What is Torsade Literary Space?
Originally, a personal blog I started when I was trying to drum up notice for my novel, Inimical (2014). Being new to the business of publishing, being a rural person, I was looking for promotional tactics that were within my scope. Bit by bit, I learned, and my writing objectives changed. My body of work expanded. I took up poetry, making use of my old artwork, eventually producing new, original art for each piece. I’d found out by then that an image anchors a post, and is more eye-catching than plain text. July 2017, I changed the name of the blog and started customizing it, turning it into a storehouse of my own stuff, where readers can browse limitlessly (though a purchase or donation definitely helps keep things going).
Or, Torsade may be viewed as an anthology of my publications, one that grows and grows.
Check my Announcements page (link below) to get theme music and a slide show related to my novel, A Figure from the Common Lot; also, links to Things to Try, and “My Blog Week” posts, listed from most recent to oldest.
How Does It Work?
You might come across one of my posts while browsing Twitter or your WordPress reader, and you might say to yourself: “Hammersmith number twenty-four? Well, I’ve missed most of the story. I don’t want to start in the middle.”
Let me show you an example from The Folly:
(The Folly is a series of stories, told in poetry, about ghosts who seek forgiveness from those they’ve wronged; forgiveness, what allows them to cross over.)
Song of Trout
There is no harm in others underestimating one’s fortitude
Matthew Piers Trout has reason to be sure of it
Sure as he’d known, from school days, loneliness
mutate into priestly hauteur […]
If you click on the first header in this case, the link will take you to The Folly page, where the entire series begins. If you click the second header, it takes you to the beginning of the story arc in which “Song of Trout” fits into the eighth episode slot. At the bottom of the post is a link (“More of this piece on…”) to the Pale Knight page, where the post finishes. Bookmarks on pages look like this:
For subscribers, who get a notice whenever a new post comes up, this bookmark makes it easy to find the place on the page where the post they were reading continues.
( If you see the sign of the salt shaker, on a post or page of this blog, that means the characters use words that may offend some.)
Inquiries? Permission to reprint anything? Story or article request?
Poetry Collections Available on Amazon
Projects (click for page)
Figure has just gone through a fresh edit, getting very close to the point where I can extract it from the blog and publish it in book form. From the original manuscript, I’ve excised over 6000 words, the result of my on-the-job education in working a MS up to professional quality, and I think, though word counts aren’t everything, a good achievement.
I care the most about this book, of all I’ve written so far.
The book is long, and multi-themed, and difficult to get a publisher to look at. I have a large position concerning the development of our current surveillance society, from the Franco-Prussian war (1870), the era in which Figure begins, through World Wars One and Two, the Cold War, the last decades of the twentieth century . . . to the fragmented mirror of consultancies and contractors, that misinforms us and destabilizes our global relationships today. The story goes only to the year 1900, and Figure is only Volume One. But it touches on poverty, ambition, war, espionage, spiritualism, slavery, corruption, faith. And I have perfect faith that readers will, having discovered Figure, enjoy it.
See Battlefront page to begin reading! The title is a line from one of my poems, “The Imbecile” (The Poor Belabored Beast).
Stalls smoke out billows of bacon
Fat precipitates from steam
Poor diet of the spirit engenders
a figure from the common lot
What do you remember
The way the leaves cast back the sun
Sid stares at them and sees them gain
the depth of sapphire
Sapphire and gold
The colors of a bread wrapper
Let us make the rough way smooth
And give the imbecile his due
Sid is poor, slow
He has been labeled so
Fancy yourself a soft-eyed doe
A delicate hoof balletically poised
to step in night-dewed grass among the daisies
Each blossom yielding as white bread mashed flat
and Sid scolded for dirty hands
Sky is blue and lunch is kind
The human mind applies subtleties
Sid knows the club and boot of authority
He knows also the runaround
He has been told to fetch the key to the drill ground
He being an imbecile can’t count
If three and five make ten today
Tomorrow they may make thirteen
He will say so and accept the label if they permit him
to run away
The rules change
Why should they not?
Sid has never seen the proof
My Curious Reading. This is an ongoing feature of the blog, where I consider my current reading and pick a unifying theme among sometimes disparate sources, mixed with my own thoughts about them. On this page is also a series of short, and mostly funny (at least curious-funny), items pulled from old newspapers, that I call “Adventures in Research”.
The Cartoon House. Hosted by J.B. Biggerstaff, patron of the cartoons, who retweets items from Torsade, and presents original cartoon storytelling: one-panels, the Dynamo Brothers series, as well as interviews with other characters from the drawn world.
Getting Paid. I think the wave of the future, in content, is this: to let your customer pay what seems fair. There are not many things other than written material that have, in themselves, so little intrinsic value. What a story or poem is worth to you depends not only on the experience of the moment, but how it builds in memory…one reason we seek from second-hand sellers the books we read years ago, and hadn’t valued enough to keep at the time. But when a book can sell for twenty-five dollars and up, that’s grocery money to a lot of people. I would rather have my work reach someone who needs it, than profit at some targeted price point. Now the downside of the donate button is that it implies charity, rather than an alternative type of commerical transaction. My work is not for charity, and I don’t say so. I use the word busking on my blogroll, and that’s how I see it. (There is also the fear of a non-secure plug-in. I have tested this myself; further, I see no one’s information.) Below is a link to a Wikipedia article that explains this type of payment system.
Otherwise, my posts are a showcase for whatever writing I’m interested in, and rough-drafting at the time, and for my artwork. My pages are where I put polished work, collected in proper reading order, and designed to give the experience of reading a book. I have opinions about book cover design. I think the image is like a one-frame movie of the book’s content, and I hate seeing big, pulsing letters on a cover, and nothing else. So also, it’s a treat for me to make art (in any style I feel like) to accompany my poetry and stories. As for content, I’m for the marginalized; I’m for open-handedness and forgiveness, but in creating characters, I want the person to say and do what he/she would say and do; therefore, no guarantees about salty language.
About my front page image. We wish they would live forever, but these kit-kats are not with us now. The black cat is Norton, in his “Listen, lemme tell you frankly”, pose; and his friend in the background is Seymour. I have another cute picture of Seymour in the background with Bucky.
How I Work
One of my paintings, almost finished, an image for “The Culture“.
I mostly use miscible oils, charcoal, and pastel, pencil when I’m cartoon-ing, but I like trying new ideas. I mix media a lot, putting ink in with paint or pastel, collaging all sorts of things. These days, I use canvas boards, because they are so easy to store, and it gets to be a big thing, keeping dozens of stretched canvases…finding someplace to keep them!
I am grateful for your support!
Sou grato pelo seu apoio!
Je vous remercie de votre soutien!
Estoy agradecido por su apoyo!
Ich bin dankbar für Ihre Unterstützung!