Saturday, March 29, 2014

Talking dinosaur update 4: Serenity, with 9 days to go

An hour's time stolen on a Saturday morning resulted in the extension of a vital scene in Act 3 of The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur, and a strong start to Act 4. I also diverted to begin an Author's Note that will come as an afterward, which begins:

What you have here is Serenity.

The reference, of course, is to the 2005 film that attempted to tie up some of the loose ends of the Firefly ’verse, the story of Malcolm Reynolds and his motley crew of fellow travelers, a 2002 television series that was canceled long before its time – after a mere 14 episodes were made and only 11 aired on the Fox television network. The series had a small but fierce crowd of fans that grew and grew after the 14 episodes were released in a DVD set. The collection sold so well that creator Joss Whedon was able to convince The Powers That Be to greenlight a cinema sequel. And oh, what a film it is.

At this writing Myke Phoenix has a tremendously smaller, fierce crowd of fans, but it does have a creator who wanted to pick up the story years after it fizzled. I first imagined this as a monthly series not unlike the wonderful pulp heroes of the 1930s and ’40s, but in shorter stories to fit the needs of the modern comic book reader. I wrote brief synopses for (ironically enough) 14 of these adventures, but only fleshed out four of them into completed stories, where they sat on a Commodore 128 floppy disk, then a Macintosh, and finally the iMac with which I type these words, until I published them in The Adventures of Myke Phoenix in 2008.

Five years later, after Kindle revolutionized the publishing industry and ebooks began to flourish, I finally saw a way to bring new stories to the world on my limited budget. I moved the tale along by 18 years and started over again, beginning with The Song of the Serial Kisser. Here and there I dropped hints of the adventures Myke had during the interim, but there was one story from the original 14-episode list that still needed to be told, because it involved the revelation of Myke Phoenix’s arch-nemesis: Deinonychus.

The opening scene of The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur was written two decades ago. Morty Davis has been awaiting justice that long. What follows is my attempt to replicate the purpose of Serenity: To fill in the gaps, leaving a few mysteries in case of a sequel, of course, but to condense the action of what could have been quite a few stories into one blockbuster. Whedon has estimated the seminal events of Serenity might have occurred during the second-season finale of Firefly, so let’s say the climactic scene you’ve just read would have occurred somewhere around Myke Phoenix Adventures #24, had I stayed on course back then ...

Objective: Release The Puzzle of the Talking Dinosaur on April 7
This morning's output: 720 words, extending Act 3 and beginning Act 4.
  (Extra output: 500 words of an Author's Note)
Session: Approximately 60 minutes.
Total words to date: 8,012 (goal 13,500) 

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