Geoffrey Long

Bones of the Angel is a story about what happens when a fossilized angel skeleton is found in a small university town. Old relationships are brought back into the light, beliefs are re-examined, and soon the bullets start to fly. An action-arthouse piece about different types of faith, their loss and their reclaimation.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

I've been experimenting a little with audio, nothing more complicated than me plopping down with my iPod and its iTalk voice recorder, and pretending to be Pi St. John and to give an interview about things that happened with Pi and Michael in the past. This stems from my suspicion that the best ghost stories aren't told in books, they're told by people. And the creepiest things are the ones that are truly and utterly believeable.

Bones of the Angel is, actually, a deeply philosophical novel. There are parts in it that are very Dan Brown, very X-Files, very over-the-top Illuminati legends type of nonsense, and I think that if someone were to sit down and to tell you about those things, they'd be only sort of believable. At best. Which is to say, barely, if not at all. Hence, this experiment – to try and tell another story I'd been working on (a shorter story called Sticks which I hadn't realized could be a Beckett story until this afternoon) and tell it in this fashion, which I'm hoping will prove to be both cool and insanely creepy. With luck, I'll have it done by Halloween and I'll be able to do something seriously cool with it.

What I'm finding, in only an hour or so worth of fiddling, is that telling a ghost story in this method is very The Blair Witch Project, adding another layer of reality and jacking up the creepy by a factor of 10. It's also making me want to go back into BOTA and change the voice back from third-person to first. It started out first-person, then I changed it to third-person lately, and now that I've given this a shot it makes me feel much more inclined to keep it in first-person. First-person stories of the utterly bizarre are so much cooler, psychologically – like the novels of Jonathan Carroll. Neil Gaiman has a more British "and this is the story of Bob" narrative approach, which is swell and fantastic, but isn't quite as deeply unsettling as a story told in the first person. I think.

Thoughts still gelling on this.

Monday, May 3, 2004

One of the things I've been contemplating lately is how to start blending in some of these other narrative techniques into my storytelling. Interactivity, even simple illustrations, maybe doing a comic book or two. To that end, I've been doing more drawings of my characters from my novel, Bones of the Angel. There's a scene towards the end of the first 'act' where our heroes Michael and Pi charge into a house full of villains, guns blazing. Using the cover art from Ultimate X-Men Volume 2 by Andy Kubert as a reference, I created this:

Michael Coldman, guns blazing

It's funny how Michael is evolving visually. So far the art for him can be seen here and here. I'm going to have to create a subsection of the Bones of the Angel minisite just for artwork pretty soon now. At the very least, I need to start updating my illustration section of the portfolio – that is woefully out of date.

So many things I'd rather be doing than client work right now. Yeesh.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Another chapter is coming soon. I just finished writing Chapter Six, which pumps up the tension one more notch. It also introduces four more tertiary characters, which bugs me since I already feel the story has too many people running around in it, but I needed some redshirts. You'll see. I should be posting it here very soon.

Another edit I just made, in the same vein as the "Caliban-is-now-a-woman" thing. I realized that for various reasons (plausibility not being the least among them), Nautonnier is now the one that gets left behind instead of Blacknail. It didn't make any sense for the expedition to take the assistant and leave behind the principal, so I made that change this morning. I imagine there will still be a place or two in the text where I forgot to change it (or to change all the Caliban-related pronouns to "she"), so if you find any, please let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Rats. I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, which was a pretty good summer read – but he managed to use a great deal of the material that I'd planned to use for the second part of Bones of the Angel. Nuts. All right, back to the drawing board.

Oh, and before I get any such comments, I know that every story's been told before. The difference here is how many similarities there were, and the fact that while Mr. Brown told the story very well, I still walked away with a slight taste of "Oh, come on now". Which means that even if I were to do just as well myself, my readers would probably still have a similar reaction. (Not that the very premise of a fossilized angel skeleton doesn't strain the limits of one's suspension of disbelief, but I'm trying to keep such stretching to a minimum.)

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Long time no update. I know it's been a while since I've posted any new work here, but that doesn't mean new work hasn't been done. I've been hammering on the story for the last couple of weeks, tweaking some things and pushing the story a little closer to feasibility. The one major change that I've made lately is changing Caliban Davies to "Callie" Davies, and transforming the character from a grumpy old man to a young woman not much older than Pi, Michael and Vicky. This helps add to the Scooby-Doo sensibility of the character roster and helps improve the estrogen-to-testosterone levels, which I'd realized were getting way out of whack.

There's not a lot more that's actually been written, but I have a lot more that's gelling in my mind. I'll post the next chapter as soon as possible, I promise.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

New work posted. I've redone some of the pages here, and posted my most recent work on the site. Let me know what you think.

Friday, November 29, 2002

Conceding defeat. I made a ridiculous mistake this fall, in deciding to pause my novel writing right in the middle to finish the autumn edition of the magazine I run, Inkblots. Next year, I'll make sure I can get away with taking all of November off to actually write.

My grand total for this year: just over 18,000 words. I feel pretty good about it, though, and I actually consider this whole experiment more or less a success. I did what I wanted to do: kick my writing brain back into gear after two years' worth of paralyzed inaction. And the result, the first five chapters / fifty pages of Bones of the Angel, are pretty darn good. I'll post them here ASAP.

Thanks for all your feedback, folks, and all your support. I'm going to rework these pages just a bit in the coming weeks, to reconfigure this into an ongoing project. For updates on this (and everything else), please bookmark my main weblog, Tip of the Quill.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Updated work in progress. I just posted my most recent work on the Work in Progress page... I'm still getting the hang of exporting crap out of Word without all the excess Microsoft garbage, so there may be a few glitches scattered throughout.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Update. Current word count: 5,819 8,351. Actual passages will not be posted tonight. Did a bunch of writing this afternoon, and am too tuckered to convert it into HTML. Damn, I wish Word had a nicer HTML output engine.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Roll out. Here's where we start. I'm posting work as I go, over on the Work in Progress page. Current word count: 3,573.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Research. So I went back to my home town of Wooster, Ohio this weekend. Anyone who knows me should probably already know that BOTA is largely set in a fictionalized version of Wooster – the college, the coffeeshop, and a number of other small settings are all plucked right from my own experiences growing up. So, I packed up my bag and headed homeward to try and refresh my memory on a couple of things.

I'd intended to take a bunch of photographs for reference, but I realized that I didn't need them. The Wooster of now is not the same as the Wooster of then, and the Beckett in my mind isn't really either of them. So, therefore, I'm going to go by what's in my imagination instead of what's on Main Street. Which is probably for the best anyway.

Also, this morning I spent some time reading this anthology of American gothic stories compiled by Joyce Carol Oates, to get a feel for whether or not my ideas for BOTA will wind up in it being considered Gothic. I don't think it will. It's got some interesting elements in it, but I don't know if it qualifies as being quite as, ah, bodice-ripping as some of Ms. Oates' selections.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

This is the project journal for Bones of the Angel, an experiment-in-progress by Geoffrey Long. National Novel Writing Month begins in just over a week, and I'm going to use this as an excuse to get one of my long-running novel projects up and off the ground. I suppose I've jumped the gun a bit by starting this project way back in 1998, but every time I start working on the project, I've wound up having to set it aside for some reason or another, then coming back and more or less starting from scratch. Well, not this year, baby. This year I'm going to get at least the first draft finished. I hope.

(Incidentally, I realize that on their FAQ page they say you're not supposed to use NaNoWriMo to finish a novel-in-progress. I consider BOTA fair game, since basically all I really have for this is a bunch of notes, sketches and whatnot. Granted, I have four years worth of said whatnot, but that's why I want to get this baby actually written.)

Anyway, in preparation for this experiment, I'm setting up this area of my site to share my progress with my friends and the NaNoWriMo community. There's not much here yet, but please feel free to poke around. (A suggestion: the only page with anything on it yet is characters; I've posted profiles and some backstory for a few of the big folks in the story.)

With a little luck, there will be more to see here tomorrow.