Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nanowrimo Update - 50K

The contest is over. The book is not. Saddening for the both of you I'm sure. I suppose I'm about two-thirds finished if it's any kind of consolation. Here's the thing though:

I am beat.

I've got family whose faces have become blurred in memory, friends who may or may not assume I'm still alive, and a veritable slew of potentials to date. Thank god for a locale where my passable looks, linguistic pseudo-intellect, and good guy charms have finally proven themselves useful.

Unfortunately, when I do manage to finish, I get to that part I didn't do so well the last time around. Namely, editing. As I've mentioned before, I like this story much better than T7H so maybe I won't want to set myself ablaze in self loathing as I read over what I wrote. The prizes I won from completing NaNoWriMo expire by the end of June I believe, so I'd expect another round of self-published books right around that time.

Time to hunt down a new round of artists for the cover of The Harbinger. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nanowrimo Update - Half Way and S.O.S.

Soooo, I'm in trouble. I've got 25,000 words and I'm no where near half done the story. I may have overextended my intent and gone completely off the wall with the premise and, well damn, everything. There are levels and methods of speech delivery and continuation issues and oh dear god. I'm not sure where to go from here quite honestly. There's just too much I'm trying to incorporate at one time while still making it readable, enjoyable and coherent. I fear I may lose what I am going for if I make a mad dash through it for the sake of Nano. I find myself just sitting and staring at the screen not knowing how to move forward. Do I rush through and just put down anything and try to edit and fix when I come back around? Do I just quit out and take my time working through the story?

Um, help.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nanowrimo Update - 14K

I'm loving this story. I've gotta be honest. Love it like I subconsciously love waffles.

I wrote T7H because I didn't care if, while I was rushing through Nano, I happened to completely obliterate the idea I was going for. In the end, it didn't turn out too bad. With The Harbinger though? I'm taking my time as I rush, as weird as that sounds.

I'm not trying to fit the story to the mold of the 50,000 word limit. I have every intention of just shooting right over the limit. Maybe not within the 30 days of November, but the final result will end up being much longer than T7H.

I'm not sure if that equates to a story that is too long and drawn out - I don't think so. I've spent more time making the characters significant rather than trying to hit the ground running. I hope it ends with a more significant and interesting story in the end because of it.

I'm lagging behind a bit, but I'm not too concerned. I can play catch up easy enough. Just a bit under the weather today.

Here's a few links to keep tabs on, should you so desire.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nanowrimo Update - 7K

Still slightly ahead of the required average to meet goal, but working at work then working at home takes its toll and I slowed down a little today. The next few days should allow me to play catch up a bit more. Since you're here, why not read an excerpt from what I've been working on?
“Waffles,” a familiar voice echoed.
“There's no f***ing waffles. Shut up,” he replied with a grimace.
And one more for good measure:
“We should totally bang that girl.”
“Yeah, man. Waffle her brains out.”
What'd you think I'd give you something good? :P

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nanowrimo Update - 4K

Sitting comfortably ahead of the curve at 4,115 words, I thought I'd take a few seconds to tell you what I've been writing about in The Harbinger. So far, it's mostly been about two things:

  1. Blood
  2. Waffles
Actually, it's been more about the second entry than the first. More later...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nanowrimo 2011 is Upon Us

It's upon me anyway. I dunno about you.

I've decided to stick with Blood Testament as my dedicated story arc while I participate in Nano - for the first 3 years anyway. I don't currently plan on writing any more than a trilogy for this plot. I'm very excited about it.

T7H was mostly an experiment to see if I had enough juice in the tank to actually write 50,000 words and also to see if it turned out to be anything worth reading in the end. I think that I accomplished both of those goals so I'm not as embarrassed or reluctant to give it a go this time around.

I'll keep up tidbits and such on the blog as time allows over the course of November, so feel free to check back in on me and/or see my progress at Nanowrimo as I claw my way up another 50,000 word mountain.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

Things have been going well for me lately both personally and - well I wouldn't say professionally but - linguistically. I've got a series of new stories lined up that have been springing to mind as they sometimes do. One is biblical, one is psychological, and another is what it is. Whatever that is. I hope that I grant myself the time in the next few weeks to actually get to work on 1 or more of these to serve as practice for the next round of NaNoWriMo. Admittedly, I've been out of practice for for too long now.

I'm thinking that I should use NaNo as my medium to write The Blood Testament series. The plot for T7H's sequel is pretty much thought up and all it needs is to be written down. That's how I wrote the first one and I suppose it didn't turn out too bad.

Unlike T7H, I plan for The Harbinger extend beyond the 50,000 word limit and have it turn out to be a bit more thought-out and descriptive in nature. A lot more of it will have to do with the psyche of the main character and not simply the words and actions of an over-the-top antihero like Ark. The book will also be subject to far fewer outside sources prior to release which should help keep my own words where they are. In that regard, this book will most likely be more mature in nature. Sometimes my dreams are far scarier, sexier, or vulgar than T7H may have led readers to believe, but this time I plan to let the chips fall where they may. A lot more effort and work will stem from myself this time around as well as far as rereads and proofreads are concerned. Hopefully, that will make the book as a whole um, well, uh... better.

Expect more updates from me as I once again struggle valiantly against the twisted designs of The Office of Letters and Light during National Novel Writing Month 2011. Hopefully this year will be even more successful than the last.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bloggy B-day

I missed it by a few days, but Happy Birthday to my little site here. What started as a group of random thoughts, actions, and occasional literary reviews has become my own personal link to other readers and writers alike. I'd like to thank a few people in particular.

Amanda, for helping me to rediscover what I love. Meaghan and Kim, for assisting in direction and their positive reinforcement. My mother, for pushing my book on so many unsuspecting victims. My father, for being such an avid supporter of my stuff. My readers, for lying to me long enough to make me feel a bit of satisfaction and pride in what I attempted to create.

Work will be letting up on hours in the very near future - just in time for NaNoWriMo Round 2. Should I actually be masochistic enough to try it again, I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Seriously This Time

My own internet hook up is scheduled for Sunday so that I might continue to regale you with the intricacies of my ineptitude in the field of writing round bout that time. I can impart the wisdoms I've garnered from working far too much, writing too little, and the fastest and easiest way to lose your friggin mind. See you soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

GRRM's A Dance with Dragons

Today happened to be one of my rare days off that wasn't piled high with chores and running-arounds to do, so I managed to finish off GRRM's A Dance with Dragons. Despite my new kittens' most desperate attempts to dissuade (see: annoy) me, I can say I read all 5,000 pages or so of Martin's epicly epic series thus far. What I can't say is how much I enjoyed it.

Previous books were filled with espionage and backdoor dealings and usurpers and murderers, knights and whores. While this fifth entry did name these characters, it did little to put them into any sort of action. Nothing happens. One thousand pages and, yes, nothing happens. At the end a character gets killed, but who isn't expecting (one of the many) main characters to be killed off by the end?

Maybe I'm being negative. My personal life is struggling to stay afloat and I've been really down lately. So I thought I'd take a piss all over this book. I can't help but think back and try to look at the facts of the book and remember scene by scene if anything of importance happened and, no, nothing. It builds and builds and builds... and then it's to be continued.

I guess T7H is somewhat guilty of this same thing, but at the same time it isn't. Yes I cut it short right around the 50,000 word mark, but that was my goal. During that time I introduced new characters, killed a multitude of people, two sex scenes, a full-out fist fight and a dramatic conclusion of sorts. ADWD introduced nothing new, had no wars, and no more than a dramatic scene or two. There was just a lot of travelling. Thank god he cut out his laborious and tedious descriptions of every damned crest on every damned flag and tabard. Well, not 'cut out' per se, but we don't have to trudge through whole pages of it anymore.

Sure, if you've been reading or have thought of reading A Song of Ice and Fire (or more well known to the television addicted peoples as A Game of Thrones) then obviously, read the damn book. But really, if you've been a fan of the series and you've been waiting and waiting and waiting all 6 or whatever years for the "What happens next?!" - you can take your time. There's no need to rush out to get this one. None of the answers you're looking for can be found in book number five.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I spent the last two solid weeks working and my internet connection is not up and running at my place. Rest assured, I'm still hatching thoughts and writing away behind the scenes. Thanks for taking the time to remain interested and I promise I'll be back ASAP. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and read a book.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Next at Bat

Today and the next few days I am relieved of life-draining responsibilities at work I will be working on my next release, namely a collection of my short stories. I've already got six or seven prepped and ready to go, so to get in the mood I'm taking a few minutes here and there to write brief descriptions about the how's and why's of certain pieces.

Doing so has hit me with a rush of different feelings. I feel nostalgic because I remember the mindset I was in back then and I must admit I miss certain things about the environment I was in. I feel excited because I just realized that I only just started this venture into writing less than a year ago and I have a book completely written and published. I feel sad for all the time I've wasted throughout the years, knowing that I could have spent time more wisely in my education over the past two decades. I feel pessimistic because, well, that's what I do to make me feel optimistic. Shh, don't ask.

At any rate, if my life lets me have my way with it, I expect to have the collection completed before winter arrives. I know that seems very far off considering that it's about 100 degrees here in Jersey, but creativity takes properly timed spontaneous attacks of creativity. I don't choose when to write, it chooses me. My new place and dedicated workstation will hopefully make short work of the rest of the stories. God knows I have enough in queue to pull from at this point. Here's to the gods and muses of literacy and my willingness to be taken advantage of.

Monday, July 18, 2011

For Sale

To put it succinctly:

Paperback done.
Available from publisher.
Go here.
Use code "QWCTWFKS" for 20% off.

Now that I've saved you some time, you can spend it reading the book.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Why

Before I begin, my author picture(s) is (are) complete and so the paperback version is now being reviewed one last time before actual publication. It will take a few days for the last proof copy to arrive and then it can be loosed upon unsuspecting readers. I still technically beat GRRM's fifth book to publication if you count the e-book. I'll just keep telling myself that.

I got to thinking the other day about why I wrote what I did. A lot of authors, especially new authors, are on a paranormal romance and young adult vampire fiction kick. The thing of it is, I didn't write this thing to follow trend and try to exploit what may be currently selling in the stores. As you may or may not know, I wrote T7H during the month of November 2010 for a contest (if it can be called that) entitled 'National Novel Writing Month' otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. Out of the dozen or so ideas I have milling around the noggin, I chose the psychic vampire story because I just assumed it was my weakest plot, to be quite honest. I figured, "Hey. If it turns out like hell at the end, there's no big loss since its the one of the ideas that probably isn't going anywhere anyway."

See, I've always been a fan of vampire fiction and so naturally one of my works would have to be as such. Some of my favorite pieces from my youth included Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stephen King's Salem's Lot, Popsy and The Night Flyer, Vampire Hunter D, and Blood: The Last Vampire, and so on and so forth. It is simply unfortunate for me that my drive to begin writing fell in the same era where vampirism has become bastardized.

I also chose to write in a simplistic and youthful tone in order to try to reach a broader audience. I don't mean that for the sake of marketability, but rather as a means to do my part in getting more people to start reading more often or even at all. I was about half way through Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead the other night and I realized that, despite the fact that the book is indisputably well-written, it would probably be exceedingly dull for the casual reader. Paragraphs and pages upon pages worth of narration can make a reader feel like bashing their head against a wall if they aren't completely dedicated to the story.

When writing T7H, I skipped the elaborations of character and scene description in favor of dialogue because, quite frankly, I personally find dialogue more entertaining as a reader and more natural as a writer. Everyone always has their own interpretations of what things and people look like as they read, so why not let them do what comes natural and create the world as each person might imagine it? Why define everything so concretely when the world can be much more alive and believable when left to each reader's own creativity? That was my thought anyway.

I was also quite inebriated during the entire writing of the book, so that might have something to do with it as well, I guess.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back on Track

Saturday. I hope Saturday will be the day I get someone to give me the last piece of the puzzle that will allow me to put T7H into paperback. Which means next week I can take a day and finish off the last little tidbits and get the book printed for the fifty-or-so people who've been waiting for it. In the beginning, the goal was to write and publish a book before GRRM managed to put out volume five of A Song of Ice and Fire. With a little luck, I still might be able to get that done. If not, hey, I will have written and published a book in just a few months while working at the same time. Still not a bad accomplishment. Less distractions and more time would be killer, though.

With what little time I have left in my mini-vacation (AKA two days off in a row) I'm trying to finish off the remainder of a short story that I began a lifetime ago. Maybe it was a month or so. Seems like longer. At any rate, I'm writing something and I feel good about it. I think this will make for 5 stories completed with an additional 3 in the works/planning/back of my head. Suggestions on how many I should put in the collection? Mind you, the faster I finish up the short stories, the faster I can get down to sequels.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wax On, Wax Off

I'd apologize, but I tried that the last time I posted and wasn't really all that apologetic when I did it. Lately, I've been working to the point of exhaustion while spending very minimal amounts of "me time" interspersed. I think I've allowed myself to wander a bit too far away from what I'm trying to do and I think if I go too much farther, it'll be too steep of an incline to crawl back up. So, I've decided to do something about it - start drinking again.

I've done absolutely no writing whatsoever in at least a month and I'm very much pissed at myself about it. Part of it comes from the fact that I'm disappointed that I still haven't managed to complete the paperback publish of T7H and part of it comes from being burnt out and allowing my mind to wander. Sure, I enjoy the company of women as much as the next guy, but I'm not getting anywhere in the long run. I need someone to come along, tell me, "Hey. I'm single, attractive, intelligent, and have a personality. We should get together."  And I'd be all like, "Okay." See, if miracles were real, my life would be much easier.

I need to refocus and reinstate my value system. My philosophy of minimalism is really falling by the wayside as of late. By removing obstacles and ignoring distractions, I can reduce the amount of stress in my life by breaking everything down to the essentials. The only problem with that, of course, is that it leaves no room for anyone else in my life. A close friend recently told me that she noticed a change in me and that I'm, for lack of a more appropriate word, "better" than I used to be. I'm more open and socially interactive, whereas before I was more stand-offish and withdrawn. That makes me feel good to hear that, sure, but it also opens me up for a whole shit ton of problems should I choose to follow that route. I'm sure that I've more than totally confused the women I've been dating with my on-again/off-again routine.

I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about at this point.

Basically, here's my dilemma - do I continue the path I'm on and actively try to pursue a fruitful social life like everyone else or do I return to self-deprivation in order to complete the work I feel that I have to (and almost need to) do? Seek fulfillment in the company of others or seek fulfillment completing my own goals and desires? With this job, I only have so much time allotted to me and me can't physically and mentally do both.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sorry, I Guess?

I feel like I'm supposed to apologize to someone, but I, for the life of me, can't figure out who.  I've had little to no time available to make any literary progress and I'm really kind of sad about it.  Kind of.  Last week, I spent what little time I had at bars, clubs, and Phillies games with friends, so it was far from a total waste.

I'm starting to become concerned that I won't find the time to keep writing.  The past six months have been spent on finding, focusing, and centering myself and (besides the living arrangements) I'm making decent progress in that direction in spite of my lackluster movement with writing.  I think it will be just a temporary thing until I get to where I need to be and not in a constant state of turmoil.

As far as books are concerned, if I ever get someone with a more-than-phone-quality camera to take a damn picture of me, I can at least get T7H into paperback publication.  That's seriously all that's holding me up at this point.  While I can't stand my own appearance, I feel it adds a necessary personal quality to every book and I'd really like to have a decent author pic on the back cover before I send it off.  I think I'll have the short story collection wrapped up sooner rather than later, so there's something to look forward to, anyway.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Christopher Moore's Lamb

I'm glad that I took my first swing at the pinata del writing before reading this book. Even I would call myself a hack after seeing the irreverent portrayal and humor regarding Christianity in both books. We both use dialogue  in an over the top manner to flesh out the characters' personalities rather than spending words, paragraphs, and pages trying to describe them. Moore's existence also somewhat justifies that I'm not the only one who would actually write this way. The biggest and most apparent difference between him an I is that this man knows what the hell he's doing, where as I, sadly, do not.

The casual reader or pious theologian might glance at the cover and description of the book and be completely offput and offended. While the book is certainly rife with obscenities and occasional sexual situation, it takes the life of Christ pretty damn seriously. I was actually surprised at how serious the tone of the book actually is, despite the fact that the son of God can be quoted as calling people "dumbfucks."

At no point in the book does Mr. Moore even begin to slide in the notion of spiritual debate. He doesn't try to make religion look stupid or try to undermine the principles of faith. He doesn't try to convince you to believe in the existence of God either, if that happens to be your issue. It's simply an entertaining story about Jesus Christ and what he and his buddy might have been going through during the missing years of his life as he prepared to be the Messiah. Certainly, some creative liberties were taken, but it's a really good read and I'd recommend it to anyone who knows even a little bit about Christianity and has a generous sense of humor. I can't imagine you'd be reading anything I've had to say thus far without some humor in ya anyway.  

Scratch that, you don't even have to know anything about religion. With some religious background you just might catch more of the more subtle nuances of the story is all. It's worth your time. Do you like reading and think maybe you think like I think? Then you'll enjoy this book.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's Been a Long Day - So Shoot Me

While I am hashing out the vagueries of The Harbinger, I've decided to sneak in a few short stories.  I've found that I can have decent amounts of script pop in to my head during my work day, so I'm effectively writing and earning money at the same time.  They, of course, don't go hand-in-hand at the moment.  They might one day.  And yes, vagueries is a word if I want it to be.

I am currently writing one in honor of my ex-wife and her father.  While that might seem odd to everyone including myself, it'll be much clearer when I release it as part of my first short story mini-collection. I won't say the title because I love it so much, but you'll certainly know which one it is when you read them.

On a side note, I think that I may have found a term by which to define myself.  I've always responded with "stream of consciousness" when asked what my writing style is, but I don't think that entirely describes it.  I think I enjoy the term "absurdist" and plan to explore that genre, as it were.

Absurdist fiction (i.e. Vonnegut and Moore somewhat specifically) incorporates humor and a lack importance on mortality, as well as a general exploration of "nothingness."  Now, anyone who has ever been a teenager should understand the general and surface qualities which nothingness might mean.  Feelings of despair, loneliness, and emptiness, of course.  But it goes deeper than that by trying to find an importance of existence by investigating the world outside which might be presented on a silver platter or hung dangling just out of one's reach.  It allows a writer or thinker to discover the meaning of life while simultaneously remaining as far away from pretension as possible.

I'll admit that while T7H is not anywhere close to exploring the importance of life on Earth or debating the philosophies of human existence, it does somewhat touch upon the subject.  I initially had absolutely no intention of it being anything more than an enjoyable romp though a bleak vampire wonderland.  I think my short stories play upon the idea a bit more.  I really like the idea of messing with and bending the rules of morality in my work as well as trying to make myself laugh as often as possible while creating it.  It seems that when you really look at it, that is the essence of absurdist fiction.  Or maybe not, who the hell knows?  Like I went to school to learn any of this.

Yes, I've had a long day at work and have been drinking.  I apologize for my verbose and grandiose ramblings.  Please come back later, I promise to be normal by then.  Well, me-normal, anyway.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Something Borrowed & Limitless

Went on a date the other day and took her to two movies after dinner.  Always the gentleman, I let her pick what she wanted to see and so we ended up with a chick flick and a mediocre action/sci-fi movie.  There's not a lot out there right now to be seen anyway.  Thor can bite me.

Something Borrowed is exactly what its title suggests.  Something was borrowed from every cliche chick movie I've ever seen.  There was that scene where the girl runs back to the guy in the rain to profess her love.  Theres a scene where the characters share a kiss in the middle of a busy road, for reasons which I was unable to deduce (none of the cars even so much as swerved or honked which I found to be the strangest part of that scene).  There's the goofy, comic relief, friend-of-the-main-character-who-is-obviously-in-love-with-her bit.

Maybe I've hung around with too many girls and seen more of these movies than a man should, but this movie made no sense.  The main love interest, while undoubtedly handsome, is a total coward and a bit of a bitch.  He  never makes up his mind, the women toss him around, and he just follows them around like a lost puppy. I was under the impression this behavior is unattractive in a man, but what do I know?  The aforementioned opposite sex sidekick gets his face literally bashed in as he's just trying to do his best for the main character and gets totally ignored.  Ignored not just by the girl, but by the movie script.  He professes his love, moves out of the country - and the story just leaves the poor bastard there.  That's not how these movies are supposed to work, people.  The cheating lovers who break up the marriage do not live happily ever after, that's a mutated version of infatuation masquerading as love.  The girl is supposed to recognize her best friend as the sane choice and that's your happy ending. Duh.

Limitless wasn't too bad.  I kinda like Cooper and DeNiro as actors and the story wasn't super outlandish or anything.  MC stumbles upon a drug that expands the limits of the mind's capacity to 100% and he becomes the equivalent of Brainiac, basically.  There's a physical price to pay and bad guys want it and chaos ensues pretty much as expected.  What was unexpected was the ending.  I don't know if you care enough to watch the movie and if you don't wanna know the ending, you may skip to the next paragraph.  Go ahead.  Throughout the course of the movie, the guy is constantly taking a drug, has to steal and lie to get ahead, yet comes out on top in the end.  He kills the bad guys, permanently augments his body with this drug somehow, and goes on to run the country.  My first reaction was, "Wasn't he supposed to learn a lesson?  Weren't we supposed to realize it's better to be yourself than to alter yourself to make you something you're not?  Say no to drugs?  Anything?"  Apparently not.  It's not a bad movie and there was blood drinking, which sufficiently freaked out my date which I enjoyed.  All in all, maybe give it a watch through when it gets Blu-Ray'd or RedBoxed.

In the end, I guess I can't complain too much.  Got some Cajun and was able to see two movies for the price of one and spent my first day off in over a week in a pretty enjoyable way.  I know I need to get back to the task at hand, but sometimes you just really need to get out, ya know?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Time to Crash

After drawing over 400 visitors last month and an overall visitor count of over 1,000 in six months, I'm starting to realize that there may be some strange individuals out there who are actually interested in me.  I dunno about you, but those are pretty impressive numbers for little ol me.  It makes me sad to admit that I can't keep up on the writing schedule I had laid out for myself in order to build upon that interest.

I had hoped to at least finish writing The Harbinger and a series of shorties I have lined up before the end of the year, but this new job is - well, draining.  I'm grateful to have it and I can't thank my benefactor and friend for hiring then promoting me with such speed, but I'm also inwardly sad that I won't have any time to read or write.  During this time of year, I'm expected to put in a minimum attendance of 52-58 hours a week.  The money is good and the coworkers have been great, but what am I supposed to do?

I need to work to live, but I think I may have finally found my reason to live in writing.  Whether I magically take off as a professional writer or remain grounded as an unacknowledged indie writer, writing is what I do now.  I may have to look into procuring copious amounts of energy drinks and forego sleeping in the future.  I wonder if that caffeine IV drip scheme ever came to fruition... I used to be a gamer, sorry.

Anyway, I'll be doing my best to keep on movin on.  

Oh, PS - The proof copy came in for The Seventh Horn today.  The inside looks effin great, but the cover is a little lacking.  I'm going to spend part of tomorrow (my first day off in over a week) trying to up the resolution and clarity of the image and see what I can do about getting a better picture of myself.  I don't care for my appearance, so I've never been one to take pictures.  My shirt and tie combo, while makes me look human, doesn't adequately convey who I am.  I'm not professional-uptight-man.  I'm jeans-and-tee-guy.  Let's see what we can do about that, hm?  I'm also adding a little extra special piece to the paperback edition before final printing.  I think you'll enjoy it.  I know I did.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Harbinger, I Summon Thee

More than a gallon of writer's block smasher.
The proof copy of The Seventh Horn is on its way to me so I must resume my writing habits.  I'll start by playing with one of my short stories and jump right into Blood Testament: The Harbinger directly after.  I think the picture speaks for itself.  I wouldn't say alcohol makes me write well... I'd say it makes me care less about every little damned issue and just do it.  At some point I imagine that I'll be comfortable enough with my writing and just do it without the need for assistance.  Some pretty decent scenes from T7H flew from my fingers when I was hammered, so let's see what comes from this go around.  Hey, maybe if I'm lucky, I can use this merlot for its alternative purpose before I waste it all on writing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Updates, Updates

Alright.  Here we go:

1) You are correct.  You are now at  I thought it egotistical to name a website after myself too, but it seems to be the easiest way to tell other people about my little space here.  It's also commonplace for real authors to do so - so what the hell?

2) You may notice a "Bio" page up top there.  That's just a little something about me that you may or may not know.  I thought it'd add another layer of depth to the relatively stale page here, so have at it.  I had to have a friend write it up for me because I simply can't talk about myself and be comfortable with it.  Thank you to my editorial consultant, Kim.

3) The Seventh Horn has received an update to version 2 on B& and  Minor grammatical errors and spelling errors were resolved along with a few tiny add-ons here and there.  Notably, the language was toned down a bit to allow for a bit wider range of audience.  If you purchased it already, you should be able to download it again for free to receive those changes.  Sincerest apologies for the mishap.

4) The Seventh Horn is is being processed for self-published paperback edition, ISBN and all.  It's being produced through a company called CreateSpace which falls under its parent company of  I'm not sure of all the logistics, but I believe you will be able to purchase it outright and have it shipped to you right from the website when the time comes.  If I recall, the price will end up being something like $6.00-7.00 + shipping, but don't quote me on that.  In all likelihood, I will be ordering an amount for distribution to you lucky people which will end up being much cheaper than that.  My copies will be signed to boot (ooh, ahh.  I know.)

5) In light of the strange increase in traffic to the site and the random friend requests I've been receiving, I've decided to make an Author Page on Facebook.  You can see the shortcut button over on the right-hand side.  Click it and join the few other people who think I'm just swell.  New posts and updates will end up there, while my personal stuff will end up - good guess - on my personal page.  Again, it feels narcissistic of me, but anyone who knows me knows that's not the case.

Excerpt: Amalgamations and Cacophonies

Men, women and children jumbled together in settings while scenarios melded together into hideous, nightmarish landscapes.  Bloodshot eyes were located in the center of the most beautiful of daisies and human arms protruded from the oaks.  The blades of grass were stainless steel and ivy was razor-wire.  The sky was on fire, blood poured from the clouds, and icicles hung from the sunbeams.  Vaguely misshapen human bodies twitched as they remained impaled on the dangerous flora across the landscape.  One man had a triangle for a head while others had ears, eyes and mouths which were scrambled upon their faces.  In the distance, an enormous fuchsia and teal spotted spider bore a multitude of newborn baby faces where its insectoid eyes should have been and it walked upon legs made of glass.  Ark was immobilized as the disturbing scene played out before him and the baby-headed arachnid slowly and carefully made its way toward him.  Monstrous legs clicked and clacked across the bladed grass field and as it approached him, it raised a shimmering leg.  With a quick jab, it pierced through his face and he found himself returned to the world of the living with a scream.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bunnies and Eggs and Chocolate

Hope everyone had a great day with kin and kindred alike.

The next few days should be interesting.  Wednesday's interview for promotion is the next time I am scheduled for work, so during my free time I will be wrapping up the most final edits and then moving forward with the rest of T7H.

'Moving forward' should include paperback publishing and review by what I would call a VIP.  I'm a little excited by the potential outcome of this next phase.  T7H has been pretty well received thus far, so here's hoping that a professional review will serve as a more definitive reason to believe that I might actually be able to write.  Once that is complete, I plan to go into marketing, contests, and whatever else I can manage.  Not to mention that I'm going to begin writing The Harbinger in full force.  If my promotion goes through, it will seriously eat into my writing time, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

On another note, I'm considering moving this blog o' mine to an actual namesake.  The heightened traffic I've been receiving leads me to believe that I can only achieve greater heights by making myself accessible to a wider audience. will still take you here if you are bookmarked or what have you, but I think this upgrade might be in order.  It sounds narcissistic to me, but I think is probably the best option.  It's unfortunate my last name is easily misspelled and that 'ss' combo in there really bothers me - but oh well.

Wish me luck as I wish you a happy rest of your holiday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shower Epiphany

There I was taking a shower when I was suddenly struck with an idea for a book.  I will tell you now that the two are completely independent of one another and the idea in no way involves showers or anything down that road.  Big disappointment, I'm sure.  Wipe that smirk off your face.

Now that I think on it, the idea might have sprung from the bits and pieces of the Bio section that I've been discussing with a friend.  I know I had a similar idea a few weeks ago, but I didn't have any way to write it down at the time and now it's gone.  I've still managed to retain what began that lost idea, however.

Stephen King says that he gets his ideas from taking two mostly unrelated ideas and smashing them together (and then one can only assume he sprinkles paranormal stuff in there for good measure).  He then asks that predicament or situation the question: What If?  Instead, I like the concept: Careful What You Wish For.  It's more of an addendum to his question, I guess.

What if that were a real thing?  Careful what you wish for.

There are always people running around with ideas that they think are fabulous and wonderful and these people are always asking others to agree.  Everyone has met at least one person like this.  "The government should do this!" and "Someone should invent something that does that!" and "Such-and-such should be illegal!"  Okay, what if?  Maybe next time you'll be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Year Gone By

Just concluded my birthday and overall, I'd say it went pretty well.  This week I got a bit of extra bonus cash from the side job, got a new job opportunity on the horizon where I won't have to risk my life on a daily basis, e-published my first book, got a new radio setup in the car so I can listen to decent stuff finally, and had a nice meal or three today.  Something's missing, but good things come to those who wait - or some shit like that.

So, I'm working on the possibility for a paperback "definitive" edition of T7H.  I didn't catch everything in the editing process and there are a few more little things that I see need tightening up here and there.  I'm an amateur, but I'm trying, ya know?  I'll update the e-book to reflect the changes when it's complete so that future downloads will receive that as well.  I have something in mind for people who already bought the e-book, too.  If this includes you, send me an e-mail or a message on Facebook.  I'm going to compile a list and try to do a little something for ya in the future.

Besides that, I'm going to get back to work on the two short stories that are in progress.  It's been too long since I've actually written something.  Thank god for the note-taking ability that spawned from thin air, otherwise I would've undoubtedly forgotten 90% of the stories I have laid out.

Monday, April 11, 2011

So To Answer Your Question (Part 2)

It's now been 48 hours since release.  I'm kinda impressed at the sales thus far (yes, I can see how many copies are sold).  Help me out.  Send me a question about the book and I'll answer it.  Read through T7H and write me a review on the sales sites.  I appreciate any word of mouth marketing that you give me and will do my best to show it to you later on.

Q) Is that supposed to be Ark on the cover?
A) Yeah.  I guess I couldn't convey that I wanted Ark to be an attractive male.  If casting the role of Ark in a movie, I'd have gone for a young Jason Lewis.

Q) I don't have an e-reader or a fancy shmancy tablet.  Whaddya want from me?
A) Well, I'll be the first to admit that it's a pain in the ass to read on the computer.  It can make you wanna dig your eyes out.  That's what I think anyway.  If you aren't like me and think you'd like to read it on your computer, both the Nook and the Kindle have free apps you can download to your PC, iPhone or etc.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I'm playing with the notion of free signed copies of the paperback version for the first batch of people who buy the e-book.  If you buy the e-book and are still having a tough time, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Q) You suck.
A) That's not a question, sir.

Q) Was it necessary to swear that much?
A) Yup.  Look, would you have really believed that the uneducated residents of an apocalyptic Philadelphia went around saying "gosh darn" and "dang it?"  Yeah, me neither.  They don't talk like that now, why would they talk like that later?

Q) Are you really going to finish this series or am I going to read this and get pissed off?
A) If you tell me that you actually want more after reading T7H, I will gladly write the next two.

Q) Sorry, I don't like reading books.
A) Again, not a question, but I will forgive you young lady.  T7H is not an epic novel, nor did I want it to be.  It's just supposed to be entertaining.  With the amount of stupid dialogue in there, you might think you're reading a script instead of a book anyway.  T7H doesn't require a dictionary to understand and it doesn't demand you have a philosophy degree.  You may need a sense of humor, however.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So To Answer Your Question (Part 1)

It's been about 24 hours since The Seventh Horn went up for sale on the websites and I thought maybe I'd take a few moments to answer some questions.

Q) I haven't been paying attention to your ramblings.  What's your book about?
A) From my spontaneous synopsis:

"Ark awoke with powers he didn't ask for surrounded on all sides by people who despise him for who he is. It certainly hasn't changed their feelings about him now that he's dead. He was always a bit of a loner and always a bit of a chauvinistic coward, but people no longer want to avoid him - they want him dead. On the other hand, the dead seem to understand his thirst for power and offer him a place in their community of psychopaths and murderers. Only one person is keeping Ark's untapped powers from destroying the world and she seems to think that he is a messenger from God. Will it be salvation that Ark chooses or will the dark embrace prove too strong to resist?"

To clarify, it's a fairly short novel (just over 50,000 words) about a suddenly turned vampire in Philadelphia during the biblical apocalypse.  If you live in the area, you're sure to recognize locations and landmarks that I've mentioned.  Everything takes place in the real, yet fictionalized, Philadelphia.  Yeah, it's a vampire book because I've had an infatuation with the real vampires like Vlad Tepes and Lestat for a great many years.  It's not my fault everyone else ruined vampires, alright?  This isn't a romance novel and it's not a young adult novel.  It's a book about what if a real person turned into a vampire?  Not a gothic weirdo, not a teenager, not a ninja.  In fact, I'll come right out and say it - he's an asshole.  It made me laugh just writing it.  If you'd like tidbits: 1, 2, 3, 4 excerpts from the first draft are here for your viewing pleasure.  Samples are also available from purchase pages on B&N and Amazon.

Q) Ugh, I gotta pay?
A) Yeah, I know.  I'm sorry.  It's only a buck though.  It's the cheapest I was able to set it for on the websites.  I know it's more about the hassle of having to input your CC information into the websites than the actual dollar, but c'mon.  I think a few hours of entertainment and helping someone out is worth the minute and half worth of work, right?  Besides, I don't even get the whole dollar - not even half, to be honest.  It's about having the numbers showing that people are interested in me.  I'm toying with the idea of having specials for facebook and blog fans who buy the e-book.  Perhaps free paperback editions signed by yours truly?  Perhaps giveaways of the cover art?  Perhaps I'll write you into my next book?  Who knows.  Be a sport.  Read the book and tell people you know some jackass wrote a book and that maybe you liked it.  That's all I really want.

Q) I'm already done.  Can I have some more?
A) The Seventh Horn (T7H) is the first book of what I plan to be a trilogy I've named Blood Testament (Old, New, Blood Testaments - I slap biblical text pretty hard, fyi).  A prequel entitled The Harbinger is next, followed by a sequel tentatively called The Charred.  While it took me about six months in total to write T7H, I have no idea how long it'll take me to pop out the next two.  I may get sidetracked with short stories and the other novel I started a while back called XII.  If you happened to enjoy my writing, let me know and I will do my best to get what I can sent your way.  Find me on facebook, send me an e-mail, give me a call, or jump on here and leave me a comment or two.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Release Day

Welcome sinners and heathens, friends and family!  Have you ever had the overwhelming desire to read a cheap piece of trash filled with heresy and vampires written by an untalented hack?  Well, today is your lucky day.  The e-book version of The Seventh Horn is now available for purchase for the amazingly expensive price of $0.99 on Barnes and Noble's website.  Click the link for more details.  The Kindle version should be released tomorrow on with that information to follow.  Need a Nook App?  


It's almost time.  My sin shall be wrought upon the Earth.  What sin, you ask?  The publication of Blood Testament: Volume I.  Many frowny faces will litter the walls of Facebook upon the release of this travesty.  It's bad, awful and bad.  You don't want to read it.  You may be deemed worthy of excommunication for even thinking otherwise.  Look away.

You still here?  Well, don't say I didn't warn ya.  Keep an eye out in the next few days, brave followers.  It's almost time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Second and Last Draft

Completed the suggested edits this evening and it feels like it took longer to do that than actually write the book. I did manage to shove the entire first draft process into one month, so it's very possible I spent more days doing revisions, I guess.  I think I'm just going to skim over what I've got on the Nook and pop it on up for e-publishing. I really want to get started on something else and having this constantly looming over me is kind of a buzz kill.  I started writing because I enjoy it.  Gotta do something to keep it fresh and interesting for me.  I've got a couple short stories lined up.  That should be fun.  Maybe I'll even slap em all together into a collection sometime in the future.  Hell, I haven't even read anything in weeks.  I'm obviously really burnt out right now, so I bid you adieu.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Ahead of Myself

Very Early Cover
I couldn't sleep last night because I was having one of those unbidden brainstorm evenings.  It began with thinking about needing to get to work on The Seventh Horn and ideas for the prequel began to flood in.  Initially, The Harbinger was not only a totally separate story, but it was told from a totally different point of view.  I was struck with the notion to flip the roles of the heroes and villains of the story and the biblical references in my mind just exploded in response.  

If you don't know me well enough yet - I spent 10 years in a Christian school.  I am now armed with enough theological information to be sufficiently sacrilegious at great length.  Sure, I've taken creative liberties in order to make these stories, but it amuses me how much bible-speak I've managed to tie in.  Dan Brown did it in The Da Vinci Code and everyone wanted to crucify him.  Imagine that, but without the pretentiousness and a lot of swearing instead.  Oh, and vampires.  Maybe it's more like an elongated, uncensored episode of Supernatural.  Whatever.

Anyway, after I managed to entertain myself with my new premise, more kept pouring in and I ended up with at least 10 more ideas for short stories.  It's slightly annoying that I did so because I'm in the middle of writing two and have another 12 lined up even before getting to the ones that popped up yesterday.  It's never a bad thing to have too many ideas, I guess.  I'm eager to write something anything, but The Flying Spaghetti Monster answered my prayers and I don't have enough time to do so right now.  Gotta work, gotta earn money, gotta edit, gotta sleep, gotta live.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to Work x 2

Tomorrow I go back to work.  Nothing too fancy, but it'll pay the bills.  Combine that with the occasional renderings I do as a side job and I should actually be pretty busy for a little while.  Which is a good thing because I was losing my mind for a while there.  Insomnia, cabin fever, poverty and celibacy adds up to a pretty lethal dose of depression.  Luckily, the employment should steamroll right over those issues one after another.  I did manage to write the entire book while working in retail during the holidays, so this new job should push me to actually do something.

I'm now also trying to get back to working on edits for The Seventh Horn after this month of mental paralysis.  I've mostly got the proofreading finished and the right wording down on paper.  It just needs to be transfered to the document, altered to the correct file format, uploaded to the sites, and published.

Once again, my perfectionism and self-defeatism have reared their ugly heads and I now hate everything I've written.  It's been too long since November and the joy of writing the thing has since left me.  It is my first attempt at a full-length (sorta) novel and I did write the damned thing in a month, so I guess I shouldn't expect too much from it.  But it's not fun now, I just want to toss the whole thing and do something else.  I won't of course, because I had to go and tell people that I did it and then spent money getting cover art for it.  Ah well.  I enjoyed writing it and maybe you'll get a chuckle or two out of Ark and a disgusted face or three at the amount of times I felt it necessary to swear throughout the story.  I could spend another few months worrying about the exact wording of every little thing, but ya know what?  It's supposed to be fun.  So screw it.

If I miraculously manage to dedicate myself to completing everything, you should find the book up for sale on Barnes & Noble for the Nook and for Kindle right around April 15.  If you don't have an e-reader and don't feel inclined to read tens of thousands of words on your computer, I'll try to figure out something out with paperback publishing perhaps.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Last Time & Stranger Than Fiction

I wrote a short story this morning called The Last Time.  I felt pretty good about it until my reader didn't really get what I was going for at all.  I guess I try to attempt new things every time I write and so I may hit some speed bumps here and there, but I was somewhat disappointed by the reaction I got from this one.  It's written in the first person which is one of the many unusual things I tried with this story.  Oh well.  I enjoyed writing it and maybe someday others will enjoy reading it.

Yesterday I watched the movie Stranger Than Fiction (free as a PS3 download, fyi) which has given me reason to regret the numerous ways I've killed or plan to kill characters in my stories.  Upon thinking about it, I realized that I kill someone in each and every story that I write.  Whether that means I'm trying to work through my own personal issues or whether it means I'm a little bit crazy has yet to be determined, I suppose.  At any rate, it's not as if I imagine my characters to be real and walking around the Earth as they are subjected to my sadistic whims.  It simply means I have a different perspective on my inventions.  I casually discard my characters whenever I feel like it simply because they belong to me.  

Let me take a step back for a second.  Stranger Than Fiction starring Will Ferrell (and that girl from The Dark Knight who I don't care enough about to look up) is about a really boring IRS agent who falls in love.  At some point he starts to hear the narration of his life and begins to realize that he is a character in a story and that the author plans to kill him off in the very near future.  He doesn't want to die and very little comedy ensues, considering it's a Will Ferrell movie.  I'm not saying it's a bad movie, it's simply not a punch-you-in-the-face comedy like every other one of his films.

I was discussing part of this concept with a friend of mine and she wrote it off as "death is a natural part of life and is therefore integral to everyone's story."  Maybe that's true, but to me that sounds like a load of crap.  Death isn't a necessary or even an important part of all of the plotlines.  I just manage to kill a character every time I write.  A bank robbery gone wrong, a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, a vampire bite, drowning, leaping off a rooftop, and armageddon are just some of the ways I've destroyed my own creations.  I had never thought twice about it before watching this movie, but I have a new appreciation for an imagined reality now that I've seen it.

In conclusion, I've killed yet another character.  Ironically, this time it seems that I killed them without point or purpose since my reader didn't even enjoy it.  Back to the drawing board - or typewriter - or laptop.  However you want to look at it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life is Like an Elephant...

...who knows that it would be more comfortable to sit on my person than the cold, dusty floor.  So I am left with no choice but to run around like an idiot as I try to avoid its enormous ass as it tries to crush me or I can attempt to hide in a secluded second-story room where I know the elephant cannot possibly follow me.  After all, how would an elephant climb the stairs to get up there let alone fit its wide load in the front door?

That's right.  It's 3AM and sleep is nowhere in sight.  Sure, I can lie here and stare at the ceiling and listen to the clock as it tolls away the hours - but what fun is that?  I'm supposed to be writing 1,000 words or so per day to keep the mental tools sharpened, but I've been seriously lagging behind on that front as of late.  I'm depressed and there's no use denying it.  I can't sleep, I don't want to eat, and I don't particularly care to do much of anything.  It's even less fun than it sounds, let me tell you.  At any rate, I'm supposed to be heading over the river and through the woods (or city) to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a matter of hours, so I will now resume burying my face in a nearby pillow in a feeble attempt to get some sleep before that happens.  G'night - or Good Mornin' depending on your reference point.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Seventh Horn Cover Art

The cover art for the book is finalized (I hope).  It took some edits, some reworks, some words exchanged - but that's in the past and it's done.  While not what I was initially expecting and Ark's hair is a bit too blonde and slightly emo - I think it still makes for a presentable book cover.  Thanks and credit goes to Ryan Vogler for his time and energy spent making this piece for me.  Now onto final edits and e-book publication due in April 2011.  I'm planning on special pricing for my friends and "fans" for the initial run.

While I'm here, let me note that I appreciate any comments, words of praise, or bashing you may feel necessary to inflict upon me.  I guess I don't appreciate the bashing - but criticism is sometimes as helpful as kindness.  Tell me what you think and participate, dammit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scratch That

That last post.  Scratch that.  I was getting too stressed out about getting what I wanted on the cover while working with the previous artist.  She and her partner are undoubtedly talented and I regret not being able to follow through on our progress, but I've gone another direction.  Check out the new illustrator's deviantArt portfolio here.

Additionally, I've pushed back the publication date to mid-April due to a light bulb of marketing brilliance.  It will also give me time to nail down the remaining edits from my editor(s).  Have I mentioned that I hate the editing process?  I've always just typed - saved - printed - stapled - handed in.  This whole other proofreading phase is a nuisance.  A necessary nuisance - but a nuisance nonetheless.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cover Art For Realsies

Silly things I used to make
I'm so happy when my stuff becomes a reality.  That was the best part of designing for an architect.  I'd spend hours burning my eyes and brain out in front of a computer.  Those lines one day transfer to blueprints.  And one day those papers become a monstrous structure which you can walk through.  That mess of colored lines that I had drawn months prior would stand erected before me.  It's kind of an amazing feeling.  No matter who much a client or contractor might have destroyed your initial vision, it is now a thing.  It's real.

To that end, my new Frankenstein monster is about to get shot with a bit of life.  My writings are nearing their external editing process which will lead to a few revisions on my part and publications will follow shortly thereafter.  I've decided on a very talented artist who has agreed to destroy Philadelphia for me to serve as the cover for The Seventh Horn.  I'm very excited to say the least.  She will be working in conjunction with a fellow artist to create a final product and, from the looks of things, it shall be very impressive.  Her sample images can be found on her deviantART portfolio as well as her website.  Feel free to check in on her dA site, it appears that she might be planning to update the image there as she creates it.  You'll just have to take my word that her partner -in-crime is quite talented as well.

I expect The Seventh Horn to be available for purchase right around March 1, 2011.  It will initially only be available in e-book format on the Barnes and Noble website, so get your apps, programs and devices ready now!  Physical print publications may become available in the future if I feel silly enough to do so or perhaps if requested (or bribed - hint, hint).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Clyde King and Stephen King

Well, that was fast.  Clyde King is done.  I deliberately tried to make it short and short it was.  After the first writing, it came in at just over two thousand words but I really enjoy it for what it is.  Clyde is the opposite of Ark, there isn't a city in sight, and nobody has any super vampire powers.  It's lovely.

This raises a new question for me obviously: Now what the hell am I supposed to do?  I'm going to rip through these twenty-or-so ideas that are written down in no time if I don't turn one into another book.  I'd really like to move forward in getting things in print so maybe that will eat up some time eventually.  Employment will probably cut into my writing time in the near future as well (hopefully).

On a side note, I finished Stephen King's On Writing last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The first half is about his childhood and the steps he took to becoming the nutjob that he is today.  I wish I had started seriously doing this sooner like he did.  He sold his stories to classmates in middle school, sent in short stories for publication during high school and had his first novel published before he was my age.  I know that it's stupid to compare my experiences with one of today's most prolific writers, but it's hard not to when everything in your life is one big regret anyway.  I'll just staple "not trying hard enough to write" to the bottom of the list.

As I admitted to someone during my time reading, I'm a little scared by what he wrote.  Mere minutes after having written the post And Now For Something Completely Different, I read a suggestion from the book as to what to do once you complete a your writing.  Let's see if I can find it.  Ah, here it is:
"My advice is... go to work on something else.  Something shorter, preferably, and something that's a complete change of direction and pace from your newly finished book."
You don't say?  There's also a piece in there where he mentions that when he writes he comes up with an idea, sits at a word processor, and then writes down what he sees happen in the movie projector in his mind.  Sometimes it goes where he anticipated and sometimes it doesn't, much like being at the movies.  It creeps me out because I think I may have described this word for word to a significant other of mine at one point. months or years ago.  Maybe it's normal for writers to work that; I almost hope so.  I'm not sure I want to have the same issues going on in my head that King has.  Sure he's successful, but I think he'd be the first to admit he's a little crazy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

Since I seem to have found a stride in my writing habits recently, I thought it would be wise of me not to take too much downtime.  So, I've chosen Clyde King as my next project.  It's a short story set in an alternate western backdrop.  Actually, it's set in the world of another novel that I haven't written yet (XII).

I'm finding it simultaneously liberating and confining as I begin to delve into it.  It's great to jump out of the grays and browns of a post-apocalyptic cityscape and to leave the vampires behind (for a time).  However, I'm now deliberately trying to write a publish-worthy short story and that means word count limits.  A puzzle has formed in my head because I know basically what is supposed to happen, I just don't know how to make it fit in a few thousand words and still make it sound pleasant.  I'm having fun trying something new, though.

I wrote my first short story in one night a while back and it was more of an exercise than anything else.  There was no dialogue, there were no named characters, and there was no start and not really an ending to speak of either.  That piece turned out to be two thousand(ish) words, even with the limits I had placed on it.  I've just written over seven hundred for Clyde King without trying and I don't think I can get it all in before I hit 3K.  Time will tell.

Sans Being Butchered By a Real Editor...

Yet another stand-in cover
Blood Testament - The Seventh Horn is complete!  It's short having been originally written for National Novel Writing Month and it might not be very good - but its done!  Here are a few extra details about the book.

Local Interest: The entirety of this book is based in (the ruins of) Philadelphia. It walks, jogs, and runs its way from Washington Square Park to the University of Pennsylvania to a special little locale down on Columbus Boulevard.

Pitch: Ark awoke with powers he didn't ask for, surrounded on all sides by people who despise him for who he is. It certainly hasn't changed their feelings about him now that he's dead. He was always a bit of a loner and always a bit of a chauvinistic coward, but people no longer want to avoid him - they want him dead. On the other hand, the dead seem to understand his thirst for power and offer him a place in their community of psychopaths and murderers. Only one person is keeping his untapped powers from destroying the world and she seems to think that he happens to be a messenger from God. Will it be salvation that Ark chooses or will the dark embrace prove too strong to resist?

Anecdotes: I devised the idea for this book as an afterthought for its prequel Blood Testament - The Harbinger.  This book talks about what happens centuries after the events that happen in that tale.  I attribute the general premise of this series to having watched too many episodes of Supernatural with my significant other.  Since this was a rushed book (having had to write it in thirty days) and it being my first one, I didn't mind so much if it was a goofy story about an anti-hero vampire who swears a lot.  The funny thing is - I'm told that your first works as a writer are almost always autobiographical in some manner.  Now having gone back and read what flew out of my fingers in that month-long debacle of writing, I have to say that I believe it must be true.  At any rate, The plan is for this series to span a total of three books, culminating in the finale Blood Testament - The Charred.  It might actually happen, who knows?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Glad I Thought of It!

I find it funny when people absolutely have to see themselves as independent.  Nobody can tell them what to do.  If they decide to do something, its their decision to do so no matter what anybody says.  They may in fact do the opposite of what is suggested to them just to spite that person.

It's like those cartoons where the sidekick makes a suggestion for a plan and the boss smacks the him and tells them that they're stupid.  Moments later the boss man will exclaim, "I just had a great idea, Mugsy!"  The boss then recounts the exact plan that was just stated by the underling to great comedic fanfare.  Cartoon from the forties?  Funny!  Real life?  Not so much.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Seventh Horn - Excerpt 4

    This portion of Market Street that extended beyond City Hall to the east was not as torn up and broken down as other parts of the former great city.  In its day, the area had received its fair share of traffic from vehicles and pedestrians alike.  In the dark days, not many people had reason to venture these old streets.  The large skyscrapers dwindled down and most buildings were not but merely a few stories in height.  Some antiquated light posts even still remained standing upright in their original positions.  With a fair share of imagination, one might be able to envision the hustle and bustle that had once taken place along the road.
    “Hey Ark?”
    “Did you ever sit and pretend like all this never happened?  Wonder what it might be like if it wasn’t like this?  I mean look at it all.  It must have been pretty amazing once.  You could just walk the streets without fear of being attacked by a monster.  The air was pure and the sky was so clear back then.  Their lives were so easy.  Sometimes I wish it was still like that.  I wish I could’ve lived like that.”
    “I pity them.”
    Charlie was astonished.  “How?  How could you pity people who lived in such a wonderful place?  In such a wonderful world?”
    “What did their lives mean, though?  What did they do with all that luxurious peace?  It was all wasted.  It all meant nothing.”
    “That has to be the worst thing I’ve ever heard anyone say!  Without them and the people before them – where we would be now?”
    “And maybe that is exactly what I mean.”
    “You’re blaming them for the way the world is?  All this just happened to them, I doubt they planned to change the world from the way it was to,” Charlie’s arms raised in a V, “this.”
    “One way or another, it would have to be their fault.  Either they wasted this place and destroyed it on their own or your oh-so holy God got so pissed off at their bullshit, that he just laid waste to the whole damned thing.  Either way, it’s their fault.”
    “You’re really depressing.  Even for a depressing place like this, you’re depressing.”
    “I’m a realist.  I’m sorry if that’s depressing.”
    They didn’t speak to each other for a little while after that.  Charlie was visibly downed by his inability to fathom a world that she would want to restore and Ark really simply didn’t care.  They strolled rather peacefully and quietly down Market Street, passed the old shops and centers of commerce.  It was almost like a time capsule that had simply been painted over in the omnipresent earth tones.  Charlie seemed to pass by in wonder while Ark passed by in his contempt.

Missing In Action

Picture completely irrelevant.  I just enjoy C&H.
I know that there isn't really a significant amount of people who read this, and these posts are mostly for my own practice/sanity, but i feel bad for not having kept up on it recently.  I spent all of November writing like a maniac, December was filled with the wonderful world of retail during the holidays, and January has just plain sucked.  I'm now unemployed, single, and I've been sick for the past week or so.  It has been truly miserable.

I've been trying to get back to The Seventh Horn to finish that up and get it ready for publication in one form or another.  Have to tie up loose ends and edit what I can.  Thankfully (and hopefully she sticks with me) I've found someone who may be willing to do some cover art photography for the books in the future.  That makes me feel a little bit better.  I get some motivation out of making my writing feel a bit more real and not just something stupid I'm doing to waste time.  Don't get me wrong.  I love writing and allowing the filmstrip of words to play out in my head is great.  But its easier to procrastinate and be self-defeating without constant reminders that this isn't necessarily the stupidest thing I've ever done.  I've got a lot of those; I don't need any more.

Making it 'real' is something that is important to me.  I get that from how I've explained to other why I went into the fields of study that I did.  I went into building design because I'm a math/logic person coupled with an art/creative person and voila! - architecture.  The best part of the job was envisioning something and making it a reality.  It was like living art (until outside sources typically destroy the vision).  The biggest problem that I had with architecture was the same fault i found in following my father's footsteps into engineering.  If you delve into that line of work, you leave little time for your personal/family time.  As great as the pay might be sometime, I don't want to sacrifice time spent with my children to acquire it.  So as much as I might have enjoyed architecture, in the long run it just wasn't for me.

I then moved to Florida and began to go to college for elementary education.  I think children are awesome and it saddens me to see the not-so-gradual and oh-so-evident decline of society.  What better way to help shape the future and make a visible change in a child's life that may one day change the world?  I had the same type of expectations for the field of education that I did for architecture.  Working to create a visible change.  I know that I had teachers who did that for me, its only fair that I try to pay it forward (thanks to Mr. Washburn for making a literary impact on my life, wherever he may be).  The only thing is - have you seen the education system recently?  Its almost impossible for someone such as myself to make headway in an environment such as that.  It is a world that is coming close to impeding a child's learning as much as it aids it.

So I turn to degree in English.  I have high hopes for this field because it allows for so many possibilities.  My initial hopes are to teach high school and to write in some manner on the side.  Whether the writing consists of newspapers, websites or novels, I want to to write because it has always been the one thing that I have inherently succeeded in and actually enjoyed.  It also fulfills that drive to create.  To work and make and create for you and those around you to enjoy is one of the best goals that a person can strive for.

I have no idea what I began writing about and I'm quite sure that this has been completely uninformative in regards to my initial idea - if there was one.  That's kinda how I write anyway.