The Two Hundred and Eightieth Post: The One Where I Don’t Talk About Vampires For Five Whole Minutes!

Hello, everyone – I’m not going to chat about the vampire story, I’ve hit a bit of a rough spot, so I’m going to let my mind chew at that for a few minutes. Tyro will be the next project – I should get that one finished – and after that, I might turn back to horror with either I/O Error or go for something a little more out there like Out, Out Brief Candle…but I think that one is going to require a bit of a road trip. Thankfully, I have Google, so I can do it on the cheap.

As far as Cat, Rabbit and Clover goes, I am still creeping closer to finishing out the chapter and the act with the interview and the good news that the main character has been hired. I’m just trying my best to get across the levels of discomfort when he can’t do the whammy. This all goes back to the whole “show, don’t tell”, so I am trying to come up with new ways to say that his stomach hurts and he can’t sleep. Sadly, this is something that I can relate to with this character. I have to admit, reflecting back on this is making my stomach a little squirrely – so all you method writers, this is how you do it. The story is coming along nicely, even if I am no longer really following the outline I wrote down earlier. I took today off because I had to care of some things and frankly the last two days were rather hard as far as everything outside of writing goes, so I treated myself to a nice chicken sub and a couple of gift cards that will be plunged into Barnes and Noble on Sunday (are they still around? I still have a Nook, but the poor thing has been neglected since I got the Kindle Fire), which is still my off-day even if there is no football. However, Saturdays are going to be a half day of writing now that MLS and MLB are in full swing. I am trying to cultivate some other sports interests other than football and Olympics.

In writing the novel, I am stretching myself out in writing in first person. I might put in a blurb here just to get some reactions. It’s harder than I thought, since I’m trying to really stick to the character and his view point. It’s different than doing third person limited, since with third person, I can write somewhat outside of the character and show (not tell) more information about the character’s thoughts on the matter before them in the page. With first person, I have to stay very, very limited. It is a lot like acting in that I have to develop the character and a lot like acting – I don’t think I’m doing a good job. We will see however when the book is finished and out there in the wild.

Well, as I am writing this at work, I will need to wrap it up and get back to the job. Thank you for reading. I hope that I haven’t bored you to tears with this. Thank you for reading and supporting. Have a good day.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Seventy-Ninth Post: The One Where I Intentionally Use ‘Bromance’ In A Sentence…

I go back to the bromance, where I am going to dissect it to death, so someone hand me a chainsaw and stand back.

Yes, I railed against the whole romance angle that surrounds vampire fiction just because the vampire is one that is the pursuer and the girl is the pursuant. Sadly, unless the pursuant is interested in becoming a vampire, this relationship is going to end like all the others. ran a really good article on the problems of immortality which I recommend anyone interested in writing about immortals should read before starting their work. I certainly will.

Anyway, back to the traditional vampire story. There’s so much to be done with that sort of dynamic, but ultimately it’s the touching story of a man wooing a hamburger. If we’re going to take the vampire seriously, then we have to acknowledge that becoming a vampire and existing as you do (there has to be some sort of dire consequences for not indulging in people – doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical sickness like a withdrawl. A social stigma works wonders for enforcing order. No matter how badass you may look in leather or how many enemies you’ve slaughtered on the battlefield, you are still a social creature and your social circle has dropped from thirty or so down to two or three) will change your outlook on people. Dr. Manhattan said it best:

The world’s smartest man poses no more threat to me than does its smartest termite.

The talking things around you just go about their day-to-day lives not even knowing that the world is more horrifying than they imagine. There is a bit of a kinship between the vampire and the soldier – particularly in The Great War (also called The War to End All Wars…and that worked out great!). They are both witness to horrors that are beyond the comprehension of the common man and have few others to turn to for support, relief or kinship.

Hence the bromance between Harker and Dracula in the novel: Dracula looks at Harker the same way we would look at a clever pet. Harker looks up to Dracula as someone to perhaps emulate – he’s not very shaken by the events going on around him (rather to the contrary, he’s getting off on this!) and gets the respect of the soldiers around him with no effort. What’s not to like? I mean…other than the lust for slaughter, and the possible drinking of blood from either fellow soldiers or the captured enemy (this is still WWI, there are expectations of civil treatment) and most definitely the problems of not only Dracula descending further into either madness or Hell, but him dragging a friend along for good conversation. Harker at first finds him seductive – which should be part of the horror for us that such a good and upright man would look at Dracula with anything approaching respect. Another part of the horror is that the reader should be agreeing with Dracula and how it’s so hard to find a semi-kindred soul and well, if things don’t work out with Harker all he has to do is withhold favors and let the war deal with him. After all – Hell is other people.

Now – the one question I am going to work on is how long should this stretch out? World War I is eventually going to end, but should it end with a bloody bang or a whimper in the middle of the night? I’ll think on that.

But the hour grows late and I must be attentive for a package for tomorrow, so I bid everyone a good evening and I hope to continue to keep your attention for a little longer. Thank you for reading.



Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Post: The One with More Vampire!


Hello, all – it’s another spit-ball session about the vampire story here. So, if such things are unnerving, here are some more cat videos and some
Stirling. If not, settle in and get ready for more thinking out loud. It might be things that I have mentioned earlier, but just with hang with me, folks.

The other thing that I don’t like about the current crop of vampire lit is that the metaphor needs to be changed up. Yes (I know this was mentioned in the previous post), I know that the vampire is the supernatural metaphor for sexual licentiousness stretching all the way back to that mad Irishman Abraham Stoker, but it doesn’t have to be that. In this particular book, I want the main antagonist in the story (that would be the vampire) to not be just a metaphor for the dawning of the Bloody Century (while I am going to use it, I want the vampire to really earn his pay), but also of the seductive nature of war – especially now when it’s so quick and almost mechanical. I am going to try to stay from the romantic issues, but not the personal. I hesitate to use the word bromance, but it is the best way to look at the relationship between our Friend from Wallachia and Mr. Harker, solicitor to Evil (no, I am not going to use those names – the only thing I fear more than the undead are their lawyers). The power of the vampire shouldn’t be just looking dark, brooding and hot in leather, but that it can say a word or two into our ears and we’ve gleefully thrown our conscience out the window. Whether it’s sexual licentiousness, bloody-eyed rage or sorrows that would drown the River Lethe – the vampire brings out the worse of us with an absolute glee found only in small children. Maybe the vampire isn’t doing the metaphor double duty – rather than for standing for the dawning of the Twentieth Century, it’s still standing for the ease and the availability of bloody gratification…which is the hallmark of the Modern Age.

Back to the bromance – how is it going to start? We could have our poor Harker-type is being harried by both the people above him and below him. He could have a command, but not a large command. He’s still in the field with his men, but they think he’s a little too soft for their tastes. There could be a Sergeant Slaughter type who almost regularly runs rough-shod over his orders. The high command – which never goes into the field, that’s for the common soldier, old boy – almost never backs up Harker, so he’s left on his own. Between his men, his superiors and the Jerries on the other side of No-Man’s Land – Harker has absolutely no friends. He even looks at the No-Man’s Land and briefly considers running out there and let the Jerries do him in.

Just as he’s getting ready to go over the top alone, a new leftenant shows up. He’s dashing, handsome and he’s got more than enough bravado to go around. He comes in and seems to take the young Harker under his wing:

Dracula: Leftenant Harker, there is a difference between reigning and ruling. If you permit, I shall show you the difference.

Harker: Why? You could run the whole unit better than I can.

Dracula: True, but I am not the one in charge of your men. You are.

And with that being said, he begins in instructing him on the finer points of rough military command. Everyone is impressed and shocked on Harker’s change of tone. Our Sgt. Slaughter is put down (not ‘sent to Puppy Island’ put down, but roughed up a little) a couple of times and Harker actually manages to get the higher-ups shaken enough to take note. The pair become closer and closer together, Harker even standing up for Dracula every once in a while. During the time of the novel, the weather seems to be constantly overcast and gloomy, but Dracula seems to be always of good cheer – a maddening infectiously good cheer that always comes to a head when they go over the top just behind the artillery. Harker’s fighting, which was always a little reluctant at first, is now manic. Dracula often times sits back and watches him the way the guest of honor watches a stripper at a bachelor’s party.

In the moonlight after a couple of months in the field and after one harrowing battle – Harker walks out to the latrines and spies Dracula standing atop the trench edge. Thinking that Dracula wants to end it all, he comes out to talk to him. Dracula turns to Harker and with bloody tears coming out of the corners of his eyes, he says only one thing that shakes the freshly minted warrior.

Dracula: Such beauty, Leftenant Harker…if only it could go on.

It’s not the best I can come up with, but we’re just looking into setting up the plot points. Just more spit-balling on my part, so it’s not going to be the best thing here.

However, Cat, Rabbit and Clover is coming along nicely. I am getting ready to hit the end of the first act and start the second with the main character getting the interview, and going to hit the second act with an eye to finishing it in maybe a couple of weeks. Still aiming hard for the August deadline, but it might be closer to the end of August (hoping for the 28th) than the 15th. I still like the book and the conceit, but working on really hitting the emotional distress of the crash-and-cash the main character has to do. With luck, I will get it done this weekend and maybe get some side things done.

Well, I should wrap this up by saying thank you for reading and please feel free to look at the books on the right written by either myself or dear friends. Thank you for reading this blog and feel free to blab about it to friends and family.

Sex boobs money


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Seventy-Seventh Post: The One Where I Talk About a New Project That I Might Get to Before I Die!

I have an idea for a vampire story, but there are a lot of things that I would rather try to avoid – I may have mentioned these in other postings – as far as a vampire oriented story. I’m just spitballing here, so I will ask for your indulgence in this matter. If this might not be your thing – accept my apologies and here’s a video of a kitten for you.

The main thing I’m not too keen on anymore with the current state of the vampire genre is that it’s so entwined in romance…we’re forgetting that it started out as a horror trope. The vampires of the latter half of the twentieth century and the first part of the twenty-first sees them eternally tortured souls doomed to search for their eternal love while looking cooler than the rest of us. It was fine for a while, giving us something to empathize with in the main character. How many of us have let one get away, and become blubbery wrecks for a few days…or months…or centuries? OK – hopefully there were no hands raised to the last part of that question. However, with the advent of … you knowthat … vampires have really lost their edge. Now, the horror of eternal life has been lost in the din of washboard abs, sparkles and cutesy fang laced pouts.

When I watched Dracula on NBC for a few episodes, I was hoping that they would get away from the romance angle…and they didn’t…and they brought in the whole “British Petroleum” angle which pretty much turned me off. I liked the time period – shortly before World War I with the British Empire still walking with the colonial swagger. The Russian Revolution and the defining horrors of the Twentieth Century were yet to be seen. If there ever was an age of innocence, this was it. I was figuring that our intrepid Johnathan Harker would have been swept up into the excitement of war with his brooding friend from overseas…only to find out that the true horror wasn’t the Voivode of Wallachia standing atop the trenches and exulting in the beauty of carnage, but the industrialized nature of warfare. There were no more warriors, merely soldiers sent out to walk ahead a curtain of artillery. The punishment for cowardice was administered by a distant officer who rarely ventured to the front lines. It was madness. It was the brutal death of innocence for all attendance.

That’s just the backdrop with the people. I haven’t even gotten to the vampires yet. When I work on something, I try to come up with a pitch line – not to actually give to an agent, but a way of keeping track of what I want to accomplish. The pitch line for this one is: “All’s Quiet on the Western Front” meets “Shadow of the Vampire” while contemplating “From Hell”. That is a lot to take in, yes but that’s just the beginning idea.

Of course, with something like this I am going to have to do a lot of research…which a small part of me loves. I think one of the reasons why I write such sweeping stories is that it gives me an excuse to go to the library. Even though I have the Internet, I’m still the person who runs down to the corner library to plow through volumes – just because there is a lot of ancillary material that I can pick up and use.

Back to the original premise: I want to bring back the fear and horror in vampire fiction. I think we need to get back to that. Yes, the vampire as a metaphor for sexual licentiousness is a golden oldie and I am not advocating completely undoing it. I just think that we can expand the notion of undead gluttony beyond heaving bosoms and a discrete trickle of blood down the neck. In the context of this World War One novel, we can turn the vampire into a symbol of the dawning of the Twentieth Century – not just the turning over of the calendar and repeatedly writing ‘1899’ rather than ‘1900’ on the checks. We’re entering a century of unparalleled violence and at the head of it is a man standing on the lip of a trench weeping bloody tears of joy.

I will come back to this later on as I am fleshing out the series. As far as the other novel goes: I got in a little over 800 words today, but the time ran out for me, so I will try to finish up the word count tonight and hit the hay. If I can keep up the pace of 1,600 words a day, I should be able to get it finished before the middle of summer. With luck, I can keep to the August deadline.

Well, with all of that said, I thank you for indulging me and I look forward to our next meeting. As always, please take a look at the books to the right – not only of just me, but of other talented authors. Until we meet again…


Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Seventy-Sixth post: The One Where I Pump Myself Up On Pocket Change…

As I write this new entry, I’m still revelling in the new episode of Cosmos and the fact that I’ve gotten paid for my sales of this book in Germany – sure, it’s $6.48, but it’s a $6.48 cents I didn’t have yesterday and it’s something for my efforts. With this news in hand, I was able to hit my daily word goal. $6.48 is a powerful thing. I’m also going to get paid for the American sales at the end of the week. Together, everything I’ve earned will get me a large plain pizza from Papa John’s. Yeah, I’m not buying Tesla sedans by the dozens, but that pizza is going to taste good. I know, talking about money is not proper – but it does keep me buoyed up in this venture when all else doesn’t. It’s nice to have a tangible sign of success… and the pizza certainly helps as well.

Speaking of tangible successes – I managed to hit my word count today (and go a little bit over!) before I had to hit the showers for work. I am going to finish this book, but the deadline might have to get pushed a little forward to maybe the end of June. I am still shooting for the August 28th release date, but I might have to do some faster editing (I usually wait until it’s all done before editing, but this time I might have my editor look over a chapter after it’s finished and make the changed as soon as they’re handed to me). I’m not going to worry about cover art or anything like that until the text is done. I don’t want to jump ahead of things too much.

Regarding jumping ahead, I am going to get Tyro’s novel finished and at least get into a good position to start the sequel with the New Year. I’m not going to release the whole trilogy until it’s done, and that gives me time to work on the third one in my head while writing the first and the second. I’m torn between finishing the series as it’s a tent pole production, but I know that I’ve got to get stuff out there to start working. So, I might put Tyro down as a “if I can’t get something else going” project, but start working on more one-shots (Valentina’s Feast, A Game of Chinese Whispers, I/O Error). Maybe I should work on the one-shot in the morning, when I have the time and do Tyro’s novel in the evening, since I am so far ahead on that one, I can afford to put in a lesser amount for that one (I’m in chapter 12, about maybe… little over a third way through) and it’s going through the writer’s group to get greatly tweaked, hopefully I’ve kept some of the notes. Yes, I am that disorganized. Look at some of the earlier posts to see how disorganized I am. You will weep.

As far as TV goes, if you’re not watching Cosmos on FOX, you are missing out on the best show out there. I remember the series with Carl Sagan, and that got me really interested in science (even more so with astronomy). Watching Neil DeGrasse-Tyson in this series really brings back the feelings I had for the original, and takes my breath away with the visuals. Seriously – this show is gorgeous in a way that few shows really try to reach for anymore. If you can watch it in HD, do so. If you can’t get to it, make buying the Blu-Ray a top priority. Watch it with your little ones and hopefully the excitement will rub off.

That’s all I have to say for now. Please feel free to drop me a message, or take a gander at the books I am selling (either my own or the works of good friends). I hope y’all have a good day.



Seething Apathy

Oh, Hey – I Should Get Back To This…

I apologize for my extended absence, but I have two good excuses. If those don’t work for you, then I have a note from my mom.

The first part is the Olympics. I am a huge fan of the Games and I devoted as much waking time as I could to watching them. While I like the Summer Games a bit more, I sat back and enjoyed the Winter Games thanks to CBC and NBC. I can’t wait for the Summer Games in Rio in 2016. I think I’m just going to take the two weeks off and glut myself. Which should be easier for me because I think it’s going to be in a more suitable time zone for me. Still going to have the CBC coverage just because while some of the ‘human interest’ parts of the Games were interesting – which CBC didn’t have a lot of there in their webcast. I just want to see the sports.

The second part is Cat, Rabbit and Clover. I’ve been working on it in the morning. It’s a little bit of a struggle for me, given that I normally don’t write in first person. So, what would normally take me just two hours now takes me the full four before I have to shower and head to work. Since I don’t have the spare hour to toss down 500 words here and then range off to the novel, I have let this blog slip. I do deeply apologize to all three of you who were following this blog regularly. I am going to try to write in the blog in the evenings after work so that I can give the novel my full attention in the morning.

And oh, good, kind and gentle readers, is it shaping up to be something interesting. This is in the genre of magical realism and based off of my time as a temp with a company. Magical Realism posits that magic happens in a regular, everyday sort of environment – the real world as opposed to a fantasy realm (which is my bread and butter, or it will be one of these days). It’s an idea I had that I was working with in my head for a while. Let me bounce this out here and see how others take it:

There are people in the world who can ‘jinx’ others – spread a little bad luck around the same way that some people spread a cold. The main character is one of these sorts of these people who works as a professional monkeywrencher. He is contracted through a third party to go to a company and sabotage it. How he sabotages the company just by spreading bad luck among the machines and people. He’s not throwing wooden shoes down the looms, but the e-mail server might blow out, or send sensitive information to an unauthorized third party. Yeah – that’s how the main character makes a living, and he’s really good at it.

But he hates it. He’s a New-Age sort of person, so he’s concerned with his karma and how this is going to come back to him later on in his life. That’s the thrust of the story, based on my experience being a temp (I will neither confirm nor deny the spreading of any luck – bad or otherwise – through various personal vectors to influence the outcomes of various business enterprises that I may or may not have been working for directly or contracted to work for through various agencies – interpersonal relationships are a different kettle of fish and the subject of another blog).

Well, I am intending on this to be my triumphant (?) return to blogging and shameless self-promotion. So, thank you for hanging with me and just a gentle reminder: there are my books and the books of good friends and fellow authors to the right. Just click on the links and follow them to Amazon.

Thank you for reading and I hope y’all have a good day.