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26 November 2012

Imaginary characters do what I tell them

It struck me today that one of the things I like about writing is a character you create can't do something you don't want it to do.

I know what you're thinking.


Maybe there's a literary type out there who cottons to the notion that sometimes a character just overtakes the story and the best the author can do is serve at its behest. That is all nice and romantic, but I also think it's crap.

Any time a character tells me it wants to do something I don't want it to do I just say "The hell you will" and the conversation is over. The story itself might start making demands, but that is different. When a story speaks, you are dealing with consequences of previous choices or undercurrents of actions yet to be made, ones you might not even know about, and you're a fool if you ignore the story when it speaks, but characters themselves don't know squat. Bitch slap them a couple of times and they always fall in line, even the strong ones.

20 November 2012

Maybe it doesn't suck

In a previous entry I worried that my Christmas short story for the year was tanking. I finished it last Friday night, let it sit for a few days, went over it, then let my wife read it. She liked it.

Maybe she's just nice. Maybe I worry too much. She is pretty nice though.

People not smart enough to buy Six Christmas Stories online
Which brings me to my quick little blurb for today. I promised in the entry I referenced above that I would offer the book containing my previous six Christmas stories for free in a coming day. Well, that day (days actually) is coming. This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That means this Black Friday you can actually get something good for free. No strings attached.

Well, some strings attached. I've got three other books that I will be releasing in the next few months. If you've liked anything you've read of mine, stay tuned. I wrote my fantasy trilogy back in the early nineties. I wrote Boo Noon in the mid-nineties. The Christmas stories are examples of more recent writing, but they are short stories. Novels are what I love. That means my very best stuff is represented in the three novels coming soon. Look for them.

15 November 2012

Harken Harkonnen

street I know,
corner house,
canal, swollen this time in July,
threaded field of weeds,
strung telephone poles,
and this Sunday something new.

The sign aside the blacktop,
and that simple word -

No arrow pointer.
No declaration modifier
meant to associate or direct.
Just a word unbound by spin,
ink-dried and stationary on square cut poster board.

A lonely man's edict?
His invitation?
Free what? Free whom?
What compass point afix,
what landmark mark
make me hero to one . . . or many?
Where the bonds to loose, the despot?

Or is the sign a tempter,
a bid to unbridle my avarice?

08 November 2012

Free Boo Noon

Boo Noon wasn't the original title. I started with Blissful Misery. That sound familiar? This image on the right is one of many, many images AJ Bell came up with while he and I made were trying to translate Boo Noon into a graphic novel. Maybe one day.

Until then, Boo Noon is being offered for free tomorrow, November 9th, on Amazon. Give it a try.

07 November 2012

Today I whine, tomorrow I suck

Okay. Take a moment. Look to the list of books on the right side of this blog. There's one book with 6 Christmas stories in it. It's going to go on sale for 0 dollars in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know when.

The story behind the Christmas stories is that my wife asked me to write something for our neighbors a few years ago, something we could hand out as a gift. At the time I had this story percolating that incorporated memories from when my grandfather died in 1976. I was eleven years old. His death left an imprint on my life.

Anyways, I wrote the story, people liked it, and now I am writing a Christmas story every fall to give away to neighbors come Santa time. I've enjoyed the experience up to now. This year, anxiety is kind of getting the best of me.

I think I can say that, on the whole, I've one-upped myself each year. Some of my friends might argue. I have had some say that one year's was their favorite and then others that another year's was better, but purely from a storytelling standpoint, I think each year I have produced a better Christmas tale. I'd be interested if you can line up the stories correctly. They aren't arranged in the book in the same order I wrote them. Go ahead, when you get your free copy, send me a comment and tell me your guess as to 1 thru 6. (If you're reading this sometime in future and didn't get the chance to obtain your free copy I have a suggestion. Buy one. It's only five bucks.)

01 November 2012

Pippy Longstocking got a haircut

No, that isn't me, but I was close
I've been growing my hair out the last few months in anticipation of Halloween. Normally a clean cut guy, my hair was really getting wild. The end result was being able to dress up as Pippy Longstocking for a party last Saturday and then for work yesterday and handing candy out last night. I certainly got some funny looks.

So what is this entry going to be about? Halloween? Pippy Longstocking? Cross-dressing? Living in suburbia? Probably none of them.

The Pippy Longstocking costume took me back though, back to the days when I was a kid of nine or so. I have some great memories from childhood, and one of those memories revolves around summertime and a thing my parents used to do with my brother and I. Mom and dad bought this package of movie tickets where a mom could drop the kids off in front of a movie theater once a week in the afternoon. If I remember right it was on Wednesdays. Just like that, mom dropped us off downtown and my brother and I would enter the Murray Theater with about 500 other kids and watch a flick. Good old Murray Theater. An old school theater. You know, where if a tall guy sat in the row ahead you could pretty much forget about watching the movie. Gum under the seats. Sound systems that popped and cracked like campfires.