- Just outlined five more Tobias Fox stories for my editor. On my phone. #likeaboss 1 hour ago
- Gotta love it when amazon recommends me my own book. #awesomeday 1 day ago
- "Hill 142" is off to my newly-minted Beta Readers. Let's see how they like it. #althistory #amwriting #urbanfantasy 3 days ago
- Push Them Good wp.me/pwwUg-DD 5 days ago
- Taking A Break wp.me/pwwUg-DA 1 week ago
May 13, 2013Posted by on
So that “I ran 2.5 miles and it didn’t hurt” thing I was talking about the other day?
It took a day for it to catch up with me, but for the past two days I’ve been walking around like an 80 year old arthritic man. My hips — hips! — hurt, and I don’t even want to talk about the pain my quads are in right now. It’s inhumane.
So naturally I’ve been walking more at work than before…
A friend of mine sent me a short story to look over before he submitted it yesterday (no, I don’t do this often. I did it for him because I’ve known him for a very long time now) and it got me to thinking about the lack of quality supernatural villains these days. No, I’m not talking about his villains, but just about everyone’s. Jim Butcher had some excellent villains in his early days, but now he has to keep upping the ante (and have a complete bomb of a villain occasionally, like in Ghost Story). Stephanie Meyer had… glittery Italian evil vampires? Whiny emo werewolves? Not sure.
(I’m looking at my bookshelf right now and I can’t seem to find any urban fantasy outside of Butcher… that’s odd)
Larry Correia had some pretty good villains in his Monster Hunter Inc series, but his evil overlord villain is sorta stuck in a whole different dimension. And the villains in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series are rather pathetic and easily defeatable (if a barely trained girl can defeat them through the power of menage a trois, then anybody can beat them).
*sigh* I miss the Mayor (Buffy fans know who I’m talking about). I miss the Big Bad. I miss the villains who can actually make the hero sweat a little, make them nervous, make them realize that they probably won’t win. It makes the hero’s fight that much better, the victory that much sweeter. If you have a badass superhero, then damn it you better be bringing one bigger badass of a villain to the table. Let the conflict drive the plot, not the plot drive the conflict. Let that hero bleed, feel pain, feel desperation.
Sometimes your characters will achieve some amazing things if you just push them hard enough.
May 11, 2013Posted by on
Taking a quick break from Hill 142 to share this breaking news–
I ran 2.5 miles today without stopping. I hurt, but it’s a good hurt. Tomorrow, same goal. 2.5 miles. I want to be at 5 miles by the end of July.
Okay, back to wrapping up this story. Just one little tidbit to rewrite and then it’s DONE.
May 6, 2013Posted by on
A really cool review came out today for Sha’Daa: Pawns which made me giggle. I do like writing nonstop adrenaline rushes.
Did you know, ladies, that a large number of you drop the “F” bomb more than I do? Yeah, I was a bit surprised as well until I listened to one of my neighbors (figures… right when the hookers move out, someone else goes on a menopausal meltdown… yes, that was sexist) go on about their — boyfriend? child? I’m not sure — being worthless and all they ever do was party. F bomb, this, F bomb that… it was a literal smorgasbord of F bombs. I was wondering if I needed to cover my cats delicate and sensitive ears since, you know, they’ve never heard foul language in their lives (*cough cough ahem*).
It’s fun, having weird neighbors. I just wish that I had a farm, and the weird neighbors were about, oh, half a mile down the road. Then it would be even more fun.
For me, at least. I don’t know about the other neighbors down the road. They’d probably not like it at all.
Almost broke my wrist today. That was fun. Large bone bruise, swelling, stiffness… all because I tried to drop 72 pounds of cast iron metal onto it. I must have dense bones or something because really, it was focused onto three square inches of bone. It should have broken. *shrug* I will never get over the wonders of the human body.
The injury, however, doesn’t seem to be affecting my typing, so this is good.
Yeah, this post got a little spastic. My bad.
May 4, 2013Posted by on
So I went to see Iron Man 3 today and… well, it took me for a pleasant ride.
Ben Kingsley, for the record, is one amazing actor. I mean, completely amazing. I had the villain all figured out, but then the entire twist hit me sideways and I can say I didn’t see it coming. Now, I knew there would be a twist — it’s a Marvel movie, come on. But still, I didn’t see what they pulled coming.
And to those chuckleheads who left before the end of the credits: Ha!
Okay, wrapping up Hill 142. Gotta get this one out before I can put together a business proposal.
May 1, 2013Posted by on
In case anyone was wondering how my declaration of war went, well, you could say that it’s 1991 all over again and I had General Norman Schwarzkopf leading the charge for me. The hoochies have moved out. It is glorious. The 42nd Regimental Pipes and Drums have completely routed the enemy with minimal casualties (Private Wally the Wildcat is suffering from PTSD and a case of “The British”, whatever that means).
Now, it may have been entirely coincidental but years of D&D playing has taught me that there is no such thing as a coincidence.
In other news, I’ve seen the preliminary cover for Dreamers in Hell and I must say, it is my favorite Heroes in Hell cover thus far. It’s absolutely stunning and I think readers will be pleased with it. I know I’m happy with it. Can’t wait to post the final version of it on here.
Still writing. Still working. One of them I love to do, the other pays the bills. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
April 29, 2013Posted by on
A declaration of war is a big thing, something one does not declare without considering the ramifications.
The decision took me about seventeen seconds this morning.
I have really bad neighbors who live above me. They’re two college girls who have lots of parties, smoke wayyy too much and seem to be running a brothel out of one of their bedrooms. They also have a dog who, despite all things, is rather well-trained and pretty decently behaved. I’ve learned, living beneath them, that two barks from him means “Gotta pee!”
Unfortunately for the dog (and for me), the girls are usually too drunk or hungover to actually be bothered with taking him out to pee in the morning. They’ve let him suffer for hours before letting him go out onto the balcony, where he pees all over the place (I don’t blame him. I totally understand) and it leaks down onto my porch. I’ve talked with the office quite a few times but until I “catch them in the act” (which I suppose means recording the dog peeing on the balcony while standing under it… asstards) there’s nothing they can do.
My noise complaints also have gone unheeded. I’m okay with partying (really, I am. I’m not that damn old) but partying until 7 AM on a Monday morning? Really? The office says I need to have the compliance officer (an off-duty cop who lives here) catch them in the act. Again, not sure how to do this, since the noise seems to come in waves and is totally random. A steady thrum of noise would be survivable, but the random scream or laughter or dropping of dead body onto the kitchen floor gets annoying quick.
So today was the final straw. Poor dog barked for three hours before they let him out. They were still partying when I got home from work. Someone dropped an ashtray onto my porch. I decided it was time for a little payback.
You see, one thing that is nice about my complex is that from the hours of 6AM until 10PM, you can be fairly noisy. “Fairly” noisy, so long as nobody’s getting killed or abused. And I like to listen to music. Random music. Music that can, if unprepared for it, can startle you. At random intervals. And make your ears bleed when played at the right volume.
So enter my collection playlists containing 16 hours of Scottish bagpipes. Preferably, the 42 Highland Regimental Pipes and Drums. Direct speakers upwards, crank volume up to about, oh, MAX, and then I let ‘em have it. They lasted about two minutes before I could hear them shouting ”turn it down” and “what the hell is that noise”.
The bagpipes played. Scots worldwide cheered. The groaning of college dimwits grew louder. “I’m going to call the office!” I hear one shout. I smile. I wait.
The average response time from the compliance officer is about eight minutes, faster in the mornings. I’ve timed it. Oh yes, precious, I’ve timed it well.
Five minutes, thirty-six seconds. I cut the bagpipes. Six minutes, compliance officer walks by. He stands outside my porch (I can see through my blinds) and looks around before he leaves. I wait three minutes to ensure he doesn’t come back.
42nd Regimental at full volume. This time I give it nine minutes. By now the girls upstairs are screaming at each other (and their boyfriends) to “do something about it”. Boyfriends leave. Yeah, they “did something about it”, you skanky, disease-ridden sweethearts: they left, leaving you all alone with an individual who practiced psychological warfare in the Navy as a hobby.
I have a new hobby. It involves… music. And insanity.
I cut the pipes. Compliance officer walks by not twenty seconds later. I cut that one a little close, but a message needed to be sent. Compliance officer knocks on… my neighbors door. No answer before the dude and his wife both work in the day. Compliance officer walks around some more, knocks on my door. I open it.
Me: Oh, hi.
CO (after introducing himself, not realizing I already know who he is): Have you heard anything strange?
Me: Well, yeah. I think those girls upstairs are going on about their boyfriends or something.
CO: Oh. Them again.
Me (trying not to laugh): Other than that, and their dog barking, I haven’t heard anything. Why?
CO: Well, they’ve been complaining about this screeching sound…
Me: Odd. They sound like screeching harpies but, other than that…
CO: Sorry to bother you.
Me: It’s okay. It’s time for me to get up anyway.
I close the door and wait. He’s hovering around the building and I think that he’s on to me. I wait ten, fifteen minutes. He finally leaves. Pipes come back on. Door upstairs slams and the girls flee their apartment, get into their respective cars, and tear out of the parking lot.
Compliance officer returns. Nothing. I think the’s starting to get pissed off at the girls who keep calling (who, at this point, aren’t home any longer).
Tomorrow morning: the 1812 Overture, Cannonade edition.
War has been declared, the battle has been joined.
April 27, 2013Posted by on
I should be asleep but since I ran a quick road trip yesterday to Soldier’s Retreat, I slept last night. For 12 hours.
Apparently I was tired.
Hill 142 is mostly done. I need to polish it up a bit, but overall I’m happy with it. The Gods Anointed is… uh… weird. It wants to be done but when I read it, I know it’s not. Strange. Like a soufflé that keeps threatening to burn but you know if you pull it out of the oven now it’s going to sink…
Heading home either late tonight or early tomorrow. Quick weekend jaunts are not my thing but needs must.
April 23, 2013Posted by on
Update. Right. Forgot.
So A Promise Made is going to be in the next Sha’Daa anthology, currently titled Facets. I also was trying to squeak a second story in but I couldn’t really get it to work. It came off as a monologue but the story structure needed to be more of a script (transcript, diary, screenplay, etc). I was a little annoyed with myself for not being able to wrap my mind around the structure (I wanted a script, since A Promise Made is more of a journal, and I hate duplicating myself). I guess I’ll survive (dramatic sigh) and wrap up Hill 142 before too long.
Wraithkin is coming along. It’s around 70,000 words right now, with 75% of it being action. I’ll break that up a bit so as to not overwhelm delicate sensibilities– ah, who am I kidding? I’ll probably add more carnage and mayhem before I mellow it out a bit. Hopefully it won’t go above 120,000 words because I can’t see publishers getting excited about a MilSF/romance/political thriller being about 600 pages long from an unknown-ish author.
Yes, I said romance. Because the entire book is fueled by a love story.
I also have to finish The Gods Anointed for the Not To Yield anthology soon, I think by June 1. So that makes two shorts and a novel to finish by June 1.
I can do this. I just need proper motivation… which, depending on how things work out, may have occurred this morning.
Also: reviewed Chuck Gannon’s debut solo novel, Fire With Fire, over at Shiny Book Review today. You should give it a go and buy this book.
April 13, 2013Posted by on
Hill 142 is the most vexing, emotionally draining thing I have written in a very long time, possibly since a particularly draining scene in Corruptor. It’s not just emotionally draining, but it brings to the forefront the true heroes and losses during a war. The armchair Rangers and CoD kids who think it’s all a game and that they’d step up and be the hero whenever they want? Yeah.It can be a little harder when you know that there’s the potential nobody’s going to remember anything that you do that day.
I’m not saying that heroes worry about such things, or even worry about doing something heroic. Ask any Medal of Honor winner what they were thinking and they’ll probably tell you that they were just doing their job.
The mind and soul is raw right now. This is a rough story that might not even be finished. I think I’m putting too much into it and not keeping it at a distance like I should. I can’t remember the last time this happened.
April 11, 2013Posted by on
Ah, the weekend. Well, the beginning of mine, at least.
The Tree of Death and Life has been accepted into the Heroes All anthology, which is super cool because it is the sequel to Nightwalker, which is in an entirely different anthology (Terror By Gaslight), which are both being put out by the team-up of Fantom Enterprises/Perseid Press. I do love writing about Dr. Tobias Fox, so getting in is exciting news. Now that that one is in I get to really start hammering down on Hill 142, which is an alt-history fantasy short story which takes place in World War 1. If you know the “Hill 142″ reference and it holds great meaning to you, then Semper Fi.
Once Hill 142 is done (for some reason it took me three tries to spell “done” correctly) I can really keep working on novels (despite the fact that short fiction seems to be paying a helluva lot better right now than anything else). I started doing this to be a published author (well, okay, not entirely true… I did this so I could save money on shrink visits) who writes novels. The only way to do that is to interject novel writing time into the, uh, timeline.
So… yeah. I need to get to work. And I’m not allowed to go to Keeneland today. Nope.