Month: July 2015

The Morning Muse 6 | Don’t Stop Believin’

So, as reported in Workbook 3 the other day, I’ve not been a busy boy, at least not creatively.  Other than the reworking of a couple of guitar riffs for my band, there hasn’t really been any progress made on any of the current projects.  Listen, even before I went on vacation for a 4-day weekend, I was already having doubts about the prospects of novel writing given current conditions and lifestyle. However, my writer buddy Nadine Darling (whose hilarious debut novel SHE CAME FROM BEYOND comes out on October 13th), said to me “You need to write this novel!” imploring that I not give up and use whatever tactics and maneuvers I can within my lifestyle to finally accomplish my goal of at least writing and publishing one novel –for fuck’s sake if nothing else. But I’ll be honest, just last night I had such a serious bout of doubt about my prospects as a novelist — for various reasons — that I honestly considered simply throwing in the towel. The negative emotions even manifested themselves into …

Journal Juice 12 | A Little Less Alone

It’s amazing the futility creating art in obscurity can be. You’re a virtual unknown with an unproven track record as a creative entity. Sure, you’ve had a dozen or so of your stories published, half that number in poetry published, and at least 50 journalistic articles published, yet still your readership seems ethereal. It may be hyperbolic to say that absolutely no one knows the work you’ve created – the stories you’ve written and had published, the articles you’ve penned and published as well, the music you’ve crafted on your own and shared with an unsuspecting world, only to receive the response of crickets in an empty amphitheater – but that’s exactly what it oftentimes feels like. The whole reason creatives absolutely have to share their creations, even within what’s essentially a vacuum, is not so much about the hope and quest for validation, although that is certainly a strong motivator, but the primary reason is to simply to connect with others, provided an audience is found. Art is about bringing together disparate souls that …

Daybook 1 | New Locale. New Music. New Shirt.

No XL, No Problem So this weekend I grabbed three new t-shirts. This particular one is my favorite of the trio. However, given this half of a basketball I call an abdomen, I needed to get it in size XL just so there’s room for comfort, especially given the likely shrinkage tendency upon washing that would make it too snug for comfort. Well, the store didn’t have this particular design in XL, only had it in L. Well, I couldn’t pass it up.  I mean, look at it. Finally I have a shirt to sport on St. Patrick’s Day. Just have to remember to wash cold and hope for the best. #ChubbyDudeProblems  On Vacay So we took a mini-vacation as a family up in Wisconsin Dells, WI.  Really nice resort area, full of plenty of things to do and have a great time doing it, which is exactly what we discovered last summer down in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN.  Like those two places, I don’t have any complaints about the Dells area or its people.  I’ve …

Workbook 3 | July 19-25, 2015 – Late Vacation Edition

All current creative projects The week that was . . . Created redundant file backups in the cloud for a more flexible and seamless workflow (or so that’s the idea). Reworked a couple of guitar riffs for a n/t/a song written back in March. Tried to fit new lyrics to it but the cadence isn’t quite right. Made zero progress on novel work. Had a serious bout of doubt about the prospects of novel writing given current conditions and lifestyle (but received counselling to the contrary from a writer friend to be named later in a separate post). Contemplated ditching long fiction in favor of writing long nonfiction. Went on a family vacation for an extended weekend on which naturally I did not write nor read. The week to come . . . Who the hell knows? Kids are still out of school for another week.  Much prep work to do. Have neglect/the/alarm band practice scheduled for this Wednesday and maybe next Sunday as well, during which I will completely lose myself to my unbridled love of music.

My Music | Saint Ruckus

Saint Ruckus is the umbrella project name for a few different solo music projects that I consolidated together.  It’s all one-man-band, producer, self-engineered stuff by me at home in my la-bor-a-tory.  This is an anthology of some of the stuff I’ve done over the years, going back to 2007 up until around 2009 or so.  Mostly instrumental, ambient, electronic and rather short pieces as I consider them “micro-songs”.  A few are demo quality, but I don’t mind showing my warts. Instrumentation: a drum machine and various beat processors, keyboard, guitar, bass and voice. The first track “DR1” is the only one that is predominantly electronic programming. The rest are more composed by yours truly set to programmed beats with all instruments performed by me as well. My favorites? “Shadows in the Sky” “One Night Affair” “Table for Two” Ones with vocals? “Bittersweet Finale” has incomplete vocals, just one verse and one chorus. “The Mission” has me doing a mock rap since no one else was available. Check’em out.  There is plenty more music in the Vault that I’ll share …

The Morning Muse 5 | Warts and All

I generally hate my writing work immediately after it goes into beta reads, whether that be a writer friend, an editor, or call me neurotic, but especially when it is officially published for the general reading public. I’ve been sharing my writing work publicly for nearly twenty years and I still get nervous about feedback and reviews.  Even when I know I’ve done a pretty darn good job, there is sometimes that unsure inner voice.  I’m guessing that it never fully goes away unless you’re a bestselling author with thousands or millions of adoring fans – and even then.  I’ve heard a number of those kinds of authors say they’re still inflicted with this particular disease, this writer’s psychosis or neurosis or whatever it is.  But, really, I mean, how could one not feel complete validation if that many approving minds were in agreement of the quality of their work?  I suppose it could come down to for whom does one create the work? We all say we do it for ourselves, but were that merely the …

The Morning Muse 4 | A Brief Glance Backward

I remember my time in virtual writing workshops and communities years back, most notably in the Zoetrope Virtual Studio.  When I first joined Zoetrope in November 1998, I was quite the novice with maybe a dozen or two finished short stories and a bunch of false-start novels (that to this day are unfinished).  At the time Zoe (as we affectionately called it) was a distinctly literary place filled with MFA writers and Literati wannabes.  In a strange way, though, that’s exactly the crowd I needed to, at first oppose and then join, because the seriousness and attention to craft that crowd makes you adopt can be good for the wayward neophyte scribe, which I kind of was.  Tough skin (hell, Teflon) was required in many cases in that kind of arena.  I was a fairly good student of the craft and I’d like to think I benefitted from my association with that particular group.  Hell, within a year or so I even became a fiction editor (and later a mentor). Yet, by 2002 I had …

Workbook 2 | July 12-18, 2015

Current Project: Blood-Borne (codename) The week that was . . .  Continued working loose details into the skeletal outline, adding structure to the spine of the plot. Came to the sad realization that while the kids are out of school for the summer, and with a family vacation looming in a week, efforts on writing progress would largely be thwarted. Also realized while at a local live show featuring members of my musical brotherhood that with music always being the first artistic love and primary means of artistic gratification,  writing will take the occasional backseat as my own band activities increases in the coming months. That said, I aim to first-draft this puppy some time by year’s end to maybe February of the new year. The week to come . . . Document character motivations and resolutions. Lay out character place positioning stating where the main characters are at, where they’ve been and where they’re going. Create listening music soundtrack for the themes of Book One. Take tablet PC on vacation so that more of this can be continued during …

Quote: Warren Ellis on Description

So I stumbled across this Warren Ellis video interview, looks like it was conducted and subsequently posted midsummer of last year.  When I started blogging about five years or so ago it was totally inspired by Warren Ellis’ old website   In novels you have to just suggest the image for the reader to allow the image to live in their own minds.  The more specific  you make the image, sometimes the harder it is for it to really resonate with the reader. It’s the difference between painting in detail and painting in broad strokes. — Warren Ellis    

Once More Unto the Well | Thoughts on the Comic Book Industry

By Brandon L. Rucker Brian Hiibbs has historically overreacted to things happening in the market. And as usual I disagree with his chicken little perspective. As what’s very obviously just a niche market in this modern era (meaning the days of half a million-to-a-million-selling issues are waaaaaaay behind us), the only way the comics publishing industry takes a “crash” is if those faithful to the Big Two truly say “ENOUGH” and truly walk away cold turkey. As evident in the continued support of regurgitated ideas (mainly looking at Marvel on this), that’s just not all that likely to happen. So long as the Big Two maintain their market share, things will be ultimately “fine”. And if they do happen to lose more market share, and we do “crash” a bit, would that really be so bad? It would force the course-correction of the Big Two while the indie, licensed properties & creator-owned market (i.e. non-superheroes) continue to increase market share, truly creating a landscape of diversity. Remember, all that market share gained by Image over …