Oh, Yeah…Still Alive

Oh, Yeah…Still Alive

Some of you may have noticed more activity on my blogs and pages. A few of you have reached out to me, wondering why I’m re-posting old blogs and links, as well as random things that aren’t from me.

Well, I’ve been working on social media management. A few of my pages have been lying dormant while I deal with real life, and collecting dust. It’s, they weren’t dead.

I’ve decided to really give them a push to try to get more followers. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and the one thing I need is an audience to actually release some new material for.

So for now, I’m running an experiment. According to apps like crowdfire, as long as you are regularly posting something, new or old, you should get more traffic on your page. So I’m trying it out. I’m mixing in a little bit old with the new.

Lo and behold, I’m getting a lot of new followers. I guess I’ll stick with it.

Don’t worry though. This just means that there is more new material on the way.

I’m one step closer to attempting to do this for a living…maybe…

If not, feel free to drop a quarter into my cup when you see me at the park.

Writing Again…Finally

Writing Again…Finally

He sat staring at his monitor, a universe of fantasy playing in his mind. Yet, his fingers hovered frozen over the keyboard.

Why couldn’t he unlock the treasure he knew was there?

The conditions were perfect. The television had been off for hours. The soft thump of quiet storm hip-hop caressed his ears, pulling him ever closer to the mind-state he desired. The warmth and flavor of a recent swallow of whiskey sat at the back of his tongue. The ambient hum of his children snoring filled the air behind him, like the snowy static of a long forgotten television.

His fingers began to dance over the letters. Slowly at first. Picking up speed as the trickle of ideas coalesced into a flood.

The corners of his mouth turned upward into a smile.

He was no longer in control.

He sat back and let the words flow…

Miss Me?

Miss Me?

I’m back.

Did you miss me?

Yes, I know it’s been a while. I didn’t keep my promise that I was going to be posting at least once a week.

Yes, I know.

You can pencil me in for my public flogging later.

Believe it or not, I’ve been extremely busy. Yes, parental and adult responsibilities are holding the majority of my attention. And the kids now being out of school has been a bit of a damper.

But guess what?

I have been writing. A lot!

The last time I posted, I mentioned that I had a story that was just begging to be written and was pushing everything else out of my head. Many of you gave me permission to go ahead and pursue it. And I almost did.

A certain person, you may know her as wifey, gave me some serious side-eye and told me that I really need to finish something. And after much grumbling on my part, I realized she was right, as usual (but don’t tell her I said that).

So I compromised. I did take a break from what I was working on, but not for very long. I did some research (my favorite part of a new project), and completely outlined a story. This actually satiated my need to write this new story enough that I could go back and continue working on my original.

Taking that small break also benefited the former projects as well. I was able to come back to them with fresh eyes and fix a few problems that I hadn’t realized were there.

By the way, remember that massive saga I mentioned a long time ago? The one that spans many generations and multiple novels? Well, it’s materializing nicely. It’s still forming, but it seems so much more real to me now than before. In fact, I’m debating sharing a chapter from the short story I’m intending to use to introduce it. What do you think?

Remember that today is July 1. We are officially at the halfway point. I made a goal to have something completed at some point this year. I’m still on track to do that, but I also still have much to do.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile.

Rabbit Holes

Rabbit Holes

I fell down a rabbit hole this last week.

It’s now a week later, and I’m just now climbing out, covered in all the things I’ve found, eyes bleary from staring at my monitor.

I don’t even know what happened.

One day I was on Facebook, and stumbled across a random post. The next thing I know, I’m googling it and digging deeper and deeper into the subject matter. And now it’s a week later. I have a brand new story in mind and so many cool ideas to work with.

For now I’m going to be a little vague, because this is something that’s still developing.

I just want to ask the other writers out there: what do you do when feel like you’ve practically been struck by lighting? The most random thing crosses your path and suddenly you have the inspiration to create something new.

Never mind what you’ve already been working on.

This new story is like a wild animal trying to claw it’s way out of you. It has to be written. And it has to be written NOW.

What do you do?

Do you drop everything and focus on it? Or do you force it back down and continue with what you’re working on?

Right now, I’m at a loss. I honestly don’t know what to do. This story has invaded my thoughts and has influenced everything that I’ve read, watched, or listened to over the past week. I’m in full-on research mode. I’m even a day late on this blog post because I’ve been too busy reading to actually take the time and come up with something to write about.

But I can’t just keep dropping my projects to jump onto something new. At this rate, I’ll never finish anything.

I need input. What should I do?

Batman Batman Batman

Batman Batman Batman

Just to warn you: This is going to be random.

I didn’t really plan out what I was going to post today, so you’re going to just get a stream-of-consciousness brain dump. So, I’m sorry…unless you’re into that sort of thing. Then, in that case, you’re welcome?

I’m scared. No, seriously. I am literally afraid.

I just finished watching the trailer for Man of Steel 2 Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice for the… uh…you know what? It doesn’t really matter how many times I’ve watched that trailer. Let’s not get caught up with numbers, ok? We’re here to talk about why I’m afraid.

Zack Snyder scares me.

As a huge Batman fan, the thought that the fate of this movie, and probably the DC Cinematic Universe rests in the hands of such an inconsistent director, seriously frightens me.

Think about it, what was the last Zack Snyder movie that you thoroughly enjoyed? If I were to remove 300 from the list of options, how much harder does your decision become?

Let’s start at the top.

His first big movie was Dawn of Dead. It was actually remake of a beloved George Romero zombie classic with the same name. Even here, we see that Zack likes to change things. Instead of the typical shuffling mass of undead, we get something new. This time we have zombies that sprint after their prey. I have to admit that the movie is surprisingly good. Adding the new element of zombies that moved so fast really raised the tension. But don’t get me started about this being a remake of a sequel in a series of movies that is actually still being made.

Snyder’s second movie, 300, is probably his biggest and best movie to date. I can’t lie. I love this movie. I saw it in the theater the night before my first child was born. I own it on bluray. And I’ve watched many times times over the years.

His next movie, Watchmen, looked to be an amazing film. The movie starts out strong. It has one of the most memorable opening credits to any movie I’ve ever seen. Then, about halfway through, the cracks began to show with a laughable love scene set to Jimi Hendrix’ All Along the Watchtower.

He made an animated movie, that I hate even having to mention. It was about owls. My daughter, who will watch just about anything, was bored out of her mind and wanted to go home. I honestly couldn’t blame her. I felt the same way.

Sucker Punch is the movie that finally made me turn on Snyder. The trailers showed the type of action and scantily clad actresses that would lure any guy into the theater. I went to this movie so excited, I could hardly contain myself. What I got was a movie about what some girl daydreamed as she was being lobotomized. Seriously. That’s exactly what the movie is about. All those cool sequences that got me into that theater seat turned out to be dreams within a a dream. When the movie was over, I felt as if I had, well, been sucker punched in the gut.

There was a bit of a comeback with Man of Steel, but audiences are extremely divided over this movie. Personally, I thought the movie was pretty good. Although, again, we have Zack Snyder going into a well established story of Superman and changing things. There are some really great moments in this film and then there are some truly bad.

Now, here we are again. In a month, Batman vs Superman will be released, and I’m excited beyond words. But I’m also afraid. Which Zack Snyder is going to show up this time? Am I going to get another 300? The first half of Watchmen? The good parts of Man of Steel?

Or will leave the theater angry like with Sucker Punch?

The more I see, the more excited I get. But the more I hear about things behind the scenes, the more worried I become.

I’ve spent the better part of the last decade watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe develop into a monster that can do no wrong. I’ve learned to love characters that I wanted nothing to do with as a child. When I was 10, you couldn’t get me to read a corny-ass Captain America comic if you tried. Ant-Man? Really? You can’t be serious!

But with each movie, I’ve eaten a bit of crow. I’ve watched one movie become a universe where every movie that is released is an event that I must attend. I’m invested now. I truly care about this overarching story that is being told and I can’t wait to see how they continue.

“Across the street,” DC wants to do the same thing. Man of Steel was supposed to the their way of dipping their toe in the water. Now that the second movie is about to be released, its starting to sound as if DC and Warner Brothers are getting a little nervous. If Snyder drops the ball with this movie, all future plans will suddenly be in danger of disappearing.

As it stands now, there are huge plans to make multiple movies over the next few years.

There is a 10 year old version of me that is grinning from ear to ear. He already has his popcorn and candy, and he is sitting in a theater, watching a blank screen and waiting for the movie to start.

Seeing a live action version of Batman and Superman fighting on the big screen is a dream I’ve had since I was a little boy. Realizing that I’m this close to seeing this dream fulfilled has me ready to jump over the moon.

But, the 38 year old version of me is looking at things differently. This guys been burned before. He knows not to get his hopes up. And he’s seen what happens when the hype builds you up and the final product lets you down.

I just want one thing. I want Zack Snyder to walk up to that 38 year old cynic and kick him into pit while yelling, “This…is…BATMAN!!!”

Please, Zack. Don’t fuck this up. Please.

Do you really want to let down an excited 10 year old? He has so many other disappointments waiting for him in life.

Don’t be one of them.

My Experiment

My Experiment

For the past five weeks, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting excerpts from an unfinished story.

You also may have noticed that I never really explained why I was doing it.

Well, it was mainly just an experiment. And, during this time, I was able to get a lot of feedback from you guys.

Back in December, I stumbled across an interview with a pair of authors named Sean Platt and David Wright. These two authors are pioneers of serialized fiction.

I know that serialized fiction has been around for a long time. Charles Dickens released much of his work as serials before publishing the finished projects as complete novels.

These two guys, however, are treating their stories as if they are seasons of television shows. For a few weeks, or months, they release weekly episodes of a story. Once the story is over, they will release the entire season as a complete novel before moving on to the next story, or season.

I don’t know why, but something about this particular interview made me stop and take notice. To me, this was an extremely cool idea. I started looking into it, and decided that I wanted to give it a try.

I found an old story that I still needed to finish, and split a portion of it into small parts to be released each week.

Over the past few weeks, I discovered some interesting things. I found out when I have something that I think is cool and want to share, it’s really hard to wait for a week between blog posts. I also found that if someone is really enjoying a story, they also don’t like to wait until the next post. They also have no problem telling you that they don’t feel like waiting.

I kinda like that feeling.

I spoke directly to a few of you and was able to surmise that by releasing larger portions, readers would feel more satisfied each week. I also learned that I need to make sure every release has a good cliffhanger at the end to make sure that people come back for more.

So, what happens now?

Do it again, of course!

I’m currently brainstorming what will be the next story to release as a serial. Once I find the perfect story, you’ll see.

In the meantime, excuse me while I dive back into my shame pile.

Show and Tell: Part Five

Show and Tell: Part Five

Maria came to.

Am I dead, she wondered as she lay on the cold concrete slab, among scattered papers, next to her car.

Not sure what to do, she lay there. From where she lay, she could see under her car. A pair of feet, on the other side of her car, was moving toward the door to the house.

Why am I not dead?

She tried to move. To yell a warning. Something. Fear held her paralyzed. All she could do was lay there and watch the feet as they walked up to the door and stood there for a moment

She noticed a small trickle of blood running from her hand onto the floor, a small pool forming around the keys that lay next to it.

The fog began to clear from her mind as the events of the last few minutes started to come back to her.

The man who had shown up in her garage had been holding a gun. He had shot her.

BLAM!

She came back to reality with a start as one of the feet on the other side of her car came back to the ground.

He was trying to kick in the door to the house!

She could see that the door had held.

The foot came off the ground again.

BLAM!

This time the door gave way.

The feet stepped inside her house.

The realization that her roommate, Dayle, was home forced her to move.

Again, she looked at her bleeding hand. Her mind struggled to put together what had happened to her.

And then it clicked.

When he had shot at her, she had raised her hand instinctively, in an attempt to protect herself. There was no way her hand could stop a bullet, yet she had moved anyway. Somehow it had worked. Raising her hand had saved her life. She had been holding her keys. The bullet had hit and ricocheted off them.

She quickly checked her body as she sat up. Wherever the bullet had bounced, it hadn’t hit her.

She sat there in silence a bit longer.

Silence.

Why was everything so quiet? Since the intruder had loudly kicked in the door there hadn’t been a single sound from the house. No screaming. No yelling. Nothing.

Staying low, Maria got to her feet. Quietly, she moved around the back of the bulbous Volkswagen. As she reached the rear bumper, she heard the front door close.

She froze.

Something was wrong. Other than the sound of the front door closing there still had been no sound from the house. She paused and listened for a moment. No one had walked by the garage door. If someone had left, they had gone in the opposite direction.

Or….

She stealthily to the edge of the door way and peeked inside.

He was still inside!

He was standing silently at the island in the kitchen with his gun raised. There was no one there. What was he doing?

She watched for a bit longer, until she saw a shadow move on the low cabinet. Someone was on the other side of the island cabinet.

It hit her.

He had pretended to leave, and was now waiting in silence. Dayle was on the other side of the cabinet hiding! She had no idea that she still wasn’t alone in the house.

Maria tried to call to her. Her voice failed her.

In horror, she watched as Dayle’s head appeared over the top of the counter. She was immediately shot and sank back out of view.

The sound of the gunshot was deafening. It echoed through the silence of the empty house.

Maria sprang into action.

Above her head was the button to activate the garage door. She slapped it with all her might. She knew the second her heard the sound of the door rising, he would come back into the garage to investigate. She had to move fast.

The door slowly moved up in it’s tracks.

Maria didn’t have time to wait for the door to open completely. She dropped, once again, to the deathly cold concrete and rolled under the still rising door. Immediately, she sprang to her feet and ran as fast as she could, yelling as loud as she could for help from anyone who could hear her.

She thought she heard footsteps behind her, but she didn’t look back. She couldn’t spare whatever forward momentum she had gained.

There were footsteps behind her. The intruder was running after her!

She had to escape!

The sound of a single gunshot erupted behind her. It was followed by the whine of the bullet as it sped past her ear. She changed direction and continued running, still screaming for help with all her might.

In the distance she heard the wails of police sirens. They were coming closer. She no longer heard the footsteps of someone running behind her.

Without stopping, Maria stole a glance over her shoulder. She was alone on a dark street. There was no one there.

The lights in the windows on the apartments were starting to come on.

Everything seemed to be should be on the street. Only one thing was out of place.

An AC/DC baseball cap laid on her driveway, just outside her garage door.

END