Sunday, August 15, 2010

Strange Award, Context Strutting, People Bashing

It’s been a great week. Had four days off work and got a bunch of writing and critting done. :D
My novella is cooling down now, and soon I’ll start editing. I’m excited because it IS the best thing I’ve written and I think it has more heart at 160 pgs than my last few novels have. And my new short turned out just the way I wanted it too, which is always nice. It was one of those that kinda wrote itself. Yay! My heart tells me it is much too dark for the anthology I wrote it for, so I think I’ll have to send it somewhere else.

Kara helped me setup a FB fanpage and we’re talking about running a contest soon. Fun! And if you like my work you can leave me some love, here: I think Lee is Hot and I wish he’d buy me a scarf

I will be attending my first convention this year! Context in Columbus, Ohio at the end of the month. I’m taking some special goodies to give away. :D

I also started using Scribd, which I’ve had for a while but didn’t mess around with because I heard it gives you herpes. I’m posting the first half of most of my work that is out now, or that will soon be released. It’s pretty neat. Take a read, let me know what you think! Thanks!
A story has to start before it can end

Also, I was interviewed! This time I got to answer questions! How exciting! It was a lot of fun, and a big thank you to AJ Brown for asking! He’s interviewed Jeff Strand for Dark Recesses, works with Horror Library and several other places, and he’s a damn good writer too. We talked about my crazy dance skills, a fun project I’m working on with Kara, and the secrets to having 18 children and still keeping your sanity. You can read the interview as soon as it’s posted.

Kara McElhinny gave me a strange award along with some other people. Thanks, Kara! Now I get to pass it on by awarding seven other people for their strangeness in the blogosphere. Fun! (I copied all of this stuff below off her blog because I was too lazy to write my own. Don’t tell…)

The 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits' award is given to only the strangest of folk, and as the recipient of such you are deemed very strange indeed. Congratulations. Now you must go forth and celebrate the strangeness of friends (and strangers - strangers are always allowed) by nominating blogs run by strange folk. *Beware, some people don't like you to refer to them as strange…Try to avoid them if possible.

Note that Cate Gardner's short story collection 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits' is forthcoming this October from the fine folks at Strange Publications.

Some rules:
1. Add the logo of the award to your blog post.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (don't mess with strange people).
3. Nominate seven other blogs telling us why you think the recipient is strange enough to deserve the award.
4. Leave a message for those nominated on their blogs.
5. And, if you email catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and tell her you've received the award for your strangeness, she'll enter you in the biggest kick-ass Strange Men competition ever. Details over at (click on the award link on the home page)

So them be the rules behind this strange contest. Do check out her link as there are some cool prizes available.

And so I bequeath this award, and all the accompanying strangeness, to the following people who are among the most strange that I know (and adore like crazykins)... (<--Those are not my words. Hehe.)

1. Shaun Ryan’s blog
is new. Give it a read and tell me this guy is not one strange and deep cat! I learn tons from him and it’s great to see he’s sharing his thoughts with the masses now!
2. Sam W. Anderson’s blog
It is rumored that Sam is actually from the planet Xadar 6.317652. That’s plenty weird. And he has a midget throwing/lizard fetish. *
3. John Mantooth’s blog
John seems like a ‘normal’ guy. That makes him very strange to me.
4. Ben Eads blog
Ben catapults his career forward via the mafia and solid writing. What makes him strange though is his urge to dance drunkenly with mannequins.
5. AJ Brown’s blog
AJ is strange because he passed up the chance to be a Victoria Secret Supermodel! Do you know how much money those people make?!?!
6. Kevin Wallis’s blog
Sure, Kevin just looks strange, but I’m sure he has other odd qualities too. :P
7. Ken Wood’s blog
Hell, just look at the title of his blog. One weird fella. :D Entertaining too.

All of these guys are damn fine writers. I would have picked a woman but I know M, Kara, Nat, and some of the other kickass ladies were already picked for this right away.

So, yep. Life is fun. Enjoy yourselves! Read some fiction! Live!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A ramble on people and love and the way back home

Howdy! God, I feel horrible. I thought I'd win the lotto by now and be able to give writing up for warm beaches (<--yeah, that's supposed to be 'beaches' not another word) and lotsa drinks. I guess I have to keep plugging away. :D

I'm thinking about life. A very awesome lady (I'd have her baby) has been reminding me of things I'd once known and forgotten. Things from childhood, things that have shaped me into this devilishly rogue warrior. (<-- Not really what I am, but it sounds better than the truth. My life is simple: I work, I read, I write. I love those who deserve it. I enjoy myself. I walk a lot at night because I'm restless sometimes or I'm enjoying someone special's conversation and I'm too happy to stay trapped inside my home.)

So she has me thinking, and it's so easy to lose sight of who we are when we're looking at who we want to be.

I want to be a horror writer, but I love so many genres, and I think the struggle to only be one thing, one type of writer, creates a lot of tension (in me at least.) I don't fit into a box very well. I want to experiment. I want to write whatever story, in whatever genre the characters point me to. I feel like I always let that happen in the heat of composition, but there is still an internal critic (and he's a dick) who tells me I'm steering away from the beaten path. He needs to shut up and just let the story go where it's meant to.

I've been reliving the chaos of certain things. Some people just don't let go and move on (these are the obsessive, needy people who suck the life from everyone around them. They create drama. They feed off other people's misery and think it makes them stronger when it only shows how needy and weak they really are. It sucks there are other writers like that, let alone people in general).

Other people are too nice and keep getting beaten down (these are the good ones who take a flogging for their kindness and heart. It irritates me to see them getting taken advantage of). I think people should stand up for themselves--and if they're your friend and they can't do it on their own--you should stand up for them and with them. Our characters do it. Why shouldn't we?

None of this is making much sense is it? I just need to ramble. No one even needs to read (except for maybe a few people.)

My life is a blessed one. I have a great family and great friends and the start of something beautiful in the three most important parts of my existence (writing, work, and a relationship.)I don't feel like I deserve any of it because I've wasted away so much time--being stupid, or drunk, or stupid drunk--when I was younger. I won't waste anymore time. This past year has been a "Get serious" year mixed with a "Look at all the great things in your life and appreciate it year!"

I've learned a ton thanks to a lot of people both good and bad.

Someone posted a link recently on Ray Bradbury. And he's one of my favorite writers. The whole point of his life was based on one simple thing. Love... not the 'I scratch your back, we exchange favors,' business end of it, but the selfless love that comes with opening yourself up to the people that matter, the ones you can trust, the ones who help you be selfless and just be. So many things hold us back (ourselves and our drive for respect, the perfect job, the right marriage, the big book deal)from just loving the little things that really bring the greatest joy: honesty with someone we cannot get enough of; a paragraph that embodies everything we stand for or everything we don't; the smile of someone who has held our hand when no one else would; the laughter that comes when the hard times have passed and we can see things clearly, when we're stronger because of the struggle--because we endured it and learned from it and can share it with someone else when they need a shoulder to lean on or the truth: that they matter. To Us.

Love. That's what it's about. Blazing and bright, hard and soft, admiration of their actions and trust of their words, all pretense cast off, all expectations and demands behind us where they can't tarnish what is such a wonderful experience if we'd just let it breathe. There is beauty all around us, that's true. But there is so much more inside if we can only scrape away the gunk from so many broken hearts and so many disappointments, and let love and truth shine.

Love. I don't think everyone deserves it, but everyone deserves the chance for it. If they can't appreciate it, screw 'em. Time is precious. I'm grateful for all the love in my life. I have more than I ever expected and more than I know how to handle. I adore all the important people in my life who do so much with every little gesture. Those people amaze me.