Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finishing up

I am finishing up my October tasks. Mostly trying to finish, polish, some short stories so I don't have them lingering over me for November. I believe I have my 52 Stitches story ready to go, but I will check it over one more time. It is twice as long as when I originally wrote it. I really am glad I gave myself some time on this one. It needed the work.

Now all I need to do it finish a zombie western and then I am ready to go. Ready to bury myself in a book for a month and hope it doesn't suck too bad.

At this point my week is so screwed up I am not completely sure what day it is. It feels like Friday, but my calendar says it is Thursday and my mind still doesn't know where Wednesday went to. Still, I think I will be ready for the weekend, whether that is tomorrow, in two days, or a week away.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

T-minus 4 days and counting

I have been compiling information to get started on one of two NaNo projects I could undertake. Both are ideas that have been in my head for awhile, although I one is considerably longer than the other and I believe I will be going with that one. It seems to be just right for a month-long foray into the dark recesses of my mind that deal with the way people deal with each other, and if it sucks I wouldn't feel bad about it.

Other than that, my girl is home sick from school. It isn't the dread disease that everyone is talking about on the news, thankfully.

While we are at it, go out and buy Barry's new book, Debris.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Idea factory

I find it amazing where ideas come from (other than that blackened piece of my brain the rest of my body wishes would die off already). I was in a forum the other day and on a completely different topic than the one they were talking of when I read something that someone else had said and it got my brain going in a different direction. It was completely off the subject. I don't know how my brain came around to thinking what it did but it solved a problem I had been dealing with since I finished a story last spring. It was a novella and it never did feel quite right. Something was off and I couldn't figure out how to fix it.

Needless to say, the story has been sitting in a file since that time, uncorrected, unproofed and essentially unfinished even though I did write 'the end' on it. I think I have it now and I can't wait to get back to it and add several thousand words to it. I don't know when that will be, but it will happen, of that I am sure.

I am reminded of my flash piece, Playdate, which was in the last issue of Sand. It was actually inspired by a story that J.C. Tabler had written in the previous issue of Sand Called Crib Death. You may read the two and wonder how I got from point A to point B, but somewhere in that diseased part of my mind I made the winding trip. If you don't know what I am talking of go ahead and order copies of both, or you can wait until the year end antho comes out and read them both there.

How about any of you, do you get ideas when you least expect them from the most unexpected places?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just checking in

I really don't have a lot going on. My wife and I have managed to get most of our Christmas shopping done for the kids as of this weekend (just waiting for a couple of things to come out of back-order and to be released). Yesterday I spent most of my day hoping the house wouldn't cave in from the swarm of Asian beetles that the government decided was a good idea to bring into the country a decade ago. For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, they look like ladybugs and they eat soybean aphids which are bad to the soybean crop (although I don't remember them being a problem before). The little dudes will also bite humans and they stink to high heaven when they die. Another brilliant idea from the federal government *this line just drips with sarcasm*.

It would probably make a good horror story, if it weren't true.

So today I am going to be running errands and if I can find a few minutes I will be doing more outlining for my NaNo project.

That is all.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday at last, Now flash!

For this Flash Friday I am going to do a literary, experimental piece I wrote last year and had published in Literary Chaos print issue #1(link to the right if you want to see about buying a copy). It isn't horror, but I still liked writing it.

Life In Vignettes

It is dark. Light has not touched my skin. I have not been born.
This is the beginning. My story goes back further but this is where I start, deep in my mother’s womb. The muffled sounds of the world pulse around me as I contemplate my own existence. What will I be and who will I look like. My sex has not been determined by any visible means.
This is my life.

Light floods my eyes and drowns out the rest of my senses as I gasp for air. Hands reach and grab as I am forced out by my mother’s body. My own body is ready to live outside but depends on the body that has just rejected me. I am soon suckling a tit that tastes like sweat and pain.

I have grown older. Taunted, teased by so many an older neighborhood child as I walk down the street. My grimy hands holding plastic six-shooters as I wage war with invisible natives and bank robbers. I play alone in a world of millions, perhaps billions of others like me.

Adolescence now. Acne mottles my face. My voice struggles with pitch and errant boners strike me down as I try to understand girls and life in general. Running away is always an option but not a good one. I am frightened to die but scared that I may live forever like this.

College. My voice has settled as well as my pecker. My face is clearer. I meet new people who don’t know the old me. I struggle with classes but pass anyway. The future is still uncertain but the nightlife has improved.

Graduation. Silent parties of cards come in with the bills. Grim reminders of reality, expectations, and an empty wallet. It leaves me no choice but to carry on and hope for an early retirement or a sudden winning streak in the lottery.

My wife is beautiful. She looks elegant with her flowing white gown and shimmering shoes. I love the way her hair spills over her shoulders and envelopes her face like a picture frame made specifically for her. She smiles at me.

The children arrive and my wife yells at me to get off the couch, put my drink down, and get another diaper from the cabinet. I slump off to do this for her.

Graduation day comes for my children. I look at the people that they have become and wonder where the kids are that used to fall from their bikes and ask me to make it feel better. I wonder if I will ever be able to take them fishing again.

My children start to marry. I wonder what some of them see in their spouses but give them a smile and a nod to bless their choice. I remember being young and in love once too.

Grandchildren. Wonderful little moppets that I can load full of sugar and ambition and send home at the end of the day. It makes me feel old thinking that my children are in charge of these little people.

The day I have been working almost forty-five years for. Retirement. Day in and out of sluffing paperwork and nodding in agreement to the right people to get to this endpoint. I can finally get to work on that perfect golf game or maybe write that novel.

I lay in my casket. The tears of loved ones drip on my starched lapel. My spirit floats amongst family and friends as they make peace with my corpse. I make peace with my life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WIP Wednesday, kind of-

I have had a slump of sorts. Sure I have worked and finished 2 (maybe three, I haven't decided if one is complete enough to be called a story yet, even flash) stories this month and I feel very unproductive. The first story took me ten days to write and was only 3900 words long. The second was only 371 words long and took me all day, a writers day, not a normal persons day.

Now, this morning I am trying to come up with a short story idea and I have three different tabs on my monitor, all are shorts, none are finished and I think they will all be deleted without being saved before I leave the computer this morning. Mostly because they not only suck, but they aren't going anywhere.

I am considering starting another book at this point. The other idea is to leave the rest of the month be and just read instead of write for a couple of weeks because the writing is going nowhere.

Now for something I have tinkered with this morning:

Still, I am finding it oddly relaxing, sitting here. Listening to the worms as they edge closer. Tiny scratching sounds like millions of tiny fingers working against the earth. So small, but in unison they could move the planet, change it somehow.
Even now I can feel the thump of footsteps above me. They walk with impunity, thinking little of what they are on and caring not, for the dead can't know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snowing in Hell

So it is October 12, 2009 and it is snowing for the second time in 3 days. The first time was actually a new record in our area. It had never snowed that much that early in recorded history. Now it is snowing again and that just seems cruel. It makes me want to rip an icicle from my roof and beat Al Gore with it.

Today I don't know if I will work on any new stories or not. I might just work on edits and re-writes from at least 2 different stories and maybe a 3rd. I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with something for 52 stitches but I am at a loss. I haven't been able to write a flash piece for quite some time now. I think I broke that part of my brain and I can't fix it with super-glue. I tried, but now my fingers are stuck together and for some reason my leg twitches all the time.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Broken Shells

Jake looked at his friend in the ancient Humpty Dumpty costume. “I told you you were too big for it.”

“Shut up and get me out of this, it smells like old meat and cigarettes,” Bryan said. He was trying to reach the zipper on the back, spinning around in circles with his arms outstretched, hoping desperately that the next go-round would connect his fingers to the clasp that held him in.

“Hold your horses there Egg-boy.” Jake undid the fingers on his own costume, which looked nothing like the Cheshire Cat from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, even with the over sized smile and dark stripes, but it was the only one that fit him. He tugged at the zipper on the stained eggshell costume. “What the hell did you do?”

“I didn't do anything. You were the dumb-ass who said 'let's try these costumes on.'”

“Stop moving, I just about have it.”

“Hurry up, its getting hot in here and I gotta go.”

“Settle down, you won't be late for curfew. ” Jake said in between grunts. His fingers slipped on the clasp that held the zipper in place. “I don't know. We might have to go ask for some help.”

“I can't see a thing and I really have to pee, I don't have to be home for hours.”

“Oh,” Jake said and tugged as hard as his fourteen year old fingers could. Bryan's potty dance wasn't helping him out. “Maybe I could use the pliers my dad keeps in his truck.” Jake let go and started to cross the road to the blue Ford truck his dad had driven them in.

“Don't leave me here,” Bryan pleaded. He was grabbing himself, trying to hold back his bladder with one hand, and pulling at the top of the costume to see through the misplaced eye-holes with the other.

“Fine,” Jake said and walked back to take his friend's free hand. “Just stop grabbing yourself. What are you, three?”

“I can't help it. I shouldn't have drank that two liter of Mountain Dew.”

They started across the road as a dark GTO rounded the corner. The driver had his head tipped back, a bottle to his lips. Jake saw him and tried to pull his friend out of the way only to be clipped by the front bumper. Jake didn't see Bryan get run over by the car, but heard the crunch of bones and the thump of suspension.

By the time Jake dared to look the GTO was speeding down the road, a ragged piece of material clung to the undercarriage. Bryan, still locked in most of his costume, was twisted in unnatural forms and he wasn't leaking yolk.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 'Ah-ha' moment

I love it when that moment comes. That moment that brings everything together, if not on the page yet, but in the mind. That point where you aren't quite sure where the story is heading and then AH-HA! Or maybe you are a Eureka type person. I don't know.

That moment happened to me this morning. I have been trying to figure out where to take this Scoiry story of mine and I have had several different paths I could take it down. The problem is that it is written in first person and you can't kill them off. Mostly because then you have no one to tell your story. I figured it out and now I can finish it and be happy because bad things can still happen to the living.

Tomorrow my flash story (that didn't make it into the finals, only the semi-finals) at the Shroud flash fiction contest will be up for flash Friday.) See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One down

So we are down one week in October already. At this rate I am going to be scratching the bald spot on my head November 1st and going, Where the Hell did October go? Right after that I will be going, Crap! I have to start my NaNo project! (I would be off to a rough start on the first day of it and consider myself behind.)

I have been plugging away, a couple of hundred words at a time, trying to finish the story that I have been working on since last week. It is a slow go, but I think the effort is worth it. I am a little frustrated that the words aren't running from my fingertips like I think they should be. I have something in my mind that is making me edit it as I go. This is especially frustrating since I am not sure which information is relevant to the storyline yet. It might go in a direction I have not seen yet and wipe out half of the manuscript yet.

Anyway, that is where I sit, at a couple of thousand words and no idea where they are going, with November looming around the corner.

Have a good Wednesday. *sigh* here is the last little bit I wrote for WIP Wednesday (I almost forgot)

“Are you busy today?”

Something in the back of my mind told me to say yes, I was incredibly busy. “No, I've got nothing going on as far as I know.”

“Come on over to my friend's house.”

She hung up before I could change my mind

Monday, October 5, 2009

What weekend?

Another unproductive writing weekend. I am used to them. I have managed to submit two pieces this morning (one magazine folded, the other rejected) and continue work on my untitled work from my Wednesday post this morning. I think it is taking a dark turn for the worse for my main character. :)

I can do all of this because the boy is still asleep from last night (going on almost 14 hours of sleep now) so I thought I should be as productive as possible.

Anyway, I was told that my old heating and cooling guy in my hometown has published a book. I haven't been able to find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, yet, so I am assuming he had it self published. All of the proceeds go to a veterans fund and I have been told that it is actually quite good (he was a pretty good storyteller and often did more talking than working) If I ever find a link to it I will post it, but that isn't the reason for my post. I found out that my hometown (not the town I was born in with the ax massacre but the one I was actually raised in for 16 years) was the inspiration for the 2005 Pulitzer prize winning book Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I had no idea. I still haven't read the book either, but I am planning on finding a copy now. You can read more about it HERE.

So, what are your hometown's literary backgrounds (other than you)? The world wants to know (and I am curious as well).

Friday, October 2, 2009


I can't believe that I forgot that I had a short story published in Sand last month, plus I received a beautiful book called 52 Stitches. Yesterday my story Beneath the Willows was released at Bards and Sages.

So, yesterday I managed another 1500 words in my scoiry (to borrow a word from Carrie) story. I don't know how long this is going to end up. Something tells me far longer than will be usable in any short story market. I might surprise myself and pull it in under 7500 words. I don't know yet. I've got a few ideas where I could take it, I just don't know yet.

Last night, in one of the worst nights of my life, my boy (who my wife thinks is getting sick) didn't let me go to bed until 5. I think I am running on about an hour of sleep and I haven't had any coffee yet, mostly because I keep forgetting about it. Because of this I don't know if I will attempt any writing (my typing is seriously lagging and I am giving my delete button a real workout right now). I might try and find something on the History Channel and call it a day. At least until I have to go watch the homecoming parade that my daughter will be walking in.

Have a great weekend. A great, rest-filled, weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gone in an instant

September, hello? Are you around here? No? Who the hell are you? Oh, Hi October.

September was quite possibly the shortest month this year. It started off great. I made my only acceptance of the month in Midnight Echo issue #3 (should be out shortly) and was published in on their short fiction page. Other than that I received 3 rejections and one new hold as a semi-finalist for the Shroud short fiction contest #7, where we are still trying to figure out which Monday Mr. Deal meant.

Other than that I wrote no completed short stories although I did start one, and I outlined a new YA book that I have a lot of research to do before I start. I also managed 1 query letter that didn't look like crap and did more editing on my MG book, Big Chief's Gold.

I have no goals in mind for October, we shall see what the month brings although I would like to finish this story I have started and outline the book I plan on writing for NaNo. Not real ambitious but my kids don't take naps anymore.