My first novel – The Perspectives by Sonny Gast

I started writing July 23rd, 2021. First draft was finished on December 11. Then I took a few months break, trying to forget enough so as to make it a fresh read, and then started drafting again from April until July. It took four drafts to feel right. I published it October 21, 2022.  

This wasn't my first time drafting a novel. The first was during the start of the COVID lockdowns in March of 2020. The novel has remained in the first draft. It's outside my range of experience and knowledge. It will likely remain in draft form.  

I can't write on things I haven't experienced. When I say can't, I don't mean as if due to a creative issue. I mean that I need to feel a genuine engagement with my writing. If the fiction travels beyond my experiences, then it becomes rootless, and I cease to feel any truth in it.  

I use the word feel a lot when talking about writing. It's a sensory, emotive, activity. The intellect only forces the senses to obey the laws of language.  

As with all my writing, this novel was made randomly, hazardly. Though, it's managed to fit a narrative. Effortlessly and efficiently. 
Many people have confronted this phenomenon. Where a story uncontrollably forms out of the simple linkage of characters to time and place. A universe of instances and circumstance, at first broken and unshapely, becomes tooled to symbolic form by whatever dream-maker lives in us and finds expression through us.  

The publishing of this novel feels like I'm losing something. 
I lived with it for nearly a year. It became a reference for my experiences, a justification for my decisions, a frustrating obsession, both fun and boring, joyful and miserable.  

Now, I lose it so as to share it with others.  
And to free myself by doing so (hopefully). 



If you like travel literature, existentialism, painfully crafted prose, psychological enigmas, then give it a go...   

Available on: https://books2read.com/u/31D1w6
Available in digital and print.

The modern myth-maker

It is a black and hard-covered book, a non-technical and creative title, and the white etchings tickle as his fingertips run through them. The book has been a financial failure yet acclaimed by a niche audience loyal and zealous over the man’s work, which is of a multi-varied and erudite kind, a treatise on the human condition and its eventual ascension into a higher stage. He has recently found a publisher although the publisher is of a certain ideology he does not wholly align with. He considers this a necessary evil.

The man sucks on a cigar shaped like a torpedo and exhales. He tilts off a half-inch nub of ash and watches it crumble and then settle. The orange glow, the heat. He is reminded of a certain collection of imagined scenes. Prometheus bringing fire down from the heavens, parting massive clouds with a flamed spectre so bright. The pulse in him rises sharp yet short. He reposes on his plush chair.

In front of the man is a laptop. On one tab is his YouTube analytics. Views are down. In January they were at the highest due to a political event and the man felt good about this and considered it a turning point. At other times he considered it his one and only zenith. He used the word zenith specifically.

On his laptop he sees some national news which makes him misanthropic. He makes a tweet to his two-thousand or so followers. He uses analogies and terms such as civilization, protean, and singularity. In one hour he gets four retweets. He makes another tweet more personal and bold. Then a persistent and challenging thought occurs to him: a new morality must be pre-established. The new morality will be revealed in his next book and so he deletes this tweet.

Now he struggles to find methods for increasing his reach, not for him lacking the creativity, but for the methods going against exactly what he values. And do I want to be someone with a high follow-ship? he thinks. Then he says the word esoteric. The syllables hiss through his teeth, clack the tongue. The hooves of a mighty and masculine horse stomping in an empty field, a border of thick dark creeping to it- that which he imagines vividly.

 He gets up the chair, crushes the cigar-tip into an ashtray, and goes to his bedroom where his wife is in bed. “How is it?” she asks.

During the early day she had recommended to include his face in the video thumbnails. She had learned it increases viewer engagement. He had become angry and argumentative. She now feels cautious, nervous. She knows to keep her responses short.

“It’s okay,” he says.

“Okay?”

“What can I say?”

He gets in the sheets. “We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get you to videotape me in the office. Maybe I’ll make a speech. I’ll wake up early to prepare. Whatever. I don’t want to think about it now. In January, they’d watch anything. I can’t get another January again.”

Then he says, “Make love to me.”

Of Arthur Rimbaud

These appetites: Shapes, 
Run fingers 
       through dimension;
And Rimbaud’s regret? 

To sprawl oneself bare 
On dynamic growth, youth did not have 
Depth, 
Age grows too brittle and arthritic

There are worse things than inexperience!

The measure is what one has not –yet what 
Was charming of African earth? 
-Consistency in the predator’s gaze
-A delicate (simple) joy bending to the sun

Libertineflesh sheathed its poet’s death;
With no remorse in the seasons’ passage 
This dead poet’s footnotes trailed 
To find art living as concubine

Short Story Collection – Moods in Tragic Comedy

I was working on short stories from January – April of 2019. I’ve now compiled them in an Ebook. It’s near terrifying how personal, revealing, the process of writing can be; and all sourcing without planning or prior thought – a sequence of events created, and by some natural force, linked in a whole both coherent and meaningful.

The story is a testament; it’s always been, and not just for me. And for what, I don’t know, or I don’t want to know. That’s likely why I’m attracted to writing fiction: to play in the mystery.

1. Inertia
A painter struggling with authenticity and the influence of others tries to start a new life in a city under political unrest. Loosely based on the October Crisis in Québec.

2. Darwin’s Curse
A scientist cataloguing wildlife on a tropical island must reconcile science and faith after his wife miscarries from a genetic defect.

3. The Trial of Davey & Lon
Two friends break into a cemetery to rob a precious necklace from the body of someone very famous.

4. We, Among Fools
Alternate historical fiction on the bizarre relationship between King Henry the 8th and his court jester William Sommers.

5. White Lilacs
In the aftermath of a civil war a husband returns home thinking his wife dead, yet there’s something happening to him that he can’t and isn’t willing to explain.

Artwork: Max Beckmann (1884 – 1950)
Left – Departure – 1935
Right – The Actors – 1942

on writing

I am wondering how to write. 

I'm reminded of Nietzsche. In The Gay Science his prose was, in comparison to his later works, boring. I think he had a distaste for writing so practically. His thoughts changed; to read what he had had wrote made him cringe. And so, he later wrote as to make the text ambiguous. The perspectives were welcomed. And he was made more than what he was.  


Reading someone's blog posts, the same person I've silently ridiculed because of how detailed and verbose and well-done they write, I'm inspired. There exists what I want in this person; to write, and do it with conviction. Their writing looks like worship. 


I'm hateful of stereotypical writing techniques when trying to write a blog. I'm agitated at having a model of a 
blog post when I am writing. It kills creativity and motivation. 

I want to write more. My life feels over-saturated with meaning and I want to express it. I have grown a nightmare out of silence. 


It is hard to translate floating thoughts into syntax and grammar. Intimidating, when you've always done it with your most buoyant ones. Words are like cages.


When I was younger I admired long and tangled sentences. Sentences like garden hoses. I considered them signs of high ability, and I emulated them. Now, I'm over it. I like simplicity, minimalism. Emily Dickinson is right for me. 


I want my thoughts to be fatty. My writing like a razor. The process: to trim and make lean.


I think of how I appear to others through my writing. A thing I've naturally learned by writing short stories is that there is an amateurish engagement where one is trying to convey to the reader who and what one is through the story. 
This is noticeable to nearly anyone, and lame. 
The writer is an epigram-generator. They are trying to translate the drama of movie scenes, abusing tropes, ending every paragraph with a closure, placing pointless references. Trying too hard, hoping and begging for the reader to see them through the words. I've written like this. I don't, or I'd like to think so, write like this anymore. 

Writing is vulnerable; I have to be okay with how others view me. Not uncaring, but okay. I dislike this audience in my head, especially because I like to think they're not there. Notice I did not say hate.

 

sometimes

sometimes i get stuck in my head.

the green of the grass outside sometimes gets stuck in my vision.
the motion blur in the car sometimes is not blurred enough.
the music in the bar gets into my veins and it’s not loud enough, sometimes.

i don’t want to keep sinking into the same old feelings,
i like the new, like changing old clothes,

it takes time for me to realize i’m not my feelings

anyway,

There is a need to make sense of experience through a language that is more authentic.

Language sets a standard to define our non-standard selves.

If you analyze yourself deeper, burrowing down to the centre (whatever that is),
the common words, symbols
become disingenuous means to express what it is found;

Convenient placeholders- ready made constructions for mass use.

Poetry is created from an inward movement
orbited to one mind
playfully engaged
in the struggle of re-definition.