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Writing Rules Redeem

A few writers are gifted like Stephen King. They seem to have the instincts from the get-go, like a person born gifted with seemingly embedded musical talent. So when gifted people like that say there are no rules to storytelling, it seems valid to them and the folks seeking wisdom on how to be as good as King go looking for inspiration rather than perspiration. When King sits down and just writes, it’s not, of course, me just sitting down to write. I was born with a desire to tell stories and play guitar but not the inborn talent. I had to work on it and that’s my lot in life, to perspire and agonize and strive for excellence. I accept it. For me rules are the way. And I cling to quotes like this one attributed to Mozart, “Genius is only a great aptitude for patience.” But, with that said, even Stephen King and Mozart adhere to rules, King to the plot point and Mozart to the beat. No matter who writes the book or composes a symphony there is certain criteria that must be met or most people won’t care about the disjointed story or discordant notes. Rules redeem.

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Blood & Soul in July

I’m publishing Blood & Soul in July through Amazon on Kindle and CreateSpace. After 90 days it will be published on all other popular e-readers such as NOOK and on iBooks. There’s a significant amount of work going on behind the scenes in preparation. Friday I received the finalBloodandSoulalonesplatter edits from my editor. 98.5% is done. There are two minor story lines that need to be wrapped up. Those additions will bechecked by my editor. I’ll also perfect the book summary for the back cover. The editor will create a pdf file and send it back to me. I will upload it to Amazon (but not publish) and order physical copies. I will mail a physical copy to a professional proofreader. It’ll be checked for text errors and look and feel. My editor and I will make corrections if needed. Then my editor will format a Kindle version of Blood & Soul and send it to me. I will upload both Kindle and CreateSpace versions. Pretty soon after that it will go live and glide into the clouds. God only knows if it will catch the wind or not amid thousands upon thousands of other books. I know I’ve written the best book I could write.

Blood & Soul Teaser Trailer

Use Your Muse Before She Moves

January 11, 2014 3 comments

Linda_HarrisonA few years ago, when I finally SAW my Muse she dressed in worn comfy denim. She had gossamer wings. She looked just like Nova (Linda Harrison) from that old Planet of Apes original, her dark hair silky and shining. Every golden morning my Muse would hover at my bedside and awaken me with angelic ethereal humming. Dazed and inspired, I would rise and scurry off to my bus route. Afterward, I would take her hand like a ritual. She would lead me to a local diner or coffee house, and sit me down, and turn on my laptop with a missing left “enter” key. While it booted up she would pass the time pouring me honeyed coffee. She would bring it to me, and curl up on the monitor and purr rhythmically, playing songs by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard into my headphones. The sound of her purring and my fingers waltzing on the keyboard was like the sweet roll of distant thunder and a warm graceful mist washing over us through the middle of the day. In the early afternoon I would look up from my laptop and stretch, and whisper thanks to her, and wander off to drive a school bus, my mind full of visions.

Then due to circumstances beyond my control I had to switch jobs and writing became inconvenient and impossible in the midst of the day. She went into a Relocation Program for orphaned muses. I never heard from her again. Maybe you have seen her? For all I know she whispering music into your ear and filling your mind with visions. Don’t waste her inspiration. As soon as you exit Facebook begin your own epic novel, dear reader.

I had to adapt. I petitioned for another Muse for evenings and weekends. The one that showed up looked the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Desperate, I girldragontatopened the door and let her in. She chain smokes Marlboro reds. She wears thick mascara and re-dyes her hair black weekly. She has sixty-six piercings—that I know of—and some I dare not ask about. One arm is sleeved-out in tattoos. She has a Ph.D in German Literature and refuses to purr. She prefers leather to denim, likes fishnet everything. She clipped her wings. From her pale neck on separate chains dangle hundreds of religious icons, peace symbols, and skulls. She reads “the lost works,” just to taunt me and quotes Nietzsche and Rousseau. She listens to Lady Gaga, the Ramones and Johnny Cash and Mozart and the Lower Chakras and drives a black hearse with a pink stripe. She speaks English with a French accent. She refuses to pour me coffee and spills her own on my papers. She never visits, I have to summon her. When she comes she’s often high and drunk, daring me to judge.

I’m not dumping her. I fear what I would get as a replacement this time. So I have the romantic memory of the one before and the reality of the next. – Inspired by a book I just read. Write Your Heart Out by Geoff Schmidt

What I Did Last Summer: Enjoy the Ride! #tcot

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

A video documentary set to the music of Five For Fighting song Slice (please buy from Amazon or iTunes). Highlights along the way are: Gunnison River, CO. Glacier National Park, MT. Grand Tetons, WY. Grand Tetons, WY. Arches National Park UT. And, fireworks on the 4th of July.

Dear John Lennon

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear John Lennon. That’s the title of a non-fiction book I want to write. I want to take each verse of his silly sentimental crap-song “IMAGINE” and make them into chapters where I systematically dismantle this liberal anthem and expose it for the absolute stupidity on a stick that it is. The meat of sacred cows is the tastiest. I think it would sell a few copies.

As a writer/storyteller, I laugh at the song’s childish, Marxist sentiments, but for a while in my life, as you perhaps did or do, I loved that song. I held up the cigarette lighter in the concert hall of my soul and swayed to the dreary melancholy self-righteousness of the song without questioning it. I wagged my finger, “maybe someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one[–you narrow minded stick in the mud.]” I failed to think through what it was actually promoting.

In 2013, the belief in the sacredness of the 60s ideals (which is what the Democrat ideal is) and the Beatles and all that good bit of rot make me think of the people who said, “We don’t like that negro music or rock and roll in this here town.” (Who where Democrats then!) But, alas, liberal message/ideal has been slick-o-fied by contemporary media, art, and culture.

When I tell stories of characters in my book, if there is “nothing to kill or die for” the story is road kill …and I will add so is existence itself if there is nothing worth dying for.

Lennon sings about life on earth, not heaven, because he’s already said don’t imagine heaven or hell, He wags a finger in your face when he sings, “I wonder if you can”. He sings about the ongoing liberal fantasy of Utopia, the persistent naïve belief that man can perfect man. As conservatives, we know this is impossible and we plan for it. We do not believe in the devine right of kings or the secular humanism of a Nanny Statist.

It is these types of songs, books, movies, education, and new age religions that have crept into the vacuum left behind when liberty-loving people retreated from the artistic and educational worlds. You can “get out the vote” all you want. But, if you ignore culture you are drawing from a dying source you are not cultivating.

My dear conservatives! CREATE! Stop thinking you can only help the world with one more vote or one more piece of legislation. The people who can appreciate your dreams are thinning out, seduced by weeds of political correctness.

School of Rock (My New WebCam)

Jack Black, School of Rock mode here. I just bought my first Video Camera for my desktop computer (really cheap!). I barely know what I’m doing. It ends with a theme, my stamp/signature, that I will perfect over time. As I figure out what the heck I wanna do on YouTube. Enjoy and leave your comments.

Are You Published?

April 25, 2012 5 comments

The simple answer is no. When I’m asked this question I wonder what the person knows about the art and process of storytelling. As with any type of excellence in art, overnight success is not the norm. Could I be published? I’m 100% certain. It’s easy nowadays via Vanity press or ePublishing. Nothing stands in the way. So being published is not necessarily a sign of success or quality. It’s basically like a General Admission ticket. Anyone can get in. Almost like buying a degree. There’s a universe of white noise out there now.

I began writing the saga Creed of Kings, which has sprawled into a 300,000 word epic, right before the eBook revolution started to crank up. I made a decision to never publish through Vanity press. Why? Because if I ended up self-publishing it meant—not in all cases of course—that I sucked. Sorry for the technical language.  Vanity means what it means. Gratifying myself is not my aim, which is to rock the reader’s world. Vanity costs dearly and you end up with a bunch of books in your garage. My goal is for Creed of Kings to be published traditionally, in hardcover, on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and others. on black Friday. Even though I’ve tweaked it a bit due to the eBook revolution, the spirit of the goal has not changed, but that does not matter either.

What matters most is quality. One has to spin a yarn better than the people in one’s creative writing class do. College football is planet away from high school football, and pro football is a galaxy from college. You must never rest when it comes to creating the best characters, plot points, dialogue, set up, mood, structure etc. I must see myself joining the league of David Gemmell , George R. R. Martin, Terry Goodkind , Steven Pressfield  now, not someday. What I create must stand the light of day with no prequalification. I have to write at that level of quality. I have to stretch myself, sacrifice.

I’m not new to writing. I’ve always had the bug. I had an active blog life that started in 2004 on Xanga . Before that, I was a regular contributor to a message board started by the rock band Creed—where I relearned the importance of spelling! I’ve written a oodles of terrible poems and kept angst ridden journals. Before that, I wrote a short story in college for a humanities project. The professor thought I should try to publish it. I did not think it was good enough. It was not about self-image, it was about objectivity.

People have told me all my life that I have the gift. It’s rarely flying in formation though. Life’s storms and obligations must be handled and I have discovered it takes a lot of effort for me to keep that flame lit. Furthermore, I am human and I suffer those outrageous idiocies of us artsy fartsy types, such as bored easily, moodiness, brooding, attention whore, borderline ADD, impatience, and perfectionism.

I feel strongly that my day is coming. The agonizing work has come up front. At the start it would have been arrogant to just whip out a manuscript, send it in, and wait for the book tour to begin. I never believed that. Therefore, I’ve clawed through 2 million raw words to eke out a few gold moments.

Nope, not published, yet. But, I have loved every second of this challenge. I will deliver a gift from my soul to many strangers in name but kindred in soul. If you don’t love the process, the nail biting, the blood sweating, fuggedaboutit. You’ll end up admiring your words in the vanity mirror.

When Procrastination Pays Off

March 15, 2012 4 comments

I was at my hangout working on the book. There’s no WIFI at the diner. So, I don’t dally on facebook. The drawback is I can’t save to my dropbox. I’ve stopped relying on a flashdrive. I had just finished making huge changes to the fifth rough draft. Driving home, I tell myself I need save to dropbox and my external hard drive. Don’t procrastinate!

At home, laptop plugged in, I go get a drink. Nagging thoughts of my adapter’s suspicious behavior bug me. ADD kicks in. I return. Laptop’s dead. The adapter went legs up. It hadn’t been charging the battery at the diner. All changes locked up on a powerless laptop.

So, gas is $35,000 a gallon and Best Buy is 20 miles away. Furthermore, I’m in a financial crunch (Did I say gas is $35K a gallon?). Best Buy has an adapter at $59. Amazon has it for $25.01. Need I explain? It’s headed to me overnight for $29 total.

That was yesterday. There I was with time and a fist-clinching drive to do more. I’m close to the end of writing the book. I’ve been putting off brainstorming about the next book. But, I was so angry with the situation I gave up and worked email, facebook, and twitter. Meanwhile the goal to have three books finished this year is slipping away.

I launched myself out of bed this morning, grabbed blank paper and pencil. Daddy O’s diner here I come.  Sipping coffee in back, breakfast ordered, I started scribbling a rough outline of the beginning of the next book. I summarized the prologue. I kept going until all the crucial events for story structure were present. The epic story was succinctly put before my eyes, front and back of formally blank piece of paper. I tucked it in my folder and left for my walk, where listen to soundtracks and brainstorm over the children of my mind.

While walking I check my email after I’ve started the tunes. Amazon notified me that UPS had some shipping issues. My adapter won’t be in today. Grrr! But wait! I’ve just outlined my next book. Rejoice! My luck has been great. I roll the dice again. With Hans Zimmer playing, I constructed the next book in my head while I walked. All the plot points in place!

Now, I have a solid outline for the next book on paper and a soon-to-be-written-down outline in my head of the one after that.

Procrastination can pay off.

Post Constitutional Fungus Among us

December 31, 2011 1 comment

What the post-constitutional America is teaching us via its institutions and entertainment outlets, is that one ought to be envious, rather than ambitious. Ambition has became a dirty word, along with profit. Thus, we have these Occupy Wall Street people covered in the fungus of envy, wanting take and destroy the fruits of ambition and profit because they’ve been brainwashed to assume ambition is ALWAYS misused just because there are poor people in the world, a marxist motivation 101, but we don’t know, because we are politically stupid and ignorant people, pass the popcorn. Thus, we have bought into this man with a symbol in ’08 and his movement, blind to the origins of his philosophy, we will march with acquired momentum to the death of liberty if we don’t wake up.

In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies. Then I woke up and became a conservative.

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