Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - 2/26/2012 - From "Eye of the Dome"


The dreambenders dropped from the sky in a rain of purple-black fire. A shower of swirling gray robes and death.

The tribe scattered, running in all directions.

As always, some of them not fast enough.


The boy awoke. Pain caught the wind of consciousness and spread like wildfire across his body.


These are the opening lines from my WiP "Eye of the Dome." And when I say WiP, I mean one long-running WiP. This is the first novel I ever wrote, a YA fantasy with a foot in the realm of speculative fiction, never published, then entitled "The Soul of Mind." I began writing it in 2005 and finished in 2007--or at least I thought so then.

But a few months ago I opened up the file on my computer and skimmed over it, thinking, "You know, somewhere in there among all this unnecessarily verbose prose, there's a real good story." So I retitled it and started rewriting it, from beginning to end. No cutting and pasting allowed. As of now, I'm about halfway done. The original manuscript was 118K words. The way it's looking, the first draft of this new, improved version of the novel will be around 70K.

The prologue was originally twenty pages long. That's right, twenty long pages. I cut those twenty pages down to four sentences. Personally, I think the new version is much more effective. But it is still a WiP and I may add a little more to it. But not much more.

It amazes me how much I've learned since I first began writing about story structure, plotting, character development, writing in general. Practice never makes perfect, but it does make better. And there is always more to learn. It also amazes me that I attempted to get this thing published as it was back then. Boy, some of those agents and publishers I queried must have had a good laugh at the expense of my naive ass. But hey, I was a young author with a head full of ideas and a lot of determination, and we all have to start somewhere. And yes, I still have a head stuffed with ideas and determination, though determination of a wiser, less impatient, more-grounded sort. Huh. Must come with being a father.

Thanks for stopping by. And don't forget to head over to Six Sunday and check out all the sweet, succinct posts from all the fine writers.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - 2/19/2012 - From "Larvae"

The room was trashed, like a cabal of hooligans armed with cans of red and green spray-paint had rampaged through the place. But that wasn't what made his breath stick in his throat.

Swathes of pink skin clung like obscene sticky notes to the gurgling mass of whitish-green mush oozing across the living room towards Bradley. Wormy creatures crawled within the behemoth, visible through diaphanous, rubbery flesh. Tiny, sunken green eyes the only recognizable facial features on the disgusting, misshapen snowball of its head. Bulbous appendages that might, in some fucked-up universe, be considered limbs attached to stumpy, finger-less hands.

The cop gets it in this story. Poor Officer Bradley. He had no clue what he was walking into when he entered the Mitchell household. As he says, "The pranksters and the creatures from the pit. I get the worst damn house-calls."

You can download Larvae free from the Kindle store today and tomorrow. So scoop it up if you're a horror fan and can deal with a little gore. And don't space heading over to Six Sunday and peeping all the short, sweet posts from all the great writers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - 2/12/2012 - From "The Fountain of Eden"

I just finished making revisions from my editor's notes on my horror novelette, Larvae, which will be published in a matter of days. But for this Six Sentence Sunday I'm returning one last time to The Fountain of Eden: A Myth of Birth, Death, and Beer. The novel will be free for download from the Kindle store on February 15th, 16th, and 17th. The promotion on the 15th is in conjunction with an event at World Literary Cafe, a great website that every indie author should be involved with. They're so darn nice over there! They'll be helping to promote forty or so free Kindle e-books this Wednesday, so be sure to stop by. Surely, out of all those, you can find something that interests you. Pick yerself up a copy of Fountain if you enjoy an irreverent comic fantasy. Just don't take it too seriously. :)

The scene below occurs in Chapter 4, entitled Adventures of a Patchrobed Novice. Sitting Lotus is one of the major secondary characters in the book. The perpetual novice Zen monk residing at Eden, Virginia's own New Shaolin Monastery (ten years tenured with no monk-hood in sight), he comes across a water bottle filled with fizzling liquid while scavenging for discarded but useable goods on his weekly Dumpster-diving route. (BTW, Dumpster-diving has been around since the time of Buddha himself, just minus the giant metal bins. So I guess it was called something else back then, like stinking-refuse-pile-diving and . . . I'm gonna shut up now.)


He unscrewed the cap of the bottle to dispose of the fluid, and an indescribable aroma of loveliness wafted its way up to his nostrils. It was the best-smelling smell he had ever smelled; it was the smell to end all smells. It transported his mind into new, undiscovered realms--and Sitting Lotus's longstanding crystalline walls of mental formations fragmented into oblivion, and he solved his koan.

With no sense of accomplishment--accomplishment was a drug, a dream, a lie--he looked down, down, down, into the bubbling water, shining within the bottle like liquid starlight. Not dwelling on good, not dwelling on evil, he brought the bottle to his lips--and drank Zen, Buddha, Mind, all the way down to the last drop.

 Glug, glug, glug, glug, glug.

Now, just what you always wanted: a little bit of boring-ass backstory. The koan Sitting Lotus has been puzzling over since he arrived at New Shaolin is: "Not dwelling on good, not dwelling on evil, what is your original face before you were born?" Uh, yeah, so . . . anybody got an answer to that one? I certainly don't, but Sitting Lotus somehow figured it out. So what if he had a little outside help from the Water of Life?

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to wander over to Six Sunday and peep the short but sugary posts from all the fine writers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - 2/5/2012 - From "Larvae"

"Logical explanation?" Wade spat on the floor, and a horrid grin slithered across his face. Slick, seaweed-colored slime coated his teeth.

Wade's spittle glared neon green in the kitchen's overhead lights. Neither of them spoke as two pairs of glassy eyes stared down at the mess of phlegm. Filled with tiny, moving things, the shuddering glob lurched this way and that about the tile.

Larvae is complete. It goes off to the editor tomorrow. I had much fun writing this one, and I hope everybody has much fun reading it. It should be available for purchase by Feb. 18th.

I've got ideas for a couple other horror shorts I plan to release this year, along with a YA fantasy novel I've been working on for a little while. Yeah, so I'm all over the place in the land of genres. But when an idea strikes me, no matter what it may be, I usually grab my pen and run with it. Sometimes I even stab myself in the neck with it when I trip and fall. The pen, that is, not the idea, unless we're talking figuratively. Oh, wait, we are . . .

I've really been slacking recently on the blog posts, so thank you to the good folks at Six Sunday for inspiring me to put out content weekly. But I'm now working one up on the writing process I utilized to bring Larvae into existence. Stay tuned. It'll have screenshots and everything. Yowza.

Thanks for letting me ramble on to you. And don't forget to head over to Six Sunday and check out the succinct, sweet posts from all the talented writers.