Yeah I am a slacker!

It’s been about a month right?  I need to get back into this thing.  So, here I am to try at least.  I mean it is national Write a novel month, and I blame them for getting me on this path.

Back in 2016 I sat down with the simple goal of trying to write a simple tale of a dystopian future.  After not having written in over 20 years I thought I would have a hard time doing anything, let alone anything solid.  Now, I have one book out in the real world, and apparently it isn’t total trash.  5 more have followed and I am on track to finish number 9 this month.

Thing is that first NanoWritmo had me crap out 3 books….  Then I went back to school for a writing degree, now I write on a regular basis.  but there are times I slack, cause the motivation just isn’t there.  I always take a break after I finish anything substantial, which I feel I deserve, but  sometimes I take too long a break…..

I am still in search of a solid (and cheap) editor, because I have a lot of things to throw out there.  I also have been doing a lot of reading and research on style, etc and an idea I have about something kind of sweet.  One thing I will promise though fall all 5 of my readers, probably more like 2 after the long breaks, I will do a Tues Thurs update at least the rest of the month.  I know?  Regular updates?  WTF am I thinking?

I am going to cheat though.  Most of them will be stuff I have written recently and even what i am working on now, cause why not?  I mean I’m pretty sure most people don’t come here to see me ramble on about my thoughts.  but then again my thoughts are pretty amazing, a legend in my own mind and all.

The memoir might be coming to an Amazon near you soon.  Everyone that’s read it seems to like it, so why not let it out into the wild?  Also I didn’t win the contest that I entered it into, so might as well.  I don’t mind losing, the thing is it was for veterans of book length work.  The 2 that did win had like 8 years in the service total……..

Not that I’m saying their work was bad or anything, but I dunno I just have a different view of vets that never went to the shit zones.  Not that we’re overly special, just that we know more, beyond the violence.  It’s about the bonds and the actual mindset of those that go through the things we did, but I digress.

So, that’s it for this ramble…….

Remnant Free on Kindle!!!

So, just click the link and get my book fer free on the kindle thing…..

Starting at midnight tonight EST and going through tomorrow, and all that fun stuff…….

Remant free Thursday 11/7/19 on Kindle.

I will have some new stuff up starting tomorrow, but thought I would kick things off my tossing this up for all the loyal 4 readers I have.  Of course if you are, then why haven’t you already got the darn book?

Where ya been, what ya been doing?

Like anyone really cares.  But in short been trying to work and write, with little success with either.

One thing I did manage was to finish the magical interdimensional vampire book.  Not the epic i was hoping for, but I think it’s alright.  The other things have sparked me to have ideas for other works while I decide what I want to try and do for my next project(s).

I am in the middle of a short story that was a spur of the moment thing and might even post it here when/if I finish it.  It is a journey into some kind of gothic erotic horror thing.  No idea, see where that goes.  Just the kind of different thing to let me know if I am able.  If it’s actually good, who knows.  I dabble a lot in areas that I have no real knowledge of.

There is also the two other books that are halfway done and just sitting there.  Along with National Write a Novel month coming up shortly, I have to plan out what I am going to do with that as well.  I missed the 2018 one and need to get on track for that.  I know that isn’t the best way to write for someone that knows they can, but I feel I can use it to get back on track.  2016 was the one that sparked my love of writing again and was the most productive I had ever been.

2017 I used to finish a couple of other projects.  I skipped a year because of school, but now that is done I need to get back too it.  I have only finished the one trilogy and have two others with a book or two done in them. Those have to be done and written, along with the rewrites I want to do for a couple of other things……  Just a lot of misc stuff I have to get done.

I wish planning to write was as easy as the act itself.  I’ve even done a lot of research for a couple of other ideas, one of them being horror, thus the new short story.  But a clear idea wasn’t present so i mixed it with some other genres, because why not?

There is also the contest I entered in Feb that was supposed to release the winners this month, and here we are in the last day of said month and I am still waiting.  I hate waiting.  I mean I have patience for some things, but when a deadline is given I expect that to be the case.  With no follow on information it’s hard to not be disappointed.  Not to mention that the book i submitted I can’t do anything else with until i know the results.

It was my military memoir, which everyone that’s read it says its good.  So yeah, I wouldn’t mind getting that out in the world, but its fate is waiting fro these results.  I mean even if I don’t win (which I doubt anyway), even an honorable mention would be good for a CV, cause writing is about accumulating lines on a CV.  It’s not like you can just toss stuff out and do anything with it.  I mean you can and might get lucky, but more targeted submissions is a way as well.

It was a contest for book length manuscripts written by veterans. It was the first year, I mean I only found out about it 2 weeks before the deadline, luckily I had something ready to go.  So how many vets write, are comfortable with submitting it, and have a book ready to go?  Not as many as open calls.  I had that going for me.  Now it’s just a waiting game.  Winning would be awesome sauce, but I have no illusions.

Speaking of that I am 10 pages into my second memoir. That one is going to be weird as I still have no real idea of where its going.  I have an overall concept of creating a sociological narrative through the eyes of personal perspective.  Sounds cool, right?  It usually does until i write it.  Then again I imagine a lot of people think that the summary of their tale sounds epic, but upon reading it falls short of the hype.  Whatever.  I can always fix it in post.

I think that is enough for now.  I promise to update more for all 5 of my readers.  Or however many since I am sure I lost a few with my last post…….

Vampires Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – The Discovery

Greg pushed his cart down the sidewalk.  The streetlamps along the road gave off enough light for him to conduct his business.  He liked to go out in the early morning before the streets filled with people and cars.  It was quiet and calm.  He hated to interact with all the others once they appeared.  He made a conscious choice to avoid them whenever possible.  It wasn’t so much that he was opposed to people, but the way that they looked at him when he was out was uncomfortable to say the least.

The moonlight was enough to show his surroundings tonight as well.  It was a good night.  He liked the four o’clock hour.  All of the bars had closed and most of the more undesirables had called it a night as well.  It was a good time to collect the cans and other things that lay out in the dark world.  He would then take them to their respective recycling locations when he felt he had enough and then be able to get his essentials, food and cigarettes.

It wasn’t the life that he had planned for himself, he didn’t think that anyone in his situation had set out to be in it, but if one was able to adapt and learn it was surprisingly satisfying.  The key was to come to terms with it.  He had been in the dog eat dog world once and the stress had almost killed him.  Now he was happy to get by.  Between the parks in the spring and summer and the various shelters in the colder months he got by rather well.

The one thing he didn’t like was when those around him had a sad ending to their stories.  Those were mostly the people that couldn’t take being homeless.  Sure, there were a lot of addicts among his population, but they usually kept to themselves.  It was still depressing when something happened to them though.  That was another reason that Greg really never got close to anyone.  The thoughts of past friends that had moved on before he decided to become a loner came back to him as he entered the alley just to the side of The Shiny Badge.

It was a cop bar, but cops, on average, could get a little rowdier than most at times.  He also had an arrangement with the owner.  Greg had been his ears and eyes on the street for a few years when he was still a cop.  In return he had helped him out a bit, and now he left out whatever cans he had when he closed the bar at night.  Greg was here to pick those up, but on his way, he stopped at the dumpster to take a look.  One never knew what they might find.

The coat that he was wearing he had found in one about four blocks away the year before.  It had a hole in it and was covered in something.  Thankfully Greg had a sewing kit and just had to wash it.  Most likely it was just some spoiled kid who drank too much and stumbled, catching it on a door or something.  His standards resulted in it being discarded, and it became Greg’s win.  So, he lifted the right-side lid on the dumpster and looked in.  After a few minutes he determined that there was nothing of value in it.   He closed it and pushed his cart.  Then it stopped.

Greg tried to push a few more times, then finally went and looked at what was stopping it.  There was a pair of feet blocking the front wheel.  He leaned down.  He hoped it was just another bum like him passed out, but his gut was telling him differently.  His gut was right.

Greg got up and shifted his cart to go around the feet.  He went to the back of the alley and turned left.  The shock was still on him.  It’s not like he hadn’t seen a body before, but the suddenness of this one got to him.  He stopped and took deep breaths, trying to calm down.  He had gotten down and seen most of the body.  The man looked familiar.  He was a local dealer.  Not that Greg had a lot to do with him, but he had seen him around.  At least if it was who he thought, the clothes are what made him think it was who he thought it was.

He finally calmed down and got behind his cart.  Then he went a little further and took another left.  He was going to exit from the adjacent alley.  He thought about calling the police, but he wanted to get a bit away first.  He had to think for a few minutes to retrace his steps from the night.  He knew that if he did call it in that of course they would question him.  He wanted to make sure that someone of some camera could verify where he had been earlier.  If he got unlucky and got some rookie, he could be in for a long night or a rough time.  He had no money for a lawyer or anything.

Not that three hots and a cot for a few days in the county lock up would be the worst thing, but Greg’s biggest worry was his stuff.  If he was gone more than a few hours all of his stuff would be stolen and sold.  He didn’t want that.  There was an old pay phone a couple of blocks away.  It was outside the old bus station.  They moved it when the city decided to modernize itself.  Now it was being converted to fashionable townhouses, but the phone was still there.   He would pop out into the main road and make his way there.  He could have just as easily gone to the station himself, but that would mean a lot of questions.

He slowly made his way up the alley, that is when he saw it.  Another body.  This one was hastily hidden.  Sitting up right behind a stack of boxes that were along one of the walls.  The body was well dressed.  Not someone that would normally be in this area.  Greg immediately suspected that it was someone looking to score.  Then he thought of the first body.  They might be connected, but he wasn’t going to stick around to ponder it.

Now he knew he had to call it in.  But he hesitated.  The new body was right below a light.  The thing that stuck out besides the apparent fact that the person wasn’t from around here was the pair of holes in his neck.  There were small trails of blood right below them.  It was something out of a bad eighties’ horror movie.  Greg just stood there and stared for a long time.  He had never seen anything like it before and it was too odd not to look at.  This was one thing he wasn’t going to tell the cops.

The clothes on the body were a little scuffed, but overall in good condition.  That was odd considering that the man was dead.  It looked as if he almost gave in to his fate.  Anyone else would have fought and it would have shown.  It was all really odd to Greg.  Another thought came into his head, look for a wallet or something.  But the total absurdity of the situation made him shale it off.

Finally, he pushed his cart past the second body and out onto the road.  He made his was to the pay phone and lifted up the receiver.  He hesitated for a long while.  He just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something going on that was out of the ordinary.  In fact, he knew it.  But somewhere deep inside of his mind a little voice told him not to get involved.  Just to call and report it and then to move on.

His fingers made their way to the three digits.  “This is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

Greg paused when the voice on the other side finished.

“Hello?  Is anyone there?  Is there an emergency?”

“Not so much an emergency,” Greg started, “But I would like to report a crime.”

“What crime sir?”

“There are two dead bodies in the alley next to the Shiny Badge bar.”

“Are you sure they are dead?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Are you the one that did it?”

Greg was taken aback at the question, “No, I just found them and am calling in to report it.”

“Can I get your name sir?”

“No, I’m just calling it in.”  With that he hung up the phone and started pushing his cart in the opposite direction of the alley.  There was a soup kitchen nearby and they would be serving breakfast soon.  The line would be forming about now.

His plan was to get to the line and blend in.  The cops would get to the scene rather fast, but it would be a while before they started looking around for people.  They had to secure the scene and make sure there was nothing else going on.  That would be their focus and that was the window Greg had to disappear.  It was just too weird, and he wanted nothing to do with it.

Within five minutes after he hung up, he could hear the sirens.  A few more and the ambulances were in the area.  He was in line for a meal by the time they stopped.  He knew they were cordoning off the area.  He felt sorry for his old friend.  His business might be affected by this, at least for a few days.  That meant no cans in the alley for him either until the next week, if he was lucky.

As Greg made it through the line and got a plate of eggs and ham, he decided that he wouldn’t say a word to anyone.  The community liked to talk about what was going on in the area, but this was one of those rare cases where keeping his mouth shut might be better for him in the long run.  He had gotten by for quite a few years by playing it smart, this was just another one of those decisions that was smart in his opinion.

Greg found an empty table, sat down, and ate his breakfast in silence.

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.

dog

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.

Rewrites

I had a day off (kind of) from school and all that and I decided to redo Remnant.  You see when I put it up I added a couple of things, because I paid a guy to edit it and in hindsight cheaper is not only not better but really subpar…….

More of a mixed bag really, he had some suggestions that were good and some that weren’t.  I added 4 chapters to the book, two helped it, two didn’t.  But I had put off altering what I had put up for a LONG time.  I decided to leave the two that helped (DUH).  Those were more about character development and grabbing the readers attention.

The other two were about world building, but they were just pure exposition dumps.  A reader said it was too much detail.  Good world building is spreading it out or doing it in an indirect way.  Unless the reader REALLY needs to know it, take your time.  So I cut those and the prologue.  In all the book is 27 pages shorter……. wow.

Thing is all of the information in those missing pages are covered later or in books 2 and 3.  If I ever get them out then you will see.  Point is, no matter how good a writer’s fake world is, what good is it really if no one wants to read about it?  You have to have characters worth following into that world.  So I am going with that.

I just get into a mood when I have to do it all at once.  I guess it aligns with all the rewriting I am doing for school of the carious essays and short stories…..  Which I will toss up here eventually or maybe just put in a book form, cause why not.  Not like I am ever going to get a real book deal.