Daylight Savings Time Grievance

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I wake suddenly from a dream and I am lost.  Blearily, I watch a vortex form above me.  What is this place?

A beast screams its strident tone repeatedly.  Its red eyes glare at me.  I smack at the monster until it quiets but its disgruntled presence fills the room.

My body tells me that I am bound.  Am I sandwiched between the petals of a flower?  Or is this luncheon meat that surrounds me?

I realize that these are the sheets that I sleep within.  The vortex is the ceiling fan as it does its lazy dance.  The beast is the clock by my side.  Its angry red eyes the numbers that equal time.

Darkness reigns supreme. Why do you still exist Daylight Savings Time?

Rewriting My First Novel Pt. 1

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Aah, the joys of rewriting my story.  Can I count the ways?  Should I count the ways?  Or how many times I had to count the ways?

I actually enjoyed the rewriting / editing phase(s).  This is when I had the chance to make my first novel something worth reading.  My first draft was awful… to me anyway.  I’m sure others would have found it awful too but I’m not a sadist.

So I’ve given the story a read through.  What happens next?

For me, the first round is simply cleaning up the tense, spelling and grammar. I also tried to get rid of duplications (be they words, names and so forth).  The next round was fixing the story so it outshone the plot.  This included moving chapters or paragraphs around in the story or cutting them out entirely.  Finally, the third round was fleshing out the bits that needed it and getting rid of the repeating parts that weren’t necessary.

So the benefits were pretty cool right off the bat.  My story got better as I plowed through it.  Each time was a little (or a lot in some spots) better than the last.  Sometimes I’d read parts out loud to work on the flow as well.

After these three revisions, I was pretty happy with what I had created. In fact, I was so pleased with it, I decided to let other people give it a go over and tell me where I went horribly wrong.

Crime is For Fighting

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“I’m a super hero!” the little boy cried out.  “I fight crime in the most dastardly of places against the most evil of foes!”

He took off running toward the far corner store of the little borough.  With a flip of his cape, he burst into the shop, “Mr. Store Man, have you spotted any crime happening?”

The manager of the shop smiled down at the young lad, “Why no, I haven’t.  Did you check the Laundromat?  I hear that’s where they hide out.”

The little boy put his hands on his hips and stuck his chest out, “I was there earlier this morning with my mom.”  He got closer to the store manager and whispered loudly in that way that young kids do, “I was under cover, you see.”  His eyes lit up in shock, “But I mustn’t tell you my secret identity!”

As the older man chuckled, “We appreciate you keeping our neighborhood safe.”

“Of course!” cried the boy.  “It’s what I do.”

The young boy stepped back and looked around the store.  Once he was satisfied that there wasn’t a criminal lurking about, he wiped his arm across his forehead.

“Fighting crime is thirsty work, Mr. Store Man.”

(image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of http://www.gratisography.com/)

Diving For Conversation

There are moments when life is lonely.

Days pass and you have no one to talk to.  Weeks pass and you still have no one to tell of your exploits.  Months pass and still no one comes over to see how you are.

Maybe it’s you.  Maybe you have nothing to offer them.  Maybe they know that you’re just a shell of your former self.  Maybe they know that you’re empty inside.

Sometimes you wish for more but you can only be who and what you are.  It’s on sad days like these that I dream of being someone else.

But I am nothing more than a dumpster behind a long closed factory.

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(image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of http://www.gratisography.com/)

Influences and Other Things

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Who are my writing influences, you ask?  Well, there are quite a few.  I have listed some in previous posts and I hope to find more as my journeys continue.

I have been on a bit of an older genre of authors kick as of late. I just finished all but a couple series of Edgar Rice Burroughs and I am currently going through H.P. Lovecraft’s work.

But if we jump in the way back machine, there’ll be some staples, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Heinlein, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Frank Herbert.

In the middle, some of my favorites were Daniel Keys Moran, John Steakley, Christopher Hinz, William Gibson, Joan D. Vinge and David Gerrold.

And currently, I have a tendency to read:

Steven Brust (http://dreamcafe.com/)

P.C. Hodgell (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/p-c-hodgell/)

Joe Abercrombie (https://www.joeabercrombie.com/)

Jim Butcher (http://www.jim-butcher.com/)

I am also looking forward to read Carrie Vaughn’s (http://www.carrievaughn.com/) Martian’s Abroad.

One of the biggest influences on me writing wise has been and probably always will be is Roger Zelazny (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/z/roger-zelazny/). The flow of his stories always grabbed me and shoved me through the pages.  He covered Sci-Fi and Fantasy. He also blended them together in a way that I haven’t come across anyone else having done.

Another of the biggest influences on me would be C.J. Cherryh (http://www.cherryh.com/WaveWithoutAShore/). The biggest universe I have ever come across in story is her space series. It spanned hundreds of years and multiple planets/systems.  And the stories wouldn’t necessarily connect. I have yet to come across a ‘world’ as large as hers.

So if those weren’t a clue, (or possibly confusing) my first book will be in the Sci-Fi genre. It’s pretty much heaped up with a lot of the things that I like and some of the things that I think are missing from Sci-Fi.

So, yay for influenza! Or influences I mean. Yeah not the other thing…

Skin Suit

385hThere are days when being trapped inside a human skin suit can just get wearing.  See how I did that?  God I kill me sometimes.

Unlike those guys behind me, who really do want to kill me.

Why, you ask?  Do I really have time for questions while I run for my life down a filthy alley?  Well sure, Captain Hindsight.  Why not?

Like I was saying, these skin suits get itchy.  Every now and again, I’ll slip out and stretch in the warm sun.  They must’ve seen me.

I know, I know, the High Overlord says we’ve got to blend in.  We don’t want them to know that were here and these things will help with a smooth take over.  But they’re itchy.

Their insides catch on my scales.  The ribs cut into me when I’m trying to digest a pig.  And don’t get me started on those leg things.  I mean seriously, who needs two of them?

Great.  Now they’re throwing things at me.  Could this day get any worse?  Oh yes, of course it can.  My tail is slipping inside the left leg casing and the ankle is all bunched up down there like a bad sock.

I’d curse them out but I’m already sticking out of the mouth hole of this thing.  I taste the air and realize that I’ve run out of alleys to run down.  I’m stuck in one of those small open plots you find in the city sometimes.

Well, I best shed this skin and slither out of here.  I’m going to catch plenty of hell for the lost flesh bag.  No need to give credence to a conspiracy theory or two.

(image courtesy of Ryan McGuire of http://www.gratisography.com/)