Spring break, bitches!
Yep, I will be heading down to FLA on Sunday to go party it up!
Okay, okay, I’ll actually be in the minivan with the Fam for most of Sunday as we go see my sister and then head out to see some friends where more than likely I will end up napping in a lounge chair for most of the week.
Spring break napping, bitches!
That’s how I roll.
In honor of spring break, and the fact that I will not be posting next week because of the HARDCORE NAPPING, I am giving you all a little blast from the past. I have pulled out one of my first paid submissions: The Seven Deadly Drabbles!
This collection of drabbles was originally produced by the Drabblecast way back in ’09 (’08?) and I’m pretty proud of it. Shit, Pride is one of the sins. Dammit.
Anyhoo, I hope you dig them and learn something from these little tidbits or morality. Just remember, when you are busy slurping Jell-O shots from a co-ed’s cleavage, you are putting your immortal soul in danger. Not to mention the sanitation issues of sucking stuff from other people’s bodies. Ewww, gross.
The Seven Deadly Drabbles
“Just How Safe Is Imported Food, And What Can You Do About It?” the headline ran.
I don’t know, he thought. What can I do about it?
He took the second to last bite of his imported prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and olive tapenade panini while scanning the article.
“Wow,” he said aloud. “There really isn’t much I can do.”
“That’s right, bitch,” his Italian sandwich snapped. “Not a goddamn thing.”
He felt the fever build and saw glorious colors before his eyes. How could such a delicious sandwich be so mean?, he thought, finishing the last bite before satiated oblivion.
When Alan turned his back to the shower head to rinse the shampoo from his hair, his penis couldn’t help but notice the new guy, Fernando, walking into the locker room showers.
Wow, his penis thought, when he saw the new guy’s member. Now that’s a shlong.
Alan turned back around to face the shower wall, grabbed a bar of soap and started lathering his crotch with it.
I could never live up to that, his penis thought while enduring the sudsy onslaught. Why even bother anymore? What’s the freakin’ point?
Alan’s penis sighed, depressed, and peed in the drain.
Betty waited all afternoon with the blanket in her hands, waiting for Tommy to come home.
When the door creaked open, she pounced, pulling the blanket over Tommy, pinning his arms to his side. He cried out in surprise.
Although Tommy was bigger, Betty used her momentum to knock her brother’s legs out from under him and slam him to the floor. Keeping him pinned, Betty yanked Tommy’s shoes and socks off and pulled a large, white feather from her back pocket.
“Make me pee my pants, will ya!” she cried, as she set to work on his exposed feet.
Cade and Worthington stood on the edge of the building and watched as millions below fornicated. The entire city was in the streets, naked and writhing in one last gasp of carnal passion.
“Damn! Look at ‘em go,” Worthington said, slapping his knee. He turned to look at Cade and narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
“What? What are you looking at?” he asked.
“My date for the End Of Days,” Cade grinned, licking his lips invitingly.
“Okay, but I get tops this time,” Worthington sighed.
The demons joined hands and stepped off the roof to join the horny hordes below.
“Ten pounds of flesh,” Boltstone said, without taking his eyes from his work.
“What?” Damascus replied. “That’s insane.”
Boltstone looked up from his ledger and set his pen down. He pulled off his reading glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. Setting his spectacles aside, he glared at Damascus.
“Price went up,” Boltstone growled.
Damascus started to object, but feeling the stares from those in the infinite line behind him, he angrily flipped open his courier’s bag and grabbed two bloody, dripping muslin bags. He slapped them on the counter and huffed away.
“Next,” Boltstone sighed, replacing his glasses.
“Holy crap dude, you’re a freaking zombie!” Jessup cried.
“Bite me,” Mort snapped back.
“No, dude, seriously, you’re a zombie. Flesh eating undead and all, man,” Jessup pressed. “You should really see yourself. You ain’t looking so hot.”
Mort glared at his best friend. “You know what, Jessup? I am really sick and tired of your bullshit.”
“Fine, whatever, dude. I’m outta here. I’ll call ya later.” Jessup grabbed his brown hoody and crawled out Mort’s bedroom window. “Just don’t let ‘em catch you outside, okay?”
Mort watched him leave, then flung his mother’s half-eaten brains at the window.
Reynolds wept from the pain. The Captain had warned him. The Chief Medical Officer had warned him. Hell, the fat ass Chief Engineer had warned him.
“Work out in full G at least three times a day or your muscles will atrophy,” everyone said.
Reynolds didn’t like full G; weightlessness was bliss and why leave bliss?
When the ship entered orbit and full G was forced upon all compartments as part of the re-entry protocol, Reynolds’ legs had snapped almost instantly from lack of use and supporting muscle.
He stared up at the intercom, four impossible feet above him.
Disclaimer: Morality is in the eye of the beholder.
I have had a hard time coming up with topics to write for this blog. Honestly, it has been a thorn in my side. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, because I have plenty.
The thing is, most of my opinions are of a societal, political, cultural nature. They aren’t necessarily writing related. I have some seriously deep insight into the current climate of the USA and why it is ten kinds of fuckerooni. But, those thoughts are best left for my Tumblr blog. Which I have been neglecting for a long while due to time constraints.
So, why don’t I have opinions on writing?
In part, because there are other authors out there that have already expressed their opinions and I don’t think I’d do a better job than them. They talk about gender, about genre, about the grind of the writer’s workday. They talk about marketing this and promoting that. They talk about what you should always do, what you should never do, what others have done, what they have done. They talk about issues this and issue that.
And to be completely frank- I could give a fuck.
I know, I know, this sounds harsh. Some will read this and think I’m callous or just conceited. They’ll read this and think “Who is this guy to act like he’s above it all?” And everyone is entitled to whatever opinion they form or conclusion they draw from this.
But before you draw a conclusion or form an opinion, let me explain a little further.
I don’t give a fuck because I have a job to do. That job is to write novels. That job is to complete manuscripts in a timely fashion so that my publisher sends me some cashola. I have zero time for the noise that is the internet of opinion. I really need to focus on my work, need to focus on the story in my head, need to ignore the blah blah blah of all the opinions, posts, reviews, tweets, forums, etc.
I do not think I am above all of that. I think I am outside of it. Intentionally.
I try to stay outside of it because it is a distraction. While I always need to work on my craft, I do not believe the noise will help me do that. I have a pretty strong style of writing, I have my voice. I know what I want to write and how to do that. I mainly know that I have to sit my ass down in my chair and get that word count out. That is the key: sitting my ass down and getting my daily word count.
The noise keeps me from doing that. And the noise, in the long run, makes absolutely zero difference on my career.
Here’s the thing, folks, no one in the writing/publishing industry knows what sells books. They have ideas based on past performance or personal observation, but none of that past performance or personal observation can be transferred. What works for one author may or may not work for another author even if it is perfectly replicated. That’s just the truth of the business.
So, while I love to have a good dialogue about the business of writing and the craft itself, I just don’t feel it is my place. I have other work to do and doing that work is what has brought me success, not distracting myself by puking out an opinion.
Does this mean Views From The Captain’s Chair will go away? No, of course not. I still sit in the Captain’s Chair everyday; I still have views. It just means I’m no longer buying in to the notion that an author must have a blog to be a success. I’m no longer buying in to the notion that by contributing to the noise I will be a better writer than I already am.
And I certainly don’t buy into the notion that by contributing to the noise my fans and readers will be better served. Writing more books is how I will better serve my fans and readers. Writing more books is how I will attract new readers. Writing more books is how I make my living and how I have achieved the level of success I already have.
But, in order to write more books I have to step outside the noise. I have to be true to myself and follow my instincts. Right now, my instincts are telling me that a weekly blog just isn’t my thing. And the load that just lifted off my shoulders as I typed that sentence only reinforces that decision.
So, keep reading those other blogs out there. There are plenty of good ones. I’ll more than likely be reading them along with you. I just won’t be the one writing any. For now. Maybe once I have more time for the noise. Maybe. We’ll see.
Another Friday the 13th on Drabble Party night? Say what?
It’s like the universe wants us all to embrace the macabre and rejoice in the fantastic and horrific!
Hey, speaking of fantastic and horrific, have you checked out Intentional Haunting yet? You should. It’s been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award! Huzzah! If you already have enjoyed its twistedness then feel free to leave a review. Those little word piles sure do help a novel out.
Now, how about a drabble?
The valley was filled with plant life the two thought extinct.
Trees, their leaves broad and lush; bushes, flowers purple and bright; grass, knee high; dandelions, bright yellow.
“Oh, Hal,” Melanie sighed. “It’s gorgeous.”
“Yeah, baby, it is,” Hal smiled as he took Melanie’s hand.
The two stepped from the road and onto the dirt path that lead into the lush, verdant valley.
Ten yards, twenty, thirty, sixty.
That’s all they had to go to realize the hidden oasis was a sham.
“Plastic,” Melanie cried. “But why?”
As the hatches opened and the armed men climbed out, they knew why.
Disclaimer: Sometimes you shouldn’t stop and smell the flowers.
While this post isn’t specifically about writing, it is about storytelling and the tropes that fill those stories.
What’s a trope?
Let’s have Merriam-Webster answer this!
We’re going with “b” on this one.
Why am I talking about tropes?
I had tweeted that I needed suggestions for this week’s post and got a couple responses. One was specifically asking that I talk about tropes I hate and how to make them better if used. I liked this idea at first, and still do, but realized quickly that I am not the guy to write about this.
Because I don’t hate any tropes. It’s that simple. I actually can’t think of a single trope that bugs me. I like werewolves, vampires, zombies (obviously), wizards, Special Forces, ninjas, damsels in distress, dudes in distress, romance, pirates, ninja pirate robots from Mars, you name it and I like it!
Does that mean I like every book, movie, TV show, video game, comic book, etc? No, it does not. Some can really suck. But even ones that suck I may like. Because, for me, it always comes down to my expectations, not the actual quality of the product itself.
Case in point: we are a CW house. I freakin’ love the stuff the CW churns out. Talk about a network filled with tropes! Do I think it is high brow, award worthy fare? Uh, no. No, I do not. But damn if it isn’t fun! It is pure, mindless entertainment for me. And my mind needs that quite often.
Let’s talk about The 100. Schlock central, yo. But I had zero illusions otherwise going in. Is the acting great? Uh, no. Is the writing great? Uh, no. Can the stories be contrived? Uh, yeah. But it’s scifi teens getting all Lord of the Flies and shit in the future on an Earth ravaged by nuclear war! Suh-weet! Plus, it’s brutal and violent as hell. They don’t pull punches on killing off characters or going for the headshots. This isn’t The A-Team, people. When the trigger is pulled, peeps gonna die.
The one thing I do hate about The 100 is how the network, the actors, the writers, all say “The Hundred”. You can’t call a show “The 100″ without pronouncing it as “The One Hundred”. Drives me up a wall. But that’s about it.
I am a huge fan of bad scifi, bad horror, bad westerns, bad everything- as long as it is entertaining. If I find myself getting bored then I put it down, turn it off, walk away.
Another case in point: Z-Nation. Nope. Not a fan. I know some like it, but for me it just didn’t hit that entertainment factor. I get what it is trying to do, but there is so much TV to watch that I had to choose. I’m not saying you shouldn’t like it or watch it, I’m just saying that I gave it a try and it wasn’t worth my time.
And that is what it comes down to for me- is it worth my time?
Time is precious to me. It’s precious to all of us. There are so many great TV shows, books, movies, video games, comic books out there that I will never get to experience all of them before I die. That is a fact. I have done the math. Not going to happen.
So I pick what I like, what entertains me, and I embrace it. What I don’t do is disparage the TV shows, movies, books, video games, comic books, etc that others like. Why would I? I’m not you, I’m not the one watching something in your living room, I’m not the guy with your book in my hand, so why would I disparage what you like? It doesn’t hurt me if you like something that I’m just not into, so why would I talk down on it and hurt you?
Another another case in point: Constantine. I did not like this TV show. There are many reasons I didn’t like it (and I did give it a try), but I’m not going to go into those reasons. Why? Because a lot of people I do like enjoy the show. They state constantly on FB and Twitter how much they like it. Good for them! That is awesome! But it’s just not for me.
I like things for my own reasons, I dislike things for my own reasons, but at no point do I dislike something just for what it is. The trope don’t matter to me, yo! The trope don’t matter!
You like a specific trope? Right on!
You dislike a specific trope? You go, girl!
It’s that time of the week again!
No, not kale juice colonic time. How man times do I have to tell you that those are Thursdays? Get a calender, people. Sheesh.
Nope, it’s Drabble Party time!
Nothing really to announce tonight before the drabbletastic storytelling begins. But, hey, if you feel like clicking one of those links up above then please do so. Before or after you read the drabble. I don’t mind. Links get lonely too, you know. They need love just as much as every other digitally inanimate object.
LOVE THE LINKS!
Now, on to the drabble!
With every word reproduced came pain.
Immeasurable pain that engulfed Elizabeth’s body, from her finger tips to the ends of her scorched, brown hair. Yet she knew she had to keep copying the scrolls, get their contents down before the ancient documents burned to a crisp.
The tablet glowed blue, but the light fought against the reflections of the flames that consumed the tunnel, consumed what was left of the abbey.
“I can do this,” Elizabeth coughed as the smoke began to fill her lungs, almost as painful as the flames that ravaged her skin. “Just keep saving. Keep saving.”
Disclaimer: Sometimes stop, drop and roll just won’t cut it.