Saturday, August 20, 2011

Doing what you love

This whole ebook craze has turned me into a writing machine. I've been churning out five thousand words a day in a desperate attempt to put out another book. And yet, my book has been out for a week and I haven't sold one copy. I know I'm being impatient and should wait but it hasn't stopped me from stepping back from this whole thing and really assess how crazed I've been lately. I shouldn't care about selling my ebook. It's out there and now I can write something else. Something I love. And if people like it, good for them. And if they don't, there's a million other writers out there for them to choose from.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to publish books for dummies

What a blast! I just finished formatting my ebook for smashwords, amazon, epub, and also for Createspace. They've been up for a week and so far I've had...wait for it...0 sales! yah! Fun stuff. I'm kidding. You need to tend to the egg and put it under a heat lamp so that it breaks out of it's shell and becomes an ugly duckling. I'm just impatient I guess. I want someone to read it. Anyone. I can't even get my wife to read it, and no, not because she doesn't like it (you would need to actually read at least one page to say that). Regardless, haven't posted for a while and I know my 0 fans need something so there you have it. Mr. Bradley & The Amazing Smoke Giant is up.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005H8M8BY

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Amazing Short Story that Millions will read! Wha hahahaha!


-+-Shark Obliterator-+-
In the Shark Obliterator coliseum the crowd screamed for blood while they waved ones and fives in the air. They drank their cold beer and ate their processed hot dogs. Painted in black and blue, they showed their support for their favorite sea devil in the tank. Some of the fans watched the action from behind the thick glass while others sat in seats around the top of the tank. The tank was 200 feet long, twenty feet wide and twelve feet deep. Inside of it were stone castles and hides outs for the soon to be victims to pretend that they could survive in for their brief time inside. These areas bore more resemblance to children’s playground equipment or something seen in a small fish tank rather than strategic safety zones; but the only people who cared about that were the ones being punished to begin with.
            Those that went in the tank were decrepit criminals on death row. They volunteered for the chance to win their freedom. All they had to do was live for two minutes in the shark infested water tank. Trouble was the rounds usually lasted more than two minutes because of how long it took to subdue the sharks so it was no surprise that very few convicts had gotten away with their lives. The lucky ones adjusted to life walking with one or no legs, eating through a straw or finding jobs that didn’t involve the use of their arms.
            The ones who’ve foolishly volunteered to take their one chance at freedom were still alive; safe in a small, dark, damp concrete room at one end of the tank. Once the buzzer sounded, the door would open into the tank flushing all five of them into the cold water. Among the five was a 45 year old motorcyclist who couldn’t control his rebel spirit; a 24 year old crack addict who lost his cool, a 31 year old whore who tried robbing the wrong client, a 29 year old mom who wanted revenge more than anything and a small boy who was only 13 years old. Nobody knew how he got into the room. His face was covered with a large hood. He kept his head down. He was the only one who wasn’t afraid. While the others repented their sins to a priest, the boy listened to rap music over his earphones.
            His last meal consisted of two cans of Red Bull, a bag of Dorito’s, an energy bar and a slice of pizza. While the others ate their T- bone steaks and lobsters in solace, he ate his listening to music and texting his friends.
            Two hundred feet away, on the other side of the tank was where the hunter’s stayed. They were kept in the same size room as their victims. The three sharks had played the game long enough to know not to cause any commotion yet. They have noticed that when the little light in front of them changes from red to green, then it’s time to eat. The shark on the far right was the youngest but definitely the crowd favorite. He had only been at it for three weeks yet he’d racked up 26 kills and 4 wounded. The crowd and advertisers called him the ‘Prowler’ on account of how quickly he’d come in and taken all the action. The shark on the left of the room first started as a sideshow, but quickly turned to the main event when the trainer saw the hammerhead’s blood-lust. On the poster’s and at the bookie, they called him ‘Brimstone’ on account of his stats; he’d never wounded a convicted, he’d killed them all.
            While theses two were rather new to the game, the one in the middle had been at it since the inception of the sport. He was the first shark that the network had found. When he was first bought, he was small but fierce with a carnivorous attitude and ability to survive that eventually he was dubbed ‘Veteran’. He’d eaten his share of killers and rapists over the years to know a thing or two about how they moved, what they’d do and who the biggest threat was to him. The other sharks were of no consequence to him. While they swam ahead to scatter the pray, he waited behind knowing that he’d end up the victor. Other sharks, better than Prowler or Brimstone combined, had come and gone on the circuit burning themselves out in a month or so. To him it was only a matter of time before Prowler and Brimstone went that way as well. He played smart for he knew that the human prey was the deadliest kind.
            The crowd cheered and screamed for the show to begin. Their eyes contorted to red in anticipation of the blood bath. Shark Obliterator was called a sport but it was advertised and showcased itself like a game show, yet most of the world saw it as a form of a snuff film. It stood only behind football as the most popular sport but garnered twice as much criticism. People wanted to see the dismantling of it and waited continually for a reason to occur.
            In a luxury box that looked over the middle of the tank were the people behind it all; the ones who thought it up and put it together. The people in the suite sat in leather chairs, sipped martinis, watched their flat screen televisions and ate filet mignons. Most of them were sales reps, advertisers, managers, idea men, thinkers that came up with more crap to shovel to the cold crowd. The owners were a husband and wife who sat rather bored at the back of the room, away from the glass. They’d grown disconcerted with what happened on their show. A life of luxury bestowed upon them by punishing the sins of the guilty had lost its appeal. They had wanted to see competition.
            “Beer here!” yelled a vendor.
            “I’ll take…uhh…Joe how many should I get?” asked a friend to a friend.
            “Ten!”
            “I’ll take ten!”
            “Twenty coming up!” yelled the vendor.
            The other vendors went up and down the aisles selling shrimp on a stick, battered fish corn dogs, crab bits dipped in cheese sauce and lobster strips in a shell relished with salsa and sour cream. Everything had to fit the motif of the idea men. All of it fit into one another becoming their machine. The crowd had fun losing their minds to the sea of red that came after every match. They all died; the convicts and this lust for their death was the only thing that could control the crowds’ desire to see the underdog win. If they left the convicts out for too long, the crowd might grow sympathetic towards them.
            “How did you get in here little boy?” asked the whore to the boy.
            He ignored her and turned up ‘Slap the ho!’ on his I-pod.
            “This is not right! This kid shouldn’t be in here. We need to get a security guard or something.” The mother said. “Security!”
            “Let him stay,” the rebel said. “He might grow some hair on his chest.”
            RING! RING! RING!
            The red light blinked in front of them and the floor below slowly filled with water while the announcer’s voice came over the intercom. They all got scared and yelled and prayed…except for the little boy. He turned the volume up even higher and mouthed the words to the song.
            LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES, WELCOME TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH. ELECTRONIC WORLD AND RAZZ COLA ARE PROUD TO BRING YOU THE MAIN EVENT! FIVE NEW CONVICTS ARE HERE TO TEST THEIR WITTS AND INSTINCTS AGAINST OUR MONSTERS OF THE OCEAN, OUR DEVILS OF THE SEA, IN ORDER TO WIN THEIR CHANCE AT FREEDOM. BRIMSTONE LOOKS TO EARN BACK HIS RESPECT WHILE PROWLER MAY BE ON THE LOOKOUT ONCE AGAIN TO BREAK THE MONTH RECORD OF 29 KILLS TODAY. VETERAN HAS HIS RIGHT TO THE FLESH MARKET THOUGH AND WON’T LET HIS OWN RECORD BE BROKEN IN FRONT OF HIM WITHOUT PUTTING UP A FIGHT. PLACE YOUR BETS NOW GENTLEMEN AND SEE WHO SWIMS AWAY TODAY AS THE NEW KING OF THE TANK!”
            The red light moved over all the sharks faces. Their worn and beaten faces had scratches and marks on them. They all waited with that fierce look of murder in their eyes. The red light blinked one last time, then it went green and the door opened.
            The five convicts were flushed into the water. The two women flapped around trying to gain their composure right away. The rebel couldn’t swim so he tried to grasp onto the first thing that he saw. The crack addict swam fast towards the weapons that were dropped into the water. The small boy went along the bottom, making his way to the middle towards a harpoon. Brimstone and Prowler advanced on the women right away. Brimstone nicked the whore with his head but Prowler snuck up behind him and grabbed her before he could finish the job. Prowler ripped her in two and swam past, not even bothering to stop and claim his prize.
            “27 KILLS!”
            Veteran waited in the back for his opportunity to strike. He saw the boy and worried. The crack addict found time to grab the harpoon but was unable to fire it before Prowler made his move on him also, shedding his legs gruesomely to make them nothing but bones and tendons.
            “28 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! PROWLER IS WORKING QUICKLY FOR THAT RECORD! ONE MORE AND HE’S TIED WITH VETERAN!”
            The crowd yelled and hollered at the news. Brimstone was getting angry. He wanted a kill. He didn’t want to be upstaged by Prowler anymore. He wanted his glory back. Brimstone saw the rebel hiding in one of the castles, trying to hold his breath and last till the end of the round for his safety. He saw nothing else but the old man, his whiskers floating up in the water and his eyes bulging, trying to see past the blood for the monsters. Brimstone went angrily and hit the castle as hard as he could and knocked the rebel loose. The old man let go and started to drift towards the surface. Brimstone could see Prowler coming and went for the old man faster then he’d ever been. The rebel swam towards the surface. Prowler came like a bullet through the water. Brimstone struggled to keep up and had the rebel and almost-
            “OH!! BRIMSTONE STEALS ONE FROM PROWLER KEEPING HIM JUST OUT OF REACH OF THE RECORD! BUT THERE ARE TWO LEFT, CAN PROWLER STILL GET IT?”
            Some of the people in the crowd began to notice the tiny convict in the tank. Some could see that he was a child whereas others thought he was a midget. Those that knew that he was a child became appalled and a general wave of disgust broke out over the crowd. Soon people were asking questions. They yelled and pointed at the kid with the harpoon taking aim at Brimstone and sending a spear soaring through towards the shark’s head.
            “Oooo!” the crowd yelled.
            “BRIMSTONE TAKES A LETHAL SHOT AND GOES DOWN! A GREAT SHARK AND A GREAT PLAYER!”
            Taps played over the intercom to signal a fallen soldier. Children cried for their favorite shark. Men yelled at how they had lost money. Women thought it was a shame. More of the crowd looked at the gunman to see that it was a child. Even more became enraged and appalled. They tossed their shrimp at the owner’s box.
            “Sir, we have a situation going on,” said one of the thinkers to the owner. The owner got up, irritated by the interruption. He approached the glass and saw the little boy in the water. “What should we do?”
            “Let him play,” the owner said.
            Veteran watched all the action as he swam around the tank. He saw the kid go for another gun, snatch it and evade Prowler at the same time. The kid was quick in the water and even quicker with the trigger. His body moved like a snake in water. Veteran swam slowly and watched Prowler circle the poor mom who was desperately trying to work her harpoon gun. The young shark opened his jaws wide and took her head clean off in one quick swoop.
            “29 FOLKS! THIS MAY BE THE DAY THAT THE RECORD IS BROKEN! HE’S NOW TIED WITH VETERAN FOR IT WITH ONE CONVICT LEFT TO GO! THIS MAY BE A DAY FOR HISTORY!”
            The crowd reacted little to the news and hollered for someone to notice the child in the tank. They yelled and pushed over vendors. They tossed their beer cans in the water making it murkier. In his box, the owner didn’t listen to the producer telling him to pull the plug, dart the sharks immediately and keep their fan base. He watched the kid swim through the water with both Prowler and Veteran on his tail. The owner watched because this was what he wanted to see; competition. Not some strung out and desperate convict who didn’t know how to swim. He wanted to see who was the stronger of the two, the best predator; man or beast?
            Prowler swam close, diving in and out of the water around the kid as he sought the piece of fame that would be attached to him once he killed the kid. He was insane with glory, caught in the glamor, starving for the attention and blinded by the lights that flashed on him.
            Veteran came in too and grabbed the kid by the shirt pulling him along in the water. The kid shot the harpoon but it barely grazed Veteran’s flesh with the spear going out the water’s surface hitting a beam in the ceiling above. The rope on the spear held the gun suspended in the water. Veteran chomped down on the harpoon and grabbed it from the kid’s hands. His jaws got closer to the kid as he went for the kill. He didn’t smell any fear from the child. He only smelled blood, old and tainted with beer, bones and guts. As he went for the final chomp, Veteran’s body was pulled away and the kid got loose.
            “OH WOW! PROWLER JUST RIPPED VETERAN’S THROAT! THAT IS ILLEGAL FOLKS AND WILL DISQUALIFY HIM!”
            “Stop the match!” a thinker yelled.
            “No!” the owner said. He knocked the thinker to the ground and regained his ground. Everyone in the club box was in shock. “Nobody do anything. We let the game play out.”
            “Boo!!” the crowd yelled. No one was drunk enough for this.
            “We’re gonna lose our whole fan base!” one of the producers yelled.
            The owner stayed silent and watched like a little kid.
            The game continued and elapsed two minutes. The game was going to be to the death. The kid didn’t fret in the tank. He was still calm. His shirt was torn but that didn’t deter him. He swam for the guns and not for his life. Prowlers took Veteran’s bloody fin, jumped out of the water and tossed it onto the crowd.
            “Boo!!” the crowd yelled.
            Prowler dove back into the water looking for his prey. The kid was small but he couldn’t elude him. He was the next greatest thing to happen to entertainment. Nothing could stop him. He saw the kid playing with the harpoon that was still in Veteran’s head. His eyes narrowed on him as he glided through the water. The shark got close, but still the kid messed with the gun. The rope, that connected the gun to the spear, was still stuck to the beam above the water. Prowler got close. The kid still hung on. He suspected the kid to go for the rope but he didn’t.
            “Ahh!” the crowd screamed.
            “Yes…” the owner said gleefully. He was like a child blowing up army men with fire crackers.
            “We’re screwed,” a thinker said.
            Prowler went for the bite. The kid pulled a harpoon shot from the gun he’d hid behind his back, letting loose a spear into the mighty shark gutting him.
            The crowd jeered as they saw their most beloved of sharks fall to a small child. They all grew quiet. They didn’t stay. The announcer stopped speaking. The thinkers all left to update their resumes. The water drained from the tank slowly. The water with all its blood, beer, organs and remains of the day. It filtered in the drain at the middle of the tank. Only the organs and guns remain after all the murky water went down. The kid walked back to the room, put his I-pod back on and left without saying a word. The owner sat, smiling; his business was destroyed but he was happy.

Behemoth and why YA isn't my favorite cheese

Steampunk airships, clockwork cities, tesla coils, strange creature ships and such all set against World War 1 following the viewpoints of two teenagers...damn. Now, I'm not against young adult books. I like them in their respective places and I do like this book as well. The only reason I show any reservations is because of how cool this concept could be when applied to an adult situation. Of course, had it been marketed for adults, there would go all the cool illustrations that I found myself geeking over. I just find the whole idea a little hard to swallow because of the context that this is amidst World War one. The reality of death, a huge part of war, is glazed over momentarily in this second installment without much thought by the protagonist.
Aside from my minor complaints, I did like this book. The world is fully imagined, the ships or tanks or whatever are cool, the behemoth itself I wish had more play but it's one moment is pretty cool. The twists are good and the story is moving at a good pace. I'm no war historian but I think the Americans will finally show up in the third book.
Overall, 7/10 only because I'd love this more if it were for adults.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The wild things...yes another book review

I was excited about the movie and loved it as it recaptured so many emotions from my childhood so when I read the book, I had pretty high expectations. This was the end of the road for the story after the children's book and movie so it lost some stuff, it gained some but in the end, it is something of it's own. The writing was fine. Nothing spectacular. The hardcover is very cool. I usually hate gaudy hardcovers because theyre so fucking big it annoys me, but this one was smaller and printed on good paper. Overall this is more of a collectors item and reading the book was an exercise in nostalgia. Not as good as movie but good. 8/10


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How awesome Insidious could have been

My brothers an ass. He's a huge horror movie fan and six months ago he tells me how scary Insidious is and how it's the best horror movie he's
ever seen. I got all excited but couldn't drag my wife to the theatre to see it so I had to wait. Last Friday I watched it, hooked on my brothers praise and the red faced man from the preview that looked creepy as shit. Man I hate everyone. What a disappointment. It tries to be a ghost story movie (which always end up sucking) before turning into something more interesting and deeper. The problem here is that other world the dad goes into to find his son isn't scary. Or...it's not as scary as it could've been. And the red faced man was a pussy with a crappy cgi body. And another horror movie with a shitty ending. I dont need happily ever after at the end of every movie but now it's a bad staple for horror movies to make the characters hour and a half long struggle completely pointless in the span of two seconds. Why did I watch this?

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Ysabel

What's this? A fantasy without vampires, explosions or swords? Weird. Maybe it's just cause I'm new to genre or maybe it's because it's ya, but this was a completely different book then any other fantasy I've read. Now that that points out there, the writing itself and sentence structures were a little different at first but I picked up on them and see the benefit. My problem with the book is that most of it is the characters sitting around reiterating the last scene to another character. It gets annoying even if the dialogue is great. The character are all realistic and well developed and the story is solid. It's not something I'd read again but I might check out more of Guy's other works. Overall 7/10


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Martian shorts with Ray

What a great book. I usually don't like short story's and never read them but told in a format like this where each is relevant to the other is pretty cool. It reminds me of Chuck Palahniuks Haunted which is probably the only other book of shorts I've read. Bradbury's style of writing is amazing too. It's depressing in a way because I look at my writing and think, why the he'll isn't mine like that! But then I remember that i suck and the world is back in orbit. He crafted a story and told it with so much excitement and love that you can feel it in the words. A lot of authors can't do that or just don't want to do that. They string together a clever little book with plot and the right ingredients and people buy them cause they're interesting but a true writer can do what Bradbury and others did. I just hope I can develop the craft and not just the mechanics which is what it boils down to. Those who know the mechanics spend their lives on the mid list which I wouldn't mind but I want that greater level.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My name is jack and bob and aaron

Up until today I've been pretty steadfast in my ideas on using a pen name for writing different genres. I've always felt like anyone reading one of my books would enjoy any other. I skip around in genres and tone all the time: sometimes I write something funnier and lighter and other times I'll write a serious horror story. It's hard enough to make a name for yourself as a writer online and to have to create another person and do all that social networking again seems impossible. But I heard a podcast today from an author who writes in probably six different genres, all in different pen names. At first I thought she was an idiot but then she said it was to give the audience the brand and style of story they crave. And that made me think. Maybe its not such a bad idea. Most of all writers are stuck in their genre no matter what they do. It would suck to put something out there that doesn't have my name on it but I think as long as people like it, it'll be worth it. It's interesting because we do live in this digital age where you can write whatever you want and put it up as an ebook without having to ask a Publisher if you can write this type of book or that type. For established authors, like the one I heard, that choice isn't given since they need to meet the obligations that the people who write their checks demand. Indie authors don't. But still, if a fan of mine comes looking for an action adventure with more humor then horror and they wind up with a disturbing space monster tale, they might be disappointed. It's definitely something to think about. Till then, I'll continue to put off writing any horror till I know. It's not like there's a market for it anyways.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Voices From the Street rating

I can't believe I waited two years to read this book from when I got it. Its by Phillip K Dick and it's the only thing I've read by him which is odd because he's a science fiction author yet I read this, it being a present, knowing nothing about him or his other works. If his genre stuff is as good as Voices From the Street, then I cant wait to pick up others. I can't pinpoint why I enjoyed this book so much but I can say it asked questions, some of which are still relevant today and it was smart and the descriptions were minute in detail. The characters were all complex and emotional; the main character especially. I don't think there's any action in the book so I wouldn't go into this thinking that's what your gonna get. This is a 50's realist novel (for what it's worth) and I don't know, its just really good and relateable till a point. For some reason the tops of the pages on the copy i got were still bunched together so I had to cut them apart the whole time but I'm sure its a freak accident. 9/10

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And Now the Moment You've all been waiting for...dum dum duhhh....my writing!

Rubber Devil
The ground was covered in shaking leaves, rustled brown and yellow, orange and crackling, diminishing within a cold chill that swept down the suburban street. The sounds of joyous laughing came streaming downwards, where children rummaged through their sacks. Pearly white plastic skeletons, long crooked noses accented by drawn on moles, pointed hats and shaggy dog fur adorned the children. Cotton pillow sheets were twisted in their hands, weighted down by pieces of chocolate, sugar and nuts; hard candy twisted and wrapped; balls of corn, popped and sugared; rusted brown copper coins. The kids were smiling. The air was cold. Parents lagged behind as their children ran up to the next house and rang the bell. Old folks answered with tootsie rolls and hard candies and change. Young folks answered with sodas and chips and chocolates. Small children tugged at their parents legs and asked them to carve the pumpkin, to order the pizza, to kick the fire. They tugged at their mothers and fathers afraid of the kids in costumes that came to the door.
    Stacy Lillard sat in front of her bedroom mirror on this suburban street, the lights making the powdery white makeup shine on her face, her lips blood red with eyes drawn over with black. She smiled and her teeth were white. Her phone sang a tune sad that was also happy and lovely.
    “Brian,” she said into the phone.
    “Hey baby, we’re coming round the block. Your mom cool?”
    “Yeah, just got to follow her bs curfew. Hurry up.” 
    “We’ll be there soon.”
    “We?”
    “Nikko and Christian are coming along till we get to Marges’. That all right?”
    “Nikko is a creep.”
    “I’ll watch him baby.”
    “Hurry up.”
    Three boys of sixteen walked through the rest of trick or treeters. They wore jeans and t shirts, a leather motorcycle jacket and tinted sunglasses on one, a rubber devil mask on another, the third very simple in a dress shirt and gelled hair. Brian hung up on Stacy. Across the street, the kids were walking with happy steps, joyous of the holiday and the cold air and the cascade of orange lights and painted faces. And they were so innocent yet they were of skeleton hands and arms and they bludgeoned thoughts of gluttony. Behind the red rubber, a devil’s breath stung with strong liquor that blurred his eyes and tempered his mind.
    She dressed like a vampire and went down the pale wooden steps to the glass door and looked out. Kids and parents and memories that were dead sauntered along with wooden masks. Her lip trembled as she vaguely remembered looking for a cotton twill bag, eating too much candy and her mom brushing her hair as she lay there holding her aching stomach. She put it out of her mind as her mom came up next to her.
    “Where is your friend?” she asked. Her arms were lightly folded while she came next to her daughter. When her daughter was younger, she’d dress up as the Bride of Frankenstein and decorate the house with orange lights, carved pumpkins and fake dead bodies that leaked syrup blood in threatening positions. This year, the house was bare save for a sleeping father on the couch, a roaring fire lighting a dark room while the television played the old Frankenstein movie in black and white.
    “His name’s Brian and he’s my boyfriend Paula.”
    “Don’t call me Paula.”
    She rolled her eyes towards her. “Sorry mother.”
    “Any more attitude and you’ll stay home tonight Stacy. Maybe you can watch Frankenstein with your father. You know how dreary he gets during the holidays.”
    “Ah, no thanks, I have a social life mother.”
    Paula sat still, her breath quiet yet her hand moved slightly to reach out but stopped. Her daughter was dressed like her at that age, a short skirt, bare black leggings and a corset that did nothing but amplify her bust. Where was that hypocrite in her that wanted to lash out? Her breath went flatter and her heart fluttered.
    “Be careful tonight. All sorts of loons are out there,” Paula said.
    “I know mother.”
    Brian and his friends came up the stone walk, the grass edged perfect and erect along it, the leaves few and most in bags. The yard had once held fake gravestones with humorous names of those deceased. He could see Stacy beyond the glass pane, his own image and those of his two friends sidled behind him reflected, and her mother grave and nervous.
    “Hi Stacy,” Brian said. He didn’t move to kiss or hug but she did and hugged him warmly.
    Her mother came outside to inspect his friends.
    “Hi Brian, how are you?” Paula asked.
    “I’m okay Mrs. Stetson.”
    “How’s your mom?”
    “She’s okay.”
    Paula looked from Nikko to Christian suspiciously.
    “Who are your friends?”
    “I’m Christian ma’am.”
    Nikko didn’t answer.
    “This is Nikko,” Brian said, gesturing towards the red masked kid.
    “Nice to meet you,” she said first to Christian and then hesitantly to Nikko who made no gesture back to the mother. He only stared at her through the small holes in the mask. The stink of vodka didn’t permeate but the mother felt a loathing from the man. “What’s wrong with your friend Brian?”
     “He’s…shy.” Brian said.
    Paula felt only the sense that he was lying, that this kid in the red rubber devil mask was something more than just shy but she had a glass of wine waiting and a quiet evening of nostalgia. She gave her daughter one last look up and down and then hugged her and went inside. With her gone, the four children made way down the street. Already it was growing colder, the chill worse and flowing like water through the broken, crackled trees, so bare save d├ęcor of skeletons hanging from wires. Much younger kids ran past them hitting their elbows without feeling anything.
    “I can’t stand Halloween,” Christian said.
    A nine year old witch ran straight into Nikko’s back causing them both to fall down. Candy fell and scattered and she looked up with pearls of wet slowly drifting down her blushed cheeks at the red rubber devil in front of her. His eyes moved little, his body rigid and speculating movements that came and went easily flowing upwards. Then a slow wail from her soft young throat and Stacy grabbed Nikko’s arm and pulled him back.
    “What the hell is your problem?” she said.
    The little girl ran off.
    Nikko said nothing.
    “You’re a lunatic.”
    Stacy glared at him with menace, through the slits of holes that were nothing but blank and showed no person behind them. Her fists turned white against the palms and she turned away and walked while Brian slung his arm around her. As she walked away, the rubber devil watched her in the black leggings and easy bust and short skirt.
    They approached a sprawling white Victorian home where stumbling teenagers danced to a radio favorite in the moonlight. The girls were all dressed in costumes that wouldn’t cover a baby and the men wore picturesque costumes of their favorite superheroes. Pumpkins were smashed in the driveway and street, their delicate carved instructions smashed for the purpose of destruction. A candle still breathed under the crushed cave of one, flickering in the cold wind that threatened to put it out.
    “I’ll see you guys later,” Brian said.
    Nikko and Christian walked towards the house while Stacy and Brian made their own adventure on the cold Halloween night. They took each others hand and walked towards the part of town where the houses ended and the endless country air hung over the desolate corn stalks near the forest preserve. A pair of eyes watched from the front porch of the house. 
    “I used to love trick or treating,” Brian said.
    “I did. I would always eat way too much candy every time,” Stacy said.
    “Isn’t that the point?”
    “Yeah but I mean, I would eat so much that I…I would practically cry to my mom…she would always make me feel better. I would always be so excited to go out every year and she always wanted to take me but…”
    “I don’t think I ever went with my parents.”
    “I did when I was little but when I got older, it just became a friend holiday. Now my parents sit around every Halloween getting drunk and watching really old movies like Frankenstein and Dracula.”
    “Nice.”
    They didn’t stop walking till the lights of distant streetlights were nothing save closer stars, brighter but just as cold. He held her and pulled her closer and they kissed. The cold wind caressed their cheeks turning them red. When Brian came up for air, Stacy was smiling but he thought he could see a tear in her eye.
    “Don’t cry,” he said.
    “I’m sorry, my mom gets to me sometimes with her nostalgia. I think she’s depressed.”
    “Your mom’s awesome. Don’t worry about her.”
    He smiled and kissed her and she let him and they were young and maybe it wasn’t love but it was something warm enough to bury their hearts into for a while. They didn’t think of what effects they left on those who saw them. In the wrap of each other’s embrace, the night was bearable and the sound of their ears upon crinkling steps, shuffling through broken leaves came close. And their hearts beat once and twice and felt warmth and then sharp. She felt his body as it slipped from her grasp and fell to the ground. She looked down at him and his blood, cringing before she looked up at the man in the rubber devil mask, holding a shiny red knife.
    “How…?” she choked out. Her words were so hard and tight and could barely limp out of her mouth to articulate and express. They had no gravity but instead floated like barrels of gas and popped and then fell to a dreary forest floor and died.
    The rubber devil approached her.
    “Stay away…” she gasped.
    She turned to run but the rubber devil grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, twisting it and forcing her to the ground. She fell hard onto cold mud and tried to scramble away. The rubber devil grabbed her hair at the back of her head and with his other hand punched her hard. Her face hit the ground quick and she blacked out. The rubber devil removed her clothes.
    In the warm glow of the television, with her fingers wrapped around the stem of a wine glass, Paula stretched her neck and looked at her watch. It was ten minutes till midnight. She was worried about Stacy. Her husband had already gone up to sleep and she’d spent her night waiting in the living room watching the old movies, relieving the past Halloweens with her brothers and own father. They paled in comparison to when she brought Stacy down the block. These thoughts couldn’t help but to make her cry. She brushed the tear from her eye and stood up and went to the front door and looked out. It was so late already. She looked at the half empty wine glass. Another sip and she’d be down. Stacy was old enough. She was strong. She was wise. Puala drank the rest of the wine, then pulled her tired body up the steps to her bedroom and slipped into bed with her husband. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
    The rubber devil stood over Stacy who’s once beautiful costume was now ripped apart and splattered with blood. The girl’s eyes flickered. She could see the darkness and the blurry edges of reality. It didn’t take long for her to see more clearly. To see Nikko standing over her. To see a watermelon sized rock in his two hands. She could’ve mouthed a prayer or a plea but she knew it wouldn’t help. She stayed silent as he sealed the night.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hating the spoken book

Podcast books suck. Forget poor grammar. Forget bad writing. Forget all of the amateur nuances in general. I'm simply saying that most people who read their novels, or someone else's out loud suck. Ive tried listening to 5 or 6 now and the only one I found enjoyable suffers from horrible writing. Other than that, the only reason his is any good is because of his voice acting skills. Without them I would've stopped listening 5 months ago. What I would do, if I ever did podcast, is make a radio drama out of my books. Those are awesome. It takes the beat from movies with the style of books and makes a great story. Instead you get nasally whiny voices drawing on and on, each one promoting the other crappy one. Other people obviously like these but for me, it takes the whole intimacy out of a book.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

What the hell to write

I'm at that point right now where I've just finished the first go through of editing and I'm sitting back admiring the novel before I have to pick it up again and realize that it still sucks and edit again. The worst part about the editing process is that once I get close to the end, I'm anxious to finish so some passages get glazed over while I try to get to the next edit. So the whole book is basically a downward slope. The next edit I think I'll start from the end and work my way backwards. Fun stuff. Made a cover that sucks. Sent it to my brother so he can run it through photoshop and make it look awesome. Anything is better then what I drew at this point so it'll be cool to see what he comes ip with. Plus he's one of those people whose job requires him using photoshop all day so I'd imagine he's not bad at it.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Neil Gaiman's a badass

I love HBO and Tom Hanks if he had anything to do with this. Like I've previously said I've just gotten into genre books. Neil Gaiman is by far my favorite author since coming into the genre and I've only read American gods and Anasi boys. I do this thing when I find a new author where I try to spread out their books so I'm not reading their whole list right away, which sucks because I've wanted to read the graveyard book ever since I put down Anansi boys. Good thing there's pyr. I'm obsessed with almost all those steampunk series.

Who's not psyched about six American god novels? It's possibly the best book of it's decade and I might read it again. This post was so pointless...but then again no ones reading it so who fucking cares. Haha.


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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Before the milk turns to cheese

I've been working on my latest book for four months now with the intention of finding a publisher and agent for it as soon as I can. I have another baby due in December, college resuming in September and another book that I want to write before then. I don't have time to go the old way. Then I hear all these stories of indie authors doing great through smashwords and amazon and I sit here wondering what the he'll I'm doing. I've wrote six full length novels. I know how the hell to write. I shouldn't need to plow through the bs of the publishing world for ten years before getting lucky. I don't have the money to go to cons and make friends with agents and authors. Why am I telling my zero readers this? To justify quitting a part of my dream, to put that great hope of being Signed by a publisher, feel my physical book in my hand and see my name climb the new york times list. It's hard and I've wavered long enough on the subject. I need an editor and someone to do the cover and then I can release it. If it fails it will be on the merits of it not being good enough and not because I didn't win the lottery and land an agent.


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Fucking drink trays

Thats all I have to say right? Plane takes off and you run to the bathroom as soon as they start with their trays. You piss all over the wall and get out to find the attendant pushing the stupid tray down the aisle, charging 4 bucks a can of pop, makin you sit in an empty seat for half a fuckin hour before they're done. And who the fuck pays this money for shit food when they could've bought something twice as big for a dollar less in the terminal? Airplanes suck and once again makes me that guy with the screaming baby in the other row that can't control his kid. Fuck everyone, babies hate planes.
In other news I took a week off from writing for vacation. I can't wait to jump back in.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

My acka is killing me

Just finished writing my second novel in three months and my eyes hurt. I only have the first drafts completed so it's not as if either is truly done but it's good to have the first drafts ready. I figure I'm going to alternate between writing a first draft, then editing my previous work till it's completely done and then going back to writing another first draft giving everything time to sit while also keeping me busy and excited with new work. Id go crazy working on the same book for six months or so all at once. The revision and editing part might take more time the The first draft but I'm prepared and have made 40 pages of notes, biographies, city structures, maps, weird stuff, tech and religion to really add depth to the story. I've never really liked the revision process before but with all that I've learned over the past six months plus my notes, I'm actually looking forward to making this book better. it'll be interesting to find the line between adding depth and giving life to the world versus piling on useless info or elaborating on a species of bee known only in the desert. Also it's one of those things where I don't want to simply give everything a new name. Exa a door is called puda. Thats extreme and not so in the book but I don't want to overload the reader with translations that makes the whole experience annoying.
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Happy Pickle Week!...

Aside from donut day or whatever it's called, international pickle week is the most random thing celebrated at my office. It's nothing more then trays of cheeses, meats, pickles and bowls of chips in the lunch room for a week straight but why the hell is this celebrated at all? And are there other obscure food holidays like meatloaf eve, sushi-giving, or eggnog brandy day, oh wait that's a crappy Xmas.
I don't hate it. In fact I'm going to steal this idea and use it somewhere in my books. This is the kind of obscure crap thats seen as strange but actually adds depth to a story. As a writer it's important to make mental notes of things like this and not judge it hut rather explore it, it's origins and importance to further your writing.
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Good beer kills

I love Sam Adams cream stout. It might be my new favorite beer. Its thick and tasty as hell. iPod changes hell to he'll every time. Reading American Psycho and the murder scenes are truly horrific. The book is great and better then the movie. I'm two chapters into the editing process and it's not as bad or timely as I thought. I'm by no means rushing it but I know what I'm looking for and always wary of that voice of doubt that creeps up and says my book sucks and that I should throw out any idea of getting anything published. I hate that voice. Thus the beer! Also what you read influences what you write and American psycho being a present tense satire totally fucks with my writing. Good thing I go over each section three times.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The cars gliding. Engine fell out


Just finished On Writing by Stephen King along with a bottle of barley wine just to help with the pain from drilling so many plaques into my brain. No more adverbs or beer. Thats ridiculously impossible. Ha! But the book was good. Gave me a good insight into what I'm doing, why along with a number of tools and things to look for. I of your a writer l, get it. Even if you don't like his work I recommend you check it out. Since it's been out a while I take it I'm the last to check it out so...anyway that's my take on it. I've been reading classics up till a couple months ago.
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Eating words

I recently posted a blog about how annoyed I was at the use of vampires as the protagonist in novels. I felt they had been over killed and all shared the same tropes. A day after I posted that I read Vampire Empire book one the Greyfriar and finished it in three days. Damn I feel stupid. This isn't young adult nor is it Ann rice; it's a steam punk action story with political conquest at its heart set in an awesomely horrible world where vampires have taken over the upper half of the world. Human societies exist in warm climates because heat makes vampires weak in this book. It doesn't break the mold as far as doing something completely different but it does put our blood sucking friends in a new area with all the awesomeness of a good steam punk book.
So yeah, I'm chewing on words and eagerly awaiting the second in this series. I think as a guy I'm sick of seeing vampires portrayed as a romantic. I read Dracula. That mother fucker seduced women so he could drain them, not so he could turn them and live thousands of years with their soul mate. It's counterintuitive for a vampire to be seeking a life long mate. I could go on but I won't. Vampires in war: good. Vampires in high school: bad. Simple as that.


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Source code review & jake torn in half

I'm drinking summer honey wheat by blue moon. Cigarettes and tequila drown out the craftiness of the beer but kudos to blue moon for the effort. I don't think I'll ever put an orange in my beer but that's more from pure laziness. As to the movie, it's good. Parallel universe theory? Don't know it but it's a good time and the director is a pro.


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Coagulated blood yesterday

I have nothing against twilight but I don't like it because of the poor writing , the bland characters, the fact the whole thing read like a diary but mostly, that she warranted an army of writers to write their own cheesy teenage vampire story. They're mostly successful too which bugs me more. What I don't like about all of this is the lack of true creativity. Why have people fixated on only Dracula? What's to stop someone from writing the next good monster book that's a literary work as well? No profit? Doubt it. Monsters in books are thrown in as candy or fanfare just to kick the plot up a bit or give it a cooler cover.
That being said the real reason for this post is to say one thing. The overuse of vampires as, not only that strange secret about the new boy which everyone sees coming now, but as lead characters has destroyed their value as a lead character. They should be secondary characters in the background now. Or, perhaps; back to being the antagonist. Are vampires strong enough to bear the burden of a narrative? Yes and they probably always will be able to. But the way they've been used recently, especially making them as these vegan good guys, is getting old. Did I put a vampire in my book? Yes but he was in it for five pages, had steam powered organs and simply moved the plot forward. But hey it'll look good on the cover.


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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peas please! You jacka**

Podcasts are awesome for writers and everyone else but I don't care about them. No I'm focusing on writing podcasts in particular. I probably haven't heard all of them but I've heard a good portion of a lot of them to know the flavors. Here are some of them in no particular order.
1. Writing excuses. (hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor and a ton of co hosts)
This one is all about the nuts and bolts of writing as long as the comedic styling of Dan and Howard. My only complaint against this one is that its only 15 mins. That's their tagline but still I could listen to them discuss for an hour. By far my favorite.
2. I should be writing ( Murr Lafferty: sorry if I misspelled the last name)
This one is more for your emotional support as you witness Murr's own struggles as a writer. It's comedic and does provide a nice boost every once in a while. Some say the host is a downer but that's definitely relatable in the life of a writer.
3. Adventures in sci-fi publishing ( Shaun Farrell)
I was at first adverse to this one thinking I was only about science fiction but it's more genre then anything. The host is professional and gets interviews all the time. Plus it's usually around 45 mins so it takes a good chunk of the work day when surf the backlist.
4. The writing show ( Paula B)
This one is the barest of podcasts with no music or humor but it's educational. The host goes over a wide array of subjects, talks to authors and gets good content. The show has changed recently to the host going over the slush pile which is good but there are still a lot o interesting shows in the backlist.
5. Wordplay ( K M Weiland)
This podcast is so short it's almost not worth mentioning. It's a good spring board for the writer and she does offer content but it's recycled from others. That and the average episode is around 6 mins.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

My passwords, Ids and everything else

One of the most annoying things about the internet is all of these damn Ids and passwords that I have to memorize. Half the websites you go to nowadays want you to create a profile, get a username, upload a pic and claim some snappy headline. Then you get as many friends as you can to be popular on the Internet just so you can pimp your soap, book or any and everything else that can be sold. These friends turn out to be customers, fans to whatever it is your trying to sell them. But it brings people together. We harmonize on the internet, find our cliques and meet friends in Paraguay that we'll never meet. Yet they're voices that talk back in monotonous tones like the beep of a button, the hum of your phone. We have other to talk to and we can sell our stuff to. Every other person out there has an ebook, or sings or paints. They all build fans that they call friends and span the net dragging them in to sign up to their newsletter, follow their twitter, stop by their blog or website. And here I am. I can't even remember the god damn password to twitter or what profile name I used for blogger. So many people can build a brand. All I can do is write. Actually that's yet to be proved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How they made lemonade with apples

How to make a million dollars selling your body! In all seriousness, I'm going to talk about the conversion from the paper book to the e book. How does it benefit authors? How does it screw over authors? I'll attempt to answer these questions with fairly common knowledge for you to ponder again.

Benefits. People now have Under the Dome on a device maybe the size of their phone. Instead of only reading a few pages at night before the weight of said book knocks you out, you can flip through a few pages waiting in line or standing at the urinal
Watching for the ricochet of course. With this new mobility, readers read more meaning authors sell more. If a publisher decides your lesbian vampire slaying novel in space doesn't fit their mold then you can give it life in many different venues. And if you give it twenty sequels you might earn a few dollars. As for the few people who do publish dead tree books, once their contracts go dry they can sell their backlist off and take home much larger royalty's ala Mike Resnick and others.

I'm sure there are others but lets stay focused.

Downfalls. No physical tokens to fill up a bookcase to show off to people so they can say hey he's either smart or a loner. Like everything else digitized jack sparrow and Blackbeard feel as though it's theirs to snatch up. Some authors have said this is actually beneficial so stick it in limbo if you want. Books selling normally for 24.95 get slapped with a .99 cent price tag. If your self pubbing it ain't bad but if your through a real publisher then Joe Nick Rob Mel and Mary get their take as well and .99 cents doesn't split too well. The ease of creating an ebook has given Uncle Todd the ability to pub his book on worm hunting even though he's a high school dropout. in other words the sewage gates have lifted flooding us with crap.

There you have. The paper monkey be ones a robot man. Evolution has come to publishing and no one knows whether we'll end up with lemonade or rotten apples but if you want to be an author you need to know this stuff.

Why does my iPod change ebook to snook? Influence of the new jersians perhaps?

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Location:Binder Rd,Downers Grove,United States