetable. You needn't apologize for working at the pace that fits your life, but I think we're all thankful for the update and excited about your continued journeys in the H-c. I'm looking forward to hearing more about Europe, Economous, and Miss Swift.

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Unknown said...

Just finished listening to (can't afford the luxury of reading) The Foundling. Was a bit skeptical at first (monster blood??) but was blown away. Excellence on so many levels. The world needs more writers like you, particularly for young people (though I admit that doesn't describe me). 'Damn the depression' (or is that torpedoes?) and keep up the good work.

Master Come Lately said...

Thank you for telling us what was going on! It's a sigh of relief when we know something after you grow silent... not that you have to report to us on your life and everything! Simply an acknowledgement will suffice when you don't want to/can't divulge details. That aside, congratulations on the baby! Also, I'm excited for more Economous and Europe's continued story. I wonder if any of the surviving villains from B3 will be vengefull in this story.

Unknown said...

It pleases me very much to see 9 draft chapters of a nascent novel by you, D.M. Cornish. Judging from the 3 earlier Monster Blood Tattoo novels, and these 9 beginning chapters, I say that the story of Economous Musgrove is worthy of your efforts, and vice-versa. My feedback, untimely and sparse though it may be, will be added to the comments on your posts (and I have written it as I read rather than in hindsight). That said, I have "binge-read" your chapters which had long been posted when I found them instead of reading them in installments.

Only after reading the other comments did I gather that you plan to write more stories about Europe. From whose perspective might her further exploits be told? She is an enigmatic character to me, and I tend to think I would like her to stay that way. On the other hand, a more familiar perspective holds possibilities (e.g. circumstances we readers had not realized from MBT, clearer motives, added detail/complexity). I am very keen to know more about what the surgeons on Sinster do.

P.S. Is there a publisher to whom I and other residents of the USA may appeal to print your next book, or maybe an edition of Tales From the Half-Continent?

allieoopleson said...

I'd sign that petition! ;-)

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old aggie said...

FYI to U.S. fans of MBT: I heard about an online retailer called Fishpond where we can order "Tales from the Half Continent" now. It seems legit, so I went ahead and ordered. Since the book is shipped from Australia, it'll be a while before it gets here, but it's worth the wait!

Sir Yves .La Teratologist said...

have just rediscovered this blog after being reminded of these Economas tales with the release of the lastest TotHC.
Along w these other worthy readers do I commend you on such fresh tale telling.
Further, it might be some small consolation to know even Mr Tolkien occasionally had his stories get ahead of himself.
Apparently he'd no idea who was to meet four weary Hobbits at the Prancing Pony of Bree one rainy evening. And surprised himself to find a fully fledged character by name of Aragorn sitting their waiting for them all when writing that chapter.
Press on good man, Miss Swift awaits!

old aggie said...

Received ToHC yesterday, so the Fishpond order reached Ohio (from NZ!) in 10 days - outstanding customer service. Now to meet my work deadlines so I can read with a clear conscience!

Anna of Sweden said...

@ old Aggie: was the price of the book and shipping cost something you could over come?

@ Mr Cornish: I am curious about how you select the names for your caracters? I find the names very... not sure how to describe them in english, like wordpuzzles,perhaps. Like Dr Verhovenhoven or whathescalled.
I too, like strange names. I found two some years back when I did a genealogical research on my horse, how strange it now looks. Penelope Plotwell and Dorothy Draggletail! I do still wonder if they were humans and real persons what they would be like ;)

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Jessamy Barker said...

Dear Mr Cornish,

I have been meaning to write and thank you for the monster blood tattoo series. Best and most addictive fantasy I've read for years, and I'm recommending to everyone. I'm surprised that the books don't seem better known in the UK, as your skill with writing is far better many and the concept is excellent.

Anyway, no doubt these things don't work fairly, but you have a great fan here and I hope you are able to feel good about your accomplishments.

With the best of luck for the future, and for making your way through the bout of depression mentioned above,

Jessamy Barker
London, UK

Anonymous said...

Please, please write some more!

Alyosha said...

Recently, while riding to and from work, I’ve been listening to MBT as narrated by Humphery Bower. He’s outstanding, one of the best narrators I’ve heard. You’re lucky to have someone like him as the reader. And, aside from the superb voicing of the characters, I also get new things out of the story just by listening rather than reading. I’m a fast reader and I know if there’s a part of a story that makes me uncomfortable, though I won’t skip it, I’ll buzz through it even faster. One example is when Numps cut his feet from dancing about on the glass. Because in listening I was forced to take the scene in at a steady pace, I found it quite distressing; but, on the other hand, then I empathized more intensely with Rossamund’s urgency in the scenes that followed.

But now I’m going to ask some questions (all related) that came to my head from listening to the story again from the beginning after I’ve already been introduced to the Lapinduce in the final volume: are there great monster lords behind all of the symbols of the large cities? A ram-urchin in Boschenburg? An owl-urchin in Clementine? I recall someone asking a good while back about why the capital city was where it was, seemingly not at a geographically natural center of trade routes. Perhaps because that’s where the greatest of the monster lords made its home, and its aura in some way attracted the surrounding settlement?

Mitchell Land said...

I tried to follow the advice from a poster above to acquire Tales of the Half-Continent, but the fishpond checkout claims it can't send a self-sale book to the U.S. Any other ideas for getting my hands on a copy?

Anonymous said...

I used Fishpond to send Tales to the U.S. & it worked perfectly.

Anna from sweden said...

Just ordered "Tales" and "Legends" from Fishpond. I had no problem ordering them so now i´ll just wait until they reach Sweden.

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Wyldeirishman said...

Hey...if you ever feel the need to correspond with a Yank whom you've never met regarding the throes of depression (and what that means whilst traipsing through realms spiritual, etc.), do feel free to drop a line to wyldeirishman@comcast.net

Your imagined world of the Half Continent is and remains a breath of fresh air in a glut of literary pap and dribble, and remains worth the Herculean efforts that are no doubt required to crack on and see it breathed full of even more life.

Slainte,

Sean

Bookworm in California said...

Good day Mr. Cornish. Thank you for writing such an amazing series. I recommend it all the time!

I too ordered TotHC from fishpond and received it with no hassles in California. Great customer service.

Can any one tell me how I can order Foundling, but ensuring that I receive the edition with the drawings of the three characters? The ISBN's are the same for some of the editions so I am running into trouble. I ordered one already and received the Firebird fantasy edition. Thanks!

Anna of Sweden said...

Hello again. I´ts awfully quiet in here. Just wondering if there will be more stories about Economus musgrove? It would have been fun to see what his adventures will be.

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Ben Bryddia said...

I'll be getting Tales of the Half-continent via Fishpond as a late Christmas present. Looking forward to some fresh stories, especially as most of my fiction collection is inaccessible at present.

Thanks, and hope you're doing well.

-Ben

Ben Bryddia said...

Just finished Tales from the Half-continent (Fishpond took a while). I've come to say I enjoyed both yarns very well. You evidently put a lot of sweat and love into both of them, and they tie in quite nicely to the trilogy. I look forward to recommending this book along with MBT. I also hope to see new Half-continent books in the next couple years.

-Ben

John said...

I used to be a regular reader and poster on this blog when Foundling came out. Just last week I pulled the MBT trilogy down off my shelf for the first time in a few years, and was immediately transported by the illustrations. I started reading them again from the beginning, remembering enough to pick up on all the subtle hints and foreshadowing, while having forgotten enough to have a renewed sense of discovery. I love these books and look forward to anything from the world of the Half-Continent.

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Alyosha said...

In honor of a year since your last posting…

Given what you wrote in that last sharing with us readers, I’m guessing that depression has something to do with you not posting since. For most of my life I’ve been content, so I probably haven’t suffered to the level that you have. But, during one awful half-year period some decades ago, I had suicidal thoughts and accepted psychiatrist counseling and medication. So, I can offer empathy. Even if only for a few months, I learned what it’s like to actually find comfort in taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that you can end it all if you really need to.

Are you a father now? During the period that I went through depression, the thought that I needed to be there for my daughters was a big incentive to keep going. And, when anywhere within earshot, they were a fine preventative of overmuch introspection. There are plenty of other reasons for living, but if you have a child in your life, I encourage you to turn your attention in their direction as often as you may.

I’ll close by saying again what I and many others have told you: Monster Blood Tattoo is amazing. It is a work of genius, the likes of which neither I nor 99.999999% of the people in this world will ever produce. Though I dearly hope you’ll write more stories, if you become a wandering metrician and illuminator, or whatever, and never write another word, you’ll still have given a great gift to humanity.

Allieoopleson said...

I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one who keeps checking this blog. I met Mr. Cornish at a comicon type event, and I can promise you that he is oozing with talent. I love his writings, but wowie wow wow-- his drawings are phenomenal. Fingers crossed, dear ol' Mr. C will pull up for air and take a moment to throw us all another one of his literary bones. Depression sucks. I couldn't imagine suffering from it while being famous. Yep: famous.

Anna from Sweden said...

I have an RSS-link so I check if some new post are posted. Sadly it´s seldom I see something.

Pr. H. R. said...

You've got a legion of fans ready for that next book, Mr. Cornish....

+HRC

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Alex Yeghiazarian said...

Take the time you need to make the best story possible. Depression is a serious embuggerance and fatherhood a whole suite of responsibilities and life decisions. Whether it takes years or you find your creative energies put forth to other endeavors, we will understand. All for the best.

Anonymous said...

I adore your series and hope you are still managing yourself in good health.

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Anonymous said...

I tried emailing you with this but the email wasn't valid, and you've gone relatively silent now so I'm just gonna leave this here.

"I'm a big fan of the Monster Blood Tattoo books (including Tales from the Half-Continent) and also of pen and paper/tabletop role playing games. This brings me to the subject of my message, although you should just ignore this if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Anyways, have you considered creating/adapting a tabletop or pen and paper RPG for the Half-continent? I'll just continue because you can't answer right now anyway.
The Half-continent would be a perfect setting for any game, and because of this I'd love to see a pen and paper or tabletop RPG made for it, or even just adapted from an existing one. You as the author would be best suited for the creation of this game, and it would also mean I don't have to do the work. I would, of course, give you my ideas, and even if you ignore those I'm sure it would still be great.
Also, I demand 50% of the royalties.
Okay, not that. But do please consider this idea, and tell any friends you might have in the RPG creation business(that might be a little far-fetched) to consider it also."
Now, unless you're deeply depressed right now (in which case I'd like to share my deepest condolences and hope you feel better soon), this blog is dead (in which case I'd like to offer condolences of quite a deep nature also) or you're somehow unable to answer because of any other reasons (if they're sad, I will offer you very deep things of the condolence persuasion) I'd find it very rude if you chose to ignore this message.

Alyosha said...

On the occasion of the 2nd anniversary since the beginning of the great silence, greetings from the other side of the world! I hope that you, Master Cornish, and those dear to you are doing well. Although many things have happened in my life, and probably also in yours since my last post, the only one about which I know that our interests intersect is that I’ve read your “Tales from the Half-Continent.” Though that book is still not readily available in the States, it’s a bit easier to get than it used to be.

The first story left me with a couple of itches. The lesser was wondering whether or not the corser would be rewarded for his bravery and kindness. The greater was wondering if the rescued girl was a self-centered Prima Dona who would be blithely unconcerned about the many sacrificed lives, or rather would turn out to be a thoughtful and formerly high spirited innocent, who would realize full well what she had done, and would grow in wisdom from the experience. For some reason –perhaps because of the way that upper classes have been depicted in general in the Half-Continent – my gut tells me that it’s the former situation, which left me, in spite of the corser’s nobility, feeling depressed about the ending.

The second story, on the other hand, though it describes no happy treatment of the heroine during the adventure, nor any happily ever after promise at the end, was an adventure in which an admirable, likeable young lady becomes a greater person than she had been before. I enjoyed it very much. And I certainly continue to look forward to future stories from the Half-Continent, whether they be vignettes like these latest two stories, or sweeping epics like Monster Blood Tattoo.

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Warwick said...

Dear David, I thought I would take the time to thank you for the soul and ingenuity you have poured into your books. I bought Foundling, and found myself being quietly drawn in to your/his world, to a degree that I at first didn't realise. By the third book, it was clear to me that I was going to miss the Lamplighter's world. You have a quirky and individual way of making your characters and story become somewhat personal to us. Beautifully done.
Warm regards, Warwick

abigail estrecho said...

Hi sir!!! I am a big fan of your book!!! I fell in love with the first book and I so desperately need to read the next book. I tried looking for the second one, Lamplighter, but unfortunately wasn't able to find one here in the Philippines. Hoping I find one soon. My best regards and wishes to you, sir

abigail estrecho said...

Hi sir!!! I am a big fan of your book!!! I fell in love with the first book and I so desperately need to read the next book. I tried looking for the second one, Lamplighter, but unfortunately wasn't able to find one here in the Philippines. Hoping I find one soon. My best regards and wishes to you, sir

Darter Brown said...

Thank you David for bringing me so much joy.
I once hardly ever read, due to a couple of issues. When I sit back, lay or lean over more than a few degrees, I tend to fall asleep. Also I've had back problems for many years, which leads me to move around a bit when sitting as one position gets uncomfortable. But as soon as I get a bit of an angle on, drowsiness takes hold....it might sound funny and odd, but there you have it.
A friend started me off with the audiobook version of Foundling. Humphrey Bower was brilliant at bringing the Half-Continent to life based on your vivid creation. I was hooked and loved the remaining Monster Blood Tattoo journey.
But because of you, I now devour fantasy via the audiobook medium, which has brought me endless joy. I can't thank you enough.
Keep working on the depression and life journey. Though it may not always be continuous happiness, there will be good and great times. My wife has suffered depression for most of her life and it certainly hasn't been easy at times, but she struggles on and still finds many moments of joy. Our daughter is one of those pure expressions of happiness in our lives (for almost 14 years now). I can only hope you are as fortunate.
Forever grateful and admirer, Mark

Darter Brown said...

Thank you David for bringing me so much joy.
I once hardly ever read, due to a couple of issues. When I sit back, lay or lean over more than a few degrees, I tend to fall asleep. Also I've had back problems for many years, which leads me to move around a bit when sitting as one position gets uncomfortable. But as soon as I get a bit of an angle on, drowsiness takes hold....it might sound funny and odd, but there you have it.
A friend started me off with the audiobook version of Foundling. Humphrey Bower was brilliant at bringing the Half-Continent to life based on your vivid creation. I was hooked and loved the remaining Monster Blood Tattoo journey.
But because of you, I now devour fantasy via the audiobook medium, which has brought me endless joy. I can't thank you enough.
Keep working on the depression and life journey. Though it may not always be continuous happiness, there will be good and great times. My wife has suffered depression for most of her life and it certainly hasn't been easy at times, but she struggles on and still finds many moments of joy. Our daughter is one of those pure expressions of happiness in our lives (for almost 14 years now). I can only hope you are as fortunate.
Forever grateful and admirer, Mark

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Tim said...

David,
I have been enjoying the Foundling series with my kids. We love the world of the Half-Continent; thank you for sharing it with us. The audio book version has kept us company on a long road trip across the desert southwestern US.
We would happily devour more of Rossamünd and the Branden Rose or others in the Half-Continent.
-Tim (with Ian, Eliza, and Caroline)

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Ben Bryddia said...

Recently met a man named Brandon Rose. I simply had to tell him about his namesake.

-Ben

Alyosha said...

Ben,
Totally coincidental & not really having anything to do with the Half Continent, but lovely fun to hear about! Thanks for sharing.
My own favorite real life nothing-to-do-with-the-Branden-Rose, but reminding me of her: the soccer player Hope Solo.
A.

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