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.