Sunday, March 19, 2017

New Desk Fever


designboom

I must sit down at my desk again, with surface of particle board,
And all I ask is a working Mac with power strip and cord,
And pencil drawer and file drawer with drafts aligned and waiting,
And a picture, you see, of my wife and me, both smiling, neither faking. 

I must sit down at my desk again, and scribble, feeling swell,
Waxing bold, if it must be told, because of the new desk smell,
And all I ask is a cup of joe and a YouTube playlist long,
And a run of words, no culls or turds; woven prose like merry song,

I must sit down at my desk again, to a solitary author's life,
To pages of mold, soon to be gold, once slashed with my editor's knife,
And all I ask is a sale or two, upon my journey's end,
And as I wait, in financial straits, I'll start to write again. 

(With apologies to John Masefield.)

Yes, I do have a new desk.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mystery Author Salutes Hallow Mass

(Where the psychopaths grow.)

Under the Florida sun, Barbara Goodheart taps out her eclectic writing, penning thrillers such as The Wild Place, as well as medical books—co-authored with her scientist husband—dealing with diabetes control.

And now Barbara opines most delightfully on my Lovecraftian horror novel, Hallow Mass:

"Devotees of this type of book will . . . find . . . wonderful writing you
 don't typically [see] in this genre.

'. . . unkempt children who watch you like coyotes from trash-littered yards . . . '

'. . . the campus dozed like a drunk in a hammock . . . '

'As the stars rose above, a young prisoner kneeling between Frye and Hutchins commenced to shake like a dog passing a coconut.'

And many other examples of great writing that are too long to include in a brief review . . . "

Scroll down and read Barbara's Amazon review in its entirety, then peek at a few pages

In softcover and durable ebook.

It's Saturday. Indulge. 







Thursday, March 09, 2017

Poem to a Noisy Neighbor

Bossip

Shut up on this good night,
Pearl Jam thunders into day,
Raves with strangers liquored-up tight.

Balcony pot smoke dims sight.
Your duh-huh laugh is pretty gay,
Please take Ambien this good night.

Requests for quiet—go fly a kite,
Cops summoned June to May,
Feckless mother flounces away on another flight.

Ah, but you're young and light,
A teenage dunce with brains of hay,
Cotton in my ears at the coming of the night.

(Apologies to Dylan Thomas.)
poets.org 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Desk, Be Not Proud

What the heck is going on here?

Apologies to John Donne

For those following my furniture saga, here and here, I finally bought a desk—30x by 60x with two grommet holes, drawers on both sides plus a pencil drawer. The color is mahogany. The delivery date is next week. Now what excuse will I have not to write? In the meantime, after some thought, I say:

Desk, be thou proud, though some have called thee
Useless and fey, but thou art not so;
For those who write at Starbucks know,
To cry out, at cell phoned customers on a yakking spree,
Had you but a desk, in peace, you might pen poetry.

 Actually, writing has picked up lately as I begin the third draft of my sci-fi-fantasy-YA-military sci-fi-keyword stuffed novel. Is intelligence enough to rule? Can arrogant, self-centered teenagers find happiness and companionship? Who is Uncle Rockwell and why does he steal everything?

Nonetheless, no one's going to read this for, maybe, eight more drafts, so why not keep writing the darn thing. Fie upon perfectionism! Well, a few corrections, here and there.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Attack on Titan Take and More on Office Madness

"Yummy new office chair."
These subjects have nothing in common, unless creepy giants arrive and eat my furniture.

First, Titan.

Hajime Isayama's popular work on strange, idiot giants devouring most of humanity has caught the interest of Hollywood. Warner Bros. wants a crack at the franchise. According to a January article in Deadline Hollywood:

"The feature would be a remake of the Japanese film that was done in two parts. In 2015, Part 1 ended up as the seventh-highest-grossing locally produced film. Part II did not do as well."

Having watched the 2015 film, I can tell you why I rocked and II didn't: eat-'em-count. In the first movie, people are eaten by the long ton. In the second film, there's a great deal of yelling between characters, but no set-piece Titan eat-'em-ups.

Having never read the mangas, I admit to, perhaps, missing some subtleties. But this is my considered opinion. Tinsel Town take note.

On to my office.

Since my last post on the subject, I've bought a very comfortable chair at a cool used office furniture store near my house. Great desks on sale as well but the rub will be getting one into my office, through the maze of boxes around the front door, down a narrow hallway to the appropriate spot. If the desk needs to be assembled here, it could be tricky. Move the boxes? Splendid! But there's the issue of where to stage them during the process. But these are First World obstacles. I want a new—or used in good shape—desk and will obtain one shortly.

Now back to wasting time instead of writing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Fifty Shades Parody Attacked By SJW Neighbor


The book that caused the fuss.

I mentioned my Old West send-up of Fifty Shades of Grey. She called me 'cis transheebic' and a 'white male wampooger.' I'm not an academic, so I can't tell you what the phrases mean, but they sure sounded bad.

What set her off? I can't say. We were discussing a broken parking gate on our building, then I said something about a new 'Fifty Shades' movie and plugged my book. Boom! Out comes the verbal artillery.

Here's a trailer for my tale about a murmuring woman, a railroad tycoon, and a secret place where dreams come true provided you dream real different. Is it worth calling a fellow, 'transheebic?' You decide.


Cornerstone Media

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Room to Write

Newstatesman

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

— Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

While not a woman, once I had no money but a room to write. Now I have money—or my wife does, but California is a community property state—but no longer a room. Since I began my office reorganization, output on my latest book has fallen sharply. I never needed much of an excuse to procrastinate, but this has gotten silly. Last month, in order to compel me to complete the reorganization, I threw out my old desk first. Such a deed rendered me a prose orphan, with no comfortable spot to type.

I am a creature of place. Where I write is important. I'm not a coffee shop author, or one of the muttering territorial playwrights at the public library. I live somewhere. In that place is a space where I wrote two books, countless short stories, animation series pitches, TV animation scripts, acres of marketing copy, jokes for a stand-up comic, essays, and over a thousand blog posts. Since my self-imposed disruption, I'm not writing as much. I'm not happy at day's end for overcoming inertia and cranking out some pages. I can't find a stinking place where I'm comfortable sitting for hours on end and writing.

Yes, the answer screams out: buy your damned desk and be silent!

But a part of me really enjoys cursing the darkness as opposed to lighting a candle which is a fire hazard with all these papers lying about.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Call of Cthulhu VG Shambling Toward You

Concept World/Ronan Le Fur

 'Old Ones, New Values'

Pardon my use of a line from my Lovecraftian novel, Hallow Mass. But TrueAchievements tells us that dark, video game Call of Cthulhu will be stepping into our dimension sometime this year. Developer Cyanide's trailer teases us with a tale of a detective entering shadowy realms as he attempts to solve the murder of an artist and her family. For consoles and PC, Call of Cthulhu is an RPG-investigation game slated for release in Xbox. Dry ice not included.

Cthulhu Mythos

While we're on the subject of spooky old H.P., know there's an art book from Fantasy Flight's Call of Cthulhu collectible card game. The Art of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos showcases the finest in gibbous-moon-themed horrors including such eldritch evergreens as Yog-Sothoth and the Crawling Chaos.

Remember—as H.P. might've said—"Life sucks, then you're devoured screaming."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Standing Tall on the Yellow Footprints


USMC League

MCRD San Diego Back in the Day

Everything must begin somewhere. And in the United States Marine Corps, my enlisted tour commenced with yellow footprints. Drawn on the asphalt of the recruit depot with heels close together and toes angled out to 45 degrees, they are where I, along with seven other guys from our suburban Chicago neighborhood, stood to begin military service. Then we marched somewhere, boxed up our clothes and mailed them home, coming to the realization that our new life would be different from drinking beer behind a bowling alley.

The Vietnam War was winding down, at least for the United States, though the North Vietnamese would launch a huge attack against South Vietnam toward the end of March as we conducted infantry training at Camp Pendlelton. (In September, now a Private First Class, I would find myself in an Army hospital called Camp Kue on Okinawa, sharing  a ward with American advisors who'd been wounded helping the South Vietnamese forces stop the communists.)

In 1991, I visited the footprints on a vacation to San Diego with my girlfriend. (Now My Fine Wife or MFW.)

In 2002, I stood on a hill in Vietnam called Con Thien with a Vietnamese guide who told me about the obliteration of his village by B52s, bombing the NVA advance.

In 2008, I was back at MCRD finishing up a marathon with Team in Training.

But on a Friday night, January 14, 1972, I stood on yellow footprints. Oh, right before we boxed up our clothes, this happened:
(The following scene is rather accurate, except there's no C&W music. Just buzzzzzzz.)

h/t: amp1776


   


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Book Horde: What to Read in 2017

Great lead-off choice, I think.

Book Horde: What to Read in 2017: January Buddy Read Book Horde's To-Read Pile It looks like snow is headed my way but that's perfectly fine with me because I ...