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.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How I Spent My Summer Staycation

And so ends my week-long recess of reading and writing. I managed to crack that problematic writer's block that has had me in agony for the past year, discovered some new locales for upcoming scenes, tightened up some of the chapters that were already written, and wrote an entirely new chapter of a few thousand words. All in all, as the previous post mentioned, it was time well spent.

One of the most important things that came from this week was a mutual understanding of my writing process with my live-in girlfriend. She's incredibly caring and loving, giving me the time and space I needed this week to accomplish what I did. It's been difficult to have someone around all the time that you care about, but then intentionally ignore them to follow your own hobbies and interests. I suppose that was an issue of my own that needed come to light. She never implied that I was ignoring her and she has always been one of my biggest supporters; I just felt like I was being a bad boyfriend and a bad person.

Now that I understand that she does truly want me to continue on in my writing, I feel as though the handcuffs I placed around my own wrists have been unlocked. Combine that with my sense of accomplishment in having made significant progress and I feel renewed and restored. Rather than feeling defeated by my inabilities, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Book 2 will be finished. And it will be soon. And I, for one, can't wait.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Time Well Spent

This week I decided to reward myself with a much deserved vacation from my paying job. Instead of making myself more exhausted by trying to coordinate a trip with some convoluted itinerary, I will be using this time to nail down and rock out the rest of The Harbinger. Or at least make a serious dent, if nothing else.

The plan is to use the format that pushed me to completion on the first book. That is to say, locking myself in a room for extended periods of time with enough sustenance to keep the body functioning, but not enough outside influence to allow the mind to wander. Sustenance includes: coffee, alcohol, bass guitar, and a wide variety of musical influences.

We're about 250 more visits to hit that magical first 10,000 visitor count. As of my post "10,000 Strong and Growing" the counter was around 9,100. I'm grateful for the continued outpouring of interest. Nothing motivates a person more than seeing that the work they do is not going to waste. Don't forget you've got at least two gifts heading your way when it happens.

Under Construction

Pardon the appearance. The dynamic view of the layout I had been using was hiding links and tabs from visitors on certain OS's and devices. In the meantime, please enjoy this entirely dull and basic layout.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I started the next chapter in The Harbinger just a few moments ago. Without really knowing where I was going, I began writing and what I wrote has absolutely no place in the book. I don't know what the hell I was talking about so, here. You can have it.
It's funny how feelings are said to wash over a person. The elation washes over a woman as she holds her firstborn child for the very first time. Sadness can wash over a man as he watches his mother, bound to hospital machinery, succumbs to her battle with lung cancer. Fear has been known to wash over a group of patrons when a gunman begins taking hostages and the red-blue strobes begin to pour through the glass doors of a small town bank. Love? Love does not typically wash over anyone. There are distinct points in time where someone may feel a heightened sense of intimacy, connectedness, or lust, but love is more of a feeling that permeates a being and waxes or wanes with the turns of the moon. It tends to hit hard at perhaps any given moment and will change over time without agitating or rekindling it.

Pain is a lot like love if one were so inclined to think about it. It's all about one instance, that one occurrence. That initial blinding shot through the heart. At first, you don't know what just happened. Your mind can't catch up with what your body is feeling and you panic. You wince. You turn to try to avoid it, but you've already been hit. The numbness recedes and you look around and try to regain your senses. What did I do to deserve this? and How did this happen? are common thoughts. You try to relax. Tell yourself you're going to make it through this. You want to tell your friends, your family about how it happened. After a while you learn to accept it. The feeling dulls. Time passes. You know it's still there without looking at it, but you look anyway. You might be able to fix it if you do something about it, but you grow weaker by the minute. The pressure increases and it's harder to breathe. The fight or flight response takes hold.

You can make it. You can do it. You're going to live through this.

Or you bleed out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

10,000 Strong and Growing

Over the past two years, I've barely chronicled the little intricacies of my thoughts as they related to my reading and writing. Since my meager beginnings, I've grown by what I like to think are leaps and bounds. I've written and published a book, written half of a short story collection, and explored the realm of poetry on whatever amateurish level is below amateur.

Now nearly ten thousand people have visited and viewed my site and I don't know whether to be terrified at the prospect that people out there are reading my stuff or to be honored and humbled that people would give me a fraction of their day to be curious enough in what I have to say.

In any case, I'd like to plan a small thank you for your support. Rest assured that I am dedicating a large portion of my time in the near future to finally wrap up my second book. Life certainly has a way of pulling at one's attention and subverting goals at hand.

My first thank you will be in the form of a story that I really enjoyed writing entitled Clyde King. This was previously published as a bonus to the first printing of The Seventh Horn. If you didn't get the chance to grab my first book in paperback or have yet to read anything of mine so far, I hope you'll swing back when the counter reaches the titular 10,000 visits and give it a shot.

And the easiest way to go about increasing the counter? Tell someone else to swing by too. As I've said, "The biggest compliment you can give an artist, musician, or author is to simply tell someone else about their work." I'm not here to be popular or to earn enough to make a mansion made up of smaller mansions; I'm just here to enjoy what I'm doing while I can.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Good News Everyone!

I have good news for all three of my readers:

The Harbinger is one step closer to publication. The cover art is completed! Neat, huh? And in case you haven't taken a closer look, yes, it is a hand-drawn piece I'm sportin' there.

The artist's name is Alysia and her sample gallery of works can be found at She is simply awesome. Should you need any work of your own, I would highly recommend it. The process was easier and the output was of a higher caliber than I had initially expected when I began my search.

So what does this mean to you, the reader? Not much other than to try to build your anticipation. The book isn't quite ready for its on-stage debut, but it damn sure better be ready by the close of 2013.

Just as the cover for T7H spurred my writing desire and willingness to finalize the book, so too has this event made The Harbinger a bit more real. There's a point where you spend so much time, so much energy, so much alcohol trying to make progress and when the result of that effort does not result in a finished project, it can be disheartening.

"When will it be over? What am I supposed to do now? Is it even going to be worth it?" The doubts and the procrastination set in and life has a way of taking over. When will it be over? When you finish writing it. What am I supposed to do now? Just keep going because nobody is going to tell you what to do next. Is it even going to be worth it? You're the only one who can control that, so shut up and do it.

So let's turn up the music, grab ourselves a drink and sit down and knock this thing out, yes? Yes.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Do Not

Not my best work, but I gotta make myself push something. I'm surprised my brain even composes this dreck these days. Don't judge me. Never mind. Judge me. Go for it. There's a comment button at the bottom and all, right? Do your worst.

Do not sleep
The world should rest
Along with you
And dream your dreams

Do not blink
The light from your eyes 
Should not be covered
Even for a moment

Do not cry
The rivers should dry
And oceans turn deserts
Before you shed a drop

Do not stop
Never a hesitation
Everything you are
Is important to someone

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Is it a shame to have not known your kiss
Or has its absence instilled upon me
The benefits of a fruitless endeavor?

Has the incessant throb of my chest
Opened a cavity within
That now nothing can fill?

Why must every spark of skin
The merest inflection of timbre
Cause me to crumble yet reach out?

How does your passing gaze
Fill me with such loathsome desire
That I question and fear my own mind?

From where did this torture spawn
And why is it taking me down
To a depth which houses only shadows?

These specters of rage and terror
Are beyond their humanity
Yet all of them have your eyes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Midwinter Night's Dream

Last night I dreamt I dreamed a metaphor. It was short and vague, but clear enough to be able to pull something from it. I've been drowning in my mind having worked for most of the day and not able to write it down. But here it is - written on a whim - in about 5 minutes. Enjoy.

The shell surrounds me
It is a cage and yet a shield
The shell keeps me and saves me
I cannot be harmed
And can do no harm

Peaceful, content and serene
I allow the shell to envelop me
In this world and not of this world
I am kept whole
And desire nothing more

My feet are planted upon the firmament
That spans as far as my eyes can see
Nothing can impede my vision of this land beyond the shell
It is vast and full of life
And of death

I dream
Of sights and sounds and pleasures unknown
To one such as I
Yet even still I somehow dream
And am tormented by their reason

One of light shines in the distance
It is vague and hard to determine
Who or what manner of being
Can be so far
And so near

The being is She
She travels through the land
At a speed I almost cannot see
She is pure
And She tears through the shell

The split in the shell opens
Like a maw left agape
I am forced through the opening
I look down at my feet
And see I am the one moving ahead

The She lifts to the heavens
On wings made of light
I follow
Not caring where She goes
And not knowing if it matters

I advance upon She
As She climbs higher into the light
The scent of She
Intoxicates, invigorates
And presses one such as I to long for one such as She

The snow white toes
Lead ever upward to heel and leg and thigh
I extend my reach
Hoping to grasp skin
And feel the touch of purity

Our journey breaches the heavenly ceiling
She turns to look upon me
Just as flesh touches flesh
I am gone
I am lost
And I do not know why

The ascent halts
I am weightless as She travels on
Out of reach
My nightly wings are gone
And they cannot last in the sun's gaze

Plummeting below canopy of cloud
The expanse of earth rises to greet
I peer once more skyward
The She is gone
And lost forever

The pain shall be extraordinary
If only for a breath
I embrace it as I near the climax
The end
And the eternal

Eyes of mine force open
Rising to my feet
I turn and question my existence
And my meaning
And the shell surrounds me

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

While I am a fan of both the Eurythmics' version and Manson's version, this post has little to nothing to do with the song. If you came here seeking that you may look away now.

I've noticed that major points in my writing process have been guided by the dreams that I manage to remember. The thing about relying on a mechanism such as your own subconscious is that it isn't all that reliable. The entirety of short stories as well as (what I like to think are) memorable potions of the books have been directly pulled from dreams that I've had. Ark's cacophony of a hellish landscape, the flying purple people eater, certain NSFW scenes, and many more were all directly pulled from notes I scribbled down the following morning.

I've had two, count em two, dreams in the last year and a half. Do you know how detrimental that is to someone who tries to not only write, but recap why he wrote it and how? It's hard to write down your thoughts when all your only thought is: "duh, is it time to pass out yet?" Then you wake up, cringe at the fact that you're awake, and head off to work.

At any rate, I've had a new revelation during this past night's rest which has taken the trip finally out and beyond the scope of which it was previously defined. It's funny because I'm the only one who knows what the hell I'm talking about. But that's nothing new.

The artist search is moving right along and hopefully images will be available relatively soon. Keep in touch.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's Been a Long Day - Part Deux

So in other news...

Did you know Blood Testament - The Harbinger also takes place in the greater Philadelphia region like its prequel? It does indeed! We begin in a little place called Belmont.

Those of you who know me... Really know me... You know why I picked this location.

Monday, January 28, 2013

It Lives!

Cheapo HP Laptop. Oh yeah.
I went out and bought a replacement laptop yesterday. I can now continue on about going on about goings on in my fictitious little Philadelphia story. Between being hounded from all sides, a new device to play with, and dreams telling me how to write this scene or that, I guess I'm now fully equipped to begin again.

It's a shame so much time is wasted working and such. If I could find a way to earn enough to live and eat and write without having to waste so much time "earning a living" I would be a happier person overall. I don't need things and I don't want things other than my utmost essentials, to be quite honest. I can live without a phone, without a Playstation, without an internet - no sweat.

What I need is to feel useful and to say that what I did today mattered to someone somewhere. That was the biggest draw to my fields of study. Architecture - I got to design structures that are (semi-) permanent and the emergency service buildings we built aided persons and communities that I'm sure I'll never know. Elementary Education - I shouldn't even have to list the reasons why going to education should be found useful. The problem is that teachers can't be the teachers they dreamed of becoming. But I digress.

I'm going to write again. Real soon. Promise.

Keep nagging though. Can't hurt.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mute Button

As nice as it is to have received a free iPad from my father a few weeks ago, it does not quite replace the functionality of a full-fledged laptop. If one can consider a laptop to be full-fledged in the first place.

The appearance of the tablet just so happened to coincide with the demise of my writing vehicle, the much-loved Toshiba Satellite I received a mere two years or so prior. Thankfully, I had backed up my entire writing folder of original works, concept images, final copies, etc. into my Google drive in November. Otherwise, the tone of this post would be much more... volatile. As it stands now, I just need to get out there and pick up a new piece of equipment. I can only take this iPad virtual keyboard for so long. And with that, I bid you adieu. Til later. Of course.