Sunday, May 27, 2018

Life Improvements

Things have improved a lot for me since my last post.  I am in a much better state mentally and have gained some new friends, allies, and opportunities.  I now work for a big popular company that shall not be named doing work that I never thought I'd be doing.  I have to be vague about it for now, but look forward to sharing my experiences in the future.

There have been so many events for friends and family close to me and I have been so busy keeping up with all that and supporting my loved ones.  Weddings, graduations, more graduations, more weddings, and so many other events.

Though much has improved for me, there is still much work to do and much more progress to be made with myself and with how I pursue my goals.  Now out of the initial training/probation period at work, my hours have changed and so I'll have to find creative ways to make time to train at the Shaolin dojo.  And I'll need to be better at making time for writing.  I'll definitely figure it out.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Outta Snow-Where and Feeling Better

A couple of days ago I mentioned how I felt low and wanted to shake things up.  I haven't really shaken much up aside from deleting and logging out of many of my social media platforms.  But internally there is a maelstrom of change that will affect me in a big way.  That, I can clearly see even when everything else feels obscured.  I am at a critical juncture in my life after all, with only a few dollars to my name and a need, a dire need to change the direction my life has been headed in for the last three years.

That said, I've had a good last few days and that has sorted me out a little bit.  Some intimate time with a lady friend and hanging with my closest friends for a few days, simply riffing and playing some games with my four non-blood brothers.  I often forget to enjoy such simple pleasures in pursuit of whatever I'm pursuing, but these euphoric couple of days has instilled within me just how important true friendship and intimacy can be.  I won't soon forget that.

It all culminated in a wicked snowstorm that broke out just as I contemplated returning home.  Needless to say, my trip back was adventurous.  The scene above shows the conditions I walked home in.  Those 3-4 inches of snow you see were very wet, as it began as rain and shifted into the biggest snowflakes I'd ever seen in only a few hours time.  Despite being happy and beyond that, grateful, I felt that the sudden storm captured my inner turmoil perfectly.  Those same two friends I was hanging out with, I was letting down.  We'd had a plan to move out together and buy a house, but I could not keep my end of the bargain.  My recent book sales were simply too paltry to do so and now I didn't even feel that Detroit was the proper place to foster the growth that I so desperately needed.  But honestly, none of that mattered.

The old me would bask in that negativity brewing within, but now it was a simple passenger.  I had no desire to complicate things.  I felt good, my feet were cold, and it was time to go home.  That's all.

Schizophrenic Michigan weather only a few seconds after the first photo

There's a lot on the horizon now in my life.  I'm ready to let some things go and to embrace some aspects of the "real" world that I've been refusing for as long as I can remember.  For me, it's literally sink or swim, so I have to choose my next move carefully.  Absolutely one thing is certain.  It is time to embrace the real, what can be truly felt, even if it brings overwhelming hardship.  That is infinitely better than a daily dose of illusory panacea.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Liandra and the Dream Reader is now on the blog

Just added the first chapter and will have all up by the end of the week.  This is the original version of the story with those unique dialogue attributions that I previously mentioned.

Liandra is a young girl from Lebanon who suffers from debilitating night terrors.  In her desperation to rid herself of her nightly suffering, she turns to a strange man versed in the supernatural, a dream reader.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shaking things up a little bit

Sometimes it's just time for a change.  Wouldn't you agree?

I'm quickly approaching 30, horribly lonely, constantly feel inadequate, poor, and oh so much more.  Because of that and my constant glaring failures, I feel the need to change some things in my life.  I don't know what, but maybe this blog is a good place to start.

I think it'll be more personal ...


Unorthodox Writing Style

Quite a few writers have them. Cormac McCarthy for one. He doesn't use dialogue attributions and that's exactly what I'm here to talk about today. To better connect with readers, I've been changing up my writing style for the last few years and frankly I'm dissatisfied with that. The main difference between my style and what's considered mainstream is my dialogue style. Instead of the standard dialogue attributions of he said and she said dominating my pages, I like to simply list the speaking character's name similar to a script.

Belart: "It goes a little something like this. It's easy to follow and we always know who's speaking. I find it to be simple and effective."
To me, it eliminates the repetition inherent in the use of normal attributions. It also clears up the occasional confusion that crops up when trying to figure out who's talking. Sure, a good writer can remove such confusion but this method does so effortlessly. The other problem it clears up is the need for me to be so annoyingly creative with my placement of normal attributions. I'm always thinking, "Should I place it here, so close to the last one?" "Pronoun or proper noun?" "Do I even need it at all or is it clear who's speaking." Why hassle myself like that or readers? I feel as if once you get accustomed to the style that the simple nameplate dialogue attribution will be will eventually become less intrusive than even a typical he said/she said attribution.

Anyways, since this blog is for me, my stories, and anyone happening to stop by, I plan on writing most of my stories here in the dialogue styles that I like. My next story here, will be the one I feel most confident about and it uses the dialogue style I've mentioned. I can't wait to show it off. Stay tuned for Liandra and the Dream Reader!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kindle Book Preview: Average Joe and the Extraordinaires

Fun at the Game

The day was hot and the crowd rowdy and rambunctious.  Everyone was getting riled up for tonight’s statewide collegiate football match where the state favorites, the Sunshine City Fowlers, would take on the underdogs, the Orangetown Pickers.  Joe and his girlfriend Kate, along with her little brother, Mod, had predicted a bloodbath tonight between the two rival teams and their rabid fans. 

Joe: “This line is way too long.”

The three teens were here to support their hometown team, the Pickers.  Joe and Kate were set on going to Orangetown University.  Neither had even considered the alternatives.  Joe himself didn't have any bright prospects when it came to choosing his college, but Kate on the other hand had many schools to choose from.  In the end she chose with her heart and decided to stay with Joe.

The line had finally started to move, but everyone was still pretty antsy.  The game was set to start in only thirty minutes.

Mod: “Hey, guys, I brought some game boosters.”

Mod smiled a devilish smile that lasted longer than it should.  He opened his bright red insulated cooler and showed its contents to his shocked sister.

Kate: “How did you get that?”

Kate looked at her younger brother with alarmed blue eyes. His smile still hadn’t faded, so she knew he had something planned. She waited for his explanation of some half-brained scheme.

Mod: “The how is unimportant, dear sister, at least when it comes to the where.  A different how should be asked.”

Mod smiled over towards where Joe was absentmindedly standing, and repeated himself a bit louder after delivering an elbow to Joe’s side.  Joe snapped to attention and responded.

Joe: “As in how we’re going to get it in there with all that security.”

Mod: “And the answer to that, my dear sister, is you.”

Kate: “Why do I feel as if this i­s going to make me feel so stupid?”

The crowd started to move forward faster, the group’s shady acts cleverly hidden from the security staff.  No one could really see what they were doing with all the secrecy.  Mod took what looked like an albino baby seal from his backpack and placed the cooler in it. He attached it to Kate and hid it under a sweater that he told her to wear. 

It wasn't really an albino baby seal, as that would be a ridiculous and smelly thing to attach to someone, even more ridiculous than a regularly pigmented seal. He had attached a fake pregnancy belly to his sister.

Mod: “Okay now act natural, sis.”

Kate scoffed at the notion.

Kate: “Act as if I’m pregnant?  You jerk, that’s not even funny.”

Mod: “With the rate at which you and Joe have been going, I will be able to say that with a straight face a few months from now.”

Kate and Joe both blushed.

Kate: “You’re lucky I don’t slap you.”

Uncomfortable conversations aside, the line was moving full speed ahead and Joe’s group was finally nearing the front doors of the stadium.  The closer they got to security, the more nervous they all became.  It was difficult to tell if Kate’s sea of sweat had formed because of her nervousness or the hot fake belly and sweatshirt that she now had to wear.

At the front of the line, Joe went towards the doors, but was pushed back by a large man the size of a pro-wrestler, wearing a red t-shirt.  Kate looked at him with rising fear in her eyes and a growing knot in her stomach.  The large man might’ve been a wrestler, but he had the words UNIVERSITY SECURITY on his shirt.  He approached the group and looked right at Kate and Joe.

Security: “Is this woman with you?”

Kate and Joe looked at each other, and then back at the security officer.  Joe nodded his head and Kate sweated even more, to the point of drenching her socks.

Security: “Where’s your head at, kid?  Let the lady go first.  She’s with child.” 

He looked right at her and smiled, which Kate guessed was meant to be inviting, but didn’t make her feel any more comfortable.

Security: “Go on through, miss.”

Kate gulped down her previous fear and strolled past the man, while the other two followed close behind.  Joe got the stink-eye from the security guy.  Sensing DDTs and power-bombs in his future, he decided to hasten his pace towards the ticket taker, who then took their tickets.

Inside, they all had a powwow about where to go and if they would get snacks. Eventually, they got it all together and found their seats. The game began with the singing of the national anthem, which got everyone riled up and patriotic. The players on both teams took to the field in a frenzy, to everyone’s delight.  You could feel the high levels of energy throughout the stadium.  The pops that the players took created audible “pops” throughout the audience.

The hometown team was losing in the first quarter, to the chagrin of Joe and the gang.  Mod had pulled the thermos from Kate’s baby belly when he was sure no one was looking. Kate hastily ripped off the hot sweater and fake belly and threw them underneath her seat.

Kate: "Did you get this sweater from Grandma?"

Mod: "Nah, it's one of Dad's old sweaters."

Mod pulled a couple cans of Double Dog Brew for himself and handed another to Joe and then to Kate.  Joe sipped his beer while the other two downed theirs like old pros and argued over who had finished first.  Kate and Mod grabbed more beers and shared stories of the time Mod had accidently soiled his underwear during a camping trip.  Mod tried not to laugh but couldn’t help himself.

Mod: “You guys are poop-heads.”

Kate: “Great choice of words, little bro.  You might want to rethink what comes out of your potty mouth.”

When the second round picked up, they poured their hearts into cheering the Pickers, while pouring more beers into their mouths. You would’ve thought the Fowlers had murdered the families of their rivals from the jeers they got.  Joe, Mod, Kate, and the rest that sat in their row, screamed expletives at the rival team, and a few death threats as well.  Mod and Joe had made friends with the group sitting next to them and even shared some of their beers. 

Neighboring Fan: “Yeah, they’re selling beers at the concession for about seven flippin’ dollars.  If I didn’t think security would be so tight I would’ve brought me some cans too.”

Mod: “Yeah I always come prepared, man. Otherwise I’d blow all of my allowance—er paycheck, on these drinks.”

Kate elbowed Mod in the ribs and the friendly fan merely laughed.  Towards the end of the second round the group started smelling something weird.

Joe: “Do you guys smell that?”

Kate: “What is it?”

Joe: “Smells like something is burning or something.”

They all smelled it, but it was so faint that no one paid it any major attention.  The Pickers were still down and so the group cheered louder than ever.