Year: 2015

Daybook 3 | Autumn Descends

So I spent the latter part of the summer away from actively writing anything creative, instead spending a great deal of time inside my own head, and of course being a bookworm, getting caught up on lapsed reading and acquiring even more to read for both entertainment and research. During these past six weeks or so I dealt with a serious bout of lacking conviction in my path as a writer. To be clear, it’s not that I don’t believe in my ability as a writer (well, with the exception of my prospects of being a novelist in the foreseeable future), but I had serious doubts in my likelihood in drawing an audience in the vast sea of yet-to-breakthrough authors. I just need to mentally, if not publicly, remove the title/occupation/identity of “writer” from myself so as to remove the pressure to live up to that identity, as well as lessen the guilt some. By happenstance, I named an old composition of mine “Autumn Descends”. Have a listen.

Workbook 5 | Quick Musical Update

There is much to update from the past two months or so, but I’ll just touch on the musical aspect because that requires less words to summon before I head out for the day. So my rock band of 10 months, Neglect the Alarm, has been putting the finishing, polishing touches on the five songs that will form our first release of new music into the wilds. We have slated our as-yet-untitled (though likely will be self-titled) 5-song EP to be recorded at the earliest part of November at Azmyth Recording studio in Indianapolis, IN, not far from the practice space we use every other week. The mini-album will be financed, produced, mixed and mastered by us D-i-Y style, and likely released digitally for free. (not final graphic) Group photo by Jason Fredriksz

Ghosts of Hanneman | A Slayer Geek-Out Moment

On the day of the release of Slayer’s brand new album REPENTLESS, their first since the death of co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman (died May 2, 2013 of liver cirrhosis), Brandon L. Rucker (that’s Me) takes a geek-out moment to rank his favorite Hanneman-composed Slayer songs. New album Repentless has just one song with musical contributions from the late great Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, a track titled “Piano Wire”. The following is a Top 10 list of my favorite Slayer songs that, lyrics aside, were musically composed by Hanneman, followed by another Top 10 list of my favorites that were co-written by Mr. Hanneman and remaining co-founding guitarist Kerry King. Considering that the large majority of these songs have lived with me for nearly 30 years, these lists were not easy to compose. Without further ado, here they are (albums noted in abbreviated parenthesis, followed by my brief commentary). Music (riffs) composed by Jeff Hanneman Seasons in the Abyss (SITA) – This mini-epic might just be Slayer’s finest moment. Those drum fills! Great performance video too! South of Heaven (SOH) – One of the first …

GUEST BLOG: Why Black Lives Matter is Crucial, All Lives Matter is Unnecessary, and White Lives Matter is just Racist

Originally posted on Justin DaMetz:
So Black Lives Matter has taken over my newsfeed of Facebook again this week. It all started with this picture, posted on the page for my employer, United Campus Ministries at TU, after we put a BLM sign out front of our building, and it was subsequently stolen Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. We promptly got another one to put out front. I shared the picture to my personal Facebook page, and all hell broke lose. Immediately, the All Lives Matter and White Lives Matter crowd jumped all over this. So I posted an article by Leonard Pitts that addressed why All Lives Matter is insensitive and unnecessary. And that set off a whole other can of worms. So then, in my great wisdom, I posted this wonderful graphic. And the whole thing happened over again. And in the midst of this, I keep seeing patterns of thought from the ALM/WLM crowd that I find disturbing and very, very frustrating. So I want to try to address some of that,…

Straight Outta Compton | It’s Not A Documentary

To put the bottom line at the top here: I came straight outta the movie theater last weekend  thoroughly entertained by this N.W.A biopic. At least on a popcorn movie level. What served me and my unfettered enjoyment going in is the acknowledgment of the inherent nature of the biopic. Firstly, you can’t effectively distill 29 years – or in the case of the movie’s timeline, a dozen years or so – into a 2.5 hour movie. Even in trying to include as many key moments as possible, a great deal of the “bio” aspect is going to be left on the cutting room floor, if shot at all. Secondly, this is not a documentary, it’s a Hollywood movie with a story, a screenplay, actors and a director (among countless other collaborators and interested parties), which means a plot of the story that is inspired by real-life and real events has to be agreed upon by the respective powers-that-be before the green light can be lit. Given those two elements, there’s naturally going to be …

Daybook 2 | Update Untitled

I Got Nothing Firstly, I have no Workbook update to share this past week (or the past week before that) because, honestly, there wasn’t any of that kind of work done the past couple of weeks. Re-calibrating Like Garrus * Making some reconfigurations and changes here and abroad, and so things will be a little different here after that reconfiguration. Going to resurrect my old blog and reassign all my nonfiction writing over there and make Ruckerpedia the venue for my fiction writing and music. Or something like that. Gimme a week to tend to these . . . calibrations . . . and we’ll see what’s what. * Bonus geek points to those who get the Garrus Vakarian reference. Back In Briefs With my novel writing prospects in flux for the immediate future, I see no reason to avert my writing attention from short fiction. The novel stuff will likely have to wait at least until the darker, colder months arrive which is when I go into hibernation mode like a grizzly bear in the American wilds. If then, because it’s …

My Fiction – Pieces of Candice (eBook)

Pieces of Candice: A Horror Story The Tease Told in a voice of madness and menace inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, “Pieces of Candice” is the first-person account of what happened when a helpless young woman in a desperate situation ventured into the dark woods for help. It’s psychological horror right in step with classics by the likes of Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell. Author’s Commentary As a psychological horror story with a touch of gore, it’s certainly one of the darkest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the earliest as the seeds for it date back to 1994 as I was reading a lot of horror and suspense back then. Writers like Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, to name the heavy hitters at the time. Not to mention that the serial killer fiction as true crime stuff had been all the rage during that period. When I finally took a stab at writing it in earnest, it took roughly three years of stops and starts to …

My Fiction – The Underneath (eBook)

The Underneath: A Bizzaro Flash of Horror The Tease After Ramsey discovers a strange blemish his life takes a swift turn into a painful, surreal experience, leaving him to wonder: is this real life? Author’s Commentary This one was published a couple of years back in the bizarro print anthology LIKE FROZEN STATUES OF FLESH, compiled by fellow writer/editor Joe Jablonsky. Written in 2009, it is certainly a bizarre piece of fiction dealing with a fella who has discovered a strange blemish on his skin that was not ever there previously. What happens after that discovery results in perhaps the most surreal story I’ve ever written in my two decades-plus of fiction writing. This one sports one of my better cover efforts. You can click it below to take a brief misadventure into something a bit nightmarish. Disclaimer None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better. The Cover

My Fiction – Finder Kept (eBook)

Finder Kept: A Tale of Unintended Fate The Tease Like Pandora’s Box, some things are simply best left buried or undisturbed. When a drunken homeless person unwittingly acquires a strange object from a man who is obviously running for his life, the homeless person’s apparent new fortune takes an instant turn for the worse. This is an unfortunate tale of unintended fate. Author’s Commentary This was the first story featured in the print anthology BEST LEFT BURIED, selected and edited by Gregory Miller a few years back. I’m guessing my little tale about what happens when a cursed, otherworldly trinket falls into the wrong hands must have epitomized the theme of the anthology because Miller chose to have my story lead the book. It’s no doubt an incredibly huge honor to have your words and your name be the first featured content in any book. This one’s definitely in the “weird” section of my personal library. You click the cover below for a free read. Disclaimer None of these old works are my finest work, …