Cliffside

Here’s a thing I wrote.  More are here:

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Kerry and I are sitting with our bare feet hanging over the edge of the cliff, watching the sun sink into the sea.  We are so high up that the kids walking along the beach don’t notice us as they start trundling along below us.  I figure they are about twelve or thirteen, but it’s a bit hard to tell from this distance.

Slowly they walk along, making a concerted effort not to really look at each other.  She keeps watching the waves churn onto the sand.  He is mostly watching the ground in front of them.  They are obviously having the sort of earth rending conversations that only teenagers can manage, and the drifting murmur of their voices is scattered across long pauses and evening winds.

She is very deliberately swinging her arms.  The boy steps with each swing, like it’s a metronome.  His right hand clenches into a fist, and then stretches wide and starts to move out toward her pendulum fingers.  Just before they touch, he draws back.

Kerry confirms my suspicion that the girl knows.  She is waiting for him to stop her overly exaggerated swing, but he is not brave enough or wise enough to read the signals.

I agonize for him.  I was twelve the first time I fell in love.  He can’t stop thinking about her and he doesn’t know what to say to her.  She is waiting for him, and in his head, he knows it must be true.  Every time he reaches to her though, the intensity of first love, the all-consuming, entirely confusing need he feels for her is too much.  There is no way she could want him to hold her hand as much as he wants to hold hers.  It is entirely impossible, and when their skin meets, he now knows she will recoil.  He has to pull back, so he can hold on to hope for a moment longer.

All the while, she keeps waiting, as consumed and confused as he is, wanting and waiting.  He never comes right out and says he loves her, never touches her except by accident, leaving her certain that she is imagining all the times it almost happens.

When I was twelve, I pulled back one time to many, and my first love moved away.

I reach out and squeeze Kerry’s hand, for the boy I was, for the boy below, and hope he is a braver child than I.

Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm  Comments (4)  
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Casino Queen

This piece is what I call a song scene.  Basically, it’s what I see when I listen to the Asteroid Galaxy Tour’s song The Golden Age

Years before the waves of feet washed the colour from the casino carpet, she stepped out of the lift.  The tight black dress she wore, slit to the hip, was covered in swirling oriental dragons.  The diamond dipped earrings hung heavily on her ears.  A complex chaos of blonde hair framed the smile that melted the room.  Crowds parted as she wandered through the floor, and she had no doubt she left adoration in her wake.

She ordered an expensive sounding chardonnay from a familiar waitress beside the roulette table.  She wielded this graceful scepter as she held court over the long velvet table and the spinning wheel.  The players vied for her attention, until she chose a lucky loser with the good sense to bet big.  Pressed to his arm, she shone as his luck and his chips dwindled.

When her chosen champion was finished losing, she left the half-finished wine flute on the buffer, a cherry-red kiss on its rim as memorandum of her presence.  She walked through the lounge to a door you had to know to notice, and slipped into her narrow dressing room.  In the halo of the mirror, she flirted with herself, raking mascara through her long lashes, blowing kisses into wonderland.  When she was finally satisfied, she drifted into the backstage hallway, an unglamorous affair, more like an abandoned school than a star’s greenroom, to await the start of her simple show.

The man behind the piano had brilliant fingers, but when she stepped into view, he was forgotten.  She rasped smoky lust songs.  The faithful worshiped her, the men who came every night while they were in the city.  Curious heads poked into the room, and found a set.  She knew not a single one, and she adored every last one of them.  She worshiped their worship, and they warmed her to the core.

The next afternoon, a lucky winner in a rented convertible pulled up before the casino lobby.  She floated down the lift from her suite.  Her head was wrapped in a beige scarf, her eyes shaded by thick sunglasses, her form unhidden in the wrap of a trench coat.  The only soul brave enough to speak to her after her set held open the car door, and she slipped in, unnoticed by a public that wouldn’t recognize her.

They headed off the strip, to a movie theatre playing a film in which she was a minor background player.  He pretended she was the star she felt she should be, and she pretended he was more than a handsome face with a small measure of caramel coated charm.  They left to the falling rain.  He fumbled to resecure the roof while she clung to the doorway under the marque.  She laughed and smiled at the jeweled city.  He was certain he had hit the jackpot.

At the hotel, she graced him with a quick kiss before she disappointed him.  She headed back into the cacophonous din of her delusion, happy and lost in the artifice of the world she built.

Published in: on November 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Writing

So, a few days ago, a beautiful and talented woman asked me what I was working on creatively.  I was embarrassed by the answer, and it was only made worse because she was super hot and better at art then me.  Basically, if you’re reading this, you know I’ve done nothing in months, and very little all year long.

I’ve got to change that, and that’s going to take some concerted effort.  Basically, I’m going to regularly need to make sure I keep writing.  I may make a couple of changes around here to make sure that happens.  I’m also going to need to look after my other stuff, like my deviant art page.  I might make some formatting changes to my blog.

One of the things I noticed is I’ve become a little insecure about the things I like.  I watch a lot of fantastical movies and tv shows, and read books where extraordinary things happen, but I don’t want to write about that.  I need to figure out how to let that go.  If I read Game of Thrones, then there’s nothing wrong with writing fantasy.  When I watch Supernatural, even in to Season 7, where it gets next to unwatchable, why can’t I write some horror stories.

Although, something I might start doing more of is scenes from songs.  I get a lot of strong imagery in my mind’s eye when I listen to music.  I’m going to write more of those.

Basically, I don’t care what you think.  Unless you’re a beautiful and talented woman, then I care that you think I make good art.  The most important lesson I learned from my Creative Writing Professor in University is that the point of art is impressing cute girls on the off chance it will get you laid.

Published in: on November 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I’m Back

Hey Internet!

I still exist.  And I’m here because I’m starting a new project.

Have you ever seen Brad Neely’s brilliant “Wizard People, Dear Reader?”  If not, check out a piece of it here:

The Cribbage Match

Basically, I want to do the same thing.  Create an alternate audio track.  During Stampede, to avoid the heat, we sat in the basement a lot, and we watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And I want to change all the words.  I just need to do a few things.

1. Script a very long movie

2. Synch up the timing with the action on the screen

3. Buy the audio equipment to produce the script

4. Figure out how to work the audio equipment.

5. Record my super long script.

6. Produce it

7. Distribute it

8. Repeat 2 times.

So let’s see how this goes…

 

Published in: on July 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Writing for Depression

I read somewhere, once, in the sort of long ago that I’ll never be able to find the fact to back up what I’m about to say, that a large number of sucessful artist suffer from depression, manic depression, or are bipolar.  The percentage was way higher amongst sucessful artists than within the regular population.

And I have an entirely non-scientific, non-researched, pulling it out of my ass theory on this.

I think people create when it hurts.  I know I do.  If you have ever broken up with me, hidden away somewhere is at least fifty pages of poetry, story, and art created while I try to get over you.

No, you can’t see it.  If you think you’ve seen some of it, you are probably right.  Some of my best work has come out of that sort of frantic, pained place.  Writing doesn’t make it not hurt, but it … it postpones it a little.  It puts it aside, and you don’t have to deal with it when the pen is moving or the keys are clacking.

Which is all good and well when some cute girl is willing to break my heart, but that doesn’t happen everyday.  I’m begining to worry about my prospects as a writer.  See, at the end of a crappy day, normal things get me past it.  I can watch TV or a movie, or have a couple beers, or play some video games, and everything is okay again.  Which is all fine and good, unless you’re trying to develop a body of work.

My novels suffer for my well-adjusted state.  If it wasn’t for a half-assed effort to meet my own personal blogging requirements, this would probalby suffer more too.  Maybe I need to have a mental breakdown.  For the sake of my writing.

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I like to imagine

On certain nights, I like to imagine there is a girl, waiting.  She stands on a footbridge, clenching an overcoat that is just a little too large for her.  Under the cone of the street light, she pretends the cold that flushed her cheeks doesn’t bother her.  The wind picks up a little, and her fist clenches tight on the front of her jacket.  Hair whips across her face, but she waits for the gust to die down before she combs it back in place with her free hand.

A mist surrounds her, an icy frame on the edges of the electric halo of the lamp above.  It rolls over the parts of the river below, steaming up where the last rivulet of moving water runs.  She stares out into the darkness, her eyes the warmest part of her tiny winter world.

Absently, she lets lose her lapels, and rolls up the sleeve of the jacket to glance at her watch.  Her mouth tightens, maybe in concern, maybe in disappointment.  She shivers slightly and leans forward.  With her elbows on the railing of the bridge, she hums softly to herself.  She watches the steam on the free-flowing water, and glances at the edge of the bridge.

I know she’s waiting for me.  She doesn’t need me, but she’d like me to be there.  She’s just about ready to go on, but she lingers a little longer, absorbing the cold.  She doesn’t need me, but she still hopes I’ll show up.

She’s trapped somewhere, in my mind’s eye, on this little bridge.  I think about her every once in a while, on a cold night.  Sometimes I wonder if she’s waiting there, wanting me to follow her, and find her story.  I’m afraid to take her across the bridge.

The moment I do, I admit I made her up, that the girl isn’t waiting for me.  I’m not quite ready to say goodbye, in case she’s out there somewhere, waiting on the bridge, staring at the watch, hoping I walk into the scene to say hello.

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PTP: Setting Starburst, Chapter 2

This is the current draft of the second chapter of my novel.  I encourage criticism, questions, and of course, accolades…

Vey-Kalis-En walked up beside his sister and looked over at the soldiers setting up camp.  He was only a bit taller than her, and even at twenty-two, he looked like he had been carved from stone.  Hard lines had been weathered on his brow, and around his mouth.  The sun had beaten his face like leather and bleached his short blonde hair until it was nearly white.  He wore the Order’s uniform, the breast plate and the spears, but also had a broad sword and a bladed mace strapped around his hips.  He watched in silence as the strangers went about their mundane business.

“We’re their last hope, Kal,” Vey-Mara said softly.

“We’re a lot of people’s last hopes,” he grunted.  “We can’t save everyone.”

“There’s at least one Nephelium among them.  I’ve told the others to stay in groups of three.”

Kalis-En nodded.  “Probably best for apprentices.  Send for a couple more full members.  I don’t want to be on my own down there if they’ve got tricks up their sleeves.”

“Are you scared?” Vey-Mara grinned.

“I’m always scared,” he answered evenly.  “I just don’t let it stop me.”

Vey-Mara watched her brother walk alone towards the centre of the camp.  She whispered at his back “Stay safe.”

Kalis-En walked through the Sunburst soldiers, and each one he passed stopped working.  Eyes followed him, appraising him.  It would be foolish for them to attack him, and they must have known they were surrounded.  Still, if they attacked him en mass, it didn’t matter how many apprentices saw, he would still die at their hands.  In the Hills of Ruin, trust was a valuable commodity, and those who gave it to freely suffered dearly.

In the centre of their encampment, he found Captain Tyman.  A few years Kalis-En’s senior, the man hadn’t been born with a soldiers build, but had earned it, tight muscle piled on a small frame.  Shocks of red hair peeked out from under his helmet, and he kept rubbing his chin thoughtfully.  Kalis-En cleared his throat.

The captain turned suddenly towards him.  “Yes?” he squeaked slightly, a little surprised to see Kalis-En.  “Who are you?”

“I am the Emissary of the Dreamer.  My name is Vey-Kalis-En.  I will hear your plea.”

Tyman glanced over his shoulder.  Kalis-En followed his gaze.  There was a young Solarian noble, worse for wear, a cute girl with a splash of freckles across her nose.  Beside her was a Quaraldim, trying not to look stern.  Kalis noticed the Glyph on her stomach, the swirl of thick black sacred script, a moment before he felt the pressure in his temples.  The Glyph started to glow slightly, and Kalis-En pushed out the encroaching head-ache.  He felt the heat building in his own Glyph, his arm feeling warm, like the start of a sunburn.  He exhaled through his nose, trying to push her out of his head before she got in.  She looked away, affecting an air of innocence, and the pressure stopped.  The light on both Glyphs faded, returning to the dormant black.  She nodded slightly to the Captain.

“Alright,” Captain Tyman said, “What do you want to know?”

 “Everything.  I need to know what you need, and if we can help you.”

“What do you know about Gabriel Durihan?”

“Nothing.”  There was a look of surprise from the soldiers, who were gathering as quietly as possible around the fire.  “News doesn’t travel well here.  Nothing reaches us quickly.”

“Start at the beginning,” the Quaraldim said.  “They’re more likely to help us if they know what Gabriel was trying to do.”

The captain nodded.  The column was not his, that much was sure.  He was just their mouthpiece.  He thought for a moment and began to speak.

The Master Plan

I want to publish.  I want to publish soon.  The thing is, publishing is a labyrinthine industry, and not the good kind, with David Bowie.

Okay, maybe a little like Bowie

There is a massive approval process, and if you haven’t been published, you probably won’t get published.  There’s too many people sending in too many books, and not enough people reading them.

So I think to myself, well, what does work.  Who’s publishing books that don’t go through that system.  It’s people like Tucker Max and David Thorne.  These guys did not go hat in hand, and ask publishers if they were good enough to be published.  They just put their stuff out there, and people wanted it, and were willing to pay for it.

I do a lot of writing that I haven’t put up on the internet, specifically because if I do, those old style publishing companies won’t buy it.  They want to have all the first rights to everything.  While I can see where they’re coming from, because if they give it away, who will pay for it, I think they’re wrong.  I mean, even if you’re a loyal reader of my blog, you may not like my fiction.  You don’t know.  I don’t expect you to spend your hard earned cash on me to find out, but they do.

But what if I give away a bunch of stuff for free?  You could see if you like it, and then pay for the rest.  Tucker Max and David Thorne put stories and articles on their websites, and you can buy their books for exclusive content.  I’ve heard Steven King does the same thing.  It obviously seems to be working.  We live in a new age, and I know the internet.  I should use it.

So here’s my plan; I’m going to do a final draft of one of my novels, probably the fantasy novel.  I think it’s good enough to ask people to pay to read the ending, but it’s not so near and dear to my heart that I can’t afford to experiment with it.  I’m going to be putting portions of it online.  I’ve bought a domain name, and I’m going to build a website.  I’m going to hire and editor, and make a final version of the book.  I’ll release it in PDF, print on demand, e-reader, and possibly podcast/book on tape.  I’ve bought the domain names for the website that will support it and I’ll build it.

This blog has been rather directionless, and I may keep the Black Book Project segment of it reserved for meandering and rambling.  But I’m considering creating a new section of my blog, with a separate name, and working on the book through there.  You’ll be able to read updates, about process, and text from the book.

If you’re interested, you can see the whole thing.  I’m looking for advice, editing, and criticism, so that I can make the final, paid version of it better.  Just drop me a line if you want to help out a bit more, and I’d love you forever for it.  Plus, you’ll get to see the first draft of the novel, which will not be what others will see.  It’s like a DVD bonus.

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Girl on The Train

I have a weird social anxiety that people who know me don’t realize I have.  I need a set relationship to talk to someone.    If we’re just strangers, I can’t start a conversation.  I know that’s stupid and crazy.  I know that I’m not disturbing people by speaking to them, but if I need to know the time, I’m more likely to go into a store and buy something so I can ask the clerk than to ask a person at a bus stop.  

It’s weird in the ways it doesn’t show up.  I have no problem public speaking.  I’m more comfortable before an audience of hundreds than a single stranger.  I can do my job, which involves speaking with customers I don’t know all day long, because we have a set relationship. 

To meet new people, I generally need to lamprey onto an extrovert. 

It's an unpleasant image, I know.

 

If I have that back up, someone else to say the first word, to start the conversation, I can join in.  That’s why I need Tall or Lina in new social situations.  Once they break the ice, I can plunge into the frozen lack below, but I can’t do it myself. 

Which isn’t helping me right now, as I write this.  I’m on the C-Train with my Black Book.  If you’ve never been on a C-Train, there’s two types of cars.  One has a bunch of seats that all face one direction, like a school bus, where you stare at the head of the person across from you.  Then there’s the ones I call picnic cars.  The benches face each other like this: 

Three sets of these on either side of the train

 

It looks like you’re facing each other, and you’re going to set up a picnic between you.  All that’s missing is the table in the middle and it would be like your grandparents camping trailer.  The awkwardness right now comes from the fact that only a mostly empty train, I’m sitting here: 

I'm brunette, so I'm brown in an overhead view.

 

And this really cute blonde girl came onto the train and looked around.  There were completely empty sets of picnic seats, and she completely ignores them and heads for mine.  This obviously  means she’s into me.  The only problem was I had no extrovert here, no Tall to start up the conversation.  I’m on my way home from work, and I haven’t had a chance to drink yet, and my social anxiety kicks in.  Then it gets worse.  See, normally, when you join someone on a picnic seat, you sit opposite of them. 

Kitty corner, maximum distance from train strangers

 

But this girl doesn’t seem to know the etiquette, or is so into me she doesn’t care.  She sits here. 

As close as she can get.

 

The diagram doesn’t really do it justice.  She was trying to cuddle.  She really wanted to sit in my lap, but I had this book out, so I was writing away.  

How could this happen today!  The one day I don’t drink at work!  How am I supposed to talk to her?  I’m on my own, she came to me, she came right for me!  Does that mean we have a set relationship?  Can I do it?  Can I talk to her, dead sober, on my own? 

Of course I can!  I’m amazing!  I’m such a cool guy!  I’m internet famous, with literally dozens of readers on my blog everyday!  I talk to hundreds of people every week, so why can’t I set a relationship, instead of walking into a predefined one?  In fact, there is one here!  This cute girl defined the relationship as cool writer guy on the train and cute girl who wants him!  There’s no way she thought it would be normal to come sit right next to me!  This is Canada, and we have nothing but open space, so she obviously wanted to get all up in mine so I would get all up in her. 

Then she pulled out this: 

I don't know if it was actually Spanish

 

A foreign language dictionary.  Great, she just doesn’t know our customs. 

Or she’s learning a foreign langauge…. 

Now I’m trying to lean over without her noticing, figuring out what language it is.  I can tell by the type of book what it is, but I can’t see if it’s German, or French, or Japanese.  Those are my ins.  I have enough of those languages that it counts as a set relationship, whether she’s a tourist or a student.  

Fuck, woman, just let me see your book! 

This is getting ridiculous.  Why am I still writing?  Why can’t I talk to her?  For fuck’s sake, it doesn’t matter what language the dictionary is!  Hell, I could just ask her.  Just say “What language is that?”  I’ll be able to tell if she speaks it or if she’s studying it when I ask.  If it’s one of my languages, I’m golden. 

I tried it, just now, but it quickly became a cough. 

Now she seems weirded out.  Why don’t I have a flask on me?  Just a quick shot, just a little buzz that I can blame if I screw up!  Why is this happening to me. 

Fuck, Tall, where are you?  Why aren’t you here?  If I text you, does that count?  Do I have the power to talk to the girl then? 

It’s hard to balance the book and text.  I elbowed her a little.  Not inappropriately.  Now Tall isn’t texting back.  WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU? 

Why is this going so badly?  Why can’t I handle this?  This is a normal thing!  Normal people do it all the time.  We’ve been sitting together for twenty minutes now.  Is it too late?  Why don’t I just talk to her?  Why am I still blogging. 

We’re downtown now.  She’s getting off at the first stop. 

Thank God that’s over. 

Wait a second … 

*************************************************************************************** 

Joey would have you believe he’s suave with women, as he’s surrounded by beautiful girls all the time.  Women constantly fall in love with him on the train.  He’s usually not interested in them.  This girl was special, but that’s not a good thing.

Mini Blog: The hardest part

The hardest part of blogging is to keep doing it.  Seriously, I don’t want to write this right now.

I’m not going to be able to write for the next week or so, so I pre-wrote all the blogs I’d need.  But I still need todays.  I’m tired, and I don’t have enough sleep.

But if you’re a new blogger, let me tell you, you should keep going.  This isn’t my first Rodeo.  When you miss an update, people aren’t pleased.  If they haven’t been reading for a long time, you can easily lose them.  A blog without an audience is just a journal, and I’m not a thirteen year old girl, so I don’t keep one of those.

A dependable site keeps it’s traffic up.  Everytime you miss, you’ve made a mistake.  You lost someone, if not a few someones.  Poeple whould rather read this crap than nothing.

Plus, part of why I’m so tired out is the blogs I pre-wrote are good, and I haven’t had time to recharge new ideas.  So don’t worry, Monday will be up on time.  And it’ll be good.

Unlike this.

(Also, always lie about how good future content will be so people come back)

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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