Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Write to the Limit

Groggy, weary, punchy, zapped. Since April I have written 304 pages and 99,386 words on the Dunwich Diversity Seminar. As mentioned, I have floundered in the horse latitudes on this book, abandoning my failed outline, and compelled to write fresh new chapters where the old ones no longer held purchase. Now I find I must add gleaming new chapters to the opening to make the later new chapters sing.

But the toughest section is complete. I sense story cuts in my future, but it's all fine tuning from here on out. Will I reach a Halloween release? Tough to say. My paying job demands my full attention now and much more in the coming weeks.

That said, I'd rather have the story right, then meet a deadline with less than my best.

Weekend guests arrive at the Innsmouth Quality Inn. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft

Photo from Lovecraft's Arkham driver's license

A Cthulhu-shaped cake in honor of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, born August 20, 1890. A writer of strange, outre fiction, his works featured gibbous moons, antediluvian architecture, cyclopean structures erected with strange geometry, and monstrous entities that caused poets to go barking mad. This iconoclastic author cut his own trail when it came to horror and fantasy. I aim to glom onto his success with my upcoming fiction book, The Dunwich Diversity Seminar.

DDS tells the story of a modern day, party-girl grad student, related to one of the Miskatonic University professors who turned back the "Dunwich Horror." She finds herself the only one capable of saving humanity from frightening creatures aiming to scour earth of all life and drag it into another dimension. But will our heroine decline the Mojitos long enough to stop these diabolical plans?

So happy birthday, H.P. You would've been 125 years old today. Not quite eldritch, but getting there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

50ZG Now in Diesel, A Bookstore

No typo. Singular. Bookstore. One. For Now. The insightful crew at Diesel, A Bookstore has on hand two copies of Fifty Shades of Zane Grey. Located in oft-filmed Brentwood, Diesel is an independent bookseller, one of the few remaining. You don't last in that business unless you know what your customers crave print wise. They've been around since 1989. How many of you can say the same?  Below are the store particulars, lifted directly from the Brentwood Country Mart (small mall) website:



So if you're out and about in Brentwood (or Santa Monica, California), do consider stopping by and picking up at least one of my durable soft cover books lampooning the work of Fifty Shades author E.L. James.  Enjoy romance, laughs, and learn what it's like to live with an Inner Canadian Goose. Or browse the shelves for works by Diesel favorites such as Don Winslow, author of The Cartel.

If nothing else, do mention the presence of my book to your Southern California friends and relatives. In between surfing sets, they might seek the comfort of the written word before returning to the mighty Pacific.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Story Prompt: Art Helping Art

Here's a tool I've used in the past to help generate story ideas. I fill a sheet of paper with whatever thoughts arise, using different colored pencils, starting at various spots on the page and not censoring anything. This prompts my subconscious to cough up helpful story facets. There is, however, a tendency to fill the page with "redrum," but therapy and an ankle bracelet help keep that in check.

A repost from April 26, 2009. Haven't used this in awhile. I'm keen to give it another try.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hiroshima and I

August 6 separated by 69 years.

In 1945, August 6 witnessed the detonation of the first atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. I was always fascinated by the shadows of people left on walls. I'd always heard they were vaporized by the blast, but could never figure out why the wall wasn't vaporized as well.

Wall to Wall
And while a terrible event in a terrible war, more Japanese were killed by a conventional firebombing of Tokyo that March. And who needed bombers? The Japanese army in Nanking, China in 1937 killed around a quarter million Chinese using rifles, bayonets, and swords. (The Japanese used the bombers to sink the gunboat U.S.S. Panay, killing and wounding American sailors, but  later apologized and paid us some money.)

Enough of this grim Second World War stream-of-consciousness.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Just me. Not an entire city. But tragedy involving my life becomes all-consuming. ('But it's ME! How can this happen to ME?')

A year has passed and I'm a man without a prostate, but cancer free. (At a physical examination yesterday, I told the doctor he didn't have to check my prostate anymore—unless he wanted to. He took it in the correct spirit.)

For all my physical gyrations the last twelve months, I'm grateful to be mending and married, as I can't imagine going through this event without the help of my darling wife, as well as family and friends.

And so today some remember a large tragedy and I remember a small one. Life advances inexorably. As for this August 6, say what you will, but both Hiroshima and I are doing better than Detroit.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Eulogy for a Mac Classic

Sweeney talking to a salesman at the Honda dealership.
Cleaning out a storage facility last week, I found a box containing my old Mac Classic, just in time for the passing of Steve Jobs. Back in 1991, M.D. Sweeney accompanied me to the Westwood Mac store and negotiated on my behalf for the computer and a printer. Sweeney is a phenomenal dealer with a deadpan expression like an Olmec mask. Sales reps flash their easy smiles, grow uncomfortable and sometimes offer things at a lower price. (They didn't this time, but even A-Rod strikes out occasionally.) On that computer I wrote many Acme Comedy Theatre sketches as well as my first Animaniacs script, "Dracu-lee, Dracu-la." But it's doing no one any good anymore and is destined for the green waste facility. Farewell, Mac Classic and rest in piece, Mr. Jobs. And if you're ever in Los Angeles, stop by Amalfi Restaurant and see if you can talk the owner (Sweeney) into a free dessert. Let me know how it goes.
Image: antique trader

A repost from Oct, 7, 2011 only with links.