Well, strictly speaking, one is a collection of poetry. But first things first: What in the name of pants is “chuffed”? As is explained in This Book Is Not Called SQUID!!! (forthcoming)*, my imaginary author Halycon Sage was, “mistakenly raised as an East Coast intellectual in the heart of the Nevada desert,” and so was I. This included a bunch of British novels. Halycon Sage and I have a lot in common, since much of my book about him is from life–although we’re currently engaged in a friendly dispute as to who invented whom and which one of us is imaginary. So, “chuffed” is a Britishism. It means happily puffed up in a nice way, not a stuck up way, pleased with oneself and the universe because life is fun and things are going well. Chuffed.
And why exactly am I chuffed, you ask? Or maybe you don’t, I don’t know. I can’t read your mind, can I?
I’m chuffed because at the ripe old age of 50-plus-never-mind, having at last identified myself as a fiction writer, it would be nice if I had something more to show for it than one short novel and another one on the way.
But, because Halycon Sage is the inventor and major proponent of the Post-Modernist Minimalist Neo-Symbolist Pseudo-Realist School of Literature — in which the books range roughly from one sentence to one page — I do have something more: seventeen novels and a book of poetry. Unless, of course, he really is writing them, in which case he also wrote my first and forthcoming books and I am his imaginary character. And if I’m imaginary, I have nothing to worry about anyway.
So, there you go. I hope you are chuffed too, and that your life is going well! (And if it isn’t, I hereby send you love, condolences, and encouragement.) If you’d like to read these eighteen short literary works, they can be found in The Life and Times of Halycon Sage: The Last Book Ever Published, in the forthcoming SQUID!!! (short form), and possibly on this blog, if you keep watching very, very closely. And maybe say pretty please.
*Working title. The real title will be revealed at the proper time.