Thursday, July 23, 2015

100th Post

The other day this little site o' mine hit 20,000 visits and I didn't notice. I noticed the first 10K, but not the other 10K. And this is my 100th post.

Since my last entry almost everything has changed. I have a new job. I have a new home. I have to get up silly early and therefore go to bed stupid early. I need a change from the old ways and adapt to the new.

1) Go for a run at after work at 5PM. The "sitting around" fat is being killed by being more active at work, but growing when I get home after a bit o' the boozin. Cut it out.
2) Write at least twice a week. If not more. I get into fits of creativity when I'm free and feeling the mood, but it's not nearly enough. The book is two-thirds completed. Stop being a jackass and do it already.
3) Have some fuckin' fun already. Living to work is no life at all. Enjoy yourself here and there if it just means geeking out over video games that were just rediscovered or visiting new places.

Sorry about talking to myself there. But someone's gotta do it.

Here's hoping for more entries. Or less entries and more actual writing and productivity.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Real-World Fiction

I swear to God that I'm never writing a fiction based in real world settings again. Too much time is spent trying to find oddly specific items. It wasn't so bad in T7H since it was a completely fictionalized version of Philadelphia. In fact, I rather enjoyed it.

Not the case in The Harbinger. Is there a bus stop there or not, Jim? Is there or isn't there!? Ugh.

Not to say that I don't like having bits and pieces of reality flow through what I'm doing, but when it becomes a hindrance it's a bit annoying. What if I want a bus stop there? I mean I guess I could. I've twisted the interiors of all the buildings I've incorporated into the books, so why not random locations?

Because no. That's why.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Google Play Store! Activate!

Funny story:

The Play Store wasn't exactly a "thing" back in 2011. E-readers were all the rage. Amongst us bookish nerds. Point is that Book One The Seventh Horn has just been uploaded into Google Books and the Google Play Store which is most readily available on Android devices.

Direct link here.
All purchasing options are found here.

Have a good one and leave a star or two and a comment, yeah? I don't ask much for a dollar.

PS - I'm sorry it's ugly. They're all quirky about their formatting. I'll fix it. Sometime. I got a book to write.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christian Vampires? Sacrilegious!

Something about me starting back up again made me go back through the archives of old files.

First and foremost, I want to apologize for how little effort I put in to making the suggested edits from my conglomeration of editors. I got frustrated and antsy and just wanted the damn thing done. I know now that you gotta try to put out something of value if you want others to see it that way. I'm doing much better with Book Two by far and I'm not embarrassed to talk about this output which is a good sign. I'm still embarrassed to talk about The Seventh Horn honestly. I think a lot has to do with I have no way of describing it properly to a potential reader.

That's where I need you to come in.

I guess I need to be a little more fair in my description of Blood Testament. One of the reviews on Amazon granted me an illustrious single-star rating because of religious overtones. I didn't realize that using mythology as a background for a story was an automatic failure, but everyone has their opinions and are entitled to them.

So, here goes: Yes. The book using biblical references throughout it's story insomuch that I go about having characters (namely a holy man - surprise!) quote actual Scripture. I know, you're probably giving me the finger or throwing the evil eye horns at me or something. Truth is, the bible is fiction that I spent about a decade of my childhood studying and memorizing. Don't misconstrue the book as either a Christian pamphlet or me trying to tear up someone's religion, at one extreme or the other. It's simply an established history I chose to bend to my own machinations.

This reviewer demanded I move the genre of the The Seventh Horn from fiction/sci-fi to religious fiction. That'd be like, I dunno, putting Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell in religion because it contained the word Hell in the title. That's extreme, but you get me.

Some would also classify it as a "vampire novel." While, sure, it features vampires quite prolifically, I don't see it necessarily as that either. I've been infatuated with vamps since Anne Rice and Stephen King way too early in life.

SPOILER? It's dystopian, awful love story, with vampires, set in the Apocalypse of real-world Philadelphia, and a hilariously selfish and misogynistic main character with super powers. He's a terrible human being, but I hope you laugh at how much you hate him. END MAYBE SPOILER.

Give it a try for a buck. Or go all out and get a paperback one. If you're in NJ/PA area, we can probably work out getting you a copy direct. Outside the tri-state? Try the Purchase link at the top of the page. It's not the revenue I'm looking for though. I want opinions and reviews. Tell me about it. Post reviews that aren't biased by revulsion of religion. Send me your thoughts directly. Hell, post a comment here if that's all you wanna do.

And I say thank ya, sai.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Hello There

I've missed you too. Whatcha been up to? That's cool. Me? Work, video games - I won't lie - then more work. I know. Shut up.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess as well as Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon and The Gunslinger were either read or reread in pretty rapid succession over the last month. With the completion, I want to claim that the spell of procrastination has been broken. The spell of writer's block is one thing, but Procrastination is a nasty, soul-eating bitch.

From Clockwork I gleaned how interesting it can be to have a history and background woven into a scenario with the main character's honest point of view being none-the-wiser. Additionally I learned how effective a human mind can translate new vocabulary and how to (poorly) use it throughout slang and dialect. Let's face it, there's no way someone in real life would say the words FACE, HANDS, and EYES with such frequency.

From Eyes I saw how, like a shorter version of GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire, one can properly use constantly swapping POV to progress timelines and motives of even the most heinous of enemies. I admit I appreciate the segue into the next entry...

...The Gunslinger, which was actually a second run through. It's one of those books that makes you connect the dots on the reread which I appreciate and also wish I had the skill to construct on my first attempt. Although, even Steve had to go back and retcon his first entry to make it jive with the rest of the books. So I don't feel so bad.

At any rate, I plan to update regularly throughout the next month as I try to attack in full force.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Shining and Doctor Sleep

I finished The Shining today on my day off. You might say to yourself, "My word! The man never saw the movie of The Shining at the very least?" To that I would say, "Why yes I have, Random Reader. But if you think they are one and the same then you are really missing out."

Some time ago when Doctor Sleep was released, I ran out to get it and started tearing through it. About half way through I started feeling guilty about never having read the book. I heard that Mr. King originally hated the adaptation due to the creative changes and the casting of Jack Nicholson, but never really thought much of it.

The movie adaptation, while a good movie in its own right, doesn't do much justice to the original concept of the novel. Far be it from me to fault Mr. Kubrick's film for that though. The book has very little action to it, being a psychological thriller, and therefore wouldn't adapt well in its original form. For example:

1) There are no creepy twin girls who haunt the Overlook.
2) "All work and no play..." or any semblance of that line does not appear.
3) Danny Torrance/Tony does not talk through his finger (although very infrequently speaks in Tony's voice).
4) Jack's famous "Heeeere's Johnny!" never occurs.
5) Nor does he wield an ax.

The most memorable imagery from the movie is almost completely absent from the book (including the ending). You might think that this would make the book dull by comparison, but it doesn't. At least not for me. I felt that the film actually spoiled the book by making me expect an outcome that wasn't going to happen. Plus I read the book hearing Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall's voices the entire time. Those actors aren't even blonde, for chrissake!

Anyway, time to wrap up Doctor Sleep which takes an extreme left turn departure from the nature of  The Shining. It follows the son, Danny, as an adult as he exorcises his drinking demons and uses his 'shine' beyond the realm of the Overlook Hotel.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Make a Liar

Life has been rough lately. When you loosen the bonds around your feet, you tighten the ones around your hands. I can sleep now, but the sleep isn't as restful. Now I can breathe, but the air is tainted. I don't know if I'll ever be as complacent and at peace as I was when I wrote the first book.

How do working parents manage to find the time to have hobbies when I, a single and childless male, can't bring myself to write a simple sentence per day? "I'm too tired. I've got better things to do. Work was too annoying." Maybe they have more motivation. Or maybe I just come up with more excuses.

I originally started this website to motivate myself and make myself into a bit of a joke, but all it's done lately is make a liar out of me. I've been away for too long and feel like I've lost whatever edge I might have had. However there are a few plans in motion for pushing myself back into the fray.

I've ordered samples of posters to be used for marketing purposes in the future. I've reprinted a working copy of The Harbinger to familiarize myself with the roots of the story and burn it into my mind. I've re-read The Seventh Horn to help organize thoughts and bring in story ties new and old. I've begun reading Stephen King's Doctor Sleep to grow that budding horror yet humorous wordsmith I've buried in the dirt.

In about a week's time I'll be spending a few days in Buffalo as I assist in the opening and merchandising of a new store. As much as I had originally hoped it to be more entertaining, it looks I will be able to spend the daylight hours working as a faux-interior designer and my evenings locked in a hotel room as a faux-writer. The last time I went into such forced seclusion I birthed a book. Here's hoping a similar environment and unfamiliar setting will stir some creativity and force me into being productive outside the workplace.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Taut and fragile
Covered by bandage
Hides wound beneath
Thorn pressed deep
Penetrates the flesh
Rips the cover
Droplets flow
Soaks skin and cloth
Yet I push it

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Tale From Me To You


The trees whipped by at an unforgiving pace. Two men sat in the train’s cab facing one another. Sam reclined as he peered at the flying landscape, boot-tapping a rhythm to match the incessant click-clack of the rails below. As usual, Clyde seemed to simply be memorizing the lines and scars of his hands.

“Hoo boy, I can’t wait til we get there. How bout you, Clyde?” He gave his traveling partner’s knee a slap. “I betcha can’t wait neither.”

Sam gave time for the response that he knew wasn’t coming. Clyde pulled his bowler hat a bit further down to cover his eyes. Sam pursed his lips in response. “Shame things had to turn out this way and all. But you know you’re getting what’s comin to you for good reason, dontcha?” Clyde wore his silence as fine as the blackened leather belts strapped around his waist. “Ah well, you’re gonna hang first thing for sure. I know it. I can’t wait, though. Can’t wait! Gonna be sweet.”

Clyde intertwined his fingers and looked up at Sam then shifted his view out the nearby window in disinterest as the train started to leave the forest behind in favor of a lake view. They couldn’t be more than a hundred miles from the Red Rivers station now. Red Rivers Chapel is where the law liked to do the public executions of well-known criminals such as himself.

For the usual thieves or occasional murderers, any old noose tossed over any old tree branch would do, but not for Clyde King. He was going to get the special honor of a proper hanging. He thought perhaps he was supposed to feel honored by the gesture. They’d at least have the decency to put him in the ground in a box this way. Better than knowing your body was going to end up as a fine treat for some forest critters.

Cannot wait, Clyde. Can’t wait.”

* * *

Clyde was the leader of a gang who ran their business and sordid affairs out of High Ground. They weren’t known by a name or any such nonsense - that type of vanity was left to the amateurs. Their dealings ranged from extortions and kidnappings to the good old-fashioned bank robberies. It was true that innocents were found with a few extra holes in them from time to time, but they were simply unfortunate enough to be in the wrong places at the very worst times.

Only once did Clyde King seem to be caught where he shouldn’t have necessarily been. An attractive young lady had fought long and hard at the saloon to catch Clyde’s eye. She wailed the story of a husband who didn’t do right by her and beat her mercilessly, that is, whenever he managed to find a reason to come home. It didn’t do much for Clyde’s pity, but he wasn’t one to turn down the invitation from a beauty in such dire need of attention.

The outlaw found out in a most unfortunate way that the tart he went home with that evening was the young Mrs. Branford – Sam’s wife. Sam’s untimely return home caught all three of them off guard. The lawman had Clyde get dressed and cuff himself behind his back as he held him at gunpoint. Once Clyde was dressed, Sam marched him out of the house and as he did, Sam turned and put a bullet in wife’s pretty little forehead for humiliating him by being so damned unfaithful. He left the outlaw’s pistol behind as proof of the deed.

* * *

Clyde affixed his gaze at the officer who sat opposite him aboard the train bound for his execution. He shook his head in disgust at the thought. Sure, he had put down a few in his time as well, but only out of necessity for his own survival. And never a woman.

What?” Sam asked as if he didn’t know what the accusatory glare was for. He resumed his boot-tapping staccato symphony upon being ignored once again.

The outlaw averted his eyes from his captor and began to take note of the other occupants in the car with them. At the far end on the other side of the aisle sat a sheraph reading from his book. There was a likely chance this man was meant to end up being Clyde’s executioner once they arrived at the Cathedral. The priests and holy men like the sheraph were the official law bringers in these dusty plains; men like Sam Branford were little more than local bounty hunters and mercenaries for hire.

A few rows closer sat a man and his daughter. He appeared to be teaching her about the world that was passing them by on the rails. She would ask him questions and he would answer. She would point at some miniscule object on the horizon and look up to him for approval and he would return her inquiry with a smile and nod. The continued happiness of these two passengers somehow made him regret the choice he had been forced to make a few hours prior.

* * *

After Clyde’s capture and Mrs. Branford’s execution, Sam decided to take his prisoner to Red Rivers himself rather than alert local authorities. Upon seeing the outlaw’s face, many townsfolk greeted Sam with praise and adoration for taking down such a delinquent of their budding society. He claimed to them that he was making the delivery himself because he wanted, nay, needed to see justice done. However, the decision was more likely to be based on the hopes of claiming a reward for some type of bounty on the outlaw’s head.

The railroad ran a few miles just south of town and so the duo was forced to walk the distance to the nearby station. Sam didn’t have the good fortune to have the money for horses or other travel expenses besides the train. Luckily, their destination lay at the end of a dirt path made by the travels of many others’ journeys. Years ago, a ranch had popped up along the route and as Clyde and Sam progressed they heard gunshots emanating from a building on the premises. The lawman insisted on investigating the situation, being the upstanding citizen that he was.

Upon their arrival, the two men found not a trace of the attackers, only what had been left behind. A family had been pulled from their home, robbed, and then shot. Either the assailants were inept or entirely cruel, but they had shot them all in the bellies rather than a quick death granted from a shot to the head. There was always the slight chance the marauders meant to entirely forego killing their victims, but they managed only to prolong what was now inevitable. The head of the household was coddling the bloodied, lifeless remains of his wife and child all the while grimacing in his twofold agony.

Try as he might with his somewhat good intentions, Sam could not seem to convince the man to allow his assistance. The father wailed and cursed the heavens as his whole world lay in the blood around him. He insisted he didn’t need any help and that his life was over. Clyde knew as well as he did that he’d never make it with a wound like his, even with their assistance.

Sam wasn’t one to take no as answer and forced the man to his feet, allowing the heads of the deceased to fall to the bloodied grass with a wet thud. The man fought with the lawman to be left to die as he should. As Sam forced the man to his feet once more, Clyde slipped the restraints under his feet so his hands were free to do as they needed. Upon pilfering Sam’s sidearm, he managed to grant the father of the household his final wish as well as shoot his own bonds loose before the officer was able to react. An intense moment followed with both men having a pistol each and both aiming to kill with a single shot. Clyde shrugged and tossed the pistol at Sam’s feet and mounted a saddled horse nearby. He continued along the path to the Pinedale station with Sam trailing behind.

* * *

The outlaw realized that he didn't regret the decision that he had made, but rather the situation as it had occurred. He admired the connection the man on the train had with his daughter. From what he had experienced, it seemed much more difficult to make a new life than to destroy one. Destruction was easy - all it took was a twitch of the finger.

Two men entered at the opposite end of the cab from where Clyde had perched himself when the train left Pinedale. One remained behind and gazed out the window beside the sheraph. The other continued forward and stopped next to the outlaw and lawman.

Afternoon, gents. We ready?” A pistol was drawn in one hand and a hefty looking satchel was slung over his back.

Clyde addressed the man with a nod and stood. The sheraph had been relieved of his weapons as Sam was in the process of surrendering his own pistol and keys as well. The three of them gathered together at the rear exit and confirmed that they had already procured the church fund and both bank deposits that had been intended to be transferred to the capital. Clyde’s men ran down the itinerary as he removed the broken handcuffs from his wrists.

Sam spoke not a word while the three men exited the cab and proceeded to uncouple the final car at the rear of the train. With a tip of his bowler hat, Clyde released the caboose and the passengers watched as the car slowed and shrank into the distance.

* * *

The blow to Sam Branford’s ego was enormous as he quickly became known as ‘The Man Who Lost Clyde King’ rather than the man who brought him to justice as he had intended. In the following weeks he began drinking heavily and gambling profusely. With little effort, his debts surmounted the small fortune that he might have acquired had he completed the prisoner transfer of a notorious criminal. He was unable to find employment due to his disreputable job history and the bounties he pursued all managed to elude him. The men he was indebted to were quickly become aggressive.

After much begging and pleading on Sam’s part, a friend of an acquaintance granted him a job working as security personnel for his bank. After two days of standing next to a doorway, it quickly dawned on him that the pay was insufficient to ever be able to cover the cost of his loans.

One dark evening after closing, Sam took it upon himself to do away with the banker and steal the money in order to save his own skin. While his employer was transferring money to the safe, Sam followed him in and shot him in the stomach after knocking him to the floor. A bullet to the head made sure the job was done - a lesson learned.

He piled as much as could fit into both leather deposit satchels and left the vault in a hurry. He closed and locked the enormous door behind him in hopes of it slowing the process of others finding out what had happened, thereby slowing their pursuit of the culprit. As he pivoted on his heel to leave the scene of the crime, he was halted by the sight of a man donned with a bowler hat standing just inside the bank doorway. A smile of recognition cut across the intruder’s face as a single shot was fired. The man strode forward, accepted the bags as his own and exited the premises with a tip of his hat.

Clyde King was pleased that no innocent men had to die by his hand that day.

Truth be told, Clyde King was written with the intention of being a teaser into a new novel that I plan on completing in the near future. The entire world, timeline, and back story for characters and their plot is sitting and waiting on the sidelines. Clyde King himself will most likely end up playing a minor role in the book. I simply wanted to give this world life and a new perspective from where I was coming from in the main story arc.

I have a strong desire to bend and play with the rules of morality and social responsibilities with my stories. The anti-hero has become too cliched recently though. What if there was no hero at all? Who would win and who would lose? Is there a black or a white or is it possible that everything is gray? What if someone had no hidden desires and did exactly what he wanted, when he wanted, and was good at it? Would you adore this man or fear him? By leaving Clyde with no spoken dialogue, the reader is left to answer questions on their own.

This story was originally published as a bonus to the first edition of The Seventh Horn.