Month: May 2015

A Very Bad Day

~ written 1/24/2006 ~ CRUNCH. That was the sound Caleb Shaw heard while lying on the pavement as he watched a steel-toed boot stomp his left hand—the hand he had used for fingering the fret board of his Les Paul guitar just an hour ago—and the cell phone that was in it.  That was after receiving a few blows to the torso, front and back, which had landed him.  Sure, the various fists, elbows and knees delivered their own brand of hurt, but it was a manageable pain, the kind most men just swallowed with ego, pride and maybe a few over-the-counter feel-good pills and a shot of hard liquor.  The smashing of his hand, though, that delivered something altogether different and new. Yeah, crunch was what he heard. But what he felt? A pain so unbearable that the scream, which his body—hell, his very soul—had mustered got lost sub-sonically in the ether, but only temporarily.  After a few seconds of uncontrolled breathing and the realization of what had just happened, not to mention the …

He Must Be Dreaming

~ written 2/27/2006 ~ I had to be dreaming. That’s the only way to explain it ‘cause there’s no goddamn way I was lying next to her, holding her in my arms snug and safe, her smelling the way she always does, like a bouquet of flowers, making me go stiff like a stale cadaver at the morgue, only I’m no dead man ‘cause she’s got me more alive than ever, like she’s my goddess giving me the gift of life, though all she really did in the end was give me the curse of heartache. Only in a dream would she still be whispering in my ear: “I want you, Lenny…” “I need you…” “My heart would die if I never saw you again…” Only in reality would I not be smart enough to know that a dame like that would never stick with a loser like me.  I’m not what most would call a looker, my face always the best impression of a mug shot after a night of boozing and passing out …

A Matter of Perspective

~ written 2/24/2006 ~ “The way I see it I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. That sounds a little strange coming from a degenerate gambler like me, but it all depends on at what perspective in The Game I’m saying it from. When I’m up on cloud seven, nine and eleven, winning four-figure stakes, that means I haven’t won enough and much gain is still yet to be gotten. It means my booty on chance has only begun. But when I’m saying it from rock bottom, having lost my shirt, my good shoes and maybe even a few teeth, that means I got nothing left to lose, the only way to go from there is upward. So either way you look at it, I’m always looking up.” — viewpoint character Max Van Gelder. Taken from my story “Max-a-Million” © 2006 Brandon L. Rucker.

ORiGiNALiTY = CREATIVITY + COMICS

  Hello, greetings, and salutations Internet! I go by Terrence Sage, and this article you have before you is my own twisted form of propaganda on getting the message out on creativity when it comes to the source of the latest Hollywood Movie Trend. Comics. The logo you see is that of what I consider the third piece of the “Big 3 of Comic Book Companies,” Image Comics. Image was formed in 1992 with the goal of actually retaining character rights to whatever they wanted to create. Over the past few years, 2010 and beyond, Image Comics has had a new resurgence of business. Not only has Image consistently gotten the best creators to tell CREATOR OWNED stories, they writers are telling stories they want to tell. This ranges from the Brian Wood ongoing title aptly named “SAGA” starring a couple that’s fresh into parenthood with their daughter Hazel. The twist though…the happy couple are on two opposing sides of an intergalactic war and both sides want them dead. It’s Romeo and Juliet by way…

Warren Ellis on Commercial Storytelling

I am a proud and eager subscriber of writer Warren Ellis’ weekly newsletter Oribital Operations.  On a weekly basis (or therabouts) I can expect him to touch upon various topics that run the gamut of intelligent, thought-provoking, humorous and enlightening. A couple of weeks ago he stated something that really stopped me in my tracks, something I feel I must share with other writers. “. . .thoughts about how commercial storytelling is changing. Look at the ructions television has gone through in the last fifteen years. The “endless” run (and the end brought by economics as much as anything) looks like an aged form now, and novels for television are where the important stuff is done. TRUE DETECTIVE, and the even more innovative AMERICAN HORROR STORY (and now AMERICAN CRIME) where the cast are a stable putting on a new play every season. I think Jeff VanderMeer’s interlocking SOUTHERN REACH novels, all three released in the same 12 months, might prove to be a very interesting model for prose. But it’s also a set of …

Journal Juice 11 | Little Sister

It was only a year ago, perhaps, that we finally reconnected after so many long years of estrangement, forced and unforced. I was so glad to finally repair the disconnect that wayward siblings tend to create between them over the years. Of all of us kids you were always the wildchild, always anxious and on-the-go, yet clearly motherhood looks good on you. Last summer I swelled with pride when I got to see you in super-mom mode with your kids, those beautiful and fun-loving nieces and nephews of mine.  But you refuse to sit still. And now you’re gone. Again. I’m sorry that I have failed you. I feel that as your big brother, your only brother, I am supposed to protect you from all monsters, real and imagined; chase away unworthy boys when you were younger, veto all unsavory men when you’re older; assure you that you don’t need to accept that which is not good enough for you, show you that you shouldn’t settle for what you do not need, or fall for yours or someone else’s foolish plan. Ultimately, I …

Guest Blog: The ‘Alternate Universe’ Excuse

Originally posted on James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing:
In one form or another be it Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars or even many book series out there, we see writers wanting to change things and thus creates an alternate universe where they can explore things if they’d happen differently. Some do it better than others… Let me explain. I’ve seen two ways of doing this: 1. Making one or two minor changes in an established plot and showing how those minor changes altered the destinies of those affected by them, if not everyone in general. 2. Drastically altering the universe with very little explanation, rhyme or reason, using the excuse that it’s an alternate universe so they can do whatever they want. Quite obviously (to me anyway) #1 is the better way of doing this. Let’s take two examples of this; Marvel’s ‘What if’ series explores what would have happened if one of two things that could have happened, actually had happened and explores the consequences. Maybe the X-Men were slaughtered in…

The Rucker Report: May 2015 – Forward and Backward

A week and a couple of days late.  Why?  Because, as an “author’s update” there’s really not much to report, since little of what was detailed from the previous update in April has been progressed upon.  However, I’ve committed myself to these monthly updates from a devotional and routine standpoint, so I’m pushing through after taking some time to contemplate a few things in lieu of actual writing news.  So I’ll use headers this time and touch on a few things. Here I go. Solitary Confinement I’ve often said that writing is one of the most solitary occupations a person can undertake, particularly in terms of writing novels, which has been my goal since I was a 19 year-old hopeful in early 1993.  Well, it doesn’t have to be.  Sure, there’s the egocentric notion that one’s first published novel should contain only his byline, and there’s no way my 19-20 year-old self would even contemplate doing what I have decided to do this year. . . Partnering for Help I’ve written in previous updates about a secret long story/novella project with …

GALILEE by Clive Barker

Clive Barker’s 1998 unrivaled tenth novel Galilee  (subtitled as “A Romance” inside the cover, and also known as Galilee: A Novel of the Fantastic) is hands down one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read.  It became the inspiration for a novel series I’d thought up one cold winter evening earlier this year.  It’s funny that I’ve found myself virtually connected to it.  If you were to do a Google search of the book, one of the top links that shows up leads to a review I did of it on goodreads.com back in summer of 2011.  It shows up at the top on goodreads.com because it is the highest rated review for the book by the members there.  I had no idea of this until just recently when I was looking for info links on the book to share with my co-writer. Here’s the four years old text from that review: _____________________________________________________ Galilee, for me, is Clive Barker at his storytelling best. It may not be as inventive as Cabal (Nightbreed), Imajica & Everville, or as …