Vampires and Chapter 2

I might say that I was late again to post, but then I realized it’s my site and I’m the boss, so I am never late, I am always on time.  That’s the thing when doing your own thing.  Then again I don’t want to disappoint my four readers.  If one can’t be consistent, then why even bother?

But here is chapter two of the Vampire story ( if you missed chapter 1):

Chapter 2 – Retirement

Rodriguez took another drink from his beer.  Before he could even set it down a shot appeared before him on the table.  It was in the middle of the room of the bar, and it was surrounded by at least thirty cops.  He was sure there were more around, but he couldn’t see beyond the number that formed the perimeter.  Then a chant started, “Drink! Drink! Drink!”  he reached down to grab the shot glass, filled with what, he didn’t know.  As he did, he noticed four more next to it.

“Are you guys trying to kill me?” he asked.

“No Rod, they just want to make sure you’re having a good time,” a voice said loudly over the chants.  The man was close enough to Rod so that he could hear.  It was Joe, his partner, no former partner.

“I’ve been at this for almost two hours now, I don’t know how much more I can do.”

“You can stop whenever you want, but the guys will be disappointed.  Besides you got a ride home whenever we call it.”

“Sure, why the hell not.  I was sure I wouldn’t even make it to today.”

He took the shot and slammed the glass down.  Then the next, and then three more times.  None of them tasted the same and he did them so fast he wasn’t even sure what it was that he was inhaling.  When the last one hit the table, he tilted his head back to let it all settle in.  Right about him was the banner, Congratulations on thirty-five years.  It had been a long road, and a bumpy one, but the end of his time as a detective was finally official.

Rod finally put some beer down his throat to alleviate the slight burn that remained from the shots.  Then he looked over at his friend, Joe.  “What are you gonna do without me Rookie?”

“Rookie?  I left that behind me like ten years ago.”

“Not to me.  To me you’ll always be a Rookie, rookie.  By the way are you still coming over this weekend for the barbeque?”

“No shit.  That’s your official retirement thing.  Tonight, is actually about you though and the guys.  The families can wait, now shut up and have another.”  As joe finished his sentence a waitress was placing another round on the table.

“Helen is gonna be pissed,” Rod said as he reached for the first of five in the new round of shots, “But what the hell, I am gonna miss you guys.”  As he downed each drink the crowd around him cheered, each holding their own drinks.  Soon he finished those as well, and then the crowd started to calm down and fall back a little.

“I hope you’ve had time to settle down,” a new voice said.  Rod looked up and saw the Captain.  He was holding a weirdly shaped item, wrapped in newspaper.  A confused look came over his face.  The Captain noticed it.  “Hey, I’m a cop not an artist.  You should be happy I was able to even wrap this thing.”  Those close to the captain started to laugh as they saw the less than good job, he had performed on the item.  He set it down in front of Rod.  “Well, go ahead, open it.”

Rod leaned forward and started to tear off the paper.  Once he was done, he just stared at the thing.  Finally, he spoke up, “It this what I think it is?”

“Yeah,” the captain said, “We got them from Helen.  She holds on to everything.  We got them bronzed.”

Rod picked up what appeared to be shoes but covered in metal and shiny.  On the first it had his academy graduation date and the second had his detective shield on it.  They were mounted to a shoddy base.  “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything,” Joe replied, “We get this is a touching moment for you.”

“No, I have plenty to say, I just don’t what to start with, but none of it’s nice.”  The room erupted into laughter again.  “I swear I threw these things out, they were beyond saving, like Joe.”  More laughter ensued.  It wasn’t the funniest thing Rod had ever said but the condition of the room, mostly drunk, would have laughed at anything about now.

In turn the rest of the room started to set their smaller gifts down.  By the end of the night Rod was the proud owner of several books on fishing, and actual fishing rod, a set of golf clubs, and many ashtrays, even though he didn’t smoke, at least anymore.  After his speech, was excessively emotional and funny at the same time, his partner, former partner, Joe took him to his car.

“I have to get you to Helen in one piece now.”

“What time is it?”

“About three.”

“Did they stay open for us?” Rod asked.

“No, for you.”

Rod looked across the street.  The sign of the bar read, “The Shiny Badge”.  It was so cliché, he thought.  But it was a bar opened by a former cop that was less than three blocks from the precinct.  “That was nice of him.”

“Yes, it was, but don’t get too big a head, he does it for all you old timers packing it in to go play golf and fish.”

“You know Joe, I never told you this, but I hate golf and I don’t fish.”

“No, you never did, but I kind of knew.  I mean we’ve been together just over ten years man.  I’m sure if you ever did either of those things I would have known.  Shit, I mean most of the other guys do and go together when they do.  So, what are you saying?  You gonna donate all that stuff to charity or something?”

Rod looked as his partner as he opened the passenger side door.  He looked so young, at least to Rod.  He could pass for late twenties even though he knew he was thirty-six.  “You were one or two when I got my badge you know that?”

“Yes, I do, you’ve mentioned it more than a few times old timer.”

Joe’s blue eyes stood out to Rod in the little light of the streetlamp that was right there.  His dark hair added to his youthful appearance.  Rod was jealous, he hadn’t had that much hair in over a decade and even then, it was struggling to hang on.  He plopped down into the seat and tried to reach for the door.  The side of the road made the car sit at an angle, just awkward enough for him to have trouble reaching it.

Joe walked around to the other side of his older mercury to help with the door.  “Man, you are wasted.”

“Well duh, you guys kept the shots coming.  What was I supposed to do? Turn them down?”

“Good point.  Now put that damn leg in so I can close this and get you home.”

Rod pulled his leg into the car, with much effort, then the door was closed.  Soon, Joe was back in and they were on their way.  “Take it a little easy on the turns Rookie, I ain’t feeling entirely well.”  Joe put the window all the way down.

“Just don’t chuck up in here.”

Rod looked over at Joe, “You know what really scares me?”

Joe looked over at the old crusty cop, “What?”

“What I’m gonna do now.  So many other guys I knew that retired didn’t make it that long.  My whole life I’ve been busting chumps, now I’m the chump.”

“If you stay active you should be fine.  Besides you have the new grandkid, just chase him around everyday and soon you’ll forget all about us.”

“I don’t think that’ll ever happen.  Shit I still owe you for saving my ass,” he contemplated a moment, “two times.”

“Three, you keep forgetting about that time on Allen Street.”

“Bullshit, I still say that punk was just swinging blindly.”

“Whatever.  It doesn’t matter, you did more for me than I ever did for you.”

Rod looked at him, “No, I just did what a good partner does, that is expected.”

“Maybe, but tell you what, just keep in touch and have me over for your barbeques in the summer and we can call it even.”

“I can do that.”

“Your ribs are amazing.  I burn water, so good food will be more than enough to pay off your debts.” As Joe finished talking, he stopped the car.  They were in front of Rod’s place.

Joe looked at Rod, “I have something for you.”


“You didn’t notice I didn’t give you anything back at the party?”

Rod looked in the backseat at the three boxes of stuff, “I didn’t.  What is it another book on the best golf courses in the Midwest?”

“No, you old fart.”  Joes reached under his seat and handed Rod a box.

Rod took it and opened it.  There was a pistol in it.  He started to tear up, “My old piece.”

“Yup, I managed to snag it before they melted it down, well more like the Captain did.”

“I turned this in like what? Five years ago?”

“As I remember it right, they had to threaten you with an adverse eval to get it off you.  I mean who the hell uses revolvers?”

“It was my first issued pistol; it has sentimental value.  Thanks man.”

“The paperwork is in the bottom, just turn it in to the city to finish the registration.  I mean I thought you’d get a kick out of it.”

“It means a lot to me Joe.  You’re the best partner a guy could have asked for, and not too racist either, for a white guy.”

“Shut up ya fuckin wetback.”  Both the men started to laugh.  “Besides you always had the best Mexican jokes, I couldn’t top them.”

“I guess I’ll see you Saturday then?”

“Of course, now you go see that wife of yours and get some sleep.”

“To be honest I’d rather go back to the bar.”

Both men laughed some more as Rod got out.  “I’ll just drop this crap off on Saturday if that’s okay with you,” Joe yelled at him as he walked up the steps and waved his acknowledgement.  Joe smiled as Rod closed his front door, then he drove off heading home himself.

Long Weekend

I only missed two days this time out, WOOT!  I mean it was father’s day on Sunday so I had to make appearances, and there was beer.  We all know how that goes, even though I am not a big drinker.  But still fun ensued and I was not feeling too motivated on Monday morning.  As far as Friday, I was dealing with a new dog.

I got a service dog and had to start the bonding process.  He’s a nice looking boy and fairly well behaved, but he needed constant attention and all that.  Glad to have him, but a long road ahead.


It’s the eyes that get you though.

In regards to actual writing, I have still managed a chapter a day in the Magical Interdimentional Vampire story.  I just passed 31,000 words and 100 pages, so the progress is real.  I might even actually finish a book this year at this rate.  I have strayed to include a couple of unfinished essays as well, but I will get back to those (maybe).

That makes 3 “books in progress” I have, two at over 100 pages and another at 75.

The hard part is that the original short story I used as a basic outline for the vampire one I have now passed.  So, I am literally making it up as I go.  I have an idea where I want to end it, but the middle part is always the hardest, at least for me.  I even mapped out the first 15 chapters, figuring that as I progressed it would come to me, at least the basics of where the story was going.  But alas, it has not so i am trudging alone like a schmuck.

That is the problem with writing at times though.  One day you have an amazing idea and can type for hours, the next you are like “duh” and just stare at the keyboard, yet you have to keep plugging away.  Because once you stop, it might be hard to get back into it.  Each day at least 1000 words.  That is low IMO, only 3-5 pages, but it has to be done.

But being 20 chapters in and losing your way can be frustrating.  I do have the other things to go to , if I so chose, but I like this one and it is kind of a slow burn so far.  I just have to hash out the path to the ending and make it all exciting, then I think I’ll be good.  I haven’t written a cool action scene in a while and need to get to that again.

The love scenes are a bit more nowadays too.  I have always had problems in that area, so I am trying different things, we’ll see where that goes though.  I mean if the overall tone of the book is for younger audiences, I don’t want anything explicit. At the same time I don’t want some generic crap either.  So finding that balance, while not replicating a Harlequin scene is difficult.   Those are a bit out there anyway.  Hell, I might do a free write for Friday where I try to take a crack at one, just for giggles.  Let me know if that is something worth doing.

For now, I am just wandering around trying to get this story out of my head, chapter one is around here somewhere, I might put up chapter two as well.  Nothing too special, but then again nothing I write really is.

The Spark

I don’t know how many creatives ever have it.  That idea, that inspiration, that spark, that just ignites in them a true moment of creativity that sees something come forth that manifested in their mind and becomes a real, tangible thing.  I have had it a couple of times, usually in the form of a short story or an essay.  Something just gets me riled up and I do it.  Most of mine have been a one day thing.

It has happened to lesser degrees as well.  I just have an idea that seems cool and I start, then it just spews out and there it is.  Again mostly short stories.  Like the Battle of Golden Hills I put up a few weeks ago.  That was just an idea from a conversation that i sat down and knocked out in a couple of hours.  Nothing amazing, though with some actual effort after the fact I know it could be polished to be fairly good.

But what I mean is the kind of spark that borders on epiphany.  I had that happen once so far.  In fact it ‘s what got me back into writing.  To be fair there was some build up and preparation, like most serious works.  The thing was though that when the time came for me to actually sit down and do it, BAM.  The spark.

What resulted was 60,000 words in five days.  It was by no means amazing, but that is what we all have when we finish the initial draft.  There has been polish since then, but the point being was that it happened and I would love for it to happen again.  The thing was after that initial spark, at least for me, it carried over, to a slightly lesser degree or it might have been the pure excitement of the original spark that just motivated me.  10 days after the first one I had a second.  Then 14 days later I had the third.

I had managed over 160,000 words, over 700 pages in 29 days.  The third volume being the longest.  I had an idea I wanted to write and with a combination of adrenaline, caffeine, and nicotine I was able to pop out a trilogy in less than a month, unless you count February in a non leap year.  I haven’t had that since, almost three years at the time of this writing.  But I yearn for it again.

Sure, I have tossed out stories since.  I think the closest I have come is my Emporium of Awesome which took about two months.  But I came to terms with the spark being a rarity and have since settled into a more consistent process for writing.  But in the back of my head that desire to just go on a tear and create to such a degree as fast as I did once is there.  Almost like an addiction, but one that can’t be satisfied with anything else.

It is good and bad, bad in that I want it so much, but also good in that I keep pecking away at the keyboard hoping that one day it will just kick in.  So, I keep writing down ideas.  Thinking of new things and drudging along waiting for the next spark, which might never come.  I have tried to force myself to go above the 1k to 2k I do everyday, but to no avail.  I have to have that urge to plop down more words.

Maybe someday it will hit me again, but if not, that’s okay too.

Averaging one a week?

This is post 68, at least from what my stats tell me.  So just over one a week.  I would have loved to keep up at least 2 a week, but hey all that real life stuff gets in the way.  I am actually writing this one a say early, cause apparently I forget to do it in time normally.  The downside is that they can’t be as timely as I would like.

One thing I have been able to do regularly that I am happy about is a chapter a day in the Vampire story.  It isn’t amazing, IMO, but still better than twilight.  As of 11 days I have manged 10 chapters, 52 pages and like 16000 words.  So not too bad.  I didn’t technically miss a day, I wrote something else.  As long as I am averaging the five pages a day I am good.  Though I wan to get to a point where I am doing 10 a day, but not all just one project.

I have literally stalled out on the other two bigger things I want to do, but have spawned two essays and two short stories in the meantime in addition to the vampire book.  I do wonder how much farther along I would be though.

See I did a synopsis of the overall tale as a short story for school.  When I finished school I went through all of the files, etc and purged.  Apparently that synopsis was lost in the purge.  As hard as I’ve looked I couldn’t find it.  So I had to recreate the narrative from scratch and ya know it kind of pissed me off.

I am usually so good about keeping notes on things.  Hell, I have files and stuff for some of the games I designed over 10 years ago, but the book I want to write and did notes on a month ago, gone.   These are the kinds of things that can agitate creative people.  Misplacing and all that, which being messy seems to be the norm for most creatives I know.

Personally I am anal retentively organized.  From my sock drawer to my card collection.  I know where most things are most of the time and not one of those, I put it over by the microwave a coupe of weeks ago ways.  I mean anyone can walk in and quickly figure out how I have my stuff sorted and be able to find anything as well.  I even do the 2x a year purge of anything I haven’t used.  I like to keep things light in case I have to relocate.  Just a habit from my time in the military.  If it couldn’t fit into 2 seabags and a backpack, it wasn’t worth keeping.

Of course I allow myself a bit more space now, but the point still stands.  If I can’t load it into my car and/or a small trailer, it gets left behind.  Furniture is the main thing.  There is a thing called craigs list.  I showed up with a bed and a bookshelf to where I live now, and it has grown into enough stuff for a small apartment.  It’s great when you only look at furniture as stuff to hold your other stuff, including you.

Before this becomes a rant on the finer points of furniture and how people pay WAY too much for the stuff new, I think I will step out and let all four of my readers get on with their day.  I might tease you with another chapter from the Vampire tale on Wed.  Which is also the day I get to (hopefully) get my service puppy……..

Geeky and Writing

I am a huge Nerd.  The biggest one I know.  Not a superfan of any one thing in particular, but the kind of nerd that embraces most of the geek in the world.  And in a way I think this kind of leads back to what makes me able to write about a lot of things.  But I will say that if I had to call out one thing I liked the most it would be a tie between Firefly and Star Trek, nothing against Star Wars, I enjoy that as well (until Last Jedi anyway).

When the new Star Trek came out, or more like before it, I sat down and watched EVERYTHING before it as a refresher.  Including the Animated series…..  And the 10 Prime line movies.  Of course I can’t say the new show has been all that, but then again most of the other series took a season or two to find their footing, well those that lasted more than that.

For a perspective that is The original, Animated, Next Generation, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise.  I think DS9 is the best, story wise, Enterprise is underrated and Voyager could have not been made, but still.

I am a political junkie, a bibliophile, I used to own a game store, also designed board games for a while.  I also love to learn.  I am kind of looking into getting a sixth degree, cause why not….. I have time and like I said I like to learn.

There are the smattering of other things as well.  I do the D&D thing, run it every week.  My board game collection might be considered hoarding, and I used to LARP (shhh on that one).  Then there are the card games…..  My true weakness.  I currently am about 20 cards short from having all the cards in Hearthstone (on online CCG) and play a real one called Force of Will.  Yes I did Magic the Gathering for about 15 years, even made it to Worlds once.  But in my opinion the game has aged poorly and changes have been made to make it not as fun.

So I play my new one.  In fact I am heading out today for a three day event.  I am about 13 cards shy from having everything.  That’s 29 set and a few years… I have no life.  I managed a Nationals top 16 once and a few state titles.  What has all of this got to do with writing?  A lot actually.  The interactions and all of the subtleties when playing a complex game are similar to writing.

One has to know enough about the situation and have the ability to be fluid to maximize their plays.  At the same time being constrained by additional limitations.  In the case of a card game, the cards in your hand, in writing it would be the options that fit within the story as you move forward.  It might sound weird, but if you are writing a crime story you can’t have a dragon fly down and assist.  There are certain limitations you place on yourself when you write.

There might be some crazy tales out there that incorporate different aspects in themselves, but they are either set up to do that or are just bad writing.  When playing a game though you learn to be quick and play off of your opponent though.  In writing you kind of do the same, but in that case the opponent is the story and you are against it, trying to make it the best version of itself that you can.

At least with the way I write.  I like to let the story go its own way, and I am just there to help keep it on the path.  Being a nerd in geek and academics as well as having the ability to think in a variety of situations, I think adds to my ability to create narratives that some people might find entertaining.  Though at the end of the day it doesn’t mean they are really that great.  I mean writers are their own harshest critics.