Writing Heart Drunk

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A friend of mine has this quote oft attributed to Hemingway framed on her wall: “Write drunk. Edit sober.” While I’m not much use writing drunk and do most of my writing and editing sober (though the occasional glass of wine, can, of course, spark sheer brilliance at times), there is something to be said about the parts of our brain, our hearts, our spirits, everything that makes us, that get kicked into high gear during these seemingly contrasting components of the writing process: writing and editing.

When my writing is at its best, I am writing from the heart. I am expressing something universal that I’ve always known is there, and I am not thinking about it too hard. A meditation teacher in a group I attend was recently discussing the idea that the heart has a brain—how the heart, in essence, has thousands more neurons than the brain, and these neurons can sense, feel, and learn. As I am a science fiction writer and not a scientist, I often share pseudo-scientific information I find fascinating, so feel free to research this on your own and try to debunk it if you must—but the idea that the heart knows things, and even more, knows things innately that the brain would have to think hard about to understand, is something we’re all familiar with.

My writing is most enjoyable—and I believe most successful—when I’m not really thinking about it, when I’m writing from my heart and spirit.

In contrast, editing is an experience of the inferior head-brain, a left-brain exercise that can feel more like math than art. It is a labor of love, but make no mistake, it is labor. It may be different for you—I know some writers who love editing. For me, yes, there are moments of clarification, even wow moments within the editing process, but for the most part, it is Work. It is spending ten minutes wondering whether to leave in or remove a comma. It is moving a paragraph or chapter to a different spot, connecting the pieces, then moving it back again. It is realizing a character’s dialogue isn’t realistic, or that the character lacks the catalyst to perform the action they are doing.  It is reading through your entire manuscript for the fifteenth time as the words on the page began to blur, it is tossing and turning in bed, it is solving plot problems in the shower, it is self-doubt, it is asking ‘why am I doing this?’

Is it, perhaps, because of love?

Yes, it is.

I love writing.

But I do not love editing. I edit because I love writing.

Writing gets me drunk on love, gets me into a heart space. It keeps me sober, keeps me wide-eyed, keeps me on my toes, keeps me learning.

So I put in the work. I put in the time.

It’s what we do for the things we love.

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The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence Available Now

stfox_cover_RGB_WEBToday The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence is officially released into the wild. Thanks so much to everyone for their support, especially the brilliant team at Unsolicited Press for all the time and hard work put into the book’s creation and promotion, and to Erin B. Lillis for the rockin’ cover art (and upcoming audiobook version)! Putting this book out into the world has been a goal I’ve worked hard towards over the past few years, and to see everything finally coalesce has been so fulfilling.

Some early review snippets:

“Reyburn’s speculative fiction rebels, recoils, and launches debates across the table.” – PR

“An absolute gem! Corin Reyburn writes speculative fiction to be read with great fervor.” – wordybirdy

“If rebellion is what you like, then you will LOVE Corin’s book. I read to the end and wanted more!” – Miriam L.

The book also received a shout-out on Tor.com’s list of new genre-bending books available this month.

An excerpt is up at Medium.com.

For press information, get in touch with Unsolicited.

Want a rebel playlist to go with your rock n’ roll revolution? Saint Fox and The Independence is all about the power of good music, so here’s a YouTube playlist of some hot tunes that inspired the book.

Thank you!
– Corin

T-Minus 5 ‘Til Book Release

Looks like we’re about ready for lift-off—The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence is set to be released on June 12, and a couple of things are on the horizon in line with the book’s promotion. First, I’d like to call attention to an article you can spot through the passenger’s side window, “The Beauty of the Present Tense,” published on Medium.com, where I meander through my affinity for the present tense in writing, the meditative aspects of “being present,” and what the lack of verb tenses in the Chinese language may mean.

Next up on our left, a pre-release interview with me is up on the publisher’s website, short and sweet. Thoughts on writing, fears, and why Philip K. Dick wouldn’t like my cooking.

An announcement of the book’s release, including a brief, flattering blurb from an editor at Lone Wolf Press, is up at broadwayworld.com.

And, if you happen to be in the Orange County area, I’ll be reading an essay live for 1888 Center’s Why We Write Roadshow on June 20, tickets available via the link.

The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence—about a financial revolution made possible through love of rock music and a little bio-technology—is available for pre-order on the publisher’s website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, AbeBooks, IndieBound, and a few other landing zones.

Thanks for your support; it means a lot. See you on the other side.

– Corin

Subterran on Wattpad

subterran_cover_art3My novella Subterran was previously published via the online platform JukePop, which is no more, so I’ve added it to Wattpad.  I recently became aware of the term neo-noir, and think it describes Subterran to a T. Psychedelic neo-noir with a shot of paranoia and a frosty metallic crunch. We’re dancing through a subterranean Antarctic commune with Jonah, a bioenhanced technosexual who loves candy-drip nightclubs and doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. Read if you like, let me know what you think. Cheers, – Corin.

Rock N’ Write: The Birth of Saint Fox and The Independence

The one and only Ms. Carrie Brownstein at the Hollywood Palladium, 2015. Smoke and lights? Nah. An energy field, obviously.

I began writing The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence in December 2013, or so my computer tells me. That I don’t remember. What I do remember is when I got the idea for the book, driving up to Northern California to visit my best and dearest friend from high school. While listening to Bowie’s “Scream Like A Baby” (he is, of course, one of the most excellent among storytelling songwriters), the characters from that song began to take on a life of their own for me. I found myself having to pull over onto the shoulder of Highway 5 to jot down ideas, a scrawled rush of character names and details on the back of a gas station receipt. I hadn’t intended to write this book, but here it was.

I have always been inspired by music and musicians. Though not much of a musician myself, only able to squeal out basic chords on my little Fender Strat, it’s in music, and particularly skilled lyricists, that many of my ideas for writing take shape. When I was driving up that highway five years ago, a sort of narrative began to weave itself among the songs coming through the speakers. Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” was obviously a war cry, a place to begin. Radiohead’s “You and Whose Army?” showed me what the fictional band’s fan base, my own army, would look like. And throughout it all, the heart of the book, the motif that repeated, was and is this:

What if we could take the passion of music, that universal energy, that gorgeous, glittering feedback loop created between spectator and spectacle in live shows, and channel all that energy into something tangible, into changing the world?

What if fans really became an army? What could that army do? Think of the kind of change we could affect with that sort of universal power that emanates from us, from the speakers, from the squeal of steel strings, the battle cries of a hundred thousand voices as they shout out, “This is what you get, when you mess with us” (a pinnacle moment during “Karma Police” at any Radiohead concert). Generate that energy, that strength, that oneness. Bottle it. Sell it. Change the world.

I have always been partial to performers who do just that—perform, drowning myself in everything glam rock and energetic, bright and illuminating, favoring rock icons of old, your Bowies and Jaggers, over those staring at their sneakers up on stage.

You know, in any of your rock icon archetypes, there is a ready-set revolution leader.

In writing Saint Fox and The Independence, the concept of a rock n’ roll army ended up colliding with a financial revolution.

The way I write, I let the story lead me, so when I started this project years ago, I didn’t know that’s where this was headed, but it was where it was always meant to go. Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was only on the periphery of my knowledge, but somehow it made its way to the forefront in this story as the salvation of a near-future, rainy, glammy England—home of so many of the greatest rock bands, and the story began to really take shape.

So there you have it—a bit of how the book was born, from the stage, the road, from a few scribbles on the side of a highway. The book is set to be released in June by Unsolicited Press, who came to me at just the right time as I turn my gaze now towards future projects, in the midst of working on this book’s sequel, among other things. Here I’ve included a pdf excerpt of the book if you’d like a sneak peek at what’s coming. If you have questions, are interested in reviewing the book, or just want to let me know which rock n’ roll band you find most inspiring, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Oh, and I’ve also been tweeting (into the void) the playlist that helped me write this book, and compiling the songs in a list on YouTube as I share them, since these songs and artists have played such a big part in this creative process.

That’s it for now. Next time, (maybe) the editing process—how to take your gas receipt scribbles and strangle them into something cohesive and intelligible.

Rock on, love on, suffer well, love well.
– Corin