After a long buildup of events, I have been put into a position that requires me to find a new place to live. The new owners of my building have proven to be a nightmare in their own right, creating a hostile workplace that is also my home. They have required me to go way beyond my job description here, and I ended up doing over $10k worth of rehab work in the building for no pay, and harassing calls and texts when I finally said enough was enough. In the process, I lost over 14 pounds, had my sleep and eating schedules disrupted, and subjected to severe stress and anxiety. So, in addition to having to find a new place to call home, I need to deal with courts and lawyers, as I refuse to take this abuse sitting down.
Just another weekend for this writer, boys and girls.
Fortunately, writing has been, and always will be, a means of therapy and solace for me, and thus, has not slowed my writing. To the contrary, in times like these, I find myself writing more, which in a sense proves that art is born of pain, I suppose. My current work in progress is currently a bit more than two-thirds complete in terms of the first draft. It is my longest, and strangest, work to date I feel, and hope to have it completed this summer. With luck, the events surrounding me will not entail too many delays, and I will complete this new novel on schedule. The cover is complete, and I’m itching to do a title and cover reveal, so stay tuned.
Until next time,
Greetings Once Again From the Void…
I’m writing this at quarter to four in the morning, taking a break from a depression-induced manic streak. I should be wrapping up my daily writing around this time, but my writing has suffered from motivation problems over the last couple of weeks. This is not writer’s block; I have plenty to say, should I actually take the time to sit in front of the keyboard, but I have had a hard time of late being able to bring myself to do so. My particular cycle of depression and anxiety are best helped by writing in any form, and this has come to affect my writing process, becoming in fact a part of the process itself. The interruptions are rare – as I’ve said, I do not ever really suffer from writer’s block in the conventional sense – but they do happen, and this has delayed the completion of my current novel.
I had hoped to complete two books in 2021, but the second of the two works has turned out to be more of a project than I originally anticipated. Currently, the new manuscript draft sits at forty-five complete chapters, and 116k words, and there could be as many as 50k more words to go. I do a hybrid pantser/plotter process, so my notes give me a direction, but allow room for the Muse to roam where she likes. This time around, however, I am required to do more fine-tuning on the third act, and the nature of the story requires more research than I’ve ever done before, which I can but hope is a good thing, as it means I am attempting to leave my comfort zone as a writer.
Will all the effort be worth it? Time will tell, I guess.
Until next time,
For those of you just joining in, I’ve been working on a new fiction novel for some time now, one I began a few years ago, back when I was unknowingly in a struggle against narcissistic abuse. I wanted this novel to be my second work, but I several short stories and novellas were crying for my attention, and so that became ‘Strange Stories, Twisted Tales’.
Later, when the smoke began to clear, I found the concept of the story – inspired by a number of interests and beliefs of mine cultivated through time – to be intriguing, and began work in earnest on my second novel length work. As I picked up the pieces of the story and worked on establishing a general outline, the project grew a bit in scope. I’ve always been a bit long-winded, but I’m comfortable with that, at least in first drafts, but as I worked on the details of the story, I realized I needed to deal with the effects of the events on the Main Character’s mental health. The story took on an entire new aspect with that realization, and it has proven to be the right decision, if preliminary reactions are to be believed, lol.
Now, I’ve come to that point where I basically have to pull whatever strings I’ve laid out in the story together, and turn it into a plot that makes sense. This means taking a critical look at what I have plotted so far, making sure those strings I wish to tie up will, at some point, be tied neatly. Sometimes I have to condense or trim things. This isn’t an editing phase, not really – more of a course correction. Once this is done, the remaining distance is always easier to travel, and the journey all the more rewarding.
I’m still looking to have this newest novel finished before the end of the year. As it gets closer to release, I’ll have title and cover reveals, so stay tuned!
Until next time,
In most horror movies, and in most novels in the genre, the treatment of the emotional effects of the events experienced by the main characters, including the protagonist, seem to be done in either one of two extremes: it is either ignored, or the character becomes a victim of the emotional/mental effects, going of the deep end to become the final victim or the next generation antagonist. In movies, this is easy to explain; the events are condensed in order to tell a cohesive story in the running time of the film. In many cases, the story takes place over a short period of time. Psychological horror is the exception to this, of course, as the entire story is centered on that very aspect. That being said, there are also exceptions to this, and those exceptions often prove to be excellent portrayals in their respective mediums. I believe Horror is at its best when the emphasis is on the emotional aspects of the characters involved, especially when it comes to prose.
In my upcoming fiction work, the events take place over an extended period of time, which will have the quite natural effect of affecting the mental health of the protagonist. As I suffer from the effects of depression and anxiety related to years of narcissistic abuse, I will be drawing from personal experience to describe the effects of these events on my MC in the terms of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. This is proving to be both the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this new novel, and I look forward to being able to have it ready for beta in the next few months. I’ll be giving more details in upcoming posts.
Until next time,
Why do I write horror? I suppose every writer is asked at some point what inspired them to write about the things they do, and I found myself thinking about that tonight (connected to certain memories that have been playing unbidden of late). I’ve answered that question before. On the author page of this very site, I describe some of the events I and others witnessed in my childhood home, and how it changed my perception of the world, and how it made me think about the true nature of reality. This was an inspiration, to be sure, but that is but one among many. When I was younger, I wrote more comedy than I did anything else. I can still be funny – in my own way – when I feel inspired in that direction. I’ve written emotional pieces on the state of the human condition, technical papers, editorials, and just about everything in between. Inspiration does not necessarily dictate a choice in genre.
Yes, growing up witnessing certain unexplained (or difficult to explain) phenomena and events had a dramatic effect on my view of the world, but there were other events just as impactful. During that same period, my grandfather and his family had two contracts put out on their lives. I could just as easily chosen spy thriller fiction or police/investigative fiction, or forensic detection. Any genre I chose would be written with the same ability in terms of plot, description, and dialogue (whatever that level of ability may be).
For artists, all creation is an expression of their perceptions, and they are driven to express these perceptions, as opposed to someone who produces a product. I’m not making any judgement on which is better; I am stating my observations of what defines an artist.
So again, why did I choose to write in the horror and strange fiction genre? Inspiration is part of the equation, I suppose, but upon reflection, I know it is only a portion of the whole. I think the real reason I write in this area is because I’ve witnessed a good deal of horror in my life, personally, in the lives of others, and in the systems that govern our lives. In some ways, I see it still, every day. Writing helps channel those experiences, to keep them from becoming a permanent resident within my inner being. I think this applies to most true artists, and most definitely applies in my case. In the second half of my life, I’ve suffered events that have left permanent effects, and that too adds a sense of impending mortality, which is one factor I believe is common in most who write in the horror genre. The lasting effects of those events, physical, emotional, and social, is best lessened by creative endeavor, and when those effects are most severe, the more creative I am driven to become.
So there you have it; some personal reflections from yours truly.
Until next time,
My apologies to those who purchased copies of my second book. Apparently, the file I uploaded to the printer was corrupted, even though in review I did not detect any errors. I do not know if I saved an old file over an edited version, or what, but somewhere along the way, the version that saw print was littered with corrupted text and other errors. I managed to correct these over the last two weeks, and have resubmitted the manuscript.
So, if you purchased a copy, I owe you a new one. Please feel free to contact me through my Facebook page, and I will send you a signed copy on me. If you purchased the Kindle version, I will make sure you get an updated copy for free. It’s the lease I can do for those who support my work.
Again, my apologies.
Until next time,
I’ve been writing quite a bit lately. The Muse was very lively for awhile, and when she rests, I transcribe from hand-written journal pages for my upcoming non-fiction work. This latter is harder for me to write. The account of my life during that time is not an easy thing to relate; to transcribe the events of that period is to relive those events in my mind, and for people with CPTSD, that can be especially difficult. I hope, in the long run, that I will be able to help men who are experiencing narcissistic abuse to avoid a similar outcome. To date, that manuscript stands at 97,293 words.
There is still a ways to go on both my works in progress. My new fiction novel is about a third of the way through the first draft. My Muse has been on a break, allowing me to catch up on the non-fiction work, but I know I will be back to writing on that strange tale soon. This novel will be as different from my first two as they were to each other, with elements of both horror and suspense, with a little metaphysics and science thrown in for good measure. It is the most fun I’ve had writing so far, and I hope to have the manuscript finished within the next few months.
I’m also trying to post more here, and increase my social media presence, something I’ve neglected for far too long, and I’ll post more information about that as it develops.
Stay tuned folks, there’s a lot more coming in the future!
Until next time,
My new fiction work in progress just passed the 40k word mark, which means it is officially a novel. It is my usual weirdness, but I think I have turned things up a notch with this one. The plot mixes quantum physics and spirituality, with a healthy dose of horror. it is by far the bloodiest thing I’ve written, although the body count is nowhere near the billions found in my second book, Strange Stories, Twisted Tales. I pretty much destroyed the planet twice in that one, and that’s a hard tally to surpass.
Also, I’m also officially divorced, which does create a certain distance between myself and the person responsible for so much abuse for the last decade. I’ve been working on the non-fiction account of those years, and that manuscript has passed 80k words, with two-thirds of the 101 pages hand-written journal I wrote while forcibly detained on false charges by my abuser, with another third waiting to be transcribed. With luck, I may be able to finish the novel by the end of the year, so stay tuned!
Lots of stuff going on. I’ve passed 34k words on my next fiction novel. This third work of fiction will explore some of the stranger aspects of perception and what we call reality, and explores both the science and spirituality of life, death, and rebirth. It is proving to be a research-intensive project, but I am still hoping to have the finished novel available by the end of the year. I’ll update when possible, so stay tuned!
It’s been some time since my last update, and it would be safe to say the world has been one of chaos, both on a macro and microcosmic scale. The senseless violence and outrageous behavior occurring in many places are a mirror of the various events happening in my life, and like so many others, I do my best to struggle through, one day at a time.
I am working on my third novel, as well as the non-fiction account memoir of the sad and rather tragic events I have endured over the last decade. The fiction manuscript is now over 30k words. To be honest, I have no idea how long the finished work will be; my process is half planned, half the Muse going where she will. I can say this new work looks to require more research than anything I have written previously. The result should be more than worth the effort, however, as it is also the strangest thing I’ve ever written.
The pandemic, as it is commonly referred to, is still affecting the world and our country, but my lifestyle was solitary before the quarantine, and will continue to be after whatever society becomes when it ends, so the total impact on my life by the virus is mainly felt on those rare occasions when I perform crucial errands. Even so, it is far from a perfect scenario; finding the time to write is still a challenge, as is the other tasks associated with it, such as updating this blog, keeping a social media presence, and so on. The plan is to have the new fiction novel completed before the end of the year. Time will tell whether or not I can meet that goal.
Until next time, boys and girls, pleasant dreams.