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Oct. 31st, 2013

Halloween, 2013

I want to keep some kind of record as to how many trick or treaters I get throughout the years, so why not start off my newly rekindled LJ love with some Halloween goodness? I had 33 kids show up tonight, which is a record for any place of my own. My parents got just shy of a hundred, but I led 'em for a good hour and a half, during which there was much bragging and chest thumping on my part. Gotta take my victories when I can get 'em.

Let's see, the cutest costumes were:

1) A little girl no more than three or so wearing a Batman costume. With all the brouhaha lately over the lack of "normal" costumes for girls and women, it was cute to see one in a Batman - not Batgirl, not Batpink, but Batman - costume.

2) A tweener dressed up as the Minecraft protagonist. Simply awesome.

3) A little skunk. I actually saw the outfit at K-Mart just a few days ago, but it was way more adorable on this little kid. She wandered back and forth through the hallways with her mom trying to steer her like a drunk, well, skunk.

4) A homemade Batman costume, complete with a garbage bag cape. I thought it was cool and said so, but the mom (I assume) seemed almost embarrassed by her work. I thought it was pretty great - no sarcasm whatsoever.

5) Married couple dressed as chickens. It was the only couples costume I saw this year, but that didn't make it any less great.

Note to self - buy only about 50-60 candy bars next year, plus whatever amount remains throughout the month, because you can't control yourself around candy. Also, learn to control yourself around candy.

Jun. 3rd, 2013

Along similar lines...

Holy shit. How cool would a sci-fi Water Margin be?

All right. NOW I'm cooking with fire.

New and old ideas

I'm putting my porn star private detective novel on the back burner for now. I'm gonna let you in on a secret - I suck something fierce at writing a decent plot for a crime-based novel. It was never so much meant to be a murder mystery - you pretty much know who the killer is from the get-go - but even as a hard-boiled actioner, it's freakin' boring. Too neat of an idea to completely let go. Also? I have to figure out some way to do porn star research. You try researching anything porn related with today's search engines. Go on ahead. I dare ya.

My newest project, The Knight and the Scribe, is working out. The world has some elements from prior works (namely a town called Morton's Rock), but I'm liking the characters quite a bit. They're a little more black and white than what you're probably used to, but that's okay. It's comforting to me to write at least one character who is unshakably good. He will have dark moments, to be sure, but he is committed to serving the needs of the many. As much as I love anti-heroes, it's nice to write someone I could believe, were he real.

I'm still sort of fuzzy about the book's midsection, something I'm not happy about. I'm also not sure about the scope of the thing. I don't want it to become yet another one of those tales where the small band of heroes become kings and lords. I've got some inspiration from The Spoils of Annwn I'm dying to write, but those must come later. I think it's actually going to take some inspiration from Water Margin.

Shit, that might be the most douchey name-dropping I've done in a while. When the hell has anyone dropped Water Margin into a conversation in the last decade? Ugh. Anyways...

Feb. 16th, 2013

Psych

I make no apologies about being a Psych fan. Yes, it's a case-of-the-week show, a format I'm slowly beginning to realize with some degree of amusement that I don't particularly mind so long as I like the characters and writing. But the central idea of two goofy best friends for life stumbling their way through case after case is right up my alley. It's the Hardy Boys for grown-ups. Well, man-children, anyways.

I'd love to incorporate that central idea of brotherly friendship (I refuse to use the word bromance) into something myself. Maybe a set of fantasy novels? Hmmm. Now that's a fascinating idea. Turn the detective fiction case-of-the-week thing into a fantasy series. There's definitely something to that, and since the world I've created is both old and will continue to evolve and grow (spoiler alert - none of my bad guys will ever do something so horribly cliche as create an extinction level event because the reader cannot associate with evil on that scale - see Hitchiker's for a reference as to why), maybe it would be a possibility somewhere down the line.

In any case, Psych is also terrific because it never fails to put me in a better mood. Same with FX's comedies like The League, Archer, and It's Always Sunny. Anyone out there still reading this have any shows like that for you?

Jan. 6th, 2013

Half full, half empty

I want to update this blog more this year, hopefully with some short stories I've had circling the drain and maybe even some chapters from my various novel projects. I'll also likely be using it to talk more about books and movies, maybe a bit of culture and science. Lesss personal stuff, I guess.

Need to get back into some good writing habits, too. I was doing well for a while in the fall and early winter, hitting an average of about 1500-2000 words a day, which isn't terrible. The holidays threw me off and, typical me, I haven't gotten back on the horse regularly. I guess I did a fair bit of writing tonight - 3500 words or so. My hands feel more like hooks at this point. Ugh.

I like my projects. I've written a lot of short stories in the last year, maybe fifty or sixty. I finished a draft of a novel and promptly realized I'd basically rewritten the movie Taken, just without the fast-paced action and Liam Neeson. So that one's undergoing some severe rewrites, but I like it much better than my prior projects. I think creatively I haven't ever been this good. Mind you, that's not a terribly high bar to surpass. Still, I've come up with some of my best ideas over the last six months or so. The Clockwork Man is probably my favorite short story I've written since Zombie Whoors, and I even had a serious couple of nibbles on Disco Never Dies, which I wrote a couple of years back.

I'm excited for 2013. I want to lose some weight. I want to be less crass. I want to see a bunch of movies, read a whole lot of books, and I'm stupidly excited for the announcement of new game consoles come June or July. Amazon's finally started to turn things back to good with their Daily Deals on books, so I've been stockpiling on fantasy and science fiction novels to read throughout the year. It's a fascinating time to be alive, isn't it?

Nov. 25th, 2012

Public Dick's Crook

I have a character in my WIP (Public Dick) called Crook. It's a nickname, obviously, short for crooked, which is his defining physical characteristic. He has a slightly crooked neck and looks at things just slightly askew. Which is also a certain characteristic of his - he looks at things from odd angles. He's not always right - in fact, he's usually wrong. But he's a delightful sidekick and nice counterpoint to my breezy, laid-back protagonist.

Nov. 7th, 2012

The good guys won today.

And resoundingly so. Akin crashed and burned. An openly gay senator voted in. That asshole governor taken out of office. Joy!

Oct. 30th, 2012

John Dies At The End

If you can stomach some serious gore, you absolutely must go read John Dies At the End. Every now and again, a book comes along that reminds me why stories are my real true love. This is one of them.

Oct. 7th, 2012

Fascinating dream

I had a dream last night that will doubtless make its way into a story somehow. What was really fascinating was the sheer length of the dream. Most of my dreams are apparently normal, short one-off things that sometimes repeat once in a great while with a few changes. But every few days, I get really intriguing, really powerful ones. Usually these are a continuation of a prior dream from another day. Sometimes these serialized dreams last for years (I had one as a child that lasted well into my twenties about a man walking a desolated world being chased by a terrible, magnetic female force - likely a foretelling of all my horrible relationships to come - hah!), sometimes less. These are more unusual because they're so very, very vivid, and often times, I actually believe I can feel things in the dreams. Of course I actually can't, but the dreams are strong enough to make me completely and totally invested into them, no matter how bizarre or jarring the dream may be.

And then there are the dreams like last night, where the dream seems to last the entire night. Not just those weird minute-long one-acts that shift diaphonously into a new, tangentially related dream. These dreams seem to really last hours, and are usually the only dream I'll have that night, even if it's interrupted. In certain extreme cases, particular when illness is involved, these dreams seem to last even longer. Last night, I wasn't sick. I went to bed late, woke up late, and in between, had one hell of a fascinating and lengthy dream.

What about? Well, in a nutshell, some weird medley of Star Trek's Borg and the Terminator. Take your pick of any robotic doomsday scenario, really - Doctor Who's Cybermen if you want to get really ridiculous. But that's not specific enough. The dream started with three complete strangers and I being informed by a nebulous source that we were to become the last pocket of humanity, that we had to endure, and that not all of us would necessarily make it. We took a Chevy Avalanche (why an Avalanche, I have no idea, but sure, why not?) down a stretch of hazy mid-western road.

People obviously in a panic were driving like maniacs, and when we came upon a four car pile-up, four uniformed men were slowing and organizing traffic... except they weren't. They pulled the people from the car in front of us to the back of a large van, where metallic shrieks and whines were heard. The four were definitely human, but they were helping an unseen master use these people. The driver of our truck smashed through the barricaded cars, and led us on a terrifying road trip across a quickly disintegrating landscape, where civilzation was breaking down around us. As we made our way past the cities and towns, people began charging us, their faces and exposed limbs covered in a metallic mesh, with machinery badly sewn into their skin and muscles. One of the four of us was torn from the vehicle by one of these things, but not long after, we found shelter of sorts, nestled into the base of a series of hills somewhere in the plains.

The dream shifted slightly forward in time, a few months later. The three of us left were in dire need of food and supplies, so we decided to raid a nearby abandoned grocery store. There, we encountered a deranged middle-aged woman, a fellow scavenger rifling through what was left. We took what we could, but there wasn't much left. And what was there had been affected by rot and angry, panicked looters. As we hurriedly loaded the truck with what we could, the female scavenger informed us she'd betrayed us for favor with them, begging for her life as she ran for safety. As we prepared to leave, a lurching young man came around the corner of the store. His machinery grafts were all wrong, though, and his nearly discombobulated head kept questioning, "Dad? Dad? Dad? Dad?"

And that was the truly terrifying part. These weren't slick, cool machines from a movie. The machinery, the virus, it was flawed. Fatally wrong. These things weren't human or machine, but an ugly grafting of both, marred and wrong. That's the part that finally woke me up for good. I'm sure you can see why.

Sep. 26th, 2012

LJ weirdness

LJ says I have a comment, but that I don't have the clearance (or some such) to view it. If you've commented on anything I've written and can repost it or email it to me, that'd be appreciated. Weird shit, LJ. Weird shit indeed.

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