Friday, October 22, 2010

Eat Your Wheaties Before Starting a Knife Fight…

***Been a great time creating a mythos that ties together the Red Piccirilli trilogy I’m writing and my Reckoning and Redemption novels. It’s been a blast actually and I see these characters popping up in short stories and novellas too. For some reason they speak to me. Does it come from reading some of my favorite writers who have built worlds within worlds, writers like Gary Braunbeck and John Connolly? I think partly. And I think part of it is there is much to mine from certain storylines and certain characters. When I wrote the original draft of “Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children” I had no idea it was going to branch out and infect other stories, other books, but it has, and I love it. I’ve had a hard time writing short stories because the arc feels so fast, and even at novel length it is still only a smidgen of a characters life. Yeah, I can do this. I can go for a multiple book arc spanning a dozen characters lives because I want to, because it excites me.

What about your writing excites you? Have you thought about it? If so, have you used it?

I’m nearing the end of a very dark book (Within This Garden Weeping) that features Red Piccirilli thrown back and forth between this world and Glory on the Green. He has things he’s overcome, both internal and external, and he wears pride and disgrace beautifully. I hurt for him because the journeys he’s been through have scarred him, but they’ve also made him grow. Nearing the climax of the book I can say, quite firmly, that he is no longer the boy he is in "Before Leonora Wakes." It’s sad to see a child stripped of their innocence though, when all around them adults trundle past in denial, busy, exhausted, pretending they’re happy. Like my novella “Iron Butterflies Rust” I wrote recently (and still need to edit—damn blasted time!) I feel like I’m refining my voice, that it is clearer, more intense, and yet more subtle, and touching in places than I could have executed four months ago. I think I’m learning a lot from my buddies Shaun Ryan, and Kevin Wallis, and my sweet lady Kara. And I’m probably learning some stuff on my own, all of these experiments I’ve subjected myself to finally paying off. Yay!

And I rewrote (for the sixth time, and yeah, I’m really happy with it this time) a long story called “As I Embrace My Jagged Edges” and subbed it to Burning Effigy Press for chapbook consideration. They kick major ass, and if you haven’t heard of them, buy Lee Thomas’s chapbook The Black Sun Set and tell me it’s not outstanding all across the board.

I also subbed a story to the Caf├ęDoom/Shock Totem contest ! It’s a strange story about the bonds of love, about giving up, and about being a man even after life steals your testicles (metaphorically, of course.) Wish me luck!

Also of note:

Mercedes M. Yardley, this fine lass with a silver voice just made for reading her work, was on The Word Count Podcast and it will make you smile and nod your head. Give her a listen and let her know she did a fantastic job. She’s in about the ten minute mark. (Also Aaron Polson, another writer I respect, does a reading on there as well. Give him a nod. Tell him how well he did too.)

My buddy Steve Lowe has a crooked book coming out called "Muscle Memory." He writes lean and mean, and well worth the money. The books will officially release at BizarroCon on Nov. 13(ish) during the annual convention of the weird in Portland(ish), OR.

I hope that everyone is doing great, giving it their all, taking pride in what they do and what makes them unique. Smile, say cheese, because life is constantly taking your picture.

Friday, October 8, 2010

There's a river full of bodyparts lodged in my frontal lobe

*I took a week off FB and some other online places and got a lot of work done. I completed a decent first draft of a new story for the CafeDoom/Shock Totem contest and will enter as soon as the story is tightened up! I plan on wowing them, but a lot of people might hate it. I like to take risks. Also pounding this new novel, Within This Garden Weeping, into the ground before it can do so to me (actually, I don't think it's going to be a novel. I think it's going to be a longish novella, and I also think I'm going to send it out after editing and try to sell it because I haven't been very active with trying to sell longer work. That's right. I suck.)
I have another Dark Sci-fi story that needs tending but I think there's too much sex and crying, but what can you do? Really, what can you do? I say, "Give the characters what they want." :P

Reading "Jack Cady's "Street, which is an amazing book. I'm copying it out by hand, which is a slow process but I feel like I'm learning and internalizing a lot. That man could write!

Also reading Haunted Legends (edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas) and have yet to be disappointed--all stories being very good and some of them outstanding. Well worth the money.

Since I took a week off I'm extending the deadline for The Scary Talent Show until Oct. 15th! We have some great entries so far but it never hurts to have more! Send your short story (up to 3k), poem, photo, video of you dancing or singing, poem, whatever you want in, as long as it's entertaining to more than just your imaginary friends, and you'll be in the running to win a one-year subscription to Dark Discoveries, a kickin' tee from The Bag and The Crow, or a sexy novella from Tasmaniac Publications. All fine prizes. All things I own too, and I have very good taste.
On Oct. 16th those entered people can cast their votes for their favorite at the new Scary Sad Stories blog :D The winner will be announced on Halloween! One entry per person to: scarysadstories (at) yahoo.com

My story, Daddy Screamed With Us, is also on the bestseller list again at Horror Mall! And it's been recommended for a Stoker Award a few times! Not very exciting for you if you don't like me, but very exciting for me and people who do like me! If you haven't read it, it's a good way to sample my fiction for a cheap price (a buck forty-nine).

I'm pretty happy with what I've been splaying on the page this past month or two and can't wait for people to read it. There is a maturity, perhaps, that was only hinted at before. Of course, I could be full of shit. But I don't think I am. :P

Treat yourselves and those you love well! (<--Yeah, I'm bossy, but it's good for you.)