So, it's been three weeks since I last published anything on the site. Today I finally got chapter 11 up, even though it has been finished for weeks.

So, my "buffer" of finished chapters has run out. I've been halfheartedly working on chapter 12, which I wrote, didn't like, so decided to write again, and am now considering scrapping a third time and starting yet again. This is why I held off on publication of chapter 11; concern that I might need to go further back and do some editing their as well.

But I finally decided that I'd rather push forward than go back.

Long ago, someone, some artist I respected, said that "writer's block" is just a writer coming to a point where s/he needed to make a decision, and not wanting to make it. That's probably the case here, though I'm not sure exactly what decision I'm having trouble making.

So I've been finding solace in distractions. Mostly a computer game that I have allowed to eat entirely too much of my free time of late.


Of course, the cycle of procrastination feeds into itself, as the further away from the work I fall, the harder it becomes to get re-motivated in getting back to the proverbial grindstone.

To make it up to my readers, I may try to upload some other pieces of fiction that I've written in the past while I get chapter 12 and its followers squared away.

-- MJC
So, I was busy updating the page today with Chapter 9 of TCG and playing with Twitter while I did so...

When I realized that I had very few links in my "Links" section. So, I decided to add some. A few of the new additions belong to my friends (Draeden and Makena from Songs of the Goddess and GoddessCast) and most of the rest are webcomics.

Yeah. I seriously love me some webcomics. I first got into them about ten years ago, starting with Something Positive. I'm hoping, once I'm done with TCG, to start a webcomic of my own... unfortunately, I'm a terrible artist, so I'm hoping to find someone good at that sort of thing while I do all the writing.
Here's a direct quote of those webcomic additions, for those of a similar taste but who are too lazy to look in the "Links" section:

Something Positive - Humorous, grim, sarcastic, with unexpected moments of pathos... and ChooChoo Bear the Liquid Cat. Really, what else did you expect me to read?

Girl Genius - Adventure! Romance! Mad SCIENCE!!!

Order of the Stick - Rich Burlew's amazingly good "love-letter" to Dungeons&Dragons... using stick figures.

Goblins - Another D&D descended comic, this one is exceptionally violent, very dark, and, at times, extremely funny and sensitive. Amazing storyline so far, too.

Girls With Slingshots - Funny. Witty. A little naughty. Sometimes with a talking cactus.

FreakAngels - Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's online collaboration about a group of super-psychic kids that broke the world and then tried to make up for it.

-- MJC
That should probably be the title to any biography of my life.

The only balm to my pride is that it is my understanding that it probably should be the title to lots of people's lives.

After missing a week, getting a chapter out, and then missing two more weeks, one would think that I had considerably more work done on TCG. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

What I do have is a slightly revised (but still unfinished) outline, a partial map built in Hexographer (hooray for RPG geekery proving useful!) so that I don't lose track of where the characters have been, and a few more chapters than I had before. So, even though it isn't as much as I feel I should have done, I'm glad that there was still a net gain in writing.

That said, Chapter 8 is now up for your reading pleasure, after an inexcusable two-week hiatus. I would like to thank my friend Sara for threatening to beat me with a stick in order to get me properly back on course.

Also, should you feel the need to make yourself depressed, there's also a handful of stuff in my Poetry section.

-- MJC
Since this is the first week of this website, I figured I'd publish the first actual chapter of the Cabbage Girl just to get the ball rolling.

As you can see, the Cabbage Girl's life is fairly grim.

One of my (many) motivations in the creation of this story is a sort of rejection of the weird class-ism that still sort of sits in a lot of fantasy -- this idea that only "great people" (i.e. kings and princesses and knights and wizards and prophesied saviors and people descended from them) have the ability to really do anything important.

Even George R.R. Martin's work seems to focus overly-much on the upper classes and their privilege and only cursorily pays much attention to the plight of the "smallfolk" as he calls them. And most of that attention is only to underline how unimportant the "smallfolk" are and how awesome the noble-descended protagonists are.

So the Cabbage Girl is "smallfolk". She's an orphan, a thief, an urchin. Don't get your hopes up. She's not the lost descendant of some noble line. She's not some shining knight waiting to happen.

She's practical, selfish, more prone to run than fight, and, as described in the prologue, distinctly not a pretty, pretty princess.

-- MJC
So this is my first blog entry on this website. Bits and pieces and various pages will be "under construction" for a bit, of course, as I attempt to perfect the layout.

To introduce myself: my name is Michael James Cullen. And I fancy myself a writer.

The primary goal I have in mind for this site at this time is to serially publish a story by the name of the Cabbage Girl. My aim is to kick out one chapter every week, until I bring the story to its conclusion and end up with a completed novel.

I have a small backlog of chapters that are "mostly finished" to give myself some weeks of leeway as I get myself up to speed. A few select people are giving me a short editing read-through before I publish a given chapter, mostly to catch the weird flaws and lapses that a writer is prone to miss in his or her own work.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how many chapters I'm going to need to tell this story. I'm already "off the rails" of the initial outline I created before I started writing, so perhaps a new outline is in order?

A secondary goal of this site is to discuss writing, in general, mostly by voicing my own thought process as I attempt to finish the Cabbage Girl and/or publish other bits of fiction and poetry. With the help of readers, volunteer editors, and other writers, I'm hoping that these discussions will help me find my "voice" and make me a better writer.

So welcome to the freak-show. Hopefully, you'll find something to pique your interest.

-- MJC


    I aspire to be a published writer. This is the first step in spreading that madness to the world.

    (All writings on this website are © 2011, 2012, 2013 and may not be copied, printed, or reproduced in any fashion without permission. Images belong to their original creators and/or owners.)


    September 2013
    August 2013
    May 2013


    Cabbage Girl